Emergency or Not?

There are times when you know you need to go to a hospital emergency department for medical care: you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack or there has been an accident or fall, for example. Other times, it can be more difficult to decide whether to go the emergency department, seek out an urgent care center or see your primary care physician.  We always recommend they call our office unless it is life or limb threatening.

Often, it’s clear that you need the services of a hospital’s Emergency Department. In those cases, as a TMC One patient, we encourage you to go to Tucson Medical Center. Yet, if you are unsure about where to go for care, you should contact us for advice immediately. When you call your provider outside of regular office hours, our after-hours call team will connect you with the TMC One provider on-call.  We are available 24/7/365. You can find your physician's number by visiting our Office Locations.

When to Call 9-1-1

When you or someone you know has a life-threatening injury or medical condition, call 9-1-1 immediately. Do not try to drive yourself, or anyone else, to the hospital if the condition appears serious. Paramedics who respond to 9-1-1 emergency calls are specifically trained to stabilize emergency patients and coordinate their care with the most appropriate hospital emergency department for their treatment.

Life-threatening medical conditions that warrant calling 9-1-1 include, but are not limited to:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stroke symptoms, including dizziness, weakness on one side, slurred speech or sudden onset of paralysis
  • Severe abdominal pain, especially after an injury
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Blunt head trauma or a penetrating wound to the head
  • Confusion or loss of consciousness, especially after a head injury
  • Neck injury
  • Poisoning or suspected drug overdose
  • Venomous snake bites
  • Bites from scorpion stings or poisonous spiders, such as black widows or brown recluses—particularly in the case of small children, the elderly or anyone with a suppressed immune system.
  • Serious burns or cuts
  • Seizure
  • Broken bones Physician Office Visits

Colds, minor flu symptoms, chronic conditions and prescription refills are situations that usually can be addressed by visiting your physician during office hours.

  • Ear infections
  • Sprains
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Fevers

Please call your TMC One provider first. In most cases, we will be able to see you within hours. This will help you avoid a longer wait in the Emergency Department.