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Appropriate Use of the Emergency Room

How Do I Decide?

When you or a loved one are sick or injured, it can be difficult to know exactly what to do.  If you are trying to decide if a trip to the Emergency Room is the best choice, call your physician’s office.  Even if it is after hours, the on-call physician will call you back and give you direction as to the best place to seek care.

When you are speaking to the physician or their representative, ask if the situation could be managed in an Urgent Care Center or Walk-In Clinic, or if there are things that you can do to alleviate symptoms until you can be seen at the office.  If the physician directs you to the Emergency Room, you can be assured that it is the best choice for you, or your loved one, at that time.

In the event of a true emergency, dial 9-1-1 to activate your local Emergency Medical System.

When to go to the Emergency Room

The Emergency Room is the best place to be when a serious or life-threatening condition presents.  While common sense and good judgment should always be used, the following list are symptoms that should absolutely NOT be ignored.  If you or someone you love, experiences any of the following, please seek emergency medical care immediately.

Alternatives to the Emergency Room

The Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and while that can seem convenient, taking a few minutes to consider other options in a non-emergent situation can save time and money.  Many physician offices have extended hours and urgent care or walk-in clinics are usually open on weekends and evenings to meet the medical needs of clients.