Top Reasons for Baby ER Visits

Baby Safety Month – Top Reasons for Baby ER Visits

Becoming a parent is the greatest blessing; it is also the scariest experience of anyone’s life.

Babies don’t come with manuals, and although we all try to do our best, they will get sick, and they will get hurt at some point.

Prevention is always the best option, but accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.

a family and their baby
  • Approximately 20% of all ER visits in 2015 were children 18 or younger
  • 17% of all children in the United States visited the ER at least once
  • Children under the age of five accounted for 40% of pediatric ER visits
  • ER visits for respiratory conditions are more frequent between October and March
  • Injury-related ER visits are more common from April through September

Here is a list of the most common reasons for pediatric ER visits and tips to help you prevent them, and signs you need to go to the ER.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Upper Respiratory Infections and Bronchiolitis

Several viruses, including the influence (flu) virus, can cause upper respiratory infections. When the infection settles in the lungs, it’s known as bronchiolitis. Bronchiolitis is a common condition in infants and can cause trouble breathing, wheezing, and coughing.

Babies under the age of one have a harder time fighting upper respiratory infections than older children. The reason is that their airways are smaller, so they have more trouble breathing and even feeding when they have a respiratory infection.

Top Reasons for Baby ER Visits respiratory

Preventing Respiratory Infections

The biggest concern when a baby develops a respiratory infection is that it can quickly turn into a more severe condition such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia, which can be life-threatening.

You can help prevent respiratory infections by:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Keep your baby away from anyone who has flu-like symptoms
  • Don’t allow anyone to smoke near your baby
  • Keep hard surfaces clean and disinfected
Top Reasons for Baby ER Visits baby safety month

When to Come to Altus Emergency Center

Bring your baby to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • Trouble Breathing
  • Cough with mucus that is green, grey, or yellow
  • They are unusually inactive or upset
  • Doesn’t want to breastfeed or bottle-feed
  • Shows signs of dehydration which include little or no urine for 4-6 hours and shed no tears when they cry
  • Your baby is exhausted for no reason, breathes rapidly, or their lips and fingernails turn a bluish color

Head Injuries and Fractures

Infants and toddlers are prone to falls. They can accidentally roll out of bed or fall while learning to walk.

Head Injuries

Head injuries are common in small children, so as a parent, you need to be on the lookout for any unusual symptoms after a head injury.

You should come to our ER when:

  • Your baby shows signs of a concussion, including severe crankiness, slurred speech, vomiting, trouble walking
  • Your child has a soft spot on their head, and it feels like it’s bulging
  • If your baby has a weak pulse
  • If they have any seizures
Top Reasons for Baby ER Visits head injuries

Fractures

Some of the most common baby and toddler injuries are fractures.

You need to bring your child to our ER center if they show any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe swelling at the site of injury
  • Unwillingness to use the injured body part
  • An obvious bone deformity
  • Severe pain
  • Paleness
  • Weak pulse
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Are unable to move the injured body part

If you are not sure but suspect your baby might have a broken bone, you need to bring them to the ER so we can X-ray the injured area.

Texas Pediatric ER

At Altus Emergency Centers, we can diagnose and treat even the youngest babies when they are struggling with an illness or injury.

Our certified pediatric emergency doctors and nurses can provide the necessary care in a calm and soothing environment.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

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, 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!

International Air Ambulance Week

International Air Ambulance Week

This week we celebrate International Air Ambulance Week. The focus of this yearly event is to support and generate donations for publicly funded flying medical services in the US and around the world.

As always Altus Emergency Centers is doing its part in raising awareness of this essential medical service.

What Are Air Ambulances?

When we think of an ambulance service, the first thing that comes to mind is a big truck full of medical equipment, flashing lights, and loud sirens speeding down the road.

The only difference between a traditional ambulance and an air one is air ambulances use helicopters and, in some cases, planes to transport the patients.

Air ambulances have all the necessary medical devices, including an EKG’s, and ventilators to monitor and provide lifesaving pre-hospital treatment to patients as well as medications for inflight care. Aboard the helicopters there are also trained emergency medical technicians (EMT’s) that take care of the patients.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

The Important Role Air Ambulances Play During an Emergency

In emergency medicine, time plays a vital role. The sooner patients are diagnosed and treated, the better their chances of making a full recovery. Any delay even if it’s just a minute could cost the patient their life.

