Where You Should Go: Emergency Room Vs. Urgent Care

Monday, November 23rd 2015, 10:14 am
By: News 9

With emergency rooms becoming more crowded, many people are turning to urgent care centers. But do you know which medical problems require a trip to the hospital versus an urgent care clinic? We learned it all depends on what makes us sick.

With the fast-paced world we live in today, urgent care centers are surging in popularity. But doctors warn you're sometimes better off waiting in the E.R.

Health experts say urgent care centers are best for non-life threatening emergencies such as a minor cut, fracture, or illness. Those facilities can take X-Rays and do some lab tests.

But for more advanced care like CT scans, go to the hospital, especially if you have symptoms of a stroke or heart attack.

However, with other medical issues, doctors say there is some gray area.

"Maybe you've been having a fever and a cough, and maybe you have pneumonia. Some of those cases could definitely be  managed in an urgent care center. Some are better in a hospital-based emergency department," said Dr. Peter Shearer, Medical Director with Mount Sinai Emergency Department.

Experts suggest you use urgent cares that are affiliated with a hospital. That way they can share records if you have to be admitted.

Also, people with underlying conditions like diabetes or cancer should always seek treatment at a hospital.