When to Go to the Emergency Room vs. Immediate Care | Loyola Medicine

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Monday, April 16, 2018

When to Go to the Emergency Room (ER) Vs. Immediate Care

sick child
MAYWOOD, IL – When injury or sickness strikes, it can be hard to know where to go for proper care and treatment and if the situation is urgent enough to call 911.
Loyola Medicine emergency medicine physician Robert Riggs, MD, and family medicine physician Khalilah Babino, DO, answer those questions in this video:
In the simplest of scenarios, if your condition seems serious and you're considering contacting emergency services, call 911 right away or head to your closest emergency department.
"If it seems as if your condition could be life threatening, coming into the emergency department is your best option," Dr. Riggs said.

Some conditions and symptoms that should be brought to the emergency department include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Seizures
  • Deep cuts
  • Serious burns
  • Broken bones that protrude through the skin
  • Stroke symptoms     
However, if your non-life threatening or non-urgent condition requires attention but there's a wait to be seen by your primary care physician or you want another doctor's opinion, immediate care may be for you. "If your condition is something you'd normally address with your primary care physician, an immediate care center can probably help," Dr. Babino said.

A few of the conditions that can most likely be treated at an immediate care center include:

  • Strep throat
  • Pink eye
  • Minor rash
  • Ear or sinus infections
  • Nosebleeds
  • Small cuts
  • Cold and flu symptoms
The emergency department at Loyola Medicine is available 24/7 and is home to experts in emergency medicine. A level 1 trauma center, Loyola Medicine's emergency department features some of the most highly skilled experts in trauma and emergency medicine ready to care for patients in their urgent time of need.

Loyola’s Emergency Department receives some of the region's most critically ill and injured patients. Our emergency medicine services combine advanced treatment and patient monitoring with the expertise of highly trained emergency medicine professionals.Loyola's immediate care locations are open weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm, weekends 8 am to 3 pm and most holidays. No appointment is needed. Loyola Medicine offers immediate care services at the Loyola Center for Health at Burr RidgeLoyola Center for Health at River Forest and Loyola Center for Health at Homer Glen.   

At Loyola’s immediate care locations, you can see a board-certified doctor to treat your acute condition as soon as possible. Care is provided year-round, and the cost is similar to that of an appointment with your primary care physician or at a hospital outpatient department. Our patients benefit from receiving care that is at the forefront of modern medicine.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.