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Dangerous Diets and Workout Routines

Dangerous Diets and Workout Routines

ER Doctors Recommend to Stay Away from Extreme Weight Loss Routines

The beginning of the year is a great time to set goals for ourselves, and losing a few pounds, getting more exercise, and improving our fitness level is a wonderful way to start the year, not to mention these goals and easily achievable, but, in our eagerness to get in shape we might end up taking things a little too far.  Avoid any type of dangerous diets and workout routines.

When our focus lies only on the result, we are more likely to make bad choices, instead, we should be focused on planning the best route to achieve our goals, this way we will avoid making common diet and fitness mistakes that can end up harming our health.

Eating Healthy vs. Dangerous Diets

The Dangers of Extreme Dieting

Anyone who is carrying a few extra pounds dreams of a quick, easy effortless solution to losing their muffin top or love handles, a pill that burns all the fat in a matter of days, a shake that will make us drop a couple of dress sizes in a week, unfortunately, those products are not only ineffective, they can be extremely dangerous, as are fad diets.

Extreme dieting is a very unhealthy way to diet, most fad diets center around cutting back on calories, they do this not taking into account the type or quality of the calories consumed, what they do is limit the amount of food a person ingests to a point where it can border on starvation. This is the reason most fad diets usually don’t last more than 2 weeks, in addition, the body’s response to starvation actually slows down the metabolism, making it harder to lose fat.  Extreme weight loss dieting is dangerous.

Extreme weight loss dieting can have serious health consequences including:

  • Fatigue
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Muscle Atrophy
  • Malnutrition
  • Constipation
  • Acidosis
  • Rashes
  • And worst of all the regain of any weight loss achieved

Extreme dieting can also have negative effects on our psychological well-being, causing:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Reduced Sex Drive
  • And an increased risk of developing eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia.

Benefits of Healthy Dieting

In contrast, healthy dieting will produce an overall feeling of wellbeing helping you:

  • Feel more energetic
  • Become stronger
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Improve the body’s natural ability to heal itself and repair cell damage
  • Sleep better
  • Ward off diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney, and liver disorders
  • Keep your bones strong

So, this year focus your efforts in eating right, choose fruits instead of sugary treats, drink more water and less carbonated drinks, eat more vegetables and lean meats instead of fried foods, small changes in our eating habits go a long way in improving our health.

Signs of Alert! Tell-Tale Signs that you need to Visit the ER Immediately

If you have been trying dangerous diets and experience any of the following signs, please seek immediate emergency medical assistance:

  • You can’t keep food down.  Constant vomiting for over 2 days.
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days, bloody diarrhea,
  • Fever higher than 103 F (39.4)
  • Confusion and Lethargy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unbearable abdominal pains or cramps
  • Dizziness and Fainting
  • No urine in the last 12 hours
  • Heart Palpitations, Chest Pains

If you are in Texas, go to Altus Emergency Center for the best ER Care 24/7 with No Lines in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Exercising Safely vs. Reckless Workouts

The Dangers of Extreme Exercise

Being motivated to get fit and adopt an exercise regime is great, we can all benefit from some physical activity, but extreme exercising is not something any of us should contemplate. We have been bombarded by reality TV shows where contestant’s workout 8-10 hours a day, this is not only unrealistic, it’s not healthy.

Exercising too much can have the following negative side effects:

  • Severe wear and tear of muscles and joints
  • Dehydration
  • Increased risk of injury
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Rhabdomyolysis, a rare condition that occurs when muscle fibers break down and enter the bloodstream, these fibers called myoglobin circulate through the body and cause severe damage to the kidneys, this condition can be fatal.

Danger! Tell-Tale Signs that you need to Visit the ER Immediately

Whether or not you have been practicing unsafe extreme weight loss type workouts, please visit your nearest emergency center, emergency room or urgent care if you or a loved one exhibit any of the following signs:

  • When an injury is accompanied by a pop or a crack and it doesn’t go back to normal.
  • Inability to walk or bear weight on a limb
  • A joint that locks up or feels unstable
  • A muscle pull, strain that is badly bruised
  • If you experience ANY type of symptoms after a head injury
  • You have bleeding that will not stop
  • Numbness, tingling or weakness
  • Any pain that is unbearable or gets worse with time
  • You feel a dull ache in your chest and you are unusually out of breath
  • You have the mother of all headaches.

Don’t wait in line!  Visit your nearest Altus Emergency Center.  We are Open 24/7, with No Lines to get the best ER care.

