Where to Go for Medical Emergencies at Home and Away

Medical emergencies at home can be scary but things can seem much worse when you’re on the go. Most new moms have first-aid kits in their strollers and thermometers at home but it isn’t so easy to know where to turn when you’re faced with more than a scraped knee or low-grade fever, especially on a weekend or during a vacation.

Where to Go for Medical Emergencies at Home and Away

Where to Go for Medical Emergencies at Home and Away

For the easy stuff, a call or visit to a pediatrician is enough but for more severe medical emergencies, urgent care centers and emergency room visits are unavoidable when you’re dealing with kids. Do you and your caregivers know when to visit an urgent care center or head to the ER for a medical emergency?

Lucky for you, today I’m sharing some pointers I picked up from Neal Shipley, Regional Medical Director, Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care. GoHealth Urgent Care operates urgent care centers in the New York, Portland/Vancouver metropolitan areas, the San Francisco Bay Area and now Hartford, Connecticut.

 

Where to Go for Medical Emergencies at Home and Away.

GoHealth Urgent Care operates urgent care centers in the New York, Portland/Vancouver metropolitan areas, the San Francisco Bay Area and now Hartford, Connecticut.

MEDICAL EMERGENCIES: HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS

Hospital Emergency Room (or Emergency Department) visits are scary, expensive and time-consuming but when you gotta go, you gotta go. If the situation is life-threatening – such as severe bleeding, head trauma, seizures, meningitis, breathing difficulties, dehydration, and serious bacterial infections – head directly to an Emergency Room or call an ambulance.

TOP REASONS TO CALL AN AMBULANCE OR GO RIGHT TO THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT:

  • If your child has difficulty breathing or shortness of breath or is turning blue or where the child is wheezing too much to count to ten (or a baby is wheezing too much to drink or nurse)
  • Is having a seizure
  • Your baby is less than 3 months old and has a fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) 
  • Has had a change in mental status, such as suddenly becoming unusually sleepy or difficult to wake, disoriented, or confused
  • If your child has a stiff neck along with a fever and a rash
  • A large cut to the head, chest, or abdomen or where bleeding won’t stop after 5 minutes of direct pressure or especially in younger children who need sedation or behavioral support while the laceration is being repaired
  • Has an electric shock from an outlet or a chewed wire
  • Significant burns, as judged any blister greater than the size of the child’s palm. Any burn with smoke, gas or heated air inhalation needs the ER
  • A child accidentally ingests a poisonous substance or too much medication or a button battery or a magnet; if your teenager seems to be taking illegal drugs and is acutely intoxicated
  • Has had head trauma and was unconscious or is acting confused
  • Severe abdominal pain with fever and is vomiting over and over again
  • Call 911 for an ambulance in severe situations when you need the help of trained medical personnel on the way to the hospital. For example, your child has been in a car accident, has a head or neck injury, has ingested too much medication and is now hard to rouse, or is not breathing or is turning blue. In these cases, dial 911 for an ambulance.
Where to Go for Medical Emergencies at Home and Away. All GoHealth Urgent Care Centers feature onsite x-rays.

Where to Go for Medical Emergencies at Home and Away. All GoHealth Urgent Care Centers feature onsite x-rays.

MEDICAL EMERGENCIES: URGENT CARE VISITS

An urgent care center can be a good option for non-emergencies at night, on weekends and when you area away from home. At these centers, you can typically get X-rays, stitches, and care for minor injuries that aren’t life threatening yet require medical attention on the same day.

TOP REASONS TO GO TO URGENT CARE

  • Upper Respiratory Infections:  Viral upper respiratory infections (involving the throat, nose or trachea)
  • Fever:  Fevers are one of the most common reasons for pediatric urgent care
  • Ear Pain:  Not all cases of ear pain turn out to be an ear infection, so a doctor’s evaluation can help decide if antibiotics are needed
  • Superficial Injuries:  Wound care and prompt treatment can prevent complications like infections or scarring
  • Sprains and Strains:  These become more and more common as kids get older and more active. Sprains are more serious than strains, and they indicate a potential injury to a ligament

Hopefully, you’ll never deal with any of these situations but it is always good to be in the know. Also, remember to take your insurance cards, medications, prescriptions and immunization records along when you travel. In addition, bring contact details for your children’s doctors and specialists.

Lastly, if you’re in the metro NYC area, Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care in Manhattan and Brooklyn are offering walk-in camp physicals for just $50.

What was your scariest medical emergency at home or away?  Tell me below in the comments.

signatureThank you to Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own. If you don’t want to miss a post, subscribe to Globetrotting Mommy for daily updates!

Comments

  1. This is very important – glad you covered this. My first thought is to always head for the ER, but an urgent care could be a better and faster alternative.

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