Wed. May 29th, 2024

Have you ever felt unwell suddenly or get injured and wondered if you should call your primary doctor or visit an emergency room? Choosing to visit an emergency room or urgent care center can be quite tricky. However, the best option would be to visit an emergency room.

Research shows that more than 130 million Americans visit emergency rooms every year. According to the Center for Disease Control [CDC], these numbers are expected to grow by a higher margin by the end of 2020. 

People visit emergency rooms for various reasons. Here are some of the most common reasons why people may visit Brooks San Antonio ER.

  • Chest pain

Never ignore or dismiss any kind of chest pain, sensations of pressure, or discomfort. It may be possible that the chain pain is a false alarm caused by a mere indigestion, but that can’t be brushed off without proper testing. In the emergency room, the ER staff will perform an electrocardiogram [ECG] to rule out a heart attack. You will also get an assessment from doctors and registered nurses.  

  • Breathing difficulties

If you experience difficulty breathing, you need to visit an emergency room as soon as possible. Difficulty breathing can be caused by several factors, including allergies and life-threatening cardiac events. So it is crucial to quickly diagnose what is causing the difficulty breathing. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing that you cannot explain, then you need to visit the emergency room immediately. 

  • Trip and Falls

While people, especially children tend to fall all the time and most experience no long-ill effects, some other falls can result in sprains, fractures, and head traumas that require emergency treatment. You should visit the emergency room if you notice any changes in any part of your body after a trip or fall, or if your lumps appear to have any deformity, or if they turn cool. Any slight delay in treating severe fractures can lead to long-term disabilities. In the case of trauma in the head, that can also cause the risk of concussion, which can have severe consequences. To avoid all these risks, it is advisable to visit an emergency room immediately.

  • Severe headaches

Sudden severe headaches can indicate a possibility of serious medical issues, especially if you notice visual changes or any other neurological effects accompanying them. Moreover, any other headache accompanied by stiffness in the neck or pain, or a high fever should also prompt you to visit an emergency room.

  • Fevers

You should never take fever lightly because they can be dangerous. Body temperature that goes over 100.4°F and is accompanied by symptoms, such as diarrhea, nausea, headache, neck pain difficulty breathing, and abdominal pain warrants a visit to the emergency room. 

  • Burns

Burns can be quite confusing to any person without proper medical training. That’s because pain is not usually the most reliable indicator of how serious the burn is. Severe burns can destroy the nerve endings. It is the size of the burn that will indicate the severity of the burn. If a burn is more than three inches wide, you need to visit an emergency room immediately. Additionally, if the burns form blisters which are only painful following deep pressure, the underlying fat may also get affected, resulting in long term tissue damage. Burns on the face, hands, or genitals, require emergency care.

  • Stroke symptoms

Strokes also need immediate medical attention. Some of the symptoms of stroke that you should be keen on include:

  • Difficulty speaking
  • Fainting or loss of balance
  • Paralysis or weakness on one side of the body
  • Changes to vision such as blurred vision or any vision loss  

If you see these symptoms, you need to visit the emergency room as soon as possible. 

Choosing between Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care Center

In an event of an emergency or sudden illness, there is usually panic and fear, making it impossible to know what to do and who to turn to for the care that you need. So it is good to know the differences between urgent and emergency care when things are calm and well. So let’s look at the differences between urgent care and emergency care.

Urgent care

You can visit an urgent care center if your condition is not life threatening, but needs medical attention right away. Situations in which urgent care centers could be the best option include:

  • Minor cuts
  • Mild asthma
  • Earaches
  • Mild headache
  • Fever and flu symptoms
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Back and joint pains
  • Cough and sore throat

Emergency room

These facilities provide quality care for patients who are experiencing life-threatening conditions, such as trauma, heart attack, stroke, severe bleeding, etc. They can also handle surgical procedures.  They often operate 24 hours a day. Emergency rooms are equipped with the latest diagnostic machinery and specialists who operate them. Most of the emergency rooms work in partnership and cooperation with the majority of local hospitals and can even arrange for transfers if follow-up care is required after the patient receives treatment in the emergency room. 

Knowing the kinds of situations where emergency room treatment is most suitable can help you make the right decisions even if you are in a traumatic and stressful situation.

What should you carry with you when going to the emergency room?

When you are visiting an emergency room, there are some things that you need to bring. These include:

  • A list of your doctor’s names and phone numbers
  • Insurance cards
  • All your medications or a complete list of all those medications
  • Driver’s license or any other form of identification
  • Pen and paper
  • Cell phone and a charger


When it comes to some of the reasons why people visit emergency rooms, the list is endless. There are so many reasons why people can choose to visit an emergency room instead of urgent care. However, it is worth noting that if you notice that you are experiencing severe pain or illness, you should visit an emergency room as soon as possible.

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