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Are You at Risk of Benzene Poisoning? We Can Help!

BENZENE POISONING,

ARE YOU AT RISK? WE CAN HELP!

The massive fire at the storage facility of the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) that started on Sunday was finally extinguished; however, authorities issued a shelter-in-place order warning people in the community of Deer Park and other surrounding areas of high levels of benzene in the air.

The shelter-in-place order has since been lifted, but many of us have questions regarding what benzene is and how dangerous is it.

What is Benzene?

Benzene is a clear colorless liquid petroleum-based chemical that has a sweet smell and is highly flammable. It evaporates quickly; however, its vapor is heavier than air which means it may sick into low-lying areas.

Benzene ranks in the top 20 chemicals for production volume in the US and most of us are exposed to low levels of it daily. The air we breathe can be contaminated with this chemical from different sources including:

  • Tobacco Smoke
  • Motor Vehicle Exhaust
  • Gas Stations
  • Industrial Emissions
  • Paints
  • Glues
  • Furniture Wax
  • Detergents

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the maximum time-weighted average (TWA) exposure limit is 1 part of benzene vapor per million parts of air (1 ppm) for an 8-hour workday, and the maximum short-term exposure limit (STEL) is 5 ppm for any 15 minute period.

Higher levels of benzene or exposure times above those established are hazardous for your health as benzene can cause cancer.

Signs and Symptoms of Benzene Poisoning

According to the CDC, benzene poisoning can occur from breathing in high levels of the vapor, by drinking or eating foods that have been contaminated with the chemical or by direct contact with the compound. The symptoms may manifest within minutes or hours after the exposure.

Symptoms from Breathing High Levels of Benzene:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Headaches
  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness
  • Death (at very high levels)

Symptoms from Eating or Drinking Contaminated Products

  • Vomiting
  • Irritation of the stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Convulsions
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Death (at very high levels)

Symptoms of Direct Contact with Benzene

  • Direct exposure of the eyes, skin, or lungs to benzene can cause tissue injury and irritation

Experiencing Any of These Symptoms?

What to Do If You Are Exposed to High Levels of Benzene

  • If Benzene was released into the air in the form of vapor, the best thing to do is move as far away from the affected area as possible.
  • If you are near a release of benzene follow the instructions of the emergency coordinators, they will recommend you evacuate or shelter-in-place to avoid being exposed to the chemical.
  • If you believe you have been exposed to higher than recommended levels of benzene, you should remove your clothing, wash thoroughly with soap and water and get emergency medical attention as quick as possible.

Benzene Poisoning Treatment

There is no specific antidote for benzene poisoning; however, symptoms can be treated in any of Altus Emergency Centers which can save your life or minimize the long-term effects of benzene exposure.

Emergency doctors at Altus ER cannot stress enough how important receiving supportive medical care when you or a loved one has been poisoned by benzene. Getting to our centers as soon as possible could save your life.

Have You Been Affected by the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Fire?

 

ITC is aware that claims have arisen as a result of the 3/17/19 incident at ITC’s terminal in Deer Park, Texas.
If you believe you have suffered damage as a result of the incident, you can download and completely fill out
the appropriate claim form and submit it with required supporting documents.
Note that there are separate claim forms for businesses and individuals.

ITC CLAIMS FORMS

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS to ER CARE!

Urgent! Blood Pressure Medication Recall

Taking Medication for High Blood Pressure? Check Your Prescription.

The FDA announced this week that Macleods Pharmaceuticals Limited started a voluntarily recall of a lot of 100mg/25 Losartan Potassium/Hydrochlorothiazide combination tablets.  The recall which initiated on February 22nd, 2019, occured due to the detection of trace amounts in the active pharmaceutical ingredient of an unexpected impurity.

The “trace amounts” that caused the alarm is a cancer-causing impurity called N-nitrosodiethylamine, or NDEA. In other words, the impurity is classified as a probable human carcinogen meaning,

it can cause cancer.

NDEA is known to occur naturally in certain foods; however, it is also used to make liquid rocket fuel and is a byproduct of fish processing as well as pesticide manufacturing.

The lot of tablets that Macleods Pharmaceutical is recalling contain NDEA amounts above the acceptable daily intake levels released by the FDA. So far, the pharmaceutical company has not received any reports of adverse effects since it started the recall.

About Losartan Medication

What is Losartan Potassium/Hydrochlorothiazide Used For?

Losartan potassium tablets with the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide are indicated to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure in patients with a condition called left ventricular hypertrophy in which the muscle wall of the heart’s left pumping chamber thickens.

Is this the Only Losartan Medication That is Under Recall?

