Knowing where to go when a medical emergency strikes is important. Should you call 911 or the on call doctor? Is medical assistance imperative and immediate? Does that mean urgent care or emergency room? All of these questions really should be answered before the problem arises.
In a nutshell, anything that is life threatening or a life and death situation needs to be referred to 911 and emergency care. If you are unsure, just go to the emergency room. However, if you know your ailment is not life or death, a walk in urgent care clinic is where you need to go.
Medical care is not taken as seriously as it should be, these days. People put off going to the doctor or the hospital when they shouldn’t. Especially because we all know physical exercise is very important to our well being but we just don’t do it enough. It was reported that one out of every ten retirement age people admit that their physical exertion does not extend back a mere few days a month. Not surprisingly, many of this group suffer from a chronic condition. An emergency room physician stated that if humans upped their physical activity to three times a week, hospital visits would be down over 60%. That’s a significant amount!
So, say you are taking your health seriously and doing what needs to be done and an emergency occurs. Where should you go? An emergency room physician complied the following list to help patients determine if a situation is a life or death issue.
- If the person is not breathing
- When someone is choking and can’t stop
- Any kind of head injury accompanied by blacking out or confusion
- Any kind of injury to the neck or spine, especially if accompanied by the inability to move
- Any injury involving electricity including lightening
- Second degree burns and higher
- Chest pain
- A seizure lasting longer than 3 minutes
- Inability to see, speak, walk or move
- Drooping on half the body particularly the face
- Heavy bleeding from anywhere
- Broken bones
- Any type of severe pain or allergic reaction
- High fever especially when accompanies by headache and/or stiff neck
- Poison or overdose
these are just fifteen of many, many reasons that you would visit the ER but the emergency room physician recommends to start with this list.
You would go to an Urgent Care Clinic because of:
- Any kind of cold or flu
- sore throat
- low fever
- some rashes
- back pain
- minor injuries
- food poisoning
As mentioned, if you are unsure about the situation, go to the ER. The ER will not turn anyone away, they can treat everything but urgent care is only suited for non emergent cases. If you end up at urgent care and your case is life threatening, they will transfer you to the ER.