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Emergency Room vs Doctor’s Office

If you have a medical condition, but you’re unsure of whether you should go to the Emergency Room or wait to be seen by your primary care physician, the information below can help guide your decision.

Call your doctor’s office first when you or a family member are sick with:

  • Back pain
  • Common cold
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Flu
  • Sore throat
  • Abdominal pain
  • Asthma
  • Dental pain
  • Dizziness
  • Earache
  • Infections
  • Injuries, sprains or cuts needing stitches
  • Nausea/vomiting

Always call your doctor for routine checkups, shots or long-term conditions.

Call 911 or go to the Emergency Room immediately if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • After a serious accident
  • After calling Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
  • Burns
  • Broken bones
  • Chest pain
  • Head injury
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe reaction to bee sting
  • When bleeding won’t stop
  • When breathing is very hard

Your responsibilities if you go to the Emergency Room:

  • Give the ER your doctor’s name
  • Bring a current list of your medications
  • Call your physician after any ER visit