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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 305-308

Management of emergencies in general practice: Role of general practitioners

Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.148089

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Introduction: Management of emergencies is an integral part of primary care. Being first contact care providers general practitioners may encounter any type of emergency. Acute attacks of asthma, myocardial infarction, anaphylactic shock, hypoglycemic coma, convulsions, head injuries and trauma are some of the common emergencies encountered by GPs. Updated knowledge, communication and procedural skills, trained paramedical staff, necessary equipment and medications and appropriate practice organization are vital to provide optimum care which may even save lives of patients. The wide range of problems and the rarity of the problems make it difficult for primary care doctors to be updated and competent in providing emergency care. Role of GP: Some of the emergencies can be managed completely at a general practice while others should be referred to hospital after initial management. The extent to which a patient should be managed may be determined by the degree of severity of the condition, expertise of the doctor and distance to the nearest hospital. Apart from pharmacological management, explanation about the condition and the need for admission and appropriate advice on care prior to admission are also vital components of management. Writing an appropriate referral, arranging transport facilities, informing the hospital about the referral are also important steps in the process as these measures could prevent crucial delays. Conclusion: Emergency care is a responsibility of primary care doctors and they should be knowledgeable and skilled and organize their practices to provide prompt and effective management whenever the need arises.

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