Injuries – When to Treat at Home and When to Go to the Hospital?

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Injuries can happen to anyone. Whether you are at home, at work, or outside when your injury occurs, you should know what to do to treat it. Some injuries may be treated at home, whereas others require immediate attention from a doctor. It may be hard to know when you should head to the hospital instead of treating the injury yourself.
Before you hire a personal injury attorney, and before you convince yourself that you’re able to treat your own injury, read this article. It will tell you whether your injury should be treated at home or if it needs medical care.


Cuts are common. They can happen while you’re doing yard work, while you’re at your job (depending on the environment), and even while you’re chopping vegetables for dinner.

If you don’t get a deep cut and you don’t see anything like tendons or bones, then you should be okay treating it at home. The same can be said if there’s no numbness accompanying the injury and if you can still move the extremities normally.
But if you feel numb and cannot move the extremities, and if you have a large, gaping cut, then you must go to the hospital.

Head Injuries

Head injuries are nothing to joke about because they can lead to huge problems if they are serious and you don’t seek medical help. If nothing severe is noticed, then you may not have to go to the hospital.

But there are some symptoms that cannot be ignored. You should seek immediate medical help if you notice any of the following things:

  • One or both ears are bleeding or you have a bruise behind them
  • You have clear fluid running from the nose or ears
  • You lack full consciousness/feel unconscious
  • You notice skull damage
  • Your eyesight changes
  • You vomit
  • A headache won’t go away
  • You feel weak
  • Seizures occur
  • You have memory problems
  • You lose feeling in one body part
  • You have issues speaking, understanding, writing, or reading

Also, if you had brain surgery in the past, were intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, or had blood clotting disorders, you should also seek medical help after a head injury.

Ankle Injury

Ankle injuries should be treated at the hospital if there is any severe deformity or wound, or if you experience any swelling or pain. If you cannot put weight on your foot, and you see signs of redness, tenderness, or warmth in the area, you should also seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Other than that, whatever isn’t too severe can be treated at home.

Back Pain

Back pain is normal if you fall, for example. In most cases, you may simply rest and treat it at home.

However, if the back pain is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever, or changes in consciousness, you should get medical help. The same goes if you lose feeling and power in your legs, or if you lose bowel or bladder control. An ambulance should be called if you have had trauma as well, such as car accidents, slipping down the stairs, and anything of the sort.

Burns and Scalds

Burns and scalds are quite common, especially in households with many people or in student dormitories. Scalds can also be caused by seemingly harmless pranks that teenagers make to each other.

When it comes to such an injury, it is essential to avoid putting ice, creams, lotions, sprays, or fats on the injury itself. Instead, simply cover it with a clean/sterile cloth.
However, if the burn/scald is above the neck or it causes difficulty in breathing/sees, one should go to the hospital immediately!

Arm Scrapes

Arm/hand cuts are common. But scrapes may be a daily habit for athletes or for people with dangerous jobs. Obviously, a simple arm scrape is dangerous when the surface you scraped on is rusty. If you don’t remember when you last had a tetanus shot, then you may want to go to the hospital. You should do just the same if the arm turns red or gets really warm.

If none of the above apply, then you should do the usual – clean the scrape, disinfect it, and cover it with a clean piece of cloth.


When it comes to poisoning, the most common type is probably food poisoning. But medicine poisoning can be the case as well. Depending on the circumstances, you may want to talk to an experienced lawyer like the ones from D’Amore Law Group and see if you qualify for personal injury.

Minor food poisoning comes with few to no symptoms – at most, you’ll experience fever, nausea, and vomiting. However, if you get too dehydrated, dizzy, or even faint, you should seek professional medical help.


Fractures are usually caused by severe/harsh impacts – for example, car accidents. However, you can be gifted a fracture, so to speak, even if someone pushes a shopping cart too hard into you while in a supermarket.

If the injury is certainly a fracture, then you will feel quite a lot of pain. This is a signal for you to not move your body, especially the injured area. You must be transported to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.

If you’re recovering from a fracture, keep in mind that there are a number of complications you should keep an eye on. You should not treat them at home, under any circumstances.

Medkit Essentials

If you’re prone to injury – while at home, at the office, or while driving, then you should have the following in your first-aid kit:

  • Breathing barrier
  • Tweezers
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Ibuprofen (or other pills for fever/pain)
  • Triple-antibiotic ointment
  • Hand sanitizer

The above should keep you in the clear if you have an injury that can be treated at home.

Final Thoughts

You shouldn’t play around with injuries. Knowing when to go to the ER for an injury may prevent future complications and even save your life, so keep all this information in mind.

Moreover, never take a pain-free minute for granted. As mentioned above, injuries – and treatments as well – often come with later complications. If you’re unsure whether you treated an injury at home properly or not, you should check with a doctor.
Better be safe than sorry – and always have a medkit ready and available in your household!