How Much Exercise is Safe?

The American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association recommend healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week, this can be achieved with 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 times a week or 20 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise 3 times a week.

Adults should also train each major muscle group 2-3 times a week, making sure to wait at least 48 hours between resistance training sessions.

If you don’t already exercise regularly, ease yourself into the habit, don’t try to do too much in the first day, if your goal is to walk for 30 minutes a day, start with 10-15 minutes and work yourself up to 30 minutes, there is no rush, go at your own pace, avoid extreme workout videos and if possible join a gym and have an expert design your workout plan.

Altus Recommends to Say No to Dangerous Diets and Workout Routines

This year our goal at Altus Emergency Centers is for the members of the communities we serve to improve their health, eating better and exercising more in a safe and responsible way.

We are here for you to help you prevent but we are also Open 24/7/365 if you need us.  It’s good to know that you have where to go in the event of an emergency.  At Altus Emergency Centers, you are in good hands.  Plan today to be safe tomorrow.

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!

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!

National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month (NMAAM). This annual campaign aims to raise the public’s awareness of the dangers of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse.

Most of us know of the growing drug problem in our communities. But most of us aren’t aware that the fastest-growing drug problem in America isn’t heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamines, its prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

How Big is The Problem?

Most people take prescription medication responsibly; however, there is a growing trend, especially among adolescents and young adults that are misusing prescription drugs.

 

According to estimates from The National Institute on Drug Abuse:

  • 18 million people have misused prescription medications at least once in the last 12 months
  • 2 million Americans misused prescription pain relievers for the first time within the past year
  • More than 1 million misused prescription stimulants
  • Some 1.5 million misused tranquilizers
  • 271,000 misused sedatives
  • In 2019, 14,139 individuals died from prescription opioids overdose
  • And, 5,175 Americans died from antidepressant overdose
National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

Why Is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month So Important This Year?

The reasons why people misuse or abuse prescription and over-the-counter medication vary. In most cases, easy access to these medications topped the list of reasons.

Other reasons include misinformation on how addictive opioid medications are and the perception that prescription medications are safer and less harmful or addictive than illegal drugs.

The challenges we’ve had to face this year due to the public health care crisis mean many of us are suffering from the effects of extreme stress and anxiety.

Prolonged stress affects every aspect of our lives, from our emotions, behaviors, how we think, and of course, our physical health.

Stress can contribute to the misuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications to try and eliminate or decrease the severity of symptoms such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, and pain.

That is why at Altus Emergency Centers, we are working to raise awareness of the dangers of medicine abuse.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Preventing Medicine Abuse

These are some ways we can help prevent accidental or deliberate prescription drug overdoses in our home.

 

Don’t Hoard Medications and Keep Them Out of Children’s Reach

Many of us are guilty of saving unused medications in our medicine cabinet, yet this habit can have dire consequences.

Hoarding medications at home increases the risk of taking expired medications, which can have serious side effects.

Prescription drug addiction among children is growing. Make sure you speak to your kids about the dangers of taking drugs, even prescription drugs for non-medical purposes.

It would be best if you disposed of your unused medicines through drug take-back programs. Ask your pharmacist if they have such a plan in place.

 

Only Take Medication as Prescribed and Never Self-Medicate

It’s critical to adhere to your doctor’s instructions when taking prescription medications. For over-the-counter medicines, you should always follow the indications of the manufacturer.

The one thing you should avoid is self-medicating. If you feel unwell, call your doctor, visit our ER, or speak to your pharmacist or another trained medical professional. Don’t take medications based on friends or family’s suggestions and avoid miracle cures advertised on websites.

 

Look for Alternatives When Possible

If you feel stressed, anxious, or experiencing pain, rather than reach for the medicine cabinet several times a day, try to find alternative ways to deal with your situation.

Join a support group at your local church or speak to a friend about how you feel. Try getting a massage or do stretching exercises every day to help ease your pain.

National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

What to Do In Case of an Accidental Overdose

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accidental overdoses are a leading cause of death among people between 35 and 54.

A drug overdose occurs when we take too much over-the-counter medicine or prescription medication. It can also happen if we take several prescription or over-the-counter drugs at the same time or if we combine them with alcohol.

Symptoms of an overdose can range from mild to life-threatening. Mild symptoms include slurred speech, drowsiness, and unsteadiness.

