Emergency Medicine is a specialty of medicine. A specialty is a special part of medicine where a doctor may have more knowledge. Examples are Pediatrics (doctors who care for children), Geriatrics (doctors who care for elderly people), and Cardiology (doctors who know more about the heart.)
Emergency Medicine (abbreviation EM) is sometimes also called Accident and Emergency Medicine (AEM).
EM doctors specialize in treating diseases and injuries that need immediate care. These kind of diseases or injuries are called emergencies. If they are not helped quickly, the person may become more sick or even die.
Doctors that specialize in EM usually work in Emergency Departments. This is also called a casualty department or Emergency room. These are places in hospitals where people go if they have an emergency. They may have a red cross or red letters on the sign to show it is the Emergency Department. This way, even people who cannot read know where to go.
Doctors who specialize in EM must know some about all of the different specialties of medicine. They treat people of all ages. They treat both men and women. They must know how to treat any kind of emergency. But they may not know quite as much about the chronic treatments of diseases over years. However, many people come to the Emergency Department with problems that are not emergencies. So EM doctors must also know about how to treat non-emergencies.
Emergency medicine physicians treat patients with urgent medical problems.They evaluate, care for, and stabilize patients whose illness or injury requires immediate attention.
- Triage: They quickly assess the severity of conditions to prioritize treatment.
- Resuscitation: They stabilize patients undergoing life-threatening emergencies, such as cardiac arrest or severe trauma.
- Acute medical conditions: They diagnose and treat a variety of sudden medical illnesses.
- Trauma care: They manage patients with traumatic injuries, coordinating with surgeons when necessary.
- Procedural skills: They are skilled in various emergency procedures, such as lumbar punctures, intubation, and setting fractures.
- Collaboration: They work closely with other specialists, such as cardiologists, surgeons, and intensivists, to ensure comprehensive patient care.
- Discharge planning: They decide whether a patient can be sent home with follow-up or should be admitted to the hospital.
- Patient education: They provide patients and families with guidance on managing acute conditions and when to seek further medical attention.
- Continuous learning: The nature of emergency medicine requires them to be updated on a wide range of medical conditions and treatments.
- Advocacy and public health: They often play roles in community health and safety programs, promoting preventive measures to avoid emergencies.
Tests and procedures
- Tests: Common diagnostic tests performed in the ER are blood tests like CBC (also called complete blood count), urine analysis, EKG, X-rays and CT scans.
- Procedures: Common ER procedures that emergency physicians generally perform include laceration repair, complex procedures such as endotracheal intubation, chest tube placement, obtaining emergency vascular access, gastric lavage, nasogastric tube placement, incision and drainage of an abscess etc.
Journals in emergency medicine
Some of the top journals in emergency medicine include:
- Shock (journal)
- Resuscitation (journal)
- Academic Emergency Medicine
- Annals of Emergency Medicine
- American Journal of Emergency Medicine
List of Emergency Medicine Doctors (USA)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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