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Urgent vs Emergency Care

Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell whether a trip to the Emergency Department is necessary, or if an Urgent Care visit will do the trick. Consider these examples:

  • Your family member has sudden difficulty walking and maintaining their balance.
  • Your throat is raw, and you can barely swallow – you need a strep test.
  • You’re slicing a bagel when the knife slips. Looks like you’ll need stitches.

Three very different situations that all demand a quick decision! Should you call your doctor and try to get in within 24 hours? Go to a Community Memorial Urgent Care? Go to the Emergency Department?

It all comes down to the severity of the illness of injury. Sudden difficulty walking and balance issues are signs of stroke. This requires an immediate trip to the Emergency Department for evaluation. If you are the person experiencing these symptoms, do not attempt to drive to the hospital yourself. Call 911 for an ambulance.

The other two examples are minor conditions your family doctor would normally treat. The stomach bug may be better tomorrow, but the bleeding cut needs stitches now. If you can’t get an appointment right away or the doctor’s office is closed, an urgent care clinic could be just what the doctor ordered.

Community Memorial Urgent Care provides immediate treatment for most non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Staffed with board-certified physicians, Community Memorial Urgent Care offers quick, same-day care, without an appointment. Plus, X-rays and lab testing are available on-site, with results while you wait.

Urgent vs. Emergent Symptoms

The symptoms listed below are some of the most common we see in the Emergency Department that could easily be treated at one of our Urgent Care locations. However, unlike the Emergency Department, they are not open 24/7, so you will need to check the hours of operation.

Go to Urgent Care

  • Severe colds and flus
  • Fever and sore throat
  • Bruises, scrapes, and minor cuts
  • Minor burns
  • Minor allergic reactions, rashes, and skin conditions
  • Strains, sprains, and minor fractures
  • Earaches and headaches
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Upset stomach and diarrhea
  • Allergies and asthmas
  • Insect bites

Go to the Emergency Department

  • Abdominal pain
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Broken bones (large)
  • Chemical exposure
  • Chest pain
  • Drug overdose
  • Eye injury
  • Fainting
  • Head injury
  • Heat stroke
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of vision
  • Major burns
  • Poisoning
  • Seizure
  • Severe bleeding
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vaginal bleeding in a pregnant woman
  • Stroke symptoms
    • Sudden onset of weakness or numbness on one side of the face or body
    • Sudden speech difficulty or confusion
    • Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
    • Sudden onset of dizziness, trouble walking or loss of balance
    • Sudden, severe headache

Community Memorial Urgent Care offers COVID-19 testing. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or believe you have been exposed, please call one of our Urgent Care locations for instructions on how to get tested.