Urgent Care Or ER Visit? What You Need To Know

Posted on: 20 July 2015

Sometimes, it is difficult to tell whether you need the services of an urgent care center or you need to go straight to the ER. Although all pains have the potential to be serious issues, some pains demand quicker and more robust services than others. It should be noted that there is a marked difference between urgent care and ER services. This brief article should help you figure out some of the more important and salient differences between the two. In addition, you will learn what type of pains and ailments are associated with what type of professional medical institution you should be visiting.

ER Facts

When it comes down to it, most people visit the emergency room when, in fact, they could easily visit urgent care to solve their issue. Having said that, ER can provide all of the services that urgent care does. If you're ever in doubt about whether to go to the ER or to urgent care, it is highly recommended that you visit the ER.

Emergency care was instated to provide what is generally referred to as "life or limb" procedures. Which is to say, if your life is in danger or you believe you're going to lose a body part, then you should immediately visit the ER.

There are a number of different pains and ailments that are generally associated with ER visits. If you have a sharp (or even dull) chest pain, and this pain spreads up to your arm or jaw and is also accompanied by profuse sweating or vomiting, then it is most definitely time for you to visit the ER. This could be caused by a host of problems, but is generally associated with cardiac arrest and[,] in some cases, even heart failure.

If you are in severe pain, especially in your lower back and abdomen, it is also good advice to visit the ER. This could be caused by another series of issues, including a ruptured appendix or spleen, kidney or liver failure or internal bleeding of the stomach. Weakness and paralysis are other good reasons to visit the ER. When such signs are accompanied by a numbness in the arm or face, this could be the sign of two major issues, which include a stroke or, in some cases, deep vein thrombosis.

Lacerations, if they are deep enough, are also good reasons to visit the ER. Usually, in such cases, you will receive either stitches or staples, although some lacerations that are deep enough can cause serious issues with your internal organs and may require surgery. A persistent high fever of over 100 degrees is also a very good reason to pay a visit to the emergency room.

Urgent Care Facts

It should be mentioned, first and foremost, that urgent care is not the same thing as the emergency room. Urgent care is for ailments and pains that demand same day care, but are not life threatening.

This is essentially for people who need to see their regular physician, but their regular physician's office is either not open or is overbooked for appointments. Among such ailments and pains that require urgent care are fevers that are not over 100 degrees and not accompanied by a rash, persistent diarrhea or vomiting, painful urination, blood in one's stool, severe sore throat or minor trauma, such as that of a strained or sprained ankle.

Hopefully, this article has shed a bit of light on the main differences between the emergency room and urgent care. Although not the same thing, the two do perform similar tasks; it is no wonder why so many people mix the two up. If you're still unsure which type of facility will meet your needs, you can always contact a local urgent care center and explain your symptoms. They should be able to tell you whether they can treat or whether you'll want to go straight to the ER.