Urgent Care vs. The ER—Where Should You Go When Care Can't Wait?

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Health problems don’t always occur when your primary care provider’s office is open. Yet, sometimes it’s hard to determine if your nearest urgent care clinic can help or if a visit to the emergency room (ER) is in order. On the other hand, heading to the ER instead of an urgent care clinic could cost you more money. ER visits may be triple the cost of a primary or urgent care visit, according to the National Library of Medicine. In addition, seeking care in an ER when you don’t require emergency care could increase wait times for other patients, delaying their care as well as your own.


IS IT AN EMERGENCY?
The following symptoms could signal a life-threatening health problem that requires emergency care:
» Chest pain or discomfort, pain in the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach, or other symptoms of a heart attack
» Choking, shortness of breath or other breathing difficulties
» Head injuries accompanied by confusion or fainting
» Neck or spine injuries that lead to loss of feeling or leave you unable to move
» Loss of consciousness
» Seizures
» Severe burns or wounds
» Sudden behavioral changes or confusion
» Symptoms of stroke, such as loss of feeling or numbness on one side of the body, inability to speak, and sudden loss of sight or blurred vision in one or both eyes

This is not an exhaustive list, so use the “life or limb” guiding principle: Call 911 or visit an ER if you or someone you love could die or become permanently disabled without receiving immediate care.

WHEN IT’S URGENT
Urgent care centers can treat illnesses and injuries that aren’t life-threatening but still require care. These include health concerns such as:
» Back pain
» Common illnesses, such as cold and flu
» Ear infections
» Minor allergic reactions
» Minor cuts, scrapes and burns
» Nausea, diarrhea and/or vomiting
» Pink eye
» Sinusitis
» Sprains, strains and minor broken bones
» Urinary tract infections

WE’RE HERE FOR YOU
Archbold’s Urgent Care Center offers care for minor illnesses and injuries with no appointment necessary. Our skilled multidisciplinary staff works extended business and weekend hours to help you get the care you need when you need it. We are open 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m.–noon on Sunday.


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