When to Visit the ER for Bleeding

For some people, the sight of blood can be scary, even when it’s not life threatening. So how do you know when bleeding requires a trip to the emergency room?

The short answer is you should go to the ER if you are losing a significant amount of blood, and bleeding is not controlled with direct pressure. If you are unsure whether bleeding is serious enough to go to the ER, follow the guidelines below.

If You Have These Symptoms, You May Require Emergency Care

First, determine the source of the bleeding.

  • Nose: Hold direct pressure on the bridge of the nose for 10 minutes. If bleeding continues for an hour or more, go to the ER.
  • Intestinal: If you are vomiting blood or if there is blood in the stool, go to the ER.
  • Surgical: If you have recently had surgery, and the wound re-opens or starts bleeding, contact your surgeon. He or she may advise you to go to the ER.
  • General: If bleeding is not controlled by direct pressure, visit the ER. 

If the injury seems minor, consider visiting an urgent care facility instead. 

If You Are Taking Blood Thinners, You May Require Emergency Care

You should go to the ER if you experience bleeding while taking blood thinners. Blood thinners make it harder for your blood to clot on its own, so medical help is important. 

Blood thinners are typically prescribed to help prevent heart attack or stroke. Common blood thinners include:

  • Coumadin (warfarin)
  • Eliquis (apixaban)
  • Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate)
  • Xarelto (rivaroxaban)
  • Heparin
  • Lovenox (enoxaparin)
  • Fragmin (dalteparin) 

HealthONE has 11 full-service emergency departments in the Denver metro area, so you’re certain to find an ER that is close to home and able to help you treat the cause of bleeding. Our hospitals strive to beat the national average wait time, so you can get quick access to high-quality emergency medical care.

ERs in Metro Denver


View HealthONE Emergency Rooms in a larger map

Emergency Room Care / Denver ERs

The Medical Center of Aurora
Saddle Rock ER 
Centennial Medical Plaza
North Suburban Medical Center
North Suburban Northeast ER
Presbyterian / St. Luke's Medical Center
Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SL
Rose Medical Center
Sky Ridge Medical Center
Swedish Medical Center
Swedish Southwest ER