The Keys To Healthy Lungs

The Keys To Healthy Lungs

November is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Month. And we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share with you some tips on how you can keep your respiratory system in tip-top shape.   Learn the keys to healthy lungs to help prevent COPD and know the signs of alert to head for your nearest ER.

How Common is Lung Disease?

Unfortunately, lung disease is more common than any of us would like, according to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion:

  • More than 25 million people in America have asthma
  • Approximately 14.8 million adults are living with a diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • About 12 million adults have COPD but don’t know it yet

What is COPD?

The COPD Foundation defines COPD as an umbrella term that engulfs several progressive non-curable lung diseases characterized by increasing breathlessness.

COPD includes illnesses such as:

  • Emphysema
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Refractory (non-reversible) Asthma

While there is currently no cure for COPD, early diagnosis and treatment can help manage symptoms.

Symptoms of COPD

Symptoms of COPD vary from patient to another, but some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Increased shortness of breath
  • Frequent coughing (with and without mucus)
  • Increased breathlessness
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in the chest

How You Can Help Lungs Stay Healthy

It’s easy to take our lungs for granted; after all, we only focus on our breathing when we have trouble with it.

Although our bodies have natural defenses to protect our lungs, we also have to do our part and avoid certain behaviors and situations to our risk of developing lung disease.

Tip # 1 Step Away From The Cigarettes

You probably already know that smoking is bad for your health.  But did you know that one of the leading causes of lung cancer and COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is cigarette smoke?

Here is how smoking affects your lungs:

  • It narrows the air passages which makes breathing harder
  • Cigarette smoke causes chronic inflammation in the lungs which over time can lead to chronic bronchitis
  • Smoking eventually destroys lung tissue and may lead to lung cancer

If you smoke, it’s never too late to quit. Even if you have been a smoker for years or decades, your lungs will still benefit if you stopped today.

When you are ready to stop smoking, the American Lung Association has a lot of resources available to help you quit. 

Tip # 2 Beware of Air Pollutants

The air quality we breathe is essential for healthy lungs. When we think of unhealthy air, the first thing that springs to mind is car exhaust fumes. But there are a lot of other contaminants which can come from manufacturing plants, heavy construction equipment, second-hand smoke, and even natural sources such as fires and dust.

Chemicals within your home can also lower the quality of the air you breathe inside your house. Smoking indoors also affects the quality of air.

To help prevent lung problems, pay attention to the air quality around your home and workplace. There are many applications which can alert you when the air quality outside is less than ideal, consider downloading one of these onto your phone.

If the air quality is bad avoid exercising outdoors, and in general try to stay indoors in a controlled climate as much as possible during those days.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Tip # 3 Prevent Infections

Respiratory infections can sometimes turn into something more serious. To prevent complications, remember to:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based solution
  • Avoid crowds during flu season
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day to get rid of harmful bacteria in your mouth that could cause an infection
  • Get vaccinated against the flu every year. Also ask your doctor if the pneumonia vaccine is right for you
  • If you have a cold or the flu, stay home!

Tip # 5 Exercise to Strengthen Your Lungs

Regular moderate exercise will help to increase your lung capacity and keep them strong and healthy.

When we are physically active our muscles require more oxygen; this means our heart and lungs need to work harder to supply that extra oxygen. As your fitness levels improve, so will your lung capacity.

When To Go To the ER

Having trouble breathing is a red flag that something isn’t right. If your breathing problems are severe enough to disrupt your daily activities, call 911 or have someone drive you to the nearest Altus Emergency Center immediately.

Make sure to visit our ER if:

  • You have sudden breathing problems
  • Your breathing difficulties develop alongside chest pain, nausea or vomiting, and feeling faint
  • Your breathing problems are due to a chronic illness such as asthma, COPD, and your regular medications aren’t working
  • You notice your lips or fingers turning blue
  • You have difficulty breathing while lying down

 

Altus Emergency Centers are open 24/7 every day of the year including holidays. If you have trouble breathing, don’t wait, we are always here to help you breathe comfortably again.

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!

Deer Hunting Season Safety Tips

Deer Hunting Season Safety Tips

According to the latest Texas Parks and Wildlife hunting incident analysis, the number of hunting accidents across the state has significantly decreased since the hunter education program became mandatory in 1988.

Last year, there were 17 reported hunting accidents involving either a firearm or a bow, three being fatal and 14 non-fatal.  There were another 4 non-firearm/bow hunting-related incidents, with one being fatal and three non-fatal. That means that out of the 21 incidents a total of four resulted in death. Sadly, all of these incidents were easily preventable, had the hunters followed correct hunting protocols.

