When to Go to the ER for Bronchitis

When to Go to the ER

Jan 15, 2015


Acute bronchitis is one of the most common respiratory illnesses, with nearly five percent of American adults seeking treatment for the condition each year.

It is typically caused by viruses and produces symptoms including a persistent cough, sore throat, and body aches.

Can you be hospitalized for bronchitis?

While most people who develop bronchitis can recover at home, there are other times where someone may need to visit a 24-hour emergency care center.

Here are some of the instances when you’ll need to seriously consider getting immediate medical attention.

4 Signs It’s Time to Go to the ER for Bronchitis

While most cases last less than three weeks and can be resolved with at-home care, there are times where bronchitis may turn into a potentially dangerous infection and becomes a medical emergency. Here are a few signs you seek medical care:

1. Extreme Changes in Body Temperature

For instance, if your body temperature dips to less than 95ºF or jumps higher than 104ºF, you’ll more than likely need to visit a 24-hour emergency care facility.

2. Rapid Heart Rate

Likewise, you will need to get immediate help if your resting breathing rate exceeds 30 breaths per minute or your resting heart rate gets to 125 beats per minute or more.

3. Difficulty Breathing

Also, if your nails or lips start to turn blue or gray, or if you become tired because you have to work so hard to breathe, go to an emergency center.

4. Dizziness or Confusion

If you become dizzy or confused, or you faint, then you may need to be given intravenous medications or oxygen.

Bronchitis Emergency Infographic

Take Care of Yourself

If your bronchitis symptoms have not worsened to the point where you need immediate help, there are several things you can do that will help you recover. First, drink at least 6-8 large glasses of water a day to loosen the mucus in your lungs. This will help you cough up that mucus and make it easier to breathe. Also, take medications that will help loosen mucus even more.

Talk to your doctor and make sure it will be okay to take Advil, Motrin, or Tylenol to deal with any fever or aches and pains you may be experiencing. Not only should you not smoke, but you should also avoid alcohol. Alcohol can suppress the sneezing and coughing reflexes needed to clear the lungs, and it can also lessen the effectiveness of medications you may be taking.

If you ever need to go to a 24-hour emergency care center for any reason, the experts with Complete Care will be ready to help. Contact us online to learn more.