When it comes to household medical emergencies, you probably feel confident doctoring minor scrapes or burns. You also probably know that if you or a loved one is exhibiting the symptoms of a heart attack, you should get to the emergency room as soon as possible. But the fact is, the majority of medical accidents can be too difficult to tell whether they can be treated at home, or need the attention of a medical professional. Here is your guide to when you should get to the ER, when you can just call your doctor, and when you are fine to stay at home and treat your condition yourself.

You should always go to the ER when:

1. You Have Heart Attack Symptoms - You should always seek medical attention immediately if you or a loved one is experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack. Typically, symptoms include pain or pressure to the left arm, chest, shoulder, and jaw. However, women are less likely to exhibit these stereotypical heart attack signs, instead they may experience shortness of breath, nausea or sudden dizziness, fatigue, weakness, and inexplicable sweating.

2. You Have Signs of A Stroke - Another thing that is better not left to chance is when you or someone in your family starts to show signs of having a stroke. These include numbness or weakness on one side of the body or face, or in one limb. A stroke may also make speech difficult. The patient may jumble up words or even speak gibberish. They may also have vision trouble, dizziness, a lack of balance, and an intense headache.

3. A Blow to The Head - Head Trauma is yet another condition that needs medical attention right away, particularly if it results in a loss of consciousness, vomiting (especially if it is more than once), and seizures within a few hours of the accident.

4. Broken Bones and Excessive Bleeding - If you experience and accident that leaves a part of your body immobilized and you believe you have broken a bone, you should absolutely head to the emergency room. Additionally, if you are bleeding and the bleeding does not stop for 10-20 minutes, even after applying pressure to the wound, you should get someone to drive you to the ER immediately.

Call your doctor when:

1. You Have a Bite or Puncture Wound - For most bites, such as those from insects and spiders, or from larger animals like snakes or dogs, you can usually get by with going to your normal doctor for antibiotics or antivenins. If the wound is jagged and large, on the other hand, you might be better off going to the hospital.

2. You Have a Fever - If you notice that you or your loved one has a fever that does not seem to have a cause or other symptoms, you might want to call your doctor. This is particularly true if you have tried acetaminophen or ibuprofen to try and control it, and they have had no effect. On the other hand, if your fever is above 105 degrees Fahrenheit, this is extremely dangerous and should be treated at the hospital.

For more advice, or if you have a particular condition and want to know if you should go to the ER, the doctor's office, or treat it at home, call up the nurse hotline at GRMedCenter.com today!

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