Smooth Sailing Spoonie ER Visits With Guest Dr. Harvey Castro

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Episode 13: Smooth Sailing Spoonie ER Visits With Guest Dr. Harvey Castro

In this episode, we discuss making ER visits more smooth sailing for spoonies and zebras. Guest Dr. Harvey Castro feels that it is important for the ER docs to spend adequate time with the patient, and for the patient not to have to tell their story repeatedly while in the ER. He feels that it is appropriate to go to the ER when the individual feels it is appropriate. Only you know your body, and it is better to be safe, than sorry. Err on the side of caution and go to the ER if you are unsure. By law in most places, they have to do at least a medical screening exam. If you are having chest pain, are older, or at high risk, it is even more important to go to the ER. As far as chronic illnesses, the most likely ones to come through the ER are diabetes, hypertension, and age-related diseases. In the ER, evaluation and treatment is much quicker than outpatient. They can do imaging, labs, evaluations for blood clots, and more. Conditions that are most appropriate to see in the ER are anaphylaxis, allergic reactions, and chest pain.

Bring your old labs, your medical records, a one page data sheet about your medical conditions, complexities and recent test results, put ICE in your phone, and know your blood type and your POA. Keep in mind that ER docs are not expecting zebras and may not be as knowledgeable about zebra-like conditions. If the doctor does not listen to you, speak with them candidly about how you know your body and you don’t feel you are being listened to, and could they please take a moment and listen. Let them know that there are diseases that not everyone knows about, and we are the zebras, so can they please investigate anyway?

When we go to the ER, if you have a letter from your pain management doctor stating that you are under their care and being prescribed X dose of X medication, it can be hopeful in making sure your needs are met in the ER. Let the ER doctors know what your typical course of treatment is for the condition for which you are coming to the ER. Educate the doctor about your conditions. If you feel you are getting bad care, you can always ask to speak to a supervisor. If the docs in the ER don’t have answers for you, write down your vitals and symptoms, make sure they set up a follow up for you. Advocate for yourself. Bring someone else with you to help you fight for your second opinion. Give the doctors a list of your current physicians. Express the desire to collaborate with the physicians. If the doctor refuses to provide you with what you express has worked for you in the past, ask them why. If they still don’t listen, call your PCP and ask them to speak with the ER doctor.

Try not to go to the hospital on July 1, as the new interns and residents start on that day. Don’t go to the ER during change of shift, and instead go to the ER during low times or during the middle of the shifts. If they won’t allow your family member in, see if you can find a hospital that will allow them in, or if there are none, bring them in via FaceTime or other platforms.

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Hosted by: Jessica Temple

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Copyright 2021 Jessica Temple

37 episodes