Over the course of the last few years, urgent care facilities have become an extremely common presence in communities around the United States. These medical walk in clinics are often extremely useful when it comes to filling the gaps in local healthcare systems, as they offer treatment for a variety of non-life-threatening conditions without requiring an appointment. Unfortunately, problems arise when people are unable to determine if a situation requires treatment from an urgent care clinic or emergency room care. Such was the case in a city in Michigan recently, when a patient was abandoned outside an urgent care center while in the throes of a medical emergency.
On February 12, a man was found in a wheelchair outside St. Joseph’s Urgent Care Center in Saline, MI. The 24-year old was unconscious and wearing a handwritten sign that read “opiate OD”. An employee at the center discovered the patient around 7:25 PM and immediately called an ambulance. A representative from the Huron Valley Ambulance service confirmed that the patient was transported to the emergency room at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Superior Township, MI. His condition was reported as unstable.
Given cases like the one in Saline, it is important that people understand how to choose between urgent care facilities and other healthcare options to prevent potentially fatal consequences. While urgent care facilities are commonly misinterpreted as lower cost alternatives to emergency room care, they are only designed to treat non-life-threatening conditions and provide basic medical services, such as quick check ups, basic tests and more. In contrast, if you know you are experiencing a serious medical situation, which can include everything from a deep cut to a heart attack, you should visit an emergency room. However, if you don’t realize how serious your condition is, urgent care facilities will be able to direct you to the nearest medical center that can meet your needs or call an ambulance.
The condition of the patient found at the Saline urgent care center is currently unknown. However, the police are working to identify the person who abandoned him outside the clinic.