Man needs care for sprained ankle

ER or Walk-in: What’s the Right Option?

Is it chest pain or a heart attack? Blurry vision or signs of a stroke? Are you worried – but are also worried about going to the emergency room? Don’t take chances when it comes to your health. If you’re having a medical emergency, it’s better to be sure – your health can’t wait. 

This piece of advice is personal to Bayhealth’s Medical Director of Emergency Services Kelly Abbrescia, DO, who sees patients every day who waited too long to get the care they needed. She wants her community and neighbors to know what to do when they’re faced with a medical emergency. 

“First, in the case of a life-threatening situation, including signs of a heart attack or stroke, you should always call 911 right away,” said Dr. Abbrescia. “Second, if you’re not sure if your illness or injury can be treated at a walk-in medical care facility, it’s always better to be safe and go to the emergency room.”

To help educate the community on getting the right care, at the right place, at the right time, Dr. Abbrescia provided a list that may be helpful if you’re wondering if you need to go to the emergency room, or if a walk-in medical facility will do. 

Symptoms and Conditions Requiring Emergency Care

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness (fainting)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden, violent movement of arms, legs, or any other part of the body (seizure or convulsions)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Broken bone
  • Injury to the head or neck
  • Major burn

Symptoms and Conditions for Walk-in Care

  • Cough and other cold symptoms
  • Sprain
  • Bruise
  • Sore throat
  • Sinus infection
  • Earache/ear infection
  • Allergies
  • Bite or sting
  • Minor burn
  • Cut and scrape
  • Flu
  • Pink eye
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

Remember, when in doubt, always go to the emergency room and never put off seeking medical care. Conditions such as stroke, heart attack, cancer, dehydration/kidney failure, appendicitis, infections, and fractures will get worse without proper treatment.

Go to to learn more about Bayhealth’s Emergency and Walk-in Medical Care services.


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