Emergency & Trauma FAQs

Emergencies can happen when we least expect them. Any trip to an emergency room (ER) can be stressful for patients and their loved ones. ER physicians are specifically trained to address the most severe injuries by using life-saving measures. 

What is emergency medicine?

Emergency medicine is a special kind of medical practice that’s dedicated to the treatment of sudden illness, disease or injury. It can be practiced anywhere, but it’s most commonly performed in an ER or trauma center. 

Can ER doctors perform surgery?

While ER doctors may perform surgery, their first priority is to stabilize any injured patient that comes in. They will provide initial emergency care, such as starting a blood transfusion or ordering oxygen therapy. Beyond that, they may recommend further treatment by trained specialists. 

What is triage?

Triage is the process of identifying which patients need the greatest care and attention depending on their condition or illness. In the ER, certain patients with less severe needs may be asked to wait, while those with the most immediate need are given care first. 

When should I go to the emergency room?

When to seek treatment in an ER depends on many factors. Head directly to the ER if your immediate condition could result in death or permanent disability. Urgent care centers are good alternatives for less serious injuries. 

What is the difference between ICU and CCU?

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is a hospital room designated for patients who need constant care and observation in the short term. The CCU (Coronary Care Unit, Cardiac Care Unit or Critical Care Unit) is generally staffed with cardiologists and intended for patients with heart complications. 

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Mercy is ready to help 24 hours a day with specialized emergency care.

Find a Mercy emergency room near you.