Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital Provides Tips on When to Visit an Immediate Care Center Versus a Hospital Emergency Department

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Many people don’t know when it’s appropriate to seek treatment at an outpatient center with immediate care services or a hospital emergency department.

"Evaluate your symptoms to make the best decision for your health by choosing the location that will provide the fastest, most effective care possible based on your condition."

Patients have a variety of local resources available to address their medical needs, but many don’t know when it’s appropriate to seek treatment at an outpatient center with immediate care services or a hospital emergency department.

“There are certain warning signs that should send a person without delay to the emergency room,” said Dr. Marc Spiller, emergency room physician on staff at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital and Advocate Good Samaritan Outpatient Centers in Downers Grove and Lemont, Ill.

Chest pains, shortness of breath, fainting, numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, uncontrolled bleeding and a sudden severe headache are a few of them. But other less serious conditions—such as the flu, fevers, rashes, wounds, sprains and diarrhea—may be treated just as effectively and maybe more quickly at an immediate care outpatient center.

“Outpatient centers can often expedite the care of patients who have simple, straightforward conditions that need minimal intervention, like sore throats or even small wounds that may need stitches,” Spiller said.

If a person is experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, seek immediate emergency care:

  • Pain or pressure in your chest
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (particularly on one side of the body)
  • Abdominal pain with vomiting
  • Fainting or sudden dizziness
  • Prolonged vomiting or diarrhea (could indicate dehydration)
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Suspected poisoning
  • Severe burns

Evaluate symptoms to make the best choice on the location that will provide the fastest, most effective care possible based on a condition.

About Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital
Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Illinois is committed to providing excellent care and a high level of service. Over the past 35 years, it has evolved into a recognized leader in health care. Deemed one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters, Good Samaritan Hospital is the only health care organization in the nation to earn the prestigious 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Good Samaritan Hospital features DuPage County’s only Level I trauma center and a certified Level III neonatal intensive care unit. The hospital is noted for cancer care, women and children’s services and surgical services and has received the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet® designation, the highest honor and level of recognition awarded to nursing excellence in national and international health care. Good Samaritan Hospital is part of Advocate Health Care.

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Sarah Hamilton
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