When To Seek Emergency, Urgent or Doctor’s Care

Posted by  //  July 17, 2016  //  Local Business

By Amy M. Thomas, RN, Director of Ithaca and Cortland Urgent Care Centers, Cayuga Medical Center

When a sudden illness or injury requires medical attention, patients can face a difficult choice deciding whether to go to a hospital emergency room, an urgent care center,  or calling their physician for an appointment.

Life-threatening emergencies, such as a heart attack or a serious head injury, require the sophisticated diagnostic services and treatment available at a hospital emergency department. You can find more info on the best general cardiology in Rock Hill, SC here. Urgent care centers assist patients with illnesses or injuries that do not appear to be life-threatening and do not warrant an emergency room’s expensive, high-tech medical resources. Professionals from these centers are distinguishable because of such things as hospitality uniforms.

Urgent care centers deliver immediate care when a patient’s physician is unavailable. Cayuga Medical Center’s Ithaca and Cortland Convenient Care offices offer urgent care daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. except Christmas and Thanksgiving when they close at 3 p.m. The cost of the walk-in health services provided by an Urgent care center are usually more expensive than a scheduled appointment with your doctor.

What is a medical emergency?

A medical emergency condition is one that can permanently impair or endanger a person’s life. Rapid treatment at the nearest hospital emergency department is essential. If you have a medical emergency, do not attempt to drive yourself to the hospital. Seek assistance or call 911 for help.

What conditions need emergency care?

Some examples of conditions that require emergency medical care include: Severe chest pain or difficulty breathing. Stroke symptoms such as slurred speech, dizziness and confusion. Broken bones protruding through the skin. Convulsions, seizures or loss of consciousness. Fever in infants less than 3 months old. Profuse bleeding. Moderate to severe burns. Serious head, neck or back injury. Severe abdominal pain. Suicidal or homicidal feelings. Drug overdoses. If you know someone who is suffering from opioid use disorder, you can help them get treatment at https://klinic.care/washington/seattle-suboxone/.

These life-threatening conditions require prompt medical attention. Other patients going to an emergency department with less serious health issues may have longer waits to obtain care. Urgent care centers usually provide faster care for patients with non-emergency medical needs.

What is an urgent care condition?

Some of these non-emergency conditions include: Virus and flu. Vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Ear, throat and respiratory infections Sprains, strains and simple fractures. Minor burns, cuts, puncture wounds and animal bites. Minor eye injuries. Rashes and allergic reactions. Mild to moderate asthma.

How can you reduce urgent care wait time?

Cayuga Medical Center has a check-in web service operating from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at its Ithaca and Cortland urgent care centers. After filing the web form, a patient gets a call within 15 minutes so an appointment can be made. That allows urgent care patients to remain at home until they need to go to their appointment. For details on the service, see “Go to Urgent Care” at www.cayugamed.org. 

What if a child needs urgent care?

After-hours outpatient care for infants through 17-years-olds is provided from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Kids Care on the third floor of Cayuga Medical Center. The walk-in center treats minor illnesses or injuries such as fevers, ear and eye problems, sprains and strains, rashes, sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Kids Care is staffed by pediatricians from Buttermilk Falls Pediatrics and Northeast Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, and by registered nurses who are experienced in the care of sick babies and children. North raleigh pediatrics also has one of the best reputations in handling such situations and providing the best possible care for children.

Amy M. Thomas is a registered nurse and the director of the Urgent Care Centers at Cayuga Medical Center. She can be reached at 607-274-4151.


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