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Emergency department or urgent care?
San Diego Union-Tribune

When does an illness or injury warrant a trip to a hospital emergency department? And when will an urgent-care center suffice? A recent analysis of patient records found that 27 percent of U.S. emergency department visits could have been successfully handled through an urgent-care or less-intensive setting.

Knowing where to go when care is needed can help patients get the most appropriate level of care as quickly as possible. Here are some general guidelines to consider.