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When facing an unexpected illness or accident, where should you go for care?

For conditions requiring prompt medical attention, Merrimack Valley residents have several options available for emergency care

When to see your Primary Care Physician (PCP)

If you or your family needs care right away, try to reach your PCP, who knows your medical history, medications and health issues. He or she can help you with a treatment plan for minor problems, such as sore throat, earaches, rashes and minor cuts, as well as manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma. Your physician helps you stay healthy by giving you preventive screenings and shots.

On the weekends and evenings, your PCP may still be reachable by phone, and can help you choose the best place for care. If you cannot reach your PCP and can't wait, then be sure to call your primary doctor as soon as possible a er treatment so your doctor will update your records and help you with any follow up course of treatment.

When to go to an Urgent Care Center

Visit an urgent care center for non life-threatening conditions such as allergies, rash or hives, minor eye injuries, dehydration, urinary symptoms, scrapes or lacerations, sprains or possible fractures, stings and bites, minor burns, or conditions needing X-rays or laboratory tests. The Lowell General Hospital Urgent Care is located at 1230 Bridge Street in Lowell and Circle Health Westford is located at Cornerstone Square, 198 Littleton Road in Westford - both facilities provide treatment in an accessible location.

When to go to the Emergency Department

A visit to the emergency department of the nearest hospital is your only option if your condition could cause significant harm or death without expedited medical attention. Dial 911 for immediate assistance when you have a life-threatening situation, such as chest pain, severe bleeding, difficulty speaking or breathing, or other major trauma. For serious medical conditions, Lowell General Hospital has two emergency departments operating 24/7 at the Lowell General Main Campus and Saints Campuses.

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