What to Do If You Think You Have COVID-19

What to Do If You Think You Have COVID-19

The novel coronavirus and the illness it causes known as COVID-19 is making its way to our area. However, one of the best things we can do to protect ourselves and those around us is to stay calm and think before we act.

Before you rush to the ER, stop, and evaluate your situation, don’t let anxiety take over.

How Can I Get Tested for the Coronavirus?

What’s Wrong with Me?

Stop and think about your symptoms; there’s a good chance your symptoms are the result of the common cold.

If you have a runny nose, itchy eyes, and other mild symptoms, it could be just a cold. In this case, the best thing to do is to stay home and monitor your symptoms.

 

You should seek medical help when you have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent cough,
  • A high fever, and
  • Any sort of respiratory distress such as shortness of breath,

But Stop!

Need Help?  Rural County Contacts

Call Your Doctor Before You Go to the ER

Covid-19 and the flu virus share similar symptoms, so don’t panic. Call your primary care doctor and explain your symptoms in detail.

Your healthcare provider can assess your symptoms over the phone; they can also look into your travel history, and answer many of your concerns.

If your doctor suspects you have COVID-19, but your symptoms are mild, and you don’t have any underlying chronic illnesses such as heart problems, high blood pressure, asthma, or diabetes, they will probably recommend you self-quarantine at home.

 

If your doctor suspects you have COVID-19, but your symptoms are mild, remember to:

  • Wear a face mask when you are around others
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Disinfect countertops, and other surfaces frequently
  • Avoid sharing plates, glasses, and other utensils
  • Keep a minimum distance of 6 feet between you and other people
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash immediately afterward
  • Stay home as much as possible

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

What About the ER

Going to the ER is not necessary if your symptoms are mild. A visit to the ER should be reserved for those who have severe symptoms and worsening shortness of breath, or when pneumonia develops.

At this time, only public health laboratories certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) can test for coronavirus infections and the illness it causes COVID-19.

If your symptoms warrant a trip to an Altus Emergency Centers, know that we are equipped and prepared to treat you with well-trained personnel. Although we cannot test you on site, we can collect samples and send them to an authorized lab for testing upon approval of the Health Department.  Results take typically 48-72 hours to return.

 

Testing criteria includes having fever, cough, shortness of breath AND:

  • prior close contact to someone that tested positive for COVID-19,
  • prior travel to a location with ongoing transmission of COVID-19,
  • having risk factors for getting very sick from COVID-19, or
  • being hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms even if you do not have any risk factors.

Call Us Before Hand, and Follow the Safety Protocol

The safety of our patients and staff is our number one priority. The novel coronavirus is highly contagious, and therefore, we kindly ask you to call ahead of time if you believe you are infected. This way, we can take all the necessary precautions to keep you, our patients, and our staff safe.

We follow strict safety protocols, which include having all patients and visitors answer a coronavirus questionnaire. If you answer yes to any of the questions, we will provide you with a face mask and gloves. Additionally, we offer hand sanitizer stations at our entrance for you to use before entering our facility.

Altus Emergency Centers and all its staff is here to help our community. However, for us to be able to treat those patients who most require medical attention, we need your help.

We ask you to please stay calm, contact your doctor regarding your symptoms and only come to the ER when your symptoms are severe or if you are a high-risk patient.

By working together, we can help keep our communities safe and healthy.

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!

Coronavirus: How to Protect Yourself

How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus

The coronavirus COVID-19, which started in China, is now affecting 127 countries around the world, including the United States.

The latest statistics reveal there are 3807 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US, 68 of those are in our home state of Texas.

This a deadly virus, and we should all be proactive in trying to avoid it.

What is Coronavirus?

This family of viruses get their name from the knobs that surround them and give it the appearance of a crown.

The coronavirus causes several respiratory illnesses that range from the common cold to more severe diseases like SARS and MERS, which are life-threatening.

The Wuhan coronavirus known as COVID-19 is a previously unknown strain of the virus. Therefore, there is no vaccine available for it.

How Does it Spread?

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, human coronavirus usually spreads from one infected person to another through:

  • Droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing
  • Close contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes
  • Rarely, fecal contamination

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Symptoms of Coronavirus

Those patients with confirmed 2019-nCoV develop respiratory infections which range from mild to severe, the most common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Since little is known about this strain of coronavirus, scientists don’t know how soon symptoms appear. However, the CDC believes symptoms can manifest in as little as two or as long as 14 days after exposure.

