It’s a question we ask when our bodies tell us that something just isn’t right. Knowing where to go when you need help could save your life, save you time, and/or save you money. Is your condition Emergent (life-threatening) or Urgent (non-life-threatening)?

The most important point is that if your condition is life-threatening, you should immediately call 9-1-1 and go to the emergency room at a hospital. Emergent care conditions generally need help as soon as possible, and time is of the essence. Keep in mind that emergency care is not available at urgent care centers.

If your condition is non-life-threatening, you should most likely go to your primary care physician or an urgent care center, such as Family Urgent Care on Piney Forest Road in Danville. Urgent care centers are generally open from 10 AM to 10 PM. Urgent care conditions can generally wait until the next morning for treatment. Urgent care is available at the emergency room, but the service comes at a premium.

Whether you are paying insurance co-pay or paying out of pocket, the emergency room is going to be more expensive than an urgent care facility. Danville Regional’s Emergency Room accepts all patients regardless of the ability to pay.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that over 136 million Americans visit emergency rooms, each year, for various ailments ranging from life-threatening to the common cold. A study in the Emergency Medical Journal (EMJ) to determine why patients, with minor or moderate conditions, visit emergency rooms yielded telling results. Via a questionnaire patients stated a belief that the emergency room was the only provider, at the time, to meet their concerns. EMJ concluded that although there are alternatives for non-life-threatening ailments, patients will continue to visit the emergency room for minor conditions, which can often create a bottleneck in the delivery of emergent care. Determining if you need emergent care or urgent care can help both systems to perform more efficiently and effectively.

In Case of Emergency, Dial 9-1-1

Ambulance assistance is critical in life-threatening situations. Paramedics can administer treatment en route to the hospital and alert staff to have equipment and a room ready for when the patient arrives. This is crucial for someone suffering from a possible heart attack.

Do not risk driving to the hospital if you or your loved one seeks emergency treatment.

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