This is not the first time a losartan medication has been recalled, in fact, recalls on losartan tablets produced by various pharmaceutical companies have been ongoing since July 2018.

The FDA continuously updates their list of losartan products that are under recall, please click on the link for the latest update.

What Should I Do Now?

What to Do If Your Prescription for Losartan/Hydrochlorothiazide Is Part of the Recall

If you find your prescription of losartan is part of the recalled lot, the first thing you should do is contact your doctor.  Then, let him/her know, they will either prescribe a new medication or instruct you to go to the pharmacy where you purchased the medication to get a replacement.

Remember, Macleods Pharmaceutical is only recalling the lot that was found to have unacceptable levels of NDEA.

You should NOT stop taking your medication, as the risk of harm to your health may be higher if the treatment is stopped immediately without any alternative treatment

If you experience any problems that you believe are related to taking this medication, please call your doctor or visit the nearest Altus Emergency Center right away.

Should you experience a heart-related emergency or any other type of genuine emergency, don’t waste time and go to your nearest ER. 

If you are living in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton or Waxahachie, Altus Emergency Centers is your nearest ER.

Every minute counts, choose what will give your life a chance.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is

Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

CDC Warns the Flu Season Is Far from Over

Is the Flu Season Going to Get Better or Worse?

The CDC numbers are alarming, and they could get worse.

According to the CDC, the current flu shot is approximately 47% effective.

This year’s flu shot is less than 50% effective overall in preventing an infection.

At the start of the flu season, the most widespread strain of the virus was Influenza A H1N1, but in the last few weeks a more severe strain, Influenza A H3N2 began to circulate, and it’s now responsible for nearly half of the reported cases according to the CDC.

The Texas Health and Human Services also issues a weekly surveillance report which shows the influenza activity in the state is still very high, even though there was a slight decrease in positive test results for influenza this past week.

Sadly, the report also shows two children in Texas died from the flu in the last few weeks.  The first being, the little girl from Garland, Texas Ashanti Grinage, who passed away of pneumonia from flu complications.  She was only four years old. The second, eight-year-old Martin Campbell from Rockport, Texas also was taken too soon hours after having been diagnosed with flu-like symptoms.

Please take the time to get to understand the dangers of the complications from the flu or flu-like symptoms. Most importantly, we recommend to know the signs of alert and follow your gut instinct.

CDC Warns the Flu Season Is Far from Over

According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2018-2019 flu season is still widespread in 48 states and Puerto Rico.

The report estimates that between October 1st, 2018, and February 16th, 2019 there have been

  • 17.7 million to 20.4 million flu illnesses
  • 214,000 to 256,000 flu hospitalizations
  • 13,600 to 22,300 flu-related deaths
  • 41 reported pediatric deaths, seven of those were reported in the week ending on February 16th

When it Comes to Your Kids Trust Your “Parental Sixth Sense”

When children get sick, they can’t always communicate how they feel or explain their symptoms well.

Therefore, you should always follow your instinct; nobody knows your child better than you, so if you notice something strange, or you feel your child’s symptoms are something more than just a cold or a mild case of the flu, it’s time to get a doctor involved.

Children are more vulnerable and more likely to develop severe complications of the flu some of which can be life-threatening.

Possible complications from the flu include:

  • Ear infection
  • Sinus infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis)
  • Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
  • Inflammation of the muscle tissue (myositis, rhabdomyolysis)
  • Multi-organ failure such as respiratory and kidney failure

If your child has an infection and it is not treated promptly or adequately, it could lead to sepsis, which is the body’s extreme life-threatening response to infection.

Altus Emergency Centers can be a lifesaver in situations where a child’s life is at stake, our guarantee no wait times means your child will be seen by a doctor the minute you walk through our doors.

How to Tell If You Have a Cold or the Flu

The common cold and the flu share some symptoms, and it’s not always easy to tell the difference, especially if you are feeling miserable.

If you suspect you may have the flu, you are welcome to come to Altus Emergency Centers to get tested. 

We are open 24/7 and you will not have to wait in line to receive ER care.

 

Symptoms


Cold


Influenza or Flu


FeverRare in AdultsUsual
HeadacheRareCommon
Body AchesMildSevere
Tiredness or WeaknessSometimesYes, and can last up to 3 weeks
Extreme ExhaustionRareUsual During the First Days
Nasal CongestionVery CommonSometimes
SneezingUsualSometimes
Sore ThroatCommonSometimes
Chest Discomfort – CoughMild to Moderate coughCommon, Can Become Severe
Nausea and VomitingRareCommon in Children
Chills and SweatsRareCommon

 

As a rule, you should know that Influenza tends to be much more severe than a cold, and for children, the elderly or anyone who has a weak immune system it is more likely to lead to other serious health problems like pneumonia.

