When you or a loved one has an accident or begins to not feel well, your first thought may be to visit one of the many clinics located in New York City. Most across America seem to agree with you, as data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that, on average, almost 50 million visits are made to clinics or urgent care centers every year. However, as we here at Futterman, Sirotkin, and Seinfeld can tell you, such facilities are typically not equipped to handle actual medical emergencies.
The general “rule-of-thumb” regarding urgent care centers is you should go to them for the same issues that could be addressed at your doctor’s office. This may include:
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- Ear infections
- Cold symptoms
- Fever (without accompanying rash)
- Lacerations and sprains
- Minor fractures
Despite being called urgent care centers, these facilities do not have the clinical resources to address life-threatening emergencies. Problems such as chest or abdominal pain, difficulty breathing or head and eye injuries require treatment at a hospital emergency department, as would cases involving infants with a temperature of over 100.4°. Any potential signs of stoke, such as facial droop, blurred vision, difficulty speaking or sudden loss of coordination should also be referred to the ED.
Your hesitancy to go the ED may be understandable, given that such a trip will likely cost more than a clinic visit. The clinical staff at an urgent care center, however, should recognize your symptoms to be beyond their capacity to treat. A failure on their part to notice this or their insistence on trying to treat you there could cause delays in treatment that place you in great danger.
More information on identifying failures to properly diagnose health problems can be found by continuing to explore our site.