Acute symptoms and illnesses may require various procedures and medications.

A patient who has injured an arm or a leg in an accident may need splinting or, if fractured, a cast.

Cuts and wounds need cleaning and closing with stitches or topical skin adhesive (=histoacryl). Those suffering from pain or nausea may need fluids intravenously, or medication for which the nurse will insert a cannula.

Often procedures are done after the patient has first seen the doctor. In some cases, the procedures need to be started on arrival at the emergency department. The procedures are usually performed in a treatment room or a bed secluded with curtains. Procedures are performed by a doctor or another member of the staff, depending on their competencies and job description, and the type of procedure.

Follow Mikko at the emergency department

Mikko is lying on his bed. The nurse comes to insert a cannula in Mikko’s hand for intravenous fluids on the instructions of the doctor. Mikko agrees, saying he has not been able to eat or drink normally all day because of the pain. The nurse says Mikko can also have pain relief via the cannula if needed.

Mikko gives a sigh of relief: the pain is getting worse and Mikko would like to be free of the pain soon. The nurse prepares the equipment for the procedure while explaining to Mikko each step.

Mikko admits he does not like needles but is brave and keeps his hand still while the nurse is inserting the cannula. Happily, the procedure is soon over. The nurse also takes Mikko’s blood pressure and pulse and asks Mikko about any allergies before fetching pain medication as promised.

Mikko looks at fluid dripping drop by drop and feels reassured. If only the ultrasound scan results would come back soon!

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Updated  1.5.2021