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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.

Impaired Driving Dangers and Prevention

Impaired Driving Dangers and Prevention

Impaired driving dangers are a serious reality that take precious lives each year.  They are time-sensitive emergencies that can be prevented.  Lives can be saved.  Let’s get to know about this topic and please help us create awareness to help save lives.  In an average year, 30 million Americans get behind the wheel of a car while drunk, while an estimated 10 million drive while under the influence of an illicit drug.

This year has been anything but average. This year more of us have turned to alcohol to help us cope with the pandemic’s challenges.

This surge in alcohol consumption is concerning because it increases the number of fatal accidents, especially during the Holiday Season.

The Real Cost of Impaired Driving in America

Aside from the $44 billion annual costs of alcohol-related crashes, the most significant loss is human lives.

An estimated 29 Americans die in motor vehicle crashes involving an impaired driver every day. This translates to one death every 50 minutes.  Due to these alarming statistics, we are bringing you the Impaired Driving Dangers and Prevention.  Together, we can prevent traffic accidents.

Never forget that under Texas Law, Insurance Companies Must Cover ER Trips Involving Traffic Accidents.

Impaired driving does not necessarily mean drunk driving; it also involves distracted driving and drugged driving. In fact, drugs, both legal and illegal, are involved in about 16% of car crashes.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Dangers of Impaired Driving

Get to know about the impaired driving dangers to help prevent a tragedy.  Any amount of alcohol or drugs can significantly impact our ability to drive. Here are several ways in which drugs and alcohol can influence our driving capabilities:

Slow Reaction Time

When we are under the influence or otherwise distracted while driving, our reaction time decreases. A slower response time makes it harder to avoid obstacles such as pedestrians crossing a street and breaking on time to avoid crashing into another car.

Lack of Coordination

Drinking alcohol or taking drugs affects our motor skills, specifically our eye, hand, and foot coordination. These motor skills are vital when driving. Without these crucial coordination skills, we may not be able to avoid harmful situations.

Reduced Concentration

Driving requires concentration. Anything that causes us to become distracted while driving, including alcohol and drug consumption, can significantly increase our risk of being involved in a serious car crash.

Slow Reaction Time

When we are under the influence or otherwise distracted while driving, our reaction time decreases. A slower response time makes it harder to avoid obstacles such as pedestrians crossing a street and breaking on time to avoid crashing into another car.

Lack of Coordination

Drinking alcohol or taking drugs affects our motor skills, specifically our eye, hand, and foot coordination. These motor skills are vital when driving. Without these crucial coordination skills, we may not be able to avoid harmful situations.

Reduced Concentration

Driving requires concentration. Anything that causes us to become distracted while driving, including alcohol and drug consumption, can significantly increase our risk of being involved in a serious car crash.

Decreased Vision

Alcohol impairs our vision. After a few drinks, you may notice your vision becomes a little blurred. Impaired vision affects our ability to judge the distance between our car and other vehicles or obstacles on the road.

Most Common Impaired Driving Injuries

Thankfully, not all impaired driving-related accidents are fatal; however, they can still cause severe injuries, including:

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis. Recovery depends on many factors, such as the extent of the damage and how long it takes a patient to receive treatment. Unfortunately, for many patients, the outcome is permanent.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injury is widespread among crash victims. Severe trauma to the brain can have devastating effects on a person. Traumatic brain injuries can cause changes in a person’s memory, their ability to reason, and their emotional behavior. Additionally, they can result in loss of vision, hearing, and taste,

Severe traumatic brain injuries can result in life-long disabilities.

Internal Injuries

The force of impact can cause internal injuries, including organ damage that can be life-threatening and require immediate emergency medical care.

Organs such as the lungs, kidneys, liver, and spleen are the most common internal organs injured during a car crash.

Orthopedic Injuries

Broken bones are common injuries associated with impaired driving-related incidents. Injury severity varies; some patients will only require a cast while others may lose a limb.

Soft Tissue Injuries

The impact during a crash can cause damage to ligaments, tendons, and muscles. When the injury occurs in a victim’s neck, back, or shoulder, it can limit their ability to move and may result in long-term chronic pain.

Burns

Suppose the crash is severe enough to cause one or more of the vehicles to catch fire. In that case, victims may suffer severe burns that may result in permanent disfigurement and scarring. Burn victims also have an increased risk of infection while healing.

