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Emergency vs Urgency

Ever wonder where the line between emergency and urgent care falls? Sometimes, it’s hard to tell.

As a general rule of thumb, go to the Emergency Department (ED) when it seems life threatening, like a heart attack or poisoning. Go to the walk-in clinic when it is serious but not life threatening, and needs to be seen today, not tomorrow. Remember, call 911 if the situation seems immediately life threatening.

Emergency or Urgency

Of course, when you have a medical emergency, you need to be seen in the emergency department-immediately.

When to visit the emergency department:

  • Chest pain, especially in people over 35
  • Signs of stroke (FAST: Face dropping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 911)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Convulsions, seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Fever in newborn
  • Deep wounds, heavy bleeding
  • Serious head, neck or back injury
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Alarming pregnancy problems
  • Talk of suicide or homicide
  • Moderate to severe burns
  • Poisoning
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
The CCMH ED is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long. Call 911 in an emergency situation.

From minor mishaps to sore throats, almost every family has pressing medical needs at times. Though they may not be emergencies, they need attention now.

When to visit the Walk-in Clinic:

  • Falls, sprains, and simple fracture
  • Mild asthma attacks and breathing difficulty
  • Wounds with moderate bleeding
  • Fever, flu, upper respiratory tract infection
  • X-rays and lab tests
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Skin rashes and infections
  • Mild eye irritation
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • STD testing
  • Pneumonia
  • Back pain
  • Allergies
  • Dental infection
  • Mild burns
  • Work injuries

The Walk-in Clinic is open 7-days a week. 307-688-WALK (9255)

Monday-Friday from 8 am - 8 pm
Saturday-Sunday from 8 am - 6 pm

Remember: an urgent care center like the Walk-in Clinic & Occupational Health is not a replacement for your primary care provider or the emergency department. Please visit the Find a Doctor section for physician information.

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