When to Go to an Emergency Room for Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections, as the name suggests, are infections that affect the urinary tract system. They can affect the bladder, the kidneys and the urethra. UTIs are very common in America and a lot of people confuse them with sexually transmitted infections which have almost the same symptoms.

Urinary tract infections can be very painful and invasive in life. They however are not as severe as sexually transmitted infections and will more often than not go away on their own. To help differentiate between STIs and UTIs, it is imperative to understand the symptoms, causes and preventive measures of the UTIs and know when to go to the emergency room for the urinary tract infections.

So, what causes urinary tract infections? Are the urinary tract infections transmittable? What are the symptoms of urinary tract infections that one should look out for? When should you go to the emergency room for urinary tract infections? How do emergency rooms treat urinary tract infections? Here is a quick guide on all you need to know about urinary tract infections;

Causes of Urinary Tract Infections

UTIs are caused by a bacteria that attacks the inner lining of the urinary tract. The bacterial infection often starts at the opening of the urethra and slowly advances upwards towards the kidneys. The farther up the urinary tract system that the infection gets, the more serious the infection becomes.

The most common cause of these urinary tract infections is the bacteria Escherichia Coli which is commonly referred to as E. coli. This is a bacteria that resides in the colon and around the anus. During sexual intercourse or owing to improper wiping of the anus, these bacteria can move to the opening of the urethra and attack the urinary tract.

Are urinary tract infections transmittable?

Yes, urinary tract infections can be transmitted from one individual to another during sexual intercourse. During sex, large numbers of the bacteria can be introduced into the bladder by the infected individual and this will mark the start of the infection.

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections

The symptoms of UTIs very from one individual to another. The severity of the infections depends on a number of things. People with weakened immunities for example, are at a higher risk that individuals with strong immunity. Men with enlarged prostates are at a higher risk as well.

The symptoms will also depend on whether the infection is in the upper or lower urinary tract infection. Here is a look at the most commonly reported symptoms of UTIs;

Upper Urinary Tract

Flank pain

Flank pain is associated with kidney problems. Flank pain is felt on the side of the abdomen close to where the kidneys are located. When the flank pain gets severe, it means that the UTI has affected the kidney and you need to get emergency medical care.

Nausea and vomiting

If the flank pain is accompanied by nausea and vomiting, then this should be indicative of a full blown urinary tract infection in the upper urinary tract. Vomiting becomes frequent when the kidney is greatly affected and if the infection is not treated, it can lead to kidney failure and possible death.

Lower urinary tract infection

Urinary urgency

There is an urge to pass urine more often. Even when the urine amounts are very little, you’ll feel an irresistible urge to pass urine. Experts claim that this is the body’s cleaning mechanism and it tries to pass as much urine as possible to flush out the bacteria.

Cloudy and bloody urine

Some people report a cloudy and bloody urine when the UTI becomes a little chronic. Blood stains in blood are as a result of the bacteria attacking the interior lining of the urinary tract.

Dysuria

Dysuria is a burning sensation experienced when passing urine. This sensation is as a result of the interior lining of the urinary tract being attacked by the bacteria.

Chills and fever

There is a general feeling of cold, chills and mild fever.

When to go to the emergency room for urinary tract infections

If you start experiencing flank pains accompanied by constant fevers, it is wise to go to the emergency room and get checked. Although UTIs are relatively harmless, they can affect the urinary system and potentially lead to kidney failure. UTIs also make one uncomfortable and it is only wise to go and get instant medical care from the nearest emergency room.

How do emergency rooms treat UTIs?

Antibiotics treat both the simple and complicated urinary tract infections. The healing period will be determined by the severity of the infection. Some of the most commonly used antibiotics include amoxicillin, Macroboid, Ciprofloxacin, and trimethoprim.