How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus and Other Respiratory Viruses

There are no vaccines available to prevent human coronavirus infection. However, there are ways to reduce the risk of contagion; these include:

  • Washing your hands often and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, or nose with unwashed hands
  • Prevent close contact with people who are sick

 

Additionally, if you are ill and your symptoms are mild and don’t require hospitalization, you can help prevent the spread of the disease by:

  • Stay home while you are sick
  • Isolate yourself to avoid contact with others
  • Always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Make sure you throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterward
  • clean and disinfect objects and surfaces you touch

What to Do if You Get Infected? 

If you develop any of these symptoms, come to Altus Emergency Centers to be evaluated.

We recommend you call us ahead of time so we can prepare an exam room where you won’t be in close contact with any of our other patients.

As part of our commitment to helping keep the members of our community safe, Altus President Kevin Herrington attended the Corona Virus hearings held in Washington, Feb. 26.

Attending these congressional hearings gives us a better outlook on the spread of COVID-19 and its possible economic and medical implications.

At Altus Emergency Centers we are keeping a close eye on the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and we have taken steps to ensure our services are not affected, so our patients continue to receive the best possible care.

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!

Guide to Surviving Spring Break

The Essential Guide to Surviving Spring Break

You’ve been hard at work and school waiting for a chance to have some fun, and now it’s finally here Spring Break!

Before you completely unleash all that pinned up energy, stop, think, and do yourself a favor and party responsibly. It is possible to have fun and have outrageous stories to tell your kids without experiencing a medical emergency.

We are sharing this essential guide to surviving spring break, in the hopes you will have a great time while staying clear away from harm.

Time in the Sun

We understand, you are tired of looking as if you’ve lived in a dungeon for the last five 5 years, but if you really want to enjoy your time in the sun remember:

  • Wear Sunscreen, Lots of It and Reapply Often: We bet you didn’t know that sunburns are at the top of the list for ER visits during spring break, but they are.
  • Drink Plenty of Water: It’s easy to become dehydrated, especially if you are enjoying outdoor activities. Dehydration is one of the most common reasons spring breakers pay us a visit; to avoid becoming dehydrated carry a PBA friendly water bottle, choose to drink water over sugary drinks or alcohol.
  • Protect Your Eyes: Wear sunglasses when out in the sun, if you wear contact lenses remember to remove them before going into the water (swimming pool, ocean, lake), as exposing contact lenses to water can lead to painful and sometimes blinding infections.

One Tequila, Two Tequilas, Three Tequilas, Floor!

Letting loose and having a few drinks is a great way to de-stress, however, binge drinking will almost always guarantee you a trip to one of our ER centers. According to the CDC alcohol-related motor vehicle, accidents kill one person every 31 minutes and seriously injure someone every 2 minutes

  • Don’t Let Your Drink Out of Your Sight: Spiked drinks are an unfortunate reality, the use of predatory drugs has been on the rise, therefore, don’t accept drinks from strangers, never leave your drink unattended and if you are feeling woozy, confused, have trouble standing up, or are slurring your speech, ask your friends to escort you back to your room.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive: Sure, you know this, but when you are in the midst of a party you can lose track of how much alcohol you’ve had, so, if you know you will be drinking, call a cab, or a ridesharing service such as Lift, or Uber.
  • Don’t Drink in a Hot Tub: Alcohol can dilate blood vessels and sometimes lower blood pressure to dangerous levels, the effects of drinking in a hot tub or heated pool are felt faster and stronger, and you are at a higher risk of passing out and drowning.
  • Avoid Binge Drinking: Binge drinking occurs when your alcohol blood levels reach 0.08 g/dl, this typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men in a span of 2 hours. Binge drinking can lead to irreversible health damage. One way to avoid your blood alcohol concentration from reaching 0.08 g/dl is by alternating your alcohol consumption with water, once you finish your drink, have a glass of water.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Wash Your Hands!

Altus Emergency Centers is committed to safeguarding the health of the community we serve.

