What Constitutes as a Non-Life-Threatening Emergency?

What Constitutes as a Non-Life-Threatening Emergency?

Every year in the United States, nearly 90 million people turn to walk-in doctor visits to handle urgent, but nonemergency medical problems. Walk-in visits offer significant advantages over emergency room care, making them a really good choice for plenty of common — and not-so-common — medical issues.

When it comes to walk-ins, though, plenty of people wonder: When should I opt for a walk-in visit, and when do I need emergency room (ER) treatment? Douglas Shoenberger, MD, Joseph Daday, MD, and the team at Coopersburg Family Practice have the answer.

Urgent care vs. emergency care: How to choose

Here’s a brief look at the difference between urgent care and emergency care:

Urgent care

Urgent care is often a good choice for illnesses or injuries that require prompt medical care but are not severe or life-threatening. Some of the injuries and illness than often fit this description are the following:

Emergency care

Any medical issue that interferes with breathing, causes unconsciousness or seizures, or poses an immediate danger to your health or your life requires emergency care. Some examples of issues that require emergency care include:

Problems like these are real medical emergencies, and you should proceed directly to the nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Benefits of urgent care

If you have a non-emergent medical issue like the ones listed above, a walk-in visit offers a few major advantages over going to the local emergency room. 

Shorter wait times

If you’ve ever been to an ER, you know the waiting time can be long — sometimes hours long. At our practice, your wait time is much shorter, which means you can get treatment — and symptom relief — a lot faster. 

Less exposure to illnesses

Emergency rooms perform a critical service for people with serious illnesses. But, if you’re one of the people sitting in a crowded ER waiting room, you increase your risk of “catching” one of those illnesses yourself. 

Lower cost

Emergency rooms are equipped with high-cost equipment, and the care an ER team provides is extremely costly. With a walk-in visit, it can be far less costly than a visit to an ER, even if you don’t have insurance.

One more benefit: When you use a walk-in clinic for non-emergency medical issues, you free up the emergency room staff and equipment, so they have more time and resources available for dealing with life-threatening issues.

The care you need, when you need it

As a leading urgent care center and family medicine practice in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, Coopersburg Family Practice is uniquely positioned to provide patient-centered care for every member of your family. 

If you have a medical need that requires prompt, compassionate care, stop by our practice for a walk-in visit. For regular visits, call 610-282-1170 to book an appointment with Coopersburg Family Practice.

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