When do you need to go to the ER for a stomachache?

Constipation, food poisoning, viral infections and even emotional stress are all common causes of stomachaches. Usually, stomachaches are minor, and don’t require emergency care. There are a few less common conditions that do need prompt medical attention, however, which you can find at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. Our emergency care team is committed to maintaining ER wait times that are consistently below the national average.

When it might be appendicitis
Your appendix is a little pouch that doesn’t appear to have any function in the body. Appendicitis refers to inflammation of the appendix, which can be caused by a blockage that results in an infection.

Appendicitis is one of the more serious causes of sudden-onset abdominal pain. Usually, emergency care doctors recommend an appendectomy to remove the appendix before it can cause major complications, like a rupture or an abscess.

When you watch this featured video, you’ll learn that appendicitis usually causes pain in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen. It may also cause:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low-grade fever
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Pain that worsens with coughing

When it might be a gallbladder problem
The gallbladder is located just underneath the liver . It’s responsible for storing and releasing bile, which is used in the digestion of fats. The most common problem to affect this organ is gallstones, which can be diagnosed by an emergency care physician.

Some of the possible indicators of gallstones are:

  • Sudden onset of pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen
  • Rapidly worsening pain in the center of the abdomen
  • Pain between the shoulder blades
  • Pain in the right shoulder
  • Nausea and vomiting

When it might be an ectopic pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy is one that implants outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. It is not medically possible for an ectopic pregnancy to survive, and women will usually require emergency care for this problem.

Initially, an ectopic pregnancy may only cause the initial symptoms that are typical of any pregnancy, including nausea, breast tenderness and a missed period. Abdominal and pelvic pain, and light vaginal bleeding are usually the first warning signs that something is wrong. Emergency care is needed for these symptoms:

  • Fainting
  • Extreme lightheadedness
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Shoulder pain

The emergency care physicians and nurses at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center respond quickly to relieve the pain of patients in distress. If you’re experiencing a true medical emergency in the Las Vegas area, please call 911 right away instead of trying to drive yourself to our ER. A registered nurse, available at (702) 233-5300, is happy to answer general healthcare questions and provide physician referrals.

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