Some of the critical cases we receive must be transferred immediately to a hospital. In those cases, we use ambulances to safely and comfortably transfer patients from our facilities to the nearest hospital that can provide the care needed. 

However, there are some instances where transport by regular ambulance service is not possible, either because:

  • The injuries are time-sensitive, and the traffic conditions won’t allow for a speedy transfer
  • The hospital is too far away

In these cases, the safest and most efficient way to transport the patient is through the air in a helicopter ambulance.

Air Ambulance Service and Altus Emergency Center

Altus Emergency Centers has been an integral part of the communities we serve. In some cases, we are the only emergency center available for miles. 

As a result, sometimes, we face the challenge of moving a patient from our ER to a faraway hospital. Doing so in a speedy yet safe way has always been our priority.

Thankfully, we have been fortunate enough to build solid business relationships with some of the most trustworthy and professional ambulance services in Texas.

Our main allies in the field of air medical transport are:

 

Today we want to express our gratitude to our valuable allies. To the EMT’s, helicopter pilots, and dispatchers, thank you for the outstanding work you do every day. 

Together we have helped save many lives, and we look forward to continuing doing so for the foreseeable future.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

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, 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!

Meet Dr. Keegan Massey, Altus Baytown ER Medical Director

Meet the New Altus Baytown ER Medical Director

Dr. Keegan Massey, MD

Our Baytown ER has undergone a lot of changes in the last few months, from our partnership with Altus Hospital to designating a new Medical Director.

Today we are pleased to introduce Dr. Keegan Massey, MD to the community of Baytown.

Even though Dr. Massey is a very busy man these days; he was gracious enough to spare a few minutes to talk to us.

Join us as we get to know Dr. Keegan Massey.

Who is Dr. Keegan Massey? A Personal Look

A native Texan, Dr. Massey, was born in Elkhart and raised in nearby Corpus Christi. From a very young age, he knew what his calling in life would be; he always wanted to be a physician.

He is a very outgoing, energetic person who when time and his patients permit loves to travel, workout at the gym, and surf.

His Academic and Professional Experience

A graduate of emergency medicine from the Ross University School of Medicine, Dr. Massey completed his residency at Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital.

He practiced emergency medicine for four years in Corpus Christi before deciding to move to Houston.

His vast experience working in emergency rooms prepared him for the significant responsibilities that rely on the medical director for one of our busiest ER centers.

Dr. Keegan Massey’s Approach to Treatment

His dedication to patients and excellent bedside manner has earned him the love and respect of both his patients and peers.

He takes the time to sit with each patient, answer their questions, and calm their fears as much as possible. In his own words, he does his best to treat everyone as if they were family.

When we asked him what about Altus Emergency Centers attracted him the most, he responded it was our company culture. Just like us, he believes that teamwork, minimal wait times, and compassionate medicine are essential factors to provide the Baytown community with the best possible emergency care.

We are excited to see all the wonderful things Dr. Massey will help us accomplish at our Baytown ER center.

We know that his personalized approach to treatment will inspire the rest of us always to strive to do and be better at what we do.

We are also happy to announce that our Baytown ER now accepts Medicare patients thanks to our recent partnership with Altus Hospital. 

This means anyone in Baytown regardless of age who needs emergency care can now have access to the best care, at a convenient location, with minimal wait times.

Always Have a Plan.  Know Where to Go In the Event of An Emergency.

To ensure you get to live a long and fulfilling life, you need to take care of yourself. However, accidents do happen, and for that, you have us.

 

Altus Baytown ER is the #1 emergency center in Baytown, with state-of-the-art medical technology, the best doctors and convenient location. We are open 24/7 every day of the year, and we accept Medicare patients.

We Take MEDICARE!

Altus Baytown ER is the Preferred Outpatient NO WAIT Emergency Room of Altus Hospital.
We’re Open 24/7, Including Holidays.