There are many benefits to learning the correct way to wash your hands, including:

  • It reduces the number of diarrhea cases by 23-40%
  • It lowers diarrheal illnesses in patients with a weakened immune system by 58%
  • It reduces the spread of respiratory diseases like colds by up to 21%
  • It can help reduce schoolchildren’s absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness by as much as 57%
  • It can help protect one out of every three young children from getting sick with diarrhea, and almost one out of five young kids from contracting respiratory infections like pneumonia
  • It may help improve early child development

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you wash your hands during these times:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before and after eating food
  • Before and after tending a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing a baby’s diaper
  • After helping a child use the bathroom
  • After sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing
  • After touching an animal, its food or waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

With the recent Corona Virus outbreak, we cannot stress how important it is to maintain your hands clean.  If you do not have access to soap and water in a particular moment, please consider carrying around a hand sanitizer.  It is also recommended to avoid touching your face while in public.

Spring Break is meant to help you unwind and have a little fun before you must go back to school and make things happen, ensuring your vacation will be a safe one is key, nothing ruins spring break as much as a trip to the ER. However, accidents do happen and just because you are being responsible doesn’t mean everyone else is, for this reason, all our Altus Emergency Centers will be open 24/7.

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!

Heart Disease in Texas

Heart Disease in Texas

February Is American Heart Month

This year marks the 56th consecutive year in which we celebrate American Heart Month. As part of the medical community, we are raising our raising awareness to help keep our friends and families free from heart disease.

While medical advances continue to improve our quality of life, cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer of Americans.

The American Heart Association estimates that heart disease and stroke kill close to 2300 people a day. More alarming perhaps is that younger people are falling victim to cardiovascular disease than ever before.

Heart Disease in Texas

These are the most updated statistics in Texas in 2020.  Statistics shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that heart disease was the leading cause of death in Texas in 2017, while stroke took third place.

According to the 2016 Texas Heart Disease and Stroke Fact Sheet:

  • Heart disease is more common in white adults than other ethnic groups
  • Heart disease affects more men than women
  • Deaths due to heart disease and stroke were more common in black residents than white and least common in Hispanic residents
  • More men die from heart disease than women

What Are Your Risk Factors?

We usually associate heart disease with older people; however, many of the medical conditions and lifestyle behaviors associated with an increased risk of heart disease are appearing at a younger age.

These are some of the most common risk factors for cardiovascular disease:

 

High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is becoming more frequent in people in their 40’s and 50’s, but it can affect anyone at any age.

The real danger is that many of us don’t know we have high blood pressure and are therefore not doing anything to control it.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is one of the most significant risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

 

High Cholesterol

While it’s true, our bodies need cholesterol to build healthy cells, too much of it can increase our risk of heart disease.

Cholesterol has a waxy consistency and when we have high levels of it, we can develop fatty deposits in our blood vessels.

These deposits adhere to the walls of our arteries; over time, the buildup slows or prevents blood flow from reaching the heart muscle.

Sometimes these deposits break free and cause a cloth that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Smoking

Smoking is known to damage blood vessels and cause heart disease. If you are one of the 37 million Americans that are smokers, speak to your doctor to find out how you can quit.

If you are not a smoker, don’t start!

 

Chronic Disease

Certain chronic conditions are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis.

The high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can damage blood vessels and the nerves that help control the heart muscle.

The chronic inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions causes damage to the blood vessels and arteries and can significantly increase the risk of a heart attack.

 

Obesity

Those extra pounds most of us carry around put additional stress on our hearts, which over time, can damage it.

Obesity has become a real health problem with more than 1 in 3 Americans and nearly 1 in 6 children under the age of 19 being obese.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Recognize When You Are Having a Heart Attack or Stroke

When it comes to cardiovascular episodes the faster you get medical attention the better the outcome. So, it’s essential to learn how to recognize a heart attack or stroke.

 

Signs of a Heart Attack

Should you experience any of the following symptoms, call 911 immediately and ask them to bring you the nearest Altus Emergency Center or other nearby ER.

  • Pain, uncomfortable pressure, sense of fullness or tightness in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes or comes and goes
  • Unusual discomfort or pain in one or both arms, stomach, neck, jaw or back
  • Unexplained shortness of breath with or without chest pain
  • Suddenly breaking out in cold sweat, lightheadedness, or nausea

The most common sign of heart attack in both men and women is chest pain or discomfort. Women are more likely to experience some of the symptoms, including especially shortness of breath, back and jaw pain, as well as nausea.