If you are in Bellaire and are suspecting that you are suffering from UTIs, give us a call here at Bellaire Emergency Room or head down for proper diagnosis and instant treatment. UTIs can be invasive and can affect the way we go about our daily activities-Don’t let them get in the way of your life, seek medical attention today!

When to Go to an Emergency Room for Strep Throat

There is nothing more invasive than a strep throat. A strep throat makes your throat very sore and generally ruins your day. A lot of people report their strep throats to emergency rooms but very few people actually know about the causes of their sore throats or ways through which they can prevent future occurrences.

What is strep throat?

Strep throat is a common bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the throat making it very sore and painful. The inflammation is more often than not caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria and this explains the origin of the infection’s name.

Although strep throat is common in young children, it can affect even adults. It is highly contagious and spreads through a demographic in record time. As earlier on mentioned, the infection accounts for a very large number of emergency visits in America. In America, there are more than 20 million annual reported cases of strep throat.

What are the symptoms of strep throat?

The type and severity of strep throat symptoms varies from one individual to another. Some people experience mild symptoms like a simple sore throat and are able to go on with their daily activities while others are completely grounded by the same strep throat. Here are some of the most common symptoms of strep throat that you should look out for;

Fever

A sudden unexplained fever especially above 100 degree Fahrenheit, should be the first warning sign that something is wrong. Fever is the body’s way of communicating to you that something is amiss somewhere and you should therefore be wary of the signs and symptoms you are experiencing.

A sore throat

The most basic indicator of a strep throat, is a sore throat. This is caused by the inflammation of the throat by the Streptococcus bacteria. The sore throat makes it very difficult to swallow anything and will generally feel very dry and painful.

Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

If you are experiencing a sore throat accompanied by swollen lymph nodes in the neck, then you could be suffering from a strep throat. Lymph nodes are a very part of the body’s defense system against diseases. The nodes filter lymph fluid as it flows through and will trap any bacteria, viruses or any other foreign body. If you are suffering from strep throat therefore, the foreign bacteria will be trapped by the nodes and this will cause the swelling.

Headaches

Some people complain of headaches when suffering from strep throat. This is attributed to the lack of enough hydration in the body. Strep throats make it very hard to drink water and therefore chances of dehydration are very high.

Loss of appetite

As expected, strep throat will come in the way of food and will affect your appetite. With the throat inflamed, it becomes difficult for food to pass down the throat and there is an eventual loss of appetite.

Is strep throat contagious?

Yes, strep throat is highly contagious and will spread like a wildfire. Through coughing and sneezing, it is very easy to pass the infection one person to another especially in crowded areas. This explains why the infection spreads very quickly among school going children. To avoid further spread of the infection, the infected should cover their mouths when coughing and sneeze using a handkerchief. It is important to avoid crowded places when there is an outbreak of strep throat as this reduces the chance of contracting the infection.

When should you go to the emergency room for strep throat?

Strep throat is relatively harmless and it most of the time heals on its own. Some forms of the disease are however very invasive and can last more than 3 days. If the symptoms last anything more than 3 days, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. If there are red splotches on your tonsils especially, you should act swiftly and head to an emergency room because the splotches are indicative of a serious form of strep throat.

How do emergency rooms treat strep throat?

If you are diagnosed with a strep throat, then your physician will prescribe antibiotics to help treat the infection. The most commonly used antibiotics in emergency rooms include amoxicillin and penicillin.

Drinking warm tea liquids, sucking on throat lozenges and gargling salty solutions are some of the most common home remedies which can help cure strep throats and you should try them before thinking about seeing a physician.

If you are in and around Texas and are suffering from invasive strep throat which is coming in the way of your daily activities, then give us a call here at Bellaire emergency room or visit our facility in Bellaire and we will give you the medical attention you require. We offer high quality medical care for strep throats and other medical emergencies at a very fair rate. For more information on our services, give us a call or visit our offices here in Bellaire and we will gladly be of help.

