Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room: What’s the Difference?

You should use urgent care if you need immediate help but aren’t experiencing a medical emergency. See some of the most common reasons for visiting an urgent care or emergency room location below:

Urgent Care

Same-day care for an illness or injury that isn’t life threatening:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cold or flu
  • Cuts with contained bleeding
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Ear infections
  • Fever or chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Red eye
  • Respiratory infections
  • Sore throat or cough
  • Sprains
  • OB-GYN complaints
  • Urinary tract infections

In order to provide the highest quality care, that Cedars-Sinai is know for, Cedars-Sinai Urgent Care requires that all patients are assessed in person. No assessments are offered over the phone. Video Visit Now offers on-demand virtual care with a Cedars-Sinai provider for minor health conditions.

Emergency Care

24-hour care for life-threating conditions:

  • Bleeding that will not stop
  • Bone breaks
  • Chest pain or stroke
  • Fever in babies under 8 weeks
  • Major cuts
  • Ongoing vaginal bleeding, if pregnant
  • Seizure without prior diagnosis
  • Serious burns
  • Serious injury to head, neck, sine or back
  • Snake bite
  • Sudden loss or change of vision
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Vomiting or coughing up blood

Explore your options to receive immediate medical care in the most appropriate setting.

Services at Urgent Care

Urgent care centers are for anyone who needs immediate care for a condition that isn’t life threatening. Use the charts below to see what services are offered at our urgent care locations.


  • Acute illness evaluation and treatment
  • Sudden pain evaluation
  • Acute pain evaluation
  • On-site X-ray and referral for some imaging
  • Splinting
  • Cut repairs
  • Simple incision and drainage
  • Testing for sexually transmitted infections
  • On-site testing, including rapid strep, urine drip, urine pregnancy and rapid flu
  • CBC and CMP testing available at Beverly hills Urgent Care
  • IV hydration/fluid

Not Available

  • Prevention exam (physical)
  • Pre-operative exam (surgery clearance)
  • DMV medical evaluation
  • Chronic pain management
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Referral for MRI
  • Casting
  • Toenail removal
  • Gastronomy tube (G-tube) replacement
  • Emergency contraception
  • IUD removal
  • Drug and alcohol withdrawal and testing
  • COVID-19 antibody testing

Video Visit Now

Cedars-Sinai offers virtual appointments for quick and convenient care with one of our health experts.

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