When to Use Urgent Care vs Emergency Department

March 30, 2017

Ever wonder whether you should go to the emergency department or not? Here is a guide to know when to use the emergency department vs urgent care.

when to use urgent care vs emergency department

Go to Urgent Care for:

A condition that requires immediate care but is not life-threatening

  • Common sprain
  • Earache
  • Cold and flu
  • Sore throat
  • Abrasion and cut requiring stitches
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Mild asthma
  • Rash without fever
  • Broken bone with intact skin and no obvious need to reset bone

Go to an Emergency Department for:

A condition that is life- or limb-threatening

  • Chest pain
  • Facial drooping
  • Head and eye injuries
  • Sudden numbness or weakness in arm or leg
  • Uncontrolled bleeding and severe cuts
  • Vaginal bleeding with pregnancy
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Sudden shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Rash with fever
  • Major fracture that breaks the skin or needs to be reset