When to Go to an Emergency Room for Stomach Flu

Stomach flu or gastroenteritis is a common disease which accounts for a good number of the emergency room visits to our facility here at Bellaire emergency room. A lot of people reporting stomach flu confuse it with just a normal stomachache and don’t normally know how they got the infection.

Because of the recent rise in the number of stomach flu that have been reported to our emergency room, we thought it wise to address the disease’s cause, symptoms, prevention measures and when it is right to report stomach flu to the emergency room. Understanding these things will help you differentiate stomach flu from the other related infections and help you seek medical care as soon as possible when you are affected. So, what is stomach flu?

Stomach flu

Stomach flu or gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the various parts of the gastrointestinal tract caused by viral infections. The Norovirus belongs to a family of viruses that spreads very quickly and this makes stomach flu very contagious. In the U.S states, the stomach flu is estimated to affect more than 10o million people per year but luckily only 2% of these 100million people require hospitalization.

A lot of people confuse food poisoning with stomach flu. Whereas stomach flu is caused by a virus, food poisoning is caused by ingesting contaminated foods. Just like stomach flu though, food poisoning cases spread especially if people share the food and it is therefore very easy for one to confuse it with stomach flu.

Symptoms of stomach flu

Here are the most common signs and symptoms that are indicative of stomach flu;

Diarrhea

The primary sign and symptom of stomach flu is diarrhea. If you start experiencing non-bloody diarrhea which keeps getting worse by day, you should get medical help as soon as possible as this is indicative of potential stomach flu.

Nausea and vomiting

The other common symptom of stomach flu that accompanies diarrhea is sickening nausea and occasional vomiting. Some people complain of abdominal cramping when vomiting but it is not a common symptom in everyone. The occasional vomiting is very helpful when it comes to distinguishing food poisoning from stomach flu because in food poisoning, the vomiting is consistent.

Mild fever and chills

The stomach flu will also lead to a mild fever accompanied by chills and some sweating. Fever or a raise in the body temperature, is the body’s way of reporting that there is something wrong in the system and in the case of stomach flu, the body temperature is about 37.78 degrees Celsius.

Headaches

Some people complain of severe headache when suffering from stomach flu. The headaches are caused by the severe dehydration that comes from excessive loss of water through vomiting and severe diarrhea. The symptom is however not common in all patients.

Bloody diarrhea

In cases where the gastrointestinal inflammation is caused by a bacteria, then the stool will be stained with blood resulting from hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. Presence of blood or lack of thereof, should help you distinguish viral gastrointestinal infections from bacterial gastrointestinal infections.

The symptoms of stomach flu last anything from 2 days to 5 days.

How is the stomach flu spread?

The most common way through which stomach flu is spread is by direct contact with fecal matter of an infected individual. The individual could be an adult or an infant. The other way is through indirect contact with fecal matter where you touch a surface that is contaminated and then touching your mouth or touching food.

Is stomach flu deadly?

A lot of the forms of stomach flu that are experienced in America are relatively harmless and will go away on their own. As earlier on mentioned, of more than 100 million people that interact with the infection, only about 2% require treatment. Majority of the people’s immunities are able to counter the viral infection and the gastroenteritis will go away on its own.

When should you go to the emergency room for stomach flu?

Although stomach flu is relative harmless, prolonged symptoms of the infection should prompt you to visit the emergency room as soon as possible. If the symptoms are severe and they last anything more than 3 days, you should seek urgent medical care for treatment.

Stomach flu is treatable and will heal in no time. Using medication like promethazine, prochloperazine and Zofran, physicians are able to suppress the symptoms like vomiting and severe diarrhea and the stomach flu will eventually go away.

Here at Bellaire Emergency Room, we receive numerous cases of stomach flu every year and know all too well how to treat the infections. If you are in Bellaire, Texas and are suspecting that you have contracted the infection, give us a call or visit our emergency room and we will give you the relevant treatment.

