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Rise in RSV Cases in Children and Adults

CDC WARNING: Rise in RSV Cases in Children and Adults

The CDC has recently issued a warning on the rise in RSV cases in children and adults.  Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus which if left untreated can be deadly.  During the months of June and July 2021, we are witnessing an unusual spike in RSV cases.  Usually, RSV occurs during the winter season.  However, last year as people were social distancing, using PPE and increased health caution overall, there were very few cases.  While, RSV is common in children, due to it’s current widespread trend, we are seeing cases in adults as well.  Get to know more about the rise in RSV cases in children and adults to prevent its spread and know when to go to the emergency room.

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

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 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.

Rise in RSV Cases in Children and Adults

CDC WARNING: Rise in RSV Cases in Children and Adults

The CDC has recently issued a warning on the rise in RSV cases in children and adults.  Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus which if left untreated can be deadly.  During the months of June and July 2021, we are witnessing an unusual spike in RSV cases.  Usually, RSV occurs during the winter season.  However, last year as people were social distancing, using PPE and increased health caution overall, there were very few cases.  While, RSV is common in children, due to it’s current widespread trend, we are seeing cases in adults as well.  Get to know more about the rise in RSV cases in children and adults to prevent its spread and know when to go to the emergency room.

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

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 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.

Pediatric Emergencies

Pediatric Emergencies

As parents, one of our biggest fears is that one of our kids will suffer an injury or illness that will require a trip to the emergency room. 

But no matter how well we care for our children, accidents happen every day, and it’s comforting to know that the Altus Emergency staff is ready to provide the best care for your child.

Top Reasons Children Visit our ER

Every year around 30 million children under the age of 18 visit the ER. Luckily, close to 97% of patients receive treatment and are released the same day.  

 

Here are the top reasons why children end up in the emergency room:

 

Upper Respiratory Infections

The upper respiratory system involves the nose, throat, and trachea. The most frequent cases we see relate to sinus infections, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. 

 

Lower Respiratory Infections

Lower respiratory infections affect the bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli, which make up the lungs. Two of the most common lower respiratory tract infections in children are pneumonia and bronchitis. If you notice your child is having trouble breathing, don’t delay; rush to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment.

 

Ear Infections

Otitis Media is a common infection in children caused by either viruses or bacteria. The infection happens behind the eardrum, so it’s not visible with an external inspection of the ear. 

Fever and ear pain are common signs of otitis media; babies are often unusually fuzzy, especially when lying down when they have an ear infection.

Sprains and Strains

These types of injuries are common among active teens who play sports. Sprains happen when a ligament is torn or overstretched, usually due to a fall or a direct hit to the body. Sprains typically affect the knees, ankles, and wrists.

Strains, on the other hand, are pulls or tears to a muscle or tendon. This type of injury can result from a sudden movement or overuse of a muscle or tendon.

 

Open Wounds to The Extremities

Cuts and lacerations can happen in any part of the body, but they are more frequent in the arms and legs.

Depending on the injured area and the severity of the wound, there may be a great deal of bleeding. Head to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if your child has an injury that won’t stop bleeding or the cut is deep enough to warrant stitches.

 

Fever

You can treat a mild fever at home with age-appropriate fever medications. However, persistent or very high fevers are often indicators of a more severe infection.

Concerns over a fever vary depending on the age of your child

  • Infants under three months: You should visit our ER if their fever reaches 100.4 degrees or if they show any of these signs: trouble breathing, difficulty waking up to feed or not feeding, inconsolable crying, rash, or vomiting.
  • Babies three months to three years: An ER visit is necessary if they have a higher fever over 102.2 degrees, or when the following symptoms accompany their fever: trouble breathing, difficulty waking up, unusually fuzzy or inconsolable, not feeding or eating, not urinating, rash, or they are unable to keep fluids down
  • Children three years and older: A trip to our ER may be necessary if they have a high fever over 102 degrees lasting two or more days, or when any of the following symptoms accompany the fever: abdominal pain, unable to keep fluids down, trouble breathing or swallowing, does not urinate or has a burning sensation while urinating, not eating, rash, stiff neck

 

Bone Fractures

During play, children may fall and break a bone. The bones in the arm tend to suffer the most fractures, but childhood fractures could also happen in other areas, such as the collar bone, leg, foot, and ankle.

