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Primary Care

Urgent Care vs. ER?

Man lying on bed sick

Nov. 3 2022

Know Where to Go

It is very important to choose the right location for care. “Emergent” Care (ER) is the right choice when you need medical care right away. “Urgent” Care is the right choice when you can’t wait a day or two to see your primary care provider.

Emergency Room

Call 9-1-1 if someone is experiencing a life-threatening emergency such as a heart attack, stroke, severe injury or trouble breathing. Paramedics can begin treatment at his or her location and in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Advances in GPS technology allow paramedics to get to patients faster and begin treatment sooner.

Conditions that may require emergency care:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Signs of a heart attack: chest pain; chest discomfort; shortness of breath
  • Signs of a stroke: facial drooping; numbness or weakness in the arms or legs; slurred speech
  • Uncontrolled or excessive bleeding
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Head injuries, a serious injury or major injuries from a car accident
  • Sudden or unexpected paralysis
  • Sudden onset of severe pain or abdominal pain
  • Poisoning, suspected poisoning or an overdose
  • Violent injuries from a gunshot or stabbing
  • Emotional distress, including suicidal or homicidal feelings

Urgent Care 

Urgent care centers are equipped to provide treatment for less serious illnesses or injuries when a patient’s primary care physician is unavailable. 

Conditions that may be appropriate for an urgent care center:

  • Earache
  • Sore throat
  • Sprains and strains
  • Cold- and flu-like symptoms
  • Pink eye
  • Sinus infections
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Mild asthma
  • Stomach flu
  • Minor cuts or wounds
  • Fever without a rash

Lexington Medical Center operates one of the busiest emergency departments in South Carolina, treating nearly 100,000 patients each year. Our five urgent care locations are conveniently located across the Midlands for walk-in and after hours care.

Lexington Medical Center Chapin
557 Columbia Avenue
Chapin, SC 29036
Monday – Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Lexington Medical Center Irmo
7035 St. Andrews Road
Columbia, SC 29212
Monday – Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Lexington Medical Center Lexington
811 W Main Street
Lexington, SC 29072
Monday – Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Lexington Medical Center Northeast
3016 Longtown Commons Drive
Columbia, SC 29229
Monday – Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Lexington Medical Center Saluda Pointe
154 Saluda Pointe Court
Lexington, SC 29072
Monday – Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Using LMC MyChart's "On My Way" feature, you can compare wait times at all our Urgent Care locations and check in online to reduce your wait time. 

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Disclaimer: This blog is intended for general understanding and education about Lexington Medical Center. Nothing on the blog should be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Blog visitors with personal health or medical questions should consult their health care provider.