Severe and life-threatening symptoms require immediate medical attention. Call 911 and ask to be taken to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Breathing problems
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Unconsciousness

 

Altus Emergency Centers is here to help you overcome any medical emergency, including drug overdose. When you visit us, we will treat you like family because, to us, you are. We care about your well-being. If you are struggling with stress, anxiety, or drug addiction, we urge you to please reach out and seek help.

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 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!

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We used to think of domestic violence as a family issue. Fortunately, this is no longer the case; we now understand how domestic abuse affects everyone in the community.

Sadly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic violence is on the rise. Economic insecurity, stress, and isolation are all situations that increase the likelihood of violence within families. Unfortunately, the pandemic has also limited victims’ ability to reach out to friends and family for help.

As a community, we can band together to help victims and survivors of domestic abuse heal so they can rebuild their lives. But before we can do this, we need to understand what domestic violence is.

What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic violence is not limited to physical abuse. Instead, domestic violence is any behavior that tries to control, submit, intimidate, and harm a spouse or partner. While most domestic abuse victims are women, men also experience this time of violence.

The Reality of Domestic Violence in America

  • More than 10 million Americans suffer domestic violence a year. This means every minute, nearly 20 people are physically abused by their intimate partner
  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men say they’ve experienced some form of physical violence from their sentimental partners within their lifetime
  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men report being victims of severe violence by a current or ex intimate partner in their lifetime
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 8 men say they have been victims of stalking during their lifetime

During the pandemic, domestic violence calls spiked in Texas, according to a report by TexasMontly. And per data from the Gun Violence Archives, domestic violence-related shootings are up 69% in our home state.

Recognizing the Red Flags of Domestic Violence

Nobody willingly enters an abusive relationship. In fact, many miss the warning signs that their partner may turn violent or controlling.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline lists these red flags to look out for. The following are a few of the warning signs that your partner may be an abuser.

  • Says things to embarrass you or put down either in public or at home
  • Looks at you or acts in ways that make you uncomfortable and scared
  • Controls whom you see and talk to, where you go and what you do
  • They Prevent or discourage you from seeing your friends and family
  • They take your money or refuse to give you cash for expenses
  • They make decisions for you and prevent you from making your own
  • Accuse of being a bad parent or threaten to harm or take the children away from you
  • They won’t let you work or attend school
  • They blame you for the violence, or they deny the abuse is happening
  • They damage or destroy your property or threaten to hurt or kill your friends, family, or pets
  • They threaten or intimidate you with weapons such as guns or knives
  • They become physically abusive. This behavior may include shoving, slapping, choking, or hitting you
  • They try to stop you from calling the police and pressing charges
  • Tell you they will commit suicide because of something you’ve done or if you leave them
  • Pressuring or forcing you to have sex when you don’t want to or doing sexual acts you are not comfortable with
  • Pressuring you to take drugs or drink alcohol
  • Stopping you from using birth control, refusing to use condoms, or pressuring you to become pregnant

When to Go to the ER

Domestic violence-related injuries can sometimes be severe enough to warrant a trip to the ER.

Please come to the ER if you suffer any of these injuries:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Broken bone
  • Bleeding that won’t stop
  • Chest pain
  • Severe headache or migraines
  • Concussion
  • Sprains or strains
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sexual assault
  • Vaginal bleeding or tearing
  • Anal bleeding or tearing
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Drug overdose

Where to Get Help

If you are a victim of domestic violence, please know that help is available. Please reach out to any of the following organizations:

National Domestic Violence Hotlinehttps://www.thehotline.org/

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)https://ncadv.org/get-help

Family Crisis Center of East Texashttps://www.familycrisiscenterofeasttexas.com/

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

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!

Your Child’s Health and Wellness Checklist

Your Child’s Health and Wellness Checklist

Children depend on their parents for everything. We know how much effort you as parents put in to provide them with love, food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical care. But despite everything you do, the demands of daily life sometimes make it challenging to cover all the bases when it comes to your children’s well-being.

So, to help you keep track of all the issues concerning your child’s well-being, our health experts have put together this helpful checklist.

Emotional Well-Being

Children are dealing with a lot these days, and it can lead to mental and emotional distress. But unlike physical symptoms, a child’s mental or emotional problems can be harder to identify. But you can learn to recognize some of the signs that your child needs help.

The most important thing in any relationship, including parent-child ones, is communication. Build solid and honest communication channels with your children from a young age. Let them know you they can talk to you about anything.

