According to the Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library, about 3.5 million teenagers and kids are injured in sports activities each year. About 1.35 million of those injuries are considered serious. That means that the bulk, an approximate 2.15 million injuries could potentially be treated in urgent care or medical office settings, rather than emergency rooms.
Urgent care clinics employ roughly 20,000 physicians around the country, and average waiting times vary, but many patients can wait as much as 2-6 hours to be seen when visiting an Emergency Room. Urgent care center average wait times are usually below 15 minutes.
Severity Matters: Choose the Right Care for Your Injury
That does not mean your first thought for every injury should be urgent care. If, for example, there is a high chance of a bone being broken, there is significant bleeding or you suspect a head injury such as a concussion, your best option is to seek emergency treatment at a hospital ER.
Conversely, if you suspect a simple sprain, muscle strain or other sports related bumps and bruises that requires urgent, but not emergency care, urgent care clinics should rank high on your list of treatment options. Besides the lower average wait times for a child or teenager in pain, urgent care is staffed by fully licensed, caring medical professionals in the same way your doctor’s office is.
The main difference there is that family physicians are not always able to fit in walk-in patients or be available 24/7 year round. And since many sports related activities occur on the weekends or holidays, urgent care clinics can often take care of your family’s urgent medical care needs. The simple truth is that being active has many advantages and upsides, but people can and do get hurt.
Whether you need immediate medical care for a case of swimmer’s ear, a dislocated finger, or even the sore throat you got from rooting for the home team, urgent care may be just the treatment you need to keep you at the top of your game.
Your life doesn’t run on a set schedule. That’s why Patient Care Now Urgent Care is open and ready to help you 7 days a week, 365 days a year, with no appointment needed. Get the care you need, when you need it. For more information or for our office hours, please call our Fairless Hills urgent care center at (267) 202-6433.