Prevention

The only way to prevent an impaired driving-related accident is not to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If you plan to drink, make arrangements ahead of time. Either select a designated driver or choose to use a ride-sharing service instead of driving yourself.

Getting Prompt Medical Attention Can Help Save A Life

According to the CDC for every person killed in a road accident,

“8 were hospitalized, and 100 were treated and released from the Emergency Room.”

Anyone who is involved in a severe motor vehicle accident should be taken to the nearest Emergency Room for evaluation, given that some injuries can only be diagnosed with advanced imagining technology.

During a crash, victims might have suffered internal injuries or head trauma that if not treated promptly can lead to long-term disabilities or even death.

Some injuries are more time-sensitive than others, in these cases it is better to transfer the patient to a Free-Standing ER facility such as any of the Altus Emergency Centers where they can be treated by a licensed emergency physician right away, rather than transport them to a Hospital ER where their treatment might be delayed due to overcrowding issues.

It’s important to remember that insurance companies are obligated to offer emergency room coverage in their policies. If you are involved in a car accident and need to go to the emergency room, your insurance policy will cover your visit.

Altus Emergency Centers wishes everyone a Happy and Safe New Year. Stay home if you can, and please don’t drink and drive.

As always, we remain open during the New Year Celebration to help with any medical emergencies.

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!

Safe Christmas Traveling Safety Tips

Safe Christmas Traveling Safety Tips

The Christmas Holiday is just around the corner, and for many of us, that means holiday travel. Whether you will be driving across state lines or just to the other side of town, these Safe Christmas Traveling Safety Tips will help keep you and your loved ones safe during this busy time.

A Tragic Trend in Texas Road Accidents

Our state has one of the highest rates of traffic deaths in the country. This year alone, the Texas Department of Transportation lists more than 11 people lost their lives in traffic accidents every day.

At the start of November, the state registered 3,556 fatalities, of these:

  • 1,174 deaths were due to speeding
  • 315 people died due to accidents caused by distracted driving
  • 555 pedestrians died in traffic accidents
  • 889 people died because they were not using a seatbelt
car accident

Prevention Tips

While we may be unable to prevent all accidents, we can certainly take the necessary precautions to lower this Holiday Season’s statistics.

The following travel safety tips aim to help keep you and your family safe from harm.

Get Your Vehicle Serviced

Before you embark on your holiday road trip, take your car to a trusted mechanic or the dealership to have it checked to ensure it’s in good working order.

Leave with Time to Spare

During the holiday season, traffic increases. So, plan your trip ahead of time and map out alternative roads you can take if necessary.

Leave your home with time to spare to arrive at your destination; this way, you won’t feel the need to speed to arrive on time.

Safety Tips for Long-Distance Trips

If you are going on a long-distance trip, it’s a good idea to switch drivers along the way. However, if you are traveling alone, make sure to stop frequently to stretch and rest.

Get a good night’s sleep before starting your trip and avoid driving through the night as you are more likely to doze off and cause an accident.

Keep Your Eyes on the Road and Your Hands on the Wheel

Distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic accidents. So, while you are behind the wheel, don’t text and drive!

Also, if you are driving with children or pets, always stop the car if you need to check on them. Avoid taking your eyes off the road, which increases your chance of being involved in a traffic accident.

Store Food and Snacks Safely

Food poisoning is no joke, and it can ruin your holiday. If you plan to take snacks to eat while on the road, make sure you store them correctly.

Place perishable goods in an ice cooler to keep them from spoiling. Remember to wash your hands before eating.

Mass Transport Safety Tips

When using any means of mass transport such as planes, trains, or buses, remember we are still in the mists of a pandemic, and flu season is here.

With the new SARS-CoV2 variant Omicron, we still need to keep our guard up even if we are vaccinated. To protect yourself, follow these safety tips:

  • Wear a mask while on a bus, train, or plane
  • When possible, avoid sitting next to strangers. Instead, try to sit next to family members
  • Wash your hands after touching high traffic areas, including handrails and doors
  • Don’t touch your face or eat without first washing your hands
  • Get vaccinated or have a booster shot to increase your ability to fight off severe illness

Altus Emergency Centers wishes you and your loved ones a Happy and Safe Christmas. We will remain open during these festive days to help care for you and your family in the event 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!

