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Urgent Care Or Emergency Room? A Look At Deciding Where To Get Medical Care

It can be hard to know where to take your medical concern. After all, there are more options out there than ever before – even when your regular doctor’s office is closed. For many people, deciding between the emergency room and the local urgent care clinic poses an issue. In this article, we will look at some common medical concerns and decide where each concern should be taken – though of course this is certainly something that will ultimately need to be decided on a case by case basis.

1. Ankle sprains

Ankle sprains are immensely common all throughout the United States. As a matter of fact, there are up to 25,000 of them being sustained throughout the course of a single day. The majority of these sprain injuries – up to 80% of them, as a matter of fact – can be attributed to a simple inward rolling, an inversion, of the ankle. And though some ankle sprains will be so minor that no medical care is sought, some are much more serious.

Typically, an ankle sprain, even the most painful of them, will be able to be treated by a walk in urgent care clinic. This is due to the fact that minor fracture treatment can be provided at up to 80% of all urgent care locations. Therefore, even if you fear that your ankle sprain was serious enough to lead to a fracture, you will be in the right place. And going to a walk in health clinic instead of to an emergency room is something that is likely to save you time and money alike.

2. The flu

When it comes to the flu, it really depends. Once you notice yourself developing flu symptoms, you should go into one of the walk in urgent care centers in your area. This is due to the fact that flu cases caught early on can be treated with an anti viral. And while this treatment will not get rid of the flu, it will speed up your recovery and reduce the severity of your symptoms – something that will also help to prevent the development of more serious complications as a result of the illness.

However, if you were not able to seek treatment early on in the course of your illness, you might develop these complications, which can range from pneumonia to sepsis. And as particularly bad flu years can impact up to one fifth of the population, hospitals see high number of people coming in for such complications. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health.

3. Infections

Infections are routinely seen in many an urgent care clinic. From the urinary tract infection, of which more than eight million cases are seen per year, to the average ear infection to even a minor skin infection, infections can be easily treated – when they are caught early on. In such cases, treatment from an urgent care setting is more than ideal. However, if an infection has been left untreated for a long enough period of time and has been allowed to get serious enough, hospital treatment might be required. After all, a UTI that has been left for long enough can all too easily become a full blown kidney infection, which will be in need of a much stronger course of treatment.

While there are times when going to a hospital is necessary, there are many benefits to going to a walk-in medical care clinic when it is possible and ideal from a health standpoint. For instance, you’ll save money, as the average ER visit is likely to cost more than $1,000 at the very least. You’ll also save time due to the fact that emergency room waiting rooms are all too often jam packed. When you go to the ER for a less than emergent medical condition, you’ll likely be waiting there for at least a full hour – if not even longer than that. Ultimately, therefore, using your access to a local urgent care center is going to be more than ideal at the end of the day.

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