Many people confuse urgent care centers with emergency rooms despite their treatment differences. Understanding these differences keeps those who don’t have a life-threatening illness or injury out of crowded emergency rooms. Below are a few conditions that will be best addressed in an urgent care center rather than the emergency room.
When to Visit an Urgent Care Center
1. Respiratory Illnesses
Urgent care centers treat numerous contagious respiratory illnesses, including viral infections such as strep throat that causes an extremely sore, red throat, among other symptoms such as fever, chills, red and swollen tonsils, and body aches.
People also visit medical centers for bacterial bronchitis that inflames the bronchial tubes, resulting in persistent coughing, chills, and fever. Influenza and severe sinus infection symptoms also frequently call for professional treatment.
2. Asthma & Allergies
Breathing difficulties from asthma attacks and allergy symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, wheezing, congestion, and itchy eyes interfere with daily activities.
Urgent care center physicians help reduce asthma flare-up severity, providing medication and suggestions for managing the condition, including trigger identification. Physicians also determine what type of allergies patients have, such as dust, medication, seasonal (pollen), food, and pet allergies, to devise customized treatment plans.
3. Minor Sprains & Fractures
While broken bones call for emergency room visits, minor muscle sprains, strains, and bone fractures from falls, sports injuries, and other accidents are treatable at urgent care centers. Centers usually conduct X-rays to determine the extent of injuries. Keep in mind that minor fractures, or hairline cracks that do not fully break the bone, are not the same as compound fractures, or when bone protrudes from the skin.
4. Burns & Other Relatively Minor Injuries
People with first- and second-degree burns that do not require skin grafting should go to an urgent care center, as should those with other minor injuries that do not require emergency surgery and related treatment. Such injuries include lacerations, whiplash, cuts, tick bites, and infected wounds.
5. Other Common Illnesses & Infections
Medical care centers treat non-life-threatening infections, including ear infections, pink eye, urinary tract infections, stomach flu, and mononucleosis. They also treat head lice and the common cold to prevent their spread and help patients heal quickly.
If you require urgent care, visit HDR Healthcare Network. The medical center serves patients throughout the Bronx, NY, and provides internal and family medicine, diabetic care, pediatrics, and senior care. Call (718) 617-2500 to make an appointment or learn more about their comprehensive services online.