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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!

Does a Full Moon Make People Go to ER?

Full Moon Madness, Reality or Myth?

We are all excited about watching the Super Snow Moon, which according to NASA will be the “biggest and brightest of 2019”. The full moon has been captivating human beings since the dawn of time and has been the main character in countless stories and legends. From werewolves, and vampires to ghostly apparitions.

ER’s are no strangers to full moon lore, there is no shortage of stories told by emergency room staff regarding crazy situations and unusual patient count during a full moon.

This is so much so the case, that even the Wall Street Journal published an article on the subject. In the article, they interviewed clinical staff from several hospitals and ER’s across the country and asked them to recount what it was like to work in an ER during a full moon.

According to those interviewed, not only did a full moon mean an increase in patients, but they also said they treated more patients with rare ailments or injuries.

However, there is a little bit of a controversy between what hospital and ER staff see and believe compared to what studies have found.

One study from the American Journal of Medicine in which the data of one emergency room over  4 years was evaluated, concluded there were no significant increases in ER visits on full moon nights.

But other studies including one published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology did find a link between criminal behavior and psychiatric crises and the moon face. One study found that some crimes including rape, assault, drunkenness, and disorderly conduct occurred more frequently 3-days before to and after a full moon.

So, is the full moon madness a reality or a myth? The answer is complicated as you can see. From our experience, our emergency centers on average see an increase of 6.75% in the number of patients we treat during the full moon. This happens consistently enough to suggest there is some truth to the idea that the full moon does have an influence on human behavior and health.

Whether you believe the moon has an influence over you or not, the best advice we can give you is to put aside all myths and if you get a chance catch a glimpse of the beautiful full moon. Nevertheless, it’s wise to always be careful and vigilant in any activity you do. Remember, an accident can occur any day at any time, while you are work, school, at the gym, while out to dinner, or even at home, full moon or not.

The good news is, Altus Emergency Centers will always be there to care of you and your loved ones. We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on holidays and especially during full moons.

 

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!

Are Free Standing ER’s Really More Expensive?

Dispelling the Myth about the Pricetag on Freestanding ERs

The first free standing ER, or freestanding emergency rooms in Texas started operating back in 2010, and even though eight years have passed there is still a lot of misinformation and confusion about the type of service these centers provide and more specifically, the cost of these services.

In recent months, a lot of media outlets have been reporting stories claiming that free-standing emergency rooms are overcharging customers for their treatments. These reports are misleading, and confusing for the public and unfair to the free-standing emergency centers.

Most of the misinformation and confusion comes from a poor understanding of what a free-standing emergency room is.

What is a Free-Standing Emergency Room?

A free-standing emergency room is a medical facility that is licensed by the state to provide 24-hour emergency care to patients.

A free-standing ER offers the same high-quality care and utilizes the same high-quality equipment and technology as a hospital-based emergency room. Just as a hospital ER, free-standing ER’s like Altus Emergency Centers are always required to have a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician or ER trained MD’s on site, they must be opened 24-hours a day every day of the year, and have advanced lifesaving, imagining and laboratories within the facility.

This means that a Free-Standing ER operates under the same strict standards of a hospital ER, the only difference being that Free-Standing Emergency Rooms are not physically attached to a hospital facility.

FreeStanding-ER

Are Free Standing Emergency Rooms More Expensive?

In a study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine in December of 2017, the researchers concluded that the average cost of a visit to a Free-Standing Emergency Room was cheaper or comparable to a similar visit to a Hospital-Based Emergency Room.

According to the study, the average price of a visit to a Free-Standing ER in 2015 was $2,199 while the average cost of a visit to a Hospital-Based ER was $2,259.

The study shows that although not all treatments, procedures or tests performed at Free-Standing Emergency Rooms were necessarily cheaper, the pricing is comparable to those of a Hospital-Based Emergency Department. To better illustrate how close the pricing structure between Free-Standing and Hospital-Based ER’s is here are some of the findings published in the study.