This weekend marks the start of the general deer hunting season for white-tailed deer, while mule deer hunting season will commence on November 23rd. The staff of Altus Emergency Centers is all too familiar with hunting-related accidents, which is why we would like to remind the members of our communities how easy it is to avoid incidents by just following these safety tips.

Scroll to read the official Deer Hunting Safety Tips from the Texas Department of State Health Services as well as from Altus Emergency.

DSHS reminds Texans engaged in outdoor activities to take safety precautions

Deer Hunting Safety Tips from DSHS.  As deer hunting season begins, the Texas Department of State Health Services reminds Texans to take precautions to protect themselves from serious diseases transmitted by animals.

This summer 20 animals and one person in southwestern Texas contracted anthrax, a life-threatening disease caused by naturally occurring bacteria present in the soil worldwide. Animals can get the disease by swallowing anthrax spores while grazing, and people can get anthrax by handling infected animals or eating their meat. Rabies and brucellosis can also be passed to people through direct contact with live or dead animals so use protective gear when handling animal carcasses.

Hunters, hikers, and campers should use insect repellant to avoid bites. Mosquitoes and ticks are still active in the fall and can transmit West Nile virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease and a variety of other diseases that require prompt treatment to avoid potentially devastating complications. Infections such as plague and typhus are spread by fleas, often carried by rodents and other animals.

Tularemia and hantavirus are spread by direct contact with infected rodents or their droppings. “You can become infected by inhaling dust that contains hantavirus,” said Dr. Tom Sidwa, manager of DSHS’s Zoonosis Control Branch. “Wear a mask and follow other CDC guidelines when cleaning up after rodents, especially for heavy infestations in cabins, sheds, hunting blinds or barns.”

DSHS recommends the following precautions to minimize the risk of contracting diseases that are transmitted by wildlife:

  • Use an effective insect repellent and follow package directions carefully. Those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, and 2-undecanone provide longer lasting protection.
  • Stay on trails and avoid areas of overgrown brush and tall grasses.
  • Do not touch dead animals you find or their remains, including antlers, bones, and hides.
  • Wear latex-type gloves when dressing game.
  • Wear eye protection when dressing game to prevent fluids or tissues from splashing into your eyes. Shooting glasses provide an acceptable level of eye protection in most cases.
  • Avoid eating, drinking, using tobacco, or rubbing your eyes while dressing game.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling game. If soap is not available, rinse thoroughly with water and then apply an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cook all game meats thoroughly. Do not give raw scraps to your pets.
  • Wear protective clothing such as a hat, long-sleeved shirt, and long pants tucked into boots or socks and check frequently for ticks.

Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts can find additional information about diseases that can spread from animals to people at DSHTexas.gov.

Enjoy Deer Hunting Season the Safe Way

The following are additional deer hunting safety tips from Altus Emergency:

  • Make Yourself Visible: Texas law requires that all hunters on public hunting lands wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange material, of which 144 must be on the chest and back areas, orange headgear is also mandatory. Avoid using colors and patterns that blend with your surroundings.
  • Always Point the Muzzle in a safe direction: Never rest the muzzle on your foot, always point the muzzle in a safe direction. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire and never fire your hunting weapon unless you are sure your target is an actual deer.
  • Assume Every Gun is Loaded: Whenever you up a firearm point the muzzle in a safe direction and check if it is loaded. Be sure the chamber and the magazine are empty, and the action is open until ready to fire. Always have the safety on until you are ready to fire.
  • Identify your Target and Know what is In Front of and Beyond It: Use binoculars to properly identify game animals, never use your scope to identify them. Make sure there are no hunters or dogs in front of or beyond your target. Never shoot at an animal is on top of a hillside since you don’t know what lies beyond it. Understand how far your bullets or arrows can travel to determine the chances of hitting an unintended target.
  • Never Shoot at Flat Hard Surfaces: Bullets ricocheting off rocks, the ground and unbelievably even water can cause terrible injuries to people nearby.
  • Handle Firearms and Bows Carefully: Guns and hunting bows are not toys, never leave weapons unattended around children, always unload firearms and unstring bows when not in use. Store and transport firearms and ammunition separately, make sure they are under lock and key. Carry arrows in a protective cover or quiver.
  • Know Your Safe Zone: Hunters should be spaced 25 to 40 yards apart and always in sight of one another. A hunter’s safe zone of fire normally spans about 45 degrees in front them, but, the hunting party should make the final determination based on how experienced the hunters are. For safety purposes, there should be no more than 3 hunters in a party, for young or inexperienced hunters 2 is preferable.
  • Don’t Drink Alcohol or Take Drugs When Hunting: The use of alcohol and drugs impairs physical and mental abilities, they affect emotions, judgment, vision, and reflexes, increasing the chances of injury.
  • Be Careful When Using a Tree Stand: Always use a full-body safety harness when climbing up or down the tree stands, don’t remove it until you are safely down from it. Use your own tree stand and make sure it is installed properly.
  • Keep Your Loyal Companion Safe:  Make sure that you equip your pet with proper deer hunting gear and train them accordingly to keep them safe.

