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Knowing When to Go to the Emergency Room

Last updated 3 years ago

There are some medical conditions like choking, severe burns, and head injuries that will require a 911 call and immediate medical attention. However, there are also a number of conditions that fall into more of a gray area, as emergency attention may or may not be required depending on the severity of an illness or injury. Knowing when to go to the ER in these situations is important, because you might otherwise neglect to get the right care when you need it or take a trip to the ER when an urgent care visit or at-home care may have been all that was necessary. Below you will get a look at some of the leading causes of emergency room visits to help you understand when they will call for immediate medical care. 

Skin injuries

Lacerations, burns, and rashes might all be emergency situations if they affect a significant section of the skin, have caused nerve damage, or have not improved with first-aid at home. Any cut that will not stop bleeding or needs stiches should be treated in the ER. Third degree burns and widespread second degree burns also call for emergency treatment.

Respiratory difficulties

Illnesses as common as the flu might need emergency care when breathing has become difficult and signs like wheezing, severe coughing, or dizziness appear. Other conditions that may be responsible for these symptoms include asthma, COPD, and inhalation of toxic fumes.

Chest pain

Chest pain is most often thought of as a heart attack symptom, but it may also indicate digestive issues, restriction of the airways, or injuries to other organs in the upper abdomen or chest.

Musculoskeletal injuries

Any time you suspect a bone fracture or slipped joint, you should head to the emergency room. With these injuries, tissues may sustain further damage without immediate treatment.

When you need fast and reliable care in St. Petersburg, look no further than the ER at Northside Hospital, where you can expect a higher standard of medical care. We utilize a fast-track program for non-life threatening injuries to minimize our wait times through all hours of the day. To connect with us for a look at our emergency care department, visit our website or call us at (888) 598-9586.


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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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