ER Nurses Make a World of Difference

ER Nurses Make a World of Difference

Our fantastic ER nurses make a difference in the lives of our patients and their colleagues every day. With their compassion, empathy, and passion for what they do, they provide help make our days brighter and our lives fuller.

History of Emergency Nurses Day

Emergency Nurses Day is an annual event, celebrated on the second Wednesday of October. The observance started in Australia 30 years ago. Given how much ER nurses impact the workplace, it quickly became an international observance.

In the United States, we dedicate a whole week to thank these amazing human beings for their hard work. National ER Nurses Week runs from Oct 6th to Oct 12, and the Emergency Nurses Association is in charge of promoting and sponsoring the week-long event. 

Why Do Emergency Nurses Deserve Special Appreciation?  

Nurses across the country do exemplary work. However, emergency nurses deserve special recognition because the environment in which they must work requires quick thinking and nerves of steel. 

The Emergency Room staff needs to make split-second life or death decisions. Nurses are often the first person a patient sees when they enter our Emergency Room. These people are often in severe pain, shock, and scared. The reassurance, compassion, and empathy of ER nurses make all the difference to these patients and their families.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Role of ER Nurses

Every day, emergency nurses must tackle diverse tasks with professionalism, efficiency, and above all—caring.

Patient-Care: Working at an emergency center means ER nurses will need to care for a wide range of injuries and illnesses. Some might be mild emergencies, while others may involve trauma, heart attacks, or traumatic brain injuries. The wide variety of patient conditions requires that ER nurses have specialized training and qualifications. In addition, a strong character that can keep its cool in extremely stressful situations is indispensable.

Education: The nurses at Altus Emergency Centers are outstanding members of the communities that we serve. As such, they are always available to help us promote our wellness programs, and educate the public on how to prevent injuries. Additionally, nurses are the most prominent advocates for patients who visit our ER centers. Not only do they assist the patient during their stay at our facilities, but they also explain the care needed to ensure a speedy recovery once the patient goes home.

Leadership: Part of the company culture at Altus Emergency Centers focuses on working as a unit. Our nurses are perhaps the best liaisons in our organization. They work closely with administrators, lab technicians, doctors, and of course, patients. Because of this, emergency room nurses must have strong leadership skills that allow them to build solid relationships with every member of our team.

A Special Thank You to Our Invaluable Nurses

At Altus Emergency Centers, we know the quality of the people that work with us. Moreover, every patient we see gets a chance to meet the most amazing, professional, and caring nurses ever!

Our organization could not provide the care needed by our communities, were it not for the hard work and dedication that our nurses put into every minute of their workday. 

These brave, compassionate angels help us save lives every day, and we could not be more proud and grateful to have them by our side.

To all of you who give so much to both patients and colleagues, “Thank You” from the bottom of our hearts for a job well done!

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

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

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

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

Emergency Rooms Came Through for Region During Imelda’s Chaos

Guest column—Beaumont Enterprises Brings You

Emergency Rooms Came Through for Region During Imelda’s Chaos.

By Dr. Adriano Goffi

ARTICLE SOURCE: Guest Column of the Beaumont Enterprise Newspaper

Dr. Adriano Goffi Altus ER Lumberton

Imelda’s Chaos

Tropical Storm Imelda, the seventh wettest tropical cyclone to ever hit the United States, recently reminded us that natural disasters and catastrophic events can and do strike without warning.

 

Unfortunately, Texas has faced more than its fair share over the past few years. With Imelda, even weather experts were caught by surprise when more than 43 inches of rain fell in parts of Southeast Texas.

 

Like meteorologists, us emergency room doctors learn to expect the unexpected. While doctors, nurses and other emergency medical personnel don’t know exactly what severe injuries, illnesses or health crises we will face on each of our long shifts, we do know we need to be prepared at a moment’s notice.

 

During Imelda, the massive flooding from the storm shut down access to two Beaumont-area hospitals at a time when many people were in need of emergency care.

Thankfully, Southeast Texas was able to avoid disaster of another kind because the region’s well-established independent freestanding emergency centers were able to provide life-saving care when other medical facilities couldn’t.