Texas Law Covers Traffic Accidents

Insurance Companies Must Cover ER Trips Involving Traffic Accidents

Danger on the Road – Traffic Accident Statistics

With nearly 264 million vehicles registered and over 218 million individuals with a valid driving license, our roads are some of the busiest in the world. This, unfortunately, means traffic accidents are more common than any of us would like.

Annual Car Accidents in The United States

Every year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues a briefing based on reported car accidents nationwide. The NHTSA keeps track of injuries, fatalities as well as the factors that might have contributed to the crash such as speeding, alcohol, and distractions.

From these reports we can gather the following statistics:

car accident

The Impact of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Texas

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the state of Texas has the most traffic fatalities of any state in the country.

car accident trauma emergency

Most Common Causes of Traffic Accidents

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the leading cause of road accidents in America. Drivers can become distracted by several things while driving:

  • Cell phones
  • Eating
  • Drinking from a mug or bottle
  • Talking
  • Children
  • Pets in the car

Not paying attention to the road while driving can have dire consequences; the NHTSA reports 3,142 fatalities in distraction-affection crashes in 2019. There were also an estimated 697 deaths due to drowsy driving during the same year. Source: NHTSA.

In addition to these tragic deaths, thousands of victims who experience long-term disabilities.

Speeding

The second most common cause of road accidents in the United States is speeding, and because most of these accidents typically occur at high speeds, it is also a significant cause of traffic accident-related deaths with an estimated 9,478 deaths in 2019.  Source: nsc.org

Drunk Driving

Road accidents involving drunk drivers are another major cause of injuries and fatalities, especially during the weekend and holidays. Drinking slows down our response time and our ability to focus on the road, and it can also make us drowsy.

According to data from the NHTSA,

“29% of the total fatalities of road accidents were in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.”

In our own state of Texas:

Out of the 3,722 road accident deaths in 2017, 1,468 or 39% of them occurred in an accident caused by a drunk driver.

Getting Prompt Medical Attention Can Help Save A Life

According to the CDC for every person killed in a road accident,

“8 were hospitalized, and 100 were treated and released from the Emergency Room.”

Anyone who is involved in a severe motor vehicle accident should be taken to the nearest Emergency Room for evaluation, given that some injuries can only be diagnosed with advanced imagining technology.

During a crash, victims might have suffered internal injuries or head trauma that if not treated promptly can lead to long-term disabilities or even death.

Some injuries are more time-sensitive than others, in these cases it is better to transfer the patient to a Free-Standing ER facility such as any of the Altus Emergency Centers where they can be treated by a licensed emergency physician right away, rather than transport them to a Hospital ER where their treatment might be delayed due to overcrowding issues.

It’s important to remember that insurance companies are obligated to offer emergency room coverage in their policies. If you are involved in a car accident and need to go to the emergency room, your insurance policy will cover your visit.

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, 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.

Christmas Lighting Safety Tips

Christmas Lighting Safety Tips

The holidays are here, and it’s time to deck our homes, which means putting on your incredible Christmas lights display.

But before you let your holiday cheer take control, remember safety should always come first. Falls, fires, electrocution, and other mishaps can occur and ruin your Christmas if you’re not careful.

According to The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, as many as 200 decorating-related injuries happen daily during the holiday season, half of which are accidents involving falls.

Additionally, holiday decorating-related injuries send about 17,500 Americans to the ER every year. So, before you climb that latter with a tangle of lights on one hand, please read our suggested safety tips.

Christmas Lighting Safety Tips

Inspect the Lights Before You Hang Them

Carefully inspect each light string for cracked or frayed cords. Replace any missing, damaged, or burnt-out bulbs.

Make sure your lights are safe for outdoor use. Look for the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) red stamp that certifies your decorations are safe for outdoor use.

 

Throw away any damaged strands.

Detangle the strands while on the ground so you won’t have to do it while balancing on a ladder.

 

Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts

Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause water to overflow onto your Christmas lights, creating an electrical hazard.

 

Secure Your Ladder

Secure your ladder and make sure it’s on level ground before you climb it. Always have someone help you by holding the ladder to help keep it stable and minimize the risk of falling.

Place your later in a location that is far away from power lines to avoid electrocution.

Avoid Walking on The Roof

Angled or high-pitched roofs and slippery shingles can turn your holiday decoration installation into a real hazard. Suppose you want to add decorations to your roof. In that case, the best way to go about it is to hire a professional who has the proper tools, equipment, and experience to do it for you.