What Can You Do to Prevent the Flu?

The is no foolproof way to stop from getting the flu; however, some things that can help lower our risk of getting sick.

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap often
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas
  • Keep your distance from people you know are sick
  • Take an immune booster
  • Drink bone-broth, studies show that it is incredibly beneficial for your immune system
  • Try to sleep 7-9 hours every night
  • Exercise
  • Consider getting vaccinated against the flu, this won’t guarantee you won’t get sick, but in some cases, it can help lower the severity of the symptoms.

When to Get Emergency Medical Help

Knowing when to come to the ER can mean the difference between life and death, especially for children and elderly patients.

Come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if:

  • Your child is vomiting or has uncontrollable diarrhea
  • If you or your child have trouble breathing or if you notice the lips turning blue
  • If the patient is unresponsive
  • You have a fever that has lasted more than 3-days
  • Persistent cough, especially one that comes with phlegm  
  • You develop chest pain
  • You have severe throat pain, this could be a sign of strep throat

All Altus Emergency Centers are prepared to treat any severe symptom or complication of the flu. While feeling under the weather is just part of the process, if you notice any unusual symptoms or if your symptoms rapidly become worse, please come in for an evaluation it could end up saving your life or that of a loved one.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is

Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

American Heart Month – Guide to a Healthy Heart

Today is the Day to Learn to Love Your Heart!

This Valentine’s Month, it’s all about the heart!  Many of us are planning the perfect date night to show our partners just how important they are to us and how much we love them.  Altus Emergency Centers wants you to pause and pay a little more attention to all of the beautiful hearts in your life, starting with your own.

This year we are partnering with the Million Hearts® initiative to bring awareness of how dangerous and devastating heart disease can be, not just on a personal level but for those we love as well.  May this be the February that you learned to love your heart.

Heart Disease Fact Sheet

  • Cardiovascular diseases kill over 800,000 Americans every year
  • Heart Disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are responsible for 1 in every 3 deaths
  • Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States

Every 40 Seconds, an American will have a Heart Attack.

  • Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, and it’s responsible for over 370,000 annual deaths
  • Every year more than 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack
  • According to studies:

Nearly Two-Thirds of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.

Sources: CDC & Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2018

We all glance over numbers every day like these every day.  Instead of a number, see them for what they really are, a mother, father, teacher, co-worker, best friend, classmate, neighbor, grandma, or the person standing right beside you.  At Altus Emergency Centers, we’re committed to helping you not become a statistic.  Chances are, you are still in time to make the lifestyle changes necessary to keep a healthy heart pumping for much longer.

Heart Disease Death Rates Statistics USA

Safeguarding Your Heart

We’ve all had our hearts broken at some point in our lives, but, as hard as heartbreak can be, we know that in time we will get better and be able to love again. This is not always the case when our hearts get sick, some of us won’t have the luxury of time to heal, which is why we need to start taking better care of our hearts now.

You are always taking care of everyone around you, this month of February make a pledge to start showing yourself some love by making healthier lifestyle and food choices including:

Improve Your Diet

Eat healthier, include more fruits and veggies, choose low-fat dairy products and cut down on the amount of fat you eat.

Fill Up on Fiber

Choose foods that are fiber-rich like oats, whole wheat bread, and beans and legumes. Fiber-rich foods will fill you up more, and they take longer for your digestive system to process, so you will fell fool for a longer time. This will help you eat less and maybe lose a few pounds without having to sacrifice your food intake.

Eat More Fish

Texans love meat, we get it, but try substituting beef for fish at least once or twice a week, a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can help ward off heart disease.

Get Moving!

Just like the song says you’ve got to move it, move it. We know you have a busy schedule but only 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise can make a world of difference. You don’t need to go to the gym, a walk around your neighborhood, or some fun dancing around the house or even putting a little more pep into your housework might do the trick.

Cut Down on The Salt

The American diet has an unusually high amount of salt, and a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that cutting the amount of salt we consume can significantly lower the number of strokes, coronary heart disease (CHD), and heart attacks.

Live Smoke-Free!

Smoking is one of the top risk factors for heart disease, and it’s not enough to decrease the number of cigarettes you smoke per day, you need to stop smoking altogether.

Recognizing a Heart Attack

The possibility of a heart attack is real.  Heart disease is the leading cause of both men and women in the US.  Although medical studies have shown that you can drastically lower your possibility of having a heart attack through lifestyle changes, the odds are still 1 of every 4 people in America die from heart disease.  For this reason, another way to help save hearts is to get to know the signs of a heart attack and to take action.  While men and women will have different types of symptoms and not all chest pains indicate a heart attack, there are some tell-tale signs that should spark an immediate warning sign.

