What tests can you expect to have in the emergency room?

Emergency care doctors and nurses evaluate patients based on their signs and symptoms, health history and vital signs. They often use diagnostic tests as well, such as blood and urine tests. Watch the accompanying video to hear from an emergency care physician at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center . He explains some of the most common tests that he and his colleagues use.

Blood tests
A blood test measures the different components in your blood, including your red and white blood cells. This test provides a broad look at overall health. An emergency care doctor might request a blood test if you are:

  • Showing possible signs of an infection
  • Atypically tired or weak
  • Showing signs of inflammation or bruising

A blood test can also be useful when a patient shows signs of diabetes, a heart attack, kidney complications or blood thinning.

Kidney and liver function
A comprehensive metabolic panel is a special type of blood test that can check for several problems, including problems with kidney and liver function. An emergency care physician might suspect a liver problem because of these signs and symptoms:

  • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the upper right abdominal area

A kidney problem might be indicated by these symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Swelling of the lower extremities
  • Decreased urine output
  • Shortness of breath

Urine test
A urinalysis is a common test performed in the ER. Urine tests may reveal the presence of any of the following:

  • Kidney problems
  • Pregnancy
  • High blood sugar
  • Bacterial infection
  • Drugs

Radiologic exams
Imaging scans are used in the ER to quickly diagnose patients who might have internal injuries, such as a broken bone, or other problems like lung infections. An ER doctor may request any of the following:

  • Chest x-ray
  • X-rays of the extremities
  • CT scan of the abdomen, head or chest

Individuals in Las Vegas who are suffering signs of a true medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke, should call 911 immediately. Patient-focused emergency care is available 24/7 at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. For non-emergent inquiries only, you can call our registered nurse at (702) 233-5300.

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