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Urgent Care Vs. Emergency Department

Medical care is provided at the Bear Valley Emergency Department 24/7 by staff and equipment prepared to handle complex needs. Medical care is also provided at the Bear

Valley Urgent Care by patients whose medical events are not critical or life-threatening, but their regular doctor is not available or you can’t wait for an appointment.

Here’s a quick reference to help you determine when to visit an urgent care and when to visit the emergency department.

When to visit an Urgent Care:

  • Non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses such as
    • Cold and flulike symptoms such as headache, earache, cough, congestion
    • Fever
    • Vomiting
    • Animal/insect bites
    • Sunburn
    • Minor infections
    • Minor strains/sprains/fractures
    • Sports physicals
    • Simple wound sutures
  • Basic tests and vaccinations
  • A medical event your primary care physician would ordinarily address.


When in doubt, always call 911.

When to visit the Emergency Department:

More complex or critical needs including sudden, life-threatening conditions requiring more treatment with more advanced medical equipment and medical staff. This includes:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Changes to mental state
  • Chest pain
  • Concussion/confusion
  • Fainting
  • Fever combined with a rash
  • Injuries to the eye or head
  • Joint dislocation and broken bones
  • Seizures
  • Serious abrasions requiring stitches
  • Serious burns
  • Spiked fever in adults or children
  • Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy
  • Weakness or numbness to one side


When in doubt, always call 911.