When an unexpected illness or injury occurs when your doctor’s office is closed, it can be very frightening. When plagued with a medical issue that demands immediate treatment, it can be difficult to assess if it requires a trip to the emergency room (ER) or an urgent care clinic. You need to make a quick decision to obtain the medical attention you require, but it is important that you have all the facts before you choose where to seek treatment.
Urgent care near me – The National Center for Health reported that ERs did not admit 48 percent of visiting patients. Physician’s offices are beginning to offer same-day appointments to patients in need of immediate attention, but an urgent care clinic is an option for those patients requiring treatment outside of office hours. Acting like an extension of your primary physician’s office, they provide similar services, but on a somewhat crucial basis and after regular business hours. Additionally, they will communicate with your primary physician the next day to update them about your visit.
Urgent care near me – Some examples of the conditions a clinic can treat include:
- Accidents and falls
- Minor trauma such as a sprain or strain
- Minor broken bones and fractures (i.e. fingers, toes)
- Eye irritation and redness
- Vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration
- Severe sore throat or cough
Urgent care near me – Life-threatening emergencies that could permanently impair or endanger your life require a visit to the ER. Emergency rooms are open 24 hours to treat potentially life-threatening emergencies, including the following:
- Compound fracture (bone protrudes through skin)
- Convulsions, seizures, or loss of consciousness
- Fever in newborns (less than three months old)
- Heavy, uncontrollable bleeding
- Deep knife or gunshot wounds
- Moderate to severe burns
- Pregnancy-related problems
- Severe abdominal pain
- Signs of heart attack
- Signs of stroke
- Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
Emergency rooms treat those patients with the most severe conditions first, so those with less critical needs will often experience long wait times. At an urgent care clinic, patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. When an illness or injury strikes, you should consider the severity of your condition and determine if you need immediate attention or if it can wait. Additionally, trips to the ER are expensive. Studies have shown that an ER visit can cost six times as much as an urgent care clinic visit for the same service.
If you are unsure of what to do, many insurance companies have a 24-hour helpline that provides advice and answers for their members. Understanding your options now will make for an easier decision when you or a loved one is in need of immediate treatment.