I can personally attest to the treacherous conditions created by Imelda. It took me more than eight hours to get to work in the midst of the storm’s wrath and was only possible because of the extraordinary acts of bravery and kindness from local volunteers who delivered essential transportation via boats and trucks to those who were stranded, or have roles like mine where missing a shift is not an option.

 

These volunteers provided similar support to many of my colleagues and together they endured all matter of flooding, rain and wind to get to the ER.

 

When we finally arrived at work, we found that not only was patient volume extremely high due to the injuries and serious impairments wrought by the storm’s dangerous effects, but our patients’ conditions were far more acute than what we see on most days.

Understandably, emotions were running high.

Even our battle-hardened head nurse was brought to tears out of concern for a woman who was on death’s door. The patient was suffering from massive internal bleeding and urgently needed a blood transfusion to save her life.

 

We were able to get an emergency supply of blood transported to our facility, completed the transfusion and got her safely transferred to a larger regional medical center.

Because of our intervention, she’s alive today.

Imelda's Chaos - Beaumont Enterprise Guest Column Dr. Adriano Goffi Altus ER Lumberton Medical Director

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

The Calm After Imelda’s Chaos

Over the past decade, Texas’ independent freestanding ERs have repeatedly stepped into the breach in times of crisis. And on a day-to-day basis, they provide essential care and save lives across Texas — to say nothing of the tens of millions of dollars these emergency care facilities provide in charity care to Texans in need every year. And yet, some still question the value and purpose of ERs outside of a hospital.

 

Recent times like Imelda illustrate that Texans and their families are better off when their access to ER care is unimpeded.

Without freestanding emergency centers to care for those in need, the death toll from Imelda would have undoubtedly been higher than five.

We are here 24 hours a day, every day of the year in conditions of all kinds. Texans should be reassured that lifesaving care like ours is never too far beyond reach.

Dr. Adriano Goffi, a Navy veteran and family medicine doctor who has worked in emergency medicine for more than a dozen years, is the medical director of the Altus Emergency Center in Lumberton. Altus is a member of the Texas Association of Freestanding Emergency Centers (TAFEC).

A huge thank you to the Beaumont Enterprise for sharing this guest column written by our Lumberton Medical Director, Dr. Adriano Goffi.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

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

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

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

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

Living with COPD – Risk Factors, Complications & Flareups

Breathing is something we rarely think about, except when it’s hard to do. Unfortunately, breathing can be a daily struggle for more than 16 million Americans living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

What is COPD?

As its name suggests, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that makes it hard to breathe (Source: medlineplus.gov).

There are two common forms of COPD:

  • Chronic Bronchitis: This form of the disease includes a long-term cough with mucus
  • Emphysema: This disease slowly causes damage to the lungs 

Most COPD patients have a combination of both conditions.

Another disease considered to be COPD is:

  • Refractory Asthma:  “A severe form of asthma, which is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes the airways to swell, become narrow, and produce extra mucus”, source: Diseaseresearchinfo.org

 

COPD Statistics In the United States

COPD is widespread in the United States, according to the latest report, there are:

  • 16 million adults living with a diagnosis of COPD
  • There were 9 million new chronic bronchitis diagnoses in 2017
  • In 2017 there were approximately 3.5 million new emphysema diagnoses 
  • There are more than 7 million ER visits every year due to COPD
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is the fourth most common cause of death in the US
  • COPD is also the fourth leading cause of disability in the country

Symptoms

Unfortunately, a lot of the time COPD symptoms don’t manifest until there’s already significant lung damage. For this reason, an additional 12 million adults could have COPD but just haven’t received a diagnosis yet.

