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Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care: How Do I Know if I Should Visit Urgent Care or Go to the ER?

Posted on Sat, Jun 17, 2017

Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care

When you or a loved one gets injured or sick, deciding where to go for care shouldn’t add to the stress of your experience. Learning about your options now will make the decision easier if the time comes that you need immediate care.

When to Use the Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care

Deciding when it’s more appropriate to go to the emergency room vs. urgent care can be confusing and overwhelming, especially in the middle of an urgent situation. The New England Health Institute stated that most emergency room visits are “totally avoidable,” indicating that the difficulty often lies in understanding the capabilities of each medical care option.

A good rule of thumb to remember is if your situation isn’t life-threatening, but requires immediate attention, urgent care is probably the right choice. For severe and life-threatening conditions, the emergency room is the more appropriate place.

Emergency-Room-vs-Urgent-Care.jpgUrgent care centers will typically cover illness such as flu and cold, fever, headaches and chills and injuries such as sprains and strains, cuts requiring stitches and minor burns. Other conditions commonly covered at urgent care include UTI, immunizations and flu shots, foreign objects in the eye, pink eye, ear aches, rashes and annual physical exams.

For more extreme conditions, such as severe abdominal pain, major trauma or laceration with uncontrollable bleeding, severe burns, shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, heart attack, chest pain or stroke, the resources available at a hospital emergency room are usually required.

How Long Does the Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care Take for Treatment?

In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the total average ER wait time is roughly 2 hours, whereas most urgent care centers are able to see walk-in patients within 15-45 minutes. In New Jersey, the average time a patient spends in the emergency room before being seen by a doctor is 27 minutes and the average time patients spend in the ER before being sent home is 155 minutes. At eMedical Urgent Care, we pledge that, on average, you’ll be seen by one of our professional providers within 30 minutes, and we will have you on your way.

Convenient Walk-In Urgent Care Available

If the symptoms are non-life threatening, then choosing an urgent care may be your best option. Many urgent care centers offer fast, convenient service.

At eMedical Urgent Care, we provide immediate walk-in care and occupational health services delivered by board-certified emergency physicians, family physicians and internists working with highly trained radiology techs and medical assistants. Our convenient hours are designed to fit your busy schedule. Learn more about our services and treatment options by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey 908.464.6700, or Middletown, New Jersey 732.957.0707. Read more on Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care on our previous blog posts:

5 Surprising Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Urgent Care
Getting Medical Care While On Vacation
Treatment for Wounds and Lacerations
Should I Bring My Child to a Walk In Clinic for the Flu?
7 Secrets Every eMedical Urgent Care Physician in NJ Wants You to Know


The Most Common Playground-Related Injuries and 8 Tips to Prevent Them

Posted on Wed, May 17, 2017

Playground-Related Injuries

Playgrounds are a fun way for kids to get exercise, but can be very dangerous if the proper precautions aren’t taken. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 200,000 kids, ages 14 or younger, are treated for playground-related injuries each year. From rusty bars and poorly maintained equipment to slips and falls, these seemingly kid-friendly zones can be downright hazardous.

Playground-Related-Injuries.jpgCommon Playground-Related Injuries

Approximately 75 percent of playground-related injuries occur in public places, most of which are at schools or daycare centers. Of those injuries, more than 50 percent are fractures, contusions or abrasions.

The most commonly concerned equipment includes the monkey bars, slides and swings.

Preventing Playground-Related Injuries

According to the CDC, playground-related traumatic brain injuries have increased over the past few years. Although we encourage caregivers to promote healthy lifestyles by inspiring children to get outside and play, we want to make sure they’re as safe as possible. Despite safety standard efforts, injuries still remain a concern.

Here are 8 ways to stay safe and prevent playground injuries this summer:

1. Supervise. Closely supervise children, young and old, at all times.
2. Inspect. Make sure the facility is properly maintained. Look for broken equipment, trash or other debris than can cause injury.
3. Avoid. Stay away from playgrounds that have concrete, asphalt, hard-packed dirt or grass. Instead, find playgrounds with shock-absorbing materials like rubber mats.
4. Monitor. If too many children are using the equipment making it difficult for you to safely monitor your child, choose another time when it’s not as crowded.
5. Restrict. Make sure your children are only playing on age-appropriate equipment. Younger children are more susceptible to injuries when they play on equipment designed for older age groups.
6. Dress. Ensure your child’s peripheral vision is not blocked by caps or hoodies and prevent choking hazards by avoiding clothing with strings.
7. Teach. Teach your children to follow the rules. To stay safe, remind them not to push or shove others and never walk in the path of a moving swing.
8. Block. Be careful in the sun. Sunscreen, while important to use, can make hands slippery, and metal equipment exposed to direct sunlight on hot days can cause burns.

