November 2021 - Best Texas ER Open 24/7, No Lines - Altus Emergency

Preventing Common Thanksgiving Injuries

Preventing Common Thanksgiving Injuries

Thanksgiving is the official start of the Holiday Season. This American holiday is the perfect excuse to spend time with your family and friends.  Let’s take some time to prepare a safe and happy time with our friends and family by preventing common Thanksgiving injuries.

At Altus Emergency Centers we are always looking for ways to keep you and your loved ones safe in whatever you do, whether you are cooking a feast, carving the turkey, or tackling your siblings and friends at the annual family football game, safety is critical!

Injury Prevention Tips

Thanksgiving day is a busy day for the entire family. Having a plan well in advance can help reduce stress levels and prevent accidents.

Here are a few tips to keep you out of our ER’s this Thanksgiving Day!  Please take the time to share them with your friends and family so we may all do our part in preventing common Thanksgiving injuries.

Preventing Injuries in The Kitchen

 

  • Some turkeys are massive, so remember to lift with your legs, not your back!
  • When taking the turkey out of the oven, make sure you have cleared a space to place it, so you don’t have to scramble with a hot turkey pan while you find a place to set it
  • Keep pot handles away from the edge of the stove to prevent accidentally knocking pots over
  • Use potholders when checking the turkey and only grab pots and pans by their handles
  • Keep a fire extinguisher close to the kitchen just in case something catches fire
Preventing Common Thanksgiving Injuries in the Kitchen

Preventing Sports Injuries

 

If part of your Thanksgiving tradition involves a friendly game of flag football, then you need to be extra careful.

In the best-case scenario, you will end up a little sore from the physical exertion; in the worst case you could end up in one of our ER’s with an ankle injury, a hand or knee sprain, or even a broken bone. To prevent this, it’s a good idea to:

  • Start working out before your annual game; even some gentle physical activity can prepare your body and help prevent injuries
  • Avoid tackle football, instead convince your playmates to go for a friendly game of tag or flag football
  • Wear appropriate clothes and shoes
  • Warm-up with some jumping jacks, a little jog, and always remember to stretch before and after a workout
  • Don’t play sports if you have been drinking
  • If you feel pain, stop playing. If the pain is severe come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for evaluation
Preventing Common Thanksgiving Injuries Playing Sports

Preventing Carving Injuries

 

These simple knife tips will help keep all your fingers intact this year:

  • Focus on what you are doing don’t let anyone distract you while slicing food
  • Don’t rush, take your time while carving the turkey, or ham. Also don’t hurry your knife work when you are preparing the dishes
  • Make sure your knife is sharp, most accidents happen when using blunt or dull knives
  • Place the cutting board or plate on a non-slip surface to anchor it. Never try carving a turkey on a slippery surface
Preventing Common Thanksgiving Injuries Cutting

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Preventing Alcohol-Related Injuries

 

It’s okay to want to have a good time in the company of friends and family, but remember to drink responsibly.

  • If you are taking any medications, speak to your doctor to see if there could be any negative side-effects from mixing your meds with alcohol
  • Don’t drink and drive
  • Drunk driving accidents peak during the Holiday Season – protect yourself and plan ahead
Preventing Common Thanksgiving Injuries Prevent Alcohol Poisoning Drunk Driving

Altus Emergency Centers would like to remind you that you are the reason someone is thankful this year. Do everyone a favor, and stay safe this Thanksgiving, this way we can all have even more to be grateful for!

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 ready to help you get well fast 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 for the 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!

TRICARE ER Family Care – We Care for Our Military and Their Families

We Care for Our Military and Their Families

The very nature of the job of a military person means they will face daily challenges. However, no service member should ever have to worry about their healthcare needs or those of his family being met, especially during an emergency.  It shouldn’t be a challenge to find TRICARE ER Family Care.

A report by news agency Reuters explains how a study revealed how American families with military healthcare are more likely to experience difficulties with healthcare access.

If you are looking for TRICARE ER Family Care, you’ve found it!  Altus Emergency Centers has been a proud TRICARE provider for many years. We believe our brave men and women in uniform should receive the best emergency medical care possible. That is why all our locations accept TRICARE patients. 