Signs your Child May Need Help

  • Changes in school performance
  • They are anxious and worry too much
  • They experience long periods of sadness
  • They have persistent nightmares
  • Explosive behavior, including anger or aggression
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Intense fear of weight gain
  • Refusing to go to school
  • Changes in sleeping or eating habits
  • Substance abuse

If you notice any of these signs, do some research and learn everything you can about the behavior or symptoms that worry you. Then, reach out to the school or community counselor, don’t be afraid to ask questions, remember the goal is to help your child get well.

Physical Well-Being

Regular Doctor Visits

Schedule routine physicals, including a visit to the eye doctor and dentist for your children at the start of every school year.

Keep up with Your Child’s Vaccination Schedule

Here are some of the immunizations the CDC recommends for children depending on their age:

Babies

  • Hepatitis B
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b disease
  • Pneumococcal disease
  • DTaP
  • Rotavirus
  • Polio

12 to 23 Months

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis) (DTaP)
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Hepatitis A (HepA)
  • Hepatitis B (HepB)

11 to 12 years

  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine
  • HPV vaccine
  • Tdap
  • Flu vaccine every flu season

Speak to your pediatrician about which vaccines your child needs.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Teach Them Healthy Habits

Here are some healthy habits you can teach your children that will help them lead a healthy life:

  • How to properly wash their hands
  • Brush and floss their teeth at least twice a day
  • Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Choosing healthy foods over junk food
  • Exercising regularly
  • Keep their rooms clean and neat

Teach Them Basic First Aid

As your children grow, it’s essential to teach them some basic first aid so they can tend to their minor wounds or assist others when needed.

Teach your children how to clean scrapes properly and use Band-Aids. Also, teach them whom to call for help in case of an emergency, make sure to keep a list of emergency numbers on the fridge. It’s also helpful to teach them how to call 911 and give directions to your home.

COVID-19 Checklist

The pandemic has made parenting even more challenging. Now that schools have reopened, it’s essential to keep your eyes open to spot the first signs of the disease.

  • Check Temperatures Daily – Allow your child to stay home if their temperature is 100.4 degrees or greater. If the fever doesn’t go down, call your doctor
  • Check for COVID-19 Symptoms Daily: Do basic screenings for COVID-19 symptoms of everyone in your household every day
  • Let Them Stay Home: Don’t send your child to school if they are unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms, instead call your doctor and monitor their symptoms
  • Inform the School: Inform the school immediately if you suspect your child has COVID-19 or if they’ve tested positive for the SARS-CoV2 virus. This way, school officials can notify other parents and isolate teachers and students to prevent further infections.
  • Get Familiar with Community Testing Sites: Learn where to go to get tested if you suspect your child or other family members may have COVID-19
  • Stay Informed: Ask your school for updates on any new COVID-19 policies and procedures

Your child deserves the best in life, and that includes the best medical care possible. That is why our doctors and nurses are trained in pediatric emergencies, and we have specially designed pediatric examining rooms at all our centers.

Altus Emergency Centers will always be there for you and your family if you have a medical emergency.

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!

COVID-19 Variants – What You Need to Know

What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Variants

The following article on COVID-19 Variants is based upon official health sources such as WHO, CDC, and Texas Health & Human Services.  With so much information floating around about the pandemic, we hope to be able to break it down to the most frequently asked questions about COVID-19 variants to help clarify a highly complex and quickly changing topic.  We recommend everyone to fact-check anything they hear, see or read with the official healthcare authorities.

Understanding the Variants Video Source: CDC

What is a COVID-19 Variant?

Before we even begin to get into COVID-19 variants, we’ll need to give you a quick biology class to understand what a variant really is.  As long as a virus is transmitted and allowed to thrive from host to host, it is expected to mutate and eventually create new variants.

 

As our human genetic material is called DNA, the virus genetic material is called RNA (ribonucleic acid).  A virus (which is not a living organism) needs to invade a happy and healthy cell in order to reproduce or replicate itself.  When it attacks the cell, it transmits its RNA making it a “sicky cell” and replicates it to basically make more virus-contaminated cells.  As the cells multiply, some errors can occur along the way so that they are not “perfect copies”, these unperfect copies of the original are called mutations.  When enough mutations occur, the strongest ones eventually set themselves apart from the rest (through natural selection) and become the dominant strain, a new variant.  (Source: Tufts University)

 

While there may be many mutations and variants, most will die but the stronger ones that survive can become dominant strains.  In the case of the COVID-19 virus, these are the ones who are being referred to as the “variants of concern”.