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 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 24 hour ER services in Texas. We’re proud of our top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts, who are here prepped and ready to help save your life 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, 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.

National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

September is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. At Altus Emergency Centers, we want to do our part in helping to raise awareness of the dangers, treatment, and prevention of spinal cord injuries.

Spinal Cord Injury Facts

Earlier this year, the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center released the following statistics: 17,730 new cases of spinal cord injury (SCI) occur every year

  • Approximately 291,000 Americans are currently living with SCI
  • 78% of new spinal cord injuries are male patients
  • The average age of injury is 43, in the 1970’s it was 29
  • 59.5% of SCI victims are Non-Hispanic whites, 22.6% are Non-Hispanic blacks, 13.2% are of Hispanic origin, and 2.8% are Asian

 

The most common causes of spinal cord injuries are:

  • Vehicular Accidents 39.3%
  • Falls 31.8%
  • Violence (Mostly from Gunshot Wounds) 13.5%
  • Sports or Recreational Activities 8.0%
  • Medical/Surgical 4.1%
  • Other Causes 3.1%

What is a Spinal Cord Injury?

The spinal cord is made up of all the nerves that run down the center of your back. These nerves carry the signals from our brain that allows us to move our legs, arms, and the rest of our body. The nerves also send messages back to the brain about any sensations we feel, such as pain and pleasure.

Spinal cord injuries usually happen when a blow fractures or dislocates the vertebrae, which damages the nerves and disrupts the signals.

SCI is a medical emergency. Patients who receive immediate treatment have a better chance of reducing the long-term effects of type of injury.

 

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

There are two types of spinal cord injuries:

  • Complete Spinal Cord Injury: With this type of injury, the damaged nerves can’t send signals below the level of the injury. Therefore, the patient is left paralyzed below the site of injury.
  • Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: With this type of injury, the patient will still have some movement and feeling below the site of injury.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention

You should come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if you were in a car crash, fell or were otherwise injured and develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain or pressure in your neck, head or back
  • A Tingling sensation or loss of feeling in your hands, fingers, feet or toes
  • Partial or complete loss of control over any part of the body
  • Urinary or bowel incontinence or retention
  • Abnormal sensations of pain or pressure in the thorax 
  • Difficulty breathing after injury
  • Unusual lumps on your head or spine

How are Spinal Cord Injuries Diagnosed

Trauma patients who come to our ER are immediately evaluated to determine the severity of their injuries. The first thing our doctors will do is to make sure the patient can to breathe and has a pulse. 

Next, we will check the neurologic function of the patient by testing their strength and how much feeling they have in their arms and legs.

If there is weakness or the patient is unconscious, a rigid cervical collar is placed on them to prevent them from further injury.

At this point, the doctor will order a CT Scan of the patient’s spinal cord to determine if there are any fractures or other abnormalities of the spinal cord.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we can diagnose and stabilize spinal cord injury victims, and have them transported to the nearest hospital that can treat them.

Our minimal wait time guarantee means patients can start receiving treatment faster and increase their chances of recovery.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

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, 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!

Sports Eye Safety Tips

Sports Eye Safety Tips

Protect Your Eyes While Playing Sports

September is sports eye safety month. The purpose of this month-long event is to raise awareness and educate the public on the importance of protecting our eyes while playing sports.

According to Prevent Blindness, the advocacy group that sponsors Sports Eye Safety Month, more than 33,000 Americans are treated for sports-related eye injuries every year. 

 

Additionally, they report that:

  • Most eye injuries happen while practicing water sports
  • Basketball is the second leading cause of eye injury
  • Paintball, shooting air guns, racket sports, and soccer are the sports activities with the highest proportion of injuries resulting in vision damage or loss

Types of Sports-Related Eye Injuries

The most common sports-related eye injuries include:

 

Corneal Abrasion

A corneal abrasion is a scratch on the surface of the eye. Although most corneal abrasions will heal within a couple of days, it is important to have a physician examine the injury to avoid infections.

 

Traumatic Iritis

This type of injury means your iris is inflamed. Your eye color is determined by your iris, which is a thin, circular structure which controls the size of the pupil and therefore, the amount of light that reaches the retina.

