If you have been having trouble with shortness of breath recently, you may find yourself wondering whether or not you should seek out medical care for your symptoms. The general consensus in the medical community is that you should head to the emergency room when you are experiencing such symptoms as they can be signs of something serious. However, you may wonder what you can expect from the visit you make to the ER. Get to know what you can expect when you go to the ER for shortness of breath. Then, you can get to the ER as soon as possible to get checked out. 

You Will Be Taken Right Back to Triage and a Room

There are certain protocols that emergency rooms must follow when someone presents with chest pain or shortness of breath (or any other sign of a heart attack). They have to get you through triage and into a bed as quickly as possible. Be honest with them about your symptoms upfront so that you will get the immediate care that you may need. 

You will be taken to a room and hooked up to monitors quickly. Do not panic or be alarmed. This does not necessarily mean you are having a heart attack, just that you have a symptom that can be a sign of a heart attack. 

You Will Be Hooked Up to Oxygen

When you have shortness of breath, doctors want to be sure that you are getting enough oxygen to nourish your body. Because of this, once you get into a room, you will be hooked up to oxygen through nasal tubes as soon as possible. They will also put a device on your finger that monitors your blood oxygen levels to make sure that the oxygen is doing its job. .

Tests Will Be Run

In addition to monitoring you and giving you oxygen, doctors will run a series of tests to determine what is causing your shortness of breath. This can include blood draws, chest x-rays, and and echocardiogram, among many other tests. The blood draws are to test for certain chemicals in the blood as well as your various levels to see if you are healthy or not.

Chest x-rays can help to identify blockages in or around the heart as well as check for pneumonia in the lungs or other causes of shortness of breath. Echocardiography is a test that involves using sound waves to take pictures of the heart. It can give a closer look at the chambers of the heart and blood vessels surrounding the heart than a chest x-ray might, which can help with diagnosis or help rule out heart-related issues. 

Now that you know what to expect from your visit to the ER with shortness of breath, you can be sure to get to the ER as soon as possible to get checked out.