when to seek emergency careMost people do not know much about urgent care centers and how they can use them. But if you’re not sure when to seek emergency care or where, rest assured you don’t always need a hospital. What kind of emergency care can urgent care centers offer? Let’s take a look.

Conditions Treated At Urgent Care Centers

It can be tough to know when to seek emergency care, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Fortunately, you don’t always need to go wait in the ER. Here are just a few of the many conditions an urgent care center can provide treatment for.

Cuts and Lacerations

Cuts and lacerations are some of the most common injuries. Most people ignore small cuts, but a simple cut from a knife can easily become infected if not treated properly. If you suffer a cut or laceration that won’t stop bleeding or becomes tender to the touch and discolored while healing, make sure you visit an urgent care center for treatment.

Abdominal Pains

The root cause of abdominal pains can range from food poisoning to excess gas. Any abdominal pains accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea require emergency treatment. If you’re unsure what is cuasing your abdominal pain, it’s always a good idea to seek medical attention. In some cases, it could save your life.

Headaches and Migraines

Headaches and migraines might not seem like a big deal, but the truth is that they can be debilitating. Experiencing severe head pain isn’t normal and should be looked at by a medical professional. If you’re not sure what might be causing your head pain or you’ve never had a migraine before, seeking medical advice is essential. Knowing when to seek emergency care can make all the difference in these situations.

Shortness of Breath

Experiencing shortness of breath is a sure sign of when to seek emergency care. This issue can often signify a much more serious underlying condition and needs to be treated immediately. If you or someone you know starts experiencing shortness of breath, don’t hesitate to seek immediate medical care.

Other common ailments that urgent care centers can provide care for include:

  • Asthma or allergic reactions
  • Animal and insect bites
  • Burns
  • Broken bones
  • Cold, flu, and fever
  • Ear infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Strep throat and bronchitis

Lab Services

Lab services are also available in many urgent care centers. These are an important part of making better diagnoses and helping patients with their medical emergencies. Most of the laboratory services in urgent care facilities are the same as those offered through your doctor or in emergency rooms.

  • STD tests
  • Urinalysis
  • Blood tests
  • Pregnancy tests
  • Strep tests
  • Drug tests and screenings
  • Rapid flu tests
  • PT/INR tests

According to a report by HealthCare Appraisers, the market for urgent care centers is fragmented. Most operators do not have a serious market presence and own fewer than three centers. That means knowing where your local urgent care center is can make all the difference if you need any of these services.