When to visit the ER for breathing difficulties

Shortness of breath should not be taken lightly. Not only can it cause extreme anxiety, but in some cases, it can be life threatening. Shortness of breath is one of the leading reasons for emergency room visits and has several causes.

If you are unable to breathe or severe shortness of breath comes on suddenly and affects your ability to function, seek care immediately.

Shortness of breath accompanied with any of the following symptoms may be a sign of a heart attack or pulmonary embolism that requires emergency care. Visit an ER immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Abnormal discomfort
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath that does not subside

If you have asthma, even if it has been controlled for a period of time, you are still susceptible to attacks. Attacks which cannot be controlled quickly with use of an inhaler warrant a visit to the emergency room.

Those with certain medical conditions should pay close attention to shortness of breath and seek emergency care

If you have a history of any of the following medical conditions and experience shortness of breath, please seek immediate care:

  • Bronchitis
  • Chronic asthma
  • Collapsed lung(s)
  • Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis

Dedicated physicians, world-class facilities

The Wesley EmergencyCare Network offers four emergency rooms throughout the greater-Wichita area. Our ER doctors and staff, working closely with our board-certified cardiologists, offer heart and vascular care. The Wesley Medical Center and Wesley Woodlawn Hospital & ER are specially equipped to care for those with heart conditions.

Please call 911 in the case of a medical emergency or if you are unable to make it to the emergency room.

Learn more about our orthopedic services or contact us at (316) 962-DOCS(3627) for more questions.