Watching your child suffer for any reason is unbearable as a parent, but sometimes it can be easy to jump to extreme reactions that aren't strictly necessary. If you've ever been compelled to rush your child to the emergency room at the first sign of trouble, the chances are it's not really an emergency; in fact, 70% of emergency room visits are for non-emergency conditions. Figuring out what is an emergency, what is an urgent problem, and what can be handled at a doctor's appointment next week is one of those vital things they never teach you about when you become a parent; we're here to help.
Logic Over Emotion
It can be natural to assume the "better safe than sorry" attitude and head to the ER if you think it's required, but it's important to exercise your best judgment and truly think about the situation. If your two-year-old child has a fever and is tugging at their ear, it doesn't mean they have a life-threatening illness: a trip to a childrens urgent care or setting an appointment with their pediatrician will almost certainly discover they have an ear infection. If your five-year-old is sneezing and running a fever in the winter, they probably just have the flu.
Emergency Room Risks
Consider the emergency center experience: your already sick child will be surrounded by those who are legitimately having an emergency, not to mention all the germs they're being exposed to in such a concentrated area. Additionally, since emergency centers treat the sickest, most severely injured patients first, you could have an exceptionally long wait ahead of you, only to hear the doctor tell you this could've been handled by a short visit to the childrens urgent care. There usually isn't a need for both of you to have to go through such a taxing situation.
Urgent Care Risks
On the other hand, knowing when to skip urgent care clinics is important as well. Many urgent cares can treat small, simple fractures, but complete bone breaks need to be seen and treated in a facility that is equipped to handle them. Additionally, if your child is under the age of two and has a fever, that is always an emergency, and waiting can be exceptionally risky.
It's fairly easy to tell when an injury is bad enough to see a doctor immediately. Crisis situations and sudden severe injuries can be stressful, and in a moment of panic, it is difficult to know whether to go to an urgent care clinic or an emergency room. Here are some guidelines to help you make the right choice between urgent care or emergency room visits when in an emergency.
Urgent Care Clinics
Urgent care clinics are designed to help when a normal visit with your family doctor can't wait. Generally, urgent care visits are best for non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses that are still serious or need to be addressed in a timely fashion. This can include:
Generally, try to opt for urgent care clinics if you're not sure if a situation is serious enough for an emergency room. Typically, only 3% of patients who come to an urgent care center need to be diverted to the emergency room; therefore, it's likely that if you go to an urgent care clinic, you're in the right place.
Emergency room visits should be reserved for when a situation is life-threatening or otherwise immediately dangerous. Emergency rooms are designed for taking care of the most serious of injuries and illnesses, including:
Any of these injuries, illnesses, or symptoms could potentially be life-threatening, meaning it is crucial to get to an emergency room as quick as possible. Call an ambulance or otherwise get the injured or ill person to an emergency room as quickly as possible in these situations, as an emergency room will be able to provide the necessary care.
Choosing the right type of care for your situation can mean reduced wait times, proper care for the situation, and ultimately reduced cost as emergency room visits can be expensive. Make sure to remember these guidelines next time you or a loved one are in a crisis and need prompt health care.
The emergency room is known as the place to go when you're in a potentially life-threatening situation. Unfortunately, many patients believe the ER is actually a one-stop shop for all sorts of maladies, from superficial scrapes to common colds. This mistaken belief can backfire, leading to everything from long waits to overcrowded waiting rooms. If you're trying to decide whether a trip to the ER is actually necessary, you might want to read this post first. We're discussing some of the most misguided reasons to go to the emergency room in the hopes that you'll think twice before making the ER your go-to spot for treatment.
Why Do People Go To the ER When They Don't Need To?
There are many reasons to go to the emergency room, many of which are entirely valid. But for a non-medical emergency, an urgent care center is your best bet. If you opt for emergency room visits instead, you could end up waiting around for far longer and will likely contribute to ER overcrowding. Of course, going to a facility that has both an ER and an urgent care center will eliminate confusion and make it easy for you to receive the treatment you need -- whether it's a true emergency or you simply need quick care. For more information, contact us today.
Not every bump on the head warrants a visit to the ER. Though frightening, a mild blow to the skull can heal surprisingly quickly, especially if the damage is mostly to the skin. However, there are some reasons to go to the emergency room after a head injury that, if left unchecked, can lead to serious brain complications. The following signs and symptoms are clear indications that it’s time to head to the ER:
Immediately After the Accident
Immediately following a blow to the skull, any of these five signs is an indication that a serious injury has been sustained. Help the injured person seek medical help quickly if you notice:
With any head injury, use your best judgment. If you or the injured person do not feel better within a few minutes of the incident, it is best to head to urgent care to be safe. If you believe an injury may be life-threatening, or if a concussed child does not regain consciousness within one minute's time, call for immediate emergency medical help.
In the First 24 Hours
Symptoms of brain injury and concussion do not always develop immediately following an accident. You may not have seen any reasons to go to the emergency room at first, but later notice worsening symptoms. Find an emergency room if you observe:
While head injuries should be taken seriously, symptoms can be minimized when patients seek appropriate medical care. A concussion left untended can lead to dangerous bleeding or swelling that puts pressure on the brain and can result in debilitating lifelong conditions. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to seek help-- after all, there are over 7,000 urgent care clinics in the United States with professionals who can offer life-saving advice. By knowing these warning signs, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of head trauma
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