When to go to the Emergency Room vs. when to come to Urgent Care

Patients are often confused as to whether to go to a hospital emergency room or go to an urgent care clinic for various issues.  Here is a list of some issues that may arise and where to go:

Emergency Room:

1)      Allergy – if severe and having trouble breathing

2)     Asthma – if severe and the patient might need to be admitted to the hospital

3)     Chest Pain

4)     Fractures with bone sticking out of the skin or visible deformity of the area

5)     Confusion

6)     Fainting

7)     Head injury that is severe – severe with loss of consciousness

8)     Headache that is the worst of your life

9)     High fevers in babies younger than 1 year of age

10)  Ingestion of obstructive objects – such as swallowing a coin

11)  Ingestion of poisons

12)  Major head injury

13)  Heart palpitations

14)  Pneumonia

15)  Seizures

16)  Severe abdominal pain

17)  Severe burns

18)  Severe headache

19)  Shock

20)  Significant trauma/injury

21)  Snake bite

22)  Unconscious or catatonic state

23)  Uncontrollable bleeding

Urgent Care:

1)      Allergies – if it’s a rash, hives or ear/nose/throat symptoms

2)     Ankle sprain

3)     Asthma attack (minor)

4)     Back strain

5)     Bronchitis

6)     Colds, flu, fever

7)     Cough

8)     Dehydration

9)     Dizziness

10)  Ear infections

11)  Head injury with no loss of consciousness and are acting normally after the accident without neurological/behavioral changes such as numbness, tingling, weakness, vomiting,  trouble speaking or balance problems.  In young children, they should be acting normal according to parents without increased sleepiness or irritability

12)  Ingrown toenail

13)  Insect bites

14)  Migraines

15)  Minor burns

16)  Minor cuts – we can do stiches in the urgent care

17)  Nausea

18)  Pink eye

19)  Rash

20)  Simple fracture – without visible deformity to the involved area

21)  Sinus infection

22)  Sore throat

23)  Sprains/strains

24)  Stitches

25)  Urinary tract infections

Remember, in an emergency, call 9-1-1

This document is for informational purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual patient.  If you have questions please contact your medical provider.

I hope that you have found this information useful.  Wishing you the best of health,

Scott Rennie, DO

Blog: https://doctorrennie.wordpress.com

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