Health and Safety Tips Archives - Altus Emergency Centers

Men’s Health Month – Get Dad Healthy!

It’s Men’s Health Month!

This month we celebrate men, so a big shout-out to all the dads, grandpas, hubbies, brothers, and father figures in our lives! Time to get Dad Healthy!

We all know this month we celebrate Father’s Day, but did you know that June is also Men’s Health Education and Awareness Month?  This is perfect timing to consider that the best father’s day gift is Good Health!

This observance is celebrated to raise men’s health awareness and encourage men of all ages to work together with their families to adopt a better lifestyle that includes exercise and healthy eating habits.

The most common diseases affect both men and women, however, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women on average live five years more than men. While this is not great news for the guys, the male life expectancy gap improved from 1979 when women on average lived 7.8 years longer than men; however, male life expectancy has decreased in the last two years.

Men are now living longer in part because of the efforts to raise awareness about healthcare. Most men don’t like to talk about or acknowledge their health problems, this is mostly due to social stigma; sadly men have been made to feel ashamed for being ill, and it is because of this that most men don’t get regular checkups.

It is essential for both men and women to get regular checkups, as these aid in early detection of the leading causes of death in America, such as:

  • – Heart Disease
  • – Cancer
  • – Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases
  • – Cerebrovascular Diseases (Stroke)
  • – Diabetes
  • – Kidney Disease
  • – Influenza and Pneumonia
  • – Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis
  • – Hypertension

Men’s Health has come a long way in the last 40 years, we have increased male life expectancy, and improved diagnostic tests, and treatments, but we can do more.

For this reason, the staff of Altus Emergency Centers wants to help dads live longer, healthier lives. We are already committed to saving the lives of those who visit our centers, but, as always prevention is the best medicine, so follow our helpful tips to improve your health and that of the extraordinary men in your life.

Protect Your Heart

Heart Disease is the number one reason men die in this country, luckily, there are simple ways to strengthen and improve your heart’s function, the most important one is diet.

Improving the way we eat, will help keep our hearts healthy, and you don’t need to give up all your favorite foods, but you should reduce the amount of saturated fat you consume, lower your sodium intake, and add more vegetables, and fruits to your diet. When serving, remember fruits and vegetables should be half of the plate.

You Got to Move it Move it

Most guys think exercise should be intense workouts with heavy weights. We won’t discourage this type of training, but, it is not necessary to be healthier. Just 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise a day is enough to help you live longer and improve your quality of life as you age.

Be Proactive

Think about how you take care of your car, you know preventive maintenance is essential, that is why you regularly change the oil, you change the brake pads, and rotate the tires, right? So why won’t you do the same for you? Don’t wait until you are feeling sick to visit your doctor, be proactive and take care of yourself; regular medical checkups can catch small problems before they become big ones.

Talk it Out

Life can be overwhelming sometimes, and just because you are a guy doesn’t mean you have to be tough and brave all the time. Emotional stress hurts our health and can take years off our lives; therefore, it’s not only ok to seek help, but it is also needed. So, talk to your partner, talk to a friend, or find a therapist who can help you deal with emotional issues.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Preventing Car Heatstroke Accidents

Preventing Car Heatstroke Accidents

In Texas we strive to be number one in everything we do, although this is usually a good thing, there are some instances where it is not. In fact, there is one thing we should try to be last in, and that is infant car heatstroke deaths.

Sadly, in the state of Texas, more kids die in hot cars than in any other state in the country according to noheatstroke.org.

The most recent tragedy stroked close to home and our hearts, as a 9-month-old baby girl died this week in Baytown; our prayers go out to the family and to the members of the community we lovingly serve.

The hardest thing to accept about this is that all these deaths were preventable. We are not trying to place blame on anyone, even the best of parents and caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping child inside a car, causing injuries or death.

What we would like to do, is provide parents and caregivers with facts and tips to help avoid these unfortunate accidents. This week we celebrate National Sun Safety Week, but instead of posting tips to enjoy your time in the sun safely, we would like to dedicate this article to preventing car heatstroke accidents so that all families can enjoy the summer months.

Did You Know?

  • – Car interiors heat up faster than we think, with temperatures reaching 125°F in minutes.
  • 80% of the increase in temperature happens in the first 10 minutes
  • – Cracking the windows does NOT help slow the heating process or decrease the maximum temperature
  • – It doesn’t have to be scorching hot outside for a child to be in danger inside a vehicle, there have been fatal cases of car heatstroke in temperatures as low as 60°F.
  • A child’s body overheats 3-5 times faster than an adult body.

What is a Heatstroke?

Heatstroke is a medical emergency condition that can be fatal if it is not promptly and adequately treated. Heatstroke occurs when there is an increase in body temperature, and dehydration often accompanies it.

