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Choosing Between Primary, Urgent, or Emergency Care

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Urgent care, primary care, and the emergency room treat different symptoms, but deciding where to go can be confusing especially if you are in a hurry to see a medical professional.

Choosing the right location based on your needs is important to both your immediate health as well as the longer-term management of ongoing medical ailments. It may also save you time and money. Below, we’re breaking down the different conditions which are best treated at each type of location.

Urgent care provides immediate medical attention for common ailments or illnesses​. Things that can be quickly treated at your nearest urgent care include:

  • Ear infections
  • Fever or flu-like symptoms
  • Small cuts that might require stitches
  • Abscesses (inflamed painful lumps filled with pus)
  • Sprains, simple fractures, or broken bones (i.e. fingers and toes)
  • Non-life-threatening allergic reactions
  • Minor burns
  • Lacerations
  • Dehydration
  • Rashes and other skin irritations
  • Sunburns and heat ailments
  • Mild to moderate asthma
  • Coughs, colds, and sore throats
  • Mild to moderate headaches
  • Urinary pains
  • Select immunizations

Primary care provides comprehensive and continuous care, including annual wellness exams and chronic disease management. Visit your primary care physician for:

  • Annual checkups
  • Immunizations
  • Chronic disease management including:
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • High blood sugar
  • Nonlife-threatening allergic reactions
  • Minor burns or injuries
  • Mild asthma
  • Mild to moderate stomach aches
  • Back pain
  • Mild to moderate chest pain
  • Headaches

Emergency care provides treatment for severe and life-threatening conditions. This includes:

  • Severe bleeding
  • Severe chest pain
  • Severe asthma attack/difficulty breathing
  • Severe head trauma
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Sudden vision loss or impairment
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Severe dehydration

Count on convenient urgent care when you need it. Find an Ochsner location near you.

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