What you need to know about stomach aches and the emergency room

What you need to know about stomach aches and the emergency room

Stomach aches are uncomfortable, to say the least, but what do you do when yours doesn’t get better after a few days? You go to the emergency room, right? Maybe so—but depending on your symptoms and your age, you might want to think twice about this course of action. Find out what the most common reasons are people go to the emergency room with stomach aches and why it’s important to know more about this subject than just that you should go straight there in case of an emergency.

1) What do I do if my child has a stomach ache?

If your child has a stomach ache, it’s probably because he ate something that disagreed with him. But if it doesn’t get better within an hour or so, call your doctor just in case. The key is for your child to get rest and take some over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

2) Should I take my child to the ER right away?

If your child has a serious bellyache that comes on suddenly, don’t wait around. These can be signs of appendicitis, for example, which is one reason why ER doctors say there’s no substitute for a speedy visit to an emergency room when it comes to acute abdominal pain. However, most kids who go to the ER with a bellyache don’t have anything more serious than an upset stomach or a mild virus.

3) How long will we have to wait at the ER?

Wait times at ERs can be extremely unpredictable. If you’re uninsured, your wait could be more than five hours. If there is a long wait time for an appointment, try to schedule one in advance or call your doctor’s office on Monday and ask if they have cancellations during the week. If they do, simply go to their office instead of going straight to ER. This can save you lots of time and money in medical bills!

4) How can I be prepared for my visit?

When your stomach hurts, it’s not always serious. As long as your pain isn’t sharp or on one side of your abdomen, just watch for signs of dehydration or other more serious conditions. If you do need medical attention, bring a list of all medicines, supplements, and vitamins that you take with you to each appointment.

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