 

Signs of a Stroke

Both men and women share these stroke symptoms:

  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Vision problems
  • Trouble walking and other coordination problems
  • Unexplained severe headache

 

Additionally, women who are suffering from a stroke may experience the following:

  • General weakness
  • Disorientation, confusion, and memory problems
  • Fatigue

Taking control of your heart health needs to be a priority, changes in lifestyle and diet can help protect our heart from illness.

However, even if we are healthy, we can still experience a cardiovascular episode, that is why at Altus Emergency Centers, we guarantee minimal wait times, and quality emergency medical care 24/7.

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!

Long ER Wait Times Affect Our Quality of Life

Long ER Wait Times Affect Our Quality of Life

Quality of life is a great concern for us all, especially during the first few months of the year.  We are encouraged to evaluate the important things that make up our lives, like the state of our relationships, our finances, and our health.  As they say, “time is money”, and long ER wait times are more than just a huge waste of time.  They potentially waste life.

While most of us promise to take better care of ourselves every new year, few of us follow through. But, even if we schedule routine doctor appointments and tests, we are all vulnerable to suffer an accident or acute illness that requires emergency care.  For this reason, we will explore the impact of long wait times on the quality of life.

ER Wait Times

The truth is nobody likes to wait. We feel frustrated when our food is delayed at the restaurant. We get impatient at the stop sign when the car in front of us takes a little more time than necessary to start moving.

But, during a medical emergency, waiting can be excruciating, painful, and scary. In all honesty, no medical professional takes pleasure in making their patients wait unnecessarily. However, the reality is patients who visit overcrowded hospital ER’s need to be ready to wait.

The most recent data published by ProPublica, the average time in hours a patient spends in the ER before being sent home, is 2:05 hours.

The wait times are affected by the severity of the injury or symptoms. Patients with severe trauma or those believed to be suffering from a heart attack or stroke will always get priority.

Patients whose symptoms appear non-life-threatening will have to wait longer. The problem, of course, is that since nurses and doctors at hospital ER’s are so busy, many patients who are potentially severely injured fall through the cracks.

The number of patients who are seen by a doctor within 15 minutes of arrival to the ER is roughly 27%. However, the average patient waits 24 minutes before seeing a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner.

Another concern is that the number of patients who leave the ER without getting the medical help they need has almost doubled in recent years.

All this waiting can be harmful to our quality of life. Not receiving prompt medical attention can result in more severe symptoms, more extended healing periods, permanent disability or even death.

Long ER Wait Times

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

How Altus Emergency Centers Helps Improve Your Quality of Life

Thanks to our unique business model, we can reduce the risk of our ER ever being overcrowded. Our staffing model ensures there are always enough medical professionals, including physicians, assistants, and nurse practitioners who can take care of our patients.

When you visit one of our facilities, on average, you will be seen by a registered nurse within 6 minutes.  If your injury or symptoms are non-critical, the doctor will be at your side within 15 minutes after arrival. However, doctors will see critically ill patients on arrival. We recommend you use our online check-in form while on the way to our facility so our staff can be ready to receive you at the door.

And, thanks to our onsite laboratory and diagnostic imaging, it usually takes our doctors only 79 minutes to reach a diagnosis and begin treatment.

At Altus Emergency Centers, our patients get to go home within 90 minutes after arrival compared to more than 2 hours at overcrowded hospital ER’s.

Quality of life matters to us; we know how stressful a visit to our ER can be. We work hard to provide our customers with the best emergency care, fast, and at the best rates.

While it’s true, you cannot plan for an emergency; you now know where to go!

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!

Too Much Sugar Can Make You Sick

Too Much Sugar Can Make You Sick

This Sugar Awareness Week learn about how too much sugar can make you sick.  The good news is with proper guidance on how much is too much sugar, you can have your cake and eat it too!   First off, let’s reflect on how much sugar we consume daily. Those who have a sweet tooth probably already know they need to cut back on the sugary treats.

However, many of us are in the dark about how much sugar we eat daily because of hidden sugars in our food. Tomato sauce, flavored coffees, iced tea, fruit juices, vitamin water, and even low-fat yogurt all contain high amounts of sugar, so it’s easy to underestimate how much sugar we are eating.

The problem is not just our expanding waistlines; it’s the fact that eating too much sugar can make us sick. Long-term overconsumption of sugar raises the risk of developing chronic illness, including heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

Excess Amounts of Sugar Affects Us All

Regularly consuming large amounts of sugar can hurt our health regardless of our age, gender, and ethnicity.

