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ER vs Urgent Care

Should I Go to the Emergency Room or Urgent Care?

In an emergency, you and your family want the best care available in the fastest time possible. While you may require medical treatment, an Urgent Care location—such as one of our FasterCare sites or Primary Care Weekends sites—may be an appropriate alternative to an emergency room in some situations.

When to Visit an Emergency Department

Get to an Emergency Department immediately—or call 911 if you have no one to transport you and you are unsafe to drive—if you experience symptoms that are severe, life-threatening, or come on suddenly:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness one side/facial droop, garbled speech
  • Fainting/loss of consciousness/change in vision
  • Deep cuts/bleeding that won't stop
  • Sudden, severe pain anywhere in the body
  • High fever/fever with rash
  • Seizures
  • Severe or repeated vomiting
  • Serious burns
  • Change in mental state

When to Visit an Urgent Care Location

Consider visiting an Urgent Care location if you don't feel well and are suffering from symptoms/conditions such as:

  • Colds/flu/fever/cough
  • Sore throat
  • Ear pain
  • Sprains/strains/simple fractures
  • Scrapes/cuts
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Rashes without fever, such as poison ivy or insect bites
  • Back pain
  • Nausea
  • Minor burns

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