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When to Go to the ER in Northern California

Experiencing an illness or an injury can be a confusing experience. You may wonder if you should simply call your family doctor, go to urgent care, or visit the emergency room. Often, a convenient urgent care center or your primary doctor can treat your condition. However, there are other times when an emergency department will provide the best care. 

With expert emergency care and quality triage, the skilled emergency staff at Dignity Health North State can evaluate your symptoms to provide expert emergency care. Trust us the next time you’re wondering if you should go to the ER in Northern California. Use InQuicker, our online waiting platform, to schedule an estimated arrival time to one of our emergency departments.


When to Call 911

If you or someone you care for experience the following symptoms, call 911:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Inability to move your limbs following a neck or back injury
  • Pain or swelling of your limbs after a fall
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as swelling of the lips and tongue
  • Sudden weakness on one side of your body


Symptoms of a Medical Emergency

Symptoms, such as severe pain or breathing problems, clearly signal that you should go to the emergency room. Other times, the signs may not be as apparent or you may be unaware of the symptoms as a medical emergency.

The following symptoms and conditions warrant a visit to our emergency department:

The list above is not comprehensive of all the symptoms that require an emergency evaluation. To be safe and protect your health, visit the emergency room for any troubling symptoms.


Urgent Care vs the ER at Dignity Health North State

Urgent care centers generally treat minor injuries and symptoms, such as ear infections, minor fractures, and low-grade fever. The wait time at an urgent care is usually shorter, but urgent care centers are rarely equipped with the tools to diagnose and treat acutely ill patients. 

At Dignity Health North State, our emergency departments have trained staff who specialize in providing acute care. We also have the latest diagnostic technology to confirm and stabilize life-threatening injuries or illnesses. ER treatment is also more advanced, with emergency surgery and highly-trained emergency care medical professionals.

When you’re not sure when to visit the emergency room, let experts at Dignity Health North State evaluate your symptoms.

Dignity Health North State aims to offer a prompt diagnosis and treatment when you need to go to the ER in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.