When to Go to the Emergency Room

Trusted Guidance from Huntsville Memorial Hospital

The main function of an Emergency Room is to provide urgent care to those who are experiencing a true medical emergency. In order to determine if your condition requires emergency care, we've developed some guidelines to help.

These conditions are considered medical emergencies and require a trip to the Emergency Room:

  • Signs of stroke (loss of function on one side of the body, speech impairment or numbness of the face or arm)
  • Signs of heart attack (pain or tightness in the chest, pain or tingling in arm or shoulder)
  • Serious traumas or injuries (e.g., severe burns, gunshot wounds, compound fractures, deep cuts)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe pain that impedes normal functions
  • Continuous bleeding that does not stop after 10 minutes (despite pressure)
  • Ingestion of harmful chemicals or poison (first contact Poison Control)
  • Unexplained disorientation, dizziness or fainting
  • Severe allergic reactions that may cause labored breathing or extreme swelling
  • Suicidal feelings
  • Severe or non-stop vomiting
  • Vomiting or coughing up blood
  • Upper abdominal pain or pressure
  • Trauma or injury to the head or spine area

If you are experiencing one or more of these conditions, you need to get to an Emergency Room as soon as possible.

Always Be Prepared

You can be prepared for any medical emergency if you take the proper precautions:

  • Determine the closest Emergency Room facility in your area and know the quickest route to get there.
  • Have a list of emergency phone numbers in your home and with you at all times. These numbers should include:
    • Local police department
    • Local fire department
    • Poison Control center
    • Your family doctor
    • Emergency contacts (friends, family and co-workers)
  • Wear a medical identification bracelet if you have a chronic medical condition

If you are not able to get yourself to an Emergency Room and your condition is severe, dial 911 and paramedics will assist you and transport you to the hospital immediately.

If you are experiencing an illness or injury that is a non-emergency and you do not have a doctor, you can visit the Huntsville Memorial Hospital Medical Clinic as a walk-in patient or you can search for a physician in our online directory.

Your health, Our community, Our commitment. Contact us or visit one of our HMH clinics today for responsive medical care you can trust.

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