When You Go To The Emergency Room

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December 20, 2011


Interview with Vincent D’Amore, author of the book Common Sense Care: A Parent's Guide to a Harmless ER Visit




Mike Carruthers:
Did you know that most emergency room visits are unnecessary?


Vincent D’Amore:
A good fact is that 95% of children who go to an ER go home. So that tells us for children - 95% of them aren’t critically ill.

Vincent D'Amore M.D.

ER Doctor Vincent D’Amore, author of the book Common Sense Care...


For adults the ER admission rate is roughly 25-30% so if you can walk into the ER the odds are, more than likely, you’re going to walk out.


In which case visiting your own doctor or an urgent care facility would have probably been a better choice. Now many times parents bring their children to the ER with head trauma and they demand that the doctor do tests to prove that the child is OK.


And if the child looks OK to a doctor the best thing to do usually is just to do nothing and to watch the child. If things change you can bring them back but the reflex test that can prove objectively that there’s nothing wrong with that child is a CAT scan - and that’s got 200 chest x-rays worth of radiation. Now that CAT scan may give your child cancer in 30 years so it’s not a test that we should just do needlessly.


Trouble breathing or pain in the chest are abdomen are 2 really good reasons to go to an ER. But if you have a cold it’s probably not a good idea.


Because if I have a cold I’ll feel miserable but it’s going to go away in a week regardless of what I do. I didn’t need to have $400 in blood tests and a radiation filled chest x-ray.


To hear the complete unedited interview, click here



  • Length: 1:44 minutes (1.59 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
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