Here are five of the most common signs of a heart attack:

  • Pain or Discomfort in Chest

  • Lightheadedness, Nausea or Vomiting

  • Jaw, Neck or Back Pain

  • Discomfort or Pain in Jaw or Shoulder

  • Shortness of Breath

Time is a major factor, the sooner the better.

The recommended window of time to get treatment for a heart attack is of only two hours away from the first signs as those listed above.  If you risk waiting longer, the damage will be greater as the chances of survival will be lowered.

If you or someone you know experiences any of the symptoms listed here, the best thing you can do is have someone bring you to the nearest Altus Emergency Center so we can evaluate you. When it comes to heart attacks and strokes, the faster you get treatment, the greater your chances of recovery and survival will be.

It’s been said that the greatest gift we can give anyone is love, so this Valentine’s Day make a pledge to take better care of your heart so you can be around for many more years to gift love to your friends and family.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is

Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

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

Texas Flu Season 2018-2019

Texas Flu Season 2018-2019

If like many American’s you thought this would be a mild flu season, think again! Even though this year’s flu season got off to a slow start, it is quickly picking up strength. The influenza season officially began on September 30, 2018, and historically peaks January through February. According to a report by the Texas Health and Human Services, the number of positive flu tests rose by 5.5% in just one week, and the number of flu cases rose to widespread and has remained this way ever since. 

Left untreated, the flu takes lives.  The last flu season took nearly 10,000 lives according to according to state health officials.  This season, new flu-related deaths have also begun to surge.  Sadly enough, children and senior citizens are at greater risk.  This flu season 2018-2019 has also claimed it’s first pediatric victims.  Recently, USA Today ran an article on a little Garland, Texas Girl.  Ashanti Grinage, age 4, was taken to a hospital emergency room hospital with a fever and a persistent cough among other symptoms on January 29, 2018.  She diagnosed with the flu and two days later, little Ashanti passed away due to pneumonia.  She had not gotten a flu shot. This is the first pediatric case in North Texas.  At Altus Emergency we would like to shed light on the flu symptom and complications subject to help prevent the loss of lives due to flu-related complications.

Ashanti Brielle Grinage (right) and her family - Image Source: New York Post

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, last year’s flu was one of the worst on record in the US with:

  • 80,000 deaths from influenza and its complications
  • 900,000 American’s had to be hospitalized due to flu symptoms or complications from the flu virus

The following are the most up to date statistical data by the Texas Health & Human Services on Texas flu season 1018-2019.

Texas influenza map week 5 - 2019
texas flu related deaths 2018-2019 week 5

Fight the Spread of Texas Flu Season 2018-2019 Complications

Flu Strains

There are many strains of the two types of flu viruses, A and B, that infect humans. However, flu viruses are continually changing, and there are always new strains of influenza developing around the world, for this reason, every year vaccines are manufactured to protect against the top three or four virus strains that researchers believe will be the most common.

The most common and devastating virus strain from last year’s flu season was related to the H3N2 virus which is known to cause more severe complications, and the vaccine doesn’t work as well against it.

Although we are still very early in the season, it is believed that a different flu virus known as H1N1 could be dominant this year.

What Else Is Lurking Out There?

In addition, this year the CDC has warned against a cold-like illness that affects anyone. The Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), acts as the cold virus but, it could also make it hard to breathe. This virus is a concern for babies and the elderly. Doctors believe the Syncytial virus season will peak during January and February.

RSV is the common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age in America. It is also a significant cause of respiratory illness in older adults.

Symptoms of Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Signs of RSV infection usually include:

  • A runny nose
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Wheezing

You should know that these symptoms won’t all appear at the same time; instead they will develop in stages. If you spot these symptoms in an elderly person, please bring them to the nearest Altus Emergency Center so they can be evaluated and treated.

Symptoms in very young infants will be different and may only include:

  • Irritability,
  • Decreased Activity, and
  • Breathing Difficulties.

If your baby is showing any of these symptoms, it’s vital that you seek immediate medical assistance to prevent the symptoms from worsening and causing severe complications.

When Should You Come to The ER For Flu Symptoms?

Flu symptoms need to be treated early on, you should start on antiviral medications like Tamiflu within 24 to 48 hours after the first signs of symptoms.  While flu symptom treatment is not a reason to visit the emergency room, certain complications from the flu, if not treated promply can be a serious health hazzard and possibly life threatening condition.

