Emergency or Not?

Using an emergency for a non-emergency condition means you will likely have a longer wait while others who are more serious are treated. For serious conditions, 9-1-1 should be called, so evaluation and care can begin immediately. Those who think they may be experiencing a serious condition should always call 9-1-1 and not attempt to drive themselves to the emergency room.

Evaluating Emergencies

Emergency Conditions

  • Heart attack/Chest pain
  • Stroke
  • Serious head injury
  • Appendicitis
  • Compound fracture
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Diabetic coma/reaction
  • Extreme difficulty breathing
  • Unresponsiveness
  • High fever
  • Multiple/severe insect stings
  • Hives (swelling of eyes, throat, etc.)
  • Poisoning
  • Kidney Stones
  • Respiratory Failure
  • Kidney Failure
  • Heart Failure
  • Changes in level of consciousness
  • Pneumonia
  • Seizure
  • Knife or gunshot wounds
  • Acute asthma
  • Drug overdose
  • Complications of pregnancy
  • Electrical injury
  • Drowning
  • Choking
  • Severe Burn
  • Sudden loss or change of vision
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Attempted suicide
  • Diving injuries
  • Severe pain

Non-Emergency Conditions

  • Cold
  • Diarrhea (depending on severity)
  • Earache
  • Eye Irritation
  • Sore Throat
  • Mild asthma
  • Moderate vomiting or diarrhea
  • Headache  (depending on presentation)
  • Cough
  • Low/moderate fever
  • Flu
  • Nasal allergy
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Skin rash or infection
  • Minor cut
  • Muscle sprains & strains
  • Sneeze
  • Cuts requiring on a few stitches

Anyone who arrives at urgent care with a condition that the doctor determines to be severe will be referred to the hospital emergency department for treatment.

Keep in mind that the out-of-pocket payment for emergency service is also much more than care for a minor illness or accident in a Quick Care Urgent Care Center or in your doctor’s office.