Symptoms

  • – Body temperature above 104°F and red, hot, dry skin
  • –  There is sign of sweating
  • – A throbbing headache
  • – Rapid, strong pulse
  • – Nausea or vomiting
  • – Confusion
  • – Agitation
  • – Loss of consciousness

Safety Tips

According to statistics, more than 55% of car heatstroke cases happen when parents or caregivers unknowingly leave a child in the car. Although parents think this is something that will never happen to them, everyday stresses and unexpected changes in routine can cause a loving parent to forget their child is asleep in the backseat.

 

Follow these safety tips to ensure your child is never left alone in a car:

  • – Train yourself to open the back door of your vehicle whenever you exit it to make sure no one is there, an excellent way to do this is to leave something in the back seat, your purse, your phone, or laptop.
  • – Keep one of your kid’s toys in their car seat and move it to the front of the car to remind yourself your child is with you.
  • – Ask your child’s daycare or school to contact you whenever your child does not arrive on time.

Tips to prevent children from entering cars without you knowing:

  • – Always keep your vehicles locked, even when they are in your driveway or garage.
  • – Don’t leave your keys within reach of children.
  • – If you can’t find your child, check the interior of every car nearby, they may have gone in to play or take a nap.

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

At Altus Emergency Centers, we care about your child’s safety and well-being, being vigilant and extra cautious can save your child from dying from heatstroke. Please keep in mind that all of our Altus Emergency Centers are open 24/7, with no lines.

If you are ever in need of emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers.  All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

How to Control Asthma

Bring Asthma Under Control

We are in peak season for asthma sufferers, so we thought this was the perfect time to educate and raise awareness of this chronic and potentially life-threatening illness which affects over 1.5 million Texans according to the CDC.

The sad reality is there is no cure for asthma, but, not everything is bad news, people can lead normal happy lives and many deaths are preventable with proper treatment and care. Read on for tips on how to control asthma and improve your quality of life.

What is Asthma? 

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing. Asthma is a chronic illness, it means you always have it, however, there are asthma attack triggers, that can cause the symptoms to worsen.  Getting to know the triggers is the first step to control asthma whether it’s for you or a loved one.

 

What Causes an Asthma Attack?

The exact cause of the illness has not been discovered yet, but, it is known that the airways of people who have asthma are very sensitive and tend to overreact to substances you are allergic to or find irritating.

When this happens, the airways get swollen and narrower making it hard to breathe, when the symptoms become worse than usual, this is known as an asthma attack. In severe cases, the airways can close so much that vital organs don’t get enough oxygen, and this is when the disease can be life-threatening.

The good thing is you can control your asthma by knowing the warning signs of an asthma attack, staying away from known triggers, and following your doctor’s advice.

Common Asthma Triggers

People react to different allergens, but in general, these are the most common asthma triggers:

  • – Air Pollution: Air quality has a significant impact on the quality of life of people with asthma, industrial and automobile emissions are known triggers.
  • – Mold: Inhaling or breathing in mold can cause an asthma attack, and certain types of mold can cause other respiratory problems.
  • – Tobacco Smoke: Being around people who smoke can cause an asthma attack from breathing second-hand smoke.
  • – Cockroach Allergen: We know, gross! But it has been proven that cockroaches and their droppings are responsible for asthma attacks in many instances.
  • – Dust Mites: Dust mites are present in almost every home, but they don’t present a danger to all, however, if you or a loved one suffers from asthma you should know that dust mites can trigger an attack.

Ways to Control Asthma

We don’t lose hope that someday scientists will find a cure for asthma, but until then the best way to improve your quality of life is by keeping it under control.

 

#1 Learn which Medicines Work Best

This is a trial and error method that you and your doctor need to work together on, there are different types of asthma medications and for some patients, one medication will be enough to control their symptoms, others might need a combination of medications.

 

#2 Take Your Asthma Controller Medicines as Prescribed

Controller medicines are those designed to make your airways less sensitive to asthma triggers, they help prevent asthma attacks or make them less severe when they do occur. The one drawback of these medications is that it may take 2-3 weeks for them to start working, so you need to take them every day even if you are feeling fine.

 

#3 Always Have a Rescue Inhaler with You

Having these small, easy to use portable devices are designed to help you breathe better quickly. For this reason, you should always carry one with you in case you experience an asthma episode.

#4 Learn to Recognize Your Early Warning Signs

If there is one good thing about this illness, its that it gives you clues as to when you are about to get an attack, these symptoms include:

  • – A Headache
  • – Itchy Throat
  • – Itchy Eyes
  • – A Runny Nose
  • – Chest Tightness
  • – Anxiety

#5 Know Your Triggers

Preventing your triggers is vital to control asthma.  Speak to your doctor to help you recognize your asthma triggers, once you know what can cause an asthma attack, you can work towards staying clear of these.

