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Emergency Medical Condition

What is an emergency medical condition?

An emergency medical condition occurs when individuals present with acute symptoms of great severity, which require immediate medical treatment. Examples of emergency medical conditions include heart attacks and emergency labor and delivery. 

Patients experiencing emergency medical conditions often receive treatment from various healthcare providers, including physicians and nurses, in the emergency room (ER).  

Why is classifying emergency medical conditions important to healthcare?

Classifying emergency medical conditions is important because it determines the level of care needed to treat patients.  

In particular, it’s critical for individuals with an emergency medical condition to receive immediate care because improper treatment could result in 

  • Significant bodily function impairment  
  • Severe dysfunction of organ or body part  
  • Serious jeopardy to patients’ health