While we are happy to welcome deer hunting season, we hope that all heed these deer hunting safety tips to enjoy safely.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN SYSTEM

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!

Pumpkin Carving Safety Tips

Pumpkin Carving Safety Tips

Fall is here, y’all! That means it’s pumpkin carving season!

Pumpkin carving is a favorite family fall tradition for many of us. From going out to the pumpkin patch to chose the perfect orange spheres to picking the scariest faces to carve into them, creating a unique Jack O’Lantern to light up your porch is a fun activity for everyone in your family.

However, this fun family activity can be hazardous; after all, you need to use sharp objects to make these spooky creations.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported 4,500 Halloween-related injuries treated in the ER last year. Of these, 27% included lacerations, ingestions, and other wounds associated with pumpkins, decorations, or costumes.

Most of the injuries we see from pumpkin carving related accidents are stab wounds to the hand either in the fingers or the palm. Some stab wounds are severe enough to cause damage to tendons, nerves, or puncture an artery. We also see many cuts that require stitches.

To avoid getting hurt and having to pay us an unscheduled visit, we’ve put together a list of simple safety tips for you and your family.

Use a Pumpkin Carving Kit

Purchase a pumpkin carving kit at your local convenience store or purchase one online. They are relatively inexpensive and much safer than using a regular kitchen knife.

One of the biggest problems with using a sharp knife is that it often gets stuck in the thick skin of the pumpkin, and it requires force to remove it, which increases the chances of the knife slipping or cutting through to the other side where your hand might be holding the pumpkin.

Carving kits, on the other hand, have specially designed tools that can saw through the tough skin, poke holes, and scoop out the seeds. What is unique about these tools is that although they get the job done, they are not razor-sharp.

Leave The Top on While Carving

Most of us make the mistake of removing the top of the pumpkin along with the seeds before we start carving.

However, this can be dangerous as you will be tempted to place your hand inside the pumpkin to hold it while cutting out the face features. With your hand inside, if your tool slips you run the risk of cutting yourself.

Instead of removing the top, try cutting out the bottom of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. This way you can later place the Jack O’Lanter on top of the battery-operated light to illuminate it.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Don’t Let Kids Carve

You can include the smallest members of your household by having them help scoop out the innards and select the Jack O’Lantern stencil design, or have them draw the face themselves.

The one thing you should never allow is for kids to handle sharp objects. If you have adolescents and you want to teach them how to carve, make sure there is always an adult closely supervising their work.

Always Cut Away From Your Hands

Proper cutting techniques may seem obvious, but when you are trying to get your carving done fast you may forget to check where your hands are.

Remember knives, and other carving tools are bound to slip at some point, and if you are not careful your fingers might be in the way, and you could get seriously hurt.

If You Get Hurt, Come to Altus Emergency Centers ASAP!

Even when you try to be careful, pumpkin carving accidents can still happen. If you get hurt and your wound is deep, or you can’t get it to stop bleeding you need medical attention.

Deep wounds need to be thoroughly cleaned by a medical professional, and you will probably require antibiotics to prevent infections.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we are all about family traditions, and pumpkin carving is at the heart of the fall season. This Halloween season make sure your pumpkin carving activities are fun and safe for everyone.

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!

Trick–or–Treating Safety Tips

Trick–or–Treating Safety Tips

Halloween is by far the most fun filled night of the year for children and yes, for adults too, let’s face it, what can be better than dressing up, staying up late and eating a ton of yummy treats?

But, there is a scary side to Halloween that tops any ghost, goblin, ghouls, or things that go bump in the night, we are of course referring to accidents. Sadly, we at Altus Emergency Centers know all too well how devastating these can be.  This year, we would like to ensure that all enjoy the fun of Halloween without the dangers by practicing good trick-or-treating safety tips.

Horrifying Halloween Facts

  • Kids are twice as likely to be hit by a motor vehicle and sustain serious injury or even death on Halloween night than any other night of the year.
  • Kids with severe food allergies are especially vulnerable during a trick-or-treat run.  As much as they can’t wait to enjoy a bite of delicious candy, please remember that food safety is an important part of trick-or-treating safety.
  • Elaborate costumes especially those that include long or loose-fitting clothing, masks, or props such as swords, can impair vision and make it difficult for a child to move, increasing their risk of falling and injuring themselves.
  • Carving a pumpkin is a dangerous affair, especially for small kids, deep cuts that require stitching are common this time of year.
  • Severe burns from a candle lit Jack O’ Lanterns are all too common.