We offer high quality treatment not just for stomach flu but other medical emergencies as well. Give us a call or visit our facility in Bellaire for more information on our services.

When to Go to an Emergency Room for a Pink Eye

If you have never suffered from a pink eye, then you know a friend or a relative that has suffered from the irritating condition. A pink eye, is the swelling and reddening of the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane of the eyelid.

The conjunctiva is normally clear but if there is an irritation or an infection, it becomes red and swollen and hence the name pink eye or conjunctivitis. Pink eye is a very common infection in America today and accounts for more than a million visits to the emergency room annually.

Although it is relatively harmless condition, conjunctivitis is invasive and will affect the way you go about your daily activities. See, a pink eye will literally raise eyebrows as very many people will be looking at your odd looking eye. The dry also makes you want to scratch your eye from time to time and this affects your concentration and ability to get things done quickly.

Causes of conjunctivitis

Infections to the conjunctiva caused by viruses and bacteria. These viruses and bacteria cause inflammation and swelling of the conjunctiva which is proceeded by dryness and itchiness. The eye eventually changes color as the conjunctiva becomes reddish.
The other cause of pink eyes is lack of enough tears in the eyes. Tears are important in keeping the conjunctiva supple and moist. Lack of enough tear production caused by exposure to too much wind or too much time spent in the sun can cause the eyes to be dry and eventually become inflamed.
Chemicals are also capable of causing conjunctivitis. Some chemicals, fumes and smokes result in the irritation of the eye and the moist conjunctiva becomes dry and swollen.
Allergies have also been found to cause irritation of the eye.

Is pink eye contagious?

The viral and bacterial pink eye, is highly contagious and will spread in no time. Viral pink eyes are especially very contagious and the slightest interaction with the virus causing the infection, will result to irritation of the eye.

To prevent spreading of conjunctivitis, you should ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and avoid sharing personal items like towels and washcloths which are likely to carry the viruses causing conjunctivitis.

Symptoms of viral conjunctivitis

Itching of the eyelids

If your eyelids are itchy or have a burning feeling, then you are most likely suffering from a viral pink eye. The burning sensation will prompt you to keep scratching your eye lids and this only makes the eyes even redder.

Redness in the conjunctiva

The conjunctiva of the eye is normally clear or white in color. If it begins reddening therefore, you should be warned because it could be indicative of a viral conjunctiva. Sometimes it takes a few days before the eye becomes red enough for you to notice the change in color.

Swollen and tender areas in front of ears

If itchy eyes are accompanied by swelling of the areas in front of ears, then you should report this to the nearest emergency room as this is indicative of a viral infection. The areas in front of the ears have lymph nodes and they are very important in trapping foreign objects and bacteria in the body. If they are swollen therefore, it means that you are suffering from a viral infection.

A lot of tearing

In an attempt to keep the conjunctiva supple and counter the dryness, your eyes will try and produce as much tears as possible. Your eyes are therefore going to look teary and wet at all times.

Clear thick, whitish drainage

If after sleeping your eyes have a thick, whitish discharge, then you should seek medical attention as this is indicative of a viral infection. The drainage is released by the eyes in an effort to keep the eyes supple and counter the irritation.

When to go to the emergency room for pink eyes

As earlier on mentioned, pink eyes are relatively harmless and will more often than not go away on their own. In some cases though, the viral pink eye can last more than a week and becomes chronic. If your pink eye lasts anything more than 5 days, you need to visit the nearest emergency room for urgent medical care.

Ignoring the viral pink eye puts your eyes in jeopardy and can potentially affect your vision.

How is a pink eye treated?

There is no current form of treatment for viral pink eye but there are special serums and gels that are applied to keep the conjunctiva supple as the body fights off the viral infection. In cases where the pink eye is caused by herpes, then some antiviral medicine is used to treat the pink eyes.

