Genuine emergencies are difficult to define but tend to fall into the categories of
- problems with breathing
- bleeding, or
In a real emergency, life or limb hangs in the balance and every second counts! Fortunately, such situations are rare in childhood. In a true emergency you should always call 911 (or your local fire department or ambulance) and be taken immediately to the NEAREST emergency room. After the situation has been stabilized by the emergency room, however, pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists are the best qualified to provide definitive diagnosis and further treatment for your child. Therefore, always insist that any emergency room physician contact us before sending your child home or making any decisions about treatment, hospital admission or transport.
Many urgent situations are not really emergencies. “Urgent” means something you think shouldn’t wait until morning or until our next office hours to be seen, or something you need advice about right away, but which does not seem immediately threatening to life or limb. Urgent situations are far more common than emergencies in childhood. WHENEVER POSSIBLE IT IS BEST TO CALL THE OFFICE FIRST! One of our providers is always available — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — to give advice or make arrangements for your child to be seen, either by us at the office or by an appropriate pediatric specialist at Children’s Hospital or Mass General Hospital for Children, if needed.