Know When to Go to the Emergency Room

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — For some conditions, such as heart problems, broken bones, or severe cuts that won’t stop bleeding, the decision to go to the emergency room can be a clear-cut choice. But what about when symptoms aren’t quite as clear?

An estimated 300,000 Americans seek medical care in emergency departments each day, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians.

“Many people aren’t sure what level of care to seek for various ailments,” said Dr. Marilyn Brister, a physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville. “Oftentimes the best place to start is with a call to your primary care physician. But whenever in doubt, or if symptoms are worsening, it’s better to err on the side of caution and seek care.”

The American College of Emergency Physicians recommends individuals visit the emergency room if they experience:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Changes in vision
  • Confusion or mental status changes
  • Sudden or severe pain
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Suicidal feelings
  • Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Loss of consciousness

Individuals should call 911 if the condition is life-threatening or the condition could worsen en route to the hospital.

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About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville is a 98-bed acute care, full-service facility serving Erath and surrounding counties since 1926. The hospital's services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, women’s services, advanced diagnostic imaging, inpatient and outpatient physical therapy and wound care. Texas Health Stephenville, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, has been recognized as a Nurse-Friendly Hospital and a Level IV Trauma Center. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health is a partner in eight additional hospitals or surgery centers. Texas Health Physicians Group provides a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health SingleSource Staffing is a joint venture designed to help Texas Health hospitals improve patient care by recruiting and retaining quality nurses and allied healthcare professionals. For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit