The Right Level of Care at the Right Time
EvergreenHealth's tips for knowing when to seek urgent or emergency care
We've all been there. You're cutting vegetables for dinner and accidentally nick the tip of your finger. Or your son wakes up with a 102-degree fever and a pain on his right side.
You know it's important to seek medical care for you and your family, but with a range of choices and levels of care – from same-day primary care appointments to after-hours urgent care or a trip to the emergency department — it can be challenging to decide which option is most appropriate, especially in the heat of the moment. Here are some quick tips to reference this cold and flu season and beyond.
Head to the emergency department or call 911 if someone is experiencing:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Signs of stroke
- Head injuries or trauma
- Severe bleeding
- Loss of vision
- Severe burns
- Broken bones
Urgent care is the best option if someone is experiencing:
- Allergies or mild asthma
- Sore throat
- Significant cold and flu symptoms
- Insect and minor animal bite
- First-degree burn
- Strains and sprains
Could it be COVID-19?
The symptoms associated with COVID-19 are wide ranging and they can be mild or severe. If you're sick and have any of the following symptoms, call your primary care provider. They'll provide instructions for safely getting tested, along with next steps for treatment.
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Still unsure which level of care is right for you and your family?
EvergreenHealth's free Nurse Navigator & Healthline offers the community 24/7 access to nurse triage and consulting services. Registered nurses offer home care information and can help you decide if you need to seek urgent care or emergency care.
Call (425) 899-3000 and press 2 at the prompt, day or night.