If you or someone you are caring for experiences any of these symptoms seek emergency medical attention right away:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chest Pain or Severe Abdominal Pain
  • Confusion
  • Sudden Dizziness
  • Severe Vomiting or Vomiting That Won’t Stop

Signs of a Flu-Related Medical Emergency in Children

If your child has been infected with the influenza virus (flu virus), and they experience any of the following symptoms, a visit to the nearest Altus Emergency Center is warranted:

  • Rapid Breathing or Difficulty Breathing
  • Bluish Color to the Skin, especially on the face or chest
  • Not Drinking Enough Fluids, which could lead to dehydration
  • Difficult or Unable to Wake Up or Interact with Others
  • Severe Irritability: Child does not want to be held
  • Stiff Neck
  • Rash
  • A severe headache that doesn’t improve after taking Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin (ibuprofen)

In addition to the symptoms above, if you have an infant with the flu and she experiences any of the following symptoms, bring them to our emergency room.

  • Fever (over 100.3) and is under 3 months old
  • Unable to Eat
  • No Tears When Crying
  • Fewer Wet Diapers Than Normal

As mentioned before, experts don’t believe this flu season will be as devastating as last year’s, but, nonetheless, the influenza virus is dangerous, and it should be treated accordingly. This flu season, all Altus Emergency Centers will be monitoring the progress and changes of virus strains and symptoms to ensure we are fully equipped to treat all symptoms and help nurse you back to health.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is

Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

Infant Ibuprofen Recall: What You Should Know

Infant Ibuprofen Recall:

Here’s What You Should Know

Pharmaceutical company Tris Pharma, Inc. voluntarily started recalling some batches of their Infant Ibuprofen Concentrated Oral Suspension, USP (NSAID) 50 milligrams per 1.25 milliliters, in December of 2018, last week they announced they were increasing the number of lots that are being recalled.

Important Facts You Should Know:

  • The medication was sold under the Equate, CVS Health and Family Wellness brands at Walmart, CVS and Family Dollar stores, respectively
  • The recalled medication was sold in 0.5 ounce and 1.0-ounce bottles.
  • Tris Pharma, Inc. found concentrations of Ibuprofen up to 10% higher than the specified limit
  • There have been no reports of negative side effects or illness caused by these products thus far
  • You can check for lot numbers and expiration dates of the recalled medication on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website here.
  • If you have any questions, you can contact Tris Pharma, Inc. at 732-940-0358 or micc_tris@vigilarebp.com
  • Reports of illness or adverse side effects can be made directly with the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm.

What Is Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is a type of medication known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), it’s typically used in children to:

  • Reduce Fever
  • Alleviate Pain
  • Relieve Discomfort from Teething
  • Relieve Pain and Discomfort Associated to Ear Infections in Infants

Ibuprofen does not require a medical prescription as it is considered a very safe drug when taken as directed, although it is not recommended for infants under 6 months.

Despite it being an over the counter drug, excessive doses can be extremely dangerous, especially in infants who may be more susceptible.

Infant Ibuprofen doses are based on the weight of the child not their age, for this reason, it’s important for parents to check the dosing instructions before treating their children carefully.

Potential Side Effects of an Ibuprofen Overdose in Infants

If you accidentally give your child a larger dose than their weight can handle it could lead to stomach issues, or kidney problems, in extreme cases the child may suffer kidney failure.

Symptoms of an Overdose

Most symptoms will kick in within approximately four hours after taking the Ibuprofen:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain or Discomfort in the Upper Abdomen (Epigastric Pain)
  • In some cases, Diarrhea
  • Tinnitus (A Chronic Ringing in The Ears)
  • A headache

When to Go to the ER

If you suspect you may have given your child medication from one of the lots that are being recalled, closely monitor them for the next four hours after they have taken the medicine.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, you should call your doctor or bring your child into the ER as soon as possible for evaluation.

 

SIGNS OF AN ACUTE EMERGENCY

However, if your child shows any of these severe symptoms:

  • Difficult or slow breathing
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures
  • Little to no urine production
  • Gastrointestinal Bleeding
  • Unresponsiveness or lethargy
  • Apnea (temporary cessation of breathing)

You should bring your child to the nearest Altus Emergency Center or your nearest emergency center for evaluation and treatment.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is

Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

Honey Pacifiers Trigger Infant Botulism Alert by Health Officials

Health Officials Urge Texans to Not Give Children Under 12 Months of Age Honey

Honey Pacifiers Trigger Infant Botulism Alert

The Texas Department of State Health Services is warning parents and other adults not to give babies pacifiers containing honey after four babies were treated for botulism in Texas. Each infant had been given a honey-containing pacifier purchased in Mexico.

