If it's a life threatening emergency, such as heart attack, just call the hospital and get help fast. In less urgent situations try to do this following tips:
- Before you go to the Emeregncy room, phone your primary-care doctor or any physician you know who's affiliated with the hospital and ask him to call ahead.
- Bring a copy of your medical history. Bring along a relative who can speak for you.
- The first person you'll meet at the emergency room is the triage nurse, who decides how quickly you need to be seen. No matter when your problem actually started, never say more than four hours ago, it will seem less pressing. (but tell the doctor exactly when symptoms began.)
- If you need any procedure, don't assume you have to use the physician on call. Ask your own doctor to call in a specialist.