Bone fractures are painful and need to be set right by a doctor for them to heal correctly. If you suspect your child may have a broken bone, don’t delay; bring them to our nearest ER for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

When to Take Your Child to the ER

Pediatric emergencies are time-sensitive; the sooner your child gets care, the better their chances of making a full recovery.

Call 911 or bring your child to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if you notice any of the following symptoms:

 

  • Chocking
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Possible poisoning 
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Head injury
  • Injury to the neck or spine
  • Seizures 
  • Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) 
  • Severe burn

 

At Altus Emergency Centers, we care for your child as if they were our own because we view all our patients like family.

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 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.

Men’s Health Quotes from Altus

Life Lessons From the Healthy Men of Altus

Men’s Health Quotes from Altus

In honor of Men’s Health Month, we’d like to introduce you to three of the gentlemen from Altus.  At Altus Emergency, Altus Baytown ER and Altus Lumberton Hospital, we not only care about the healthcare of our communities, we try to be an example of health and wellness.  The following are some heart-felt testimonies about how these dedicated Altus staff feel about Men’s Health.

“Being a man is a tough job. Working on your spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health is important to be the best man you can for your family, friends and job. My journey started with Obi taking me to the gym. I remember how sore I was after that first workout! I quickly realized I need a professional personal trainer so I hired Travis. Although he thought I would not last 2 weeks, I am still at it all these years later. Running was always my primary workout, then slowly working out in the gym. I trained for my first marathon several years ago and now enjoy running for the enjoyment. When asked about getting into shape, I always say it is literally one step in front of the other. Start slow and build over time. You will never regret having a workout program. You will only regret never starting.”

“I work out to keep up with my 3 year old. Staying fit is a way of life!”

Obinna Ononobi, MBA, MHA

Obinna Ononobi MBA, MHA

Vice President of Business Development and Marketing Strategy

“I like to keep myself in good shape shape, but i workout more so to keep myself sane. Working out and staying in shape is more mental for me than physical. some days you just don’t want to show up, but mentally you have to push past that. At the end of the day, your health and the health of those around you should be the most important things, so why question taking care of them?”

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Travis Dabel

Marketing Coordinator

As you can see, at Altus good health is a way of life.  Never forget that men’s health matters.  Make time to take care of the health of all of the men in your life through encouraging a healthy lifestyle and prevention.  Part of prevention is knowing where to go during a potential medical emergency.  Please remember that at Altus we are always open and offer free medical screening.  Happy Men’s Health to all from all of us!

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

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

Staff Promotions Announced

Important Staff Promotions Announced

We are pleased to announce the staff promotions of our key leadership.  Two staff members are transitioning to new roles to elevate the Altus facilities.

Obinna Ononobi, MBA, MHA

Obinna Ononobi, MBA, MHA

Vice President of Business Development and Marketing Strategy
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Richelle Blackburn

Vice President of Operations

Implications of Our Recent Staff Promotions

Congratulations to our all-star, Obinna Ononobi, for your recent promotion to becoming Vice President of Business Development and Marketing Strategy!  The following was his reaction about the recent role change within one of the finest healthcare organizations of Texas:

 

Q:  What does this role change mean?

A:  This means, I am responsible for the business growth and overall brand development for Altus ERs and Hospital.

 

Q: What responsibilities come with this? In other words, what is the different job description?

A:  In my new role, as the Vice President of Business Development and Marketing Strategy, I will partner with senior leadership in leading multiple ERs and Hospital. My primary responsibility will be cultivating strategic partnership and developing growth agendas and will be intimately involved in the hospital’s/ERs strategic planning, capital planning, Marketing and physician relations. I will continue to have complete oversight of Altus Emergency Center Waxahachie.

 

Q:   What is a great quote to summarize your reaction to when you first heard this great news?

