Top 100 reasons for emergency room visits

Written by:
November 13, 2018
phugunfire // Shutterstock

Top 100 reasons for emergency room visits

Casual viewers of prime-time television programs like “Grey’s Anatomy” or “The Resident” might be forgiven for thinking their local ER is loaded with victims of car crashes, explosions, and other dramatic events on a daily basis. The reality, however, is a little more mundane. While emergency rooms across the country certainly deal with all manner of serious conditions, the fact is quite a few of the patients who come into the ER are there for relatively minor, non-life-threatening reasons.

Stacker analyzed data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project to determine the 100 most common reasons for emergency room visits in the United States. The data, which was last updated in 2014, gives some fascinating insight into ER usage in America. Some visits, like those for sprains or fatigue, were non-emergent (a growing problem in American medical care). Others were for much more serious conditions. Think you can guess the top 10? Read on to see the full list—no spoilers, but we bet our #1 isn’t what you think it is!

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1 / 100
No Attribution Required // Pxhere

#100. Medical examination/evaluation

Total number of visits: 247,120
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 78

2 / 100
Laurie Dexter // Wikicommons

#99. Disease of mouth, excluding dental

Total number of visits: 249,374
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 78

3 / 100
NIH Clinical Center // Flickr

#98. Other infections, including parasitic

Total number of visits: 256,766
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 81

4 / 100
Tatiana VDB // Flickr

#97. Other complications of birth, puerperium affecting management of the mother

Total number of visits: 257,848
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 81

5 / 100
Romaset // Shutterstock

#96. Other screening for suspected conditions (not mental disorders or infectious disease)

Total number of visits: 258,147
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 81

6 / 100
HQuality // Shutterstock

#95. Transient cerebral ischemia

Total number of visits: 269,156
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 84

7 / 100
Wapcaplet // Wikicommons

#94. Other circulatory disease

Total number of visits: 285,685
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 90

8 / 100
Sasint // Pixabay

#93. Phlebitis, thrombophlebitis and thromboembolism

Total number of visits: 290,076
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 91

9 / 100
Casa nayafana // Shutterstock

#92. Abdominal hernia

Total number of visits: 305,331
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 96

10 / 100
eldar nurkovic // Shutterstock

#91. Skull and face fractures

Total number of visits: 307,521
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 96

11 / 100
CMSRC // Wikicommons

#90. Ovarian cyst

Total number of visits: 310,713
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 97

12 / 100
Skeeze // Pixabay

#89. Acute and chronic tonsillitis

Total number of visits: 316,355
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 99

13 / 100
Booyabazooka // Wikicommons

#88. Fracture of neck of femur (hip)

Total number of visits: 321,708
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 101

14 / 100
James Heilmann // Wikicommons

#87. Anemia

Total number of visits: 324,745
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 102

15 / 100
Christopher Boitz // Wikicommons

#86. Other eye disorders

Total number of visits: 330,150
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 104

16 / 100
Stevepb // Pixabay

#85. Hypertension with complications and secondary hypertension

Total number of visits: 336,272
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 106

17 / 100
Artistic Operations // Pixabay

#84. Poisoning by nonmedicinal substances

Total number of visits: 339,725
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 107

18 / 100
Derneuemann // Pixabay

#83. Appendicitis and other appendiceal conditions

Total number of visits: 346,825
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 109

19 / 100
NEC Corp of America // Flickr

#82. Mycoses

Total number of visits: 360,999
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 113

20 / 100
Reversing your Diabetes today // wikicommons

#81. Diabetes mellitus without complication

Total number of visits: 371,185
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 116

21 / 100
US Dept of Agriculture // Flickr

#80. Menstrual disorders

Total number of visits: 376,243
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 118

22 / 100
Arcadian // Wikicommons

#79. Respiratory failure, insufficiency, arrest (adult)

Total number of visits: 379,269
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 119

23 / 100
Official US Navy // Flickr

#78. Intestinal obstruction without hernia

Total number of visits: 391,692
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 123

24 / 100
NIH // Wikicommons

#77. Coronary atherosclerosis

Total number of visits: 392,003
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 123

25 / 100
Bruce Blaus // Wikicommons

#76. Burns

Total number of visits: 401,445
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 126

26 / 100
Ghcassell // Pixabay

#75. Pancreatic disorders (not diabetes)

Total number of visits: 403,329
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 127

27 / 100
CNX OpenStax // Wikicommons

#74. Esophageal disorders

Total number of visits: 415,466
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 130

28 / 100
No attribution required // Maxpixel

#73. Poisoning by other medications and drugs

Total number of visits: 422,833
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 133

29 / 100
No Attribution Required // Pixnio

#72. Intestinal infection

Total number of visits: 472,936
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 148

