When should you go to the ER?

At AFC Urgent Care in Saugus, we offer many services that can help your daily life when you are not able to see your regular healthcare provider. It’s important to understand the differences between non-emergency issues and ones that require treatment from a hospital. We offer a low-cost alternative to non-emergency problems and a shorter wait time than the emergency room. The biggest difference between going to the urgent care or the ER is the severity of the problem.

When you can go to an urgent care

In addition to preventative treatment such as flu vaccines or physicals, AFC Urgent Care offers treatment for any non-emergency problem that may arise. This includes treatment for:

  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Illnesses such as the flu, strep throat, and others that require antibiotics
  • Headaches or fevers
  • Bleeding that may require stitches
  • Rashes
  • STD testing and treatment
  • Other pain that is uncomfortable, but not severe in your abdomen, back, or ears

When you should go to the ER

The emergency room is able to treat all of the above health issues, however, it is typically more expensive and may require a longer waiting time. It is extremely important to understand when it is time to go to an ER, or call 911. If someone is unconscious, you should immediately call 911. The following potential circumstances may require a visit to your local ER:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain
  • Seizures
  • Abdominal pain that is severe and in one place
  • Sudden changes in mental state, or sudden confusion
  • Coughing or vomiting blood, or blood in urine
  • Bleeding that will not stop
  • Severely broken bones
  • Severe pain from an injury in the head, abdomen, or other areas of the body

Always try to use your best judgement when determining whether you or someone else may need to go to the ER. It is extremely important, and potentially life-saving to understand the severity of a problem, and to call 911. If you are unsure whether a problem may be life-threatening, it is okay to make the safe decision and go to an emergency room. Read more on our first-aid basics that everyone should know. These practices may end up being extremely useful in emergency situations, before an ambulance arrives. If you have any questions or concerns on determining a problem, call us today.