My twin sister and I spend a lot of time at both emergency rooms at urgent care facilities since the births of her twin grand daughters 11 years ago.Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney suffer from asthma and compromised immune systems since they were both born prematurely. Today, we are going to visit the options modern medicine has made available to us and which will work best for you based on the type of injury.
Emergencies can happen anywhere and, at anytime. Understanding the difference between an emergency room and urgent care provider can help you take action, get treatment and get back to your life faster!
When to Seek Emergency Care in the ER or Call 911-
1. Persistent chest pain radiating to your arm or jaw.
3. Severe heart palpitations
4. Intestinal bleeding
5. Injuries from a fall
6. Difficulty speaking or confusion
7. Fainting or loss of balance
8. Severe abdominal pain
9. Severe flu or cold symptoms
10. Seizure, if not previously diagnosed with epilepsy
11. Bleeding that won’t stop
12. Deep cuts that may require stitches
13. Head or eye injury
14. Loss of vision or consciousness
Never hesitate to call 911 if the situation appears life threatening. Don’t attempt to drive a severely ill or injured person. Emergency medical teams are trained and equipped to transport victims or perform lifesaving techniques while transporting the patient.
Seeking urgent care:
1. Minor burns
2. Mild asthma
3. Fever without rash
5. Sore throat
7. Persistent diarrhea
8. Painful urunation
Urgent care clinics are good options for issues that occur outside standard doctors office hours. Emergency rooms are open 24/7 and equipped to handle serious symptoms and injuries.
A week ago, my father called me to take him to the hospital and didn’t want an ambulance. Disoriented and having difficulty walking on his own- I attempted to convince him to take an ambulance. He waited at Harris Methodist for 23 hours on a room in an overcrowded hospital because patients arriving by ambulance have “first dibs” on hospital beds. I was very concerned that he would suffer a heart attack or stroke while attempting to drive him quickly and safely myself. At no point did I consider taking him to a “minor” emergency clinic because I recognized and realized that he would need advanced medicine to determine the issue that has caused him to “black out.”
On the reverse side of the coin, I fell a month ago while backing up to take a photo of a couple I had just married and lost my balance. Knowing that I had either twisted my ankle or sprained my foot, I went to Parker County Urgent Care for X-rays that showed no fracture. After continued pain when putting any weight on it, I sought out an orthopedic surgeon who took XRays while putting weight on my foot. These XRays showed a fracture of my metatarsal bone that the urgent care XRays did not. Why? Because urgent care took XRays with no weight on my foot. After three weeks in a boot, I’m finally mobile again and the pain that kept me from my normal activities no longer affects me as my foot heals.
Knowing where to go and how to get the help you need is important abd while many urgent care facilities advertise “fast service” it should be noted that hospitals are now competing by getting patients in and out of emergency rooms within 2-3 hours too.
It’s flu season in Texas and many hospitals are crowded this time of the year. If you have symptoms of bronchitis or phnuemonia- go to a hospital.
Wishing everyone good health and healing, I’m off to take my dad to his doctor appointments now after bringing him home a few days ago. Aging parents are a tremendous responsibility for children and since I live closest, my scheduled weddings and events this season will revolve around cooking meals and driving my father to his appointments since he is no longer driving himself.
I plan to visit the Senior Center in our area and find new friends and activities to keep my dad busy while I’m working. If you have an aging parent, I urge you to contact the center for aging in your area and find activities too. My twin and I both volunteer at these centers and the activities are fun for all. Serving hot meals once a day with new friends to break bread with, many senior centers serve hot meals to 30-60 seniors a day.
Our grandmother found many friends at the senior center while taking painting classes and meeting new friends. Prior to her death, she loved visiting the center twice a week and always looked forward to “getting out and about.” Many centers also have transportation available too.