If you are in Texas and are suspecting that you are suffering from pink eye, head over to Bellaire Emergency Room here in Bellaire and we will provide you with the best possible care for your pink eye. We not only offer treatment for pink eyes but provide our patients with free information on how to stay safe from future infections.

When to Go to an Emergency Room for Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

If you suffer from allergies and asthma, then you must be conversant with the difficulties in breathing. Breathing problems are however not exclusive to people with asthma and allergies, they can affect anyone and it is important for everyone to understand the breathing complication, accurate medical diagnosis and effect treatment to help you be in control of the problems.

The first step towards understanding your breathing problems, is understanding the causes of the breathing problems, identifying the symptoms of the breathing problems and understanding the perfect medication. So, what causes breathing problems?

What causes breathing problems?

Allergies There are several causes of breathing problems but the most common causes are allergies and asthma attacks. People with allergies experience difficulties breathing when they are exposed to the agents that trigger their allergies. These include pollen grains, dust, chemical fumes and some scents.

Asthma

Asthmatic people also suffer from breathing problems as well. Asthma attacks are among the leading causes of emergency room visits in America. They account for more than 15% of all the emergency room visits in America. The beauty of these attacks though is the fact that they are treated in just minutes and the patients are released.

The susceptibility to asthma attacks is also thought to be hereditary and will be passed down generations. Such people generally don’t have the best immunities and will easily be attacked by other viral infections. The common causes that trigger asthma attacks are pretty universal. These include tobacco smoke, dust mites, pollen, cold air, some foods and even air pollution. Some people are affected by only a couple of these triggers while others are affected by all of them.

Sinusitis

The other common cause of breathing problems, is sinusitis. Sinusitis, is the inflammation or swelling of the inner lining of the sinuses. When the sinuses become filled with fluid, germs can easily accumulate and cause the inflammation of the tissue lining the sinuses.

Now that we have seen the most common causes of breathing problems, what are some of the symptoms and signs to look out for? When should you go to the emergency room for breathing problems?

Signs and symptoms of breathing problems

Nasal congestion

One common indicator of breathing problems, is the nasal congestion that makes it very difficult to breathe in and out of your nose properly. The nasal congestion makes it feel like your nose is blocked and you struggle to catch a breath.

Chest congestion

The other common symptom associated with breathing difficulties, is the chest congestion. The chest feels heavier than normal and it requires more energy to simply breathe in and out.

Itchy and watery eyes

The other symptom to look out for, is watery and itchy eyes. People with asthma and coughing problems are especially more likely to experience this symptom.

Runny nose

A runny nose is normally associated with a simple cold and it could be indicative of a deeper underlying problem in your respiratory system. The running nose is as a result of increased mucus production to help warm the air inhaled. Cold air, irritates the internal linings of the breathing system and the body tries to produce as much mucus as possible to warm the incoming air.

Wheezing

Wheezing is a condition where one makes a high-pitched whistling sound when breathing out. Wheezing is indicative of a problem in your respiratory system and could be as a result of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Constant coughing

Breathing problems can also result in persistent coughing. The coughing is meant to quickly expel any foreign bodies in the respiratory tract and clear the airways.

When should you go to the emergency room for breathing problems?

If your breathing problems last more than 3 days, you need to immediately report the same to the nearest emergency room for medical attention. Although some of the breathing problems are caused by relatively harmless flus and colds, some of the problems are as a result of serious asthmatic attacks and if left untreated, they can be fatal or cause serious complications in your body.

How do emergency rooms treat breathing problems?

Depending on the cause of the breathing problems, there are various means through which emergency rooms treat the breathing problems. Emergency rooms administer medication to help clear the airways and make it easy to breathe. There are antihistamines and decongestants which are given to asthmatic people and others with congested respiratory systems, to help them breathe with ease.

If you are in Bellaire and are struggling with breathing problems, head down to Bellaire emergency room for the best diagnosis and medication. We offer the best emergency room services in the area and will help you regain your normal, effortless breathing through our quality medication. Choose Bellaire Emergency Room in Houston for the best emergency room services.

