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When to Go to Urgent Care Versus the ER [900]

When you are in pain, it can be difficult to determine whether your situation is serious enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room or if you should go to your nearest urgent care Long Island clinic. Because the emergency room should be reserved only for emergencies and can be quite expensive to pay for depending on your insurance, it is best not to go there if you do not need emergency care. Here are some ways you can tell if you need to go to urgent care versus the emergency room.

Common Conditions That Can Be Treated by an Urgent Care Facility

One easy way to determine whether you should go to urgent care is if you have an urgent medical condition that should be treated within 24 hours but is not life-threatening. For more information about the treatment capabilities of urgent care, click here. Common examples of conditions that can be treated in an urgent care facility include:

Sprains
Fractures and minor broken bones (including toes and fingers)
Falls or other minor accidents
Cuts that require stitches but do not bleed excessively
Severe cough or sore throat
Fever
Dehydration from diarrhea or vomiting
Urinary tract infections
Laboratory tests, X-rays and other diagnostic services
Moderate back pain
Infections and skin rashes
Eye redness or irritation
Difficulty breathing (due to asthma)

All of these conditions can be quite painful, but are usually not life-threatening. Visiting an urgent care Long Island location when you experience these symptoms can help you save money and receive prompt care without visiting the emergency room unnecessarily.

Conditions That Require Emergency Treatment

Although it is important to visit the urgent care when your symptoms are not life-threatening, it is also imperative to recognize when emergency treatment is necessary. If you experience any of the following conditions, dial 911 or get to an emergency room as quickly as possible:

Compound fracture (characterized by bone protruding from the skin)
Poisoning
Desire to take your own life or the lives of others
Bleeding that is heavy and uncontrollable
Severe difficulty breathing
Serious problems related to pregnancy
Gunshot or deep knife wounds
Newborn fever (younger than 3 months)
Severe abdominal pain
Seizures
Lack of consciousness
Convulsions
Signs of stroke (weakness, confusion, vision loss, numbness, slurred speech, drooping facial muscles)
Severe chest pain
Serious injury to back, head or neck
Signs of heart attack (chest pain or pressure that does not subside within two minutes)

If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or others, do not go to an urgent care facility. Instead, dial 911 or go directly to the emergency room.

Primary Purpose of Urgent Care Facilities

If you have moderate pains and medical conditions that occur outside of normal doctor’s office hours, urgent care Long Island facilities are intended to help you receive the care that you need. Some urgent care facilities are open for extended daily hours and during weekends to ensure that patients are able to receive medical attention for their moderate pain and injuries without waiting for their normal doctor’s office to open the next day.

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