Expert emergency care in Richmond

When minutes matter and you need emergency care in Henrico County, Virginia, you can depend on Henrico Doctors’ Hospital to provide the best care as quickly as possible. Our ER physicians are board certified in emergency medicine and provide care for patients of all ages. Our hospital offers a dedicated pediatric emergency room to handle emergencies for your child.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately.

Text ‘ER’ to 32222 to find out the average ER wait time at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital. To contact a nurse by phone, available 24 hours a day, please call (804) 320-3627.

ER symptom checker

Sometimes it can be hard to decide whether or not you should visit the emergency room when something is wrong with your health. Here are some symptoms to check for that indicate you should visit the ER.

The flu virus is very common and does not normally require a visit to the ER. But, for the high-risk populations listed below, it can be very serious:

  • Infants
  • People 65 years old and older
  • Pregnant women
  • People with certain diseases, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • People with weakened or compromised immune systems

Signs that you should go to the ER with the flu include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Vomiting that can’t be controlled, to the point of severe loss of body fluids (dehydration)
  • If you develop complications such as pneumonia
  • Still not sure? Consult our cold/flu/stomach flu symptoms chart for more information.

Stomach pain is the most common reason patients visit the ER. Everyone experiences stomach pain at some point. It can result from a variety of causes and occur in varying degrees of severity. So when is your pain serious enough to go to the emergency room?

You should seek immediate medical attention if your stomach pain is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:

  • Stomach is hard and/or tender to the touch
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Inability to eat without nausea or vomiting
  • Pain in your chest, neck or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath or dizziness
  • High fever
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dark or black stool
  • Vomit contains blood

Respiratory distress can be the result of chronic conditions, like asthma or emphysema, or something more serious, such as heart failure. Signs that you should seek emergency medical treatment include:

  • Breathing stops
  • Severe shortness of breath that affects your ability to function
  • Noisy, high-pitched and rapid wheezing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Inability to speak comfortably and sustain voice while at rest
  • Breathing difficulties when you lie flat
  • Breathlessness that doesn’t stop after 30 minutes of rest
  • Or if your trouble breathing is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:

    • Back or arm pain
    • Pain or tightness in chest
    • Extreme fatigue
    • Swelling in your feet and ankles
    • High fever, chills and cough

Call 911 right away if you have chest pain that is crushing or squeezing and comes with any of these symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain that spreads from the chest to the neck, jaw or arms
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fast or irregular pulse
  • Signs of shock

Signs of a heart attack may show up in other ways in women, and may include:

  • Unusual fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Discomfort in your gut
  • Discomfort in the neck, shoulder or upper back

A concussion or any injury to the head can be very serious. If you have hit your head and have any of these symptoms, you should go to the ER:

  • Loss of consciousness, even briefly
  • Any period of amnesia or loss of memory of the event
  • Slurred speech
  • Feeling dazed or confused
  • Worsening or severe headache
  • Vomiting
  • Seizure

Most people will experience pain in their side or abdomen at some point in their lives, and it’s usually only temporary. However, severe side pain can be an indication of something serious.

If you have severe pain, especially in your lower right stomach, side or back, or if your pain is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical treatment:

  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in the urine or pain during urination or have had a recent urinary tract infection (UTI)

Severe pain lasting only a few seconds may be nothing to worry about unless it’s reoccurring. If severe pain persists for more than a few minutes you should seek medical attention regardless of other symptoms.

Some common diagnoses may include:

  • Urological issues, such as a kidney infection, kidney stones or a bladder infection Appendicitis
  • Ovarian cyst
  • Side pain can be an indication of a number of different medical conditions. If the pain is severe, it’s important to get it checked out by a medical professional.

Features of our ER

Our top priority is providing you the healthcare you need quickly and providing it with the care, comfort and convenience you expect with HCA Healthcare. Our emergency room features:

Heart attack treatment in Richmond

Healthgrades™ has designated Henrico Doctors’ Hospital as a Five-Star Recipient for the Treatment of Heart Attack. Additionally, Henrico Doctors' has been recognized by the American Heart Association for our ability to provide fast, effective treatment for heart attack.

Our service times for incoming heart attack patients are better than the national average, and our experienced cardiologists collaborate with our ER physicians to provide the best care for cardiac emergencies.

Emergency treatment for stroke

Our Primary Stroke Center in Richmond is accredited by The Joint Commission. We have also been nationally recognized by Healthgrades™—we were named among the top 10 percent in the nation for our stroke treatment, are a recipient of the Stroke Care Excellence Award and were named a Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Stroke.

We strive to provide education to the Richmond community about stroke symptoms and signs that require emergency treatment. Our ER staff is available 24/7 to provide stroke treatment when it’s needed most.

FastTrack ER

The FastTrack ER at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital offer residents of Henrico County access to care for less critical injuries or illnesses. Our FastTrack ER is connected to our hospital’s main ER so you are only a few steps away from more advanced care if you need it.

Our FastTrack ER is open daily from 11am - 11pm.

The FastTrack ER is designed to provide care for minor illnesses and injuries that are not emergencies but require treatment within 24 hours, including:

  • Earache
  • Cough symptoms
  • Sore throat
  • Back pain
  • Cuts
  • Bites, stings and allergic reactions
  • Burning or infrequent urination
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Rashes
  • Suture removal
  • Wound checks
  • Prescription refills

Patients may use our main ER entrance to check-in for the FastTrack ER.

What to expect when coming to the ER

Upon your arrival at the Henrico Doctors’ Hospital ER, a triage nurse will ask you about your symptoms and take some vital signs. Once you have been evaluated by a healthcare professional, a registration clerk will gather information for your medical record and insurance. You will be medically screened, evaluated and stabilized whether you have insurance and are able to pay or not.

If you are experiencing a life-threatening illness or injury, you will be first to be treated in the ER, followed by seriously ill or unstable patients. All other patients will be seen in the order in which they arrived. We do everything we can to make your wait time as pleasant and brief as possible.

What to bring with you to the emergency room:

  • List of medicines you take or the actual medicines
  • List of known medical allergies
  • A copy of results from any recent medical tests
  • List of recent medical procedures
  • Care preferences or restrictions
  • A responsible adult or phone number for someone to contact

Be sure to ask your emergency care physician or nurses all of your questions before you are sent home. Please keep all paperwork, discharge instructions and medicines, if you receive any.

If you have a primary care provider listed in your file, we will provide them with a copy of your visit summary.

About ER wait times

Our posted emergency room wait times are approximate and provided for informational purposes only. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, always call 911 first.

The ER wait times seen on our website represent the time it takes to see a qualified medical professional, defined as a doctor of medicine (MD), doctor of osteopathy (DO), physician assistant (PA) or advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP).

ER wait times represent a four-hour rolling average that is updated every 30 minutes.

ER videos