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3 Things to Consider Before Visiting the Emergency Room

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Visiting the emergency room is something that most people try avoid as much as possible. However, if you become ill or injured, the emergency room is often the best place to seek care. Emergency care is also often the best option whenever your doctor is unavailable or when it is after hours at other medical facilities. While a visit to the emergency room is often required, there are a few things that you should know before you make the trip. 

1. When to Go

The first thing that you should consider when it comes to emergency room services is whether or not you require them. If your situation isn't critical, urgent care may be the better option. Of course, sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether or not you should seek emergency care. A few symptoms that indicate that a trip to the emergency room may be needed include shortness of breath, chest pain, difficulty breathing, a high fever, heart palpitations, broken bones, severe diarrhea or vomiting, and more. If any of your symptoms are severe, you should consider going to the emergency room. 

2. The Cost

Sometimes a visit to the emergency room is unavoidable. The cost of your trip can vary depending on the care you need and whether or not you have insurance. The average cost of an emergency room visit with insurance is $50 to $150. Without insurance, you can expect to pay between $150 and upwards of $3,000. Tests and lab fees can also add to your final bill. If you need an ambulance, you can expect to pay between $400 and $1,200. If you are uninsured, the hospital you visit may be willing to offer discounts up to 50 percent for your care.

3. How Long It Will Take

Another thing to consider when visiting the emergency room is how long it can take. The average time spent in the emergency room is 135 minutes if you do not need to be admitted to the hospital. The average time spent waiting before you are seen by a doctor or other medical professional is 24 minutes. Of course, it can take a lot longer if the emergency room is busy when you go. Patients are typically seen in order of the severity of their condition.

Emergency room visits are something that many need at some point in their lives. If you are ill or injured, a trip to the emergency room may be the best option if you are unable to receive medical care elsewhere. Costs can vary depending on your condition and whether or not you have health insurance. On average, a trip to the emergency room takes 135 minutes in total if you are not admitted, so be prepared to be there for at least a couple of hours.