If a person could die or be permanently disabled (including an unborn child), it is an emergency. If you find yourself in such a situation, call 911
However, if you ever had minor medical emergency such as a fever, bladder infection, a strange bug bite, or a cut that might need a couple of stitches, you might have called your doctor only to find out his next availability is in two weeks. At that point you might have debated a little about where to go but ended up heading to the emergency room, incurring a bill you were not happy about.
Consider your Options
Depending on the level of seriousness you have a few different options you can consider. Here are some tips on where to go, depending on the situation.
More often than not your local pharmacist will only recommend medications to fight symptoms and will not really diagnose a disease or injury. Also, for more serious symptoms you might need stronger medications that require a doctor’s prescription. You can count on your local pharmacist for allergies, headaches, mild bug bites, superficial cuts and scrapes, and other alike mild problems.
Your local urgent care is ideal for situations that require immediate care from a physician or nurse but that are not life threatening. A severe headache, light fever, a cut that needs stitching, a bladder infection, a scary looking bug bite, and other mildly severe situations that need immediate attention but are not threatening anyone’s life.
You should head to the emergency room when the symptom or injury is more severe and potentially life threatening. Some examples are deep cuts and severe bleeding, fractured or broken bones, persistent vomiting, concussions, heart attacks, severe fever, and anything that you suspect, even if remotely, that puts the individual at risk of worse side effects or death if not addressed immediately.
Your personal doctor might not be able to help you immediately in most emergency cases, but s/he should always be contacted. Your doctor takes care of you in the long term, prescribing you medications, following up in your recovery, and making sure you stay healthy. In cases where you would head to the pharmacy or the urgent care, you might want to contact your doctor and see if he can help or what he suggests.
When in doubt
If you are concerned for your health and are not sure where to go, the emergency room is still your safest bet, where physicians and nurses can address a wide range of issues. If yours or someone else’s life is in danger, call 911. Also, give us a call if you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. We’ll make sure you receive the compensation you deserve to pay for your medical expenses, property damage, and for your recovery.
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