With this type of injury, you will most like feel eye pain, blurred vision, and light sensitivity.

 

Hyphema

In this case, the injury will cause bleeding in the front part of your eye. The condition will typically resolve itself with a week or two. However, you should seek medical attention, because this type of injury could lead to other more serious conditions such as glaucoma.

Angle Recession

This type of injury causes damage to the fluid drainage system of the eye. If the injury is severe enough, it could lead to glaucoma; therefore, it requires medical attention.

 

Retinal Tear or Retinal Detachment

Luckily this type of injury is rare. However, you could be at risk of suffering a retinal tear or detachment for up to a year after the initial injury.

Symptoms of retinal tear or detachment include seeing:

  • flashing lights
  • Floaters or little dark sports
  • Feeling as if you see through a curtain

If you experience any of these symptoms, you need to see a doctor right away.

How to Prevent Sports-Related Eye Injuries

Close to 90% of sports-related eye injuries can be prevented simply by using the correct protective eyewear.

These tips can help safeguard your eyesight:

  • Wear the Right Eye Protection: When it comes to protective eyewear always choose protection with shatterproof polycarbonate lenses
  • Wear Helmets: For sports like baseball, lacrosse, and ice hockey you should wear a helmet with a polycarbonate face mask or wire shield
  • Replace Your Old Gear: Throw away your old protective eyewear when it becomes damaged or yellowed with age
  • Get Prescription Eye Protection: If you wear prescription lenses, you should know your regular glasses are not safe to wear when playing sports. Speak to your eye doctor about getting fit for prescription eye protection
  • Padding is Best: Protective eyewear with cushioning or padding around the brow and bridge of the nose will help prevent cuts should you get hit in the face or fall

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

When to Go to the ER

You should come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center after you suffer a sports-related eye injury when:

  • There is any noticeable change in your eyesight
  • Severe swelling in the eye
  • You have double vision
  • You have severe eye pain
  • You have a torn eyelid or cut around the eye
  • You experience a deep ache around the injured eye or brow
  • You develop a headache

At Altus Emergency Centers, we always encourage our friends and neighbors to practice sports. However, we also advise that you take all the precautions and follow the safety guides to ensure you don’t get injured.

However, in the event of an accident, we are here for you and your loved ones. We never close, not even on holidays. Additionally, we employ the best emergency doctors and nurses and offer minimal wait times, so you can go home and recuperate faster.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

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, 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!

The Keys to Healthy Aging

The Keys to Healthy Aging

In honor of our recent acceptance of Medicare at Altus Baytown ER, this month of September, we celebrate Healthy Aging Month. There is no better time to re-invent yourself and start adopting better health practices.

Aging is something that affects all of us, not just the elderly. The better we take care of ourselves now, the more enjoyable our later years will be.

If you think you are too old to make some positive changes in your life, and improve your health, think again! 

Simple changes in our daily routines can provide significant benefits, no matter what age you are.

Here are some simple tips to help you live and age healthier:

Watch What You Eat and Drink

We know that poor eating habits are affecting the health, safety, and overall well-being of Americans.

 

The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that:

  • About 90% of Americans consume approximately 3,400 mg/day of sodium, well above the federal guideline of 2,300 mg/day or less.
  • Most Americans don’t eat enough vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, dairy products, and healthy oils
  • The average American diet exceeds the recommended intake levels in these four categories:
      • Calories from solid fats and sugars
      • Refined grains
      • Sodium
      • Saturated Fat

If you wish to increase your energy levels and prevent illnesses, follow a diet that is:

 

  • Low in saturated fat
  • Includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Includes more oily fish
  • Has small amounts of low-fat dairy and lean meats

 

Also, remember to drink lots of water to stay hydrated and limit how much alcohol you drink.

Unhealthy eating can increase the risk of developing chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.

If you suffer any complications from any of these illnesses, remember Altus Baytown ER is available to attend any emergency, with the added benefit of minimal wait times. 