Diagnosis or ProcedureFree-Standing ER PricingHospital-Based ER Pricing
Fracture of Upper Limb$1,783$2,263
Open Wounds of Neck, Head, and Trunk$1,494$1,721
CT Scan of Abdomen/Pelvis$1,560$1,625
ECG$155$235
Transportation Services$171$456

Dispelling the Myth

At Altus Emergency Centers, our biggest concern is that patients won’t seek the necessary medical attention they need out of fear of being overcharged. Because of this, we feel the need to dispel the myth that we are more expensive than Hospital-Based ER’s.

Our facilities were created to provide convenience by allowing patients to be treated faster than they would be at a Hospital-Based ER were overcrowding has been an issue for years. According to ProPublica’s ER Wait Watcher, the average wait time for an ER patient to see a doctor in the state of Texas is 19 minutes, most Free-Standing ER’s advertise a maximum wait time of 10 minutes, at Altus Emergency Centers patients see a doctor as soon as they come in, there is no wait time.

Our facilities also strive to make emergency care more accessible to those communities who don’t have a hospital nearby.

Altus Emergency Centers provides the same quality emergency medical attention as any Hospital-Based ER, with the added benefits of convenience, nicer facilities, and more personalized treatment for the same price.

WaitingInLine

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.  Don’t let mislead information effect where you choose your ER care.  Our promise to you is to always serve with the very best medical technology, caring and knowledgeable ER trained staff, low wait times and hassle-free billing.

Patient Advocates, You Can Call!

Altus Emergency Patient Advocates are here to help you.  We help you decipher the complexity of the medical industry to uncover how it can be most beneficial to you.  We have focused our efforts on helping people better understand their insurance plans and how our billing works.

Our Patient Advocates department is available to help patients with everything billing related from reviewing health insurance claims to aiding in the event of an appeal of payment denial by their insurance provider. Our priority is and always been the wellbeing of our patients, and our doctors follow care protocols to ensure the best medical care is provided.

If you have any questions regarding your billing, please don’t hesitate to contact our Patient Advocate Department.  Please feel free to call 469-383-7361 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm and ask for the Patient Advocate.

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.

We Are OPEN in Baytown

We Are OPEN in Baytown 24/7!

The Best ER in Baytown is Here for You

Don’t let the construction cause confusion.  We are open in Baytown and ready to see patients, in spite of the distractions.  When you are in need of immediate emergency care, it’s a relief to know that you can find the highest quality services near you.  At Altus Emergency Center Baytown, we understand that time is of the essence during a medical emergency.  This is why, when you arrive at our Baytown facility you will notice that there is no one waiting in line!  Our Emergency Trained Physicians are here to help you with all major and minor emergency situations for all ages.

Providing Affordable Access to a Fully Equipped Facility.

Since its grand opening in 2012, the Baytown Freestanding Emergency Center owes it’s excellence to it’s highly experienced team of medical emergency experts, including technicians, nurses and board certified physicians. The Baytown ER Center makes the most innovative technologies in: CT scans, X-rays, ultrasounds and a full service diagnostic lab accessible. Located on 1404 West Baker Road, Altus Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and during the holidays.

We are excited to provide the residents of Baytown with access to first-class emergency medical care and comfort for all ages – With No Waiting In Line!

Meet the Baytown Administration

Introducing Kristin Kappler, the Newly Appointed Baytown Assistant Admin at Altus Emergency

We are happy to announce that on Thursday, February 1st, 2018, Kristin Kappler became the assistant administrator of Altus ER Baytown.  Get to know the friendly girl with a hardworking spirit that is here for you at Altus ER Baytown.  Altus Emergency Center Baytown, has become an invaluable active member of Baytown and its surrounding communities.  Altus Emergency Center, which prides itself on employing the most caring and experienced ER Healthcare Staff, looks forward to seeing Kristin help maintain and build upon its tradition of top quality ER services.  Get to know Kristin.

 

 

Altus Emergency Cares About Baytown

At Altus Emergency Centers, we take pride in our beautiful Texas communities and work with its leaders to help ensure a better future for all.  Not only do we treat each patient with the care and urgency they deserve, we also give back to the community.  Thank you for your trust and support!

