Advance with MUSC Health

When Do I Need To Go To Emergency Room

Advance With MUSC Health
December 31, 2020
Parent taking temperature of child

The emergency room is for severe medical conditions – when your “life and limb” are in danger. That could be trouble breathing, bleeding that won’t stop, a fever that won’t break, an illness affecting your entire body, an arm, leg, or body part “not working,” or other conditions that threaten your life. There are many other scary medical conditions, while not as severe, people may ask – Do I need to go to the emergency room? Fortunately for Lowcountry residents, there are options and alternatives to the ER that can be more affordable and faster, depending on the situation.

Some common medical conditions often seen in the ER that are better suited for care in alternative locations include:

If you think you need stitches…
A cut that is not large or on the face can typically be treated in an urgent care center or in your primary care office.

If you have joint pain or are worried you may have a broken bone…
You may need an X-ray to help diagnose what’s bothering you – most urgent care centers can help.

If this is an illness you have had for a long time…
Your primary care physician is the right choice.

If you have a minor infectious illness, like a urinary tract infection (UTI), cold, sinus pressure, or the flu…
Stay home and get help online! MUSC Health Virtual Urgent Care providers can diagnose and treat these minor illnesses online.

If it is “after hours” and you can’t wait until your Primary Care office is open…
Children’s After Hours Care, Urgent Care, and MUSC Heath Virtual Urgent Care all are appropriate for non-emergency conditions.

If you are dizzy, having severe pain, or bleeding that won’t stop…
Dial 9-1-1 or go to the closest emergency room.

MUSC Health Alternatives to the Emergency Room

  • MUSC Health Primary Care offers same-day sick visits, online video visits, and regularly scheduled appointments.
  • MUSC Health Virtual Urgent Care is an easy way to be treated for common conditions using online non-video interviews and video interviews.
  • MUSC Children’s Health After Hours Care is open nights, weekends, and holidays for pediatric urgent care needs.
  • Doctor’s Care, in affiliation with MUSC Health, is able to diagnose and treat a broad spectrum of non-life and limb-threatening illnesses and injuries.