Our extensive network of hospital emergency care
and freestanding emergency care means life-saving help is always nearby.
Call 911 immediately if someone is unconscious, having trouble breathing, has a serious injury or may be having a heart attack.
Emergency care vs. urgent care
When the unexpected happens, know if it’s urgent or an emergency. Many conditions can be treated as quickly and more affordably at a UCHealth urgent care location.
Emergency care: Meant for severe injuries and illnesses.
- Head injuries or sudden, non-typical headache or loss of vision (could be the sign of a stroke).
- Chest pain or other heart attack symptoms.
- Serious lacerations, severe bleeding or poisoning.
- Complex fractures or bones protruding through the skin.
- Intoxication, overdose or attempted suicide.
- Severe abdominal pain.
If the illness or injury seems more critical than something you’d see your family doctor for, or if you need care in the middle of the night, go to the nearest emergency room.
Urgent care: Meant for minor injuries and illnesses that can’t wait for a doctor’s appointment.
- Sprains, strains or possible broken bones.
- Classic migraines or mild headache.
- Sore throats, coughs, ear infections, fever, flu symptoms.
- Minor burns.
- Animal bites.
- Worker’s compensation injuries.
If the illness or injury is something you’d normally see your family doctor for but you can’t get an appointment right away or it’s after hours, urgent care is the right choice.
This guide is intended as a tool to diagnose injuries or illnesses. Call 911 immediately if someone is unconscious, having trouble breathing, has suffered a serious injury or may be having a heart attack or stroke.
Hospital vs. freestanding emergency care locations
Freestanding emergency care locations may be closer to you and more personal because they are smaller, with an average of eight beds.
Freestanding emergency care locations can stabilize and treat true emergency conditions—they are not urgent care facilities. For cuts, sprains, possible broken bones, migraines, sore throat or the flu, contact your primary care physician. If you can’t wait, visit one of our urgent care locations.
Our Level I, Level II and Level III trauma centers provide 24/7
access to the most advanced, readily available trauma resources to
treat life-threatening injuries. Expert trauma surgeons and other
physicians, nurses, case managers and technologists at UCHealth
provide the Rocky Mountain region’s best, around-the-clock
care for critically injured patients.