What is a Freestanding Emergency Room

Unknown to many, there are various types of emergency rooms in the United States. A lot of people are oblivious to this fact because they often receive the same type of care from whatever emergency room they walk into and therefore don’t bother to know the differences between the various institutions.

Due to the rise in demand for more high quality healthcare options, emergency rooms have been popping up everywhere. Literally every corner has an emergency room in the United States. A recent change in the licensing policies has given rise to a new crop of healthcare facilities which have brought much needed healthcare serviUnknown to many, there are various types of emergency rooms in the United States. A lot of people are oblivious to this fact because they often receive the same type of care from whatever emergency room they walk into and therefore don’t bother to know the differences between the various institutions.

Due to the rise in demand for more high quality healthcare options, emergency rooms have been popping up everywhere. Literally every corner has an emergency room in the United States. A recent change in the licensing policies has given rise to a new crop of healthcare facilities which have brought much needed healthcare services closer to people.

A good example of the new crop of healthcare facilities that have revolutionized the way Americans respond to emergencies, are the freestanding emergency rooms. Freestanding emergencies have been on the rise in America in the past ten years and in all fairness, they haven’t received the attention and appreciation that they deserve. So, what are freestanding emergency rooms? What makes them different from traditional hospital emergency departments? What medical services are offered in freestanding emergency rooms? Why should freestanding emergency rooms receive more appreciation than they are getting right now?

What are freestanding emergency rooms?

Freestanding emergency rooms are medical emergency facilities which are structurally separate and distinct from a hospital but offer similar emergency care as a traditional emergency room. Depending on the ownership of the freestanding emergency room, it can either be a hospital outpatient department or an independent emergency center.

Hospital outpatient departments

Hospital outpatient departments or satellite emergency departments as they are referred to as in some states, are owned and run by hospitals and medical centers but are structurally separated from the main hospital facility. These are emergency rooms which are built close to neighborhoods to bring emergency services closer to people-especially if the main hospital facilities are a quite far from the people who need the services.

Independent freestanding emergency centers

Independent freestanding emergency centers on the other hand, are run and owned by individuals or business groups. This category of emergency rooms is the biggest beneficiary of the recent change in policies governing the ownership of medical facilities. Previously, the ownership and management of emergency departments in America was exclusively reserved for registered hospitals and individual could not get the relevant licensing to run such facilities in states.

Although some states don’t address the licensing rules for independent freestanding emergency rooms, a lot of states have created a licensing criteria to govern the independent emergency centers on condition that they follow the laid down rules by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act.

For a facility to qualify as a freestanding emergency department in the United States therefore, it should satisfy the following conditions;

It should be available 24 hours a day all year round
It should be staffed by qualified, licensed and board certified medical practitioners
There should be adequate medical and nursing personnel to meet the stipulated emergency procedures and needs.
The facility should have policy and procedures to give provision for efficient transfers to higher levels of care when need arises
The facility should be equipped with the basic equipment required to respond to emergencies and competently handle the medical conditions brought forth.

So, now that we have seen what freestanding emergency rooms are, what makes them different from the traditional hospital emergency department? Here is a look at some of the most notable differences between hospital emergency departments and freestanding emergency rooms.

Differences between hospital emergency departments and freestanding emergency rooms

Location

As earlier on mentioned, freestanding emergency rooms are physically separated from the main hospital structures. They are detached from the hospital completely and are situated in a totally different location.

Immediacy of care

Since freestanding emergency rooms are located closer to people, they can be easily accessed by people in need of quick and urgent care and therefore tend to offer immediate care when need arises.

Speed of service delivered

Since freestanding emergency rooms are a separate entity from the hospital itself, the check in and check out processes are quicker and hassle-free. Unlike hospital emergency departments where patient information needs to be shared from one department to another, freestanding emergency rooms operate independently and tend to offer quicker services.

