With emergency rooms nearly full, should you go to the ER or urgent care?

Beaumont said its 10 hospital emergency rooms are near capacity.

An influx of people coming to the ER for a variety of reasons and staff shortages have led to this. 

MORE: Extreme numbers of patients, staff shortages lead to nearly full emergency rooms

"These are unprecedented times," said Dr. Zafar Shamoon, the chief of Emergency Medicine at Beaumont Dearborn. "I’ve been doing this since 2003. I have never seen anything like this regarding staffing issue."

Patients are advised to go to the ER only if they have a serious injury or illness.

When to go to urgent care:

  • Mild shortness of breath
  • Minor injuries
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Mild rashes or skin irritation
  • Fever or flu-like symptoms
  • Earaches

When to go to the ER:

  • Severe shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Serious injuries such as a broken bone or open wound
  • Bleeding that cannot be stopped
  • Dizziness
  • Sudden weakness or numbness
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Fever with convulsions
  • Severe headache or head injury
  • Blood in urine
  • Sudden inability to see, walk, or move
  • If you have a chronic illness