Stay Active

Staying active through the years has many health benefits, including:

  • Helps maintain healthy bones and muscles which help maintain balance and mobility
  • It can boost your self-esteem
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Increases energy levels
  • Lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer

 

The World Health Organization recommends adults 65 and older do 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week. You don’t need to join a gym to get your workout; you could add any of these activities to your weekly routine:

  • Walking
  • Dancing
  • Gardening
  • Swimming

 

If you are over 65 and want to add some physical activity to your day, remember:

  • Pace yourself, don’t try to do too much at once
  • Choose an exercise routine that fits your current level of fitness
  • Stay hydrated
  • When possible exercise with a buddy

As a Medicare provider, Altus Baytown ERis the best option for patients 65 and older to get treatment in case of a fall or any other type of injury.

Get Checked!

The best type of medicine is prevention. Everyone, regardless of age, should get at least an annual medical checkup.

For those of you who are 65 and older, you should talk to your doctor about getting these tests:

  • Blood Pressure Screening 
  • Cholesterol Screening 
  • Colorectal Screening
  • Eye Exam
  • Hearing Test
  • Dental Exam
  • Diabetes Screening
  • Osteoporosis Screening
  • Prostate Screening
  • Mammogram
  • Pap Smear
  • Vitamin D Test
  • Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone Screening

 

It’s never too late to start making positive changes in our life. We are blessed to live in an age where medical and technological advances can give us the chance to live longer.

Always Have a Plan.  Know Where to Go In the Event of An Emergency.

To ensure you get to live a long and fulfilling life, you need to take care of yourself. However, accidents do happen, and for that, you have us.

 

Altus Baytown ER is the #1 emergency center in Baytown, with state-of-the-art medical technology, the best doctors and convenient location. We are open 24/7 every day of the year, and we accept Medicare patients.

We Take MEDICARE!

Altus Baytown ER is the Preferred Outpatient NO WAIT Emergency Room of Altus Hospital.
We’re Open 24/7, Including Holidays.

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 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 24 hour ER services in Texas. We’re proud of our top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts, who are here prepped and ready to help save your life 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, 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.

Severe Pulmonary Disease Associated with Using E-Cigarette Products

OFFICIAL CDC HEALTH ADVISORY

Severe Pulmonary Disease Associated with Using E-Cigarette Products

official cdc health advisory

Summary

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing:

1) background information on the forms of e-cigarette products,

2) information on the multistate outbreak of severe pulmonary disease associated with using e-cigarette products (devices, liquids, refill pods, and cartridges), and

3) clinical features of patients with severe pulmonary disease. This health advisory also provides recommendations for clinicians, public health officials, and the public based on currently available information.

General Background

E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, most also contain flavorings and other chemicals, and some may contain marijuana or other substances. They are known by many different names and come in many shapes, sizes, and device types. Devices may be referred to as “e-cigs,” “vapes,” “e-hookahs,” “vape pens,” “mods,” tanks, or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). Some e-cigarette devices resemble other tobacco products such as cigarettes; some resemble ordinary household items such as USB flash drives, pens, and flashlights; and others have unique shapes. Use of e-cigarettes is sometimes referred to as “vaping” or “juuling.” E-cigarettes used for dabbing are sometimes called “dab” pens.
E-cigarettes can contain harmful or potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals (e.g., lead), volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing chemicals. Additionally, some e-cigarette products are used to deliver illicit substances; may be acquired from unknown or unauthorized (i.e., “street”) sources; and may be modified for uses that could increase their potential for harm to the user. For example, some e-cigarette pods or cartridges marketed for single use can be refilled with illicit or unknown substances. In addition, some e-cigarette products are used for “dripping” or “dabbing.” Dripping involves dropping e-cigarette liquid directly onto the hot coils of an e-cigarette which can result in high concentrations of compounds (e.g., tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] and cannabinoid compounds). Dabbing involves superheating substances such as “budder”, butane hash oil (BHO), and “710” that contain high concentrations of THC and other plant compounds (e.g., cannabidiol [CBD]).

Youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not use e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes containing nicotine have the potential to help some individual adult smokers reduce their use of and transition away from cigarettes. However, e-cigarettes are not currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a quit smoking aid, and the available science is inconclusive on whether e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking.

