6 hour wait at the Emergency Room? That’s because you don’t really have an Emergency

We mentioned it but the public still seem to think every ailment they present with to the Emergency Rooms needs to be attended to immediately. Malaysian ERs are similar to ERs all over the world and they are really busy places.  There are patients who have been involved in serious accidents, patients with stroke or heart attack to be attended to urgently.
When patients come to an ER, they are “triaged” and treatment is prioritised. If you don’t have a real emergency you will be told to wait. In fact Malaysians are lucky that unlike the NHS, they aren’t told to go home and visit their GP in the morning.

It’s a poor understanding of the function of Emergency services that we have patients like these complaining of 6 hour waits

PETALING JAYA: A patient with dengue-like symptoms was told by a staff that he had to wait for six hours before he could see a doctor at the emergency department of the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) at 1am on Monday.Elangovan Annamalai said the staff asked him whether he was sure he wanted to seek treatment because it would take about six hours to see a doctor.Elangovan told FMT in a video interview that the staff told me it was not an urgent case and not an emergency.

Viral fever, including even Dengue fever is not a true medical emergency. Many cases of Dengue fever are mild and can be managed as outpatients and the vast majority do not need to be hospitalised. A good experienced triage nurse can quickly assess you and tell if you look ill or not. In fact I am surprised if the triage should not have quickly settled it by saying “take two panadols and come back to the clinic in the morning for a blood test”. Such abuse of the ER services only adds on to the patient load and waiting time at the ER and patient clutter there.

Related posts:
1 ringgit does not mean you should abuse the Emergency services
1 ringgit does not mean you should abuse the Emergency services (II)

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Malaysian physician, haematologist, blogger, web and tech enthusiast