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Urgent Care or Emergency?

Some health issues are true emergencies, but others can be handled more efficiently at one of our urgent care centers.

As a parent, you have a pretty good idea when your child has an illness or injury that needs more than a hug and an over-the-counter medication. When you can’t see your pediatrician because it’s the weekend or after office hours, you may think your only option for help is a hospital emergency department.

That is the best place to take your child if he or she is truly having a medical emergency. However, for nonemergency situations at ValleyCare, you do have other choices—urgent care or The Clinic at Walmart.

So how do you know which is the best place to take your child?

Consider urgent care for things such as:

  • A cold or cough that doesn’t get better in several days or a cold that gets worse and is accompanied by a fever
  • A minor cut that might need stitches
  • A rash, especially with fever
  • A bout of vomiting and diarrhea that lasts for more than a few hours
  • A severe sore throat or a problem swallowing
  • A minor bone fracture
  • An insect or animal bite

You need to call 911 if your child has signs of a medical emergency. Those include:

  • Any significant change in behavior, such as being confused, delirious or excessively sleepy or becoming increasingly less responsive or alert
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • A severe headache or vomiting, especially after a head injury
  • Problems breathing
  • Increasing pain or severe, persistent pain
  • Severe or persistent diarrhea

You should also get emergency help if your child is unconscious.

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; American College of Emergency Physicians; National Association for Ambulatory Care

ValleyCare offers two urgent care centers

ValleyCare Medical Plaza at Livermore
1119 E. Stanley Blvd.
10 am to 8 pm daily

ValleyCare Health System – Dublin
4000 Dublin Blvd., Suite 150
10 am to 8 pm daily

ValleyCare Earns Top Performer Award

ValleyCare has been recognized by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America, for exceptional care of heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgery patients. ValleyCare is one of 1,099 hospitals in the U.S. earning the distinction of Top Performer on Key Quality Measures from The Joint Commission.

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