When to go to the Emergency Room | UnityPoint Clinic

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Altoona

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When to go to the ER

Not every illness or injury requires a trip to the Emergency Room (ER). For minor illness or injury, UnityPoint Clinic has seven urgent care clinics in the Greater Des Moines area and our clinics offer online scheduling

However, certain conditions require a visit to the ER. Don't hesitate to come to the ER if you or a loved one experiences any of the following:

  • Symptoms of a heart attack, including severe chest pain, sweating and shortness of breath.
  • Profuse bleeding or blood loss that continues even after direct pressure has been placed on the wound.
  • Severe abdominal pain. 
  • Symptoms of a stroke, including sudden dizziness, weakness, loss of coordination, balance or vision problems.
  • High fever and vomiting that continues nonstop for several hours.
  • Signs of meningitis: severe headaches, neck/joint pain and stiffness, vomiting, high temperature, sensitivity to light(adults); high-pitched whimpering/crying, lethargy, fussiness, restlessness, high fever, vomiting, cold extremities, refusing food, pale or blotchy skin (babies, small children).
  • Seizures lasting longer than five minutes.
  • Injuries occurring from an accident or fall - intense back or neck pain, obvious compound fractures and/or dislocations of bones, deep cuts and severe burns.