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When you should go to the doctor vs. the emergency room

When it comes to being sick, it can be hard to know where to go to find relief fast. For some people, their conditions can mean a trip to the emergency room. For others, their illnesses can “wait” until you can get in to see your primary care provider.

Woman sick with a head cold

How do you know where to draw the line? Which conditions should be seen by a primary care doctor, and what types of illnesses should be seen by an ER provider?

To help you determine whether you should go to the doctor or the ER, the care team at Logansport Memorial Hospital has put together a list.

Make an appointment with your provider

The following list includes some of the types of conditions that can and should be seen by a provider. While the list isn’t comprehensive, it should help to give you an idea of which types of non-emergency situations can be handled by your primary care physician.

  • FeverDoctor helping a patient with a cough
  • Ear pain
  • Sinus trouble and coughing
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Severe sore throat
  • Mild asthma
  • Flu
  • Minor injuries and illnesses
  • Sexually transmitted diseases and urinary tract disorders

If you are suffering from anything on this list, make an appointment with your provider. If you are Iooking for fast relief for a non-emergency situation? Express Medical Center is available for those times when your primary care provider is unavailable or your doctor’s office is closed.

When you should go to the emergency room

The emergency room is for life-threatening conditions or severe injuries that require immediate medical attention, including:

  • Suspected seizures, strokesPatient being rushed to the emergency room on a gurney
  • Suspected heart attacks
  • Attempted suicides
  • Chest, abdominal, and head pains
  • Very high fevers
  • Severe cuts, burns, and broken bones

If you are unsure of whether or not to see a doctor or go to the ER, think of the severity of your situation or refer to the provided list. For most illnesses or conditions, a trip to the Express Medical Center or appointment with your primary care provider works best.

In emergency situations, call 9-1-1 or get to the nearest emergency room immediately.

Walk in and feel better at Express Medical Center

Express Medical Center offers treatment for minor illnesses or injuries, as well as physicals, vaccinations, and on-site lab services with your examination.

Our dedicated team of providers is there for you during extended hours, including nights, weekends, and even some holidays, providing convenient care during life’s inconvenient moments.

No appointments are necessary to get care from the Express Medical Center team. Learn more about the center »


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TOPICS: Family medicine, Health
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