When is a visit to the emergency room appropriate?

Every day, and especially this time of year, individuals encounter an illness or injury and a decision is often made to go to the emergency room and seek treatment. While many times this is the right decision to make, many more times a more appropriate place to seek treatment is at a doctor’s office or clinic.When to go to the emergency room:Go to the emergency room or call 911 if you or a family member is experiencing any of the following symptoms and/or complaints: heart attack, uncontrollable bleeding, severe allergic reaction, stroke, fracture, and difficulty breathing.What if my symptoms are not life-threatening?If you or a family member is hurt or sick, but you believe the condition is not life-threatening, you may want to seek treatment from your primary doctor or from a clinic instead of the emergency room. Besides your physician already knowing you and your health history, you will also avoid common issues encountered at emergency rooms like long waits, crowded waiting rooms, exposure to other illnesses, and higher costs of treatment.Difference in costs:The cost of a visit to the emergency room exceeds the cost of a visit to the physician or clinic. These costs are passed on to the taxpayer and to private insurance participants.Primary care physician or clinic?If you have assessed that the injury or illness is a non-emergency health concern, clinics and primary care physicians are available. Clinics may be a more appropriate treatment facility, especially if you are unable to reach your physician. The type facilities generally treat a wide variety of non-life threatening illnesses and/or injuries like:•Severe vomiting•High fever•Rashes•Earaches•Minor burns•Immunizations•Minor Cuts•Sore Throat•Cough/CongestionGolden Plains Rural Health Clinic and Fritch Medical Clinic are available to assist you. •Golden Plains Rural Health Clinic, 100 South McGee, Borger, TX 79007 (phone 273-5552) – open five days a week, accepting walk-ins every hour on the :45. The clinic also provides primary health care to women who are uninsured. In addition, dental screenings are provided through the clinic to determine assistance with dental needs.•Fritch Medical Center, 700 West Broadway, Fritch, TX 79036 (phone 857-2311)Hours – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – 8:00-4:30 (closed 1-1:30); Tuesday – 10:00-6:30 (closed 2-2:30)