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Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room - Key Differences

You wake up one morning and realize that the runny nose you’ve been ignoring for a few days has gotten worse. Now you have a fever and a cough, probably the flu. What should you do? Do you go to the emergency room or head for the nearest urgent care?

This is a question that many people find themselves facing: what is the difference between urgent care and the ER? BSA CareXpress Urgent Care is here to explain when you should visit us and when you should head to the emergency room.




Emergency Room

The ER is open anytime to treat complex and critical medical needs such as heart attacks, strokes, or traumatic injuries. Other symptoms that require immediate medical attention that the ER provides are:

  • Chest pain or difficulty breathing

  • Slurred speech/difficulty understanding speech

  • Serious burns

  • Broken bones and dislocated joints

  • Seizures

  • Severe cold/flu symptoms

  • Severe cuts that require stitches

  • Head or eye injuries

  • Severe heart palpitations


Urgent Care

If you are less seriously sick or injured and your primary care is not available for an appointment then your local urgent care is your best option. Go to your local urgent care when you have symptoms such as:

  • Fever without a rash

  • Sprains and strains

  • Small cuts that require stitches

  • Sore throat

  • Broken bones

  • Moderate flu-like symptoms


Stay aware of your symptoms and know when to call 911. Head to the ER when life or limb are at risk. When you need fast treatment for more minor illnesses and injuries, BSA CareXpress Urgent Care is here to help. Our many CareXpress locations in Amarillo and Canyon have extended hours in the evening and the weekends, so we can give you the care you need past usual doctors’ office hours. We offer immunizations and other tests as well as our urgent care services. When you need care past our clinic hours you can make an appointment for CareXpress Anywhere, a virtual clinic that you can access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When you need urgent care our practitioners at BSA CareXpress are here to give you the care you need quickly and affordably. Most importantly, stay aware of your symptoms, and seek the medical care you need at the proper healthcare facility.



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