Outbreak Background

As of August 27, 2019, 215 possible cases have been reported from 25 states and additional reports of pulmonary illness are under investigation. One patient (in Illinois) with a history of recent e-cigarette use was hospitalized on July 29, 2019, with severe pulmonary disease and died on August 20, 2019. Although the etiology of e-cigarette-associated pulmonary disease is undetermined, epidemiologic investigations in affected states are ongoing to better characterize the exposures, demographic, clinical, and laboratory features and behaviors of patients. All patients have reported using e-cigarette products. The exact number is currently unknown, but many patients have reported using e-cigarettes containing cannabinoid products such as THC or CBD.

Based on reports from several states, patients have experienced respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain), and some have also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) or non-specific constitutional symptoms (fatigue, fever, or weight loss). Symptoms typically develop over a period of days but sometimes can manifest over several weeks. Gastrointestinal symptoms sometimes preceded respiratory symptoms. Fever, tachycardia, and elevated white blood cell count have been reported in the absence of an identifiable infectious disease. Many patients have sought initial care in ambulatory settings, some with several visits, before hospital admission.

Radiologic findings have varied and are not present in all patients upon initial presentation. Bilateral pulmonary infiltrates and diffuse ground-glass opacities have been reported. Many patients required supplemental oxygen, some required assisted ventilation and oxygenation, and some were intubated. Some patients have been treated with corticosteroids with demonstrated improvement. Antimicrobial therapy alone has not consistently been associated with clinical improvement. Assessment for infectious etiologies has been completed in many patients without an identified infectious cause. Several patients from one state have been diagnosed with lipoid pneumonia based on clinical presentation and detection of lipids within bronchoalveolar lavage samples stained specifically to detect oil.

All patients have reported using e-cigarette products and the symptom onset has ranged from a few days to several weeks after e-cigarette use. Within two states, recent inhalation of cannabinoid products, THC or cannabidiol, have been reported in many of the patients. To date, no single substance or e-cigarette product has been consistently associated with illness. CDC is working closely with state health departments to facilitate collecting product specimens for testing at the U.S. FDA Forensic Chemistry Center.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Recommendations for Clinicians

1. Report cases of severe pulmonary disease of unclear etiology and history of e-cigarette product use within the past 90 days to your state or local health department. Reporting of cases may help CDC and state health departments determine the cause or causes of these pulmonary illnesses.

2.  Ask all patients who report e-cigarette product use within the last 90 days about signs and symptoms of pulmonary illness.

3.  If e-cigarette product use is suspected as a possible etiology of a patient’s severe pulmonary disease, obtain a detailed history regarding:

    • Substance(s) used: nicotine, cannabinoids (e.g., marijuana, THC, THC concentrates, CBD, CBD oil, synthetic cannabinoids [e.g., K2 or spice], hash oil, Dank vapes), flavors, or other substances
    • Substance source(s): commercially available liquids (i.e., bottles, cartridges, or pods), homemade liquids, and re-use of old cartridges or pods with homemade or commercially bought liquids
    • Device(s) used: manufacturer; brand name; product name; model; serial number of the product, device, or e-liquid; if the device can be customized by the user; and any product modifications by the user (e.g., exposure of the atomizer or heating coil)
    • Where the product(s) were purchased
    • Method of substance use: aerosolization, dabbing, or dripping
    • Other potential cases: sharing e-cigarette products (devices, liquids, refill pods, or cartridges) with others

4.  Determine if any remaining product, including devices and liquids, are available for testing. Testing can be coordinated with the local or state health departments.

5.  Consider all possible causes of illness in patients reporting respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms and of e-cigarette product use. Evaluate and treat for other possible causes of illness (e.g., infectious, rheumatologic, neoplastic) as clinically indicated. Consider consultation with specialists (pulmonary, infectious disease, critical care, medical toxicology) as appropriate.

6.  Clinical improvement of patients with severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette use has been reported with the use of corticosteroids. The decision to use corticosteroids should be made on a case-by-case basis based on risks and benefits and the likelihood of other etiologies.