The following are some frequently asked questions to help shed light on TRICARE ER Family Care and coverage for veterans, active military, and their families.

Does Your TRICARE Healthcare Plan Cover Emergency Care?

Yes!

TRICARE emergency care coverage includes professional and institutional charges as well as services and supplies administered or prescribed in the emergency room.

TRICARE is very clear that in the event of a medical emergency, you should call 911 and visit an ER, not an urgent care clinic.

Moreover, emergency room care does not require prior authorization. However, TRICARE Prime plan members must contact their primary care provider within 24 hours or the next business day after receiving emergency care at one of our ER centers.

What Does TRICARE Consider an Emergency?

TRICARE covers three types of medical emergencies:

 

Medical Emergency

TRICARE defines a medical emergency as the sudden and unexpected onset of an illness or injury or the worsening of a chronic condition that:

  • Is life-threatening, 
  • Could cause the loss or severe impairment of a limb or eyesight
  • Requires immediate medical attention
  • Manifests painful symptoms requiring medical care to alleviate suffering

 

These are some examples of medical emergencies covered by TRICARE:

  • Cardiac Arrest (No pulse)
  • Injuries with Severe Bleeding
  • Spinal Cord, Neck or Back injuries
  • Severe Chest Pain
  • Severe Eye Injuries
  • Broken Bone
  • Trouble Breathing

Maternity Emergency

A maternity emergency applies to any circumstance that results in a medical complication which puts the mother or baby at risk.

 

Mental Health Emergencies

TRICARE patients diagnosed with a mental disorder can visit our ER when they are thought to be a risk to themselves or others.

Emergency room care does not require prior authorization. However, if the patient is admitted to the hospital as a result of their psychiatric emergency, the incident must be reported to the regional contractor within 24 hours of admission and no more than 72 hours after admission.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Are Pediatric Emergencies Covered?

TRICARE offers several healthcare plans some of which include benefits for family members including children.

  • TRICARE Prime: This is available to active duty and retired service members and their families
  • TRICARE Select: Active duty and retired service members and their families as well as active and non-active reserve, and retired reserve members and their families are eligible
  • TRICARE For Life: Available for beneficiaries who have Medicare Part A and B
  • TRICARE Reserve Select: Intended for members of the Selected Reserve and their families. Recipients must meet certain qualifications
  • TRICARE Retired Select: Available to qualified Retired Reserve members and their families
  • TRICARE Young Adult: This plan is for unmarried or adult children of an eligible sponsor. Beneficiaries must be at least 21 years of age and no older than 26

 

For more information on TRICARE healthcare plans, please visit: https://tricare.mil/Plans/HealthPlans

 

TRICARE members can trust their children’s emergency care to us. All our Emergency Centers have certified pediatric emergency physicians and nurses on staff 24/7 to attend pediatric emergencies. We also provide separate, dedicated pediatric examining rooms and equipment.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we strongly believe the members of our military deserve the best. We provide them the peace of mind of knowing their loved ones are safe and cared for with compassion by professionals who care. 

For this reason, we provide the best emergency care to all members of our military branches and their families.

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 care for you 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 for the 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!

Living with COPD – Risks, Complications & When to go to the ER

Living with COPD – Risks, Complications & When to go to the ER

Breathing is something we rarely think about, except when it’s hard to do. Unfortunately, breathing can be a daily struggle for more than 16 million Americans living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

What is COPD?

As its name suggests, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that makes it hard to breathe (Source: medlineplus.gov).

There are two common forms of COPD:

  • Chronic Bronchitis: This form of the disease includes a long-term cough with mucus
  • Emphysema: This disease slowly causes damage to the lungs 

Most COPD patients have a combination of both conditions.

Another disease considered to be COPD is:

  • Refractory Asthma:  “A severe form of asthma, which is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes the airways to swell, become narrow, and produce extra mucus”, source: Diseaseresearchinfo.org

 

COPD Statistics In the United States

COPD is widespread in the United States, according to the latest report, there are:

  • 16 million adults living with a diagnosis of COPD
  • There were 9 million new chronic bronchitis diagnoses in 2017
  • In 2017 there were approximately 3.5 million new emphysema diagnoses 
  • There are more than 7 million ER visits every year due to COPD
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is the fourth most common cause of death in the US
  • COPD is also the fourth leading cause of disability in the country

Symptoms

Unfortunately, a lot of the time COPD symptoms don’t manifest until there’s already significant lung damage. For this reason, an additional 12 million adults could have COPD but just haven’t received a diagnosis yet.

