When to go to the Emergency Department\r\n\r\nSometimes it\u2019s hard to know whether you should go to the Emergency Department or your Primary Care Provider. Many trips to the Emergency Department end up being unnecessary and could easily have been handled at a clinic. Knowing the difference between primary care and emergency care will help you know where to go when the unexpected happens. \r\n\r\nThere are also huge differences in medical charges for primary care and emergency care. A trip to the Emergency Department is going to be a lot more expensive than a trip to your primary care provider. One reason is in the name \u2013 \u201cemergency.\u201d Emergency care requires a fully staffed department with top-of-the-line medical equipment to treat true emergencies like stroke victims and trauma patients. The very nature of emergency care means a higher bill will reach your mailbox.\r\n\r\nPrimary care providers, like the Rural Health Clinic, should be your first contact in getting healthcare for you and your family. Your PCP knows your history and can typically coordinate your in-depth healthcare services with specialists if or when you need one. PCPs often leave time in their schedule for sick visits and may be able to see you the same day for minor illnesses or injuries. In addition to routine physical exams, vaccinations, and health screenings, go to your primary care provider for:\r\n\r\n\u2022 Allergic reaction\r\n\r\n\u2022 Colds, cough, fever, flu\r\n\r\n\u2022 Cuts with contained bleeding\r\n\r\n\u2022 Dehydration\r\n\r\n\u2022 Dizziness\r\n\r\n\u2022 Ear infection\r\n\r\n\u2022 Minor burns\r\n\r\n\u2022 Minor cuts\/lacerations\r\n\r\n\u2022 Nausea\r\n\r\n\u2022 Rash\r\n\r\n\u2022 Sore throat\r\n\r\n\u2022 Sprain or strain\r\n\r\n\u2022 Urinary tract infection\r\n\r\nEmergency care is for serious medical conditions that threaten a person\u2019s life or limb. Urgent care is not emergency care \u2013 know the difference. In case of an emergency, or if you are unsure if you can drive to the nearest emergency room, you should call 9-1-1.\r\n\r\nExamples of conditions to go to the Emergency Department for include:\r\n\r\n\u2022 Bone breaks\r\n\r\n\u2022 Difficulty breathing\r\n\r\n\u2022 Fainting\/unconsciousness\r\n\r\n\u2022 Ingestion of objects or poisons\r\n\r\n\u2022 Major\/significant trauma or injury\r\n\r\n\u2022 Seizures\r\n\r\n\u2022 Severe burns\r\n\r\n\u2022 Severe chest pain\/heart palpitations\r\n\r\n\u2022 Snake or animal bites\r\n\r\n\u2022 Uncontrollable bleeding\/vomiting blood\r\n\r\nA trip to PMH\u2019s Emergency Department will reveal a professional, caring staff whose goal is to get you treated and on your way again as soon as possible. The Emergency Department is fully staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and was designated a Level IV Trauma Center in 2014.