Early symptoms include:

  • Sporadic shortness of breath, especially after rigorous physical activity
  • A mild but persistent cough 
  • Having to clear your throat frequently because of excess phlegm, especially in the morning

 

As the disease progresses and the lungs suffer damage symptoms worsen, and you may experience the following:

  • More frequent shortness of breath. This can happen with mild physical activity such as going up a flight of stairs
  • Wheezing
  • A feeling of tightness in the chest
  • Chronic cough. The cough can be with or without mucus
  • Expelling mucus from your lungs daily
  • Frequent colds and other respiratory infections
  • Feeling fatigued

 

In the more advanced stages of COPD, these symptoms become more common:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Swelling in your feet, ankles or legs
  • Unexplained weight loss

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Risk Factors of COPD

Many factors can damage the lungs and increase the risk of COPD; these include:

  • Exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Smokers who have asthma
  • Repeated exposure to dust, certain chemicals, or gases at work
  • Exposure to fumes from burning fuel
  • Age: COPD is a degenerative disease that develops over a long period. Therefore, most people are in their 40’s when their first symptoms appear
  • Genetics: The genetic disorder known as an alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, is responsible for some cases of COPD

Complications from COPD

Potential complications from COPD, include:

  • Lung Cancer
  • Respiratory Infections
  • High Blood Pressure in the Lung Arteries
  • Heart Problems
  • Depression

When to Come to Altus ER

You should seek immediate emergency medical care if:

  • Your lips or fingertips turn a gray or bluish color. This is an indicator that your blood oxygen levels are low
  • You have trouble catching your breath or speaking
  • You feel confused or faint
  • Your heart is racing
  • Worsened shortness of breath that does not respond well to your medications or prescribed treatments

The entire month of October is devoted to Healthy Lung Month. At Altus Emergency Centers, we urge you to quit smoking if you are a smoker and to take the necessary precautions at work to avoid exposure to toxic fumes, or chemicals.

If you are living with COPD, please know all our centers are available to treat you if you have a severe symptom flair up.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

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

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

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

Hunting and Fishing Safety Tips

Hunting, Fishing, And Archery Safety Tips

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

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

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

Hunting Safety Tips

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

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

 

Gun Safety

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

 

Tree Stand Safety

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

Fishing Safety Tips

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

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

 

Boating Safety

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

 

Tackle Safety

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

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Archery Safety Tips

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

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

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

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

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

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

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

Farm and Ranch Safety Tips

Farm and Ranch Safety Tips

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

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

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

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

Road Safety

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

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

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

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

 

1. Safety Tips for Driven Farm Equipment on Public Roads

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

 

2. Tractor Safety

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

 

3. Power Take-Off Safety

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

 

4. Protect Yourself from Rollovers

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

Grain Handling Safety Tips

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

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Chemical and Pesticide Safety Tips

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

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

Additional Farm and Ranch Safety Tips

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

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

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

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

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

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

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

Flood Safety Tips

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

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

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

What to Do During a Flood?

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

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

Flood Cleanup Tips

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

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

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

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

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Keep Children Safe

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

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

Food Safety

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

Additionally:

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

Water Safety

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

Beware of Mold

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

Protect Yourself from Tetanus

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

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

Treating Wounds

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

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

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

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

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

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

20 Food Safety Tips We Should All Know

20 Food Safety Tips We Should All Know

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

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

 

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

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

Who Is at Risk of Food Poisoning?

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

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

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

1. Keep your kitchen, and cooking utensils clean

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

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

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

5. Follow the storage instructions on the food labels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13. Keep raw and cooked foods apart

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

Type of Meat

Beef

Poultry

Ground Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb

Minimum Cooking Temperature

160°F

180°F

160°F

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

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

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

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

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

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

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Foodborne Germs and When to Come to Altus Emergency Centers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

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

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

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

Severe Pulmonary Disease Associated with Using E-Cigarette Products

OFFICIAL CDC HEALTH ADVISORY

Severe Pulmonary Disease Associated with Using E-Cigarette Products

official cdc health advisory

Summary

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing:

1) background information on the forms of e-cigarette products,

2) information on the multistate outbreak of severe pulmonary disease associated with using e-cigarette products (devices, liquids, refill pods, and cartridges), and

3) clinical features of patients with severe pulmonary disease. This health advisory also provides recommendations for clinicians, public health officials, and the public based on currently available information.

