Top Seven Holiday Medical Emergencies

Top 7 Holiday Medical Emergencies & When to Head for the ER

We all know how crazy the Holiday Season can be, with relatives coming in from out of town, finding that perfect gift, getting your home decorated, and preparing that unforgettable holiday meal.

With the all the commotion and parties to attend, the risk of suffering an accident, increase during this time of year.  Then there is the question, “Should I visit the ER for this emergency?”  Holiday medical emergencies are a serious concern, especially during Christmas and New Years Eve.

There are about 250 injuries a day during the holiday season. These are the top 7 reasons why people visit the ER during the holidays. Get the facts and signs of alert that you need to visit your nearest emergency center.  If you get quality ER treatment fast, you may be back in time to enjoy your holidays with your friends and family.

Holiday Decorating Injuries

Our first of our holiday medical emergencies believe it or not involves holiday decorating. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that Emergency Rooms across the country attend some 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating during November and December each year, and the number of injuries is on the rise.

Out of those estimated 15,000 cases:

  • 34% involve falls
  • 11% are from cuts and lacerations
  • 10% are due to back strains

Head for the ER if:

  • You fall from a ladder, stool, or roof. You have a broken bone or an internal injury
  • If you have cut yourself and bone or tendons are visible
  • If you lost consciousness after a fall, you might have a concussion
  • If you have severe pain or mobility issues

Alcohol and Drug Abuse

It is not a surprise that alcohol and drug abuse is on our holiday medical emergencies list. Emergency room visits for injuries related to alcohol usage continue to rise according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The investigation revealed that Emergency Room visits for acute or chronic alcohol-related treatment rose by 61 percent between 2006 and 2014.

 

Out of all the drug and alcohol-related injuries treated by Emergency Rooms each year:

  • 17.1% occur on New Year’s Day
  • 10.1 occur on Christmas Day

 

Severe alcohol poisoning could lead to death if you see anyone displaying the following symptoms bring them into the ER immediately:

  • Metal Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow breathing
  • A blue colored tint of the skin
  • Low body temperature
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

Trauma and Car Crashes

We encourage to drive safely every day of the year but especially during the holidays as trauma and car crashes are among the top holiday medical emergencies.  According to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the month of December can be especially dangerous for motorists.

The week between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day is considered one of the most dangerous and deadliest weeks of the year for drivers. More people on the roads, stress, weather conditions and alcohol consumption are all contributing factors for road accidents.

 

  • 40% of deaths during the last week of the year involve at least one drunk driver
  • Drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 tend to be more often involved in fatal crashes related to alcohol use. The second highest age group was drivers between 25 and 34 years old.

 

Any person involved in a car crash regardless of whether alcohol was involved or not should be brought in to our Emergency Room immediately for evaluation. Remember insurance companies are required by law to cover ER visits for car crashes.

Sprains, Broken Bones and Concussions

It seems the number of falls increases during the holidays, from falling while putting up Christmas decorations, slipping and falling while running errands, to kids falling off their new bikes, and skateboards, the truth is at our Emergency Centers we see a fair share of sprains, broken bones, and concussions during the last few days of the year.

 

You should pay us a visit when:

  • You suspect you or a loved one has a broken bone
  • You have fallen and hit your head and lost consciousness, are feeling dizzy, have trouble remembering things, have difficulty speaking, as you may have a concussion
  • If you have difficulty walking or are suffering from severe pain

Overeating

We are all guilty of overindulging during the holidays. Those special dinners and Holiday treats, however, can give us some nasty scares and some real problems. In fact, the CDC has stated that abdominal pain is the single most common reason that American patients visit the ER, accounting for seven million visits per year

According to a study by the American Heart Association, overeating makes you four times more likely to experience chest pains or worse suffer a heart attack.

 

Additionally, people who overeat during the Holidays:

  • Are 10 times more likely to visit the ER
  • Run the risk of requiring emergency stomach procedures
  • Increase their risk of having food stuck in their esophagus

Whenever you experience chest pains, shortness of breath, or severe abdominal pain you should rush to the ER for evaluation, don’t wait it out.

Allergic Reactions

During the Holiday Season, people who suffer from allergies are exposed to many triggers, from Christmas trees, mold, scented candles, and of course food.

For most of us allergic reactions are mild and can be treated with an over the counter antihistamine, however, in some cases, our immune system’s response can be severe enough to cause an asthma attack or a life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

Severe asthma attacks or cases of anaphylactic shock require immediate medical attention, all Altus Emergency Center locations will be open every day during this Holiday Season to attend such emergencies.

Kitchen Related Injuries

There’s a lot of food preparation that goes on during Christmas and New Year’s, and in our eagerness to create those spectacular meals, we could end up cutting or burning ourselves.

