When to Visit the ER vs. Urgent Care
Today, we explore one of our frequently asked questions, when to visit the ER vs. Urgent Care. We are blessed to live in an era where we have options for medical treatment. Before towns were lucky if they had one family doctor to attend all medical emergencies. Today we have emergency rooms and urgent care clinics to choose from.
But, it’s not always easy knowing where to go when an emergency strikes. Let us clarify the difference between ER vs. Urgent Care facilities.
These centers are designed for patients whose symptoms or injuries are minor and don’t represent a threat to their lives but do require medical attention.
Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.
Emergency rooms are meant for genuine medical emergencies. These centers are equipped to handle trauma, surgical procedures, and other life-threatening situations. They have high-tech diagnostic equipment like x-rays, EKG’s, and ultrasounds.
Hospital ER or Altus Emergency Centers?
How soon you get treated during a medical emergency can mark the difference between a full recovery, or a lifetime of disability or even death.
Therefore, when possible choose to come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment.
We guarantee no long wait times; unlike hospital ER’s where patients sometimes must wait for hours to get seen by a doctor.
The following symptom chart will help you decide if you should go to an Urgent Care center or the ER. Feel free to print and share it, you could save someone’s life.
Symptom Guide – Know Where to Go
TYPE OF ILLNESS OR INJURY
Mild Allergic Reactions
Severe Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis)
Digestive Tract Issues
- Mild to Moderate Stomach Flu Symptoms such as Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea.
- Mild Abdominal Pain
- Persistent Diarrhea
- Bloody Stools
- Vomiting Blood
- Severe Abdominal Pain
- All pediatrics with Digestive tract issues
Fever without a rash
Fever with a rash
Cold and Flu Symptoms
Mild to Moderate Cold or Flu-like Symptoms like Sore Throat, Body Aches
Severe Cold or Flu Symptoms including Trouble Breathing, Respiratory Infections
Cuts and Scrapes
Small Cuts and Scrapes That Might Require Stiches
- Deep Cuts or Scrapes that: Won’t Stop Bleeding
- Bone, Cartilage and Other Tissue is Visible
- Amputation of a Finger, Hand, Arm, Toe, Foot or Leg
- Facial Lacerations
Sprains, Strains, and Broken Bones
Mild Sprains and Strains
Broken Bones and Dislocated Joints
- Superficial Burns
- Moderate Pain Associated to Burns
2nd, 3rd, and 4th Degree Burns Where Deeper Tissue is Damaged
Ear, Eye, Sinus Infections
Mild Ear or Eye Infections
- Severe Ear or Eye Infections
- Sinus Infections
Mild to Moderate Asthma Symptoms or Attack
Moderate to Severe Asthma Symptoms or Attack
Urinary Tract Infections
Mild Urinary Tract Infections
Severe Urinary Tract Infections
Insect or Animal Bites
Small Bites that Might Require Stiches and a Tetanus Shot
- Deep Gashes from an Animal Bite that Might Require Surgery
- All Human bites
- Cluster Headaches
Any Eye Injury
- Chemical Poisoning
- Snake Bites
- Vaginal Bleeding While Pregnant
- Severe Vaginal Pain
- Chest Pains
- Trouble Breathing
- Shooting Pain Down the Arm
- Loss of Consciousness
- Sudden Onset of Numbness in the Arms or Legs
- Slurred Speech
Head, Back & Neck Injuries
- Any Injury to the Head, Back or Neck
- Loss of Consciousness, Fainting
- Changes in Mood or Mental State
Any Type of Seizure
Altus Emergency Centers Locations and Contact Information
1404 West Baker Road
Baytown, TX 77521
Phone: (281) 417-3294
200 Oak Drive South
Lake Jackson, TX 77566
Phone: (832) 241-5680
137 North LHS Drive
Lumberton, TX 77657
Phone: (409) 227-9158
1791 N. Highway 77
Waxahachie, TX 75165
Phone: (469) 732-3151
Now that you understand when to visit the ER vs. Urgent Care, don’t hesitate. When in doubt, trust your gut and remember, if the condition is life-threatening, get to the nearest Altus Emergency Center as soon as possible.
Don’t put off going to the emergency room because you’re worried about the costs. We understand your concern but remember, insurance companies are obligated by law to cover emergency treatments. And if the price is still a concern, our Patient Advocate can help you negotiate your medical bills and make them easier to pay off.