Shirley Temple warned us, “If you eat too much, you’ll awake with a tummy ache. But when is abdominal pain serious enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room?
Hi, I’m Dr.Fisher, ER Physician here locally at Elitecare Emergency Hospital in League City. Quite often patients arrive at the ER complaining of a pain in their stomach. Sometimes the cause of this pain is serious enough to warrant a visit to us and other times perhaps a doctor’s visit could have been avoided.
When Should I Visit The ER?
Here are a few instances where a trip to Elitecare is a good idea.
- If you ever wake up and realize you cannot stand up straight because of a pain in the abdomen chances are high that you should take a trip to the ER.
- If this is a new pain, chances are the cause is appendicitis. Normally the pain will begin around the belly button and migrate to the lower right of your abdomen. The potential for serious infection, sepsis, or even death is high and an Emergency Room visit should happen immediately.
- The pain could also be the result of gallstones. Typically this would be in older people. But the result is the same… A trip to the ER.
When it comes to abdomen issues you literally have to listen to your gut. If the pain is abnormally intense and feels as though you need help immediately, then seek immediate help.
Another key indicator are symptoms that accompany the pain in your abdomen. If you experience any of the following along with the pain emergency care may be necessary:
- Unable to eat without vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- A feeling of lightheadedness or that you could faint
- Dark or black stool
- Vomiting blood
Higher Risk Individuals
Another thing to keep in mind is that certain people in certain conditions are also at higher risk and should make a visit to the ER as well. For Example:
- Individuals who recently had endoscopy or abdominal surgery
- Women who are pregnant or who could be pregnant
- Individuals over age 45 experiencing upper abdominal pain or tightness in the chest (may indicate a heart attack)
- Individuals who have undergone gastric bypass surgery
While this is just a quick overview I hope it is helpful in assisting you in making the decision of whether or not to come and see us here at Elitecare. And of course, always remember that visiting us means you will be seen quickly and treated by real doctors really fast. I and our team of ER doctors and nurses are available and here to help you 24/7. We are a part of the community and your health is important to us.