The four illnesses occurred from mid-August to the end of October and caused all four babies to be hospitalized for life-saving treatment. The unrelated infants are residents of West Texas, North Texas and South Texas.

What is Botulism?

Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.  When ingested, the bacteria releases a toxin which attacks the body’s nerves and can cause difficulty breathing, paralysis and even death.

What is Infant Botulism?

As we grow and develop, we acquire more “good” bacteria in our bodies to fight any that may be damaging and make us much more resiliant to getting sick.  However, as infants are still in the process of of acquiring these natural internal superheros, they must be shielding from potential threats until their system is ready.  For this reason, infants are are particularly vulerable to infant botulism with 90% of the cases ocurring in babies less than 6 months old. Botulinum spores may be found in dirt and honey which, if consumed, the spores can germinate into bacteria within their small intestine. 

Avoid botulinum

Infant Botulism and Honey

According to medical experts, a baby’s intestinal microflora (normal flora) is not sufficiently developed to ingest botulinum spores. As spores of the bacteria, found in dirt and dust, can contaminate honey, it’s best to wait until a child is one year old (12 months) before they may consume it.

“The DSHS issued a health alert today asking health care providers to look out for cases of infant botulism and to remind parents not to let babies eat honey. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics have long advised that children under 12 months old should not consume honey.”

Quality honey is rich in antioxidants and delivers a wealth of health benefits, however, it’s best to not give it to any infant under 12 months of age.

 

Infant Botulism Alert

The Culprit: Honey-Filled Pacifers

“Honey-filled pacifiers, chupones con miel in Spanish, are not common in the United States but may be available in some specialty stores and through online retailers. Most aren’t designed for the honey to be consumed, but some have a small hole so a child could eat the honey, or the pacifier could accidentally rupture or leak. Parents should also avoid pacifiers containing any other food substance, because they could also pose a risk of botulism.” – The Texas Department of State Health Services.

Botulism Symptoms in Infants:

Symptoms in infants often include:

  • Constipation
  • Lethargy
  • Generalized weakness (the “Floppy” baby syndrome)
  • Poor feeding
  • Drooling
  • Weak cry
  • Poor head control
  • Poor gag and sucking reflex

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

If you are ever in need of quality emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers. All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

How to Avoid the Flu

Bypass the Misery of Flu Season

How to Avoid the Flu

The dreaded flu season is fast approaching, and we know nobody wants to feel miserable for 2 whole weeks, and if you are a parent then you know it is going to be a domino effect, one by one everyone in the household will fall ill.

The flu isn’t a simple cold, the symptoms are much more severe and for those individuals who are high-risk: adults over the age of 65, children under the age of 6, women who are pregnant or anyone with a chronic disease like diabetes, asthma, or cardiovascular disease, complications from the flu can prove deadly.

As part of our ongoing commitment to help the members of our community stay healthy and avoid the flu (influenza) and other viral infections, the medical staff at Altus Emergency Centers would like to share some important facts and safety tips to avoid getting bedridden this season.

Not so Fun Facts About the Influenza Virus

Flu-Virus

Know the Flu Facts

  • The flu is caused by various strains of the virus that mutates constantly, this is the reason why a new flu vaccine is released every year.
  • It is estimated that anywhere between 140,000 to 710,000 people are year are hospitalized due to the flu.
  • The CDC estimated that the number of deaths associated with the 2017 – 2018 flu season at 80,000 which was a significant increase in relation to the previous years 2015-2016 which was between 12,000 and 56,000.
  • As of October 27th, 2018, the CDC has reported a total of 185 pediatric deaths for the 2017-2018 season.
  • The flu virus can travel up to 6 feet with every time someone infected coughs or sneezes.
  • An individual can be contagious 1-4 days before symptoms manifest and can remain contagious for another 5-7 days after symptoms begin.

How to Avoid the Flu Season Blues

The flu is a viral respiratory illness.  This means that anyone can easily become ill by coming into contact with airborne droplets from an infected individual.  Due to the fact that contaminated droplets can travel up to 6 feet when someone coughs or sneezes, it is very difficult to avoid contact altogether, but there are ways to safeguard yourself and your loved ones to avoid the flu.

Get Vaccinated as Early in the Season as Possible

You can still contract the virus from someone else up to 2-weeks after getting vaccinated, so early vaccination is important.

The yearly flu shot will protect you from 3-4 flu strains that are predicted to cause the most damage that year. Also, it can help you recover from the illness faster, often avoiding 2-4 days in bed.  Most importantly, it helps prevent serious complications from the flu such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and ear or sinus infections.  The small prick of a needle is better than days or weeks of agony.  Avoid the flu by getting vaccinated early on each year.

