When Do You Need Urgent Care?

Urgent care centers are there to put to rest any concerns about emergency health situations. Use them if you need them. Are you a good candidate for urgent care? Here are some criteria to consider:

You've Ruled Out No-Brainers

Things like anxiety, being dehydrated, being hungry, or not getting enough rest can bring about some strange symptoms. Have you waited out your symptoms a little bit and addressed all possible self-fixes?

Your Primary Physician Is Unavailable

Sometimes, you will be surprised at how responsive your primary doctor can be to your need to make an appointment. If you can make an appointment with your regular doctor this week, you might want to save a spot for someone with a pressing need at the urgent care center

You Have a High Fever or Other Worrisome Symptoms

There are certain symptoms where you should seek out an ER or urgent care center immediately. A high fever is one of them. A bad chest cold or infection that got better and then rapidly worsened is another. Any strange skin lesions where you see a ring spreading outward, often with red streaks radiating down your veins, is a sign of an infection that could be fatal. In fact, any signs of a systemic infection, including throat swelling or rashes all over, are an emergency situation, especially if they are accompanied by a high fever. 

You Shouldn't Be Alone

Another time to seek out urgent medical attention is when you shouldn't be left alone before getting medical attention. One example is if you have fainted and you don't know the cause. There is a risk that you could faint again, and you might hit your head. If no one can sit with you, do go and seek out immediate care. 

You Have Been Vomiting for More than 24 Hours

Continuous vomiting is a situation that can cause severe dehydration, and, thus, is worthy of immediate medical attention. 

In the end, if you feel like you need to go to urgent care to put your mind at rest, and you can afford to go, then go. It's better to be rapid in treating an illness that turned out to be nothing major, rather than waiting for a general appointment and finding out that you've lost precious time in treating a serious illness. In rare cases, it could save your life. In all cases, it can't hurt to go urgent care.