 

#6 Create an Asthma Action Plan

You should never ignore your asthma symptoms; many deaths are caused by patients who think their symptoms are not severe enough to go to the ER for treatment.

Our last recommendation to control asthma is to create an asthma action plan with your doctor.  This plan should help you determine when to use your rescue inhaler, when to call your doctor and when to come in to visit one of our Altus Emergency centers for treatment.

#7 Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

Even if you do everything to control your asthma symptoms, a severe attack can still happen at any time, for this reason, all of Altus Emergency Centers are open 24/7 and our staff is available to treat your symptoms and get you breathing normally again.

If you are ever in need of emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers.  All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

BBQ Safety Tips, Grill Safely!

May is National BBQ Month

For most Texans, there is no such thing as a “BBQ season” as we grill year-round.  Still, we can’t deny that this time of year is the best to enjoy some good old fashion family barbecues, and because of this, it should come as no surprise that May is National BBQ Month.

BBQ Safety Tips

Before you go all out and put that nice brisket on the grill to simmer and slow cook for hours, make sure you are taking all the precautions to keep your loved ones, yourself, and your home, safe!

Before you start your BBQ feast, take the time to browse our BBQ Safety Tips.

Grilling is an Outdoor Activity

Our first BBQ Safety Tip is too keep it outdoors.  Aside from the fun of being outdoors on a warm sunny day and not having your home smell like a smokehouse, there are some important reasons why you should never fire up your charcoal or propane gas grill indoors:

  • – You risk something catching fire
  • – You and your loved ones could be affected by smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide

Check Your Grill Before You Use It

Our second BBQ Safety Tip is to make sure that everything is in proper working order before you get the fun started.

  • – Make sure your grill is clean, remove all grease and fat buildup from the grills and catch pans.
  • – Ensure sure all gas connection points on your propane grill are tight and installed correctly before you turn it on.
  • – Check for leaks by applying a little soap and water to the hose, if there are no bubbles your grill is safe to use, if however, you see bubbles, turn off the gas tank and tighten the connections, if the bubbles continue you should have it serviced, if however, the leak continues even after you have turned off the gas tank, back away and call the fire department immediately.

Separate Meats, Veggies, and Other Foods

BBQ Safety Tip #3 is to separate, don’t contaminate.  When you go shopping keep these tips in mind:

  • – Buy non-perishable foods first
  • – Beef, Pork, Poultry, and Fish should be purchased last
  • – Keep meat items separate from other foods to avoid cross-contamination

Refrigeration is Key

“Don’t be a spoiler”, is BBQ Safety Tip #4.  Regardless of whether you are grilling at home or at a park, food needs to be kept at the right temperature, so it won’t spoil.

  • – Raw Meats, produce, and dairy products need to be stored at temperatures below 41°F to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • – If you are transporting the food do so in an insulated cooler with a temperature below 40°F.

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

Our forth BBQ Safety Tip is, “Don’t be mean and keep it clean!”  Starting from your prep station all the way to your grill, things should be kept clean.

  • – Wash your hands before and after handling raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
  • – Wash all surfaces and utensils before and after cooking
  • – Use clean utensils and plates when removing cooked items from the grill
  • – Don’t reuse marinades or sauces that have touched raw meat juices

Cook Your Meat Properly

It’s showtime!  Our BBQ Safety Tip #5 is a cooking temperature guide. Meat, fish, and poultry need to reach a minimum internal temperature to ensure harmful bacteria are killed. The following chart will show what temperatures are needed for each meat type:

  • 145°F for all cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal (stand-time of 3 minutes at this temperature)
  • 145°F for seafood
  • 160°F for hamburgers or other ground meats
  • 165°F for all types of poultry and pre-cooked meats like hotdogs
  • Keep meat at a temperature of 140°F until served.

Storing Leftovers

Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within 2 hours of having been cooked. On hot days you have a maximum of 1 hour to store your leftovers.  Our final BBQ safety tip is to avoid from eating leftovers that are too old label them and include the date.

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

Remember to heed our BBQ Safety Tips to stay safe and don’t overdo it with food or alcoholic beverages!
We hope you have a lovely time grilling safely from all of us here at Altus Emergency Centers.  If you are ever in need of emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers.  All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

The Most Common Food Allergies

Food Allergies

When we think about food allergies, we tend to limit them to peanuts, shellfish, and gluten, however, there is a long list of food allergy triggers, and because symptoms tend to mild in most cases you may not know you are experiencing an allergic reaction.

Food allergies are a lot more common than we think, this condition affects some 15 million Americans especially children, according to statistics 1 in every 13 kids in America has a food allergy, and every 3 minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room.

As part of Altus Emergency Center’s educational efforts during Food Allergy Action Month, we have compiled a list of the most common food allergies and their symptoms, to help you recognize this potentially deadly condition.