Adverse Effects of Sugar in Children

We tend to believe that it’s ok for children to eat sugary treats more often than us adults do, but nothing could be further from the truth.

In excess, sugar can cause hyperactivity, tooth decay,  as well as increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes in children.

However, most parents don’t know that sugar can be the cause of many other health problems their children experience.

Allergies, Coughs, and Cold-Like Symptoms

Sugar can cause cold and allergy type symptoms such as a constant runny nose, cough, excessive mucus, and signs of sinus infection.

Acid Reflux and Croup-Like Symptoms

Children often wake up in the middle of the night with coup-like symptoms which include a barking cough, and trouble breathing.

These symptoms are often the result of an over-acidic diet. As an example, chocolate milk may seem like a healthy treat for children. However, the combination of dairy and sugar is highly acidic, and because dairy takes longer to process in the digestive system, symptoms often present themselves at night.

The acid reflux caused by excessive amounts of sugar eaten throughout the day could be the reason for your kid’s cough at night.

Weakened Immunity

Overeating sugar can alter the balance between the good and bad gut bacteria, which in turn will impair our immune systems. Children are not exempt from this, and although there is no guarantee a lower sugar intake will prevent colds, it can lessen the symptoms of one.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Adverse Effects of Sugar During Pregnancy

A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the learning and memory skills of children were compromised when their mothers consumed large amounts of refined sugar during their pregnancies.

A high sugar diet during pregnancy can cause other problems for both the mothers and their babies, including:

  • Increased weight gain during pregnancy
  • Elevated glucose and insulin levels which can contribute to the development of gestational diabetes
  • Can cause a fatty liver
  • It can diminish the birth weight of your baby
  • A high-sugar diet during pregnancy can increase a child’s risk of developing metabolic syndrome, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes later in life

When to Seek Medical Help

An imbalance in our blood sugar levels is cause for concern. You should come to our ER or hospital if you develop any of these conditions:

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia happens when our blood glucose or sugar levels become too low. The condition can cause severe symptoms and requires immediate medical attention.

 

Signs of Hypoglycemia

  • Extreme hunger
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Shakiness or tremors
  • Changes in behavior (irritability)
  • Headache
  • Cold sweat
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness

Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia occurs when our blood glucose levels are too high. The condition is the result of our body not producing enough insulin or not using the insulin effectively.

If left untreated, hyperglycemia can result in ketoacidosis, also known as a diabetic coma, which is life-threatening.

 

Signs of Hyperglycemia

  • High blood sugar levels
  • High levels of glucose in the urine
  • Need to pee more often
  • Feeling hungrier than usual
  • Numb or tingling sensation in your feet
  • Increased thirst

Signs of Ketoacidosis (Diabetic Coma)

  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased urination
  • Dry or flushed skin
  • Breath that smells fruity
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Fatigue

Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome (HHNS)

This severe condition affects mostly seniors who have elevated glucose levels. If left untreated the condition can lead to severe dehydration, coma, and death.

As the sugar level builds, the body will try to eliminate the excess sugar through urine. At first, the patient will feel a need to pee more frequently, over time, they urinate less often but the urine is darker in color.

 

Signs of HHNS

You should get immediate medical help if you develop any of these warning signs:

  • Blood sugar level over 600 mg/dL
  • Warm, dry skin that doesn’t sweat
  • Extreme thirst that later disappears
  • Fever over 101 F
  • Sleepiness or confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Weakness on one side of the body
  • Vision loss

We all need a little sweetness in our lives, but where we get our dietary sugar matters. Fruits and vegetables are a good source of sugar, so try to eat more of these and less refined sugars to avoid any complications.

However, if you feel your blood sugar levels are out of balance, Altus Hospital in both its Baytown and Lumberton location is available to treat patients of all ages children, adults and seniors. Our physicians and nurses are available 24/7 to manage any sugar-related illness and bring you back to health.

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!

National Bath Safety Month – Safety Tips for All Ages

National Bath Safety Month – Time to Consider Bath Safety for All

Bathtime can be one of the most relaxing moments in our busy, stressful lives. The warm water helps us relax and at least one NCBI study found that bathing before going to bed can help improve sleep quality in children and seniors.

However, with its hard, slippery wet surfaces, the bathroom can be one of the most dangerous places in your home.  Bath safety is must go hand in hand with good hygiene practices.

