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Medical tests during the emergency department stay

A wide variety of tests and examinations may be necessary to determine the cause of the sudden onset of symptoms or the extent of the injury.

The most common tests and examinations conducted during an emergency department stay include laboratory and imaging examinations. For the purposes of these tests, the emergency department contains or is closely connected to a laboratory and imaging unit. During the emergency department visit, personnel will provide the patient with instructions on how to have these tests and examinations performed.

For laboratory tests, a lab technician may take blood samples from the patient, or they may be asked to provide a urine sample.

The most common form of imaging study is the ordinary X-ray. In emergency departments with more advanced services, ultrasound or computer tomography imaging may be conducted as well. It is usually uncommon for magnetic resonance imaging to be employed in an emergency medicine setting.

    Emergency department staff or a dedicated patient transportation service may assist the patient on their way to tests and examinations, unless they are mobile on their own. Staff will constantly accompany a person with a severe illness or injury.

    It will take about one to two hours for laboratory tests to yield results. Some tests may take up to several days to be completed. If so-called quick tests are employed, the results may be ready faster than this. After imaging studies, it is often necessary to wait for the radiologist’s report.

    Updated 1.5.2021