These Six Signs Mean You Need to Get to the ER

December 6, 2022

ERpicHave you ever experienced illness or accident and wondered, Should I go to the emergency room? Dr. David Cercone, the Medical Director at Centennial Hills Hospital Emergency Department and the new ER at Valley Vista, an extension of Centennial Hills Hospital, weighs in. He outlines the most serious symptoms that could require a visit to the emergency room. If you experience any of these, consult an ER for care.

1. Chest pain

This often-neglected symptom can lead to a serious problem or death. It’s one of the symptoms of a possible heart attack, along with tightness in the chest, shortness of breath and pain into the jaw, neck or arm. If any of these symptoms last more than 10 minutes, get to an ER.

2. Facial drooping, weakness in the arms or legs, numbness of the face or extremities and difficulty speaking

These symptoms could mean a stroke or another significant neurological problem. Getting care quickly could potentially prevent severe disability.

3. Abdominal pain that occurs suddenly or gets increasingly worse

It may indicate appendicitis, diverticulitis, pancreatitis or gallbladder disease. If untreated, it can lead to serious problems like perforation of the bowel and life-threatening infections.

4. Blood in vomit or stool

It could represent a bleeding stomach ulcer or bleeding from the intestines. If nothing is done and lightheadedness and a rapid heart rate follow, it may indicate a more serious bleeding problem, which might require a blood transfusion.

Dr. Cercone identified two other sets of injury that demand immediate attention.

5. Deep cuts, electrical shocks or severe burns

These could require special cleaning and treatment to avoid infection.

6. Fractures or head injuries

These could be dangerous, particularly if there was a loss of consciousness with a head injury. Injuries to the neck or spine, especially if you have pain or weakness in your extremities, should be examined.

Everybody's perception of an emergency is different, but Dr. Cercone stresses that if you are unsure, seek care in the ER and let the emergency physician help. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.