Halloween Safety Tips

As frightening as these facts are, you need not worry, the heroic staff of Altus Emergency Centers is here to help you avert the terrors of the night, follow our trick-or-treating safety tips, and enjoy a fun night with your family.

  • Our first trick-or-treating safety tip is important at all times, not only on Halloween.  Never let kids under 12-years of age go trick-or-treating alone if you cannot accompany them, make sure a trusted adult is with them.
  • If you have older kids that will be going out on their own, make sure they are traveling in a group, and follow their route with the use of the GPS tracking system on their phones. Agree on a specific time they should return home.
  • Plan your route in advance, if possible avoid heavy traffic areas. Stick to a route you and your kids are familiar with.
  • Choose costumes that are bright or attach some reflective tape to the costume and trick-or-treat bags to increase visibility and help motorists spot your kids from a distance.
  • Make sure shoes are comfy and well fitted, trick-or-treating could take you several blocks away from home, comfy shoes are necessary to prevent blisters.
  • Masks can block or limit eyesight, making it difficult for your child to navigate and increasing their risk of injury, to avoid this consider using non-toxic makeup and well-fitted hats instead.
  • Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to ensure there are no allergic reactions, if your child suffers one, take him/her immediately to the nearest Altus ER Center for treatment.
  • Remove all makeup before your kids go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation.
  • When out shopping for costumes, wigs, and other accessories, make sure the label clearly states they are flame resistant.
  • The next trick-or-treating safety tip begins with costume selection to avoid potential injuries associated with falling.  Ensure your child’s costume is the appropriate length, long costumes increase the chances of your child tripping and hurting themselves.
  • If possible avoid costumes with weapons, but, if your child won’t have it any other way, make sure swords, knives, guns, etc. are short, soft, and flexible.
  • Never use over-the-counter decorative contact lenses, as these can cause pain, inflammation, infections, and other serious eye disorders which may lead to permanent vision loss. All contact lenses should be prescribed by an eye care professional.
  • Teach your kids how to call 911 or any other emergency number if they get lost or feel they may be in any sort of danger.
  • Instruct your kids to never get into a stranger’s car.
  • Tell your kids not to eat any treats until they return home, especially if they have food allergies. Inspect all treats before allowing your children to consume them.
  • Limit the number of sweets your kids can eat at once, hide the candy and allow them to consume it a little at a time over the next few days or weeks.
  • Never let small children carve a pumpkin, instead have them draw a scary face on it with a marker.
  • Choose to light up your Jack O’ Lantern with a flashlight, battery operated led light, or glow stick instead of a candle.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

No Need to Fear When Altus ER is Here

Have a Fun & Safe Halloween!

Altus Emergency Centers wants you to have a fun and safe Halloween, follow our trick-or-treat safety tips but know that accidents can happen even when you are being careful, which is why we will be here to take care of you and your loved ones on the scariest night of the year and every other night too.

Should you or someone you know require immediate ER care, it is never the time to wait in line for hours or drive long distances.  Give yourself the best possibility to get well.  If you or someone you know need emergency medical assistance, visit your nearest Altus Emergency Center immediately.

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!

Top Reasons Medicare Patients Visit the ER

Why Quality Senior ER Care is Vital

The babyboomer generation continues to age, and according to one study, every year, some 56,803 senior citizens find themselves visiting the Emergency Room for various conditions.  Today we will cover why quality senior ER care is vital and the top 10 reasons why Medicare patients visit the ER.

With more patients over the age of 65, hospital-based ER’s are having a hard time providing the care these patients require. This makes access to outpatient ER centers like Altus Baytown ER, which now accepts Medicare, patients a vital service for the community.

Top Reasons Why Medicare Patients Visit the ER

Senior citizens are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases, and this makes them vulnerable to suffer complications or injuries. Meaning, they will need immediate emergency medical attention. Unfortunately, because of the overcrowding crisis in hospital-based ER’s many patients, 65 and over, don’t receive timely care.

Here is a list of the top reasons why medicare patients will need to visit the ER.

 

Injuries and Accidents

Older adults can develop balance problems, and this makes them more likely to suffer falls, which could result in a broken bone, or concussion. 

Additionally, eyesight problems and slower reflexes could make them more likely to be involved in car crashes and other accidents. All crash victims regardless of age should visit the ER to ensure there are no severe injuries, and senior patients are not the exception.

Patients 65 and older also have a higher risk of heat-induced exhaustion and dehydration, which are conditions that require immediate medical attention. 

 

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain can be a result of digestive problems, viruses or infection, food poisoning, and in some cases, kidney stones.