COVID-19 Varients of Concern in the US

Now, let’s get to know what the top COVID-19 Variants of Concern are within the US.  Since the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) was officially identified by Chinese authorities on January 7, 2020 (source: WHO), there have been four main variants of concern (source: CDC).

Alpha – B.1.1.7

First Identified: United Kingdom

When: November 2020

Spread: Spreads much faster than other variants

Severe illness and death: May potentially cause more people to get sicker and to die

Vaccine: Currently authorized vaccines do work against this variant. Some breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people are expected but remain rare. All vaccines are particularly effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Treatments: Treatments are effective against this variant

Beta – B.1.351

First identified: South Africa

When: October 2020

Spread: May spread faster than other variants

Severe illness and death: Current data do not indicate more severe illness or death than other variants

Vaccine: Currently authorized vaccines do work against this variant. Some breakthrough infections are expected but remain rare. All vaccines are particularly effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Treatments: Certain monoclonal antibody treatments are less effective against this variant

Gamma – P.1

First identified: Japan/Brazil

When: 6 January 2021

Spread: Spreads faster than other variants

Severe illness and death: Current data do not indicate more severe illness or death than other variants

Vaccine: Currently authorized vaccines do work against this variant. Some breakthrough infections are expected but remain rare. All vaccines are particularly effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Treatments: Certain monoclonal antibody treatments are less effective against this variant

Delta – B.1.617.2

First identified: India

When: Late 2020

Spread: Spreads much faster than other variants

Severe illness and death: May cause more severe cases than the other variants

Vaccine: Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. Some breakthrough infections are expected but remain rare. However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others. Learn more here. All vaccines are particularly effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Treatments: Certain monoclonal antibody treatments are less effective against this variant

Consult the WHO website for an updated list of COVID-19 common, less common, and more severe symptoms.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Is There a Test for a Specific Variant?

You may be wondering, “If I get tested, can they tell which variant I may have?”  The simple answer is, “No” but it’s not that simple.  According to the CDC,

“All COVID-19 tests can detect all variants, but they will not tell you which variant you have.”

 

There are two types of tests:
  • Antigen Tests (Rapid Tests): Involves the detection of protein fragments associated with the virus.
  • PCR (Molecular):  This particular test detects the RNA (virus genetic material as previously described).

 

So basically, if you get an antigen test they cannot determine the specific variant.  However, scientists can track and investigate the COVID-19 variants through genomic sequencing.  As you can see, molecular testing does reveal genetic material that allows researchers to investigate the variants and be on the lookout for new ones.

The CDC answers the question, What is CDC doing to track SARS-COV-2 variants?

 

“In the United States, CDC tracks emerging variants through genomic surveillance with the following approaches:

  • Leading the National SARS-CoV-2 Strain Surveillance (NS3) system. Since November 2020, CDC regularly receives SARS-CoV-2 samples from state health departments and other public health agencies for sequencing, further characterization, and evaluation. On January 25, 2021, the NS3 system was scaled up to process 750 samples per week. Notable strengths of this system are the regular collection of numerous representative specimens from across the country and the characterization of viruses beyond what sequencing alone can provide.
  • Partnering with commercial diagnostic laboratories
  • Collaborating with universities
  • Supporting state, territorial, local and tribal health departments
  • Leading the SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology, and Surveillance (SPHERES) consortium”

 

Imagine all of the samples that the CDC, commercial diagnostic laboratories, and universities get on a daily basis.  That’s a lot of samples!

This helps give researchers the data to continuously look into the variants.  You may ask, “Why is genomic surveillance important for public health?”  Now that we have a good idea about what a variant of concern is, we can talk about the Variant of High Consequence.

What is a Variant of High Consequence?

Right now, the term, “variant of high consequence” is not circulating through the news.  We hope and pray that it never does.  While a variant of concern is basically what it says, causes concern but there are vaccines and treatments available, in the case of a variant of high consequence, there is none.

This would be a variant that would force scientists back to square one to find a new vaccine and treatments.

In other words, a variant of high consequence would render our current countermeasures useless. 

The CDC describes it as follows:

  • Demonstrated failure of diagnostic test targets
  • Evidence to suggest a significant reduction in vaccine effectiveness, a disproportionately high number of vaccine breakthrough cases, or very low vaccine-induced protection against severe disease
  • Significantly reduced susceptibility to multiple Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or approved therapeutics
  • More severe clinical disease and increased hospitalizations
The good news is that currently there are no COVID-19 Variants of High Consequence.

