5 Signs Your Abdominal Pain Is Severe Enough to Go to the ER

Seek immediate medical attention. Chest pain and breathing difficulty may be symptoms of a serious medical condition, including a heart attack. The ER is equipped to diagnose and treat immediately.

Seek immediate medical attention. Tell the ER staff if the pain is located in one area or if the pain comes and goes. This may require immediate medical intervention.

You need to get this checked out immediately. Let the ER staff know if you are experiencing other symptoms – fever, chills or pain in a specific location.

Tell the ER staff that your stomach pain is worse when driving and hitting a bump. This symptom can be associated with appendicitis, which may require immediate medical attention.

Continuous vomiting can be a symptom of a serious medical condition and can cause dehydration, especially in young children.


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Where Does It Hurt?


Use our symptom checker to assess your pain and identify possible causes.

Potentially Serious Symptoms

1. Everywhere

Gastroenteritis

Potentially Serious Symptoms
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
2. Left Lower Quadrant

Diverticulitis

Potentially Serious Symptoms
  • Fever
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting

Bowel Obstruction

Potentially Serious Symptoms
  • Pain that comes and goes
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
3. Mid Lower Quadrant

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Potentially Serious Symptoms
  • Fever
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
4. Right Upper Quadrant

Gallstones

Potentially Serious Symptoms
  • Dull pain shooting to right shoulder-blade
  • Nausea and vomiting
5. Middle Upper Quadrant

Heart Attack

Potentially Serious Symptoms
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweats
  • Chest pain

Heart Burn/Stomach Ulcer

Potentially Serious Symptoms
  • Aching pain
  • Feeling bloated
  • Vomiting
6. Right Lower Quadrant

Appendicitis

Potentially Serious Symptoms
  • Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever

Ovarian Cyst

Potentially Serious Symptoms
  • Pain/pressure on one side of lower belly

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Locations

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Stomach Pain


Stomach pain is something almost everyone experiences from time to time. So when is your pain, or that of a loved one, severe enough to warrant a visit to an HCA West Florida emergency room?

Listen to your “gut”. If the pain is abnormally intense and feels as though you need help right away, see a doctor immediately. Below are some guidelines that will help you decide whether or not your stomach pain needs emergency care.

Emergency care may be necessary if you are experiencing the following symptoms

If the abdominal pain is severe and unrelenting, your stomach is tender to the touch, or if the pain extends to your back, you should immediately visit the closest emergency department. You should also seek emergency care if severe stomach pain is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Unable to eat without vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing or chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • A feeling of lightheadedness or that you could faint
  • Dark or black stool
  • Vomiting blood

Those with certain medical conditions may require emergency care more quickly

Stomach and abdominal pain may be an indication of a more serious issue for individuals with certain medical conditions. If you have any of these medical conditions in combination with severe abdominal pain, you should visit an emergency department immediately:

  • Individuals who recently had endoscopy or abdominal surgery
  • Women who are pregnant or who could be pregnant
  • Individuals over age 45 experiencing upper abdominal pain or tightness in the chest (may indicate a heart attack)
  • Individuals who have undergone gastric bypass surgery