Clinical Articles

Tracey Quail Davidoff, MD  Urgent message: Tattoos and piercings are becoming commonplace, but patients who experience complications with these forms of body art may present to urgent care centers, as access to dermatology and plastics specialists frequently requires a referral or extended wait periods. The urgent care provider should possess a working knowledge about how tattoos and piercings are performed, how to recognize the complications, and how to treat them appropriately.  TATTOOS Introduction The term tattoo is derived from the Tahitian word tattau, which translates “to mark.”1 Tattoos occur whenRead More
Urgent message: Urgent care is well established as an appropriate destination for many patients whose symptoms are not being limb- or life-threatening. When a truly emergent case presents, however, we need to provide immediate care and assess whether the patient can receive optimal care on site or needs transfer to higher-acuity setting.  Deb Rogers, DO and Douglas A. Rund, MD, FACEP, FAEMS Cowboys of medicine? We are able to diagnose and manage almost all complaints at the bedside with our history and exam, but what happens when the emergency presents?Read More
Urgent message: It is common for patients with injuries to the upper extremity due to falls on outstretched hands to present to urgent care. As such, evaluation, appropriate imaging, and initial treatment should all be within a clinic’s capabilities.  Michael Bartuseck, MSN, ARNP, FNP-C, EP-C Introduction Urgent cares centers play an integral role in providing care for patients who have sustained injuries due to falls on outstretched hands (FOOSH). While complex anatomy of the wrist, hand, and elbow often lead to confusion and misdiagnosis of FOOSH injuries, the high prevalenceRead More
Urgent message: Initial evaluation of a patient with an arrhythmia in the urgent care setting can be as difficult as it is critical to the patient’s survival—one key concern being sudden cardiac death, which occurs in roughly 328,000 cases annually.  Riaz Fabian, DO  Introduction Cardiac arrhythmias are a group of conditions in which a patient has an abnormal heart rate or rhythm. They are caused by any disruption of the electrical conduction system of the heart, which impacts the normal activation sequence of the myocardium. Arrhythmias can be broadly classifiedRead More
Urgent message: Opioid abuse, addiction, and resultant deaths have drawn the attention of both the medical community and legislative bodies from the local health department to the White House. Urgent care is a frequent destination for addicts trying to secure drugs illicitly—but it also has the potential to be the first stop on the road to recovery. Jason M. Ramos and Robert S. Crausman, MD, MMS Case Presentation Manny is a middle-aged white male who presented to our urgent care for the third time in 2 weeks complaining of severeRead More
Urgent message: Chest pain is both more common and, typically, less concerning in children than in adults. If anything, however, this underscores the importance of guarding against a false sense of safety in low-risk causes, and maintaining vigilance for life-threatening etiologies. SABAH F. IQBAL, MD, FAAP and HANSEL OTERO, MD The case: A 12-year-old healthy African-American boy presents to urgent care with 2 days of midsternal chest pain, which is worse when he’s taking big breaths. It is not changed by exercise or rest, and no medications have been takenRead More
Urgent message: Snakebite envenomation is relatively rare, but immediate action upon presentation to the urgent care center—including quick and accurate identification, appropriate care, and sound decisions regarding transfer to the ED—maximize the chance for optimal outcomes. Andrew Vang, DO Introduction Snake venom poisoning is a complex medical emergency that is seen infrequently, but when encountered requires rapid recognition and urgent management. The following discussion will focus on appropriately identifying snakebites from indigenous venomous species in North America, Crotalid and Elapid snakes; initiating urgent management; and indications for transfer. Epidemiology InRead More
Urgent message: Follow-up after a patient visit is essential to the continuum of care and to the perception of customer service. Especially in the urgent care setting, where providers may have no ongoing relationship with a patient, the most basic office practices (eg, collecting accurate and accessible contact information) can seem deceptively simple but are of critical importance. Jimmie Toler, MSN, NP-C, Emily E. Johnson, PhD, and Barbara J. Edlund, PhD, ANP, BC Introduction Continuum of care is synonymous with appropriate care. In the urgent care environment, this continuum includesRead More