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Published On: Wed, Dec 23rd, 2020

Don’t Panic! How to Get Urgent Care in Los Angeles Whenever You Need It

Ever since March 4, when the local public health emergency was declared, ordinary life in Los Angeles County has been disrupted and day to day activities have become more complicated. If you’re trying to access urgent medical care and you can’t do so in the usual way, that can be frightening – but don’t panic. There are still ways to get the help you need.

Getting a COVID test

If you think you may have come into contact with COVID-19, you won’t want to waste any time before getting checked out. The good news is that you can now get a COVID test without even having to leave your home. If you live in one of the select cities, such as Los Angeles, Ready Responders can send a medical professional to your location, often the same day, to administer a COVID test. Ready also provides general urgent care services at-home in New York City, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Shreveport, Houma, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Reno and Las Vegas.

If you test positive for COVID-19

Due to the pressure on the healthcare system as the pandemic worsens, hospitals are now no longer able to admit every patient who tests positive for COVID-19 – or even all of those in high-risk groups. Patients who are not acutely sick are being sent home so that resources can be focused on others. If you’re not sure how sick you are, it’s better to phone your doctor for advice than add to the strain on your health by making a fruitless trip to the hospital. Treatment remains available to those with severe problems, such as people who are struggling to breathe, and in that situation, you should go straight to emergency or call 911.

Other types of health emergency

If you suffer a heart attack, experience a sudden flare-up of a chronic illness, or experience another health emergency that requires urgent treatment, you should call 911 or go to hospital as you normally would, but be extra careful about masking and hygiene – hospitals are doing their best to separate COVID patients from others but there is still a risk of infection. You should be aware that there may not be a bed available for you in a situation where there normally would be. You may also have to wait longer than usual for any outpatient treatment. Your case will be subject to triage, which means that priority will be given to people who can benefit the most from immediate help, in a strategy designed to save as many people as possible.

Mental health and addiction

Urgent care facilities for people with mental illness and addiction issues are now open again, subject to certain restrictions. If you need support from these facilities, you should wear a mask when you attend unless you have a medical exemption. You may be asked to go through a check-up before you enter the premises. This will include answering some questions and having your temperature taken. You may face longer waiting times than usual as some staff have been reallocated to different types of healthcare, and the stress of isolation means that more people require these services. Peer to peer support is being encouraged to help with the problem, so if what you need most is somebody to talk to, that might be another patient who is experiencing similar struggles.

Accidents and injuries

If you are losing blood as a result of an accident or injury, if you have hit the back of your head or if you suspect that your lungs may have been damaged, you should seek emergency treatment in the usual way as quickly as possible. If your main symptom is pain or you think you might have broken a bone, you should contact your doctor first to get advice. Your doctor may be able to prescribe painkillers for you much more quickly than a hospital can treat you. If your doctor thinks that you will probably be able to recover by yourself, or that you need treatment but it will still be effective if administered at a later date, you may be advised to wait rather than taking a trip to an emergency room where there’s an infection risk and staff don’t have time to give you the usual level of support.

Things may not be working the same way as usual at the moment but healthcare workers are still doing their utmost to make sure that everybody who needs urgent care receives it. Don’t hesitate to seek help in an emergency – just remember to respect the rules, stay as safe as possible and thank the staff for the amazing work they’re doing for all of us.

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Don’t Panic! How to Get Urgent Care in Los Angeles Whenever You Need It