Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Emergency workers say even if you feel well after an accident, you should still seek medical attention because of what you may not see or feel.
Head injuries, for example, sometime don't show symptoms for days or weeks.
"We always recommend our patients be transported to medical facilities," said Chief Brian Clackley with Lifestar Emergency Medical Services.
Clackley says the group responds to almost 40 calls a day from their facility in West Columbia.
While he doesn't recommend it, Clackley says, "you do have the right to refuse any type of medical care."
Even if you feel well right after an accident, most medical professionals advise always getting a check up.
"We have expressed consent which means you've expressed to us that we can treat you medically," said Clackley. "We have implied consent. We operate under implied consent when someone is a minor under the age of 18and there is no guardian there to sign for that person.Or, if you are not mentally capable of making those types of decisions because of a long standing mental illness or your injuries themselves."
Lifestar Emergency Medical Services operates under guidelines set by the US DOT and the National Registry of EMTs. South Carolina DHEC also publishes protocol for EMTs and paramedics.
If a patient should choose no treatment, those guidelines mandate the patient prove they're capable of making a healthcare decision.
"We look for patients to be oriented timesthree, which means they're oriented in person, place and thing," said Clackley. "It's our job as first responders and medical professionals to persuade you on the side of safety."