Understanding the place to go when you will have a well being scare is important to getting the care you want, if you want it. Selecting the best place to go will even prevent money and time.
That’s why I used to be stunned not too long ago to be taught that almost all visits to the Emergency Room (ER) are usually not, the truth is, emergencies. In line with CBS Information, the commonest kind of go to to the ER is one among reasonable severity. (Suppose having a extreme cough or a fever greater than 100.5 levels Fahrenheit.) In North Carolina, any such go to prices $1,589 on common.1
Which means, not solely are most visits to the ER pointless – they’re additionally very costly.
So, why are so many people heading to the ER? There are loads of causes. Maybe it’s after 5pm and the physician’s workplace is closed. Or the affected person lives in a rural space that suffers from a scarcity of main care physicians. Or it looks like the quickest option to obtain care. (It’s not, by the best way. Sufferers in North Carolina can spend as much as 5 hours within the emergency room earlier than being despatched residence!)2
After which, in fact, there’s confusion round what classifies as a well being emergency, when it’s acceptable to make use of the ER, and the place to go in case your medical want is not an emergency. On this article, we’ll talk about a couple of care choices – a lot of that are open past enterprise hours – to remember throughout your subsequent well being scare.
Bear in mind, should you’re undecided the place to go, Blue Cross and Blue Defend of North Carolina members can at all times use our 24/7 nurse line, Well being Line Blue, for a second opinion. There isn’t any out-of-pocket price for calling Well being Line Blue.
If you’re a Wholesome Blue member, you even have entry to a 24/7 nursing line (however at a unique cellphone quantity). Wholesome Blue’s nurse line allows you to discuss with a registered nurse at any time when you will have well being questions or want medical recommendation. Study extra about the place to get the care you want in case you are a Wholesome Blue member.
What’s as a Well being Emergency, Anyway?
Many occasions we combine up “urgency” and “emergency” – that means, if we predict there’s an pressing purpose to move to the doc, it looks like an emergency. And so, earlier than we even think about various choices, we could discover ourselves ready within the ER.
This is the reason it’s essential to familiarize ourselves with the medical circumstances that classify as well being emergencies earlier than we now have a well being scare. Right here’s a listing of life-threatening emergencies that qualify for a visit to the ER:
- Lack of consciousness, together with fainting
- Sudden lack of imaginative and prescient, numbness, or issue talking
- Extreme hassle respiration
- Extreme stomach ache
- Excessive fever with stiff neck, psychological confusion or issue respiration
- Coughing up or vomiting blood
- Head trauma
- Seizures, convulsions
- Main damaged bones
A straightforward option to bear in mind when to go to the ER? If the well being scare is life-threatening, it’s time to go to the ER.
The place to Go When It’s Not Life or Demise
A damaged toe. A gentle bronchial asthma assault. A sprained ankle.
The entire above are definitely trigger for instant concern. However fortunately, these and lots of different pressing circumstances are thought of minor to reasonable when it comes to severity – which suggests it’s attainable to hunt care at your main care doctor or at an pressing care middle. There are essential variations between the 2, which we’ll talk about under.
Minor Well being Points: Major Care Doctor (AKA your physician’s workplace)
There are a lot of causes to go to your main care doctor if you expertise a well being scare. First, and most significantly, she or he is aware of your private and household medical historical past. As well as, some docs provide same-day appointments for pressing conditions, and the associated fee will typically be decrease than going to pressing care or the ER. Beneath are the well being circumstances that your physician might be able to deal with at his or her workplace.
- Sore or strep throat
- Urinary tract and bladder infections
- Earaches and ear infections
- Minor fevers
- Cough, colds and flu
- Nasal congestion
- Allergy signs
- Pores and skin points, together with rashes, ringworm and rooster pox
- Pink eye
- Head lice
- Insect bites
- Minor burns, cuts and scrapes
- Sprains and strains
Whereas this checklist doesn’t cowl every little thing, it’s a superb start line for deciding the place to go when you’re experiencing a minor well being situation.
Reasonable Well being Points: Pressing Care
Pressing care facilities have grown in recognition over the previous few years as a result of they provide sufferers instant, handy medical care. This implies there’s no appointment needed – you may stroll proper in. Most pressing care facilities additionally provide same-day appointments – so if you wish to keep away from spending further time within the ready room, it is a nice choice. They’re additionally open outdoors of typical enterprise hours (normally, from 8am-8pm, though hours fluctuate by location).
The common price in your go to will typically be about one-tenth of a visit to the ER.3
Beneath, you’ll discover the sorts of well being points that pressing care facilities deal with. (It’s essential to notice that pressing care facilities additionally deal with the entire minor well being points talked about above, as nicely.)
- Extreme again ache
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Minor damaged bones (toe, foot, finger)
- Bronchial asthma assaults (delicate to reasonable)
- Extreme cough
- Eye irritation
- Minor reactions to medicines (itchiness, pores and skin rash, hives)
- Animal bites
- Wounds requiring stitches
North Carolina now has pressing well being facilities in almost each city. Yow will discover an pressing care middle close to you by looking right here.
When you’re nonetheless uncertain of the place to go for a given medical situation or an sudden well being scare, our members can at all times use our 24/7 nurse line, Well being Line Blue, for recommendation. An important takeaway is that you’ve got choices relating to your well being care – and it can save you money and time by realizing the place to go.