Hopefully most cuts and burns will be superficial and won’t require medical attention, however, if your wound is deep enough as to where you can see bone, cartilage, or tendons you need to come in for stitches, and if you have second or third degree burns you must come in to the ER immediately.

 

Altus Emergency Centers wishes everyone in the communities we serve a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And we would like to remind you that we will be available to treat any medical emergency that arises.

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, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, 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.  After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process.  We are here to help you get well and stay well!

Don’t Fall Prey to Insurance Company Fear Tactics

Don’t Fall Prey to the Insurance Company Fear Campaign

A study from the Doctor Patient Rights Project (DPRP) has revealed a disturbing trend amongst large insurance companies.

In the study, the DPRP singled out a company named Anthem Blue Cross – Blue Shield, which through its affiliated networks is the nation’s largest private health insurer. The findings in the study claim that Anthem has been retroactively denying insurance claims for emergency room visits from its clients, especially those who are from low income or rural areas.

The DPRP concluded that the purpose of Anthem’s policy is to make its clients too afraid to go to the ER out of fear that they will not be covered and must pay the whole bill out of pocket, which most patients are unable to do.

This conclusion is widely shared by the physicians and administrative staff of Emergency Rooms across the country as put in evidence by the comment of Dr. Ryan Stanton a critical care and emergency medicine specialist in Lexington, Kentucky,

“The purpose of this program is to spread fear.”

What is Anthem Blue Cross – Blue Shield Doing?

Last year, Anthem started notifying its clients in certain parts of the country, that if their ER visits end with a diagnosis for something that isn’t an emergency, they would be responsible for 100% of the cost of their visit.

The problem with this policy is that most of us don’t have enough medical knowledge or training to self-diagnose before going to the ER. According to The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), there is nearly a 90-percent overlap in symptoms between emergencies and non-emergencies, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2013). These symptom overlaps make it extremely difficult for any of us to determine the difference between abdominal pain that is life-threatening and abdominal pain that isn’t.

The fear factor that Anthem is creating with their denial policy means more people will choose to wait and see if their symptoms improve before seeking immediate emergency medical attention, a decision that could lead to lifelong disabilities or even death.

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS!

The Law is on Your Side

The policy is so outrageous and dangerous to the public, that it has even reached the Senate. As reported by CBS News, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, sent a letter to both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor asking them to investigate whether certain health insurers had violated the Prudent Layperson Standard.

The Prudent Layperson Standard which was added to the group and individual health insurance plans in 2010, and it requires health insurance companies to cover emergency room visits based on symptoms and not the final diagnosis. It also eliminates the requirements for prior authorization before seeking emergency care.

In our state, the Texas Department of Insurance requires insurance companies to pay emergency facilities like Altus Emergency Centers, the same way they would bill a facility which is part of the insured’s in-network. In other words, your insurance company should cover the same amount regardless of what type of emergency facility you visit, they cannot provide you with a lower benefit level.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also added numerous patient protections, most notably, they now require health plans covering emergency services to provide such coverage without the need for prior authorization.

Furthermore, health plans are required to pay for emergency visits for medical situations in which an average layperson believes his or her health is threatened. The final diagnosis should not influence whether the insurer pays for the emergency room visit or not, and insurance companies cannot legally apply the claim towards the out-of-network benefits.

What Can You Do If Your Claim is Denied?

The first thing you should do is contact our Patient Advocate Department. Our staff will review your denial and process an appeal on your behalf; they will submit documentation and justification for any ER treatment that you received.

If you get denied a second time, you still have the option to request an external review by a third-party, which will most likely be the state insurance regulator.

The appeal process is lengthy and labor-intensive because the goal of the insurer is for you to give up. Regardless of how long it takes you should continue with the process because the law is on your side.

Don’t fall victim to these scare tactics being implemented by insurance companies. If you have any concerns about the emergency medical coverage of your health insurance plan, our Patient Advocate can help clear these and even arrange to speak directly to your health insurance agent on your behalf.

Altus Emergency Patient Advocates are here to help you.  We help you decipher the complexity of the medical industry to uncover how it can be most beneficial to you.  We have focused our efforts on helping people better understand their insurance plans and how our billing works.

If you have any questions regarding your billing, please don’t hesitate to contact our Patient Advocate Department.  Please feel free to call 469-383-7361 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm and ask for the Patient Advocate.

MY EMERGENCY, MY CHOICE!

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, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, 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.

Lumberton Christmas Card Contest 2018

Christmas Card Contest 2018

Thank You Lumberton Intermediate ISD!

