How Do You Know You Need To Go To The ER?
We have all been there at one time in our life. You have symptoms, and you begin to worry. One of the questions often pondered in this scenario: where do I go for treatment? Is it bad enough for the emergency room, should I go to an urgent care facility or can I wait to see my doctor next week? This is a all too common situation that many of us have been through. Let us breakdown the situation. There are simple steps you can follow to know what type of care you need.
If you have any of the following, you should go to an urgent care:
- Eye infection
- Ear infection
- Bladder infection
- Sinus infection
- Strep throat
- Respiratory infection
- Urinary tract infection
- Minor bruising
- Minor burns
- Minor lacerations
- Minor injuries
- Flu symptoms
- Sports injuries
- Childhood illnesses of various kinds
- Prescription refills
- Insect bites
For any of the following, you should immediately head to the emergency room:
- Difficulty breathing
- Large amounts of diarrhea or vomiting
- Broken bones
- Sudden changes in vision or weakness
- Serious burns
- Major cuts or lacerations
- Vomiting or coughing up blood
- Sudden loss of consciousness
- Pain or pressure in the chest
- Bleeding that can not be controlled
- Motor vehicles accident
An urgent care facility has a little different purpose than the ER. Starting in the 90’s, these facilities began as a response to doctors who could not see their patients quickly. Many folks simply could not wait to get the care they needed, and demand something a little faster. So, the birth of the urgent care facility happened. The treatment is very similar to that of a doctor’s office, but it can nearly happen on demand. The wait times at these facilities are normally less than that of a doctor’s office, and they have much more accommodating schedules. They are built on the concept of immediate attention and service. This is the compromise between a doctor’s office and an ER.
An ER has a different function. The waiting time is normally next to none, and it is equipped to deal with life threatening situations. This is first and foremost the mission of the ER. Treating patients that require immediate assistance due to life threatening issues. A common reason to use an ER is a care accident. Being involved in a motor vehicle collision is dramatic, and require attention from a medical professional. This is a prime example of why the ER was conceived, and why doctors are staff 24 hours a day in the ER. While medicine has come a long way, we still need professional staffed and ready to assist round the clock. These folks help to keep us safe, and can prevent death in extreme situations. This is a brief glimpse into the difference between types of medical care.