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Month – Help Us Save More Lives

Help Us Save More Lives

National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Month

Sudden Cardiac Arrest claims the life of a person every two minutes, and yet most people don’t understand the difference between sudden cardiac arrest and a heart attack. Mortality rates for patients who suffer a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) outside of the hospital or emergency center are estimated to be as high as 90%. For this reason, the staff of Altus Emergency Centers joins the nationwide efforts to raise the public’s attention to this deadly condition.  This National Cardiac Arrest Month, we hope to teach our communities so that together, we can help save more lives!

Alarming Facts of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

  • According to American Heart Association’s “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2017” The annual incidence of EMS assessed non-traumatic out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in 2015 was estimated at 356,500.

  • 9 out of 10 of victims who suffer an OHCA don’t survive.

  • SCA is the third leading cause of death in the US.

  • More than 65% of Americans not only underestimate the seriousness of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) but in fact believe it is a type of heart attack.

Sudden-Cardiac-Awareness-Month-Alarming-Facts

The Difference Between a Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest

The best way to describe a heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI) in non-medical terms is to describe it as a plumbing issue. A heart attack occurs when the heart’s blood supply is blocked or reduced causing parts of the heart muscle to become injured or die.

During a heart attack the victim is conscious and the heart continues to beat, patients may complain of one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain or discomfort.

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Pain or discomfort in the one or both upper extremities, with the pain spreading to the shoulder, upper back, neck, or jaw.

  • Nausea, sweating or lightheadedness.

  • A sense of anxiety.

In contrast, sudden cardiac arrest is best described as an electrical problem that prevents the heart from functioning adequately and causes it to suddenly stop beating. As a result, the victim will lose consciousness and appear lifeless, in some cases, there can be abnormal gasping which can last a few minutes, or seizures during the first 10 to 20 seconds after collapsing.  These immediate telltale signs of alert are triggered as the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen.

Sudden-Cardiac-Awareness-Month-Difference-Between-Heart-Attack

How Can You Help Us Save More Lives?

When it comes to sudden cardiac arrest time is critical, if the victim does not receive the immediate help they will die within minutes. Here is what you can do to:

  • As soon as you notice someone losing consciousness, call 911.

  • Check for vital signs (pulse, breathing), if you don’t find any, immediately start CPR, don’t wait for the paramedics to arrive.

  • If available, use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

While it is best to be trained in CPR and the use of an AED, any person can provide lifesaving care by applying rapid compressions to the middle of the victim’s chest.  Aim for 100 beats per minute with minimal interventions, try humming the Bee Gee’s hit “Staying Alive” to get the right rhythm, if you have an AED at hand follow its directions.

Don’t hesitate to provide what lifesaving care you can, the worst thing you can do is to do nothing while you wait for the ambulance to arrive. Sudden cardiac arrest victims can survive if they receive immediate CPR and are promptly treated with AED’s, but it needs to be done within 3 to 5 minutes after collapsing.

Once the paramedics arrive and stabilize the patient, instruct them to transport the victim to the nearest Altus Emergency Center where there is no wait time and the patient will receive immediate care significantly improving their chances of survival.

Nearly 1 in 3 Victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survive when the episode is Witnessed by a Bystander.

The staff of Altus Emergency Centers is committed to saving as many lives as possible.  We are committed to education, prevention and awareness to help reduce the loss of lives as a result of out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and sudden cardiac arrest.  We encourage you to spread this valuable information with others as the next life that could be saved is yours.

Sudden-Cardiac-Awareness-Month-How-You-Can-Help

Our Doctors and Nurses Are Here for You

We Are Just Around the Corner When You Need ER Help

At Altus Emergency Centers, we are proud to be a part of our Texas communities. We believe that together, we can help build a happier, safer and healthier Texas!

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

At Altus Emergency Centers, we are strong advocates of education and prevention. Our expertly trained staff is available 24/7. We are here for you in the event of a medical emergency.

Altus Emergency Centers
Freestanding ERs. Saving Lives 24/7. No Lines.

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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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20 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
.
#MyEmergencyMyChoice #AltusERCentersShe experienced the issue firsthand last summer, when her son had appendicitis.
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