What to Do in the Event of a Playground-Related Injury

Many playground injuries can be avoided if parents are mindful about the risks, and teach their children to follow safety rules. But, in the event your child experiences muscular or joint pain from a playground-related injury, ice the affected area to reduce swelling and pain as soon as possible. If they’re still experiencing pain after a few days of rest or your child is visibly in pain, it’s best to see a doctor to ensure the condition doesn’t get worse.

If you suspect a broken or fractured bone, internal injury, laceration, head injury or dislocation, seek medical attention immediately. Visit eMedical Urgent Care for fast pediatric care with onsite x-ray and lab services for quick diagnoses.

Contact our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey 908.464.6700, or Middletown, New Jersey 732.957.0707: both of our offices are open 7 days week, 365 days a year.


eMedical Urgent Care Helps Promote World CPR Challenge 2017 with Free CPR Classes

Posted on Mon, May 15, 2017

World CPR Challenge

World-CPR-Challenge-(2).jpgEach year, more than 350,000 Americans experience sudden cardiac arrest. Only 10 percent of individuals who experience cardiac arrest outside of the hospital will survive, according to the American Heart Association. However, when a bystander performs CPR until EMS arrives, studies show that the odds of the victim surviving can triple. Please join us to learn this life-saving skill throughout the week of May 21-27 as we promote the annual World CPR Challenge with free CPR classes (see details below).

About World CPR Challenge

To raise awareness and increase bystander CPR rates, American Medical Response (AMR), the nation’s largest provider of emergency medical services and medical transportation, along with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) are partnering for one of the largest bystander CPR trainings in history.

Hosted during May 21-27, National EMS Week, these three organizations are teaming up for the 5th annual World CPR Challenge.

Since kicking off the World CPR Challenge in 2013, AMR has seen bystander CPR double from 21 to 41 percent. The goals of the World CPR challenge are to continue to train more people in CPR and improve bystander CPR rates to increase the number of survivors from sudden cardiac arrest.

World CPR Challenge Message

Whether you’re hiking, at the mall or at home, life-threatening cardiac emergencies can happen anywhere at any time. A knowledgeable bystander can be the difference between life and death. You could be that bystander. It only takes a few minutes to learn the technique, so do something for yourself and the community by learning compression-only CPR.

Compression-only CPR allows bystanders to keep life-saving blood flowing through a victim’s body just by pressing on the chest in a hard, fast rhythm without mouth-to-mouth breaths.

When someone is found unresponsive, the AMR advises this simple and three-part response:

  • Call 911
  • Push hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives.
  • Send someone to find an AED if possible.
Supporting Our Community Through the World CPR Challenge

eMedical Urgent Care will be offering free Compression-Only CPR classes. All classes are about an hour long.
  • Middletown office on Wednesday, May 24 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. (limit 10 per class).
  • Berkeley Heights office on Thursday, May 25 at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. (limit 8 per class).
To register, contact Susan Popik at today.

eMedical Urgent Care is located in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey 908.464.6700, and Middletown, New Jersey 732.957.0707 and brings advanced technology, innovative programs, patient-centered and family sensitive care to area residents. After work or on the weekends, we‘re available. At eMedical Urgent Care, patients are seen on a walk-in basis without an appointment; our convenient hours are designed to fit your busy schedule.

To learn more about the World CPR Challenge and how you can participate, visit


Outsmart Your Mold Allergy and 8 Other Spring Allergy Prevention Tips

Posted on Sun, Apr 30, 2017

Spring-Allergy-Prevention-(1).jpgMold lives everywhere and can cause allergic reactions year-round. Those who are allergic to the spores of mold or other fungi may feel the symptoms of hay fever, experience nasal congestion or worsening asthma. Like pollen, mold’s tiny spores can cause big trouble, but with careful planning, you don’t have to feel miserable. Outsmart your mold allergy for good and fight back with these spring allergy prevention tips.

Outsmart Your Mold Allergy

One in 20 Americans is allergic to mold. If you are one of them, staying away from fungi is key. Typically found in the bathroom, basement and kitchen, fungi grow in damp areas. To best reduce the odds of allergy symptoms indoors, take steps to control humidity levels in the air between 30 and 45 percent. A hygrometer is a tool used to measure humidity.

Unlike pollen, mold does not die with the first frost. It thrives on rotting plant life, logs, compost piles and fallen leaves outdoors, so make sure the yard is cleaned up regularly.

Other Spring Allergy Prevention Tips

The most common allergy triggers include tree, grass and weed pollen; mold spores; dust mite and cockroach allergens; and cat, dog and rodent dander, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Although there is no cure for allergies, several measures can help reduce the symptoms. Here are eight spring allergy prevention tips to help you fight back.