Adverse Drug Reactions and Accidental Overdose

Negative side effects of prescription drugs are a common reason for which older patients visit the ER. Self-medication and accidental overdoses are also reasons for which senior patients must go to the emergency room.

 

Heart Disease and Chest Pains

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US according to the CDC. Seniors who experience shortness of breath or chest pains need to come to Altus Baytown ER immediately as these could be signs of a heart attack. 

 

Stroke

Another serious condition that sends senior patients to the ER. Strokes rarely cause pain, but they do cause confusion, slurred speech, and paralysis on one side.

chest pain Medicare Patients Visit the ER

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and severe asthma are all conditions that are known as COPD. Smoking is the leading cause of COPD; therefore, quitting your smoking habit can help reduce the risk of developing COPD. Check your Medicare coverage, as most Medicare Part B plans cover counseling sessions for people who want to quit smoking.

 

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is perhaps the most common upper respiratory infection that lands seniors in the ER. Medicare Part B covers the annual pneumococcal vaccine, which could help prevent respiratory infections like pneumonia.

 

Spinal Disorders

Conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, as well as injuries to the back or neck can cause severe pain. Back pain is a common symptom that prompts older patients to come to the ER.

 

Urinary Tract Infections

Many senior citizens are chronically dehydrated. Dehydration is one of the leading causes of urinary tract infections. To help prevent UTI’s, make sure you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

If you are a senior citizen with Medicare coverage, you now have access to quality emergency room care. Altus Baytown ER is now an outpatient facility for Altus Hospital, and therefore we are now able to accept Medicare patients.

You don’t have to wait in line anymore to get the medical attention you deserve, come to Altus Baytown ER, where top ER doctors and nurses are available 24/7 to attend your medical emergency.

At Altus Baytown ER, We Take MEDICARE!

Altus Baytown ER is the Preferred Outpatient NO WAIT Emergency Room of Altus Hospital.
We’re Open 24/7, Including Holidays.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

How Does the Online Check-In Work?

When minutes matter, try our Quick & Easy Online Check-In System.  It comes in handy to know there’s a great solution as we know there’s no time to wait in an emergency!  Just fill it in, we’ll give you a call within 15 minutes and come in.  We’ll be waiting for you at the door.

Check-In Online

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 major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best 24 hour ER services in Texas. We’re proud of our top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts, who are here prepped and ready to help save your life 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.

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

Living with COPD – Risk Factors, Complications & Flareups

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!

Hunting and Fishing Safety Tips

Hunting, Fishing, And Archery Safety Tips

As Texans, we love outdoor activities, and these include hunting, fishing, and archery. While all three of these activities can be exhilarating and fun, they also pose a danger for those who practice them.

The Texas hunting incident analysis for 2018, shows there were 17 hunting accidents out of which three were fatal. The number of incidents may seem small; however, the sad reality is those accidents were preventable.

To help avoid accidents and injuries, we’ve prepared a list of safety tips for all three activities. Feel free to print these out and hand them to friends and family.

Hunting Safety Tips

If you are planning a hunting trip this season, make sure to give details of your plan to someone. Let them know when you will be back, this way they will know to go looking for you if you don’t return on the specified date.

Remember your cap or hat, shirt or jacket need to be blaze orange. This color will make you visible to other hunters.

 

Gun Safety

  • Make sure you are familiar with your firearm. You should make sure you know how to load and unload it, and how much of a kick does it have when you pull the trigger.
  • You should always assume guns in a hunting party are loaded. Therefore, keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. 
  • Never point a firearm at or towards another person or pet.
  • Keep the safety on until you are ready to shoot at your target
  • Don’t place your finger on the trigger unless you are prepared to fire.
  • Be sure of your target and always check to make sure nobody is directly in front, behind, or to the side of it.

 

Tree Stand Safety

  • Installing and maintaining a tree stand is always a two-person job. Never do this alone!
  • Check the steps and straps. Replace any part that looks worn or damaged.
  • Always wear a harness when in a tree stand. 
  • Use a rope to pull up your firearms, or bow. Make sure the gun or bow are not loaded when you pull them up.
  • Always keep a cell phone on you, this way if you fall you can call for help. 

Fishing Safety Tips

Fishing might be the best outdoor activity. Not only fishing trips relaxing they are the perfect combination of camping, boating, outdoor living, and a fantastic way to commune with nature.

Like every outdoor activity, safety should be your number one concern.

 

Boating Safety

  • Make sure the boat has a first aid kit on board, as well as all the supplies you will need for your fishing trip.
  • Learn how to use the rescue devices on the boat, including flares, floating devices, and life jackets.
  • Don’t overload the boat, and make sure to distribute the weight evenly.
  • Keep a safe distance from low water dams and any restricted areas.
  • Check the weather before you head out. Don’t go on the water if you know a storm is coming.
  • Always wear a life jacket while on the boat.
  • If you are traveling at night, ensure your boat lights are on, so that others can see you.