General Background

E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, most also contain flavorings and other chemicals, and some may contain marijuana or other substances. They are known by many different names and come in many shapes, sizes, and device types. Devices may be referred to as “e-cigs,” “vapes,” “e-hookahs,” “vape pens,” “mods,” tanks, or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). Some e-cigarette devices resemble other tobacco products such as cigarettes; some resemble ordinary household items such as USB flash drives, pens, and flashlights; and others have unique shapes. Use of e-cigarettes is sometimes referred to as “vaping” or “juuling.” E-cigarettes used for dabbing are sometimes called “dab” pens.
E-cigarettes can contain harmful or potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals (e.g., lead), volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing chemicals. Additionally, some e-cigarette products are used to deliver illicit substances; may be acquired from unknown or unauthorized (i.e., “street”) sources; and may be modified for uses that could increase their potential for harm to the user. For example, some e-cigarette pods or cartridges marketed for single use can be refilled with illicit or unknown substances. In addition, some e-cigarette products are used for “dripping” or “dabbing.” Dripping involves dropping e-cigarette liquid directly onto the hot coils of an e-cigarette which can result in high concentrations of compounds (e.g., tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] and cannabinoid compounds). Dabbing involves superheating substances such as “budder”, butane hash oil (BHO), and “710” that contain high concentrations of THC and other plant compounds (e.g., cannabidiol [CBD]).

Youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not use e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes containing nicotine have the potential to help some individual adult smokers reduce their use of and transition away from cigarettes. However, e-cigarettes are not currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a quit smoking aid, and the available science is inconclusive on whether e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking.

Outbreak Background

As of August 27, 2019, 215 possible cases have been reported from 25 states and additional reports of pulmonary illness are under investigation. One patient (in Illinois) with a history of recent e-cigarette use was hospitalized on July 29, 2019, with severe pulmonary disease and died on August 20, 2019. Although the etiology of e-cigarette-associated pulmonary disease is undetermined, epidemiologic investigations in affected states are ongoing to better characterize the exposures, demographic, clinical, and laboratory features and behaviors of patients. All patients have reported using e-cigarette products. The exact number is currently unknown, but many patients have reported using e-cigarettes containing cannabinoid products such as THC or CBD.

Based on reports from several states, patients have experienced respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain), and some have also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) or non-specific constitutional symptoms (fatigue, fever, or weight loss). Symptoms typically develop over a period of days but sometimes can manifest over several weeks. Gastrointestinal symptoms sometimes preceded respiratory symptoms. Fever, tachycardia, and elevated white blood cell count have been reported in the absence of an identifiable infectious disease. Many patients have sought initial care in ambulatory settings, some with several visits, before hospital admission.

Radiologic findings have varied and are not present in all patients upon initial presentation. Bilateral pulmonary infiltrates and diffuse ground-glass opacities have been reported. Many patients required supplemental oxygen, some required assisted ventilation and oxygenation, and some were intubated. Some patients have been treated with corticosteroids with demonstrated improvement. Antimicrobial therapy alone has not consistently been associated with clinical improvement. Assessment for infectious etiologies has been completed in many patients without an identified infectious cause. Several patients from one state have been diagnosed with lipoid pneumonia based on clinical presentation and detection of lipids within bronchoalveolar lavage samples stained specifically to detect oil.

All patients have reported using e-cigarette products and the symptom onset has ranged from a few days to several weeks after e-cigarette use. Within two states, recent inhalation of cannabinoid products, THC or cannabidiol, have been reported in many of the patients. To date, no single substance or e-cigarette product has been consistently associated with illness. CDC is working closely with state health departments to facilitate collecting product specimens for testing at the U.S. FDA Forensic Chemistry Center.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Recommendations for Clinicians

1. Report cases of severe pulmonary disease of unclear etiology and history of e-cigarette product use within the past 90 days to your state or local health department. Reporting of cases may help CDC and state health departments determine the cause or causes of these pulmonary illnesses.

2.  Ask all patients who report e-cigarette product use within the last 90 days about signs and symptoms of pulmonary illness.

