Reduce confusion about where to go for medical care

Sparrow Eaton Hospital often hears confusion from patients about the best place to go for certain symptoms and conditions. The decision whether to visit the family physician, the local urgent care or head to the emergency room can be confusing. The best way to decide where to get needed medical attention is to ask yourself, “What would my doctor tell me to do?”
Depending on the urgency of the situation, it may be best to call the doctor’s office and ask for a recommendation. If you don’t have a primary care physician or it is after office hours, consider the guidelines below when determining where to go for help.
An urgent care can see patients more quickly and it is equipped to deal with serious needs like minor lacerations, gastroenteritis and migraines. There are certain symptoms, however, where it may be imperative to head straight to the emergency department, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, prolonged vomiting and severe pain (level 8 to 10) of any kind.
Urgent cares provide service quickly for minor illness and injury, such as:
• Allergies
• Cough or congestion
• Ear or eye infections
• Fever, colds, flu symptoms, sore throat and sinus pain
• Frequent or painful urination
• Minor allergic reactions and asthma attacks
• Minor cuts that may need stitches
• Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
• Pink eye
• Sprains, strains or scrapes
The following conditions or symptoms require treatment in an emergency department:
• Abdominal pain – moderate or severe
• Chest pain
• Difficulty breathing
• Infants younger than 4 months of age
• High blood pressure
• Loss of consciousness
• Numbness in face, arms or legs
• Pregnancy bleeding or complications
• Seizures
• Seniors older than 70 years presenting with confusion
Sparrow Eaton Hospital has been the community’s choice for health care for more than 80 years, and is committed to working together in health to provide quality care and enhance the vitality of the community