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Tips on Visiting the Emergency Room

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If you think you should go to the ER, go ... quickly

People delay or even avoid necessary visits to the ER for many reasons: if they've never dialed 9-1-1 before, it often feels uncomfortable; ERs are typically filled to the brim with non-emergent cases that make wait times ridiculously long; interrupting what they're doing when a possible emergency strikes is inconvenient; they don't want to admit something could be seriously wrong with them. We have an astounding ability now to save lives and minimize disability, but that ability remains critically dependent on how much time elapses before an emergency reaches us. Two frequent refrains in medical circles are that "time equals heart tissue" and "time equals brain cells" when referring to the likelihood of minimizing the damage caused by heart attacks and strokes.

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