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The Emergency Room or an Urgent Care Facility… Which is the Right Choice?

It’s early in the morning…after normal business hours…during the weekend. And you or a member of the family needs to see a doctor – right now.

Your regular doctor, if you have one, is not readily available.

So what do you do?

Well, if you are like a lot of people, the first thing you think of is to take a trip to your local hospital emergency room.

And while that’s not a bad idea, if you or your family member is not suffering from a life-threatening condition, in many cases an emergency room is not your only option. Many problems, such as most illnesses and minor injuries, can be easily and promptly treated at an urgent care facility.

Urgent care clinics are medical facilities that offer “walk in” service — meaning you don’t need an appointment or an assigned doctor. They are often open earlier in the morning than a doctor’s office, well into the evening and on the weekend.

So when should you choose an emergency room? And, when should you go to urgent care?

When to Choose an Emergency Room…

Conditions that should be evaluated in an Emergency Room are those that might be considered very serious or even life threatening and include:

  • chest pain
  • a suspected stroke or heart attack
  • difficulty breathing
  • severe burns
  • deep cuts or bleeding that won’t stop
  • suspected large bone fractures
  • problems related to pregnancy
  • knife or gunshot wounds
  • coughing or vomiting blood
  • loss of consciousness
  • seizures
  • abdominal pain

When to Choose Urgent Care…

Problems that can be treated in an Urgent Care Center setting are those that require medical attention, but are not life threatening and may include:

  • fever or flu
  • a sore throat
  • skin rashes
  • skin infections
  • sprains, strains and minor injuries
  • minor lacerations
  • eye redness or irritation
  • minor fractures (fingers, toes)
  • urinary tract infections
  • upper respiratory tract infections
  • long-lasting migraines or headaches

Pomona Valley Health Centers currently have two urgent care locations to serve your needs in Chino Hills at our Crossroads office and in Claremont.  At both locations Urgent Care Hours are: 
8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. weekends and most holidays. We also offer Emergency Room care through our affiliation with Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center.

This Health.com article provides additional information on when to chose urgent care.

 

“At PVHC our Urgent Care facilities are equipped to treat most

non-life-threatening problems. They offer you a convenient

and more personal alternative to an emergency room visit for

many healthcare problems.”

Carlos A. Baez, M.D.  Medical Director of Urgent Care

 

 

Antibiotics Are Not For Everything…

“Gee doc, can you give me an antibiotic for that?” It’s a question that many people ask their doctor every time they have a medical appointment – whether it’s for a cold, the flu or a sprained ankle. In the past some doctors have been known to prescribe antibiotics to their patients to keep them happy – whether they are needed to or not.

That can be a problem. Antibiotics are intended for one thing. They help to destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria and ward off infections. That is all they are good for. They are not effective for illnesses like colds or the flu that are caused by viruses.

Furthermore, the over use of antibiotics allow bacteria to build up resistance to them in the body. So, the more an antibiotic gets used, the less effective it becomes overtime, and new ones have to be developed. So in some cases, your doctor might suggest a wait and see period before rushing to offer you antibiotics. In fact, at PVHC we actually think that when your doctor prescribes an antibiotic that you should take the time to ask him or her why they are prescribing it – to ensure that it is really needed.