Early symptoms include:

  • Sporadic shortness of breath, especially after rigorous physical activity
  • A mild but persistent cough 
  • Having to clear your throat frequently because of excess phlegm, especially in the morning

 

As the disease progresses and the lungs suffer damage symptoms worsen, and you may experience the following:

  • More frequent shortness of breath. This can happen with mild physical activity such as going up a flight of stairs
  • Wheezing
  • A feeling of tightness in the chest
  • Chronic cough. The cough can be with or without mucus
  • Expelling mucus from your lungs daily
  • Frequent colds and other respiratory infections
  • Feeling fatigued

 

In the more advanced stages of COPD, these symptoms become more common:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Swelling in your feet, ankles or legs
  • Unexplained weight loss

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Risk Factors of COPD

Many factors can damage the lungs and increase the risk of COPD; these include:

  • Exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Smokers who have asthma
  • Repeated exposure to dust, certain chemicals, or gases at work
  • Exposure to fumes from burning fuel
  • Age: COPD is a degenerative disease that develops over a long period. Therefore, most people are in their 40’s when their first symptoms appear
  • Genetics: The genetic disorder known as an alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, is responsible for some cases of COPD

Complications from COPD

Potential complications from COPD, include:

  • Lung Cancer
  • Respiratory Infections
  • High Blood Pressure in the Lung Arteries
  • Heart Problems
  • Depression

When to Come to Altus ER

You should seek immediate emergency medical care if:

  • Your lips or fingertips turn a gray or bluish color. This is an indicator that your blood oxygen levels are low
  • You have trouble catching your breath or speaking
  • You feel confused or faint
  • Your heart is racing
  • Worsened shortness of breath that does not respond well to your medications or prescribed treatments

The entire month of October is devoted to Healthy Lung Month. At Altus Emergency Centers, we urge you to quit smoking if you are a smoker and to take the necessary precautions at work to avoid exposure to toxic fumes, or chemicals.

If you are living with COPD, please know all our centers are available to treat you if you have a severe symptom flair up.

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!

National Radiology Tech Week

Happy National Radiology Tech Week!

Beaming With Pride!  Honoring National Radiology Tech Week

They work behind the scenes and most of the time they go unseen, and yet they have the power to see right through you. No, we are not talking about spies or psychics, we are, of course, referring to our brilliant team of radiology technologists.

This week, in honor of the 126th anniversary of the discovery of the X-Ray’s by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, we celebrate the National Radiologic Technology Week. The week-long celebration aims to shine a light on the important work medical imaging professionals perform every day in our emergency centers helping us save lives and improve patient care.

What Does Being a Radiologic Technologist Imply?

For starters, the profession requires individuals to have good physical stamina, the hours are long and most of the time it is spent standing, moving heavy equipment, and mobilizing injured patients.

Attention to detail is critical, emergency radiologists help Altus ER physicians diagnose and treat sudden illnesses as well as injuries, therefore providing quality imaging is of the utmost importance.

Patience and great communication skills are also important, what most people do not understand is that to obtain a quality diagnostic image that will provide all the necessary information for the doctors to make a correct diagnosis, Radiology Tech’s or R.T.’s must position the patient perfectly, and provide accurate and detailed instructions of what to do and not do during the procedure. This is not always an easy task, as patients who enter the emergency room are for the most part in pain, they are most certainly scared, and agitated, this is especially true when the patient is a child.

Honoring-National-Radiology-Tech-Week-Altus-Emergency-Centers-Texas

Why are Radiology Techs Important?

The work an R.T. does is invaluable, most people simply assume the imaging professionals attended a training course and learned how to use a machine, but, to become a radiologic technologist takes a lot of time and effort.

Individuals must complete at least two years of formal education in an accredited hospital-based educational program or complete an educational program at an academic institution, these programs can have a duration of two to four years. In addition, all aspiring R.T.’s must pass a national certification examination before they can become licensed practitioners, but that is not all. To remain registered, they must continue to earn education credits to ensure they are trained and qualified to operate the most advanced medical imaging technology.

