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 necessitates immediate care, it is often hard to assess 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 require emergency medical care include:

  • Severe chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Compound fracture (bone protrudes through skin)
  • Convulsions, seizures or loss of consciousness
  • Fever in newborn (less than 3 months old)
  • Heavy, uncontrollable bleeding
  • Deep knife wounds or gunshot wounds
  • Moderate to severe burns
  • Poisoning
  • Serious head, neck or back injury
  • Pregnancy-related problems
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • (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
  • Sprains and strains
  • Moderate back problems
  • Breathing difficulties (i.e. mild to moderate asthma)
  • Bleeding/cuts -- not bleeding a lot but requiring stitches
  • Diagnostic services, including X-rays and laboratory tests
  • Eye irritation and redness
  • Fever or flu
  • Vomiting, diarrhea or dehydration
  • Severe sore throat or cough
  • Minor broken bones and fractures (i.e. fingers, toes)
  • Skin rashes and infections
  • Urinary tract infections

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 should be reserved for true emergencies, such as chest pain and severe injuries. Seemingly small 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

Urgent Care Center Upper West Side

638 Columbus Ave, at 91st Street New York, NY 10024
Tel: 212-828-3250

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

No appointment necessary



Mount Sinai Doctors Brooklyn Heights Urgent Care

300 Cadman Plaza West
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Tel: 929-210-6300

Hours
9:00am - 9:00pm, Monday - Friday
9:00am - 5:00pm, Saturday & Sunday

No appointment necessary