3.  If e-cigarette product use is suspected as a possible etiology of a patient’s severe pulmonary disease, obtain a detailed history regarding:

    • Substance(s) used: nicotine, cannabinoids (e.g., marijuana, THC, THC concentrates, CBD, CBD oil, synthetic cannabinoids [e.g., K2 or spice], hash oil, Dank vapes), flavors, or other substances
    • Substance source(s): commercially available liquids (i.e., bottles, cartridges, or pods), homemade liquids, and re-use of old cartridges or pods with homemade or commercially bought liquids
    • Device(s) used: manufacturer; brand name; product name; model; serial number of the product, device, or e-liquid; if the device can be customized by the user; and any product modifications by the user (e.g., exposure of the atomizer or heating coil)
    • Where the product(s) were purchased
    • Method of substance use: aerosolization, dabbing, or dripping
    • Other potential cases: sharing e-cigarette products (devices, liquids, refill pods, or cartridges) with others

4.  Determine if any remaining product, including devices and liquids, are available for testing. Testing can be coordinated with the local or state health departments.

5.  Consider all possible causes of illness in patients reporting respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms and of e-cigarette product use. Evaluate and treat for other possible causes of illness (e.g., infectious, rheumatologic, neoplastic) as clinically indicated. Consider consultation with specialists (pulmonary, infectious disease, critical care, medical toxicology) as appropriate.

6.  Clinical improvement of patients with severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette use has been reported with the use of corticosteroids. The decision to use corticosteroids should be made on a case-by-case basis based on risks and benefits and the likelihood of other etiologies.

7.  Lipoid pneumonia associated with inhalation of lipids in aerosols generated by e-cigarettes has been reported based on the detection of lipid-laden alveolar macrophages obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and lipid staining (e.g., oil red O). The decision about whether to perform a BAL should be based on individual clinical circumstances.

8.  Lung biopsies have been performed on some patients. If a lung biopsy is obtained, lipid staining may be considered during pathologic examination, and is best performed on fresh tissue. Routine pathology tissue processing (including formalin-fixation and paraffin-embedding) can remove lipids. Conducting routine tissue processing and histopathologic evaluation is still important. Consider consultation with specialists in pulmonary medicine and pathology to help inform any evaluation plan.

9.  Patients who have received treatment for severe pulmonary disease related to e-cigarette product use should undergo follow-up evaluation as clinically indicated to monitor pulmonary function.

Recommendations for the Public

  1. While this investigation is ongoing, if you are concerned about these specific health risks, consider refraining from using e-cigarette products.
  2. Regardless of the ongoing investigation, anyone who uses e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street (e.g., e-cigarette products with THC, other cannabinoids) and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
  3. Regardless of the ongoing investigation, e-cigarette products should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products. If you use e-cigarette products, monitor yourself for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health. CDC and FDA will continue to advise and alert the public as more information becomes available.
  4. Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications. If you who need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact your doctor.
  5. If you are concerned about harmful effects from e-cigarette products, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.
  6. We encourage the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected tobacco or e-cigarette-related health or product issues to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portal:https://www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov.

For More Information

  1. For assistance with managing patients suspected of illness related to recreational, illicit, or other drugs, call your local poison control center at: 1-800-222-1222.
  2. Information on electronic cigarettes and similar devices:https://www.cdc.gov/e-cigarettes
  3. CDC Press Statement: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2019/s0821-cdc-fda-states-e-cigarettes.html
  4. CDC Clinical Outreach and Communication Activity announcement:https://emergency.cdc.gov/newsletters/coca/081619.htm
  5. CDC’s National Syndromic Surveillance Program’s BioSense/ESSENCE:https://www.cdc.gov/nssp/index.html
  6. For more information, visit CDC Info:https://www.cdc.gov/cdc-info/index.html