4th Annual Christmas Card Contest

It was a pleasure to hold the Annual Christmas Card Contest for the fourth year in a row.  A special thank you to the art teacher, Kristy Cleveland.  Last week we celebrated the students who participated and excelled in our 2018 Intermediate Christmas Card Contest. While we are so proud of each child, allow us to present the following winners:

BOYS TOP THREE:

  • Kai Brown
  • Oscar Rivera
  • Gaivyn Brooks

GIRLS TOP THREE:

  • Emily Nicholson
  • Addalee Buxton
  • Elizabeth Thomas

Highlights of the Awards Ceremony

The following are some of the highlights from the awards ceremony we held in honor of the parents, teachers and of course the inspired children that participated in the Christmas Card Contest 2018.

Our Commitment to You

Altus Emergency is committed to the relationships we forge. Here, the community and schools that surround us are an integral part of our success. We truly want you all to thrive.

Through the years, we’ve remained true to our mission of giving back to the community. Some of you may have actually met us while we were out supporting our local law enforcement or through our monthly Altus Gives charity drives.

We stay true to our commitment year-round and enjoy seeing the impact. We are truly here to serve you, even beyond the ER. You are more than a number. You’re Family!

Thank you, Lumberton, for choosing us time after time!

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, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, 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.

Insurance Companies Must Cover ER Trips Involving Traffic Accidents

Insurance Companies Must Cover ER Trips Involving Traffic Accidents

Danger on the Road – Traffic Accident Statistics

With nearly 264 million vehicles registered and over 218 million individuals with a valid driving license, our roads are some of the busiest in the world. This, unfortunately, means traffic accidents are more common than any of us would like.

Annual Car Accidents in The United States

Every year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues a briefing based on reported car accidents nationwide. The NHTSA keeps track of injuries, fatalities as well as the factors which might have contributed to the crash such as speeding, alcohol, and distractions.

From these reports we can gather the following statistics:

  • There are more than 6 million reported car crashes a year in the United States
  • An estimated 37,133 people lost their lives in motor vehicle-related accidents in 2017
  • 18,720 people have died between January and June of 2018 according to the National Safety Council

The Impact of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Texas

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the state of Texas has the most traffic fatalities of any state in the country.

  • In 2017 there were 3,407 fatal car crashes reported
  • 3,722 people lost their lives due to a car crash related incident in 2017
car accident trauma emergency

Most Common Causes of Traffic Accidents

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the leading cause of road accidents in America. Drivers can become distracted by several things while driving:

  • Cell phones
  • Eating
  • Drinking from a mug or bottle
  • Talking
  • Children
  • Pets in the car

Not paying attention to the road while driving can have dire consequences; the NHTSA reports 3,166 fatalities in distraction-affection crashes in 2017. There were also an estimated 795 deaths due to drowsy driving last year.

In addition to these tragic deaths, thousands of victims who experience long-term disabilities.

Speeding

The second most common cause of road accidents in the United States is speeding, and because most of these accidents typically occur at high speeds, it is also a significant cause of traffic accident-related deaths with an estimated 9,717 deaths in 2017.

Drunk Driving

Road accidents involving drunk drivers are another major cause of injuries and fatalities, especially during the weekend and holidays. Drinking slows down our response time and our ability to focus on the road, and it can also make us drowsy.

According to data from the NHTSA,

“29% of the total fatalities of road accidents were in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.”

In our own state of Texas:

Out of the 3,722 road accident deaths in 2017, 1,468 or 39% of them occurred in an accident caused by a drunk driver.

Getting Prompt Medical Attention Can Help Save A Life

According to the CDC for every person killed in a road accident,

“8 were hospitalized, and 100 were treated and released from the Emergency Room.”

Anyone who is involved in a severe motor vehicle accident should be taken to the nearest Emergency Room for evaluation, given that some injuries can only be diagnosed with advanced imagining technology.

During a crash, victims might have suffered internal injuries or head trauma that if not treated promptly can lead to long-term disabilities or even death.

Some injuries are more time-sensitive than others, in these cases it is better to transfer the patient to a Free-Standing ER facility such as any of the Altus Emergency Centers where they can be treated by a licensed emergency physician right away, rather than transport them to a Hospital ER where their treatment might be delayed due to overcrowding issues.

It’s important to remember that insurance companies are obligated to offer emergency room coverage in their policies. If you are involved in a car accident and need to go to the emergency room, your insurance policy will cover your visit.

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, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, 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.

Meet the Patient Advocate – Lendall Barker

Lendall Barker, Your Patient Advocate

Introducing – Lendall Barker, the Altus Emergency Centers Patient Advocate.

During a medical emergency, it’s a relief to get fast, quality care but does it end there?  After receiving medical care, there is an entire billing process that can be very confusing.  For this reason, it is vital to provide a service to guide the patient and unravel the complex web that is the billing and insurance claim process.  In an emergency center, having a stellar Patient Advocate department is especially crucial to ensure that each patient is cared for from the moment they walk in and get first-class ER care without the wait, to being available through the entire billing process. At Altus Emergency Centers, we are proud to have Lendall Barker as our Patient Advocate.