7.  Lipoid pneumonia associated with inhalation of lipids in aerosols generated by e-cigarettes has been reported based on the detection of lipid-laden alveolar macrophages obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and lipid staining (e.g., oil red O). The decision about whether to perform a BAL should be based on individual clinical circumstances.

8.  Lung biopsies have been performed on some patients. If a lung biopsy is obtained, lipid staining may be considered during pathologic examination, and is best performed on fresh tissue. Routine pathology tissue processing (including formalin-fixation and paraffin-embedding) can remove lipids. Conducting routine tissue processing and histopathologic evaluation is still important. Consider consultation with specialists in pulmonary medicine and pathology to help inform any evaluation plan.

9.  Patients who have received treatment for severe pulmonary disease related to e-cigarette product use should undergo follow-up evaluation as clinically indicated to monitor pulmonary function.

Recommendations for the Public

  1. While this investigation is ongoing, if you are concerned about these specific health risks, consider refraining from using e-cigarette products.
  2. Regardless of the ongoing investigation, anyone who uses e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street (e.g., e-cigarette products with THC, other cannabinoids) and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
  3. Regardless of the ongoing investigation, e-cigarette products should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products. If you use e-cigarette products, monitor yourself for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health. CDC and FDA will continue to advise and alert the public as more information becomes available.
  4. Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications. If you who need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact your doctor.
  5. If you are concerned about harmful effects from e-cigarette products, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.
  6. We encourage the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected tobacco or e-cigarette-related health or product issues to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portal:https://www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov.

For More Information

  1. For assistance with managing patients suspected of illness related to recreational, illicit, or other drugs, call your local poison control center at: 1-800-222-1222.
  2. Information on electronic cigarettes and similar devices:https://www.cdc.gov/e-cigarettes
  3. CDC Press Statement: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2019/s0821-cdc-fda-states-e-cigarettes.html
  4. CDC Clinical Outreach and Communication Activity announcement:https://emergency.cdc.gov/newsletters/coca/081619.htm
  5. CDC’s National Syndromic Surveillance Program’s BioSense/ESSENCE:https://www.cdc.gov/nssp/index.html
  6. For more information, visit CDC Info:https://www.cdc.gov/cdc-info/index.html

References

Barrington-Trimis JL, Samet JM, McConnell R.Flavorings in electronic cigarettes: an unrecognized respiratory health hazard? JAMA. 2014;312(23):2493-4.https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1935097
Behar RZ, Davis B, Wang Y, Bahl V, Lin S, Talbot P.Identification of toxicants in cinnamon-flavored electronic cigarette refill fluids. Toxicol In Vitro. 2014;28(2):198-208.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24516877
Flower M, Nandakumar L, Singh M, Wyld D, Windsor M, Fielding D.Respiratory bronchiolitis-associated interstitial lung disease secondary to electronic nicotine delivery system use confirmed with open lung biopsy. Respirol Case Rep. 2017;5(3):e00230.https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/rcr2.230
Gerloff J, Sundar IK, Freter R, Sekera ER, Friedman AE, Robinson R, et al.Inflammatory Response and Barrier Dysfunction by Different e-Cigarette Flavoring Chemicals Identified by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry in e-Liquids and e-Vapors on Human Lung Epithelial Cells and Fibroblasts. Appl In Vitro Toxicol. 2017;3(1):28-40.https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/aivt.2016.0030
He T, Oks M, Esposito M, Steinberg H, Makaryus M.“Tree-in-Bloom”: Severe Acute Lung Injury Induced by Vaping Cannabis Oil. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2017;14(3):468-70.https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/10.1513/AnnalsATS.201612-974LE
Khan MS, Khateeb F, Akhtar J, Khan Z, Lal A, Kholodovych V, et al.Organizing pneumonia related to electronic cigarette use: A case report and review of literature. Clin Respir J. 2018;12(3):1295-9.https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/crj.12775
Kosmider L, Sobczak A, Prokopowicz A, Kurek J, Zaciera M, Knysak J, et al.Cherry-flavoured electronic cigarettes expose users to the inhalation irritant, benzaldehyde. Thorax. 2016;71(4):376-7.https://thorax.bmj.com/content/71/4/376

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protects people’s health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.