The CDC estimates that more than 230,000 non-fatal unintentional bathroom injuries in victims aged 15 and older are treated in the ER every year.

Most injuries happened while bathing, showering, or getting out of the tub or shower, and falls caused about 80% of injuries.

The study also concluded that the risk of injury increases as we grow older. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t consider bath safety for all members of our family regardless of age.

Bath Safety Tips for Infants and Young Children

Keep bath time fun and safe with these bath safety tips.

  1. Always supervise babies, and children under the age of 5 while bathing
  2. Test the water temperature before you allow your children to enter it. Scolds are a common bathroom injury in young children
  3. Have everything ready and handy (towels, shampoo, soap, and toys) so you never have to step away from your children while they are in the bathroom
  4. Never leave water in the tub after bath time. Always drain the tub as soon as the bathing time is over
  5. Keep bathroom doors closed when not in use to prevent children from entering the room unsupervised

Bath Safety Tips for Pregnant Women

A warm bath to ease the aches and pains of pregnancy is absolute bliss. There are, however, some safety issues to consider.

  1. Keep your bath or shower water temperature at 98.6°F. Water temperatures above 100°F will raise your core body temperature, and this can harm your baby
  2. Skip the bath salts and scented oils when taking a bath while pregnant. These substances can affect the vagina’s acidic balance and increase the risk of developing a yeast infection.
  3. Install non-slip bathmats or slips in the tub or shower to prevent falls
  4. Keep your soak time to under an hour to reduce the risk of infection
  5. If you are feeling dizzy or have trouble keeping your balance, use a shower chair while showering
  6. Have someone help you in and out of the tub

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Bath Safety Tips for Seniors

As we age our risk of falling increases due to balance issues, frailty, or weakness, and for Alzheimer’s patients, the simple activity of taking a bath or shower can become a dangerous one.

If you care for an older adult, consider these bath safety tips to help prevent falls.

  1. Reduce the clutter in the bathroom
  2. Only use non-slip bathroom rugs
  3. Install grab bars
  4. Make sure the soap, shampoo, and other items are at arm’s reach
  5. Add non-slip strips to the shower floor or bathtub
  6. Make sure the bathroom has plenty of light
  7. Consider installing a transfer bench to their tub so they can get in and out safely
  8. Use a shower chair to minimize falls
  9. When possible have a caregiver assist and supervise bath time

When to Seek Medical Attention

You should go to the nearest Altus ER or Hospital if someone in your family:

  • Slipped and fell in the bathroom and hit their head
  • Fell and dislocated an arm or shoulder
  • Fell and broke a bone
  • In the case of drownings or near-drowning

Altus facilities are open 24/7 every day of the year. We are at your service to nurse you and your family back to health.

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!

It’s Time to Plan for Health Care

It’s Time to Plan for Health Care

If handling your finances and planning for the future were part of your New Year’s resolution, then this is the right time to start to plan for health care.

January is Financial Wellness Month, so we would like to encourage you to start planning for a future of better health and wealth.

How to Start Planning for Your Health Care Needs

Follow these simple steps to start a great plan for health care now and in the future:

 

1. Get Organized

The best you can do before you start formulating a plan for a better future is to declutter your life.

Start by clearing your desk or workspace. Having an organized workspace will help you achieve more of your goals, and it can also help you improve your time management skills and reduce stress.

 

2. Get a Handle on Your Finances

The first thing to do is to know your monthly expenses. Once you know how much you are spending and on what you start creating a budget.

Analyze your expenses and look for ways to save. Once you’ve done that, create a budget and review it every month. Implementing a budget will help you visualize where you could potentially save money and provide peace of mind.

Make sure to include healthcare coverage in your budget, your health, and that of your family should always be a priority.

Plan for Health Care - financial

3. Review Your Insurance Plan

Our lives and priorities change constantly. So, reviewing your health insurance plan to see if it still meets all your needs is sound advice.

Understanding your coverage and out of pocket expenses is important because in the event of an emergency or long-term illness, you will have a clearer understanding of the potential financial impact and you can start saving for that now.

 

4. Know Where to Go

Most insurance plans work through a network of healthcare providers. Take advantage of your insurance, schedule appointments for routine medical exams, and have a list of doctors and facilities that accept your insurance plan.

It is essential to know that while your insurance will cover services only if an in-network provider offers them, emergencies work differently.

Texas law guarantees you will receive the same coverage benefits for emergency room services regardless of whether the facility is in or out of network.

