How Emergency Rooms Work

Emergency Room Patients

Medical personnel place an injured person into an ambulance
Medical personnel place an injured person into an ambulance outside the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia, Sept. 11, 2001.
Photo courtesy U.S. Navy, photo by Journalist 1st Class Mark D. Faram

One of the most amazing aspects of emergency medicine is the huge range of conditions that arrive on a daily basis. No other speciality in medicine sees the variety of conditions that an emergency room physician sees in a typical week. Some of the conditions that bring people to the emergency room include:

  • Car accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Broken bones and cuts from accidents and falls
  • Burns
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Heart attacks, chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing, asthma attacks, pneumonia
  • Strokes, loss of function and/or numbness in arms or legs
  • Loss of vision, hearing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Confusion, altered level of consciousness, fainting
  • Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
  • Overdoses
  • Severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting
  • Food poisoning
  • Blood when vomiting, coughing, urinating, or in bowel movements
  • Severe allergic reactions from insect bites, foods or medications
  • Complications from diseases, high fevers