Every day, many people visit emergency rooms (ERs) that could have been better candidates for treatment at an urgent care facility.

ERs and urgent care centers both offer after-hours care for unexpected medical situations that need immediate attention and determining which of these facilities is appropriate to your immediate medical needs can save you time and money.

ERs are better equipped to handle life-threatening injuries and illnesses, and other serious medical conditions such as difficulty breathing or sudden, severe pain. Patients at the ER are sorted, or triaged, according to the seriousness of their conditions. For example, a patient with severe injuries from a car accident would likely be seen before a child with an ear infection, even if the child was brought in first.

Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care

To determine whether to visit the ER or urgent care, consider the list below.

Go to the ER if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Broken bones
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Suspected poisoning
  • Severe abdominal pain following an injury
  • Loss of consciousness or confusion, especially if after a head injury

Urgent care is adequate for :

  • Sprains
  • Ear infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting
  • Cold or flu symptoms
  • High fever

If you do not require immediate medical attention consider scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician.

Emergency Room Visit $748.54

Primary Care Physician Visit $130.94

By selecting the appropriate place for your health needs you can help reduce health care costs!