Become Obsessed with Good Hygiene

Avoid the flu and other viruses by washing your heads with soap and water frequently.  This is especially important when you are at work, or after riding public transportation, as you could come in contact with the virus and not know it.

Teach your children to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, and not to share food and drinks with their friends.

If you don’t have access to soap and water, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good substitute, also keep antibacterial cleaning towels handy, so you can clean your desk and other surfaces with regularity.

Take Good Care of Yourself

A healthy immune system will be instrumental in helping your body avoid and fight the flu virus. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, a recent study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University concluded that getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night decreases the chances of getting a cold or flu by 30%.

How do I avoid the flu by being healthy? We recommend that you maintain a well-balanced diet, avoid fatty foods, and too many sweets that are plentiful this time of year, make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.  Also, make sure to stay away from other bad habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol in excess.

When Should You Visit the ER?

Altus Emergency Doctors ER

Regardless of how careful you are, sometimes getting sick with the flu is unavoidable, and unfortunately, the symptoms will make you feel miserable for a few days, but, there are some warning signs that could signal flu complications that will require medical attention:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, these are not normal symptoms of the flu, if you experience them it could be something more serious such as an asthma attack, or pneumonia.
  • Chest Pain, this could be a signal heart disease, and you should get immediate medical care.
  • A persistent cough especially one accompanied by phlegm, if you notice blood in your phlegm, go to the nearest Altus ER Center immediately.
  • If you are suffering from confusion or sudden dizziness, there are several reasons why you could be feeling this way, so, it is best to get a proper diagnosis from a healthcare professional.
  • Severe and persistent vomiting, this could lead to dehydration, and you may require intravenous fluids.
  • Pain or trouble swallowing, although a sore throat can be a symptom of the flu if you experience severe pain or have trouble while swallowing, it could be you have strep throat.
  • Persistent fever, a fever lasting more than 3 days could mean you have a bacterial infection and require antibiotics.
  • If your cough, fever, or other symptoms return in the second week after the onset of the flu or if your symptoms never get better and instead become worse, you may be developing pneumonia.

Altus Emergency Centers is here for you during the worst of the flu season and the rest of year 24/7.  We hope you don’t fall victim to the flu virus this year, but if you do, and you show any of the above signs, visit your nearest Altus ER.  We will be here to nurse you and your loved ones back to health and enjoying the upcoming holidays.

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

If you are ever in need of quality emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers. All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

Head Injury – Concussion – ER or Urgent Care?

Is My Head Injury a Concussion?

Should I go to the ER or Urgent Care?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are of great concern amongst the medical community, as numbers suggest these types of injuries contribute to about 30% of all injury deaths.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there some 2.8 million TBI-related emergency room visits per day, and 153 people in the United States die every day from injuries that include traumatic brain injuries.

Given how big this problem is, we should ask ourselves when does a head injury require emergency medical attention, and can these be treated at an urgent care center or should we go to the ER?

Let’s start with understanding what a Traumatic Brain Injury is.

Head-injury-ER Texas

What Is a TBI and What Causes It?

As may have guessed, a traumatic brain injury involves injuries to our head, it can be caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head and it is strong enough to create a disruption to the brain’s normal functioning. Thankfully, not all bumps to the head result in a TBI, and those don’t require you visit the emergency room.

Traumatic Brain Injuries range from “mild” where there is a brief change of mental status or consciousness to severe where patients are unconscious for an extended period or present symptoms like memory loss. Mild TBI’s are known as concussions, and they are the most common type of brain injury.

This does not mean that concussions can be ignored, any type of brain injury regardless of how harmless it may seem requires immediate medical attention.

Can Traumatic Brain Injuries Be Treated at an Urgent Care Center?

The answer is no, and here is why. The severity of a traumatic brain injury is difficult if not impossible to diagnose without the use of CT Scans, and X-rays, the blow might have caused a small skull fracture that is not visible, or there might be swelling around the brain.

Since urgent care centers do not have direct access to the necessary diagnostic equipment, they cannot treat these types of injuries. If you suspect you may have a concussion or other type of brain injury and you visit an urgent care center, they will refer you to the emergency room, and you will have to pay for both consultations.

If you believe you or a loved one has sustained any type of brain injury, you need to come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center as soon as possible. Getting diagnosed and treated for a brain injury promptly can significantly reduce any permanent or long-lasting effects from the injury.

Head-injury-ER Texas

When Should You Visit Altus Emergency Centers for a Head Injury?

