When Should I go to the Emergency Room?

Is it an emergency? Sometimes it can be hard to know the answer, but we are here to help you choose the right level of care for all your health needs.  It is important to know when a health condition is serious enough to visit an emergency room (ER) or when you should choose other options for care, such as visiting your primary care doctor, going to an urgent care clinic, or going to a convenience care clinic.  You can follow these tips to help prevent unnecessary and costly trips to the ER.

These situations typically DO NOT requite a visit to the ER:

  • Sprains or strains
  • Minor cuts or burns
  • Rashes
  • Tooth pain
  • Back pain
  • Flu
  • Animal or insect bites
  • Ear infections
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

If you doctor’s office is closed, but you need help for these symptoms or others, you should consider visiting an urgent care clinic or a convenience care clinic, like those typically found at CVS pharmacies or Kroger stores.

If you experience an emergency like these listed below, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.  If you’re not sure whether or not you need to visit the ER, you can call your primary care doctor or your insurance company’s 24-hour nurse line for help.  They can talk with you about your condition and make recommendations for where to seek help.

  • Severe chest pain
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Poisoning
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Injury to head or neck
  • Major bone fractures or burns
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Seizure or loss of consciousness
  • Numbness or paralysis of face, arms or legs

Wayspring wants you to receive the right care from the right health care providers when you need it. If your primary care doctor’s office is closed or if you are very sick or hurt, you still have options. Download this article so that all of this information is readily available should you ever need it! Don’t forget to complete the back page of this document, which has space where you can fill-in contact information for your primary care doctor, urgent care clinic, 24-hour nurse line, and more!