When should you go to urgent care vs ER?
Urgent care is an efficient and effective way to get the medical attention you need when you are not able to visit your doctor. Call us today to book an appointment so that we can help look after your urgent care medical needs. We accept walk-ins in Downtown Long Beach CA, Bixby Knolls Long Beach CA, Huntington Beach CA, and Paramount CA and we are open 7 days a week.
Table of Contents:
When is it best to go to urgent care?
Why should you go to the emergency room?
What’s the difference between urgent care and emergency care?
When accidents or illnesses happen in life, when is the right time to go to an emergency room and when is the right time to go to urgent care? It can be difficult to know which is the best option.
If you are dealing with a life-threatening emergency, like a heart attack or serious injury then you need to go to an emergency room. If you are dealing with an injury or illness that doesn’t seem to be life-threatening but needs attention right away, then urgent care is the right option.
Urgent care centers provide quality healthcare when your primary care provider is closed. They are for those times when you have an injury or illness that isn’t serious enough to go to an emergency room and needs to be treated before your primary care provider opens.
At Reddy Urgent Care Center, our medical staff is here to deal with those accidents and illnesses that happen. You can call to make an appointment or you can walk in, no appointment is needed.
It is best to go to an urgent care center when you have a health concern that needs attention right away and is not life-threatening. Urgent care conditions are those that are not considered to be emergencies but require care within 24 hours.
These can include:
• Accidents and falls
• Breathing difficulties, like mild or moderate asthma
• Cuts without much blood that might need stitches
• Diagnostic services, including lab tests and X-rays
• Fever or flu
• Eye irritation
• Minor broken bones and fractures in toes and fingers
• Moderate back problems
• Severe cough or sore throat
• Rashes and infections
• Sprain and straps
• Vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration
• Urinary tract infections
You should go to the emergency room if you are dealing with a health situation that is life-threatening or could cause you to lose a limb. Emergency rooms provide healthcare for people who are dealing with serious health crises, such as heart attack, trauma, stroke, severe bleeding, dehydration, and some types of infection. Emergency rooms are usually open 24 hours and have the ability to perform lab tests and imaging that other healthcare providers cannot.
If you believe that your situation is life-threatening it is best to go to an emergency room. If you are dealing with the following, then go to an emergency room and not an urgent care center.
• Chest pain, pain in the left arm or jaw pain
• Shortness of breath
• Serious burns
• Cuts that won’t stop bleeding or won’t close
• Severe allergic reactions
• Stroke symptoms- slurred speech, sudden weakness/numbness in parts of the body loss of balance or vision, facial droop
• Change in mental status
• Loss of consciousness
• Multiple injuries, usually from a traumatic event
• Certain broken bones, such as ribs, skull, face, or pelvis
If you are pregnant and have vaginal bleeding or experiencing abdominal pain.
These can be life-threatening situations that require care that an urgent care center is not equipped to deal with.
An emergency department will treat situations that are life or limb-threatening conditions. If you require immediate medical attention, this is the best option.
Urgent care can be considered the middle ground between a primary care provider and an emergency department. If you have a minor injury or illness that can’t wait till then till your primary provider is open, then urgent care is the right choice. If you have an illness or injury without other symptoms, or if you don’t have underlying health concerns, urgent care is a good choice.
An example of when to go to an emergency department would be when you have an earache and a high fever or have a history of cancer or are taking an immune-suppressing medication. We serve patients from Downtown Long Beach CA, Bixby Knolls Long Beach CA, East Side CA, Huntington Beach CA, Paramount CA, and Los Altos CA.