You have probably called a doctor’s office and heard the pre-recorded statement, “If this is an emergency, please hang up and call 911.” But what constitutes an urgent care situation versus calling 911? Here are a few guidelines to follow:
Unbearable pain: Any pain that does not subside, or increases, despite attempts to relieve it, constitutes an urgent concern and should be discussed with the doctor. Pain that has no clear cause and makes it difficult to complete your daily routine is also a critical issue. If the pain is sudden and severe, disabling you completely, call 911.
Fever: Fevers are a natural way for your body to fight infection, which means that not every fever is an urgent matter. However, too high a fever can be a problem, particularly for infants and the elderly. If the fever has exceeded 104 degrees, continues to rise, or does not lower despite treatment, you should consider urgent care. If your fever spikes and you are incapacitated or delirious, call 911.
Breathing: Respiratory illnesses are often uncomfortable and can cause strained breathing. If your breathing reaches the point where you are unable to catch your breath, you must seek immediate help at Dr. Cruz’s urgent care clinic. If you are gasping and losing oxygen, call 911.
Chest pain: Chest pain can be gas or heartburn, or even something as simple as strained muscles. It can also be a heart attack. If the chest pain is mild to moderate and persists over an extended period without any apparent cause, you should consider going to urgent care. If the chest pain is extreme or is accompanied by any other symptoms, such as shortness of breath or dizziness, call 911.
Excessive bleeding and broken bones: Call 911.
Outside of the conditions listed above, Dr. Cruz routinely treats the following at his urgent care clinic:
While Dr. Cruz welcomes walk-ins to his urgent care clinic, it is also a good idea to phone ahead and make a same-day appointment.