30 / 100
TipsTimesAdimin // Flickr

#71. Inflammatory disease of female pelvic organs

Total number of visits: 473,080
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 148

31 / 100
phugunfire // Shutterstock

#70. Acute and unspecified renal failure

Total number of visits: 482,616
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 151

32 / 100
No Attribution Required // Pxhere

#69. Diverticulosis and diverticulitis

Total number of visits: 483,770
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 152

33 / 100
Hellerhoff // Wikicommons

#68. Joint disorders and dislocations, trauma-related

Total number of visits: 506,865
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 159

34 / 100
WM Rapids // Wikicommons

#67. Administrative/social admission

Total number of visits: 522,717
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 164

35 / 100
Ivan Obolensky // Pexels

#66. Malaise and fatigue

Total number of visits: 538,644
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 169

36 / 100
No Attribution Required // Maxpixel

#65. Acute myocardial infarction

Total number of visits: 560,223
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 176

37 / 100
KVDP // Wikicommons

#64. Complication of device, implant or graft

Total number of visits: 567,978
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 178

38 / 100
Pagemaker787 // Wikicommons

#63. Other fractures

Total number of visits: 616,450
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 193

39 / 100
Khaoniewping // Shutterstock

#62. Gastritis and duodenitis

Total number of visits: 617,969
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 194

40 / 100
Yuttana Jaowattana // Shutterstock

#61. Other female genital disorders

Total number of visits: 628,696
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 197

41 / 100
Tammra M // Flickr

#60. Hemorrhage during pregnancy, abruptio placenta, placenta previa

Total number of visits: 657,061
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 206

42 / 100
NIH // Wikicommons

#59. Acute cerebrovascular disease

Total number of visits: 665,962
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 209

43 / 100
Christopher Toon // Wikicommons

#58. Other ear and sense organ disorders

Total number of visits: 700,376
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 220

44 / 100
No attribution required // Pexels

#57. Gastrointestinal hemorrhage

Total number of visits: 701,981
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 220

45 / 100
Rebcenter // Wikicommons

#56. Substance-related disorders

Total number of visits: 702,734
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 220

46 / 100
Jmarchn // Wikicommons

#55. Biliary tract disease

Total number of visits: 707,356
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 222

47 / 100
ShutterOK // Shutterstock

#54. Complications of surgical procedures or medical care

Total number of visits: 714,900
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 224

48 / 100
No attribution required // Pexels

#53. Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders

Total number of visits: 767,102
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 241

49 / 100
No attribution required // Pexels

#52. Influenza

Total number of visits: 782,665
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 246

50 / 100
No attribution required // Pixabay

#51. Intracranial injury

Total number of visits: 795,203
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 249

51 / 100
Michael Fedderson // Wikicommons

#50. Inflammation, infection of eye (except that caused by tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases)

Total number of visits: 815,080
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 256

52 / 100
pittawut // Shutterstock

#49. Diabetes mellitus with complications

Total number of visits: 819,637
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 257

53 / 100
Open Stax // Wikicommons

#48. Essential hypertension

Total number of visits: 831,977
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 261

54 / 100
Juanua Martin // Pixabay

#47. Genitourinary symptoms and ill-defined conditions

Total number of visits: 853,831
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 268

55 / 100
No Attribution Required // Pixnio

#46. Other upper respiratory disease

Total number of visits: 914,241
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 287

56 / 100
Wonderlane // Flickr

#45. Other aftercare

Total number of visits: 920,511
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 289

57 / 100
Africa Studio // Shutterstock

#44. Congestive heart failure, nonhypertensive

Total number of visits: 998,700
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 313

58 / 100
pumatokoh // Shutterstock

#43. Other skin disorders

Total number of visits: 1,022,648
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 321

59 / 100
Nevit Dilman // Wikicommons

#42. Fracture of lower limb

Total number of visits: 1,034,462
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 324

60 / 100
No attribution required// Maxpixel

#41. Anxiety disorders

Total number of visits: 1,055,444
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 331

61 / 100
Laurel Russworm // Flickr

#40. Fluid and electrolyte disorders

Total number of visits: 1,089,760
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 342

62 / 100
Goldsithney // Shutterstock

#39. Epilepsy, convulsions

Total number of visits: 1,135,573
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 356

63 / 100
Bdfd // Wikicommons

#38. Residual codes, unclassified

Total number of visits: 1,226,147
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 385

64 / 100
Vic // Flickr

#37. Syncope

Total number of visits: 1,231,389
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 386

65 / 100
Koldunova Anna // Shutterstock

#36. Noninfectious gastroenteritis

Total number of visits: 1,234,604
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 387

