When you get sick or hurt, it is often impractical to go to your primary care physician….you need an emergency doctor. What am I talking about? You know what happens. Something crops up overnight or gets so severe it can’t be ignored. Or there is an accident. You can’t predict these things and you don’t have a few days to a week to wait for an appointment with your primary care physician. This pushes you into the realm of an emergency doctor, however, which one? Do you need to go to the ER or can you walk right into an urgent care, like Oceanside Urgent Care and Family Practice?
When do I need an emergency doctor at an hospital vs. an emergency doctor at an urgent care?
Well, Mt. Sinai Hospital and Scripps both contain guidelines that we all need to take to heart. There is a difference between urgent care and emergency care, even when the doctors at a clinic are trained in emergency care. There is pretty good consensus on what to do.
When do the professionals believe you ought to go to the emergency room?
- Chest pain that is bad and won’t go away
- Breathing difficulty
- Compound fractures (when a bone is protruding through the skin)
- Severe abdominal pain
- Convulsion or seizures
- Loss of Balance, fainting, paralysis and/or difficulty in speech that comes on suddenly
- Fever in newborns
- Bleeding uncontrollably (really, I hope I don’t have to say this to you)
- If you are stabbed or shot
- Sudden headache or sudden testicular pain, for that matter. hmmm?
- Severe burns or poisoning
- If you fall and you are taking blood thinners
- Any problems associated with your pregnancy
- Head or eye injuries
- suicidal or homicidal thoughts
When can I go to the emergency doctor at the urgent care?
- Minor/moderate falls or accidents
- Strains or sprains
- If you feel pain when you urinate
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Moderate back problems
- Sore throat
- Minor to moderate cuts
- Eye redness or irritation
- skin rashes or infections
This is fairly exhaustive. If I have left anything off, make sure you let me know. I want you to know which emergency doctor you need when you aren’t feeling so hot. You need to know where to go!