Five things to think about before you come to the Emergency Department


  • Am I sick? Our first action in the Emergency Department is not just to control your pain, but to determine the source of your pain and see what treatment is needed.   If you think you are SICK, with fever, cough or other symptoms, then make sure we know that.
  • Is this normal pain? It’s hard for us to understand your pain, so please let us know how bad it is and if it is “normal” for you or if it is different.
  • What works for me? If you are new to the UWMC/SCCA system, please let us know what works to help with your pain. If you and your doctor have recently changed your care plan, please let us know.
  • Warm blankets? Really? Sometimes the little things help the pain, so we will offer warm blankets and anti-inflammatory pain medications almost always. Warm blankets can decrease the amount of sickling and improve pain.
  • How long is the wait? The faster we treat your pain, the better you feel. We want to treat your pain quickly so you can get on with your day if possible. Sometimes because of the other very ill patients seen in the ER, and the unpredictable nature of the ER flow, we will not be able to see you as fast as we wish. Know that we will always see you and please do not leave.


Martin Makela, MD

Medical Director, UWMC Emergency Department