Vital-ER-Radiology-Techs-Altus-Emergency-Centers-Texas

Meet the Altus Emergency Radiology Techs!

During all of National Radiology Tech Week, we will be posting photos of our Super Rad Techs here and on our social media pages.  The next time you see them around the neighborhood, at an event or anywhere else, please say hello and remember, that they are here to see right through you to find out how to help you heal best!

Thank You to All of Our Rad Techs!

Aside from having the most advanced medical imagining equipment available, we also have the most qualified radiologic technologists in the area. One of the things Altus Emergency Centers is extremely proud of is the quality of patient care we offer, and this is only possible when you employ, not only the best professionals but also the kindest, most dedicated human beings. Those that truly care for the well-being of the patients and their co-workers, and that is why our incredible team of medical imaging professionals has no rival.

We appreciate and value their hard work every day, and hope you join us to celebrate and honor their valuable contributions not just this week, but every week.

Altus RT’s are the BEST!

Thank you to all the awesome men and women RT’s of Altus Emergency Centers!

Our Caring Emergency Trained Personnel Are Here for You

We Are Just Around the Corner When You Need ER Help

 

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!

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!

Choosing Your Healthcare Plan Wisely

What to Ask When Choosing Your Healthcare Plan

The 2022 open enrollment period opened on November 1st and ends on December 15th, 2021, this means that many of us are actively shopping for the health care plan that bests suits our needs and budget.

To get the most out of our medical insurance plans, we must understand how the plans work, and what they cover. State and Federal insurance laws obligate insurers to include certain benefits and provide certain protections; however, insurers offer different plans from which you can choose, some will provide more coverage and protection than others, but this usually means the extra coverage comes at a price.

When you are shopping for healthcare coverage, insurance companies will provide a summary of each of their plans, this information will help you choose the right plan for you and your family. But, keep in mind the insurers won’t provide all the details of the plan until you have enrolled in the plan.

healthcare-plan

What is a Healthcare Policy?

For all intent and purposes, a health care policy is a legal contract between you and the health insurance company or health maintenance organization (HMO). When you enroll in a program, the insurance company or HMO will provide a copy of the contract, this will give detailed information about what your rights and responsibilities are under the plan.

For more information on the types of plans offered in Texas, please visit the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI)

healthcare insurance

Can I Cancel the Plan If I am Not Satisfied with the Coverage?

Yes, when you receive your copy of the policy detailing all the benefits, it is essential you read it carefully, especially if you have any special health needs. This will be the first time you are seeing the details of the coverage you will receive, and it’s important for you to know that if you are not satisfied with the policy, you have 10 days to return it and get a refund of your premium.

What is the Best Way to Compare Plans?

When you are shopping for medical insurance, ask the provider for their summary of benefits and coverage. This is the best way for you to compare healthcare plans as this document uses a standardized format making it easier to compare one item to another.

This summary outlines the basic coverage and cost of the plan you are interested in and will include the following:

  • Benefits and Exclusions
  • Links to Your Preferred Provider Directory and Drug Formulary
  • Deductible Amount
  • Coinsurance and Copayment Amounts
  • Out-of-Pocket limits
  • Referral Requirements
Medical-plan-patient

Always Ask About Emergency Medical Coverage

State and Federal laws obligate insurance companies to include Emergency Medical coverage in their policies. However, as we mentioned before, how much is covered can change from one plan to the next. As of August 6th, 2018, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) approved a controversial new program which grants the largest Health Insurance company in Texas to deny payments for some ER visits. Therefore, it is crucial to ask how your plan will process emergency medical treatment and ER visits before you enroll.

Can You Appeal a Deny of Payment on ER Treatments?

Absolutely, every consumer has the right to appeal the insurance company’s decision to not pay for treatment received in the ER.

According to the TDI, they received assurances from the insurance company that patients will have the right to have their doctor debate the treatment plan provided with the insurer doctor before a denial of payment was issued, and patients will be able to appeal the denial with an independent review organization.