A:  “Onward and upward”

We are equally thrilled to congratulate the lovely Richelle Blackburn, for her recent promotion to Vice President of Operations.  With twenty nine years in the healthcare industry, this excellent lady genuinely puts her heart into ensuring the care of each patient that comes through the Altus locations.  The following is her reaction to her new role:

 

Q:  How would you summarize your new role?

A:  With the promotion to VP of Operations, I will be responsible for operations at each of our ER’s and the Hospital. 

 

Q:  What type of opportunities do you foresee in the future?

A:  This promotion provides me the opportunity to continue to provide positive leadership at all our facilities.  

Congratuations to both Obi and Richelle for their recent staff promotions.  We are very much looking forward towards witnessing the positive impact your new roles will have on the healthcare of our communities.  At Altus, it is our mission to continuously strive for ensuring the best possible access to healthcare for all ages.  Thank you to all of the healthcare heroes of Altus.  A much deserved round of applause for each and every one of you!

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

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

Employee Highlight Shannon Seymour Quality

Employee Highlight Shannon Seymour

Introducting the June 2021 Employee Highlight, Shannon Seymour.  It is truly a pleasure and honor to work with each and every one of our staff members. You are not just coworkers and colleagues but part of the Altus Family.

This month we will be highlighting one of our wonderful staff members, which is Shannon Seymour.

Shannon Seymour is none other than the Director of Quality Improvement.  This means that she is here to ensure that each time you visit an Altus location, you will have the very best patient experience.

What Does Our Shannon Seymour Do?

Our Director of Quality Improvement, Shannon Seymour, oversees the development, management, implementation, and sustainability of all improvement activities and compliance procedures while cultivating exceptional care and services in the healthcare industry.

Let’s Get to Know Shannon Seymour

We sat down with Shannon to ask her a few questions about their work and personal experience working with the Altus facilities. Here is what we learned.

Q/ What do you love about working for altus?

 

A/My co workers are always there for me in patient care.

 

 

Q/ What do you love about quality?

 

A/ “Quality of work never goes out of style!”

 

 

Q/ How does quality help us keep patients safety and overall patient satisfaction in line?

 

A/ “The goal of the Quality Dept is to insure we are always following the most current safety guidelines for our patients and staff. We also monitor patient satisfaction surveys given to improve patient satisfaction and look for potential areas of improvement.”

Thank you, Shannon Seymour, for all that you do to help ensure that our patients come out feeling “all better”.  The complexity of how this takes place is unknown to most but the end success stories fill our hearts with gladness.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

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

Most Common Food Allergies

Most Common Food Allergies

It is vital to get to the the most common food allergies to help avoid an emergency.  When we think about food allergies, we tend to limit them to peanuts, shellfish, and gluten, however, there is a long list of food allergy triggers, and because symptoms tend to mild in most cases you may not know you are experiencing an allergic reaction.

Food allergies are a lot more common than we think, this condition affects some 15 million Americans especially children, according to statistics 1 in every 13 kids in America has a food allergy, and every 3 minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room.

As part of Altus Emergency Center’s educational efforts during Food Allergy Action Month, we have compiled a list of the most common food allergies and their symptoms, to help you recognize this potentially deadly condition.

What are Food Allergies

Like other allergic reactions, food allergies are an abnormal immune response; they happen when the immune system wrongfully identify certain proteins found in food as harmful.

The severity of the allergic reaction ranges from mild symptoms to life-threatening ones, and it can be triggered even by very small amounts of the problem food.

In most instances, the symptoms of an allergic reaction happen a few minutes after exposure, but they can also manifest a few hours later, the most common allergic reaction symptoms include:

 

  • – Swelling of tongue, mouth, or face
  • – Itchy rash
  • – Hives
  • – Difficulty breathing
  • – Low blood pressure
  • – Nausea and vomiting
  • – Diarrhea
Common Food Allergies-Altus-ER

Most Common Food Allergies

Because symptoms can manifest hours after the exposure, sometimes the cause of the allergic reaction is not easily recognized, and if the symptoms are mild most people may ignore them.

The following list includes the most common food allergies, however, there are many more triggers, if you suspect you may have a food allergy, schedule an appointment with a specialist to determine which foods are harmful to you.

