Winter Injuries And You: When To Go To Urgent Care

by Brent Woods

As winter swiftly approaches and descends upon you and your town, you may find yourself faced with all of the wonders and the potential dangers that winter has to offer. While it is most people's first instinct to shake off any winter injuries and continue going about their day as if nothing happened, there are some scenarios in which a person should head to an urgent care center to get treatment or at the very least, to get checked out. Get to know some of the scenarios in which you should go to urgent care so that you can take the best possible care of yourself this winter.

Ice-Related Injuries: What To Watch Out For

Ice is one of the biggest hazards for people during the winter. It is all too easy to slip and fall on the ice, whether you know it is there or not. Sometimes, a fall on the ice is nothing more than a slight scare and does not result in any injuries that would warrant a trip to urgent care.

However, sometimes when you fall on the ice, urgent care should be your next stop. If for example, you experience any swelling to your wrists or ankles following a hard fall on the ice, you will want to get checked out for fractures or sprains. A sprained wrist or ankle can cause you severe pain and discomfort and trouble with motor functions. This can lead to more falls and injuries.

Anytime you slip on the ice and hit your head, you should also take a trip to the urgent care clinic. Even if you think you are fine and the bump on your head was no big deal, you could easily have a concussion or other head trauma including a brain bleed, skull fracture or the like. At urgent care, they will run a series of diagnostic and observational tests and determine whether or not you need a CT or MRI for your head injury.

Burns and Frostbite

Believe it or not, burns can be a common issue during the winter months, especially in areas that get a large amount of snow. One of the issues that can occur is a person's vehicle gets stuck in deep snow and the car owner tries to dig it out. If they are doing so with their hands, they run the risk of touching the exhaust system under the car or other high heat car components and burning themselves. Of course, holiday cooking and baking burns are also common injuries throughout the winter months.

Anytime you burn yourself and the skin begins to crack or blister, you should head to the urgent care center for treatment. Burns that blister or crack the layers of the skin can be second or third degree burns. Without proper cleaning and burn treatments such as silver sulfadiazine (also known as Silvadene), you could run the risk of serious infections and scarring.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, frostbite is even more common in the winter. When people spend prolonged periods of time out in the cold, especially without proper protective clothing, they can suffer severe cold damage to their extremities. The hands, feet, nose, and ears are especially susceptible to frostbite.

If you notice any tingling or numbness that does not go away after you have been inside and warmed up for a while, or your extremities are severely discolored resembling a bruise or are black, you should seek medical care immediately. You do not want your extremities to go without proper warmth and blood supply for too long of you will run the risk of needing surgery to remove damaged tissue.

Now that you know a few of the winter injuries that require you to go to urgent care, you can take better care of yourself this winter and ensure you get through the season in one piece.

To learn more, contact an urgent care center like Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc.