Do I Need Emergency Care?

If you have an illness or injury that is life-threatening, go to the emergency room. Typical illnesses and injuries that should be treated in the emergency room include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Uncontrollable pain or bleeding
  • Poisoning (First call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222, as many poisons require immediate home treatment such as vomiting or water dilution)
  • Unexplained dizziness, drowsiness or disorientation
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings
  • Signs of a heart attack that last two minutes or more. These include: 
    • Pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest
    • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
    • Shortness of breath along with or before chest discomfort
    • Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
  • ​Signs of a stroke. These include:
    • ​Sudden weakness or numbing of the face, arm or leg on one side of the body
    • Sudden dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye
    • Loss of speech or trouble speaking
    • Sudden, severe headaches with no known cause
    • Unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or falls when accompanied by other stroke symptoms