When Should You Go To Urgent Care vs The ER?
Reddy Urgent Care Clinic helps treat a wide range of non-life-threatening conditions and most types of common illnesses, disease, and trauma in patients of all ages. Call us today. We have convenient locations in Downtown Long Beach CA, Bixby Knolls Long Beach CA, Huntington Beach CA, and Paramount CA.
Table of Contents:
When Is It Best To Go To Urgent Care?
When Should You Avoid Going To An Emergency Room?
What’s The Difference Between Urgent Care And Emergency Care?
What Are The Reasons You Should Go To The Emergency Room?
An urgent care center is the most appropriate location for illnesses or injuries that are urgent but not life-threatening. If the problem is not life-threatening or risking serious long term harm, but you are concerned and you cannot see your primary care provider in a timely manner, go to an urgent care clinic. They are equipped with X-ray and laboratory services and can handle a variety of situations such as:
• Animal bites
• Broken bones
• Coughs, sore throats
• High fevers
• Stitching cuts
• Earaches and sinus pain
• Eye problems
• Minor burns
• Removing foreign objects
• Minor headaches or breathing problems
• Rashes and skin problems
• Sports injuries
• Urinary tract infections
• Stomach pain
• Vomiting and diarrhea
If you are in doubt as to whether the urgent care center is the right place to go, call ahead and seek advice. It could save you valuable time.
The only time you should avoid going to an emergency room is if you know for sure that the situation doesn’t warrant it, i.e. it’s not a life-threatening or life-altering event. If you went to the emergency room for something outside of these parameters, not only would you likely have a long wait to be seen as more urgent cases are triaged ahead of you, but the financial costs would also be a lot higher. Emergency rooms deal with serious, life-threatening injuries and illnesses so if you know that your problem is not appropriate for that setting it’s best to avoid it and leave it free for the more critical situations.
Although the words “urgent” and “emergency” both imply a situation in which immediate action should be taken, it is important to know the difference when it comes to urgent care and emergency care so that the appropriate treatment can be given in the most suitable setting.
Simply put, urgent care is for illnesses or injuries that need to be treated that day but are not life-threatening. The emergency room is for any medical condition or injury that risks death or disability without immediate medical care.
If your situation is a true emergency, head straight for the emergency room. A hospital ER or dialing 911 is the only place to go for life-threatening symptoms or conditions such as:
• Trouble breathing
• Passing out, fainting
• Pain in the arm or jaw
• Sudden, unusual or severe headache
• Sudden inability to see, speak, walk, or move
• Suddenly feeling weak or limp on one side of the body
• Inhaled smoke or poisonous fumes
• Sudden confusion
• Heavy bleeding
• Possible broken bone
• Deep wound
• Serious burn
• Coughing or throwing up blood
• Severe pain anywhere on the body
• Severe allergic reaction / anaphylaxis
• Stiff neck and headache with fever
• Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
• Suspected poisoning
• Suspected drug overdose
• Suspected alcohol poisoning
• Suicidal thoughts
Don’t go to either an urgent care center or a clinic in any of these situations. It will waste precious time as they will only send you to the ER or call an ambulance for you. If you are in doubt, err on the side of caution and head to the nearest hospital.
Dr. Reddy and her team at Reddy Urgent Care clinics in Downtown Long Beach, Bixby Knolls, Huntington Beach and Paramount, CA offer urgent care facilities for everyone, from children to seniors, seven days a week. Call us today for all your urgent care needs or simply walk in. No appointment necessary! We serve patients from Downtown Long Beach CA, Bixby Knolls Long Beach CA, Huntington Beach CA, Paramount CA, East Side CA, and Los Altos CA.