When Should You Go to the ER?

While some health conditions do not require emergency care, many do.

Emory Johns Creek Hospital (EJCH) wants the residents of our community to understand when it is best to seek care from the emergency department and when they can wait to see their primary care physicians.

“In many cases, patients are confused about what constitutes an emergency,” explains Arthur Griffiths, MD, FACEP, senior staff physician and community liaison in the Emergency Department at EJCH. “While many minor medical issues such as earaches and sore throats can generally be handled by a primary care physician’s office or walk-in clinic, a variety of conditions absolutely require emergency care.”

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has identified 10 medical conditions that warrant a 911 call or a trip to the emergency room:

• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
• Chest or upper-abdominal pain or pressure
• Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness or lack of mobility
• Changes in vision
• Confusion or changes in mental status
• Any sudden or severe pain
• Uncontrolled bleeding
• Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
• Coughing or vomiting blood
• Suicidal or homicidal thoughts or feelings

“If you are unsure of what to do in a certain situation, either call your primary care physician’s office or the Emergency Department for guidance,” says Dr. Griffiths. “I encourage patients to trust their instincts if they feel unsure. While we hope you never have a reason to visit the Emergency Department at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, we want you to know that our team of experts is here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready to deliver high-quality emergency care to our patients.”

For more information about the EJCH Emergency Department, or for a downloadable version of ACEP’s list of 10 medical conditions that warrant a trip to the emergency room, click here!

Related Resources

Emory Johns Creek Hospital Emergency Department

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