Heart issues are more serious than muscle strains : Reasons to Visit an Emergency Room over an Urgent Care
While chest pains can be related to cardiac issues, not all chest pains are heart-related. And while your first instinct might be to visit an urgent care or walk-in clinic, if you’re experiencing symptoms that cause you concern, it’s important that you don’t delay. Urgent care and walk-in clinics are meant for non-life threatening injuries and illnesses; they aren’t equipped with life support equipment and their physicians aren’t trained in handling severe emergencies like heart attacks. If possible, call 911 immediately after experiencing chest pain.
The better prepared medical professionals are, the faster they’ll be able to give you appropriate treatment. They’ll also let emergency personnel know where you’re located so help will arrive quickly. (If calling 911 isn’t an option, have someone drive you directly to a hospital’s emergency room.) In some cases—depending on where your pain is centered and what other symptoms you’re having—you may want to take an over-the-counter medication before heading over to an ER or use warm compresses or physical activity as recommended by ER doctors. Still, don’t wait too long: Leaving chest pains untreated increases your risk of having more serious heart problems down the road, so be smart about taking care of yourself now.
Heart attack symptoms typically develop quickly, there are some instances when they appear much slower. If left untreated, slow-developing symptoms could eventually turn into something dangerous. That said, if you think your case warrants further testing beyond what a doctor at an urgent care or walk-in clinic can provide, schedule an appointment at one of these facilities instead and make sure to bring along any paperwork from prior visits for follow up with whoever treats you there. For example, if tests conducted during another visit reveal lifestyle changes (like diet) that should be implemented immediately, bringing along those records ensures providers follow through without fail.