“Excellent medical service! Doctors were timely and professional. Not a long wait to get seen and dealing with the patient advocate Lendall Barker was outstanding. He was so attentive to my needs and concerns and he made it a breeze. I didn’t have to stress about insurance. I totally appreciate him and his pleasant demeanor. He was so kind and easy to talk to. I’d suggest Altus to anyone! They are great!

— Jessica Smith

Altus Emergency Centers prides itself on employing the most caring and experienced ER Healthcare Staff.  We invite you to get to know Lendall Barker, our friendly Patient Advocate happy to help guide you through a complex process and help find solutions.  Meet the Patient Advocate is the latest in the series of Altus ER Staff articles dedicated to the amazing people behind what is #TeamAltusER:  The Patient Comes First.

Lendall Knows Insurance Inside Out

You can count on Lendall Barker, our Patient Advocate break down the billing jargon to get the most from your insurance coverage.  Lendall is licensed in Insurance Sales and Insurance Billing, as well as experienced in tax preparation allowing him to give a knowledgeable and insightful perspective.

The Patient Advocate is more than just a valuable resource, it’s people that care and will do their very best to help you.

Getting Back to Good Old Fashioned Values

In an age that everyone hides behind automation, it’s rare to actually get a person on the phone to help when you need it.  Our Patient Advocate is the one you can call.  We were happy to find Lendall Barker as he believes in that old-fashioned warm, personal approach to assist and guide.  Our patients find it refreshing.

I love working for Altus ER because;

My life has taken many turns  in this world I have been blessed to work in fields that have taken me of the poorest to the riches that life has to offer. I truly believe that I found this position so that I can help others and pay back what I have been so blessed to learn.”

– Lendall Barker

Who is the Patient Advocate?

Get to know the Patient Advocate from Waxahachie.

We enjoyed a lovely chat with Lendall.  He was happy to share about his family, hobbies, and passions. The following are some highlights of our interview with Mr. Barker.  A warm, kind guy with a sense of humor that’s all heart.

Q:  “Tell us a little about yourself”

A:  Lendall.

Married 22 years live in Waxahachie for 32 years I enjoy helping people and giving back what I have been blessed to learn while here on this earth both good and bad.

Q:  “How about your family?”

A:  Lendall.

Raised two girls now with two children each of their own so they are getting back what they put us through. (Just kidding!) Two very good girls. Most my family is deceased which gives me my unique knowledge of the medical field.

Q:  “What do you do when you’re not helping patients?

A:  Lendall.

That would be cooking, fishing and bowling but not in that order.

Thank you, Lendall Barker, for helping us spread the word.  If you are confused with the insurance process, you are not alone.  Call your friend, Lendall at the Patient Advocate’s office.  He’s here to help you.

For Peace of Mind, Call Patient Advocate

If you have any questions regarding your billing, please contact our Patient Advocate Department.

Call us 469-383-7361 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm and ask for the Patient Advocate.

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, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, 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.

HEALTH NEWS, EVENTS & MORE.

Online Medical Technology

heartBEATRed

😱 EMERGENCIES CAN BE SCARY!
This Halloween, 💀 Don't Turn into a Skeleton Waiting in Line!
🚨 Go to the NO WAIT ER Open 24/7, In-House Doctors 👨‍⚕️

⏱️ Check it out 👉 https://www.altusemergency.com/
🏥 #AltusERCenters Happy Halloween!

🌝 It looks like we're forecasting GREAT WEATHER AHEAD!
Tonight, we root for the #HoustonAstros . ⚾ 🏆 #TakeItBack Guys!
🎃 On #Halloween, we'll see you at the #TrunkorTreatLumberton2019!
Oct. 31st, 6:30pm - 8:30pm 137@ N Lhs Dr, Lumberton

Facebook

2 days ago

Altus Emergency Centers

Join us in the RACE AGAINST HUNGER! 🏃🏻‍♂️ We're proud to be a sponsor of the Midlothian Gobble Wobble 1mi/5k coming up 11.23.2019 at 8 am.
🏃‍♀️ You're still in time to register: mannahousemidlothian.org/gobblewobble

🦃 All proceeds from this event hosted by Manna House & the United Way of West Ellis County will go to the Manna House Food Pantry. Take care of your health, heart, and soul!

🏥 #AltusERWaxahachie Open 24/7, No Lines.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

WORLD DIABETES DAY. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦Parents, know the signs of diabetes in your child: frequent urination, weight loss, lack of energy & excessive thirst.

🚨 Left untreated or unmanaged, diabetes can lead to life-changing complications. These include blindness, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke.

🏥 Experiencing a Diabetes Emergency? Don't Wait!

#AltusERCenters Texas ERs Open 24/7, No Lines.

#WorldDiabetesDay
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook