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Urgent Care or ER: Summer Injuries Edition

Urgent Care or ER: Summer Injuries Edition

People tend to be most active when the sun is shining. Not only does warm weather make it more comfortable for people to go outside and adventure, but the summer months allow for kids to get out of school and engage in active (or sometimes reckless) behavior. Of course, increased activity leads to an increased risk of injury. And while these injuries don’t always require a trip to the Emergency Room, still often require a medical assessment of some kind. Many types of injuries can be handled by an Urgent Care facility.

Why choose Urgent Care? While Urgent Care isn’t open 24/7, it tends to have much lower copays and lower wait times compared to the ER. Here’s a list of summer ailments and injuries that can be managed with Urgent Care—plus some scenarios when you should head to the ER instead.

Tears and Breaks Accident

Tears and breaks can be handled at Urgent Care:

If you think you’ve broken a bone, you need to be inspected by a doctor as soon as possible. Urgent care has casting equipment, X-ray services, and most equipment needed to handle broken bones of the hand, wrist, ankle, or foot. Urgent care also handles sprains and strains.

When to go to the ER: Bone breaks of the rib, sternum, spine, skull, facial, pelvic, lumbar, and multiple body fractures should be handled at your nearest ER. Additionally, if the bone has protruded the skin or if the patient is unreceptive/unconscious.

Burns and Blisters

Some heat injuries can be handled at Urgent Care:

Whether you stayed too long at the beach or got had an accident during a BBQ, burns can be a painful part of anyone’s summer. Second-degree burns and sunburns can usually be handled at an urgent care facility. Second-degree burns are red, blistered, swollen, and painful.

When to go to the ER: Third or fourth-degree burns or burns that cover more than 8% of the patient’s skin should receive ER attention immediately.

Deep Cuts Accident

Cuts and wounds can be handled at Urgent Care:

Tree branches, gardening tools, beach shells, and many more items run the risk of slicing skin. Urgent care handles non-life-threatening wounds, minor bites, and cuts that need stitches but the edges are straight.

When to go to the ER: If the bleeding will not stop or the injury has cut through a major vein or artery. If the edges are jagged or uneven, or if you can see fat, muscles, or veins through the cut.


Food poisoning can be handled at Urgent Care:

Food poisoning is common in the summer due to food being undercooked or left out in warm conditions. Luckily, symptoms rarely last over 48 hours. Urgent care is a great option for most people suffering from a stomach bug or food poisoning. The wait times and co-pays are much lower than the emergency room.

When to go to the ER: If there is blood in your stool, if your symptoms include severe dehydration, if you are passing out or have trouble swallowing, or if you have a fever over 101 degrees.

Kids Jumping at the trampoline

Some head injuries and concussions can be handled at Urgent Care:

Head injuries are serious. If your child bumps his or her head and is suffering from severe a headache or nausea, get them medical attention as soon as possible. If you or your child have suffered a blow to the head but have not lost consciousness, head to urgent care for an assessment. This is usually a sign of a grade 1 concussion.

When to go to the ER:  Loss of consciousness is always indicative of a grade 3 concussion and should be taken seriously. Additionally, if the injured person is disoriented, confused, or has nausea or vomiting, head to the ER.

The ER is meant for true emergencies, which is why it’s usually staffed 24 hours a day. ER staff handle trauma, surgical procedures, and other life-threatening situations. Ogden Clinic Urgent Care is not open 24 hours per day, but all of our locations have evening and weekend hours to serve your family.

Ogden Clinic Urgent Care features:

  • Nearly all insurance plans accepted
  • Lower copays than the ER
  • Locations throughout Northern Utah
  • Extended weekend and evening hours
  • Walk-in visits and online check-in

If it’s non-life-threatening, Urgent Care could save your family an arm and a leg! View locations and hours here.