What is Urgent Care and When Should You Use It?

Life-threatening emergencies, such as a heart attack or a serious head injury, require a visit to the Emergency Department (also commonly referred to as the Emergency Room (ER) at hospitals). Urgent Care centers are setup to assist patients with an illness or injury that does not appear to be life –threatening, but also can’t wait until the next day, or for primary care doctor to see them.

For the days and hours that primary care physicians are closed, urgent care centers provide easy access quality healthcare. At Mount Sinai, our attention to detail and commitment to patient care and satisfaction ensure that patients with urgent medical needs receive the best medical expertise days, nights, weekends and most holidays.
When faced with a medical problem that requires immediate care, it is often hard to determine if it is truly an emergency, or if it is an urgent medical issue.

What is Considered an Emergency?

Urgent care is not a substitute for emergency care. In general, an emergency condition is one that can permanently impair or endanger the life of an individual.

Some examples of conditions that need emergency medical care include:

  • Compound fracture (bone protrudes through skin)
  • Convulsions, seizures or loss of consciousness
  • Deep knife wounds or gunshot wounds
  • Fever in newborn (less than 3 months old)
  • Heavy, uncontrollable bleeding
  • Moderate to severe burns
  • Poisoning
  • Pregnancy-related problems
  • Serious head, neck or back injury
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Severe chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • (Signs of) Heart attack (i.e.. chest pain lasting longer than two minutes)
  • (Signs of)Stroke (e.g. loss of vision, sudden numbness, weakness, slurred speech, or confusion)
  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings

What is Considered an Urgent Medical Condition?

Urgent medical conditions are ones that are not considered emergencies but still require care within 24 hours. Some examples of such conditions include:

  • Accidents and falls
  • Bleeding/cuts -- not bleeding a lot but requiring stitches
  • Breathing difficulties (i.e. mild to moderate asthma)
  • Diagnostic services, including X-rays and laboratory tests
  • Eye irritation and redness
  • Fever or flu
  • Minor broken bones and fractures (i.e. fingers, toes)
  • Moderate back problems
  • Severe sore throat or cough
  • Skin rashes and infections
  • Sprains and strains
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting, diarrhea or dehydration

Dial 911 immediately for any Medical Problem that Appears to be Life-Threatening

Proper care will be provided at the closest emergency room (ER). Remember, ER visits are necessary for true emergencies, such as chest pain and severe injuries. Minor injuries and illnesses will be examined by our urgent care physicians. If greater care is needed, our staff will direct patients to the proper healthcare provider, or, if it is a true emergency, we will transfer patients directly to a hospital emergency room for further treatment.


Contact Us

Mount Sinai Doctors Urgent Care Brooklyn Heights
300 Cadman Plaza West (on the 18th Floor)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 929-210-6300

Hours
8:30am - 8:30pm, Monday - Friday
9:00am - 5:00pm, Saturday & Sunday
9:00am - 3.00pm, Holidays

No appointment necessary

Mount Sinai Doctors Urgent Care Inwood
5030 Broadway (at 214th Street)
New York, NY 10034
Phone: 212-604-6550

Hours
8:30am - 8:30pm, Monday - Friday
9:00am - 5:00pm, Saturday & Sunday
9:00am - 3:00pm, Holidays

No appointment necessary

Mount Sinai Doctors Urgent Care Upper West Side
638 Columbus Avenue (at 91st Street)
New York, NY 10024
Phone: 212-828-3250

Hours
8:30am - 8:30pm, Monday - Friday
9:00am - 5:00pm, Saturday & Sunday
9:00am - 3:00pm, Holidays

No appointment necessary