Feverish and Frantic? ER or Urgent Care?

KJ Martin
 | Published: 
March 18, 2024
 | Category: 
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Feverish and Frantic? ER or Urgent Care?

It’s smart to have a plan before something goes wrong. If you’ve had an accident or have concerning medical symptoms, this guide can help you know when to choose the emergency department and when urgent care might better meet your needs.

Head Straight to the Emergency Room

Chest pain, slurred speech, uncontrolled bleeding: Any sign of a life-threatening condition warrants immediate attention and you should call 911.

Ambulances don’t just get to ignore traffic signals — they also come with emergency medical technicians. They can start treatment right away and keep you safe during transport.

Severe pain, head injuries, trouble breathing, major burns and suspected overdose are also good reasons to use emergency services — and good reasons to not drive yourself to the ER.

Consider Urgent Care

Urgent care can be a good choice when your situation isn’t serious enough for the hospital and your regular doctor isn’t available.

Services vary by location, but may include treatments for eye and ear infections, asthma and allergies, cuts and sprains, fractures, animal bites, rashes, vomiting and diarrhea.

Some urgent care centers aren’t open 24/7 and not everyone has one nearby. Virtual urgent care may be an option when in-person care is not.

Money Matters: ER vs. Urgent Care Costs

Emergency care can leave you with an unpredictable and hefty bill weeks later. Urgent care pricing is typically lower and available up front. When in doubt, prioritize your health and safety.

Wondering how your health insurance covers emergency and urgent care visits? Reach out anytime for help understanding your coverage.