For some people, the sight of blood can be scary, event when it's not life threatening. So how do you know when bleeding requires a trip to the emergency room?

The short answer is you should go the ER if you are losing a significant amount of blood, and bleeding is not controlled with direct pressure. If you are unsure whether bleeding is serious enough to go to the ER, follow the guidelines below.

If you have these symptoms, you may require emergency care

First, determine the source of the bleeding.

  • Nose: Hold direct pressure on the bridge of the nose for 10 minutes. If bleeding continues for an hour or more, go to the ER.
  • Intestinal: If you are vomiting blood or if there is blood in the stool, go to the ER.
  • Surgical: If you have recently had surgery, and the wound re-opens or starts bleeding, contact your surgeon. He or she may advise you to go to the ER.
  • General: If bleeding is not controlled by direct pressure, visit the ER.

If the injury seems minor, consider visiting an urgent care facility instead.

If you are taking blood thinners, you may require emergency care

You should go to the ER if you experience bleeding while taking blood thinners. Blood thinners make it harder for your blood to clot on its own, so medical help is important.

Blood thinners are typically prescribed to help prevent heart attack or stroke. Common blood thinners include:

  • Coumadin (warfarin)
  • Eliquis (apixaban)
  • Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate)
  • Xarelto (rivaroxaban)
  • Heparin
  • Lovenox (enoxaparin)
  • Fragmin (dalteparin)

Wesley EmergencyCare Network ERs

Online ER Check-in

Patients can complete advance check-in to any of Wesley's four emergency rooms with a free mobile app available for Apple iPhones in iTunes and for Android phones in the Google Play App Store. Patients can also complete advance registration at www.wesleyercheckin.com. Users simply select which Wesley facility they would like to go to and fill out a few required fields. The selected ER will be instantly notified, enabling the ER staff to better prepare for the patient's arrival. The app and website include the facilities' average wait times so patients can better plan their visit.

ER Average Wait Times

ER wait times are approximate and provided for informational purposes only. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

The ER wait time represents the time it takes to see a qualified medical professional, defined as a Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), Physician Assistant (PA) or Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP).

ER wait times represent a four-hour rolling average updated every 30 minutes, and is defined as the time of patient arrival until the time the patient is greeted by a qualified medical professional. Patients are triaged at arrival and are then seen by a qualified medical professional in priority order based on their presenting complaint and reason for visit.

Ready Care

Wesley's main emergency department also provides Ready Care services, an “express lane” through the emergency department in a convenient, timely setting. These services are an alternative care route to the regular emergency department where treatment is determined on the severity of the patient's condition. Ready Care is ideal for patients who need immediate care for small emergencies, such as sprains, sore throats, ear infections and rashes. The service area is managed by providers trained in emergency medicine and is fully supervised by board-certified physicians. Patients are referred to the area through the regular emergency department.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please contact 911 or seek medical attention immediately.