 

Use Plastic Safety Clips

Plastic safety clips are inexpensive and easy to use. They are also safer than using tacks or nails to secure hanging lights on the outside of your home. Staples and nails can damage the wires creating a fire hazard.

 

Use the Right Extension Cords

Only use heavy-duty extension cords that are certified for outdoor use. To avoid overloading your extension cords, don’t exceed more than three sets of lights per extension cord.

Make sure to keep cords out of walkways and secure cables with heavy tape to prevent tripping hazards.

 

Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)

To help prevent electric shock, plug your outdoor lights into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI).

 

Use a Timer

Placing your lights on a timer can help lower your electrical bill and prevent your decorations from overheating.

Turn your lights off when you go to bed or leave the house. Never leave your Christmas decorations on while you are not home.

Christmas Lighting Safety Tips

At Altus Emergency Centers, we want you to stay safe and avoid getting this holiday season.

Should the unexpected happen, don’t worry; we will be here to help get you back to health. Our doctors and nurses will have you feeling better in no time so that you can enjoy the holidays at home with your family.

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!

Winter Respiratory Illnesses

Winter Respiratory Illnesses

Prevention, Symptoms & When to Go to the ER

There is always an increase in respiratory illnesses during the winter months, including colds, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The cold, dry air can weaken our immune system and drive people to stay indoors more, making it easier for viruses to spread.

If you find yourself sneezing and coughing in the coming months, how do you know if you have a cold or a more severe illness?

Let’s look at the most common illnesses we will experience during winter

Colds

Many types of viruses can cause this upper respiratory infection. While you can get a cold at any time during the year, they are more frequent during colder months.

Symptoms are typically mild and pass within a week or ten days. So, most people don’t need medical attention when they have a cold. However, if you notice your symptoms are not improving or are getting worse, it’s wise to speak to a doctor.

Cold Symptoms

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Mild body aches or headache
  • Slight fever
  • A general feeling of being unwell

 

When to Seek Medical Attention

You should see your doctor if you have one or more of the following:

  • Symptoms that last 3-5 days
  • Severe or unusual symptoms
  • If your baby is under 3-months of age and has a fever or is lethargic

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

The Flu

Experts expect this flu season to be more severe than in previous years. The reason is that during last year’s lockdown, with the increased safety measures, including masks and physical distancing, more people avoided getting the flu. And most did not get their annual flu shot which helps our immune system combat the influenza virus.

Flu Statistics

Last year was an atypical flu season, with less than 2,000 cases reported. But during the 2019-2020 flu season:

  • There were an estimated 18-26 million doctor visits due to flu symptoms
  • Between 410,000 and 740,000 Americans were hospitalized with the flu
  • And anywhere from 24,000 to 62,000 died from the illness

Symptoms

Flu symptoms are similar to those of a cold but are generally more severe and develop faster

  • Muscle or body aches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Fever, feeling feverish or having chills (not everyone gets a fever)
  • Some, especially children, may experience vomiting and diarrhea
Pediatric Emergencies Capability

Complications from the Flu

Most people recover from the flu within one or two weeks. However, some can develop complications that range from moderate to life-threatening and include:

  • Sinus and ear infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma flare-ups
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (the condition is life-threatening)
  • Inflammation of the heart, brain, or muscles
  • Secondary infections
  • Multi-organ failure

When to Go to the ER

Should you experience any of the following emergency warning signs of the flu, please rush to the nearest ER:

Warning Signs in Children:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Unable to eat
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • They don’t have tears when crying
  • Being unusually irritable
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with a fever and a worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

 

Warning Signs in Adults:

  • Having shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Confusion
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with a fever and a worse cough

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

This common and highly contagious respiratory virus usually has mild cold-like symptoms. Those who get it typically recover within a week or two.

However, the illness can be serious for infants and older adults. As a matter of fact, RSV is the leading cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) in children under the age of one.

Pediatric Emergencies Capability

Symptoms

  • Runny nose
  • Coughing – with yellow, green, or gray mucus
  • Sneezing
  • Trouble breathing or pauses in their breaths
  • Wheezing
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Signs of dehydration (no tears, little or no urine, cool, dry skin)

 

When to Go to The ER

Please call 911 and get immediate medical attention if your child has one or more of the following:

  • Has trouble breathing or very fast breathing
  • Their lips or fingernails have a bluish tint

COVID-19

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still among us. And winter seems to bring out the worst of the coronavirus.

