It's Only a Flesh Wound! When to Go to the ER vs a Walk-In Clinic


In 2010, Americans visited emergency departments at local hospitals on 129,800,000 occasions. Of these, only 13.3% resulted in hospital admissions. Obviously, life-threatening injuries and illnesses require emergent care, but the cost of emergency room visits makes it much more sensible, in most cases, to seek treatment at an urgent-care or walk-in clinic facility.

Non-Emergent Conditions - Rub Some Dirt On It!

Many common injuries do not need the specialized (and expensive) treatment available in emergency departments. Some rules of thumb for injuries: 

1. Sprains and strains do not require the emergency room. Have your family physician check for tendon, ligament, or bone damage, and then follow the doctor's advice to ice, elevate, and rest. If there is damage requiring surgery, or a hospital stay, your doctor will so advise.

2. Bruises, black eyes, aching backs, and simple cuts can be treated at home or in a normal doctor's office. For lacerations, if you can get the wound to stop bleeding and hold together, you can just clean, bandage, and keep going. For wounds that continue to bleed, or that do not cleave together, get stitches at your convenient care office.

3. Colds and flus do not need the emergency room. The only exceptions would be extreme dehydration as a result of the illness, uncontrollable fevers, especially in infants, or extreme lethargy.

Emergent Conditions - Call the Ambulance!

When life-threatening illnesses or injuries arise, call for emergency medical treatment. According to hospital staff, some situations that could prompt this are:

1. Gunshot wounds or deep knife wounds, and uncontrollable bleeding. In any of these situations, death is at the door, and even if the wound seems minor, infection is on its way.

2. Difficulty breathing (not asthma) combined with chest pain lasting more than 2 minutes (symptoms of heart attack). Because heart muscle damage happens quickly and is irreversible, seek treatment immediately, even if the symptoms seem to lessen.

3. Loss of consciousness, seizures, convulsions, or signs of stroke (confusion, slurred speech, loss of vision or strength, numbness).

4. Compound fractures (when bones poke through the skin), moderate to severe burns, or serious head, neck, or back injuries.

5. Abdominal pain. It could be gas, or it could be an obstructed bowel or appendicitis. Only a doctor can verify.

6. Pregnancy-related issues.

7. Self-harm ideation.

By following these simple rules of thumb, you will know what kind of medical care is needed in your particular circumstance. For more information about what sort of things a clinic can help with, contact a walk in clinic South Tampa residents visit regularly.


27 January 2015

why is an optometrist visit necessary?

When was the last time you went to an optometrist? If you are like most people, you only go when your glasses break or you run out of contact lenses. Very few people actually follow the guidelines of having their eyes checked each year. Not sure why it is necessary to visit your optometrist each year? You can learn all about the different exams and tests that your optometrist runs and why they are done. Knowing what can go wrong with your eyes and what can be done if the ailments are detected early could help to encourage you to get to the optometrist more often.