In other words, during a medical emergency, you can receive treatment at any facility capable of treating you and not have to pay more.

 

5. Take Advantage of Altus Emergency Centers Patient Advocate Services

Our Patient Advocate is here to help answer questions regarding your coverage, your Explanation of Benefits (EOB), invoices, as well as services provided at our facilities.

The resource is free, so you don’t need to worry about added costs. We are here to help.

Plan for Health Care for all ages

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

When Can You Have Access to Our Patient Advocate?

Our Patient Advocate is available to you as soon as you walk through our doors. If you are unsure of how to access your health insurance, they can help.

They can also help you negotiate with your insurance company, and they will take care of all the insurance claim process, including any appeals.

However, most people don’t realize our Patient Advocate can be of great help to them even if they have not visited any of our facilities before.

Our Patient Advocate can help counsel you on what your insurance benefits mean, and which ones are worth increasing. So, if you have a question, give us a call, and we will do everything we can to help.

Plan for Health Care patient advocate

Healthcare Financial Planning for Business Owners

If you own a business and you provide your employees with insurance coverage, you need to take special consideration when budgeting for the year ahead.

Altus Emergency Centers can help reduce your insurance costs. Contact us today so we can negotiate better medical service rates for you and your employees.

 

At Altus Emergency Centers, we want 2020 to be a healthy and prosperous year for everyone. So plan for the future and plan for your health care needs alongside Altus ER.

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!

Flu Remedies – What to Do If You Get the Flu

What to Do If You Get The Flu

This year’s flu season is shaping up to be a dangerous one. The biggest challenge we are facing is doctors don’t know enough about the strain of the influenza virus called B Victoria that is affecting most people this year.

The flu season started earlier than usual, and so far the CDC has reported:

  • 6.4 million flu illnesses,
  • 55,000 flu-related hospitalizations
  • 2,900 flu-related deaths

At Altus Emergency Centers, we want to do our part by helping you recognize the symptoms of the flu and what to do if you get it.

What is the Flu?

Many of us use the terms cold and flu interchangeably, but different viruses cause them.

Both illnesses can cause the following symptoms:

  • General fatigue
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Body aches

 

The main difference is flu symptoms are more severe and can lead to more severe conditions. Among the most common flu complications we have:

  • Bacterial Pneumonia which is a severe and potentially deadly lung infection
  • Sinus Infections
  • Ear Infections
  • Bronchitis
  • Sepsis (the condition can be life-threatening, its cause is due to the body’s response to an infection)

Symptoms of the Flu

Everyone experiences the flu differently, but these are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Fever ranging from 100°F to 104°F
  • A persistent dry cough which may become painful and be accompanied by shortness of breath and chest discomfort
  • Muscle aches especially in the neck, back, arms and legs
  • Severe headache
  • Fatigue

How to Know if You Have the Flu

Because flu symptoms are like those of cold and other illnesses, the sure way to know if you have it or not is to get tested for the influenza virus.

All Altus Emergency Centers can test for the influenza virus. We offer the rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs), which provides results in as little as 10 minutes; however, it’s not always accurate.

We also provide a more accurate rapid molecular assays as well as several more precise and sensitive flu tests through our clinical lab.

If you suspect you or a loved one may have the flu, please don’t hesitate to visit our nearest facility.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

What to Do When You Have the Flu

Unfortunately, few medications are effective at treating the flu; most medications help ease the symptoms associated with the illness.

So, if you get the flu this season, the best thing to do is to stay home and rest. Drinking plenty of fluids and eating certain foods can help your body recover faster.

Proper nutrition is essential to keeping your immune system in good health, and when your body is fighting off the flu virus, your diet becomes even more important.

When you have the flu, make sure your diet includes the following foods:

 

Protein

Lean meats, fish, and poultry, as well as eggs, legumes, nuts, and dairy, will help your immune system stay healthy thanks to the vitamin B6 and B12 contained in them.

If you don’t feel like eating a whole portion of meat, you can have some chicken soup, which will provide nourishment as well as fluids.

Fruits and Vegetables

Both fruits and vegetables contain substances called flavonoids and antioxidants that are known to boost the immune system. Having a glass of low sodium vegetable juice or a glass of 100% fruit juice will provide vitamins and other nutrients.

Bananas are a good option if your symptoms include nausea or vomiting, as it is easy on the stomach, and it provides nutrients.

