ER

The ER is not a place anyone wishes to be. Learn how the ER works, common reasons people end up there and some of the bizarre procedures that have taken place.


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You've got chest pain you can't ignore, so you head off to the emergency room. On the way, you notice the hospital posts its ER wait time on a billboard. But is the posted time really how long you'll wait?

You really liked that ER doctor who stitched up your arm. That is until you got your bill. Turns out the doctor was out of your insurance network, even though the hospital's ER is in network. How does that happen?

We all know a trip to the emergency room is never quick, but sometimes the ER is so jam-packed that you think that you're in the country's busiest ER. So just where is America's busiest ER? Well, it depends on who you ask.

You just broke your arm, and you're flat broke. But you don't worry about getting medical treatment, because the doctors and nurses in the ER have to treat everyone who walks through the door. Or do they?

Help! You just cut your hand while chopping vegetables. On the way to the hospital you cringe because you know that ER bill is going to be unbelievable. Why is that?

During a medical emergency, your only thought is getting to the ER as fast as possible. The last thing on your mind is figuring out what kind of insurance the doctor accepts. We can help.

You've got health insurance. Congratulations! But good luck finding a primary care doctor. There are a lot fewer of them these days, so you may end up using that shiny, new insurance card in an emergency room.

We all know what to do in case of a medical emergency (get to the ER), but are you really qualified to recognize a true emergency when it happens?

You have to go to the ER, but you don't have health insurance. You're not worried, though, because emergency rooms have to treat everyone who walks through the doors. But does that mean you get out of paying the costs you incur?

When you're headed to the ER, you're probably a little too busy to ponder the difference between it and a trauma center. But there are differences between the two that you should know.

When a winter storm, tornado or hurricane happens, people start flooding emergency rooms (ERs) at hospitals. So, if the hospital didn't know how to handle the influx, chaos would break out.

It can be hard to tell whether an injury, illness or other troubling symptom warrants a trip to the ER. While you should always err on the side of caution and go if you're unsure, these tips will make your decision easier.

Working in the ER isn't easy, and emergency medical professionals deserve a ton of credit for doing excellent work in less-than-stellar circumstances. But inevitably, sometimes things go wrong. And when they do, what legal options do you have?

You cut yourself prepping dinner. It's after business hours. But should you really take that laceration to the emergency room? Maybe not.

Unsurprisingly, the practice of emergency medical response has its roots in bloody conflict as people began to realize the importance of treating injuries as soon as possible. How have those practices changed over the decades?

Dubbed the "fifth vital sign," pain plays a huge role in our health and well-being – which is why doctors have been on a quest to quantify it for decades.

Accidents happen. Severe illness arrives unannounced. You have no other choice than to head to the emergency room for treatment. How can you make the process as smooth as possible?

Hospital emergency departments are ready to handle life-threatening illness and injury. But some patients may not have a clear picture of what qualifies as life-threatening.

If you got injured after a tornado, wouldn't it be great if you could get treated on the spot, rather than going to an emergency room? You could if a mobile emergency unit was nearby. That's just one type of mobile health unit available.

What do the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and a '70s TV show have in common? They all helped shape the field of paramedicine. Learn more about how these first-responders save lives every day.

Sudden cardiac death is a huge global killer. Even if you survive such an incident, your neurological outcome isn't so hot. A serious chill could change that.

You probably know that in an emergency room, patients aren't seen on a "first-come, first-served" basis. There's a system called triage to sort the order so the sickest get priority. Does that mean you'll wait forever if you're not dying?

Emergency nurses have been around since way before the first emergency room. They not only save lives, but also keep everything running as smoothly as possible. So what does it take to be an ER nurse, and how is the field changing?

If your idea of adventure is balancing a snack tray and the remote control, it might be time to get off the couch. But do you know which sports could send you to the ER?