When to come to the ER for Treatment


In case of a medical emergency, dial 911 immediately.

Emergency conditions often include the following:

  • Chest pain or tightness in the chest
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Motor vehicle accidents with injury
  • Shortness of breath or choking
  • Bleeding that does not stop after 15 minutes of direct pressure
  • Seizures
  • Suddenly not being able to speak or move
  • Overdoses or swallowing poison
  • Broken bones or gaping wounds
  • Sudden, severe headaches, vision problems, sudden weakness or dizziness
  • Physical assaults
  • Children with diarrhea/vomiting and dry mouth or little urination
  • Children with fever who are difficult to arouse
  • Infants less than three months old with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Suspected child or elder abuse

What is not an emergency?

Occasionally, you may not be sure if you need to go to the emergency department. Common non-emergencies that may be more appropriate for a scheduled appointment in a doctor's office or a visit to St. Vincent Urgent Care location include the following:

  • An earache in an adult without fever
  • Cold and flu symptoms
  • A sunburn or minor cooking burn
  • A skin rash
  • Muscle sprains
  • A minor cut where the bleeding is under control
  • A sore throat
  • A toothache


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