 

Tackle Safety

  • Before you cast your line, check your surroundings to avoid your hook catching on a tree, power line, or worse a person!
  • Never leave your tackle lying on the floor.
  • Use a hook remover or cut the line as far back as you can when the hook is deep inside a fish. Avoid putting your hand inside the fish’s mount to take out the hook.
  • Store hooks and lures in your tackle box, never leave them on the line.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Archery Safety Tips

Whether you practice archery as a sport or for hunting, it’s important to remember that bows and arrows are dangerous weapons and you should have the same respect for them as you would a firearm.

  • Always point the crossbow and arrow in a safe direction.
  • Never nock an arrow unless it’s safe to shoot.
  • Never shoot over a ridge.
  • Be sure of your target and what is in front, behind, and to the side of it.
  • Don’t shoot unless you have a safe range or shooting area, as well as a safe backstop or background.
  • Never shoot an arrow straight up into the air.
  • Always wear an armguard and finger protection when using a bow and arrow.
  • Keep arrows in a covered arrow quiver to avoid injuries.
  • Always check your bow for signs of damage, such as cracks, dents, breaks, or any mechanical failure. Never fire a bow that looks to be damaged.
  • Discard any arrow that has permanent flaws.

While we always urge you to put safety first, accidents can happen. You should know that in the event of a tragedy, Altus Emergency Centers is available to treat any hunting, fishing, or archery related injury. If you have an accident in a remote location, we can coordinate to have you airlifted to our nearest facility.

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!

Farm and Ranch Safety Tips

Farm and Ranch Safety Tips

For many, farm life is better than any other life!  It’s highly gratifying to be near nature and the healthy outdoors.  As many have heard before, farm and ranch life is not for the faint of heart as it can be labor-intensive. Still, most farmers consider their work rewarding and can’t see themselves doing anything else.

However, what most people don’t know is that agriculture ranks amongst the most hazardous industries in the United States.

 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 417 farmers or livestock workers died from work-related injuries in 2016. The leading cause of death was vehicle incidents, including tractor overturns.

As the farming and cattle industries are at the very heart of Texas, please keep these farm and ranch safety tips in mind if you work in the agriculture industry or are visiting the countryside.

Road Safety

The Texas Department of Transportation reported that 54.99% of all crash fatalities in 2018 happened on rural roads.

The sad reality is, country roads receive less federal funding and are therefore more likely to have potholes and outdated designs. 

Additionally, there are wild animals that can cross your path. Not to mention that because there is less traffic, drivers tend to drive faster on these roads.

To help avoid accidents while on the road or operating a tractor, we suggest you follow these safety tips:

 

1. Safety Tips for Driven Farm Equipment on Public Roads

  • Make sure all your lights are working properly
  • Ensure your equipment has reflective tape. Don’t forget to place slow-moving vehicle (SMV) emblems where they are visible to other drivers.
  • Dust your tractor before you take it out on the road to make sure the reflecting tape and SMV emblems are visible

 

2. Tractor Safety

  • Don’t start tractors when inside a closed garage or shed to avoid potential CO2 poisoning to you or the animals. Always start your tractor in a well-ventilated area
  • Allow the tractor engine to cool off before refueling it
  • If your tractor only has one seat, it means only one operator can ride it at a time. Therefore, you should never have extra riders, not even kids
  • To help prevent rollaway accidents, always use wheel blocks when unfastening wagons or carts from a tractor

 

3. Power Take-Off Safety

  • When you are working with a power take-off (PTO), always disengage the PTO, turn off the engine and take out the keys before you get off the tractor to avoid injuries.
  • Never allow anyone to step across a rotating power shaft

 

4. Protect Yourself from Rollovers

  • The best way to protect yourself if a rollover should happen is to add a Rollover Protection Structure (ROPS)
  • Use the seat belt 
Farm and Ranch Safety Tips to Prevent

Grain Handling Safety Tips

  • Never enter a grain bin alone, always have a second person monitoring you while you work in the grain bin
  • Use a lifeline system that includes a harness and an anchored lifeline to avoid getting trapped in the grain bin
  • Beware of silo gas! Always ventilate the silo headspace for at least 30 minutes before entering to remove concentrations of harmful — or lethal — gases such as methane gas, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Chemical and Pesticide Safety Tips

Chemicals and pesticides are a stable of farms, but not knowing how to handle them can cause severe injury and even death.

