Emergency Care (ER) is best suited for those who are at risk of losing a limb or those who are experiencing life-threatening symptoms.
If you’re experiencing symptoms or an injury for which treatment can’t be delayed until the next day, urgent care is the best choice. Twisted ankles, strains, minor injuries, asthma attacks, or simple bone breaks are all issues that can be treated at an urgent care center.
Knowing the difference between these two options can save you a lot of time, and it can even save your life or the life of a loved one.
If you choose to go to the ER despite your symptoms not being serious enough, you may end up wasting a lot of time in a long line instead of getting treatment faster and at a lower cost. On the other hand, if you’re experiencing life-threatening symptoms, driving yourself to an urgent care center could be dangerous.
Below, we asked our experts at Casa de Salud, with two offices in Los Angeles, California, to explain which conditions and injuries are typically treated in the ER and an urgent care center.
Symptoms and injuries commonly treated in the ER
The ER is a hospital department that deals with acute and serious issues, ranging from severe injuries that occur during car crashes to strokes.
Symptoms that should prompt you to seek emergency treatment include the following:
- Deep wounds and cuts that won’t stop bleeding
- Fractures with bone that protrudes through the skin
- Chest pain and shortness of breath
- Slurred speech
- Loss of consciousness
If you’re pregnant, vaginal bleeding or severe headaches with vision changes should also prompt you to call 911.
Symptoms and injuries commonly treated in urgent care
At Casa de Salud, our experts offer care without an appointment for the following conditions and injuries:
- High fever
- Allergic reactions (e.g., rashes, sneezing, and swelling)
- Mild to moderate injuries
- Muscle pain
If you’re suffering from a chronic condition, such as heart disease or diabetes, and require medical guidance, you can schedule a consultation if your symptoms aren’t acute.
Learn more about urgent care
Once you arrive at the front desk, our receptionist will ask you a few questions about your symptoms and your general well-being to determine if you’re best suited for urgent care, ER, or a regular appointment.
Aside from urgent care, at Casa de Salud we also offer family medicine, pediatrics, senior care, prenatal care, and testing for sexually transmitted diseases.
If you’re concerned about whether to go to ER or urgent care, of if you’d like a consultation to discuss a medical issue, call either of our offices or book an appointment online.