Abdominal Emergency Care at Penn Highlands Healthcare

Emergency Care for Severe Abdominal Pain

Abdominal Emergency Care

Stomach pain is a common ailment that usually goes away on its own or with home treatment, such as over-the-counter medicine or use of a heating pad. But severe abdominal pain could signal a serious condition that needs immediate medical attention in an emergency room.

You should go to the emergency room right away if you have severe stomach pain and:

  • Are pregnant
  • Have ever had gastric bypass or colon resection
  • The pain is specific to your lower right side
  • You are a female and the pain is in your lower abdomen on one side or the other
  • Your abdomen is swollen, hard, or extremely sensitive to the touch
  • You see blood in your vomit or diarrhea
  • You have persistent nausea or vomiting
  • You have a fever
  • You feel pressure or pain in your chest or pain in your neck, shoulders or arms
  • You have fainted or feel dizzy

Causes of Severe Abdominal Pain that Requires Emergency Care

Most stomach pain is mild to moderate. Severe pain—the type that makes it difficult to stand, walk, or change positions—is usually cause for concern. Below are the most likely causes of severe abdominal pain and why they should be treated as an emergency.

  • Kidney stones. While not life-threatening, kidney stones can cause enough pain to make you think they are. If the pain is unbearable, you may need emergency treatment for pain management.
  • Gallbladder inflammation or gallstones. These conditions can lead to gallbladder rupture, in which bile leaks into the abdomen. This leakage can cause infection that can be deadly.
  • Appendicitis. This inflammation of the appendix also can lead to rupture, infection and sometimes death if not treated.
  • Ovarian torsion. If this twisting of the ovary isn’t treated, it can result in the loss of the organ.
  • Heart attack. Sometimes chest pain can feel more like stomach pain. Heart attack is always an emergency. Failure to seek prompt care can lead to disability or death.

Causes of Stomach Pain Requiring Emergency Care

There are many causes of abdominal pain. If you go to the emergency room for treatment, you’ll first be asked about your symptoms, when they started, where the pain is, if it’s constant or intermittent, and what it feels like. Be prepared to say if the pain is dull, sharp, crampy, or burning.

The location of your pain also will help your ER doctor determine what’s causing it. Upper stomach pain might mean gallbladder inflammation, peptic ulcer, indigestion or heart attack. Lower stomach pain is more likely to be caused by appendicitis, ovarian torsion, diverticulitis, kidney stones, or constipation.

These details, along with a physical exam, can help your physician narrow down what might be causing your condition. He or she can then order the right diagnostic tests to confirm a diagnosis. Your ER doctor will likely order blood, urine, and/or imaging tests to diagnose your condition. Treatment will depend on the cause of your pain and may include medication, surgery, or other therapies.

Doctor Photo
Allison, Andrew C. , DO, FACOEP, FACEP
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - DuBois


Doctor Photo In Network
Blose, Michael, PA-C
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Penn Highlands Elk


Doctor Photo In Network
Blum, Joseph A., MD
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department- Elk


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Bobbett, Cameron, MD
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - Clearfield


Doctor Photo In Network
Borden, Ashley L., PA-C
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - DuBois

Emergency Department- Elk


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Bowden, David M. , DO, FACEP
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - DuBois


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Cameron, Russell E., MD
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - Brookville

Emergency Department - DuBois

Emergency Department- Elk


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Cole, Justin, MD
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - DuBois


Doctor Photo In Network
Corby, Kaitlyn, PA-C
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - Clearfield

Emergency Department- Elk


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Gates, Brian, DO
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - Brookville

Emergency Department - DuBois

View Providers Practice

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Jeffers, Tabatha L., DO
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - Brookville

Emergency Department - Clearfield


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Larkin, Stephen, MD
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department- Elk


Doctor Photo In Network
Madsen, Erik A., MD
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - Huntingdon


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McAndrew, Joseph E., MD
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - Brookville

Emergency Department - DuBois


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McClellan, April, MD
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - DuBois


Doctor Photo In Network
Melin, Claire, MD
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Penn Highlands Tyrone


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Mulcahy, Brendan A., DO
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - DuBois

Emergency Department- Elk


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Oelhaf, Robert, MD
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department- Elk


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Raziano, Joseph, MD
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department- Elk


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Retzinger, Andrew, MD
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - Brookville


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Richman, Melanie, MD
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - Clearfield


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Sheehan, Shaun M., DO, EMT-HP
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - DuBois


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Shilala, Patrick F., DO
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - Brookville

Emergency Department - DuBois


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Smith, Gerald M., DO
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - DuBois

Emergency Department- Elk


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Snider, Gretchen L., MPA
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - DuBois


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Sossong, Alex M., MD
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - DuBois


Doctor Photo In Network
Stern, Douglas D., DO
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Penn Highlands DuBois


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Weimer, Conda, PA-C
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - Clearfield

Emergency Department - DuBois

Emergency Department- Elk


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Westafer, John, MD
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department- Elk


Doctor Photo
Wonderling, Julia, MD
Specialties

Emergency Medicine

Locations

Emergency Department - Brookville

Emergency Department - Clearfield

Emergency Department - DuBois

Emergency Department- Elk


Where can I Find an Emergency Clinic Near Me?

If you think your condition requires immediate emergency care, call 911 or get to the nearest Penn emergency room. The Penn Highlands hospitals across central Pennsylvania provide top emergency care. Our highly trained emergency physicians, providers, nurses, and staff provide 24-hour urgent care for all medical emergencies, 365 days a year. We treat people of all ages—adults and children—regardless of ability to pay.

Emergency Departments at Penn Highlands Hospitals
Emergency Department - Brookville

Located on the second floor of Penn Highlands Brookville, the Emergency Department offers 24-hour emergency care to patients suffering from serious illnesses or injuries.

100 Hospital Road
Brookville, PA 15825
814-849-1406

Emergency Department - Clearfield

Located on the first floor of Penn Highlands Clearfield, the Emergency Department offers 24-hour emergency care to patients suffering from serious illnesses or injuries.

809 Turnpike Avenue
Clearfield, PA 16830
814-768-2470

Emergency Department - DuBois

Located on the first floor of Penn Highlands DuBois, the Emergency Department offers 24-hour emergency care to patients suffering from serious illnesses or injuries.

100 Hospital Avenue
DuBois, PA 15801
814-375-3470

Emergency Department - Huntingdon
Located on the first floor of Penn Highlands Huntingdon, the Emergency Department offers 24-hour emergency care to patients suffering from serious illnesses or injuries.

1225 Warm Springs Avenue
Huntingdon, PA 16652
814-643-2290

Emergency Department - Mon Valley

Located on the first floor of Penn Highlands Mon Vally, the Emergency Department offers 24-hour emergency care to patients suffering from serious illnesses or injuries.

1163 Country Club Road
Monongahela, PA 15063

Emergency Department- Elk

Located on the first floor of Penn Highlands Elk, the Emergency Department offers 24-hour emergency care to patients suffering from serious illnesses or injuries.

763 Johnsonburg Road
St. Marys, PA 15857
814-788-8595

Emergency Department- Tyrone

Located on the first floor of Penn Highlands Tyrone, the Emergency Department offers 24-hour emergency care to patients suffering from serious illnesses or injuries.

187 Hospital Drive
Tyrone, PA 16686
814-684-1255

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