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When to Go to the Department of Emergency Medicine

If you have an emergency, call 9-1-1.


Sometimes it is difficult to know whether an injury or illness requires a trip to the Department of Emergency Medicine. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), individuals with the following conditions should seek emergency care:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
  • Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness
  • Changes in vision
  • Confusion or changes in mental status
  • Any sudden or severe pain
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Suicidal feelings
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Unusual abdominal pain

Parents and caregivers should always seek immediate medical attention if a child is having a medical emergency. To receive the best care possible as quickly as possible, patients should:

  • Bring a list of medications and / or allergies; know how often and how long medications have been taken
  • Know child's immunization history
  • Remain calm to make it easier to communicate with the emergency team

Some insurance plans require pre-authorization for emergency room visits. It is best to become familiar with your plan before an emergency arises.

For non-emergent needs when a physician’s office is unavailable, visit one of our Conemaugh MedWELL Urgent Care Centers