"Winter, spring, summer or fall... All you need to do is call...And I'll be there, yes I will..." Lyrics to one of my favorite songs, performed by both James Taylor and Carole King, could have been written to describe what we do in the world of telemedicine and emergency medicine. Let me back up a few steps to provide the connection.
Do we have more than the four seasons we enjoy yearly in Michigan? If you ask an emergency physician, we have a fifth: Trauma Season. And we're just settling into it as you read this. As a board certified emergency physician, I completed a residency after medical school specializing in the emergent stabilization of accidents, injuries, and severe acute illnesses. Approximately 30% of the 140 million ER visits this year will be a result of some type of traumatic injury or accident. Fortunately, many such injuries are relatively minor and AHonDemand telemedicine is a convenient and safe way for these to be evaluated.
After 20 years, I've come to conclude we have far fewer "accidents" than this number. Most such injuries are the result of poor decision making or "tempting fate." Let me give you an example: I used to get so mad at my kids when they were younger, standing on a swiveling bar stool in our kitchen trying to reach something on a high pantry shelf. If they were to have fallen and had to see me in the ER for a broken limb, stitches, or worse, you might think it was "an accident." I would suggest that it was an "unscheduled planned bad event." An accident is when an asteroid lands on you. A 6-year-old falling from a swiveling stool is destined to happen. Especially when you take into account two other kids playing around the stool, maybe a pet or two in the mix, and the child being careless and hurrying to get what he's after before mom comes back into the kitchen! My kids are so brainwashed that when they see someone on a bike without a helmet, they would whisper "Psssst... daddy... look at that guy over there. He doesn't have a helmet on," as if it was a felony.
When you look at events this way, like we do in emergency medicine, you realize that most traumatic accidents and injuries are preventable. Now, I'm not suggesting we live our lives in a bubble. That's not possible, particularly if we want to enjoy this wonderful world given to us. I am suggesting that we should exercise caution when we can, be thoughtful and intentional about it, and think preventatively. Short cuts, not using available safety equipment, and poor judgement are factors in nearly every "accident" we see. These are all things we have direct control over!
So, use caution, good judgement, and safety equipment (think bike helmets, safety goggles, seat belts, etc.) when available. And when life inevitably happens, be assured the urgent care telemedicine practice of AHonDemand will be there for you. Winter, spring, summer, fall, or trauma season, know that we are available to treat you. You will be evaluated by providers trained specifically for the type of accident or injury you have. Fortunately, most injuries are relatively minor and don't require much beyond evaluation and reassurance. We can help to determine the extent of injury you may have and in most cases provide reassurance that you don't need to spend the next 3 hours in the ER at 2am. For those instances where you may need to get seen by another specialist, we can facilitate that, typically as soon as the next day.
So check us out. Explore our website (www.ahondemand.com), get yourself and your family signed up. It only takes about 2 minutes. When life inevitably happens, you'll be all set to be seen by one of our telemedicine providers who are trained for the type of problem you are facing. Stay healthy!
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