What are Food Allergies

Like other allergic reactions, food allergies are an abnormal immune response; they happen when the immune system wrongfully identify certain proteins found in food as harmful.

The severity of the allergic reaction ranges from mild symptoms to life-threatening ones, and it can be triggered even by very small amounts of the problem food.

In most instances, the symptoms of an allergic reaction happen a few minutes after exposure, but they can also manifest a few hours later, the most common allergic reaction symptoms include:

 

  • – Swelling of tongue, mouth, or face
  • – Itchy rash
  • – Hives
  • – Difficulty breathing
  • – Low blood pressure
  • – Nausea and vomiting
  • – Diarrhea

Most Common Food Allergies

Because symptoms can manifest hours after the exposure, sometimes the cause of the allergic reaction is not easily recognized, and if the symptoms are mild most people may ignore them.

The following list includes the most common food allergies, however, there are many more triggers, if you suspect you may have a food allergy, schedule an appointment with a specialist to determine which foods are harmful to you.

 

Peanut Allergy

Peanuts are one of the food allergens most commonly associated with anaphylaxis, a sudden and potentially deadly condition that requires immediate emergency medical treatment.

Allergic reactions to peanuts are one of the most common and deadly food allergies, it affects 1 in every 500 individuals and is responsible for more than half of all deaths from food-related allergic reactions.

Symptoms

  • – Itchy skin or hives that can show in small spots or large welts
  • – Itchy or tingling sensation in the mouth or throat
  • – Nausea
  • – Runny or congested nose
  • – Anaphylaxis

Shellfish Allergy

Shellfish is the most common and most dangerous food allergens, it is responsible for most of the food allergy related ER visits.

Symptoms

– Stomach cramps

– Indigestion

– Vomiting

– Diarrhea

– Hives all over the body

– Shortness of breath and wheezing

– A repetitive cough

– Tight, hoarse throat and trouble swallowing

– Swelling of the tongue and or lips

–  Weak pulse

–  Pale or bluish skin color

– Dizziness and confusion

 

Corn Allergy

This is a tricky one to recognize since corn and corn by-products are widely used in processed foods, and to make matters worse, it is also difficult to diagnose through standard skin or blood tests, this means that in many cases your doctor may recommend eliminating corn products from your diet to see if your symptoms improve.

Symptoms include

– Hives and Skin Rash

– Stomach cramps, nausea, indigestion, vomiting, or diarrhea

– Stuffy or runny nose

– Headaches

– Asthma

– Anaphylaxis in severe cases

Egg Allergy

This type of allergy affects about 2% of children in the United States, the good news is that studies have shown that 70% of these children outgrow the condition by age 16.

Symptoms

-Skin rash or hives

-Respiratory problems

-Stomachache

-And in very rare cases anaphylaxis

 

Fish Allergy

Unlike most food allergies which develop since childhood, the majority of people who suffer from fish allergies report experiencing them for the first time as adults.

Being allergic to fish does not necessarily mean you are also allergic to shellfish.

Symptoms

– Hives or skin rash

– Stomach cramps, indigestion, vomiting and or diarrhea

– A stuffy or runny nose, and or sneezing

-Headaches

– Asthma

– Anaphylaxis

Cow Milk Allergy

Between 2% and 3% of children under the age of 3 are allergic to cow’s milk, around 80% of them will outgrow the condition by age 16 though.

Symptoms

– Hives

– Stomach upset

– Vomiting

– Bloody stools especially in infants

 

Tree Nut Allergy

Almonds, walnuts, pecans, and pine nuts are all tree nuts, and along with peanuts and shellfish, they are the most common allergens linked to anaphylaxis.

Symptoms

– Difficulty Swallowing

– Itching and or swelling of the mouth, eyes, and throat

– Abdominal pain, cramps, nausea, and vomiting

– Nasal congestion

– Shortness of breath

– Anaphylaxis

When to Visit Our Emergency Centers

For most people food allergy symptoms are mild and can easily be treated with an antihistamine, however, if you or someone you know experiences, shortness of breath, swelling of the tongue or throat, weak pulse, drop in blood pressure, dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness, or their skin turns pale or a blueish tone, rush them to the nearest Altus Emergency Center.

We recommend you download the anaphylaxis emergency action plan and have your doctor fill it out, carry this with you at all times, it will help our doctors save your life.

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

Food allergies are both serious and can be life-threatening.  For this reason, by being aware of the symptoms of a possible allergic reaction, you can help save a life.  It may be your own. If you observe any possible symptoms of a food allergic reaction, please keep in mind that you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers.  All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Get Your High Blood Pressure Under Control

National High Blood Pressure Education Month

Control Your Blood Pressure and Live Longer

May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month!  During this month doctors and nurses across the country strive to raise awareness about the importance of keeping your blood pressure under control.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we’re joining the high blood pressure awareness crusade!  We hope to spread the knowledge that uncontrolled high blood pressure is a major factor in the onset of many serious health problems. Fortunately, there is good news. You can control high blood pressure easily with lifestyle changes and medication.

