Should You Choose Urgent Care Or The Emergency Room?
If you get sick or injured outside of your doctor’s normal business hours, it can be difficult to decide whether you should go to urgent care or the emergency room. Urgent Care Port St. Lucie FL center provide an alternative to the emergency room for relatively minor health conditions such as sprained ankles, colds, or minor infections. More and more of these centers have been popping up in cities around the country, providing an economical alternative to the emergency room for illnesses or injuries that are not extremely severe.
The hard part is determining how severe an injury or illness needs to be before the emergency room is justified. The following section provides some helpful information on how to decide between urgent care or the emergency room.
In general, the emergency room should be reserved for any illnesses or injuries that affect your major organs or that involve severe bleeding. Most urgent care centers are not equipped to handle these potentially life-threatening emergencies. For instance, if you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, you should go straight to the emergency room. The same holds true for difficulty breathing, extreme pain, a sudden loss of vision, a loss of consciousness, or broken bones that protrude through the skin. Severe bleeding that doesn’t lessen when pressure is applied is also a true emergency and should be treated at the emergency room.
Urgent care centers, on the other hand, can handle just about everything else. This includes minor burns, cuts and scrapes, cold or flu symptoms, fevers, animal bites, earaches, symptoms of bladder infections, mild asthma attacks, and mild allergic reactions. In general, if an injury or illness is not threatening one of your major organs or is unlikely to result in death, an urgent care center should be able to handle it.
The best way to find out is to call ahead to your local urgent care center before you leave your house. You can ask about your injury or illness to see if it is something they can treat. They will be more than happy to tell you over the phone whether they can handle it in-house, or whether you should head straight to the emergency room. Although it takes a few minutes to place a phone call, it can make a big difference in ensuring that you get the treatment that you need. Rather than wasting time going to urgent care and them being referred to the emergency room, they can tell you right over the phone which option is right for you. This can save precious time, helping you get treated more quickly.