Tuesday, February 27, 2024

When to visit the ER vs. your primary physician

Dr. Sarah E. Laibstain, Family Medicine Associates of Texas

By Dr. Sarah E. Laibstain

When symptoms present suddenly, it can be difficult to know where to turn first to best treat what’s causing your aches and pains. Today, North Texans are spending more on healthcare than ever before. Unfortunately, an average trip to the emergency room can cost anywhere from $2,000 and come with lengthy wait times. Knowing where to turn with your symptoms will help save you money and time, while getting you on the path toward feeling better.

Emergency rooms are designed to provide you with medical attention for emergency situations that are severe or life threatening. Chest pains, severe abdominal pain, or difficulty breathing are symptoms of potentially dangerous cases that would require a trip to the emergency room. A deep cut, one that will not stop bleeding on its own after five minutes is a good reason to make the trip to the ER should your primary physician’s office be closed.

If you can wait for an appointment, make an appointment. Your primary physician is the best resource in addressing non-emergency sicknesses, injury, and routine checkups. Your physician is often more familiar with your medical history, beyond just assessing your current symptoms. Should your condition be more severe than a common cold, your physician will know the next best steps to take, and will consult you through treatment to the best of their ability.

If you get an injury or feel ill to the point you feel your life is in danger, you should immediately call 911 and seek help at an emergency room. If you feel sick and are unable to immediately see your physician, some symptoms may be easily treated at an urgent care, saving you money and easing your pain until you can see your doctor. Consult your physician with any further concerns as to when to visit the emergency room.


Dr. Sarah E. Laibstain is a general family medicine practitioner at Family Medicine Associates of Texas in Carrollton. She thoroughly enjoys improving the health and lives of individuals ranging from young children to adulthood. For more information, call 972-394-8844, or visit texasmedicine.com.

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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