In this era of Dr. Google and rampant self-diagnosis, it’s becoming increasingly more confusing about where you should go when you’re injured or feeling sick?  Should you call your Primary Care Doctor, visit an Urgent Care Center or head straight to the ER?

 

Often, the answer to that question isn’t always so black and white. Of course, life-threatening emergencies like a heart attack, bleeding that won’t stop, loss of vision, broken bones, or serious head injury! These absolutely require a visit to the ER.

 

For other conditions that aren’t emergencies but still require care within 24 hours, Urgent Care Centers may be the best option, saving you some time, money and inconvenience in the process.

 

  • Average Emergency Room wait times are greater than 2 Hours
  • Emergency Room Deductibles and Co-pays are generally higher than Urgent Care
  • Emergency Room visits can be very expensive averaging over $1000.00 per Visit

 

Here are some tips to choose the right place to go, should you become ill or injured.

 

Broken Bones or Dislocations

Urgent Care…

For minor sprains or strains — maybe you twisted your ankle but can still walk on it — the Urgent Care can take an X-ray and recommend follow-up care with a specialist if needed.

Emergency Room…

If you are injured and suspect a broken bone, compound fracture (the bone is protruding through the skin) or dislocated joint, head to the ER, where there is equipment and medication to evaluate your condition and, if needed, an Orthopedic Surgeon on call.

Lacerations

Urgent Care…

Most Minor Lacerations can be repaired in an Urgent Care Center.

Emergency Room…

Lacerations that are Deep involving multiple layers of Tissue, Tendon, Ligaments or Muscle. Lacerations involving Bleeding that cannot be controlled or Lacerations to the Face that may require Cosmetic Surgery will require a visit to the ER.

Difficulty Breathing

Urgent Care…

If you are experiencing mild to moderate Breathing difficulties — for example, maybe you are Coughing, Wheezing and have Nasal Congestion but can talk in full sentences and eat — the Urgent Care can probably help you with a breathing treatment.

Call 911…

But if your symptoms are severe I.E., you are gasping and can’t speak or are turning blue. You need to Call 911!

Nausea and Vomiting

Urgent Care…

Most cases of food poisoning or other causes of Nausea, Vomiting and Diarrhea can be taken care of in the Urgent Care. Call ahead to make sure the clinic offers IV Fluids as they can really speed up recovery.

Emergency Room…

If it’s particularly severe and persistent, however, or you’re unable to keep down any food or water at all, head straight to the ER. This could be a warning sign of something more serious like Pancreatitis or an Intestinal Obstruction. Also, if you see any kind of Blood or suspicious darkness, that could be a Bleeding Ulcer and also warrants a visit to the Emergency Room.

 Fever

Urgent Care…

Fever or Flu can be typically treated in Urgent Care if you are otherwise healthy.

Emergency Room…

Fever or Flu are entirely different matters, though, in someone with cancer or HIV/AIDS or who is on drugs that suppress the Immune System. If you fall into one of these categories and have a High Fever, the Emergency Room is the best choice for you: The same Pneumonia that means a few days of missed work for a healthy person can be much more serious for people with these illnesses.

Urinary Tract Infections

Urgent Care…

The most common symptoms associated a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) are a frequent urge to Urinate and Burning with or during Urination. The usual treatment for a UTI is an Antibiotic that an Urgent Care Doctor can readily prescribe.

Emergency Room…

However, if these symptoms are also accompanied by High Fever, Back Pain, Vomiting, or the feeling of being “sick all over”, head to the ER. This is especially true for Pregnant Women, the Elderly, and anyone with recent Surgery or a serious illness, like Cancer or Multiple Sclerosis.

Eye Injuries

Urgent Care…

The Urgent Care is equipped to handle the removal of small foreign bodies, such as a speck of sand, from the Eye and can treat Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye).

Emergency Room…

If you see Blood or Bruising around your Eye, or if you have Vision changes or difficulty moving your Eyes normally, head to the ER.

Urgent Care Center are well equipped to handle most Urgent Medical needs and can provide a variety of procedures.  However, there are some potentially serious and/or Life- Threatening Conditions that should always be seen in a Hospital Emergency Room as they have access to more equipment and to Specialists on Staff that can treat most any condition.  Here are a few examples…

Chest Pain

Call 911…

Persistent Chest Pain — especially if it radiates to your Arm or Jaw, is accompanied by Sweating, Vomiting or Shortness of Breath, or lasts longer than two minutes — warrants a trip to the ER. It could be a heart attack, in which case the ER will have a Cardiologist on call to get you the treatment you need immediately. Remember that even 30- and 40-year-old adults have Heart Attacks, so age is not a reason to think twice about getting Emergency Care.

Dramatic Changes in Behavior

Call 911…

If you notice that a friend or loved one is experiencing an altered Mental Status or Confusion, including Loss of Vision, sudden Numbness, Weakness, slurred Speech, or inability to stay awake or recognize people, go to the Emergency Room immediately. They could be experiencing a Seizure, Stroke or other serious condition that can be Life-Threatening.

 

Discover the caring, convenient, comprehensive and cost-efficient treatment that can always be found at Palm Bay Urgent Care!  We are open seven days a week, Mon.  –  Sat., 9a –  7p and Sun. 10a –  5p,  No Appointment needed, Walk-ins welcomed!  Come in or Call Today!  (321) 723-3627  www.Palmbayurgentcare.com