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Know where to go: Urgent care vs. ER

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A photo of a visitor in the lobby of one of Lakeland Regional Health's urgent care locations.

Don’t have a Lakeland Regional Health provider? No problem, you can still be seen at one of their urgent care locations.

Photo provided by Lakeland Regional Health

Imagine this: You find yourself experiencing an allergic reaction. You’d like to be seen by a doctor — but it isn’t necessarily an emergency. Do you know where to go?

Statistically, emergency room visits are high, but not all instances are a case for a trip to the ER. Enter: urgent care, an alternative for minor illnesses and injuries.

So, where should you go? We asked James Khai Lee, MD at the Lakeland Regional Health Pablo Campus, which cases warrant an ER or urgent care visit to help point you in the right direction.

A headshot of LRH physician, Dr. Lee.

“Our urgent care locations are highly equipped to provide you with reliable care,” says Dr. Lee.

Photo provided by Lakeland Regional Health

If my condition doesn’t warrant a trip to the ER, does it make sense to go to urgent care?

“Urgent care is the best answer because we offer a wide array of services like treatment for the flu, minor burns, sprains, and more — plus, you don’t need an appointment or even an LRH primary care provider to see us.”

So when should I go to the ER vs. urgent care?

“Head to the emergency room if you’re experiencing:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe abdominal or chest pain
  • Changes in vision
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Fainting or dizziness

For the following, you should make a trip to urgent care:

  • Cold, flu, or bronchitis
  • Asthma or allergies
  • Sprains
  • Minor medical concerns
  • Minor accidents and falls”

How many urgent care locations does LRH have?

“During your busy schedules, you may run into minor health concerns for you or your kids, so we tell our patients to drop by one of our three convenient locations so we can help.”

A brief tour of the new Kathleen Campus

Speaking of convenience, LRH’s newest urgent care location offers family medicine — so your whole family can be seen in one office.

Video provided by Lakeland Regional Health

Good news: All three Lakeland Regional Health urgent care locations are open late during the week (read: they don’t close at 5) and on weekends to fit your schedule. Each location cares for patients ages 2+ and can even help you get set up with an LRH primary care provider during your visit.

LRH urgent care locations

  1. Kathleen Campus (which, in addition to family medicine, also offers specialty care and urgent care): 2400 Kathleen Rd.
  2. Pablo: 130 Pablo St.
  3. Lake Miriam: 4710 S Florida Ave.

Bonus: See the Kathleen Campus for yourself during Spring into Wellness on Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Keep scrolling for more details.

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