Source: CDC

However, as it is in its nature, as long as the virus continues to spread, it will most likely continue to mutate into other forms of variants.  Some of the COVID-19 future variants may potentially be much more dangerous than the current variants.

Now is the time to prevent the rise of a COVID-19 Variant of High Consequence.

If you are presently unvaccinated, please take the time to read and educate yourself on the current overcrowded hospitals with so many unvaccinated suffering from severe COVID-19 complications. Vaccines in the US are highly effective, including against all variants including the Delta which is the strongest variant of interest in the US today.

“The COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are highly effective at preventing severe disease and death, including against the Delta variant.” – Source CDC.

For those who are fully vaccinated, if you live or visit a place that is of high transmission you should consider wearing a face mask while indoors to avoid the spread.  To find out the transmission rating of your county, visit the CDC’s COVID Integrated County View.

Together We Can Stop the Spread

At Altus Emergency, we have been through natural disasters and now the pandemic without having closed our doors even once.  It is during these harsh times that we dive into the cause wholeheartedly.

With hospitals being severely overcrowded and emergency rooms closing, we put everything into helping our communities, day in and day out.  This has been a rough time for everyone, we hope and pray that if we all work together to help educate our communities, we can help put an end to this pandemic.  Please keep in mind that the unvaccinated are the most at risk for severe complications of all COVID-19 variants. 

According to health authorities, “Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated.”  Putting an end to this pandemic is in all of our hands.

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 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 and your family 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. 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!

Back to School Tips for 2021

Back to School Tips for 2021

In honor of parents all over Texas who are scrambling to get their kids ready for school, here are some Back to School Tips for 2021.  As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend our daily life and the start of the new school year just a few weeks ahead, stress levels are running high for both parents and children.  Now with the COVID-19 Delta variant, parents need all of the help they can get.

School districts continue to weigh learning options for this school year, and we still don’t know when things will be back to normal. However, there are steps you can take as a parent to help prepare your children for in-person classes.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Get to Know About the Delta Variant

The first of our Back to School Tips for 2021 is to get to know more about the Delta variant.  This most recent COVID-19 mutation or variant has quickly become the dominant strain accounting for more than 93% of all new COVID-19 cases in the US. (Source: CDC).

One of the reasons for Delta’s expansion according to the CDC, is that it’s twice as contagious as the previous COVID-19 strains. 

Another reason for its quick rise is that recent studies have shown that the Delta virus is stronger, packing 1000 times the “viral load” than previous COVID variants. As a result, the unvaccinated have been the worst hit and have overrun hospitals and emergency rooms all over Texas.  According to the latest data from Becker’s Hospital Review, during the last 14 days,

Texas hospitals have experienced a 102% increase in COVID-19 hospitalization rates with every 30 out of 100 hospitalizations being COVID-19 related.

With this knowledge in mind, it is important for parents to take the insertion of the Delta variant into consideration when sending their children back to school.

RSV Cases Are Still On the Rise

Hospital overcrowding leads us to our next of the Back to School Tips for 2021.  In our recent news article, CDC WARNING: Rise in RSV Cases in Children and Adults, we alerted our communities on the recent out-of-season spike in respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus which if left untreated can be deadly. 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. 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.” Source: CDC.

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 in Infants and Children according to the CDC:

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

Considering that hospitals are packed full, it is important that parents take all necessary steps to safeguard their children from the RSV virus.

Pediatric Emergencies Capability

Texas Schools Reopening Guidelines

Now that we have discussed the current health situation, the next of our Back to School Tips for 2021 is to get to know the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) reopening guidelines to know what to expect.  According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) new COVID-19 health guidance :

  • Children are not required to wear facemasks (this is entirely optional)
  • Texas schools are not required to inform parents of positive COVID cases (contact tracing)
  • They are required to notify the Texas Department of State Health Services authorities
  • They are required to notify the parents of the children who came into close contact with the COVID-positive child or teacher.
  • They are required to exclude the child from classes and remote learning for up to 20 days.
  • “For individuals who are determined to be close contacts, a 14-day stay-at-home period was previously advised by the CDC based on the incubation period of the virus” or they may end the period sooner having received “a negative result from a PCR acute infection test.”

If Kids Get Infected with Delta, Are They at Serious Risk?

The following was passed along by the Texas Department of State Health Services from the CDC Stance on the Delta Variant as of July 2021.  Source: CDC Update on COVID-19

“Most children who get COVID19 have less symptoms than adults. However, the Delta variant is more transmissible than other variants, therefore protection against exposure is more important than ever, especially among those who are unvaccinated or too young to be vaccinated.