Altus Emergency Center’s Patient Advocate department is available to patients review their health insurance claims and to aid in the event of an appeal of payment denial. Our priority is and always been the wellbeing of our patients, and our doctors follow care protocols to ensure the best medical care is provided.

Healthcare-claim

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

If you are ever in need of quality 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 get you well fast 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.

COVID-19, Common Cold or The Flu? How to Tell the Difference

COVID-19, Common Cold or The Flu? How to Tell the Difference

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt our lives, many of us are feeling on edge, and the slightest symptom makes us wonder if we’ve contracted COVID-19.

The common cold, the flu, and COVID-19 are all respiratory illnesses caused by viruses, and some of the symptoms can be very similar. So how do you know which one you have?

Here, we will show the differences so you can know when you need to seek medical help.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

What Causes the Common Cold, The Flu, And COVID-19

The first similarity between all these illnesses is that they are all caused by viruses.

 

Common Cold: The reason we call colds the common cold is that numerous viruses can cause it making it an easy illness to get.

Some of the viruses responsible for the common cold include:

  • The rhinovirus
  • Human parainfluenza
  • Respiratory syncytial virus
  • Various coronaviruses – But not the one that causes COVID-19 

Viruses, including the coronaviruses responsible for the common cold, produce mild symptoms that include a stuffy nose, sore throat, and headaches.

 

The Flu: The influenza virus is what causes the flu. There are many variations of the influenza virus, all of which can cause seasonal viral respiratory infections in your nose, throat, and lungs.

For most, the flu causes mild to moderate symptoms that resolve themselves in two weeks or less. However, some patients can develop serious complications that result in pneumonia and possibly death.

 

COVID-19: The strain of coronavirus responsible for the illness, is known as COVID-19. Scientists have named this new strain the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2  or SARS-CoV-2.

The symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are much more severe, resulting in high persistent fevers, cough, trouble breathing, pneumonia, kidney failure, and even death.

Comparing the Symptoms of the Common Cold, The Flu, and COVID-19

The following symptom chart can help you decide if you have a common cold, the flu, or COVID-19. This list of symptoms, however, is not definitive and should only be used as a guide. If you suspect you have COVID-19, please call your doctor or visit one of our centers as soon as possible.

Symptoms

Covid-19

Symptoms Can Range from Mild to Severe

Common Cold

Gradual Onset of Symptoms

The Flu

Abrupt Onset of Symptoms

Fever

Common

Rare

Common

Cough

Common

Common

Common

Sore Throat

Sometimes

Common

Common

Shortness of Breath

Sometimes (with mild/moderate infection)

No

No

Fatigue

Sometimes

Sometimes

Sometimes

New Loss of Smell or Taste

Common

Common

Common

Aches and Pains

Sometimes

Sometimes

Common

Headaches

Sometimes

Common

Sometimes

Diarrhea

Rare

No

Sometimes (especially in children)

Sneezing

No

Common

Sometimes

COVID-19 Common Cold or The Flu

How Can You Be Sure if Your Symptoms Are Those of COVID-19?

Because symptoms of the common cold, the flu, and COVID-19 can overlap, it can be challenging to know when you should worry, and when you shouldn’t.

If you do have COVID-19, prompt diagnosis and treatment can help lower your risk of developing complications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a COVID-19 self-checker to help you know when to seek medical attention.

If your self-assessment indicates, a doctor should examine you, call the nearest Altus Emergency Center or use our online check-in form. You will receive a free medical evaluation, and you decide when and where to get tested should you need to.

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!

RSV Season is Here

RSV Season is Here, Become Aware to Take Care

It’s that time of the year, filled with holiday cheer but also RSV season.  Get to know the symptoms, complications, and when to go to the ER to enjoy the end-of-year holidays safely.  Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus which if left untreated can be deadly.  Get to know more about the rise in RSV cases in children and adults to prevent its spread and protect your family.

What is RSV?

According to the CDC, each year in the US there are 2.1 million outpatient visits among children younger than 5 years old and 58,000 hospitalizations.  RSV is even more dangerous within the population of 65 and older, as each year it is the cause of approximately 14,000 deaths.  While listed as a common respiratory infection, RSV is listed by the CDC as “the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age in the United States.”