We are still dealing with the effects of the Delta variant, and now we have the looming shadow of the Omicron variant.

Omicron is a concern because of the number of mutations the virus has. While there is still much we need to learn from this new variant, this is what we know so far:

  • The Omicron variant likely will spread more quickly than the original SARS-CoV-2
  • There is insufficient data to know if omicron infection, reinfections, and breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated can cause more severe illness or death than previous variants
  • Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness and hospitalizations, and deaths from omicron infections
  • Some COVID-19 treatments are likely to remain effective, while others may be less effective

The good news is that when it comes to COVID-19, what we do has great significance in the future. So, if you haven’t received the vaccine, please do; this will reduce the risk of developing severe illness, long-term complications, or death.

Preventing Respiratory Illnesses

Because most respiratory illnesses are viral, the same prevention tips apply to all:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Keep a physical distance of at least 6-feet when in public
  • Wear a mask
  • Get vaccinated – You can have the COVID-19 and Flu vaccines at the same time-
  • If you are feeling unwell, stay home. Please don’t send your children to school when they have cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Avoid being near people who are sick

 

Altus Emergency Centers offer four convenient locations in Lumberton, Baytown, Waxahachie, and Lake Jackson. Our experienced staff is available around the clock to treat all respiratory illness emergencies.

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!

Choosing Safe Toys During The Holiday Season

This Year Give the Gift of Safe Toys

Get to know the best tips to give the gift of safe toys this Christmas and beyond! If you have a child in your life, then you know that watching kids open their presents on Christmas morning is the best part of the holidays.

Toys are an important aspect of child development. Not only do they entertain, some can also help children develop their motor skills, and learn new things.

Sadly, not all toys are safe or age-appropriate, and this can lead to injuries. The most recent report by The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) revealed that in 2020:

  • There were more than 198,000 toy-related injuries treated in emergency rooms across the country
  • Kids under the age of 15 sustained most injuries (75%)
  • The head/face areas were the most injured body parts, followed by arms and legs
  • The most common toy-related injuries were lacerations (cuts), followed by contusions/abrasions, and fractures
  • Non-motorized scooters and toy balls were the top toy categories associated with toy-related injuries
avoid potential injuries safe toys

Toy Safety Guidelines

The CPSC monitors and regulates any toy made in or imported into the country. Since 1995 all toys must follow the Consumer Product Safety Commission standards which include:

  • The fabric used to make toys must be flame resistant or flame retardant
  • The paint used in toys must be lead-free
  • Stuffed toys and dolls should be washable
  • Art supplies including crayons and colors need to be labeled as non-toxic and say ASTM D-4236 on the package to guarantee the American Society for Testing and Materials has evaluated them

 

Even though regulations are in place to try and make toys safe for kids, there is still a lot we can do to prevent injuries.

When shopping for toys for your little ones, consider the following:

  • Ask yourself if the toys are suitable for the age, abilities, skills, and interests of your child. Check the manufacturer’s label, if it’s not recommended for your kid’s age, don’t buy it!
  • Toys should be large enough to prevent them from being swallowed or lodged in the windpipe. A good line is to avoid any toys that have parts smaller than 1¼ inches in diameter and 2¼inches in length
  • Avoid giving marbles, or games with coins, chips, or balls that are less than 1.75 inches in diameter, as they can become lodged in the throat above the windpipe and make breathing difficult
  • If you are gifting a battery-operated toy to a toddler, make sure the battery case has screws to prevent kids from prying them open. Batteries and battery fluid can cause serious injuries, including chemical burns, choking, and internal bleeding
  • If your gift consists of Bicycles, scooters, skateboards, or inline skates, remember to also get the appropriate safety gear including helmets, as well as hand, wrist, and shin guards
safe toys for small children

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Toy-Related Injuries That Need ER Care

Not every scrape or bruise will merit a trip to one of our ER centers. However, it’s always good to know when an injury does require ER care.

