Emergency vs Urgent Care: 6 Signs It’s A Serious Emergency
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between emergency and urgent care? If your injury or illness isn’t life-threatening, you may need to see your doctor or go to an urgent care facility. Most day clinics provide appropriate urgent care services.
However, if your injury or illness is serious and considered a medical emergency, you’ll be taken to the hospital for immediate care. The key differences between these two is how you access these services and the time you wait to receive help. Read on to find out when you must go for urgent care and the signs to look out for when it’s a life-threatening medical emergency.
What is Urgent Care?
First things first, you must know that urgent care isn’t emergency care. Generally, an urgent care facility is a same-day clinic equipped with resources to handle most medical problems that need to be treated urgently. But these medical issues are not considered critical emergencies.
However, you mustn’t use this medical service as a substitute for your regular doctor’s visits. It’s only when you can’t access your doctor but not dealing with a critical medical condition that urgent care is recommended. The following are some examples of situations that require urgent care.
- Abdominal pain.
- Cuts that require stitches.
- Moderate flu-like symptoms.
- Fever without a rash.
What is Emergency Care?
On the other hand, there are certain medical conditions that require emergency care. If you don’t get stabilised within a specific timeframe, these medical conditions can be fatal. The reason why these are considered medical emergencies is because they require advanced treatments such as surgery that are only available in a hospital.
If you find yourself in a medical emergency, it’s best to be prepared for it. Provide the emergency responders and doctors at the hospital with as much information as you can. The following are instances when going to the emergency room is recommended.
- Head injury or concussion.
- Severe flu symptoms.
- Chest pains or difficulty breathing.
- Broken bones or a dislocated joint.
- Disturbed mental state with slurred speech or fainting.
6 Signs You Need to Go to the Emergency Room
The idea of going to the emergency room can be scary. Even though nobody enjoys going there, there are times where it can be the best decision for your life. The following are five of the most common signs that you need to go to the emergency room.
Shortness of Breath
When you have breathing problems, it means your vital organs are at risk of failure. Any issues that affect your heart and lungs highlight that your blood oxygen levels are low. There are several causes that can lead to shortness of breath.
Have you ever had a nosebleed that lasted for longer than an hour? This is one of those instances when uncontrolled bleeding warrants a trip to the emergency room. It’s essential for you to rush to the emergency if you are on blood thinners when you experience uncontrolled bleeding.
Lower Abdominal Pain
Any sudden pain in your lower abdominal is a serious cause for concern. This can signal that there’s a problem with your internal organs. For instance, you could have a life-threatening infection.
Severe Allergic Reactions
Some allergic reactions can be treated at home and don’t need you to rush to the emergency room. On the other hand, there are severe cases that require immediate medical attention in hospital. For instance, when you react to food it’s crucial to rush to the hospital since you don’t know what the underlying cause for your reaction is.
In most cases, a headache is something that can be treated with over-the-counter medication. However, there are times when a headache is so severe and is accompanied by other serious symptoms such as dizziness and vomiting. In these instances, it’s necessary to rush to the emergency room to find out whether you’re having a stroke or another critical condition that can lead to brain damage.
Persistent Diarrhea or Vomiting
If you have any underlying condition that can lead to dehydration if you have persistent diarrhea or vomiting, you must get emergency medical attention. There are various factors that can cause these symptoms to worsen. It’s essential to seek immediate help from a doctor before it’s too late.
Getting proper medical care is necessary for anyone. Yet, you must know when your medical symptoms require you to go to your doctor, an urgent care facility, or to rush to emergency care. In most cases, people go to emergency care when there’s no need and end up paying a hefty bill.
In summary, you must know when to determine if your symptoms are severe enough for emergency care. Most importantly, it’s necessary to know how to relay the correct information to emergency responders to get the most appropriate diagnosis. At the end of the day, most of the symptoms you think are an emergency can be treated without rushing to emergency care.