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What is Urgent Care and When Should You Use It?

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

Should the pain in your chest or the cut on your hand send you to the emergency room or to an urgent care facility. Sometimes its difficult to be sure. We are making the decision a bit easier to make by providing more of a description when deciding where to go to get the care you need.

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What is Considered an Emergency?

In general, an emergency condition is one that can permanently impair or endanger your life. Dial 911 immediately for any medical problem that appears life-threatening. Some examples of conditions that need emergency medical care include:

Compound fracture, which involves a bone protruding through the skin

Convulsions, seizures, or loss of consciousness

Deep knife wounds or gunshot wounds

Fever in a newborn less than 3 months old

Heavy, uncontrollable bleeding

Moderate to severe burns


Pregnancy-related problems

Serious head, neck, or back injury

Severe abdominal pain

Severe chest pain or difficulty breathing

Heart attack symptoms, such as chest pain that lasts longer than two minutes

Stroke symptoms, such as vision loss, sudden numbness, weakness, slurred speech, or confusion

Suicidal or homicidal feelings

What is Considered an Urgent Medical Condition?

Urgent medical conditions are ones that are not considered emergencies but still require care within 24 hours. Some examples include:

Accidents and falls

Cuts that don’t involve much blood but might need stitches

Breathing difficulties, such as mild to moderate asthma

Diagnostic services, including X-rays and laboratory tests

Eye irritation and redness

Fever or flu

Minor broken bones and fractures in fingers or toes

Moderate back problems

Severe sore throat or cough

Skin rashes and infections

Sprains and strains

Urinary tract infections

Vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration

A serious head injury or a heart attack are life-threatening and should be treated in an emergency department. If it can not wait until the next day but is not life-threatening should be treated in an urgent care facility. MD Immediate Care provides quality health care when your primary care physician is closed and ensure you receive personalized attention nights, weekends and most holidays.

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