Medical emergencies that require a trip to the ER include persistent chest pain or shortness of breath, symptoms of heart attack or stroke, loss of balance, fainting, difficulty speaking, weakness or paralysis, severe heart palpitations, severe headache, as well as sudden testicular pain and swelling. Emergency rooms also treat head and eye injuries, deep cuts that require stitches, vision loss, intestinal bleeding, vaginal bleeding with pregnancy, infants with a fever, fever with rash, serious burns, repeated vomiting, seizures, or severe pain.
While you should always visit the emergency room if you’re unsure where to go, it’s important to know when to call 9-1-1. In some cases, you should call for an ambulance if you have difficulty breathing, a life or limb threatening injury, or if you’re experiencing symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. By calling for help, you can begin receiving life-saving treatment in the ambulance much earlier than if you were to drive yourself to the hospital.
Emergency room services are your highest medical treatment costs. Wait times can be long, often averaging over 4 hours. There is no appointment needed, but you are encouraged to use this benefit from true emergencies since other, more cost effective options are available.
Conditions treated are:
- Sudden numbness, weakness
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Seizure or loss of consciousness
- Chest pain
- Head injury/major trauma
- Blurry or loss of vision
- Severe cuts or burns