  • We knowbased on national antibody studiesthat children experience COVID19 infection, even if they have had fewer symptoms. National seroprevalence data show that children (age 017) have the highest level of antibodies of any age group (27.8%).
  • CDC recommends that parents take appropriate protective actions, such as having children older than age 2 who are unvaccinated wear masks in public indoor settings.”

In other words, although children that had been exposed to the virus experienced “low transmission rates”, the data was derived from previous COVID-19 variants and not the Delta.  As children tend to be either asymptomatic or very mild symptoms, they are still potential transmitters of the virus and can endanger those who have not been vaccinated.  For this reason, the most important of our Back to School Tips for 2021 are for parents to take the necessary steps to help prevent and protect their children and their communities.

Teach Them How They Can Stay Safe

Kids are more aware of their surroundings than many of us think. They can feel the stress and anxiety of grownups, and they see the news. The problem is that they don’t always understand why things happen.

For this reason, it’s important to teach our kids, especially the smaller ones, how harmful germs spread, and how they can make us sick. The critical point, however, is also to teach them how they can keep themselves safe.

So, while you explain that virus and bacteria can enter their system when they touch their eyes, nose, or mouth with dirty hands, you also explain what they can do to keep safe.

  • Help them create the habit of washing their hands with soap and water regularly. You can make up a fun song together or teach them how to blow soap bubbles while they wash their hands.
  • Explain why they shouldn’t touch their faces (eyes, nose, and mouth) with unwashed hands. No need to scare them, simply remind them of how much fun they missed out on the last time they were sick.
  • Teach them about social distancing. Personal boundaries are hard to understand for most kids, but as we get used to our new normal, teaching them about personal space is vital. Find creative ways for them to express how much they care about a classmate or teacher that doesn’t involve hugging or close contact.

While PPE is completely optional in Texas, for those parents who consider following the CDC’s recommendations, here are some tips on facemasks:

  • Not sharing is caring. Children need to understand that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) cannot be shared with anyone else. You don’t want to send your child to school with a Superman face mask only to have them return home with a Spiderman face mask.
  • Instruct them on the proper way to wear PPE. Show your kids how to put on their face coverings, and how to remove them safely. Insist they always wash their hands before putting on or taking off their PPE

Other tips for preventing the spread of viruses:

  • For current COVID-19 case counts across Texas, please visit the Department of State Health Services dashboard.  If you are in a “hot spot” you will have a greater chance of exposure and transmission.
  • Set up a mom’s network.  While the schools may not be broadly reporting the COVID cases, a mom’s chat network can help keep parents informed.
  • For parents with older kids (ages 12 and up), many school districts are hosting back-to-school COVID-19 vaccination campaigns. Should you wish to get your teen vaccinated, contact your local school district to find out which one may be near you.
  • For younger children, parents may opt to “cocoon them in” which means that they take the steps to ensure that everyone in their close proximity is vaccinated and when they are around others who are not, they consider wearing facemasks and social distancing.

Positive Outlook

Kids don’t all feel the same way about school. Some love it and others not so much.

As parents, it’s important to point out the positive aspects of going to school. Bring up the friendship bonds they’ve developed at school, and always try to link their studies to their interests.

Most importantly, listen to your child. Talk openly about their concerns and fears about returning to school and reassure them that both you and their teachers will do everything you can to keep them safe.

How to Prepare Your Children to Go Back to School

Schedule Check-Ups in Advance

Don’t leave your kids’ medical checkups for last. Call your doctor to schedule a routine checkup well ahead of the start of face to face classes. This way, you will have time to treat any minor condition that can compromise your child’s health at school.

Stay Informed

Health and safety guidelines are continually changing, depending on how COVID-19 is spreading through our communities.

Therefore, establish communication channels with teachers, principals, and other parents to ensure you are up to date with all safety measures.  Please keep in mind that as long as their are transmissions, the COVID-19 virus will continue to mutate.  Together, we can help end the spread!

At Altus Emergency Centers, we know how much you love your children and how you always want what is best for them. That is why all our centers have special pediatric examining rooms, and medical professionals to treat your child when necessary.

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!