When to Come to Our ER Centers

You won’t need to come to our ER unless your symptoms are severe. However, all Altus Emergency Centers are at your disposal should you experience any of the following:

  • Trouble breathing/shortness of breath
  • Lethargy/confusion
  • Inability to hold down water
  • High fever with rash
  • Severe headache

This flu season, do your best to avoid getting the flu, but rest assure Altus Emergency Centers will always be there to help nurse you back to health.

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!

Dangerous Diets That Can Get You Sick

Dangerous Diets That Can Get You Sick

Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions Safe and Healthy

If, when the clock struck midnight on New Year’s, you vowed to make this the year you finally take control of your weight issues and adopt a healthier lifestyle, know you are not alone.

Weight loss is perhaps the most popular New Year’s resolution, and most of us get super excited when we decide to shed those extra pounds once and for all.

How we approach our newly set goals will determine how well we manage to stick to the new routine and become healthier. Slow and steady is the best approach; learning how to make better food choices and slowly building our strength through exercise is the ideal.

Unfortunately, most of us get discouraged when we don’t see extreme results in a short period. And either we turn to our old unhealthy habits, or we try to find some quick fix. It’s these quick fixes that can quickly turn into serious health hazards.

Weight Loss Supplements

Weight loss supplements can seem like a magical solution to our weight problems. According to the manufacturers, all you need to do is take a simple pill, and the excess fat will melt from your body without any effort on your part.

Sadly, most of those claims are not backed up by clinical research. And in many cases, those miracle cures contain dangerous substances that can harm our bodies.

One of the biggest mistakes we make as consumers is to assume a product is safe because we see it advertised and sold in stores.

Dietary supplements are not subject to the same strict FDA regulations as prescription drugs. Under the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements are the ones responsible for evaluating the safety of their products, and unfortunately, not all manufacturers do.

Negative Side Effects of Diet Pills

Many diet pills are appetite suppressants and stimulants. These are some of the adverse side effects they produce:

  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Blurred vision
  • Restlessness
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea or vomiting

Additionally, some of these supplements can create dependency and withdrawal symptoms, which are rather unpleasant.

When to Come to Our ER

If you are taking weight loss supplements and experience any of the following symptoms, rush to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for evaluation and treatment:

  • Chest pain
  • Pounding, rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Shortness of breath

Detox Diets

The latest dietary trend is to detox our bodies and do intermittent fasting. But are these options effective and safe?

The detox diet claims to be the fastest way to cleanse our body of toxins that are causing us to gain weight. Unfortunately, there is little to no scientific data to back this claim.

Toxins are inevitable, while we can certainly make better food choices, the truth is toxins are always present in our food and our environment. Thankfully our bodies have a complex system to detoxify. The organs responsible for getting rid of the toxins are:

  • Digestive tract
  • Kidneys
  • Skin,
  • Lungs and respiratory system
  • liver
  • Lymphatic system

Detox diets are usually low in proteins and amino acids; both are essential for the well-functioning of major organs like our liver, which is responsible for cleansing our blood. Therefore, detox diets can do more harm than good, and as a result, you should avoid them.

When to Go to the ER

If you’ve been on a juice cleanse or other detox diets, you should come to the ER if you’ve had prolonged diarrhea or other signs of dehydration.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Gym Injuries

It’s wonderful to feel excited about improving our health and lifestyle, but doing too much too fast can result in a trip to our emergency room.

According to the National Safety Council in 2018, exercise with or without equipment accounted for 498,498 injuries, and most (89%) received treatment in the emergency room.

Sprains strains, joint inflammation, and other overuse injuries are among the most common injuries we see in the ER this time of year from well-intentioned resolution-makers.

Most are the result of people trying to do too much too fast. The best course is to ease rather than dive into a new fitness routine, slowly working yourself to longer workouts, heavier weights, and more advanced exercises.

When to go to the ER

Visit us if you experience any of the following:

  • Joint swelling
  • Reduced joint mobility
  • Unable to put weight on your knee or ankle
  • If you think you may have a broken bone

At Altus Emergency Centers, we want to support you in achieving your fitness and health goals this year. However, we urge you to be cautious and seek the help of a doctor to improve your eating habits and those of a fitness professional when you are ready to start your new exercise program.

Even with the help of professionals, accidents can happen, but you don’t need to worry, for we will always be here to help you get healthy 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!

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