Skip to main content
Average ER Wait Times

Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center

-- mins

Rocky Mountain Hospital For Children at P/SL

-- mins

When to Visit the ER for a Headache

"Should I Go to the ER for a Headache?"

For the majority of people, the occasional headache should not cause concern. However, the sudden onset of a prolonged headache may require a visit to the emergency department.

If you’re not sure whether your headache requires emergency care, consider these guidelines.

Visit the ER if:

  • If you experience the sudden onset of a headache that interferes with daily tasks or is debilitating
  • The headache is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
    • Difficulty walking
    • Fever
    • Severe pain that begins suddenly
    • Other neurological symptoms:
      • weakness
      • numbness
      • slurred speech
      • blurred vision
  • If you have an existing medical condition:
    • Women who use oral contraceptives have an increased risk of blood clots, which may cause headaches. This is particularly true for women who smoke.  
    • Follows a head injury
    • A recent injury or trauma
    • Use of blood thinners

Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center can address your abdominal pain concerns. We strive to beat the national average wait time, so you can get quick access to high-quality emergency medical care. Learn more about our ER>>