Dry Drowning – Facts & How to Save Your Baby

Dry Drowning, Facts, Prevention & When to Go to the ER

Dry Drowning: Preventing Another Tragedy

Back in 2017, the tragic death of a 4-year-old in Texas, shocked us all, when doctors told the parents they suspected the child had died from dry drowning a week after going on a family vacation.  Source: CNN. The medical staff at Altus Emergency Centers extends their condolences to the family of Frankie Delgado. Since then, many parents learned of this potentially fatal emergency, its warning signs and symptoms and were able to help save the lives of their children by getting them to emergency care early on.

Image Source: nydailynews.com

While rare, we would like to take this opportunity to remind parents about the dangers and prevention of dry and secondary drowning to prevent another tragedy.

What is Dry Drowning and Secondary Drowning?

Both dry drowning and secondary or delayed drowning, occur when a child breathes or inhales water. This can happen in a pool, the ocean, a river, or even in the bathtub.

These submersion injuries can affect both adults and children, however, children are more susceptible because of their size.

The terms dry drowning and secondary drowning, are commonly used interchangeably, but they are in fact very different conditions.

 

Dry Drowning

Occurs when the individual takes in a small amount of water through their mouth or nose. This water does not reach the lungs, instead, once it reaches the back of the throat, it causes the vocal cords to spasm and close, causing the airways to shut off, making it hard to breathe. The symptoms of dry-drowning usually happen immediately after the incident in the water.

 

Secondary Drowning

In this type of incident, the airways do not close themselves up, but rather open, letting water into the lungs. Once there, liquid can build up causing inflammation and swelling, making it difficult for the body to get enough oxygen; this condition is known as pulmonary edema. Symptoms of secondary drowning may take between 1 and 24 hours to manifest.

Symptoms of Dry Drowning

Know the Warning Signs

 

Both conditions share many of the same symptoms, the main difference is how fast they manifest. Typical signs of either incident include:

  • Trouble Breathing
  • Coughing
  • Sleepiness or unusual drop in the child’s activity level
  • Chest Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal irritability

These types of submersion injuries are rare, and there is no cause for parents to panic every time the child comes in contact with a body of water. According to a 2006 study published in the British Medical Journal the percentage of submersion incidents which result in either dry or secondary drowning is between 2% and 5%.

Having said that, parents who spot any of the above symptoms in their child after it has spent time in the water should immediately rush to any of Altus Emergency Centers for evaluation and treatment.

Most of the time, symptoms can be mild and improve on their own, however, there is no way of telling if this this will happen, and because the symptoms can progress rapidly and become life-threatening, it is better to have medical attention sooner rather than later.

How to Prevent Dry Drowning

Prevention Submersion Injuries

 

Prevention is always the goal, these recommendations will not only prevent dry or secondary drowning, but any type of submersion incident.

  • Swimming Lessons: Children who are comfortable in and around water are less likely to panic and breathe or inhale water. The recommended age to start swimming lessons is 4-years.
  • Educate: Teach your child to close their mouth when jumping or diving into a pool to avoid water getting in and causing spasms.
  • Beware of extremely cold water: Instruct your child not to jump or dive into a pool if, the water is extremely cold, the natural response will be to gasp due to the temperature increasing the chances of inhalation. Instead teach them to gradually enter the cold water.
  • Keep a close eye: Incidents can happen in a matter of seconds, never leave your child in a body of water, even if it is the bathtub alone for any reason. Children should always wear flotation devices on boats, or when they are learning to swim.
  • Drugs and Alcohol: Parents of teenagers should ensure their children know and understand the danger involved in swimming under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Knowledge Saves Lives

There is Hope

A toddler from Colorado is alive today because of Frankie Delgado’s story.  Gio, a 2 year old from Colorado demonstrated symptoms of dry drowning and his father, Garon Vega rushed him to an emergency room.  Vega had heard about Frankie’s dry drowning tragedy and was able to recognize similar symptoms after a visit to a community pool.

“The X-rays did show that he had a significant amount of water in his lungs, and that it was a good thing that we brought him in because if we hadn’t have, he wouldn’t have made it through the night,” said Vega.  – Source: Fox6Now. Today, Vega thanks the parents of Frankie Delgado for creating awareness as their story saved his son’s life.

If it Happens, We Can Help

At Altus Emergency Centers, we are strong advocates of education and prevention, but, we also understand that there will be accidents that are unavoidable, and that is the reason our expertly trained staff is available 24/7.

Should you observe any of dry drowning or secondary drowing, there is no time to hesitate, head to our nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment.

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, 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, to when you are personally assisted with the billing process.  We are here to help you get well and stay well!

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

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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

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