66 / 100
Photorama // Pixabay

#35. Conditions associated with dizziness or vertigo

Total number of visits: 1,260,172
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 395

67 / 100
Engin Akyurt // Pixabay

#34. Calculus of urinary tract

Total number of visits: 1,278,974
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 401

68 / 100
Skeeze // Pixabay

#33. Septicemia (except in labor)

Total number of visits: 1,405,463
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 441

69 / 100
Bruce Blaus // Wikicommons

#32. Acute bronchitis

Total number of visits: 1,420,965
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 446

70 / 100
No attribution required // Maxpixel

#31. Fever of unknown origin

Total number of visits: 1,442,629
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 452

71 / 100
Intgr // Wikicommons

#30. Mood disorders

Total number of visits: 1,447,172
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 454

72 / 100
Chris Yarzab // Flickr

#29. Alcohol-related disorders

Total number of visits: 1,458,144
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 457

73 / 100
Pfree2014 // Wikicommons

#28. Cardiac dysrhythmias

Total number of visits: 1,524,359
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 478

74 / 100
Bruce Blaus // Wikicommons

#27. Pneumonia (except that caused by tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases)

Total number of visits: 1,571,428
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 493

75 / 100
Erica Mater // Wikicommons

#26. Otitis media and related conditions

Total number of visits: 1,593,027
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 500

76 / 100
No attribution required // Pexels

#25. Viral infections

Total number of visits: 1,626,485
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 510

77 / 100
slgckgc // Wikicommons

#24. Fracture of upper limb

Total number of visits: 1,763,258
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 553

78 / 100
Open Stax // Wikicommons

#23. Other gastrointestinal disorders

Total number of visits: 1,763,900
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 553

79 / 100
Kyle Gese // Wikicommons

#22. Allergic reactions

Total number of visits: 1,766,749
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 554

80 / 100
Open Stax // Wikicommons

#21. Other nervous system disorders

Total number of visits: 1,833,973
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 575

81 / 100
NIAID // Flickr

#20. Asthma

Total number of visits: 1,955,609
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 613

82 / 100
Open Stax // Wikicommons

#19. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchiectasis

Total number of visits: 2,011,535
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 631

83 / 100
Natalia Deriabina // Shutterstock

#18. Other complications of pregnancy

Total number of visits: 2,054,894
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 645

84 / 100
Jonathan Fowler // Scott.af.mil

#17. Nausea and vomiting

Total number of visits: 2,062,444
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 647

85 / 100
Alice Day // Shutterstock

#16. Disorders of teeth and jaw

Total number of visits: 2,077,754
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 652

86 / 100
Madhero88 // Wikicommons

#15. Other non-traumatic joint disorders

Total number of visits: 2,104,161
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 660

87 / 100
No attribution required // Pxhere

#14. Open wounds of head, neck, and trunk

Total number of visits: 2,223,328
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 697

88 / 100
Tomatheart // Shutterstock

#13. Other lower respiratory disease

Total number of visits: 2,383,777
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 748

89 / 100
Milius007 // Pixabay

#12. Other connective tissue disease

Total number of visits: 2,408,176
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 755

90 / 100
Official US Navy // Flickr

#11. Open wounds of extremities

Total number of visits: 2,906,900
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 912

91 / 100
Joan Dragonfly // Flickr

#10. Headache, including migraine

Total number of visits: 3,174,138
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 996

92 / 100
Robert Whetstone // Army.mil

#9. Other injuries and conditions due to external causes

Total number of visits: 3,243,167
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 1,017

93 / 100
namtipStudio // Shutterstock

#8. Skin and subcutaneous tissue infections

Total number of visits: 3,318,272
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 1,041

94 / 100
Simikov // Shutterstock

#7. Urinary tract infections

Total number of visits: 3,455,199
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 1,084

95 / 100
wavebreakmedia // Shutterstock

#6. Spondylosis, intervertebral disc disorders, other back problems

Total number of visits: 4,158,826
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 1,304

96 / 100
Coolceasar // Wikicommons

#5. Nonspecific chest pain

Total number of visits: 4,703,012
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 1,475

97 / 100
Heel that Pain // Flickr

#4. Superficial injury, contusion

Total number of visits: 5,495,241
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 1,723

98 / 100
Dr Harry Gouvas // Wikicommons

#3. Sprains and strains

Total number of visits: 5,755,484
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 1,805

99 / 100
Bruce Blaus // Wikicommons

#2. Other upper respiratory infections

Total number of visits: 5,802,239
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 1,820

100 / 100
Hans Martin Paul // Pixabay

#1. Abdominal pain

Total number of visits: 5,960,139
Rate of visits per 100,000 persons: 1,869

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