Urgent Care Vs the ER the Right Center for Your Emergency

When worse progresses to worst in a critical situation, you may only have moments to spare to make a decision of whether or not to visit emergency centers. Children’s health can be swiftly changing and difficult to read, which puts a lot of pressure on you as the parent to make the call—does my child need to visit urgent care, or the emergency room?
It’s time to visit the urgent care center when…
One of the most important points to consider in those critical moments before action is whether or not your child needs the help of emergency centers or urgent care centers. The terms may seem synonymous, but the different centers actually serve quite different purposes. Generally, instances in which loss of life or limb are at stake are cause to visit the emergency room. Non-life threatening medical conditions, such as chest pain, breathing difficulties, headache, or fever can be diverted to an urgent care center.
Slash the ER wait by taking a non-life threatening situation to the urgent care center—while you may feel that visiting the emergency room will provide your child with the best pediatric care, that’s not necessarily the case; urgent care emergency centers can address these less critical issues with an average wait time of 30 minutes or less, according to the Urgent Care Association of America.
Your wallet will also thank you for taking your family medicine needs to the urgent care center. The US HealthWorks Medical Group reports that overuse of the emergency room is a primary contributor to high costs and steep rate increases for insurance premiums.
Even if you suspect that you need more than the urgent care emergency centers can offer, visiting one of these facilities is a good place to start—you can always receive a referral from a physician there to the ER or to another specialty center as needed. Becker’s Hospital Review estimates that only 3% of urgent care center visitors must be diverted to the emergency room.
It’s time to visit the emergency room when…
Again, while any ailment of your child’s can feel like a state of emergency, it’s best to only result to the ER when there is a threat of loss of life or limb. This includes severe lacerations, burns, difficulty breathing, poisoning, or coughing up blood. Patients who are experiencing homicidal or suicidal feelings should also be immediately taken to emergency care centers.
If your loved one is experiencing signs of a heart attack or stroke, you should get them to the ER as soon as possible, or call 911. Signs of stroke may include sudden loss of feeling in the limbs/numbness, dizziness or weakness. The victim may be having a heart attack if they are experiencing extreme chest pain or difficulty breathing, and they may enter unconsciousness.
Even seconds can feel like a forever when your children or loved ones are having an emergency, but it’s important to stay educated on which facility can not only treat the people who matter most, but also ease your financial pangs in the long run.

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