How Should the Emergency Room Be Used?

Use the Emergency Room only when you believe you need immediate medical attention because you have a condition that is critical or life threatening. For example, use the ER when you need treatment for conditions such as a suspected heart attack, fainting, suspected stroke, or heavy bleeding. Contact your doctor when you need treatment for conditions you feel are not immediately dangerous. For example, you should contact your doctor when you have symptoms of a cold or the flu, backache, earache or sore throat.

It is important to have your own doctor that you can contact when you need medical care. Be sure to talk to your doctor about what you should do when you have a condition you feel is urgent and the office is closed or your doctor is not available.