May 2018 - Best Texas ER Open 24/7, No Lines - Altus Emergency

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.

Grilling-Safety-Tips-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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
BBQ-Safety-Tips-Keep-it-Outdoor-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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
Grilling-Safety-Tips-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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
BBQ-Safety-Tips-Keep-Grilling-Utensils-Clean-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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.

BBQ-Safety-Tips-Keep-Grilling-Utensils-Clean-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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 24 hr ER Texas

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.

What-is-Blood-Pressure-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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.

Dangerous-Effects-High-Blood-Pressure-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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?

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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%.

How-to-Prevent-High-Blood-Pressure-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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 24 hr ER Texas

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.

Honoring Nurses Week

Celebrating Nurses Week: They are the Heart and Soul of Healthcare

Altus Emergency Honors Nurses Week

This week we honor those who have proven to be the heart and soul of our healthcare system our invaluable nurses!

Not to brag, but at Altus Emergency Centers we have some of the most impressive nursing professionals in Texas, we are sure our patients will attest to this.

Nursing has been ranked as one of the most honest and ethical professions for the last 16 years, no other field either in healthcare or otherwise has had this type of recognition, and to us that says a lot about the quality of humans that make up this incredible profession.

Nurses are the closest thing to an angel on Earth that anyone of us will ever encounter, and this Nurses Week we celebrate them and their profession.

President Ronald Regan proclaimed May 6th as National Nurses Day, but, one day is simply not enough to celebrate the amazing work that nurses do each and every day in every medical field, therefore the celebration has now been extended to Nurses Week, starting on May 6th and ending on May 12th Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

Thank-a-Nurse-Today-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

Nurses Can Choose from a Wide Variety of Specialties

Nursing is a special calling.  This Nurses Week 2018, we’d like to acknowledge the training and expertise of nurses.  Nursing has many applications and fields of specialty, including:

  • Emergency Room Nurses – Those who specialize in emergency room care.
  • Pediatric Nurses – Those special angels that take care of our children.
  • Geriatric Nurses – Amazing souls who take care of the elderly.
  • Oncology Nurses – Those supporting nurses who help patients during their cancer treatments.
  • Nurse Anesthetist – These assist surgeons during procedures that require anesthesia.
  • Psychiatric Nurses – They asses and care for patients with psychiatric disorders.
  • Forensic Nurses – These incredible professionals asses victims of violent crimes, they are responsible for evaluating and collecting biologic evidence of criminal cases to be presented in court.
  • Holistic Nurses – They advocate for a more wholesome approach to healing, one that integrates traditional medical care, with spirituality and self-reflection.
  • Home Health Nurses – They work directly in patient’s home, often taking care of the elderly or chronically ill patients who need long-term care.
  • Learning Disability Nurses – And invaluable asset for children and adults who have been diagnosed with a learning disability.
  • Managed Care Nurses – Like home health nurses, managed care nurses work with patients who have a chronic or terminal illness and require specialized care for the rest of their lives.
  • Nurse Midwife – They help bring little bundles of joy into this work, they also assist in pre and post-natal care.
  • Neonatal Nurses – These courageous angels work in the Neonatal (newborn) Intensive Care Unit, caring for very sick or premature babies.
  • Military Nurses – A special shout out to those brave souls that help save the lives of our brave men and women in uniform.
  • School Nurses – We are all grateful to these amazing professionals who help keep our children healthy or nurse them back to health during school hours.
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Thank a Nurse Today!

At Altus Emergency Centers, we are honored and blessed to be able to work side by side with nursing professionals who no matter how stressful the situation, is always willing to share a sincere smile, a few encouraging words, and even a joke or two to lighten up the mood.

They hold our hands and those of our patient’s, they inspire all of us to become better human beings.  They are truly the heart and soul of our organization, and for this, we salute and honor you every day.

Caring-ER-Nurses-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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.

Don't-Create-a-Tragedy-Dangers-of-Drinking-Excessive-Alcohol-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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
Increased-Risk-of-Injury-Dangers-of-Drinking-Excessive-Alcohol-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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.

Possible-Long-Term-Health-Problems-Dangers-of-Drinking-Excessive-Alcohol-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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.

 

How to-Reduce-Your-Risk-Dangers-of-Drinking-Excessive-Alcohol-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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.

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