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Signs You Need to Go to the ER

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It’s Saturday and your cold seems to be worsening. A fever has developed after you have vomited once. Do you go to an urgent care clinic or hospital emergency room?
You’re not the only one who has wondered if it’s worth going to the ER or urgent care clinic. Family, friends, and patients often ask me if my symptoms warrant an ER visit or a trip to the urgent care clinic. I also have to answer their questions about management at home.

Intclinics can help if you’re feeling unwell – visit their website to find a doctor…

It’s crucial to pay attention to your body, especially now that we are facing the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the onset and severity of the flu and cold seasons. This will help you avoid overwhelming emergency rooms with minor injuries or illnesses that can be treated elsewhere. Avoid a wait in the ER’s waiting room if that is not the type of care you require.

You may be experiencing mild symptoms such as a fever below 100 degrees, mild aches and pains, or a mild cough that could be due to the flu, COVID-19, hundreds of other viruses. I recommend you “do what your mom used tell you”: rest, drink lots of fluids, take Tylenol and monitor your symptoms.

Calling your primary care doctor is a good idea if your symptoms don’t improve or worsen over time. Virtual visits are becoming more common among primary care physicians. They can quickly assess patients via phone or video.

Remember that if an urgent care provider feels you require a higher level care, they will refer you to the ER.

An urgent care clinic is a great option for those who need immediate or extended care. If it is not an emergency, urgent care can be a better way to use a patient’s resources and time. They are often open seven days a semaine, have shorter wait times than an ER, and generally cost less than a traditional hospital emergency department visit.

Many urgent care clinics have advanced diagnostic imaging such as X-ray machines, and lab capabilities that allow you to evaluate your injury or illness onsite. If necessary, urgent care providers may prescribe medication and recommend higher levels of care.

If you are feeling sick, you should dial 911 immediately or go to the ER. This is when you feel like your body is in constant pain. If a person experiences severe injuries or an allergic reaction, or if they experience signs of stroke or heart attack, this includes when they become unconscious or pass out.

When should you go to an emergency room in a hospital?

Call 911 or go to the ER to get the following symptoms checked and treated.
Breathing difficulties
Left jaw pain, left arm pain, or chest pain
Burns and other serious injuries (cuts that don’t stop bleeding, or wounds that don’t close).
Severe allergic reaction (swelling of the lips, difficulty swallowing or breathing).
Stroke symptoms include slurred speech, sudden weakness in any area of the body, facial drooping, loss of balance, or vision problems
Changes in mental status (e.g. confusion).
Persistent loss of consciousness (if you are unable to remember)
Multiple injuries, or possibly a broken bone, in areas such as the ribs or skull, face, or pelvis
If you are pregnant and experience vaginal bleeding, pelvic/abdominal pain, or both

When should you visit an urgent care clinic?

A specialist in urgent care can assess and treat:
Colds and fevers
Vomiting and nausea
Strains and simple bone fractures (when the body is not “pointed” in a wrong direction, or in the case where the ankles or knees are suspected broken, you can still walk on the injured leg with some discomfort).
Minor cuts
Mild asthma attacks
Urination pain

Remember that if an urgent care provider feels you require a higher level care, they will refer you to the ER.