References

Barrington-Trimis JL, Samet JM, McConnell R.Flavorings in electronic cigarettes: an unrecognized respiratory health hazard? JAMA. 2014;312(23):2493-4.https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1935097
Behar RZ, Davis B, Wang Y, Bahl V, Lin S, Talbot P.Identification of toxicants in cinnamon-flavored electronic cigarette refill fluids. Toxicol In Vitro. 2014;28(2):198-208.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24516877
Flower M, Nandakumar L, Singh M, Wyld D, Windsor M, Fielding D.Respiratory bronchiolitis-associated interstitial lung disease secondary to electronic nicotine delivery system use confirmed with open lung biopsy. Respirol Case Rep. 2017;5(3):e00230.https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/rcr2.230
Gerloff J, Sundar IK, Freter R, Sekera ER, Friedman AE, Robinson R, et al.Inflammatory Response and Barrier Dysfunction by Different e-Cigarette Flavoring Chemicals Identified by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry in e-Liquids and e-Vapors on Human Lung Epithelial Cells and Fibroblasts. Appl In Vitro Toxicol. 2017;3(1):28-40.https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/aivt.2016.0030
He T, Oks M, Esposito M, Steinberg H, Makaryus M.“Tree-in-Bloom”: Severe Acute Lung Injury Induced by Vaping Cannabis Oil. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2017;14(3):468-70.https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/10.1513/AnnalsATS.201612-974LE
Khan MS, Khateeb F, Akhtar J, Khan Z, Lal A, Kholodovych V, et al.Organizing pneumonia related to electronic cigarette use: A case report and review of literature. Clin Respir J. 2018;12(3):1295-9.https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/crj.12775
Kosmider L, Sobczak A, Prokopowicz A, Kurek J, Zaciera M, Knysak J, et al.Cherry-flavoured electronic cigarettes expose users to the inhalation irritant, benzaldehyde. Thorax. 2016;71(4):376-7.https://thorax.bmj.com/content/71/4/376

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protects people’s health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.

When to Seek Medical Help

Altus Emergency Centers offers minimal wait times, an onsite laboratory, and the most advanced imaging technology. Therefore, we can diagnose patients faster than traditional hospital-based ER’s.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

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

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

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

Could Your Abdominal Pain Be Appendicitis?

Could Your Abdominal Pain Be Appendicitis?

About 5 percent of Americans will experience abdominal pain caused by appendicitis sometime in their lives. 

Could you be one of them?

Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of appendicitis. Knowing how to recognize the signs could save your life or that of a loved one.

What is Appendicitis?

As the name suggests, appendicitis is the painful swelling of the appendix, which is a small thin pouch about 2-4 inches long.

The appendix is attached to the large intestine. While nobody knows what its function is, we do know that removing it is not harmful.

 

How common is Appendicitis?

Appendicitis is the most common abdominal pain-related emergency that requires surgery. As we mentioned before, about 5 percent of Americans will develop it.

 

What Causes Appendicitis?

The appendix can swell for several reasons, including:

  • It becomes blocked, either by hardened stool, a foreign body, or cancer
  • As a response to any infection in the body
  • Intestinal worms
  • Traumatic injury

 

Who is at Risk?

Teens and young adults are the ones most likely to develop appendicitis. However, the condition may occur at any age.

What are the Symptoms of Appendicitis?

Typical signs and symptoms of appendicitis include:

  • Sudden abdominal pain that can begin at:  the lower right abdomen or around the navel and later shifts to the lower right abdomen
  • Abdominal pain that gets worse when you cough or walk
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea and vomiting soon after abdominal pain begins
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever of 99°F – 102°F
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Constipation or diarrhea

 

About 50 percent of patients will also experience one or more of the following symptoms:

 

  • Sudden pain anywhere in the upper or lower abdomen, back, or rectum
  • Difficulty urinating or painful urination
  • Severe cramps
  • Vomiting that starts before the abdominal pain begins
  • Either constipation or diarrhea with gas
stomach pain woman

How Serious Is Appendicitis, and What Happens if It Is Not Treated?

Acute appendicitis is a severe and sudden condition, with symptoms usually developing over one or two days. 

If you suspect your abdominal pain is due to appendicitis, you need to seek immediate medical attention. 

