Physical Exams: Emergency Room Near You
A physical exam can be done as a general exam or as an exam specific to a particular problem. Under normal circumstances, it is advised that you get regular physical exams done on you and you should take this as seriously as you would take your diet or your fitness and exercise routine. Most people don’t usually do this and end up having their first physical exam when already in an emergency room with a severe condition such as a heart attack or stroke. Most medical practitioners advise that you do get regular physical exams so that you can uncover medical issues early enough before you have to end up in an emergency room. Anyway, once in the emergency room with a severe medical condition or with a severe injury, then a physical exam is just as important as the diagnostic tests you will take when it comes to diagnosis of your condition and therefore helping in deciding the best mode of treatment for you. It is from this exam that the emergency room physicians will deduce which diagnostic tests to carry out to either rule in or out the diagnosis from the test. It is important to know what to expect as far as these physical exams are concerned in the emergency room and that is what this article will look to help with as it will look to cover what these physical exams entail.
The first part of the physical exam in an emergency room involves observation and inspection of the patient. Here, there are a number of instruments that will be available to the emergency room physician to help as well as carrying out a visual inspection. The physician will inspect your appearance as well as the appearance of any wound you may have and may be able to tell how severe it is just by looking at it, especially if you have severe fracture or severe burn among others. The inspection stage will also include an inspection of your skin to check for signs of infection, as well as your nails which could offer clues on conditions such as congenital heart disease among others. Palpitations, or touching or feeling of the affected part of the body may also be done. This is usually done if you are presenting with abdominal pain and may diagnose conditions such as appendicitis among others. You will also be checked if you are breathing properly, with this being the first thing that is checked if someone is distressed once they get to the emergency room. If you are unconscious and are not breathing normally or at all, then CPR will be started before you can be assisted with more technical equipment to try and get breathing and circulation going again.
The physical exam in an emergency room when you head there with an emergency condition also involves the checking of your circulation so as to determine of your cardiac output is adequate. In cases with severe or excessive bleeding among other conditions, circulation may become compromised. You will have your blood pressure taken, so as to ensure that it is greater than 100/60 millimeters of mercury. Extremely low blood pressure may lead to you going into shock which is something that is monitored closely at this stage. Some of the signs and symptoms the emergency room physicians will be looking out for that indicate shock include a weak pulse, sweating, confusion as well as a pale complexion. Since shock can cause damage to major organs such as the heart, brain, kidneys, lungs and the liver, then the emergency room physicians will look to move quickly to correct he shock and stabilize you. Another thing that may be done as part of the physical exam when you go to an emergency room near you for an emergency situation is checking your pupil size as well as how it reacts to light. This is usually done to check for the status of your nervous system. For instance, if your pupils are small in size and don’t react to light, it may be a sign of a narcotic overdose or if one pupil appears to be larger than the other, then it could be a sign that you may have suffered a brain hemorrhage on one side of the brain among other permutations.
If you have suffered an injury or they suspect internal injuries or inflammation, infection or injury to internal organs, then you will be referred to radiology for diagnostic testing. This may be done in cases of fractures, conditions such as appendicitis among others and is done to both diagnose and check for the extent of injuries. This will help the emergency room physicians know how to proceed with treatment. Lab tests may also be required to check for things such as infection or heart attacks among others.
The above are some of the things that you can expect as far as a physical exam is concerned when you go to an emergency room near you for an emergency condition.