When to Call 911 vs. Going to an Urgent Care Facility in Cape May County, NJ
As the leading urgent care provider in Cape May County, NJ, Cape Regional Urgent Care often receives questions about whether a patient should visit our facility or call 911 instead. Although our center is equipped to address many common minor or moderate injuries and illnesses, there are instances when calling emergency responders is the better course of action.
In short, you should call 911 if someone is experiencing an issue that threatens his or her life or could lead to loss of limbs or organs. Such conditions include readily apparent issues like severe bleeding, problems breathing, severe burns, or injuries to the head, neck, or eyes. There are also serious conditions that could be less evident, even to the person experiencing them, including heart attacks and strokes. In any of these situations, make the call to 911 so the patient can receive appropriate medical care in the fastest way possible.
Signs that You Should Call 911
Sometimes, heart attacks and strokes can be difficult to notice, but waiting to make a 911 call can mean the loss of heart or brain function.
Call emergency responders if you notice the signs of a heart attack, such as:
- Chest pain – This discomfort can manifest as pain, but it could also feel like squeezing, fullness, or dull pressure, and it may radiate to other areas of the body.
- Nausea or vomiting – This symptom occurs more frequently in women who are experiencing heart attacks than in men.
- Shortness of breath – This issue may accompany chest pain or happen on its own.
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting – These symptoms appear more frequently in women experiencing heart attacks than in men, and they may coincide with chest discomfort or without additional symptoms.
You should also call 911 if you notice signs of a stroke. These symptoms are more easily remembered using the acronym FAST. It stands for:
- Face – During a stroke, the face often droops on one side, or numbness occurs. This is most readily noticed when a person smiles unevenly.
- Arms – The person in question may not be able to raise one arm or stop it from drifting downward after being lifted.
- Speech – Slurred speech is another indicator of a stroke, and it can be checked by having the person repeat a simple sentence.
- Time to Call 911 – Any of these symptoms is enough to warrant a call to local emergency responders.
When You Might Choose an Urgent Care Facility
Cape May County, NJ residents have other options available to them when their conditions don’t appear to be as time-sensitive as those listed above. After all, for more routine medical issues, trips to the emergency room can be long and costly, and should only be a last resort reserved for the most severe issues. In most cases, patients can simply turn to their primary care physician for help with less serious conditions and injuries, but when a primary care physician is unavailable, Cape Regional Urgent Care is here to help.
If you or a loved one needs prompt medical care for minor or moderate injuries or conditions, and you’re in Cape May County, NJ, contact Cape Regional Urgent Care today. We have the qualified physicians, the friendly staff, and the proper equipment to aid you on a walk-in basis.