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Emergency Treatment for Acute Symptoms


Acute symptoms, such as chest pain or heavy bleeding, develop suddenly and can be severe. They can rapidly worsen or change. Your doctor may also refer to them as acute onset symptoms or quick onset symptoms. They are the opposite of chronic symptoms that develop slowly over a period of time.

If you experience acute symptoms in the Bay Area, you should be evaluated by a Dignity Health doctor as soon as possible because they can be a sign of a serious condition. Our ER staff is here to help, 24/7. We’re highly trained to treat acute symptoms quickly — while always providing personal care.

Common Quick Onset Symptoms Treated at Dignity Health

Examples of acute, quick onset symptoms include:

Try to notice other symptoms that are also occurring. Any information you can give your doctor will aid in making a diagnosis. Tell your doctor what you were doing when the symptoms started and if anything makes them better or worse.

Call 9-1-1 for symptoms of stroke (slurred speech, arm weakness on one side, and facial paralysis) or heart attack (shortness of breath and chest pain). 

Acute Symptom Causes

Quick onset symptoms are caused by an underlying medical condition. These conditions can be severe and serious, mild and temporary, or anywhere in between. Conditions that commonly cause acute symptoms include:

Visiting a Dignity Health emergency room for quick onset symptoms will allow for our doctors to complete additional testing to confirm or rule out a diagnosis. After diagnosis, you and your doctor can plan the most appropriate treatment or next steps.

Reach out to our experts when something seems wrong with your health — we’re here to address quick onset symptoms and care for your entire well-being.

Dignity Health provides diagnosis and treatment for acute symptoms in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.