Why freestanding emergency rooms deserve more recognition

They have brought 24/7 care closer to people.
They have made it easier for everyone to access medical care. Areas which were a far distance out from hospitals, can now access medical care right from the freestanding emergency rooms
They have revolutionized the way we respond to medical emergencies. Nowadays, most of the medical emergencies are reported because the facilities are now closer. This reporting of every medical emergency has in turn improved the medical standards in the country.

We at Bellaire Emergency Room in Texas, are a good example of a freestanding emergency room changing people’s lives. We offer high quality medical emergency care to the locals at an affordable rate and the next time you are in an emergency, you should not hesitate to give us a call.

For more information on our services, give us a call today or visit our offices in Bellaire, next to Galleria and we will gladly welcome you to the large Bellaire Emergency Room Family.
ces closer to people.

A good example of the new crop of healthcare facilities that have revolutionized the way Americans respond to emergencies, are the freestanding emergency rooms. Freestanding emergencies have been on the rise in America in the past ten years and in all fairness, they haven’t received the attention and appreciation that they deserve. So, what are freestanding emergency rooms? What makes them different from traditional hospital emergency departments? What medical services are offered in freestanding emergency rooms? Why should freestanding emergency rooms receive more appreciation than they are getting right now?

What are freestanding emergency rooms?

Freestanding emergency rooms are medical emergency facilities which are structurally separate and distinct from a hospital but offer similar emergency care as a traditional emergency room. Depending on the ownership of the freestanding emergency room, it can either be a hospital outpatient department or an independent emergency center.

Hospital outpatient departments

Hospital outpatient departments or satellite emergency departments as they are referred to as in some states, are owned and run by hospitals and medical centers but are structurally separated from the main hospital facility. These are emergency rooms which are built close to neighborhoods to bring emergency services closer to people-especially if the main hospital facilities are a quite far from the people who need the services.

Independent freestanding emergency centers

Independent freestanding emergency centers on the other hand, are run and owned by individuals or business groups. This category of emergency rooms is the biggest beneficiary of the recent change in policies governing the ownership of medical facilities. Previously, the ownership and management of emergency departments in America was exclusively reserved for registered hospitals and individual could not get the relevant licensing to run such facilities in states.

Although some states don’t address the licensing rules for independent freestanding emergency rooms, a lot of states have created a licensing criteria to govern the independent emergency centers on condition that they follow the laid down rules by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act.

For a facility to qualify as a freestanding emergency department in the United States therefore, it should satisfy the following conditions;

It should be available 24 hours a day all year round
It should be staffed by qualified, licensed and board certified medical practitioners
There should be adequate medical and nursing personnel to meet the stipulated emergency procedures and needs.
The facility should have policy and procedures to give provision for efficient transfers to higher levels of care when need arises
The facility should be equipped with the basic equipment required to respond to emergencies and competently handle the medical conditions brought forth.

So, now that we have seen what freestanding emergency rooms are, what makes them different from the traditional hospital emergency department? Here is a look at some of the most notable differences between hospital emergency departments and freestanding emergency rooms.

Differences between hospital emergency departments and freestanding emergency rooms

Location

As earlier on mentioned, freestanding emergency rooms are physically separated from the main hospital structures. They are detached from the hospital completely and are situated in a totally different location.

Immediacy of care

Since freestanding emergency rooms are located closer to people, they can be easily accessed by people in need of quick and urgent care and therefore tend to offer immediate care when need arises.

Speed of service delivered

Since freestanding emergency rooms are a separate entity from the hospital itself, the check in and check out processes are quicker and hassle-free. Unlike hospital emergency departments where patient information needs to be shared from one department to another, freestanding emergency rooms operate independently and tend to offer quicker services.