  1. Set alerts for local weather reports to find out when mold counts are high (you also can check the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America's online U.S. map for current pollen and spore counts).
  2. Close up. During high-count times, reduce your exposure by keeping the windows shut in your house and car (run the air conditioner to filter out spores).
  3. Rethink your exercise schedule. If you love to workout outdoors, minimize your exposure on days with high pollen or mold counts. And, be sure to steer clear of major roads, as chemical irritants from exhaust can worsen allergy symptoms.
  4. Get smart about gardening. Wear a face mask whenever cleaning or doing yardwork.
  5. Filter the air. Use central air conditioning with a HEPA filter to help trap particulates throughout your entire home.
  6. Improve air flow through high-humidity rooms like the kitchen and bathroom by using exhaust fans.
  7. Keep your home clean. Upsetting an allergy source, such as dust, pet dander or mold spores, could send irritants into the air and cause serious reactions. Maintain a regular cleaning schedule, dust with a damp cloth, wash linens and curtains often, and reduce the number of pillows and fluffy toys around the house.
  8. Scrub up after spending time outside. Since pollen and mold spores can linger in your hair, clothing, skin and even eyelashes, give them the boot right away when you come inside. Same goes for Fido. Even if you’re not allergic to your dog, he can become an allergy magnet after an outside jaunt.
Additional Spring Allergy Prevention and Precautions

If these preventive tips don’t do the trick, consider a stronger treatment option, like an over-the-counter antihistamine to relieve symptoms. Other treatments include nasal rinses, steroid nasal sprays, antihistamines, decongestants and allergy shots.

If allergy symptoms interfere with normal day-to-day activities, you should see a doctor. At eMedical Urgent Care, our physicians provide urgent medical care to both adults and children with convenient hours designed to fit your busy schedule. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you and your family by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey 908.464.6700, or Middletown, New Jersey 732.957.0707.


Kids and Spring Sport Injury Safety

Posted on Wed, Apr 26, 2017

Spring-Sport-Injury-(1).jpgYou already know that playing sports helps keep your child fit. You also know that sports are a fun way that they can socialize, meet new friends and develop leadership skills. And you may also know that a childhood spring sport injury may be inevitable. But, thankfully there are a few things you can do to help prevent them.

Spring Sport Injury Prevention

Organized Sports

Enroll your child in organized sports through the school or a community club where there is more likely to be an adult who is a certified athletic trainer (ATC). An ATC also is trained in how to prevent, recognize and care for common athletic injuries.

Protective Gear

Get the proper protective gear for particular sports and make sure your child knows the importance of using for every practice and games.

Warm Up and Cool Down

Make warm-ups and cool-downs an important part of your child’s routine before and after sports participation. Warm-up exercises, such as stretching and light cardiovascular movements can help minimize the chances of muscle strain or other soft-tissue injuries during sports. Cool-down exercises are just as important as they help to loosen the body’s muscles that have tightened during the practice or games.

Spring Sports Injury Prevention with Pre-Participation Physical

Most states require that kids and teens have a pre-participation sports physical before they can start a new competitive season. These exams are meant to help you find out about and deal with any health problems that could interfere with your child’s participation in the sport. Find out what to expect during the exam on our blog, “ Walk-In Camp and Sports Physicals.”

Just as professional sports stars require regular medical care to keep them playing their best, so do amateur athletes. Give your child the same edge as the pros by making sure they have their annual pre-participation sports physical.

Common Spring Sport Injuries

Some common spring sport injuries include:

1. Sprains and Strains

A sprain is an injury to the ligaments (typically a tear), commonly in the ankle. Ligaments are the fibrous tissues that connect two or more bones at a joint to prevent excessive movement of the joint.

A strain is an injury to either a muscle or a tendon. Tendons are the fibrous cord of tissues that connect muscle to bone.

2. Growth Plate Injuries

The growth plate is the area of developing tissues at the end of the long bones in growing children (fingers, outer bone of forearm, collarbone, hip, upper leg, lower leg bones, ankle and foot). Once growth is complete (sometime during adolescence) the growth plate is replaced by solid bone.

3. Repetitive Motion Injuries

Stress fractures (when ligament pulls off small pieces of bone) or tendonitis (inflammation of a tendon) can occur from overuse of muscles and tendons. Although these injuries don’t always show up on an X-ray, they do cause pain and discomfort but respond well to rest.

4. Heat-Related Illnesses

One common spring sport injury occurs because of weather conditions. Playing in the heat can be dangerous and even fatal. Children perspire less than adults and require a higher core body temperature to trigger sweating, which can make it hard to recognize overheating. Heat-related illnesses include dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Pre-Season Spring Sport Physicals

If a spring sport injury occurs, eMedical Urgent Care is here to help your child get back in the game and feel better fast. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey 908.464.6700, or Middletown, New Jersey 732.957.0707. We welcome you to walk in, get your exam and be on your way.


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