When to Seek Medical Help

Altus Emergency Centers offers minimal wait times, an onsite laboratory, and the most advanced imaging technology. Therefore, we can diagnose patients faster than traditional hospital-based ER’s.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

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, 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!

Could Your Abdominal Pain Be Appendicitis?

Could Your Abdominal Pain Be Appendicitis?

About 5 percent of Americans will experience abdominal pain caused by appendicitis sometime in their lives. 

Could you be one of them?

Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of appendicitis. Knowing how to recognize the signs could save your life or that of a loved one.

What is Appendicitis?

As the name suggests, appendicitis is the painful swelling of the appendix, which is a small thin pouch about 2-4 inches long.

The appendix is attached to the large intestine. While nobody knows what its function is, we do know that removing it is not harmful.

 

How common is Appendicitis?

Appendicitis is the most common abdominal pain-related emergency that requires surgery. As we mentioned before, about 5 percent of Americans will develop it.

 

What Causes Appendicitis?

The appendix can swell for several reasons, including:

  • It becomes blocked, either by hardened stool, a foreign body, or cancer
  • As a response to any infection in the body
  • Intestinal worms
  • Traumatic injury

 

Who is at Risk?

Teens and young adults are the ones most likely to develop appendicitis. However, the condition may occur at any age.

What are the Symptoms of Appendicitis?

Typical signs and symptoms of appendicitis include:

  • Sudden abdominal pain that can begin at:  the lower right abdomen or around the navel and later shifts to the lower right abdomen
  • Abdominal pain that gets worse when you cough or walk
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea and vomiting soon after abdominal pain begins
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever of 99°F – 102°F
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Constipation or diarrhea

 

About 50 percent of patients will also experience one or more of the following symptoms:

 

  • Sudden pain anywhere in the upper or lower abdomen, back, or rectum
  • Difficulty urinating or painful urination
  • Severe cramps
  • Vomiting that starts before the abdominal pain begins
  • Either constipation or diarrhea with gas
stomach pain woman

How Serious Is Appendicitis, and What Happens if It Is Not Treated?

Acute appendicitis is a severe and sudden condition, with symptoms usually developing over one or two days. 

If you suspect your abdominal pain is due to appendicitis, you need to seek immediate medical attention. 

When left untreated, you run the risk of having your appendix burst a condition known as peritonitis.  Peritonitis is a severe life-threatening condition caused by bacteria from your ruptured appendix spilling into your abdominal cavity.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

How is Appendicitis Diagnosed

Diagnosing appendicitis is not always easy because many of the symptoms are similar to those of other conditions. However, if you experience any severe abdominal pain, it’s a good idea to come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center, so we evaluate and diagnose you.

When you arrive at our center, if our doctors suspect you may have developed appendicitis, they will run some tests to diagnose you correctly. These tests include:

 

  • Abdominal Exam: During the examination, they will check for tenderness in the lower right part of your abdomen, as well as for any swelling or rigidity
  • Urine Test: This is done to rule out the possibility of your pain is caused by a urinary tract infection or kidney stones
  • Blood Test: A complete blood count test will tell our doctors if you have an infection
  • Abdominal Imaging Tests: These tests will help find any inflammation of your appendix. Our doctors may order one or more the following exams:
    • Abdominal Ultrasound
    • Abdominal X-Ray
    • Abdominal CT Scan

When to Seek Medical Help

Sudden severe abdominal pain is usually a red flag. If you suddenly develop any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should immediately head to the nearest Altus Emergency Center.

If we discover you do have appendicitis, we will stabilize you and arrange your transfer to the nearest qualified hospital for your surgery.

Thanks to our business alliances with ambulance services we can arrange transportation for you. In critical cases, we can also arrange to have you airlifted to the nearest hospital where a specialist will be waiting to prep you for surgery.

Timely diagnosis and treatment are crucial factors to avoid complications from appendicitis and to help save a patient’s life.

Altus Emergency Centers offers minimal wait times, an onsite laboratory, and the most advanced imaging technology. Therefore, we can diagnose patients faster than traditional hospital-based ER’s.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

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, 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!

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