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Emergency Room or GVHC Urgent Care?

Hospital ER or Golden Valley Health Centers URGENT Care – What is best for your condition?

Where should you go when you need medical attention? It’s a common question when people are trying to decide if their chest pain or serious cut warrants a visit to the Emergency Room (ER) or to one of our Urgent Care Centers.

The bottom line is, if your ailment is life-threatening, then you need to get to the ER as soon as possible. Heart attacks, strokes or serious traumatic injuries require urgent treatment in a fully-equipped hospital environment.

Illnesses or injuries which don’t appear to be life-threatening but cannot wait until the following day, like a bad cough or cold, should be treated at Urgent Care. Our urgent care clinics are open for walk-in patients.

These conditions are an emergency – go to the Hospital ER

An “emergency” is any sort of illness or injury that may lead to permanent impairment or loss of life. Should the condition appear to be life-threatening, you need to dial 911 immediately. Paramedics may need to perform life-saving treatment in the time it takes to get from your current position to the hospital.

The following conditions are examples of those that require immediate emergency treatment. Note that there may be other conditions not listed here that are still considered to be an emergency!

  • Burns of moderate to severe intensity
  • Compound fractures – This is any broken bone protruding through skin
  • Convulsions, seizures or loss of consciousness
  • Deep wounds, such as from a knife, gunshot or accident
  • Difficulty breathing, such as a from a severe asthma attack, illness or anaphylaxis
  • Fever in babies that are less than three months old
  • Heavy, uncontrollable bleeding
  • Impaled objects
  • Poisoning of any sort
  • Pregnancy-related issues such as abdominal pain, signs of miscarriage or pre-term labor
  • Serious head, neck or back injuries
  • Severe chest pain, or other heart attack symptoms
  • Stroke symptoms
  • Suicidal or homicidal thoughts and feelings

These conditions can be treated at any of our GVHC URGENT Care Centers

Our GVHC Urgent Care is your destination for medical conditions that aren’t considered to be an emergency but do require urgent attention. In general, these are conditions which should be treated within 24 hours. If you’re not sure whether the condition you are experiencing falls into this category, you can call our providers.

  • Accidents and falls
  • Animal bites that break the skin or show signs of infection, or any bite from a wild or stray animal
  • Mild to moderate breathing difficulties (such as those due to asthma).
  • Eye irritation and redness
  • Fever that has been persistent or high
  • Especially if you have difficulty breathing
  • Minor broken bones, such as fractures in fingers or toes
  • Severe cough and/or sore throat
  • Skin rashes or infections
  • Sprained or strained limbs. This is especially if you’re experiencing mild pain or swelling, or an injury that doesn’t improve after a few days
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Prolonged vomiting or diarrhea


Our GVHC Urgent Care is available for conditions that you’d normally be comfortable having treated by your provider, but you need treated quicker than you can get an appointment. Our urgent care centers provide service to walk-in patients and after-hours when your provider is unavailable.

The ER is for emergencies that threaten life or limb. It is not a stand-in for your regular provider as it is a place for rapid or advanced care of serious conditions. You can potentially save yourself a large medical care bill by going to Urgent Care rather than the ER for non-emergency treatment.

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