Should You Go To The Emergency Room or Urgent Care?
ER vs Urgent Care
Not every illness or injury requires a trip to the Emergency Room (ER). For minor illness or injury, UnityPoint Clinic has nine urgent care and express clinics and in the Greater Des Moines area and our clinics offer online scheduling.
However, certain conditions require a visit to the ER.
Don't hesitate to come to the ER if you or a loved one experiences any of the following:
- Symptoms of a heart attack, including severe chest pain, sweating and shortness of breath.
- Profuse bleeding or blood loss that continues even after direct pressure has been placed on the wound.
- Severe abdominal pain.
- Symptoms of a stroke, including sudden dizziness, weakness, loss of coordination, balance or vision problems.
- High fever and vomiting that continues nonstop for several hours.
- Signs of meningitis: severe headaches, neck/joint pain and stiffness, vomiting, high temperature, sensitivity to light(adults); high-pitched whimpering/crying, lethargy, fussiness, restlessness, high fever, vomiting, cold extremities, refusing food, pale or blotchy skin (babies, small children).
- Seizures lasting longer than five minutes.
- Injuries occurring from an accident or fall - intense back or neck pain, obvious compound fractures and/or dislocations of bones, deep cuts and severe burns.
What Is Urgent Care Used For?
It is best to contact your Primary Care Provider for your health care needs. But because we know health matters don't always occur at the most convenient times, our Urgent Care/Walk-in Clinics are available after hours, weekends and holidays.
UnityPoint Clinic has nine convenient locations throughout the metropolitan area that accept walk-in patients for non-emergency situations every day of the week. Insurance co-payments are usually lower for Urgent Care and Express Care visits than for ER visits, so using a walk-in clinic can save you money in addition to being more convenient. Urgent Care and Express Care Clinics can provide medical treatment for minor illness and injuries such as:
- Sore throats
- Urinary Tract Infections
Urgent Care and Express Clinics do not have ready access to extended patient observation and specialty consultation. Patients who present with life-threatening situations are immediately transferred to an emergency department or referred to the 911 EMS system. If you are having shortness of breath or chest pain, go to the ER.
See all of our UnityPoint Clinic - Express and Urgent Care locations.
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