As we mentioned, not all head bumps will require you pay us a visit, however, if you receive a blow to the head either from playing sports, falling, or being in a car crash, and experience any of the following symptoms, you need to come in for a medical evaluation as soon as possible:

  •    You lost consciousness at the time of the injury
  •    You feel confused or disoriented after the injury
  •    You experience a headache along with nausea or vomiting

You should monitor anyone who has hit their head and bring them in for evaluation if you notice any of these symptoms:

  •    Unusual behavior or confusion
  •    Their symptoms seem to progress or worsen
  •    They seem weak, complain of numbness or have trouble speaking (slurred speech)
  •    They have difficulty with their eye movements
  •    Their headache won’t go away or becomes more severe
  •    Seizure
  •    They have difficulty waking up or staying alert
  •    There is discharged of clear fluid or blood from their nose or ears

 

As you can see, all brain injuries are dangerous as they can quickly develop complications. For this reason, if you suspect that you or someone you know has a traumatic brain injury, your best bet is to visit the nearest Altus Emergency Center for a proper diagnosis and fast treatment.

Concussion Emergency

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

If you are ever in need of quality emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers. All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

Texas Influenza Awareness Day 2018

Health Officials Urge Texans to get a Flu Shot Now

Today is Texas Influenza Awareness Day

As flu season begins, the Texas Department of State Health Services encourages everyone 6 months old and older to get vaccinated now to protect themselves from getting the flu. Early vaccination is important because it takes about two weeks for the body to make flu antibodies after the vaccine is administered.

“This year, there are many different flu vaccines available, and they have all been updated for this flu season. The nasal spray flu vaccine, also known as FluMist, is once again on the list of recommended flu vaccines for the upcoming flu season,” said Dr. Jennifer Shuford, DSHS Infectious Disease Medical Officer. “There are also special flu vaccines designed for people 65 years and older. Your doctor can help you figure out which vaccine is right for you.”

influenza symptoms

Who Should Get a Flu Shot?

People with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, young children, older adults, and the people who live with them should get vaccinated in order to minimize the risk of developing serious complications from the flu. Caregivers should get the flu shot to protect themselves and to prevent spreading the flu to the vulnerable people they care for in their families and communities.

influenza symptoms

What is Influenza and How Can it be Prevented?

Influenza is an illness caused by one of a number of related viruses. Symptoms usually start suddenly and include fever, body aches, chills, a dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches and extreme fatigue and can last a week or longer. It is important to note that not all flu sufferers will have a fever.

People can help stop the spread of illness and reduce their chance of catching the flu by getting vaccinated, washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home if they’re sick. Additional flu information and tips are at TexasFlu.org.

Influenza symptoms

Which Flu Strains Does this Vaccine Cover?

All flu vaccines this season are made to protect against viruses similar to the strains

  • A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1),
  • A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2) and
  • B/Colorado/06/2017 (B/Victoria lineage).
  • Some vaccines include an additional vaccine virus strain, B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage).

People can contact their health care provider, local health department, local pharmacy or use the Vaccine Finder at TexasFlu.org to find out where flu shots are available.

Health officials encourage people to seek treatment promptly if they are experiencing flu symptoms. Antiviral drugs may help shorten the duration or lessen the severity of the flu if started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

influenza symptoms

More Information on Influenza Awareness, Prevention & Complications

At Altus Emergency Centers, we believe in spreading awareness to help protect and prevent complications that can result from the influenza virus.  For more information on the influenza virus, what it is, how to prevent it, treatment and complications, please feel free to browse the following:

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

If you are ever in need of quality emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers. All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

HEALTH NEWS, EVENTS & MORE.

Online Medical Technology

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👏 At Altus Emergency, we are happy to celebrate Women’s Day by sharing the words of wisdom from our very own Altus Emergency Ladies! 💐 We hope you find inspiration and courage from this diverse set of role models. #BalanceforBetter #IWD2019
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DOCTORS ARE SPEAKING UP FOR YOU, TEXAS. 👨‍⚕️ Emergency Physicians like Dr. Artie Abello, MD, are against insurance companies denying Texans their legal right to ER Care. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 JOIN THE CAUSE, against Insurance Denials https://t.co/RJidW23q6p
🏪 #MyEmergencyMyChoice #GotYouCovered

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21 hours ago

Altus Emergency Centers

“You shouldn’t be scared of having to go to the ER if you need it,” said Dr. Carrie de Moor.
🎥 Watch the testimony of Dr. Moor, mother & owner of an ER and Urgent care during her 12-year-old son's emergency.
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Emergency Services are Essential that EVERYONE should be entitled to rather than scared away from.
👉 Join the Movement: goo.gl/388A9y
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#MyEmergencyMyChoice #AltusERCentersShe experienced the issue firsthand last summer, when her son had appendicitis.
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