Making efforts to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle should keep you out of any health troubles, but accidents can be unavoidable and health conditions can be unpredictable. But, if you feel unwell or injure yourself, do you need to go to the ER? Where to go to see a medical professional is a dilemma that many people face on a daily basis. To help you make the best choices, we’ve listed some common situations where an ER visit isn’t usually necessary.
In this article, you’ll learn and discover if you need to go to ER? Here are 6 times it can be avoided.
#1. Cuts and Wounds:
Picture this: you’re preparing dinner and accidentally slice your finger with the knife. The cut is quite deep, but you’re able to slow the bleeding by applying pressure with sterile gauze. A cut that’s still bleeding after a while, or looks fairly deep, is often enough to send most people to the ER. However, even if you’ve not had a recent tetanus shot, you may still be out of danger. Tetanus shots are usually good for up to ten years. If you need stitches for a wound, it’s best to get medical attention straight away since most doctors will not close most wounds after eight to twelve hours due to a higher risk of infection. Although you’ll be able to get a wound stitched in ER, an alternative option would be to visit a local Urgent Care Center.
#2. Food Poisoning:
You’ve been for a meal at a new restaurant or taken a chance with something that had gone beyond it’s ‘use by’ date in the fridge. The food looked OK, but afterwards, you’ve been feeling nauseous and have vomited a couple of times. So, when to go to Urgent Care vs ER? The good news is that in most cases of food poisoning, you can treat it at home with lots of rest and plenty of water. A visit to an Urgent Care center may be necessary if you have any chronic medical conditions, are taking antibiotics or have just started any new medications or are experiencing severe abdominal cramping or localized pain in the abdomen.
#3. Rashes and Spots:
If you’ve had a rash for a few days that doesn’t appear to be going away, the ER doctor should be able to prescribe you something to treat it. However, an irritating rash doesn’t need to be treated as a matter of emergency. Whether you’re not sure what’s caused it or suspect it to be an allergic reaction, you can get treatment from your doctor, pharmacist, or non-emergency care center.
#4. Sprained Ankle:
A sprained ankle can be a painful injury to deal with, but that doesn’t mean that you need to visit the ER. In fact, since patients are seen in order of injury severity in the ER, going with a sprained ankle could mean that you’re waiting amongst the longest to get medical treatment. Most minor sprains can be treated at home using the right first aid; this consists of rest, ice, compression and elevation of the affected area for around two days. If you think your injury is more serious, visit your primary care doctor or local urgent care center to get an x-ray to assess the damage.
#5. Minor Burns:
Severe, third- and fourth-degree burns are life-threatening conditions which should always be treated as a medical emergency due to the extensive damage that they cause to skin, tissue, muscles, bones, nerves, ligaments, and blood vessels. Minor burns can usually be treated at home with the right first aid, however, you should get medical attention if they’re located in a sensitive area, such as on the feet, face, hands, or genitals. To treat a minor burn at home, begin with a cool water bath of the affected area. Aloe Vera gel or antibiotic cream should be applied to the area before dressing it.
#6. Bee or Wasp Stings:
Wasp, bee or hornet stings can be painful, itchy and swollen. But, the good news is that they don’t always warrant a visit to the ER. Unless you are severely allergic, the majority of insect stings can be easily treated at home. Although wasps and hornets don’t leave a stinger behind, a bee will – so the first step to home first aid is removing it with sterile tweezers. If you’re struggling to remove the stinger, consider visiting your local Urgent Care center as the sooner the stinger is removed, the less severe your symptoms will be. You can use over-the-counter pain relievers and antihistamines to reduce common symptoms such as itching, swelling, and discomfort.
Save yourself time and get the right treatment faster by knowing which conditions don’t need the ER.