The Minimalist Guide To Emergency Care

Only very serious health problems should bring you to an emergency room. These problems might make you think that someone will die or be severely hurt if they don’t get treatment right away.
Problems for the Emergency Department might include:

Severe bleeding
Head injuries
Passing out 
Sudden vision problems
*Severe trouble breathing
*Chest pain
*Stroke, or stroke-like symptoms (remember F.A.S.T.)
  • Face: Ask the person to smile - does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms - does one arm drift downward? Is one arm weak or numb?
  • Speech: As the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is it repeated correctly? Is speech slurred?
  • Time: If the person shows any of these symptoms call 911 immediately
Note: those marked with * can be life-threatening and you should call 911 immediately            

When to Use Urgent Care

Go to an urgent care center if you need help for a minor health problem and your doctor’s office is closed. Also, if you need immediate help when you are not close to your doctor’s office, go to urgent care. You will usually have a shorter wait for care. The doctors can treat problems like these:

Flu, or flu-like symptoms
Ear infections
Sinus infections and sore throats
Allergic reactions
Mild asthma
Fever or rash
Animal bites
Minor burns

Gwinnett Medical Center has emergency departments at GMC-Duluth and GMC-Lawrenceville. The emergency department at GMC-Lawrenceville also includes a dedicated Children’s Emergency Center staffed by specially-trained pediatric staff and a Level II Trauma Center. For more information and directions visit


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