When left untreated, you run the risk of having your appendix burst a condition known as peritonitis.  Peritonitis is a severe life-threatening condition caused by bacteria from your ruptured appendix spilling into your abdominal cavity.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

How is Appendicitis Diagnosed

Diagnosing appendicitis is not always easy because many of the symptoms are similar to those of other conditions. However, if you experience any severe abdominal pain, it’s a good idea to come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center, so we evaluate and diagnose you.

When you arrive at our center, if our doctors suspect you may have developed appendicitis, they will run some tests to diagnose you correctly. These tests include:

 

  • Abdominal Exam: During the examination, they will check for tenderness in the lower right part of your abdomen, as well as for any swelling or rigidity
  • Urine Test: This is done to rule out the possibility of your pain is caused by a urinary tract infection or kidney stones
  • Blood Test: A complete blood count test will tell our doctors if you have an infection
  • Abdominal Imaging Tests: These tests will help find any inflammation of your appendix. Our doctors may order one or more the following exams:
    • Abdominal Ultrasound
    • Abdominal X-Ray
    • Abdominal CT Scan

When to Seek Medical Help

Sudden severe abdominal pain is usually a red flag. If you suddenly develop any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should immediately head to the nearest Altus Emergency Center.

If we discover you do have appendicitis, we will stabilize you and arrange your transfer to the nearest qualified hospital for your surgery.

Thanks to our business alliances with ambulance services we can arrange transportation for you. In critical cases, we can also arrange to have you airlifted to the nearest hospital where a specialist will be waiting to prep you for surgery.

Timely diagnosis and treatment are crucial factors to avoid complications from appendicitis and to help save a patient’s life.

Altus Emergency Centers offers minimal wait times, an onsite laboratory, and the most advanced imaging technology. Therefore, we can diagnose patients faster than traditional hospital-based ER’s.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

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

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

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

Top Time-Sensitive Medical Emergencies

When Minutes Matter Don’t Risk Your Life!

Top Time-Sensitive Medical Emergencies

Accidents and sudden illnesses come without warning, and nobody ever expects to be in a situation where someone’s life is at stake.

We are vulnerable and could face a life-threatening medical condition at any moment. When this happens, it’s essential to know when a medical emergency is time-sensitive.

In this article, we will talk about some of the top time-sensitive medical emergencies. Because getting someone the medical attention they need, right away, can help save their life.

What is a Time-Sensitive Medical Emergency?

A time-sensitive emergency is a medical condition where fast treatment can make a big difference in the eventual outcome for a person.

Conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, and severe trauma are considered time-sensitive medical emergencies.

In these circumstances, the faster a patient receives medical attention, the better his chances of surviving are. Additionally, receiving fast treatment can also lower the risk of permanent disability.

List of Top Time-Sensitive Medical Emergencies

The following is a list of some of the most common time-sensitive medical emergencies.

Cardiac and Circulatory Medical Emergencies

  • Cardiac Arrest: This is when your heart suddenly stops. If not treated immediately the patient will die.
  • Heart Attack:  This occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart stops. It needs immediate medical attention. Otherwise, that section of the heart muscle starts to die.  The earlier the intervention, the less damage to the muscle, the greater chance the patient has to survive.

“Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.” – Heart.org

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis: A blood clot that forms within a deep vein, usually in the leg. If it breaks loose, it can travel through the bloodstream into the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism.  Symptoms include: 

Swelling, Pain or tenderness not caused by injury, Skin that is warm to the touch, Redness or discoloration of the skin.”

Source: StoptheClot.org

  • Heart Arrhythmia: An abnormal heartbeat. Symptoms include palpitations or feeling a pause in between pulses.  Seek immediate ER if accompanied by chest pain or pressure, you may be having a heart attack. 

If accompanied by face drooping, arm weakness, slurred speech, sudden severe headache, trouble seeing or walking, confusion, and/or sudden numbness, you could be having a stroke. 