Current RSV Cases in Texas

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has reported a tremendous increase in cases this year in comparison to what they were experiencing a year ago.  As you can see, the numbers speak for themselves within the CDC charts below revealing the total amount of antigen tests, detections, and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests.

In order to prevent additional RSV cases in children and adults, get to know how it’s spread, the symptoms, and complications which vary.

How is RSV Spread?

Like most respiratory viruses, RSV is spread by touching an infected surface and by air.  In fact, the virus can survive on hard surfaces for many hours.  The following are some examples of how the RSV virus is transmitted as listed by the CDC:

  • An infected person coughs or sneezes
  • You get virus droplets from a cough or sneeze in your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • You touch a surface that has the virus on it, like a doorknob, and then touch your face before washing your hands
  • You have direct contact with the virus, like kissing the face of a child with RSV

Once infected with RSV, a healthy individual can remain contagious for 3-8 days.  However, in some cases, “individuals can continue to spread the virus even after they stop showing symptoms, for as long as 4 weeks.”

Who is at Risk?

Some people are more likely to be at high risk of developing a severe RSV infection.  The following are examples of who could be at a greater risk if infected and may need to be hospitalized (source CDC):

  • Premature infants
  • Young children with congenital (from birth) heart or chronic lung disease
  • Young children with compromised (weakened) immune systems due to a medical condition or medical treatment
  • Children who have neuromuscular disorders, including those who have difficulty swallowing or clearing mucus secretions
  • Adults with compromised immune systems
  • Older adults, especially those with underlying heart or lung disease
  • Individuals with chronic health problems
  • Individuals suffering from asthma

RSV Symptoms

It is vital to know how to recognize RSV signs and symptoms.  These tend to show up within 4-6 days and usually appear in stages.  “In very young infants with RSV, the only symptoms may be irritability, decreased activity, and breathing difficulties.” Source CDC.   The following are the most common RSV signs and symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Coughing & Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Wheezing and difficulty breathing

Should you or a loved one exhibit any of these RSV symptoms (which do not come all at once), visit your local Altus location to have it evaluated by an ER physician and avoid possible complications.

RSV Complications

As we have indicated, if left untreated, RSV can escalate to dangerous complications.  These tend to vary in children and adults, the following are some of the most common RSV complications:

 

RSV Complications in Infants and Children according to the CDC:

  • Bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung)
  • Pneumonia (infection of the lungs)

 

RSV Complications in Adults according to the CDC:

  • Pneumonia (infection of the lungs)
  • More severe symptoms for people with asthma
  • More severe symptoms for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (a chronic disease of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe)
  • Congestive heart failure (when the heart can’t pump blood and oxygen to the body’s tissues)

 

RSV while common can be deadly particularly in adults and individuals with preexisting medical conditions.  There is no reason to put your own life or others lives at risk.  We offer a free medical screening at all of our four Altus locations.

When to Go to the ER

Should you suspect a case of RSV, we encourage that you get tested to avoid potential dangerous complications.  Please call 911 or visit your nearest Altus location if any of the following occurs:

 

In Children:

  • If your child is lethargic, unresponsiveness
  • It is obvious that they are having difficulty breathing
  • Lips and fingernails turn blue
  • Signs of dehydration
  • High fever
  • Stops breathing for more than 10 seconds.
  • In older children, cannot speak while trying to breathe.

 

In Adults:

  • Persistent fever of 103°F or higher
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Inability to eat/dehydration

 

In the case of adults, we recommend to use your best judgement.  While in young children and infants, they cannot communicate all that they are experiencing, in adults we recommend to follow your gut.  If you feel as if you need emergency medical care do not risk your life.

 

While scientists are working on finding one, currently, there is no vaccine or cure for RSV. The best way to prevent an RSV infection is to look for ways to prevent or better manage severe illness.

 

Prevent the spread of RSV by following the common sense tips:

  • Avoid being around people who are sick. If you are the person who is ill, do everyone a favor and stay home
  • Always cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer
  • Regularly disinfect surfaces, especially those in high-traffic areas
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent germs from entering your system
  • Should you suspect to have RSV, visit your nearest Altus location, we are always open and here to help you.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

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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 Emergency Room 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 aid you 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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