Health and Fitness Tips

live a long, healthy life one step at a time

Urgent care unit

It is almost always the most inconvenient time when it happens: an unexpected injury. Should you go to the emergency room? A life-threatening injury or sudden illness obviously requires immediate care. But what do you do, what should you do, when the severity of the injury or illness is a questionable or unclear?

Firstly, never put your health in jeopardy because you would rather not go for a little drive. You should even call an ambulance, if necessary. Defined clearly, a life-threatening injury is anything that if not immediately treated, will result in the loss of life, limb, or organ(s), or would cause a severe impediment to those listed. For example, concussed individual who is vomiting or has lost consciousness is in need of emergency care, and the sooner the better. An individual who is having a heart attack, has been shot, or has been poisoned (hopefully not all at once) is also experiencing an emergency.

Sometimes, an illness starts off slow; you mistakenly believe it is just a cold that will be annoying but go away on its own. Then your head feels heavy. The body aches start. You crave sleep. Do you know what temperature a fever can be until it constitutes an emergency? For adults and children over the age of two, a fever over 104 degrees Fahrenheit is dangerous; for a baby younger than four months, a dangerous temperature is 100.4 and above.

Now that you know the basics of what constitutes an emergency, it is important to understand the step below life-threatening. A child under the age of two with a fever that lasts for more than 24 hours. A child over two with a fever lasting longer than three days. A broken finger, a mild concussion, or a superficial cut that will not stop bleeding are also urgent. Essentially, any symptom that is worrying you but is not severe enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room, and yet you feel waiting for a regular doctor’s appointment is too long to wait, means you should seek out one of the urgent care clinics in your area.

Urgent care clinics welcome walk ins. These clinics are open when the typical family care practitioner’s office is closed. An injury cannot know it is 7:00pm on a Saturday and your doctor’s office is closed. But according to a national survey, 45.7% of walk in clinics are open on Saturdays, and about 31% are even open on Sundays. Some, roughly two-thirds, open before 9:00am for those people who are sporting injuries before work. Most clinics will average somewhere around 340 patients each week. They are prepared to handle your urgent situation; 95% have physicians on staff.