A trip to the ER means a nightmare for many of us. We try to avoid it as much as possible, but what if it’s too late and we have to go? When do we know that we need to run to the ER? If you didn’t take medicine in school, you probably are unaware of what signs that your body can tell you about your health. Some of these seemingly minor symptoms are in fact warnings that something is wrong. I’m sure you wouldn’t stay at home if you broke your ankle, but how about if you started vomiting and got a high fever? Would you try to fight it off with some pills and a nap? Or would you rather go to the ER? Think twice. We will help you with some tips on warning signs that could mean you should visit the ER.
Symptom 1: A splitting headache
If you frequently suffer from migraines or cluster headaches, you are used to taking a medication to get it over with. But, if your headache is agonizing and is described as “the worst headache of your life,” you need to get emergency medical care. It might be a sign of a life-threatening brain hemorrhage.
Symptom 2: Achy chest
A pulled muscle or an injury will most likely trigger some chest pain. However, if you experience a squeezing feeling turning into a tight painful ache, get to the ER! This pain, particularly after exercise, can be a symptom of a cardiac event like a heart attack, according to My Heart Sisters.
Symptom 3: Spiking fever
This might be normal if you have the flu or the cold, but some fevers are more dangerous than that. If your fever shows up suddenly and goes up very high, you need to visit the emergency room. Any temperature of 105 degrees or higher in an adult is a medical emergency, according to WebMD. Also, a consistent fever over 103 degrees might indicate a serious infection that needs urgent treatment.
Symptom 4: Feeling breathless
It is normal when you run up the stairs, but if you struggle to catch your breath a few minutes after a workout there may be cause for concern.
In an interview at the University of Utah, Dr. Troy Madsen notes:
“If this is something that’s come on suddenly, you’re having trouble getting deep breaths in, you feel shorter breath, your lungs feel tight, your throat feels tight, those are absolutely reasons not only to go to the ER but you may even consider calling 911.”
Symptom 5: Bleeding cut
If your knife slips while you’re cutting something in the kitchen, or you have a nasty scratch from rusted metal, you might need to visit the ER.
“Go to the ER if you have a cut that won’t stop bleeding, a cut that is deep and requires stitches, or a cut that might be contaminated by rust or other dangerous material”, advises the Cleveland Clinic.
Symptom 6: Bump on the head
When you bump your head it is not always scary, but it depends on the symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms of concussion, head to the ER. Sometimes, these symptoms can be unnoticed at first. According to Harvard Medical School, all possible head injuries need to be evaluated by a doctor immediately.
Symptom 7: Stubborn stomach upset
If your diarrhea goes on for five days without stopping, together with vomiting, you need to go to the ER and prevent getting dehydrated. Dehydration can be very serious, even fatal, according to Mount Sinai.
Symptom 8: Pins and needles
The term “pins and needles” is a nickname for the prickly sensation after your body has gone numb. It is quite normal to happen if you sit over a part of your body. However, if you get feelings of prickling or numbness out of nowhere, you need to visit the ER. According to WebMD, having these sensations (especially confined to one side of the body) might indicate that you are having a stroke.
Symptom 9: Sudden lump or bump
If these lumps are painful, they might indicate an infection or a small fracture. Cleveland Clinic also notes that lumps that are cancerous typically appear spontaneously.
Symptom 10: Feeling faint
Some people might feel like this after standing up or forgetting to eat. In these cases, it’s quite normal. But of you lose consciousness, you need to go to the ER immediately. You might be experiencing a serious condition.