  • Take regular training courses on the proper use, storing, and handling of chemicals and pesticides
  • Use chemical respirators, appropriate gloves, and protective clothing when handling pesticides
  • Keep chemicals and pesticides under lock and key
Farm and Ranch Safety Tips beautiful farm

Additional Farm and Ranch Safety Tips

  • If you are working with farm equipment, try not to wear loose-fitting clothing around any moving parts
  • When running machinery, always wear hearing and eye protection
  • Use masks to help filter out dust and mold
  • Wear sunscreen when working out in the sun
  • Stay hydrated
  • Seal abandoned wells and tanks
  • Make sure you keep up with any changes to federal and state laws concerning your agricultural activity

Working on a ranch or farm provides a blissfulness few other jobs offer; however, it is essential always to stay alert for potential dangers to avoid accidents.

And if an accident should happen, remember Altus Emergency Centers are near to help nurse you back to health. In cases of life-threatening injuries, we can arrange for air transportation to the nearest hospital.

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!

Flood Safety Tips

Flood Safety Tips.  Protect Yourself During and After a Flood.

Water is a source of life; however, during a flood that same water can be deadly. According to the CDC’s website, more deaths occur due to flooding than any other storm-related hazard.

Mother nature is unpredictable, but there are ways to protect yourself and those you love during a flood.

What to Do During a Flood?

The real danger starts once the floodwaters have risen. To protect yourself, please remember:

  • Not to drive through flooded areas or standing water. You don’t know how deep the water is and it’s important to realize you could lose control of your vehicle in as little as 6-inches of water
  • Don’t use flood water for bathing, brushing your teeth, washing or prepare foods, or wash dishes. Under no circumstance should drink flood water as it is most likely contaminated
  • Only drink water from the faucet after your local authorities have said it is safe to drink.
  • During a water advisory, you should only drink bottled. For cooking only use bottled, boiled, or treated water
  • If any of your food supplies come in contact with floodwaters, don’t eat them
  • If you are using a generator, make sure to place them at least 20-feet from any windows, doors, or vents to prevent accidental carbon monoxide poisoning

Flood Cleanup Tips

The cleanup process is perhaps where most flood-related injuries and illnesses occur. Infectious organisms might have contaminated floodwaters. The most common microorganisms found in standing floodwaters are:

  • coli
  • Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • Hepatitis A virus
  • Agents of typhoid
  • Paratyphoid
  • Tetanus

Floodwaters could also be contaminated by hazardous agricultural, industrial, or petrochemical components.

To help keep you safe, the staff of Altus Emergency Centers in Lumberton has several health-related tips to share with you:

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Keep Children Safe

During the cleanup process, keep a close eye on your kids.

  • Don’t let them play in or near floodwater
  • Make sure they wash their hands often or at the very least before each meal
  • Disinfect toys by soaking them in a solution made from 2-ounces of bleach per 1-gallon of water, let toys air dry after you have disinfected them
  • Throw away any stuffed or soft toys that may have been contaminated by the floodwaters

Food Safety

If you have power or are using a generator to power your appliances, then keep your refrigerator as close to 41°F as possible. If your electricity is out, you should know that your refrigerator will only keep your food cold for four or six hours if left unopened.

Additionally:

  • Without power, your freezer will keep your food frozen for one day or two days maximum if left unopened
  • Canned foods are safe to eat. However, you should remove the labels and wash the sealed cans with either warm water and detergent or a mixture made from 1-tablespoon of bleach per 1-gallon of water. You can relabel the cans after washing them
  • Throw away any canned food if you notice the can is rusted, pitted, bulging, or leaking
  • Wash your Tupperware and other kitchen items in a solution of bleach and water to disinfect them
  • Throw away any food that might have come in contact with floodwater unless it comes in a sealed can

Water Safety

  • Follow the guidelines issue by local authorities concerning the use of tap water
  • Boil water for at least one minute to kill any bacteria
  • You can disinfect water by adding 1/8 of unscented household bleach to one gallon of water. You will need to let it rest for at least 30 minutes before you can use it
  • You can also add purifying-tablets to water instead of boiling or disinfecting it
  • If you have infants, don’t feed them formula made with treated water. Try using canned baby formula instead

Beware of Mold

  • Protect yourself from mold by wearing a face mask whenever you are cleaning an area where mold has grown
  • Open windows and doors or use fans to let the air help dry out your home or office. You should try to have all the surfaces cleaned within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold from growing
  • If you encounter mold in your home, try cleaning it with a mixture of 1 cup of bleach per 1-gallon of water.
  • You should always wear gloves when cleaning moldy areas or working with bleach

Protect Yourself from Tetanus

Tetanus can enter the bloodstream through an open wound, even small ones. Tetanus can cause a condition known as lockjaw. This condition causes painful muscle tightening. When it attacks the jaw muscles, you won’t be able to open your mouth or swallow.

