|Knowing how to distinguish a true medical emergency from an urgent situation saves lives as well as unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses. A true emergency is a life- or limb-threatening situation and you should call 911 immediately or go to the nearest emergency room for immediate medical attention. Examples of true emergencies include (but are not limited to):
- Deep cuts, significant active bleeding or severe burns
- Sudden blackouts or being unable to move or speak
- Severe chest pain
- Breathing problems or choking
- Injuries from an animal attack
- A broken bone or sudden, severe pain and swelling in a joint
If time permits or if you’re unsure if the injury or illness is a true emergency, call your primary care physician for advice prior to obtaining emergency care; however, you should always seek immediate medical attention in any situation you believe to be life- or limb-threatening.