Can You Go to an ER for Trauma Care?

Can You Go to an ER for Trauma Care?

It’s easy to become confused by the terms thrown around by hospitals to describe different sectors, wards, types of care, and even types of injuries. How many people know off of the top of their head whether they are supposed to go to an emergency room or a trauma center after they have been in an auto accident? Do you even know the difference between the two?

If you need trauma care, it’s important to know where you should go for treatment. Can you go to the ER?

The answer is: It depends.

The Difference between an ER and a Trauma Center

Emergency rooms are locations where individuals can go when they need immediate treatment but are not experiencing severe limitations to their mobility and higher faculties. For example, someone who has been hit in the head but is still lucid and able to walk would go to an ER, while someone who was hit and is unable to speak properly or walk on their own needs to go to the trauma center.

The emergency room has a vague description, but is intended to treat people experiencing a variety of ailments who cannot wait several days or weeks for a regular doctor’s appointment. The staff at the ER can evaluate how serious your condition is and then determine when you should be seen.
Some situations where you need to visit the ER instead of a trauma center are:

  • When you think you have a broken arm or leg
  • When experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack
  • When experiencing the symptoms of a stroke
  • First or second degree burns
  • When experiencing severe vomiting and diarrhea
  • When experiencing a loss of consciousness
  • Fainting
  • Experiencing severe stomach pain, localized or general

In these situations, you need treatment, but are not suffering from dire physical trauma.

The Trauma Center

The truth is that most patients who wind up going to the trauma center do not do so of their own accord. Individuals who need the immediate attention and care provided by the center are typically experiencing severe injuries that limit mobility and the ability to speak and reason. Someone who was in a serious automobile accident and has been knocked unconscious by the impact, for example, will be rushed to the trauma center instead of brought to the ER.

Examples of situations that require a call to 911 and a trip to the trauma center include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Stab wounds or deep lacerations
  • Traumatic car crash injuries where movement is dangerous
  • Blunt trauma leading to restricted mobility, disorientating, or damage to the body
  • Major burns
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Serious falls

If you are able to move, speak, and reason without great difficulty, then you need to go to the ER for care instead of the trauma center.

When to Go to the ER for Trauma Care

Trauma to the body refers to physical damage that can be caused by a variety of factors and situations. A broken leg is considered a form of trauma, as is getting a bruise from being struck by a blunt object. Not all trauma requires going to a trauma center, as those locations are reserved for people who are in serious danger of dying, becoming disabled, or losing the regular function of their bodies from incredible damage.

If you are mobile, able to speak, and still have regular mental faculties like being able to think, smell, see, and hear, then you do not need to disturb the staff at the trauma center. Instead, you should head to an emergency room near you for assistance. If your situation is more dire than you originally believed, then the ER staff will have someone transport you to the trauma center for assistance.

Some examples of trauma that could necessitate and ER visit are:

  • Broken bones
  • Minor burns
  • Minor lacerations
  • A minor fall
  • An auto accident that did not cause traumatic injury

An ER Near You

If you are close to the 75165 zip code and are seeking trauma care in Waxahachie, TX, consider visiting the Altus Emergency Center. This emergency room in Waxahachie features a skilled and professional staff who can help you recover from your injuries and provide you with the essential treatment you need to be safe and comfortable.

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