 

Peanut Allergy

Peanuts are one of the food allergens most commonly associated with anaphylaxis, a sudden and potentially deadly condition that requires immediate emergency medical treatment.

Allergic reactions to peanuts are one of the most common and deadly food allergies, it affects 1 in every 500 individuals and is responsible for more than half of all deaths from food-related allergic reactions.

Symptoms

  • – Itchy skin or hives that can show in small spots or large welts
  • – Itchy or tingling sensation in the mouth or throat
  • – Nausea
  • – Runny or congested nose
  • – Anaphylaxis
Common Food Allergies-Altus-ER

Shellfish Allergy

Shellfish is the most common and most dangerous food allergens, it is responsible for most of the food allergy related ER visits.

Symptoms

– Stomach cramps

– Indigestion

– Vomiting

– Diarrhea

– Hives all over the body

– Shortness of breath and wheezing

– A repetitive cough

– Tight, hoarse throat and trouble swallowing

– Swelling of the tongue and or lips

–  Weak pulse

–  Pale or bluish skin color

– Dizziness and confusion

 

Corn Allergy

This is a tricky one to recognize since corn and corn by-products are widely used in processed foods, and to make matters worse, it is also difficult to diagnose through standard skin or blood tests, this means that in many cases your doctor may recommend eliminating corn products from your diet to see if your symptoms improve.

Symptoms include

– Hives and Skin Rash

– Stomach cramps, nausea, indigestion, vomiting, or diarrhea

– Stuffy or runny nose

– Headaches

– Asthma

– Anaphylaxis in severe cases

Common Food Allergies

Egg Allergy

This type of allergy affects about 2% of children in the United States, the good news is that studies have shown that 70% of these children outgrow the condition by age 16.

Symptoms

-Skin rash or hives

-Respiratory problems

-Stomachache

-And in very rare cases anaphylaxis

 

Fish Allergy

Unlike most food allergies which develop since childhood, the majority of people who suffer from fish allergies report experiencing them for the first time as adults.

Being allergic to fish does not necessarily mean you are also allergic to shellfish.

Symptoms

– Hives or skin rash

– Stomach cramps, indigestion, vomiting and or diarrhea

– A stuffy or runny nose, and or sneezing

-Headaches

– Asthma

– Anaphylaxis

abdominal-pain-and-cramps

Cow Milk Allergy

Between 2% and 3% of children under the age of 3 are allergic to cow’s milk, around 80% of them will outgrow the condition by age 16 though.

Symptoms

– Hives

– Stomach upset

– Vomiting

– Bloody stools especially in infants

 

Tree Nut Allergy

Almonds, walnuts, pecans, and pine nuts are all tree nuts, and along with peanuts and shellfish, they are the most common allergens linked to anaphylaxis.

Symptoms

– Difficulty Swallowing

– Itching and or swelling of the mouth, eyes, and throat

– Abdominal pain, cramps, nausea, and vomiting

– Nasal congestion

– Shortness of breath

– Anaphylaxis

Peanuts Allergy

When to Visit Our Emergency Centers

For most people food allergy symptoms are mild and can easily be treated with an antihistamine, however, if you or someone you know experiences, shortness of breath, swelling of the tongue or throat, weak pulse, drop in blood pressure, dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness, or their skin turns pale or a blueish tone, rush them to the nearest Altus Emergency Center.

We recommend you download the anaphylaxis emergency action plan and have your doctor fill it out, carry this with you at all times, it will help our doctors save your life.

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

Food allergies are both serious and can be life-threatening.  For this reason, by being aware of the symptoms of a possible allergic reaction, you can help save a life.  It may be your own. If you observe any possible symptoms of a food allergic reaction, please keep in mind that you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers.  All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Billing Team Employee Spotlight 2021

Billing Team Employee Spotlight

We love and appreciate every one of our staff members. It’s truly an honor to work with such a wonderful group of people.

This month we will be shining the spotlight on our very hard-working billing team, which is why we are doing this month’s article on the billing team employee spotlight.  Our billing department works a little differently from most of our other work teams since they handle all the billing from all our locations from a centralized hub at Lumberton, Texas.

This means some of you haven’t had the pleasure to meet or work directly with this outstanding group of individuals, and that is why we wanted to introduce them to all of you.  So, without further adieu, get to know the Billing Team Employee Spotlight 2021!

What Does Our Billing Team Do?

Our billing department is critical to our financial cycle. As their efforts ensure we get timely reimbursements from the insurance companies and patients.

 

These are just some of their daily responsibilities:

  • Submitting medical claims on behalf of patients and our organization
  • Preparing and reviewing patient invoices to ensure they are accurate and complete
  • Collect any missing information from patients to process their insurance claim
  • Following up on all submitted claims within the standard billing cycle
  • Checking insurance payments for accuracy
  • Follow up on patient insurance claims
  • Working with patients to set up payment plans when necessary

 

Our billing teams’ job requires a keen eye and attention to detail along with ample experience in healthcare services.

Our fantastic billing staff is proficient in CPT and ICD-10 Coding. They possess excellent communication skills and are world-class problem solvers.

Getting to Know the Staff

We sat down to ask our team a few questions about their work and personal experience at Altus Health. Here is what we learned.

Kelly Curtis

 

Q/ What do you do at Altus?

A/ I am the Billing Manager

 

Q/ How do you think this makes a difference in patient’s lives?

A/ Helping with a bill can change someone’s whole outlook. When the patient calls upset and ends the call with what a wonderful company we are to work with

 

Q/ How long have you been a Billing Manager at Altus?

A/ I have worked for Altus for five years

 

Q/ What is your favorite part of working at Altus?

A/ My work Family

 

Q/ What do you do when you are not working at Altus?

A/ Hanging out with my family

 

Q/ What is an ability you wish you had?

A/ To be able to see the future

Jennifer Broussard

 

Q/ What do you do at Altus?

A/ I work in the Billing Department

 

Q/ How do you think this makes a difference in patient’s lives?

A/ We try and get less out of pocket for patients

 

Q/ How long have you worked in the billing department

A/ 5 years on May 26

 

Q/ What is your favorite part of working at Altus?

A/ The family atmosphere we have with all of us

 

Q/ What do you do when you are not working at Altus?

A/ Spend time with my kids and family

 

Q/ What is an ability you wish you had?

A/ To read minds

Lisa Huebel

 

Q/ What do you do at Altus?

A/ I work the daily billing for accounts receivable in payment posting. I make sure the claims are processed correctly, and if not, send them to be reconsidered.

I call insurance companies when it is needed and patients for information to process the claim correctly. I also post all other payments from patients and other companies. I make sure the posting balances daily with the Bank Statements.

 

Q/ How do you think this makes a difference in patient’s lives?

A/ Our work makes a difference in patients’ lives because we make sure we process their claims correctly and getting them the most benefits.

Our efforts help relieve them of any extra financial obligation that they do not owe. We also help patients when we post their payments accurately

 

 Q/ How long have you been a poster?

A/ I have been a poster since September 2015

 

Q/ What is your favorite part of working at Altus?

A/ My favorite part working at Altus is the family I work with. We have all grown together, learning so much about insurance and how each one works, which would best help the processing of claims for the patient’s benefit.

 

Q/ What do you do when you are not working at Altus?

A/ I spend as much time as I can with my grandchildren and family. Especially what we have all been through this last year, it has made it even more important to spend time with family. I attend church regularly and help out with all the events we do to help the community. I love camping and fishing, and traveling to see my daughter in Dallas. I have a little four-footed child at home that demands a lot of attention and throwing the ball; his name is Mac.

 

Q/ What is an ability you wish you had?

A/ To have a photographic memory.

Thank you to our wonderful Billing Department for all that you do to improve our service and the lives of our patients.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

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

BBQ Safety Tips, Grill Safely!

May is National BBQ Month

For most Texans, there is no such thing as a “BBQ season” as we grill year-round.  Still, we can’t deny that this time of year is the best to enjoy some good old fashion family barbecues, and because of this, it should come as no surprise that May is National BBQ Month.

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

BBQ Safety Tips

Before you go all out and put that nice brisket on the grill to simmer and slow cook for hours, make sure you are taking all the precautions to keep your loved ones, yourself, and your home, safe!

Before you start your BBQ feast, take the time to browse our BBQ Safety Tips.

Grilling is an Outdoor Activity

Our first BBQ Safety Tip is too keep it outdoors.  Aside from the fun of being outdoors on a warm sunny day and not having your home smell like a smokehouse, there are some important reasons why you should never fire up your charcoal or propane gas grill indoors:

  • – You risk something catching fire
  • – You and your loved ones could be affected by smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide
BBQ-Safety-Tips-Keep-it-Outdoor-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

Check Your Grill Before You Use It

Our second BBQ Safety Tip is to make sure that everything is in proper working order before you get the fun started.

  • – Make sure your grill is clean, remove all grease and fat buildup from the grills and catch pans.
  • – Ensure sure all gas connection points on your propane grill are tight and installed correctly before you turn it on.
  • – Check for leaks by applying a little soap and water to the hose, if there are no bubbles your grill is safe to use, if however, you see bubbles, turn off the gas tank and tighten the connections, if the bubbles continue you should have it serviced, if however, the leak continues even after you have turned off the gas tank, back away and call the fire department immediately.

Separate Meats, Veggies, and Other Foods

BBQ Safety Tip #3 is to separate, don’t contaminate.  When you go shopping keep these tips in mind:

  • – Buy non-perishable foods first
  • – Beef, Pork, Poultry, and Fish should be purchased last
  • – Keep meat items separate from other foods to avoid cross-contamination
Grilling-Safety-Tips-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

Refrigeration is Key

“Don’t be a spoiler”, is BBQ Safety Tip #4.  Regardless of whether you are grilling at home or at a park, food needs to be kept at the right temperature, so it won’t spoil.

  • – Raw Meats, produce, and dairy products need to be stored at temperatures below 41°F to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • – If you are transporting the food do so in an insulated cooler with a temperature below 40°F.

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

Our forth BBQ Safety Tip is, “Don’t be mean and keep it clean!”  Starting from your prep station all the way to your grill, things should be kept clean.

  • – Wash your hands before and after handling raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
  • – Wash all surfaces and utensils before and after cooking
  • – Use clean utensils and plates when removing cooked items from the grill
  • – Don’t reuse marinades or sauces that have touched raw meat juices
BBQ-Safety-Tips-Keep-Grilling-Utensils-Clean-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

Cook Your Meat Properly

It’s showtime!  Our BBQ Safety Tip #5 is a cooking temperature guide. Meat, fish, and poultry need to reach a minimum internal temperature to ensure harmful bacteria are killed. The following chart will show what temperatures are needed for each meat type:

  • 145°F for all cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal (stand-time of 3 minutes at this temperature)
  • 145°F for seafood
  • 160°F for hamburgers or other ground meats
  • 165°F for all types of poultry and pre-cooked meats like hotdogs
  • Keep meat at a temperature of 140°F until served.

Storing Leftovers

Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within 2 hours of having been cooked. On hot days you have a maximum of 1 hour to store your leftovers.  Our final BBQ safety tip is to avoid from eating leftovers that are too old label them and include the date.

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

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

Remember to heed our BBQ Safety Tips to stay safe and don’t overdo it with food or alcoholic beverages!
We hope you have a lovely time grilling safely from all of us here at Altus Emergency Centers.  If you are ever in need of emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers.  All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

JUNE IS:
National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

It’s Never “Just a Headache”

As we welcome the month of June, Altus Emergency Centers joins the rest of the medical community in speaking out about National Migraine and Headache Awareness to further awareness of neurobiological diseases like migraines and headaches.

According to the National Headache Foundation, 47% of adults in the United States experience some form of headache each year. Despite being such a common ailment, it remains one of the least researched health conditions. During National Migraine and Headache Awareness month, our goal is to raise consciousness, educate the public and reduce the stigma associated with migraines, cluster headaches, and other similar disorders.

National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month FACT:  There are 150 documented types of headaches, the most common however, are tension, cluster, and migraine headaches.

Migraine and Headache Type #2

Cluster Headache

The next type of headache to detail during National Migraine and Headache Awareness month is the “Cluster Headache”.

This type of headache affects only 1% of the population, mostly men, although some women are affected as well. They are recurring abrupt headaches that occur in cycles. This severe, debilitating pain appears suddenly and affects one side of the head, most often around the eye; nasal congestion or runny nose, droopy eyelids, and facial sweating are frequent during these episodes which can last between 15 minutes to 3 hours.

There is no known cause of cluster headaches, although it is believed there may be a genetic correlation. At this point there is no cure, but medical treatments can reduce the frequency and duration of the episodes.

Migraine and Headache Type #1

Tension Headache

We begin National Migraine and Headache Awareness month by shedding light on the “Tension Headache”. The most prevalent type of headache, the tension headache is described as a constant ache or pressure around the head, especially the temples or the back of the head and neck. This form can last anywhere from a few minutes to days. They can cause light and sound sensitivity, but do not normally cause nausea and rarely disrupt daily activity.

It is believed the cause of these headaches derives from a contraction of the neck and scalp muscles as a reaction to stress and possibly changes in brain chemistry. For the most part, they are easily treated with over the counter medication, like aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. However, the overuse of these painkillers can cause a side effect known as rebound headache, where the medication can cause the brain to move into an excited state triggering more headaches. Overuse of over the counter painkillers can also cause symptoms of withdrawal that could trigger another headache.

Migraine and Headache Type #1

Migraine Headache

During National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month serves to educate and inform the public regarding this medical condition so that non headache sufferers will have increased sensitivity for those around them that are being affected. 

One misconception people have of migraines, is that it only affects adults.  While it is true that migraines affect the females more often than males, they affect men and women in all age groups including children, it is estimated that 10% of children in the United States suffer from migraines.

The migraine is a genetic neurological disease, caused by a brain that is overly sensitive to certain stimuli considered migraine triggers, stress is among these triggers.

When is it a Migraine?

There are certain criteria to diagnose a migraine.  If you experience any one of the following, you most likely are having a migraine:

  • There has been at least five previous episodes.

  • Headaches last between 4 and 72 hours.

  • There is a moderate to severe throbbing pain concentrated on one side of the head that interferes or disrupts daily activity.

  • Nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound.

  • Some 20% of patients experience aura, in the form of visual distortions or hand or facial numbness.

  • There is a family history of migraine headaches.

There is no known cure for migraines, but there are treatment options that include both lifestyle changes and medication, we encourage patients who suffer from headaches to discuss treatment options with their physicians.

Keep an Eye Out for Any Signs of Danger

Know the Signs – When to Visit an ER

When it’s More Than a Headache

A Severe Headache may be the symptom of a more serious medical condition. Visit your nearest Altus ER if you experience any of the following:

  • Blurry or loss of vision

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Uncontrollable vomiting

  • Your headache lasts more than 72 hours

  • You experience symptoms greater or beyond anything you have ever experienced before.

Your life is precious.  Don’t risk it by hesitating if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, visit the nearest Altus Emergency Center for a thorough evaluation and treatment.

migraine-and-headache Emergency

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT BY WEARING, CARING & SHARING

Show Your Support During National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month 2017 by Wearing Purple & Sharing this Article with others.  Together we can raise sensitivity.  “Let’s show them that We Care!

Altus Emergency Centers
Freestanding ERs. Saving Lives 24/7. No Lines.

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LOOKING FOR ER CARE RIGHT NOW?

GET QUALITY & AFFORDABLE 24/7 ER CARE WITHOUT THE LINES. In the event of an emergency, stop and remain calm. At Altus ER Centers we’re open 24 hours, 7 days a week with zero lines. There’s no time to wait. You’re in good hands!

24 Hour ER Services - Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

HEALTH NEWS, EVENTS & MORE.

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😱 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/
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🎃 On #Halloween, we'll see you at the #TrunkorTreatLumberton2019!
Oct. 31st, 6:30pm - 8:30pm 137@ N Lhs Dr, Lumberton

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