The difference between urgent care and the emergency room - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

The difference between urgent care and the emergency room

AKRON, Ohio -

People don't get to plan when they get sick or injured. Most illnesses and accidents happen out of the blue. And when they do occur and the doctor's office is closed, people have a choice between urgent care and the emergency department.

"We've named it an emergency department because it is meant to come when your child has an emergency, but that can vary.  People have a difference of an opinion or what is a true emergency," said Dr. Laura Pollauf with Akron Children's Hospital. 

Akron Children's Dr. Laura Pollauf says patients should rely on emergency departments when their conditions are life threatening.  Symptoms could difficulty breathing, a change in color, seizures, an altered mental status, serious trauma or head injuries. She says urgent care facilities can assist in less pressing health issues.

"Things such as ear infections, sore throats, maybe minor asthma symptoms, coughs, colds, things that they would possibly concerned are worsening and they don't feel comfortable waiting to be see by their doctor in the morning, urgent care is a great opportunity," said Dr. Pollauf.

Dr. Pollauf says urgent care facilities and emergency departments should not replace the relationship patients have with their primary care physicians, as they can coordinate care after patients are discharged.

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