When to choose an ER or urgent care facility

Should I go to the emergency room or urgent care?

Emergency Rooms:

  1. Treat severe and life-threatening conditions
  2. Hospital emergency rooms have specially trained staff that can recognize, diagnose and make recommendations on a wide variety of medical issues
  3. Emergency rooms are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Urgent Care Centers:

  1. Focus on diagnosing and treating non-life-threatening conditions Offer quality care on a walk-in basis
  2. Have extended evening and weekend hours
  3. Typically provide more complex services than a doctor's office

What are some common reasons to visit an emergency room?

You may choose an emergency room if you're having:

  • Chest pain
  • Sudden or severe pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Stroke
  • Severe bleeding
  • A head injury
  • Other major trauma

What are some common reasons to visit an urgent care center?

You may choose an urgent care center if you have:

  • A sprained ankle
  • Ear infections
  • Fever or flu-like symptoms
  • Allergic reactions
  • Minor burns or injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Coughs, colds, sore throats
  • Animal bites

Source: Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan