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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.

The Most Common Food Allergies

Food Allergies

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.

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.

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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!

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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.

Lumberton ER Voted Home of the Best Registered Nurse

Lumberton ER Voted Home of the Best Registered Nurse for the Second Year in a Row

Altus Emergency  Center Lumberton Voted ‘Best’ Facility, Nurse

LUMBERTON, TX (March 2016) — For the second consecutive year, Altus Emergency Center Lumberton was voted Best Emergency Clinic and home of the Best Registered Nurse by the readers of The Hardin County News.
The annual reader’s choice awards published by the community newspaper recognized the Lumberton emergency center in February for being the best in 2016, having earned the same honor in 2015. Altus ER Lumberton was also named home of the Best R.N., going this year to Loreal Irvine.
Last year, Best R.N. was won by Kevin Garner, administrator of the Lumberton facility.  The Hardin County News is a division of The Beaumont Enterprise and Hearst Newspapers.  Altus Emergency Centers in Baytown and Lake Jackson have also been voted ‘Best’ by their respective newspapers,  with Lake Jackson R.N. Heather Hill also winning “Best Nurse.”
Altus Emergency Team-Loreal-Irvine

Altus ER Staff Joins Local 5Ks – Encourages Community to ‘Choose Well’

Altus ER Staff Encourages Community to ‘Choose Well’ by Joining Local 5Ks

Setting the Example: Altus ER Staff Joins Local 5Ks

LUMBERTON, TX (March 25, 2016)—Altus Health has always encouraged its respective communities to ‘Choose Well,’ but its emergency center staff has taken that to a new level in 2016 by competing in numerous 5Ks.
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Sporting shirts with the 2016 theme “When It’s More Than Urgent,” members of the Regional Team joined hundreds of others to participate in the seventh annual Gusher Marathon, Half-Marathon and 5K on February 27 in Beaumont.

 On March 12, the team also competed in the third annual Snow Run and Walk 5K, also in Beaumont,which served as a fundraiser for the Ulcerative Colitis Foundation of America.

Members of the Baytown ER staff also participated in the Jail Break Run on February 20.

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Altus ERs Give Away Free Snowcones to Kick Off Spring Break

Altus ERs Kick Off Spring Break with Free Snowcones

Altus ERs Give Away Free Snowcones When They Are Needed the most: Spring Break!

LUMBERTON, TX (March 25, 2016) — As students celebrated a long-awaited Spring Break, Altus Emergency Centers joined in the fun by offering free snowcones!
Altus-ERs-Give-Away-Free-Snowcones
“Each Altus Emergency Center location gives back to the very communities that have gone above and beyond in supporting us throughout the years,” said Garrett Syphrett, Vice President of Operations and Development.
“All three Altus Emergency Centers hosted a Snow Cone Day during their respective school’s Spring Breaks, offering free snow cones to both children and adults”, Syphrett said.

“However, with the recent river flooding in Southeast Texas, the Lumberton staff turned their Snow Cone Day into an impromptu donation station for the area shelters housing those displaced due to rising water. During the two-hour event, we collected clothing, water, food and monetary donations for flood victims.”

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Garrett Syphrett, MBA

Vice President of Operations and Development

Altus ERs Give Away Free Snowcones

Altus Emergency Center also donated 25 cases of our labeled bottle of water as well.
In addition to the three facilities in Lumberton, Baytown and Lake Jackson; Altus Emergency Centers, a leading provider in high-quality emergency healthcare, is opening a Lufkin location this summer and a Waxahachie facility in winter.

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