When to seek emergency care

When to seek emergency care

When you or a family member are faced with illness or injury, you’re put in the difficult position of deciding how serious the condition is, and how soon you need medical attention. Should you go to the emergency room? Should you call your primary care provider for an urgent appointment? It can be well worth giving it a moment of thought — treatment in the ER can cost 2 to 3 times more than seeing your provider.

So what should you do?

When to call 911

If you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, or feel that your life is endangered in any way, call 911 or go to the ER immediately.

Call 911 immediately for:

• Choking
• Stopped breathing
• Head injury with passing out, fainting, or confusion
• Injury to neck or spine, especially with loss of feeling or inability to move
• Lightning strike or electric shock
• Severe burn
• Severe chest pain or pressure
• Seizure lasting 3 to 5 minutes

When to go to the ER

Consider your vital signs and whether your symptoms have come on suddenly (in the last 24 hours) or have been ongoing for some time. Seek emergency care for sudden changes in heart rate, breathing or temperature.

Some conditions for which you should go to the ER include:

• Inhaled smoke/poisonous fumes
• Sudden confusion or change in mental status
• Serious burn
• Snake bite
• Fever in infants younger than 4 weeks
• Poisoning or overdose of drug or alcohol
• Suicidal thoughts

When to schedule an urgent appointment with an
on-call provider at HDH Family Care

You can call 541-573-2074 to request an urgent appointment. Some conditions may include:

• Allergic reaction
• Asthma
• Cough
• Croup
• Earaches/ear pain
• Flu
• Low-grade fevers
• Migraines
• Minor burn
• Minor injury from fall or sport
• Pink eye
• Rash
• Simple laceration
• Sinus infection
• Skin infection
• Sore throat
• Sprain or strain
• Urinary tract infection
• Vomiting and diarrhea

Not sure if it’s a medical emergency? Need a medical opinion?

Call Harney District Hospital’s 24/7 Nurse Health Line at 541-573-8345. Describe your symptoms for advice on what to do.

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