If you experience lockjaw, you should come to the Altus Emergency Center in Lumberton as soon as possible.

Treating Wounds

If you cut yourself while cleaning up after a flood, you need to wash the wound with soap and clean water thoroughly. Apply an antibiotic cream to the injury.

If you have not had a tetanus shot in the last ten years, you will need to get one. Additionally, if your wound is deep, severe, or becomes infected, you need to seek immediate medical attention.

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!

20 Food Safety Tips We Should All Know

20 Food Safety Tips We Should All Know

National Food Safety Month started in 1994 and is observed every year during September. The purpose of this celebration is to increase awareness of food safety education.

Most of us think we know how to handle food products properly, however, according to the CDC

 

Every year, 1 in 6 Americans gets sick, 128,000 need hospitalization, and 3000 die from eating contaminated food.

It takes just a few minutes to review these Food Safety Tips to avoid a potential food poisoning.

Who Is at Risk of Food Poisoning?

Anyone can get food poisoning; however, the following groups have a higher risk of getting sick:

  • Children under the age of 5
  • Adults over 65
  • Individuals with chronic diseases or those taking medications that weaken their immune systems
  • Pregnant women

While the prospect of getting food poisoning can be scary, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy your food. All you need to do is follow these food safety tips.

1. Keep your kitchen, and cooking utensils clean

2. Avoid buying or eating food when the package has a tear, is leaking, bulging, or the containers are rusted

3. Always check the expiration date on the packaging, and don’t eat the food if it’s expired

4. Be aware of any local, state, or national food recalls or alerts. If you bought a recalled item, take it back to the store immediately 

5. Follow the storage instructions on the food labels

6. Your refrigerator should be at 40 degrees F or less, while your freezer should be at 0 degrees F or less

7. Make sure you cook or freeze fresh meat or fish within two days of purchase

8. Securely wrap meats and poultry to prevent them from leaking and contaminating other foods=

9. Wash your hands before and after you handle food products

10. Wash any fruit or vegetable before you eat it even if it looks clean

11. Wash lettuce leaves individually to make sure you remove any dirt or insects stuck on the leaves

12. Thoroughly wash cutting boards, utensils and any hard surface that had contact with raw meats, poultry, or fish

13. Keep raw and cooked foods apart

14. Raw meats need to reach a specific temperature when cooking to kill any germs or bacteria. Follow this easy chart to avoid eating undercooked meats:

Type of Meat

Beef

Poultry

Ground Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb

Minimum Cooking Temperature

160°F

180°F

160°F

15. Cook fish until it flakes, shrimp until they turn an opaque pink color, and oysters until they become plump

16. Don’t leave leftovers out for more than 2 hours, 1 hour on hot days

17. Always marinate your meats in a covered container and place them in the fridge

18. Serve and maintain hot foods at a temperature of at least 140°F

19. Cold dishes need to be served and kept at a temperature of 40°F or lower

20. Thaw your frozen foods in the fridge or submerge them in cold water, so they thaw faster. Change the water every half hour

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Foodborne Germs and When to Come to Altus Emergency Centers

Unfortunately, there are instances that even though you follow the wisdom of these food safety tips, you may get sick.  As there are some foodborne illnesses worse than others, please keep these warning signs in mind to know when to go to the nearest ER.

The top five foodborne illness-causing germs and viruses are:

  • Norovirus: This highly contagious virus causes vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Salmonella: This bacterium causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most patients recover without treatment. However, for some people, the disease can become severe enough to require hospitalization.
  • Clostridium perfringens: This bacterium is present in raw meat and poultry. C. perfringens causes diarrhea and abdominal cramps within 6 to 24 hours of infection.
  • Campylobacter:  Approximately 1.3 million Americans get sick from this bacterium every year. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.
  • Staphylococcal (Staph): Staph food poisoning causes a sudden onset of nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea.

You should call 911 or have someone drive you to our nearest Altus Emergency Center if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe diarrhea or diarrhea that lasts more than three days
  • Frequent vomiting and not being able to keep liquids down
  • A fever that is higher than 101°F
  • Bloody vomit or stools
  • Extreme abdominal pain or cramping
  • Not urinating or have very dark urine
  • Seizures 
  • Intense muscle cramps
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Blurry vision
  • Muscle weakness or a tingling sensation in the arms

Altus Emergency Centers is available to treat food poisoning patients 24/7 even on weekends and holidays.

You can use our online check-in form to let us know you are on your way to our facility and the severity of your symptoms. Our nurses and doctors will be waiting for you at the door.

If your symptoms are severe enough to require hospitalization, we will arrange for your transfer to the nearest hospital.

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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