What is Blood Pressure?

The term, blood pressure is usually associated with negativity but it’s very good and necessary.  Our blood is pumped from our heart into our arteries.  It travels to every organ in our body carrying much-needed nutrients and oxygen absolutely necessary for our survival. “Blood pressure” is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries and other veins.

Blood pressure is made up of two forces:

  • Systolic Pressure – This is the pressure of the blood as it is pumped out of the heart and into the arteries.
  • Diastolic Pressure – This is the pressure of the blood flowing through the circulatory system during heartbeats.

When you look at your blood pressure reading, the first number indicates the systolic pressure which the second number represents the diastolic pressure, i.e. 120/80.

It is normal for your blood pressure to rise and fall throughout the day, but if it stays high for a long time it can cause damage to your heart and cause other health problems. The condition where blood pressure stays high for extended periods is known as hypertension.

How Does High Blood Pressure Harm the Body?

High blood pressure makes the heart and blood vessels work harder than they should, this, in turn, makes them less efficient.

Over time, high blood pressure will cause damage to the delicate tissues inside the arteries. This creates tiny tears in the artery walls where LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) will start to accumulate forming plaque inside the arteries.  This is a condition known as atherosclerosis. If left untreated, the plaque buildup will create a vicious cycle of high blood pressure as the inside of the arteries become increasingly narrow.

This cycle can ultimately lead to other conditions such as:

  • – Arrhythmia
  • – Heart Attack
  • – Stroke
  • – Vision Loss
  • – Heart Failure
  • – Kidney Disease
  • – Sexual Dysfunction

Additionally, recent studies have shown that uncontrolled high blood pressure in patients between the ages of 45 and 65 is linked to a higher risk for dementia later in life.

How Can You Know If You Have High Blood Pressure?

Hypertension or high blood pressure usually has no symptoms unless it reaches extremely high levels.  In that case, you may experience a severe headache, chest pain, shortness of breath, vision changes or a nosebleed.

Because there are no symptoms, the only way to know if your blood pressure is above normal is to get a blood pressure reading. Now, don’t get scared if you get a single high reading. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have hypertension. If your reading is high or moderately higher than normal then you should have a few more readings, try to have them at the same time of day.  Then, if the readings continue to be high then make an appointment with your doctor for evaluation and to determine the best course of treatment.  Remember that if you are concerned about a possible spike in your blood pressure any time of the day or night, all Altus Emergency Centers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  You will not have to make an appointment or wait in line.

There are 5 blood pressure categories:

Blood Pressure Category Systolic Pressure Diastolic Pressure
Normal Less than 120 Less than 80

 

Elevated 120-129 Less than 80

 

Hypertension Stage 1 130 – 139 80-89

 

Hypertension Stage 2 140 or Higher 90 or Higher

 

Hypertensive Crisis Higher than 180 Higher than 120

 

Hypertension develops slowly over time, and there is no cure for it, however, it can be managed through lifestyle changes and medications if needed.

How to Prevent and Manage High Blood Pressure

It has been proven that you can help control your blood pressure by:

  • – Reducing your salt intake,
  • – Adding plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, low-fat dairy products, and fatty fish such as salmon to your diet,
  • – Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.

Studies have shown that blood pressure can drop by as much as 5 points with a weight loss of just 5 or 10%.

When to Visit the ER

If your blood pressure gets to be 180/120 or higher you are experiencing a hypertensive crisis and should rush to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment.

A hypertensive crisis puts you at a higher risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Altus Emergency Centers are equipped with the necessary medications, equipment, and qualified staff to help all types of medical emergencies. There is no time to lose waiting in line during such time-sensitive moments.  We are open 24/7 with no lines.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Dangers of Drinking Excessive Alcohol

Preventing the Dangers of Alcohol-Related Emergencies

Don’t Let Drinking Excessive Alcohol Result in a Tragedy

As medical emergency experts, we know first hand the wide variety of situations that people get into that can result in an emergency.  This is why we dedicate time and effort to education and prevention of illnesses and medical conditions as well as the prevention of injuries.

Now that we are enjoying the Texas sun, barbeques become more frequent as well as fun get-togethers.  While most of us enjoy an occasional glass of wine, a cocktail, or a few beers, alcohol abuse and alcoholism is a real problem for a growing number of people, and it could affect you or a loved one.  Drinking excessive alcohol can turn a fun family and friends reunion into a potential tragedy.

