Emergency Room Or Urgent Care?

Is this an Emergency?

ER visits are necessary when a patient has a life-threatening medical condition. At Hurley Medical Center, those conditions are treated first, before less serious cases. Patients in our ER are triaged, which means treatment does not happen on a first come, first served basis. Instead each individual injury or illness is assessed for its degree of urgency, and the most critical cases are given priority. If you come to the emergency room with a minor illnesses, your wait time can average 2-4 hours, sometimes longer.

Your physician is the best judge of when to go to the ER, but it is not always possible to call your primary care physician to describe your symptoms. Being familiar with the signs of serious illness can ensure that you end up in the right place to get the care you need as quickly as possible.

Should I Drive or Call an Ambulance?

Trust your instincts and remember, it is better to be safe than sorry. For certain medical emergencies such as a heart attack or stroke, calling 911 is always the right decision. This enables paramedics to begin life-saving treatment in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Below are some guidelines to help you decide between Urgent Care and the ER.

Go to the ER for:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Concussion symptoms or confusion after a head injury
  • Signs of heart attack - including chest pain, nausea, heartburn, lightheadedness or dizziness, sweating, shortness of breath and/or a squeezing sensation in your chest that spreads to your neck, jaw or back
  • Signs of a stroke - including sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body; sudden dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye; inability to talk or trouble talking or understanding speech; sudden, severe headaches with no known cause
  • Broken bones, especially when they poke through the skin
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Uncontrollable bleeding (continues after 10 minutes of direct pressure)
  • Sudden, severe pain
  • Poisoning – Poison Control (1-800-222-1222) connects you with experts qualified to walk you through immediate treatment that could save your life. Contact them first in case you’re dealing with a poison that should be vomited ASAP or diluted with water, then head to the ER or wherever they direct you.
  • A severe reaction to an insect bite or sting, or to a medication, especially if you’re - struggling to breathe
  • A major injury, such as head trauma
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or others

Why Choose Hurley’s Emergency Room?

  • Only Level 1 Trauma Center in the area
  • Critical cases are seen immediately
  • Fast-track immediate rooming policy for patients 65 and older
  • Area’s only Children’s ER
  • Child and Family Specialists on-site to help children during emergency situations
  • Primary Stroke Center, enabling quick treatment of strokes to prevent further damage to the brain
  • Direct access to cath labs allowing the fast treatment of heart attacks to restore the blood flow to the heart and minimize or prevent damage
  • CT scanner and digital radiography rooms
  • Connected to MyChart ensuring that your ER doc has instant access to your medical files

Is this a Non-life threatening “Urgency”?

Let’s say your illness or injury isn’t life-threatening, but you’re still in pain and it is something that needs to be taken care of. Hurley’s network of urgent care locations offer high-quality, affordable care for urgent but non-life threatening conditions. With expert staff that specializes in minor emergencies, any of Hurley’s five urgent cares can provide the prompt treatment you need to feel better and, in some cases, keep minor medical conditions from becoming life-threatening.

Benefits of Urgent Care

  • Wait times of less than 30 minutes
  • $25 - $50 average co-pay
  • Many locations all over Genesee County

Go to Urgent Care for:

  • Small cuts requiring sutures
  • Fever less than 101℉
  • Sore throat
  • Cough or cold symptoms
  • Moderate flu symptoms
  • Nausea or vomiting without pain
  • Earache
  • Sinus infections
  • Eye infections
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Minor burns
  • Insect or animal bites with no severe reaction evident

Already Here?

If you are already at the ER, but have realized your symptoms aren’t life-threatening, consider Hurley Urgent Care, our walk-in urgent care clinic, located on the opposite side of the building from the Emergency Department.