Bring your child in when:

  • They fell and hit their head hard. If they show signs of a concussion, you should bring them in for an evaluation
  • When they have a small toy part lodged in their nostrils or windpipe. Don’t delay if you notice the child has trouble breathing
  • It looks like they might have broken a bone

 

This Holiday Season do your best to give the gift of safety to your loved ones. However, if your little ones get a little carried away with excitement and  get hurt, you don’t need to worry.

Just remember all our centers offer specialized pediatric emergency care, and we will be open 24/7 during the holidays.

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!

Healthcare Facility for Holiday Emergencies. Where to Go

Looking for a Healthcare Facility for Holiday Emergencies? Where to Go.

The Holiday Season is supposed to be a time of joy and cheerful communion with family and friends. But all this excitement can sometimes lead to accidents and unexpected health issues.

We know the last thing on your holiday checklist is planning for such events, but should you need medical care during the holidays, do you know where to go?

Where to Get Help When You Have a Medical Emergency?

Choosing the right healthcare facility for holiday emergencies is vital if you want a speedy recovery. But deciding where to get the best treatment for your injuries can sometimes be confusing.

Not worry; we are here to help you plan and know where to go to get in and out quickly so you can get back to enjoying your holiday season.

Here we will explain the differences between Urgent Care, Hospital ER’s, and stand-alone Emergency Rooms.

Urgent Care

These facilities offer convenient locations and are a good option for mild illness symptoms and minor injuries.

However, these centers rarely have a doctor on-site, and most are not open 24/7. Many may even be closed during holidays. Also, their level of care is limited. So if your injury or illness turns out to be more severe than you initially thought, they won’t be able to treat you. Instead, they will recommend you visit a higher level of care facility such as the emergency room.

If they refer you to a hospital ER, not only will you waste time getting there, you may also experience long wait times to be seen by a doctor. Therefore, if the UC refers you to the ER during the holidays, it’s best to choose a freestanding emergency room where you can get treated and discharged faster.

example of an urgent care

Hospital Emergency Room

There is no question that a hospital-based emergency room is well-equipped to treat all types of emergencies with the added advantage that they are open 24/7. But, unfortunately, overcrowding and long wait times are a reality for most hospital ER’s.

On average, hospital ER patients wait more than an hour and a half to be taken to their room and 2.25 hours before discharge.

During the holidays, these wait times are sure to increase, leaving you with less time to spend with your family and recover comfortably at home.

example of a hospital emergency room

Independent/Freestanding Emergency Room

Your search for a healthcare facility for holiday emergencies is over!

A freestanding emergency room (FER or FEC), also called stand-alone ER or independent ER, is open 24/7, offers immediate treatment, and is well equipped to handle a wide variety of emergencies.

A freestanding ER has all the diagnostic equipment for doctors to identify the type and severity of your injuries. Diagnostic equipment includes X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, and clinical laboratory. Additionally, they have qualified doctors and nurses certified in emergency care, meaning you are always in good hands.

Best of all, wait times at independent emergency rooms like Altus are considerably lower. Within minutes of your arrival, one of our nurses will be assessing your injuries, and you will see a doctor within 10-15 after you arrive.

Because Altus ER’s don’t suffer from the same overcrowding issues as hospital ER’s, you will always receive faster, more personalized care from us.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we provide patients with online check-in options to make wait time even shorter. And we also provide them with free medical screening.

Contrary to many reports, Altus Emergency Centers are not more expensive than a hospital ER. In fact, we have negotiated special rates with our in-house doctors to ensure you receive the best care at the best price.

Additionally, our patient advocate will help you understand and maximize your health insurance benefits. They will make sure you never pay more for out-of-pocket expenses than you should.

Services Offered By Healthcare Facilities

If you are still unsure where you should go to treat a holiday emergency, this chart will help you make the right decision.

Health-insurance Altus ER

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

If you experience a medical emergency and want to get in and out as quickly as possible to get back to enjoying good times with your family and friends, your best choice is Altus Emergency.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

Preventing Common Thanksgiving Injuries

Preventing Common Thanksgiving Injuries

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

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

Injury Prevention Tips

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

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

Preventing Injuries in The Kitchen

 

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

Preventing Sports Injuries

 

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

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

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

Preventing Carving Injuries

 

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

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

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Preventing Alcohol-Related Injuries

 

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

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

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

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top-of-the-line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts ready to help you get well fast in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times. After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions for the Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process. We are here to help you get well and stay well!

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!

HEALTH NEWS, EVENTS & MORE.

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