The Ugly Truth About Alcohol Abuse

In the latest report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) show that:

  • – 4% of people age 18 and over have consumed alcohol during their lifetime
  • – 56% said they drank during the past month
  • – 9% admitted to binge drinking during the last month
  • – 7% said they drank heavily during the past month
  • – 1 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), of these 9.8 million are men and 5.3 are women
  • – There are more than 80,000 alcohol-related deaths in the United States every year

Possible Dangers of Drinking Excessive Alcohol

Increased Risk of Injury

Many of the injuries we treat at Altus Emergency Centers are a result of drinking excessive alcohol as it is the leading factor in:

  • – 60% of fatal burns, homicides, and drownings
  • – 40% of fatal car crashes
  • – 50% of severe trauma injuries and sexual assault cases

Long-term Health Problems

People who drink heavily on a regular basis have a greater risk of developing certain chronic health problems, such as:

  • – Liver Disease including Cirrhosis
  • – Certain types of Cancer such as cancer of the mouth, esophagus, larynx, live, and breast
  • – Heart Disease
  • – Sleep Disorders
  • – Depression
  • – Stroke
  • – Stomach Bleeding
  • – Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)

Drinking excessive alcohol can also make it difficult to control diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic conditions.

Birth Defects

We’ve all heard that women should not drink during their pregnancies, but, few really understand the consequences of doing so. Drinking during your pregnancy increases the risk of your child suffering from brain damage and other serious conditions, so if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant you should not drink any alcohol.

Reduce Your Risk

It is no fun when alcohol controls your life, for many, the problem doesn’t seem to be obvious, but drinking for the wrong reasons is a sure sign that alcohol has a hold on you.

 

Before you drink you should ask yourself the following:

  • – Why am I drinking? Is it because I enjoy the taste? Or I’m I trying to change my mood or fit in during a social gathering? Knowing and understanding why you drink will help you control how much you drink.
  • – How much have I had to drink today? This week? This Month? Keeping track of how much you drink will shed some light on your drinking habits, and whether you need to seek help or not.
  • – Do I really want another drink, or am I just drinking because everyone else is? Don’t give in to peer pressure, if you feel you have had enough, stop, and switch to a non-alcoholic drink for the rest of the night.

When to Visit the ER

Aside from alcohol-related injuries like falls, burns, car crashes, and violence, a person who drinks too much in a short period of time can suffer from what is known as alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning means there is too much alcohol in the bloodstream, and this can seriously affect areas of the brain that control vital functions like breathing, heart rate, and body temperature.

Some 2,200 people die from alcohol poisoning each year, if you or a loved one develops any of the following symptoms after binge drinking, go to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment as soon as possible:

  • – Confusion or disorientation
  • – Vomiting
  • – Hypothermia
  • – Cold or clammy skin
  • – Unconsciousness
  • – Difficulty walking or standing
  • – Irregular pulse
  • – Depressed breathing
  • – Seizure
  • – Choking
  • – Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • – Bluish skin especially around the lips or under the fingernails

Help is Available

If you feel alcohol is controlling your life or that of a loved one, call the Texas Alcohol Abuse Hotline 1-800-252-6465.

Altus Emergency Centers are equipped with the necessary medications, equipment, and qualified staff to help all types of alcohol-related medical emergencies. There is no time to lose waiting in line during this or any type of emergency.  We are open 24/7 with no lines.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Spring Allergies Survival Guide

Spring Allergies Survival Guide

How to Survive the “April Showers” of Texas

Ah, the joys of spring! We get to enjoy longer warmer days, fresh air, blooming fields, and allergies.

That’s right folks, at Altus Emergency Centers we are getting ready for allergy season. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who experience seasonal allergies, so should you!

learn how to survive spring allergies in Texas

What Causes Spring Allergies

Allergens, those pesky little airborne particles are the ones responsible for sending our immune systems into overdrive causing one or more of the following symptoms: sneezing, a stuffy or a runny nose, watery eyes, coughing and itchy eyes and nose.

The most common allergens this time of year are:

  • – Pollen
  • – Mold Spores
  • – Dust
pollen is the biggest cause of spring allergies

Pollen is by far the biggest spring allergy trigger. It gets wisped into the air by blooming flowers, trees, grasses, and weeds.  Most noteworthy in Spring, these tiny grains get released into the air as part of their pollination process.

This is an entirely natural and beautiful process necessary for the renewal of nature.  Unfortunately, for the countless Americans who suffer from allergies, spring can be a complete torture.  But do you really understand why? First, their immune system mistakenly sees pollen as a dangerous substance. Next, it overreacts by releasing antibodies to combat it.  As a result, you experience those terrible annoying allergy symptoms.

