When should I go to the Emergency Department?

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) offers a list of warning signs that indicate a medical emergency. They include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
  • Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness
  • Changes in vision
  • Confusion or changes in mental status
  • Any sudden or severe pain
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Suicidal feelings
  • Difficulty speaking

We also created this easy-to-use guide to determine when to seek each level of care.

How can I tell if my child needs to go to the Emergency Department?

Always get immediate medical attention if you think your child is having a medical emergency. Symptoms that are serious for a child may not be as serious for an adult. Children may also be unable to communicate their conditions.

Does St. Charles offer an Urgent Care Clinic for less critical conditions?

St. Charles Immediate Care has locations in Central Oregon for patients with less critical illnesses and injuries, such as a sprained ankle or minor respiratory illnesses. Immediate Care patients receive affordable, quality, walk-in care as quickly as possible. Click here for Immediate Care Clinic location information.

How long will I wait to see a doctor?

Your wait time will depend on the seriousness of your injury or illness. Your condition will be evaluated upon arrival, and we make every effort to reduce wait time. Patients needing critical care receive treatment first.

When do I pay for my treatment?

We will evaluate and care for every patient who comes to our Emergency Department, regardless of ability to pay. Insurance and payment information is collected after the situation is no longer an emergency. Financial counselors are available to help with payment options.

May I have visitors in the Emergency Department?

Visitors must receive permission from the patient's nurse and follow our Emergency Department Visitor Guidelines.

What should I do after I leave the Emergency Department?

Patients receive instructions for aftercare when discharged from the Emergency Department. Treatment received at the Emergency Department is on an emergency basis only. You are advised to visit your own physician for follow-up care. You may call or return to the Emergency Department if you're unable to see a physician and your condition gets worse.