What Are Some Symptoms That Indicate You Should See a Doctor Immediately?

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A high or persistent fever, chest pain, sudden intense headache, shortness of breath, sudden confusion, unusual bleeding, severe abdominal pain, swelling in the legs or intense vision problems indicate a reason to seek out medical attention immediately. Many of the symptoms listed could be serious medical emergencies that if left unattended, could cause serious health problems.

The symptoms listed below are reason to see a doctor immediately. Each symptom offers at least one reason why the condition, according to the University of California San Diego Health System, could be indicating a medical emergency.

  • Chest pain
  • Chest pain accompanied by shooting pain down the arm, vomiting, nausea or difficulty breathing could indicate a heart attack.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Shortness of breath can indicate a blood clot in the lungs or it could be a sign of pneumonia, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

  • Sudden intense headache
  • A sudden and intense headache could mean an aneurysm or blood vessel is bursting in the brain.

  • Unusual bleeding
  • Unusual bleeding from the rectum or vomiting blood could indicate ulcers, infections and even cancer.

  • Persistent or high fever
  • A fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or above should be seen by a medical professional immediately, but even low grade fevers that do not go away after a few hours need attention. A fever often indicates an infection is present somewhere in the body.

  • Sudden confusion
  • Sudden confusion could indicate a stroke, brain tumor or bleeding in the brain.

  • Legs swelling
  • Swollen legs often indicate heart failure, especially when onset suddenly.

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Intense abdominal pain could mean an aortic rupture or appendicitis as the most urgent reasons to seek out medical help.

  • Vision problems
  • Vision problems, such as sudden and intense flashes of light could indicate a detached retina.