Preventing or Minimizing Your Spring Allergies

Although there are countless medications that can control the symptoms of seasonal allergies, it is always best to avoid getting them in the first place.

spring allergy preparation tips Altus ER Centers Texas
  • – Get a Head Start: If you already know you have spring allergies, then the best thing you can do is to start taking your allergy medication before you show any symptoms. Taking a daily antihistamine or applying nasal spray can reduce the symptoms.
  • – Keep an Eye on Your Local Pollen Count: The level of pollen in the air is higher during breezy days when the wind picks up these microscopic grains, during rainy days the allergens are practically washed away. You can check the pollen count in your area by entering your zip code here.
  • – Avoid the Outdoors: We know this is not the best way to spend these beautiful spring days, but, limiting your time outdoors will help prevent or at least reduce the severity of your allergy symptoms.
  • – Use Your Air Conditioner: Close the windows of your home, office, and car and turn on your air conditioner unit.  You should make sure the filters are cleaned on a regular basis to avoid dust, and mold from accumulating in the vents and filters.
  • – Shower After Any Outdoor Activity: Spring is a lovely time to renew your garden and play outside with your kids. If you know you will be spending time outdoors make sure to take your antihistamine medication before you leave your home, and shower upon returning. Pollen is sticky, and it can cling to your skin, hair, and clothing and then transfer to your couch and rugs where it can continue to cause allergic reactions.
  • – Determine Your Allergy Profile: Pollen from different trees, flowers, grasses, and weeds affect everyone differently, you should make an appointment with an allergy specialist to determine which types of pollen affect you most.

Know When You Need to Visit the ER

For most allergy sufferers spring allergies pose nothing more than annoying symptoms that are usually controlled with some over the counter medications, however, sometimes your antihistamine may not be enough to control them.

severe spring allergy symptoms

Anytime you experience severe and sudden symptoms especially those that make breathing difficult you should seek immediate emergency medical attention.

You could be experiencing anaphylaxis, a type of allergic reaction that is rapid, severe, and could become life-threatening.

  • – Rashes or hives anywhere on the body
  • – Inability to breathe well or at all
  • – A sense of impending doom
  • – Swelling of throat and mouth
  • – Difficulty in swallowing or speaking
  • – Severe asthma
  • – A sudden feeling of weakness (low blood pressure)
  • – Collapse and unconsciousness

Altus Emergency Centers are equipped with the necessary medications, equipment, and qualified staff to control any type of allergic reaction.There is no time to lose waiting in line during this or any type of emergency.  We are open 24/7 with no lines.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Why Kids End up in the ER

Common Reasons Why Kids End Up in the ER

More than 25 million children under the age of 18, visit an emergency room for treatment every year.  The fact that the number of underage patients has been growing steadily makes it vital for parents be aware of the most common reasons why kids end up in the ER and their prevention tips.

One of the biggest challenges for our staff at Altus Emergency Centers is to tend to an injured or sick child as quickly as possible.  It is heartbreaking to see a child in distress, for this reason, we have compiled a list of the most common reasons why kids end up in our ER and offer some helpful advice for parents and caregivers.

how to prevent your child from an emergency

Fevers

The first on our list of reasons why kids end up in the ER is the fever.  While not an actual illness it is an underlying symptom of infection, most fevers are mild and can be treated at home with an over the counter fever reducer medicine. However, if your child has a fever of 104°F or higher or if the fever persists even after administering medication, then you should bring your child to one of our emergency centers for evaluation and treatment.

If you have a baby under 3 months and they have a rectal temperature above 100.4, rush to the nearest Altus ER Center.

Tip: Closely monitor your child’s temperature, if it continues to rise or if you are unable to lower it with over the counter medications, you need to see a doctor. If your doctor’s office is closed keep in mind that we’re Open 24/7 at Altus Emergency Centers.

fevers common reason for a visit to the ER

Breathing Problems

All year long, for one reason or another, many kids end up in the ER due to breathing problems.  This is of special concern with the usual flu epidemics and Texas Spring pollen allergy outbreaks.  Children are especially vulnerable to suffer complications from the flu, and if your child suffers from asthma then they are at a higher risk.

Breathing problems can be caused by a range of conditions, including pneumonia, whooping cough, allergies or as we mentioned asthma.

Signs of a breathing emergency in children include:

  • – Rapid breathing
  • – Barking cough
  • – Trouble breathing even without physical exertion
  • – Severe wheezing or squeaking sound when breathing
  • – Chest and abdomen going up and down at different paces

Tip:  If your child shows any of the above symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention.  At Altus Emergency, we’re Open 24/7, No Lines.

Breathing problems are a common reason for a visit to the ER

Injuries & Traumas

Kids are unruly and love to run around without regard for their personal safety.  Due to the little daredevil spirit in most, there will be times when even the most vigilant parents won’t be able to prevent a fall.  For this reason, injuries and traumas are common reasons why kids end up in the ER.

