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Emergency Physicians Issue Guidelines About When To Visit An ER

The American College of Emergency Physicians has issued a new set of guidelines for the public about the H1N1 virus. People who have flu-like symptoms are encouraged to look at the guidelines before going to an emergency room.

Emergency Physicians Issue Guidelines About When To Visit An ER
The American College of Emergency Physicians has issued a new set of guidelines for the public about the H1N1 virus. People who have flu-like symptoms are encouraged to look at the guidelines before going to an emergency room.

The guidelines begin by asking whether a person is feeling feverish and has a cough. If so, they're asked about any warning signs like difficulty breathing, chest pains, or convulsions. If any of these answers are yes, people are advised to go to the ER.

Valerie Norton is an ER doctor at San Diego's Scripps Mercy Hospital. She says the guidelines are sound.

"In fact I think they're very conservative, and I think that it's actually pretty reasonable for people who are not quite that severely ill to come in, if maybe they have just a high fever and they don't feel good, I think it's fine for them to come in and get seen," Norton says.

Dr. Norton says pregnant women and people who have chronic health conditions and have flu-like symptoms should also come to an ER.