Family Health: Urgent vs. emergency care

WHEN A SUDDEN illness or injury strikes, it can be stressful to decide where to seek medical attention. Though your primary-care physician is the best place to start, illness and injuries don’t always occur during office hours or on schedule. It’s important to understand your options for immediate medical care before symptoms strike, as it could save your life.


Urgent-care centers provide treatment for non-limb- or life-threatening conditions that need immediate medical attention. Most, including Owl Now Urgent Care, offer extended hours and on-site diagnostic tests. You can save time and money by heading to an urgent-care facility rather than an emergency room if you’re suffering any of the following conditions: abdominal pain, allergic reaction, sinus or respiratory infection, fever, flu, cough, sore throat, minor animal bite, sprain or strain, or minor burns and lacerations.


Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ERs treat severe, potentially life- and limb-threatening conditions. If you are experiencing any of the following conditions, head directly to an ER: severe bleeding, broken bones, loss of consciousness, symptoms of a heart attack (shortness of breath, chest pain, pain in the left arm), symptoms of a stroke (numbness, slurred speech, severe headache, and weakness on one side of the face), seizures without a previous diagnosis, head injury, serious burns, or major trauma.

Though you should always seek emergency care when in doubt, urgent-care centers are a viable option for non-life-threatening conditions. Take the time to explore Owl Now Urgent Care and our services today by visiting our website at

This column is sponsored by Owl Now Urgent Care.


column by DR. VLAD ADLER

BIO: Vlad V. Adler, MD is a board-certified pediatrician and clinic director at Owl Now Urgent Care in Lakeland, Florida.

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