The most common injuries and trauma treated at Altus Emergency Centers are:

  • – Sprains and Strains
  • – Broken Bones
  • – Cuts and scrapes
  • – Concussions
  • – Burns

Tip: You don’t want to prevent your child from playing or practicing a sport, but you should make sure they:

  • – Have all the appropriate gear,
  • – Make them wear a helmet when riding their bikes,
  • – Don’t let them climb onto unsafe structures,
  • – Don’t allow them to play with sharp edge toys,
  • – Never let them play in the kitchen while you are cooking.
Injuries and trauma are a common reason for a visit to the ER

Stomach Bugs

School-aged children are exposed to many viruses during a year, but stomach bugs that provoke nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are especially concerning as they can lead to dehydration.

Sometimes the vomiting and diarrhea are not caused by the stomach flu, but, by food poisoning, or an infection such as gastroenteritis.  While the tummy ache is usually treated at home, keep an eye open as some “stomach bugs” may be a sign of some more serious condition.

Tip: You should head to the nearest emergency center if your child shows any of the following symptoms:

  • – Severe, prolonged, or abrupt abdominal pain,
  • – Pain that radiates to the back,
  • – If the abdomen is tender to the touch.
stomach bugs are a common reason for a visit to the ER

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

Keeping children safe is a priority for every parent and one that is shared by the pediatric emergency staff of all our Altus Emergency Centers, if your child shows any alarming symptoms do not hesitate to bring them in for an evaluation.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Youth Sports Safety – Keep Your Kids Injury Free

Youth Sports Safety Tips

Helpful Tips to Keep Your Kids Injury Free

It’s National Youth Sports Safety Month!  The love of sports runs deep in every Texan. Our kids are eager to participate in all kinds of sports, from little league, football, basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, and anything else you can think of.

There is an underside to this passion for sports though, and it lies in the intensity of the workouts and the pressure to always be better, faster, stronger. Sports is a great way to build character, learn about responsibility, discipline, and teamwork. However, without the proper supervision and training, playing sports could result in a minor or major sports injury.  As our athletes start young, youth sports safety is crucial to keep your children or teens injury free.

At Altus ER we often see kids who have been injured while playing a sport, clearly, some injuries are accidental, others, however, could be easily prevented or minimized with proper supervision. In honor of National Youth Sports Safety Month, we would like to share some helpful prevention tips.

Most Common Youth Sports Injuries

Most of the youth sport injuries occur during practice rather than games, but, they could happen at any time, it is important for parents and coaches to know that any sport injury should be treated correctly to prevent further problems, if your child is experiencing pain, or if you notice swelling, lack of mobility, disorientation, or bleeding bring them in to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for evaluation.

Some of the most common sports injuries in children include:

  • – Joint Dislocations
  • – Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear
  • – Concussions
  • – Fractures and Sprains
  • – Meniscus Tear
  • – Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
  • – Dehydration

Prevention Tips

Injuries happen but we can do our best to prevent them.

  • Rest: It is never a good idea to let your kids over exercise.  The body needs time to recover and heal itself.  Make sure your kids rest at least 1 day a week, and they should also take a minimum of 1 month off per year from training for any given sport. It is also helpful to limit the number of teams or leagues your child plays in, this will reduce the risk of injury due to overuse.
  • Invest in Proper Gear: We understand that sports gear can be expensive, but, the proper gear can go a long way in preventing sports injuries. Young athletes should wear appropriate and properly fitting protective equipment including pads, helmets, mouthpieces, face guards, eyewear, and shoes.
  • Strength and Flexibility: Conditioning the body to withstand the intense workouts is one of the best prevention methods. Coaches should incorporate conditioning exercises during practice to help strengthen muscles and stretching exercises should be performed before and after practice or a game.
  • Proper Techniques: It is easy for kids to develop bad habits when exercising.  It’s the coach’s responsibility to ensure that every child is taught the proper techniques and reinforce it throughout the season.
  • Don’t Play the Hero: Young athletes are driven and passionate, and they sometimes have a tendency of thinking they are invincible. Many injuries are made worse because athletes try to play through the pain. This should never be done.  Coaches should remove the injured kids from the game or practice and a pediatric emergency physician should evaluate the injury before the child can resume their training.
  • Hydrate: Children have a hard time identifying the signs of dehydration. Always make sure that they drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise or play.
  • Only Play In Adequate Conditions: Children should not practice any sports if there are obstacles on the playing field.  Please avoid areas with exposed sprinklers. Also, avoid playing fields that are overgrown or full of garbage and/or debris.

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Injury

At Altus Emergency Centers we admire the passion and drive that young athletes demonstrate each time they suit up for practice or a game. Our emergency trained physicians are committed to restoring their health if ever they should become injured.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

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