Urgent Care vs. an Emergency Room
Know the difference
Know the Difference Between Urgent Care and an Emergency Room
When you have an emergency, time is essential.
A severe injury or illness can occur at any time, and knowing the difference between an emergency room and urgent care visit is important.
Note: If you are experiencing a medical emergency:
- Dial 9-1-1, or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
- Some of the below symptoms can be more severe in pediatric cases; please contact your pediatrician with any concerns.
It is essential to seek medical help immediately in an emergency because the person's life may be in danger. If a person is experiencing a heart attack, for example, time is of the essence and seeking medical help right away may be the difference between life and death.
Regardless of what kind of medical help you need, immediate care helps improve recovery from an illness or injury. In addition, knowing where to get care in an emergency can help you get care more quickly.
Emergency Room: It is recommended that you go to an emergency facility if you experience:
- Chest pain
- Broken bone
- High fever
- Ingestion of obstructive object
- Major head injury
- Severe abdominal pain
- Severe asthma attack
- Severe burns
- Severe headache
- Shortness of breath
- Uncontrollable bleeding
Urgent Care: A visit to an urgent care facility or your primary care physician is recommended if you experience:
- Allergic reaction
- Asthma attack (minor)
- Colds, cough, flu, fever
- Ear infection
- Insect bite
- Minor burns, including sunburns
- Minor cuts/lacerations
- Minor head injury (not including head injury while on blood thinners)
- Pink eye
- Sore throat
- Sprain or strain
- Urinary tract infection