Knowing when to use urgent care centers for medical treatment is important in a not-quite health emergency. The difference between urgent and emergency care plays a role in the availability of certain types of treatments, the price of treatment, and the amount of time you will likely spend waiting to be treated. So, what can urgent care do, and what can’t it do for you?
When To Use Urgent Care
When you need medical treatment but your doctor’s office is booking six weeks out, you need urgent care. For instance, urgent care centers often treat the following common medical complaints:
- Poison Ivy
If you or your children run across a poison ivy vine and become infected, urgent care can provide treatment.
- Broken Bones
About 80% (four out of five) urgent care center can treat fractures. Our urgent care facility is well equipped to handle broken bones. Make sure your local urgent care center can treat fractures before going there for help.
- Cold Symptoms
Cough, runny nose, itchy eyes, and mild fevers are all manageable for urgent care centers. Cold medicine can be provided in addition to an assessment that will confirm what is ailing you.
When To Use Emergency Care
If you suspect you are suffering from any of the following health problems, it’s time to call 911 or have a friend or family member take you to the emergency room, and fast:
- Heart Attacks
If you get a shooting pain up your left arm, have chest pain, and feel other symptoms of a heart attack, you must get to a hospital immediately. If you have no one to drive you, call an ambulance.
- Severe Blood Loss
Even though urgent care can handle mild to moderate lacerations, severe blood loss will require a blood transfusion. For that, you will need a hospital.
- Unrelenting High Fever
If you have a small fever as a symptom of the common cold, urgent care should be fine. Persistent fever in the 102 degrees and up range could be life-threatening. If you are presenting other flu-like symptoms, get to a hospital as soon as possible.
Urgent care is there for you in all of life’s critical, but not-life-threatening situations. This is the real way to know where you should seek medical attention: If your life or your children’s lives could be in the balance, go to the emergency room. If, however, you have a sprained ankle, need a physical, or ran afoul of some poison ivy, urgent care will be the quicker and less expensive way to go.