There are many paths you can take when you are sick; what you should do will usually differ depending on the specific circumstances you are facing. If your condition is life threatening, you need to call an ambulance. Otherwise, it can be tough to know whether the GP (General Practitioner) or the hospital is most appropriate. If you don’t know who to call in any particular situation, here are some things you should consider – stick this on your fridge or in your diary for fast access; you never know when you might need it.
The severity of your condition will be a significant indicator as to who you should call when you are sick. If you have the flu or any kind of viral or bacterial infection, you are probably better off talking to your GP, as these are relatively minor conditions. If you are suffering from more serious symptoms, such as fainting or trouble breathing, then you should definitely consider calling your local hospital.
The duration of your illness, as well as its severity, can determine who you should call or where you should go. If you are displaying symptoms that have lasted more than a week, the hospital should be your first contact. Anything before this should warrant a call to your local GP, who may be able to help you by prescribing appropriate medication.
Younger children are at greater risk of having a more severe reaction to conditions that may barely trouble teenagers or adults. If a child is sick, take into account the symptoms they are showing as well as their age. Any child that is younger than six months and seems to be displaying symptoms such as fever or vomiting should be taken to the hospital straight away.
If you require immediate attention, definitely call the hospital or try to get yourself to the emergency room as fast as possible. If you are calling on behalf of another person and you can’t move them or get them to the services they need, you can always call an ambulance to come and take care of them. Home doctor services such as Doctor To You are another option if you think your issues are not severe enough for emergency services to be called.
There are many different things you should consider before calling or visiting your GP or your local hospital, and the factors listed above are some of the more important. It can sometimes be difficult to make such a decision, especially if you are sick yourself and not functioning properly. If you are in a position where you don’t think you can make an informed decision, do not be afraid to ask a friend or family member to help you out.
Are you a GP? Alternatively, do you work at a hospital? What are the most common mistakes your patients make when deciding where to go for their particular ailments? What do you do when you have to make such a decision? Why? Leave your tips, advice and experiences in the comments section down below – your comment might just help someone else out of a pinch!