Source: Heart.org

chest pain causes altus ER Texas

Neurological Medical Emergencies

  • Stroke: Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. However, some medications can reserve a stroke when given within the first three hours of the onset of symptoms.
  • Spinal Cord Injury: Acute spinal cord compression is a medical emergency that requires swift diagnosis and treatment. If not treated promptly, it can cause irreversible spinal cord injury and long-term disability.
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome: A rare disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves. The condition can eventually paralyze the whole body. According to the CDC:

“About two-thirds of people who develop GBS experience symptoms several days or weeks after they have been sick with diarrhea or a respiratory illness.”

severe headache Altus ER Texas

Trauma-Related Medical Emergencies

  • Traumatic Brain Injury: Serious traumatic brain injury requires immediate medical attention as they can result in long-term complications or death. Find out more about TBI.
  • Chest Injury: This includes any form of physical damage to the chest, including the ribs, heart, and lungs. Chest injuries account for a quarter of all deaths from traumatic injury. To increase survival rates, patients need immediate medical attention.
  • Profuse Bleeding: Wounds that results in uncontrolled bleeding can lead to a condition known as shock. Shock is a life-threatening medical emergency where the patient no longer has enough blood circulating in their body.  Read about Cuts and Scrapes.
car accident trauma emergency

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Gastrointestinal Medical Emergencies

  • Appendicitis: It happens when the appendix becomes inflamed. If the appendix bursts it can cause a potentially fatal condition known as peritonitis.  Symptoms may include:

Sharp pain in the lower right abdomen, appetite-loss, nausea and/or vomiting soon after abdominal pain begins, abdominal swelling, fever of 99-102 °F.

  • Intestinal Obstruction: A blockage that prevents food or liquid from passing through either the small intestine or large intestine (colon).

Without swift medical intervention, the blocked parts of the intestine can die, and lead to severe problems.

Environmental Medical Emergencies

  • Heat-Related Illnesses: Heatstroke, severe dehydration, and heat exhaustion are all potentially life-threatening conditions if not treated rapidly.
  • Electrical Injuries: Electric currents from lightening, household appliances, or power lines can travel through the body burning both internal and external tissues. Electrical shock can also damage internal organs and cause your heart to stop.
heat illness altus ER centers Texas

Infection and Infectious Disease Medical Emergencies

  • Bacterial Meningitis: The most dangerous type of meningitis, if not treated quickly it can lead to death or permanent disability.
  • Gas Gangrene: Gas gangrene, is a fast-spreading and potentially life-threatening form of gangrene caused by a bacterial infection.
  • Necrotizing Fasciitis: Commonly known as a flesh-eating disease this rare bacterial infection can spread quickly in the body and can cause death.
  • Sepsis: A potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to an infection. If left untreated, sepsis it will progress into septic shock and may lead to death.  Signs may include:

High heart rate, shivering, fever, confusion and disorientation, shortness of breath, extreme pain or discomfort, sweating or clamming skin.  Source:  CDC.gov.

What to Do in A Time-Sensitive Medical Emergency

Knowing what to do during a time-sensitive medical emergency can save your life or that of a loved one.

The best way to handle an emergency is to prepare ahead of time. Here is how you can create your emergency plan:

  • Create a Contact List: Create a Contact List: Make a list for your family of who to contact in case of an emergency.  Include emergency numbers such as 911, your doctor, family members, and Altus Emergency Centers.
  • Know Where to Go: Remember, time is of the essence in a medical emergency. Therefore, when possible, choose to receive treatment at an Altus Emergency Centers where there are no lines with No Wait Times through our Quick Online Check-In.
  • Review Your Insurance: By law, all insurance companies must offer emergency room coverage. However, it’s always a good idea to understand what and how much your insurance policy covers. Our Patient Advocate team is available to help you with this is you need it.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we always put the patients first. When you visit our facilities, you will have:

  • No Lines.
  • More time with your treating physicians.
  • Personalized high-quality treatment.

Don’t risk your life during a medical emergency; choose the best ER care for you and your loved ones.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

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

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

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

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🧸READY, EDDIE? Join us at the 🍂 Fall Fest 🍁 in Partnership with the N. P. Sims Library on Saturday, October 19, 2019, at 5 PM – 7 PM.

🎃 🍬🍭🍿 There will be games, crafts, candy, a costume contest and best of all, EDDIE the Teddy & Friends!

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