urgent care

Urgent Care vs. Emergency Care

Call 911 if you or someone near you has a life-threatening emergency.

Do you need to race to the ER? Or should you make a trip to urgent care? Here are some guidelines to help you choose.

Urgent care: For urgent conditions but not life-threatening emergencies

Urgent injuries and conditions require care quickly — usually within 24 hours — but aren’t threatening your life or a limb. Examples of urgent conditions include:

  • Accidents, falls and moderate cuts requiring stitches
  • Breathing difficulties like mild to moderate asthma
  • Cuts that need stitches
  • Eye irritation and redness
  • Fever, flu, severe sore throat and coughs
  • Minor broken bones and fractures like fingers and toes
  • Skin rashes and infections
  • Sprains, strains and moderate back problems
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting, diarrhea or dehydration

Our urgent care clinics are also able to provide diagnostic tests and imaging like blood tests and X-rays. We also see many work-related injuries and provide many vaccinations.

Emergency care: For conditions that threaten your life or limb

Conditions that could permanently damage you or endanger your life should be seen at the emergency room. Examples include:

  • Compound fracture (bone protrudes through skin)
  • Convulsions, seizures or loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dislocations
  • Heart attack symptoms including chest pain lasting longer than two minutes
  • Heavy and uncontrollable bleeding, deep knife wounds and gunshot wounds
  • Moderate to severe burns
  • Poisoning
  • Pregnancy-related problems
  • Serious head, neck or back injury
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Severe chest pain or heaviness
  • Stroke symptoms like sudden numbness, weakness or slurred speech
  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings

Remember: Call 911 if you or someone near you has a life-threatening emergency.

Download and print this graphic so everyone in your household can quickly choose urgent care or ER when needed.