Why freestanding emergency rooms deserve more recognition

They have brought 24/7 care closer to people.
They have made it easier for everyone to access medical care. Areas which were a far distance out from hospitals, can now access medical care right from the freestanding emergency rooms
They have revolutionized the way we respond to medical emergencies. Nowadays, most of the medical emergencies are reported because the facilities are now closer. This reporting of every medical emergency has in turn improved the medical standards in the country.

We at Bellaire Emergency Room in Texas, are a good example of a freestanding emergency room changing people’s lives. We offer high quality medical emergency care to the locals at an affordable rate and the next time you are in an emergency, you should not hesitate to give us a call.

For more information on our services, give us a call today or visit our offices in Bellaire, next to Galleria and we will gladly welcome you to the large Bellaire Emergency Room Family.

What are Benefits of a Freestanding Emergency Room

Freestanding emergency rooms have been on the rise in America and their rise has not been a fluke. They have been hailed as a better alternative to the likes of traditional emergency departments and urgent care centers.

Freestanding emergency rooms have not only grown in numbers but in popularity as well and today, we want to take a look at why a lot of people are falling in love with these emergency rooms in America. What are some of the advantages of freestanding emergency rooms? Why should you look forward to visiting a freestanding emergency room the next time you have a medical emergency? Here are 5 advantages of freestanding emergency rooms;

Advantages of freestanding emergency rooms

Quality care independent of hospital politics

Unknown to many, hospital emergency departments, suffer from a lot of affair meddling from other departments of the hospitals and this affects the quality of care provided. See, the success of the emergency department is dependent on the corporation of the other departments in the hospital. If the other departments are sluggish in their service delivery, the emergency department will be affected as well.

Freestanding emergency rooms on the other hand, operate independently and therefore there is no meddling of affairs by any other department. This gives the physicians and nurses to concentrate on their duties and deliver high quality results.

Shorter waiting times

Traditional emergency rooms have earned themselves a bad reputation for making patients wait in line for too long. Although some of this waiting is down to inevitable reasons, negligence and lack of proper facilities are some of the avoidable reasons which make people wait for too long in line.

In freestanding emergency rooms like Bellaire Emergency Room for example, the staff are always on hand to serve the patients streaming in and the waiting times here are very short. The average waiting time in our facility for example is below 7 minutes while that of traditional hospital emergency departments is estimated to be about 30 minutes. If you need quicker medical services therefore, a freestanding emergency room should be your priority.

Closer to people

The other advantage of freestanding emergency rooms is the fact that they are located closer to neighborhoods and are therefore accessible to most people. In the past few years, the only real option one had in case of an emergency was the hospital’s emergency department and a lot of hospitals were a fair distance out. This meant that a lot of medical emergencies ended up unreported.

Thanks to freestanding emergency rooms coming closer to the people, reporting medical emergencies has become easier than ever. People can access the medical care services whenever they need them and this has consequently improved the health standards in the country.

Open 24/7 365 days a year

The beauty of a freestanding emergency room is that you won’t have to worry about finding it closed at night or during national holidays. We all know that clinics, doctor’s offices and other medical facilities operate within a limited number of hours and are not always available.

As for freestanding emergency rooms though, you are assured that you will find the urgent medical care you require irrespective of the hour or day that you visit the facility. These emergency rooms are staffed and equipped to operate for 24 hours a day, seven days a week all year long. The next time you have a medical emergency therefore, don’t take any gamble, visit a freestanding emergency room where you are assured of getting the medical care that you need.

Staffed and equipped for every possible medical emergency

The other advantage of choosing a freestanding emergency room over an urgent care for example, is that you are assured of getting quality medical care from qualified medical practitioners at all times. Although urgent care centers are staffed by physicians, a lot of the time they are run by nurses and assistant physicians. Furthermore, these facilities are not as well-equipped and will not competently handle a number of the medical emergencies.

Freestanding emergency rooms on the other hand, are staffed by board-certified physicians and registered nurses. At all times, you are guaranteed of seeing a physician and getting high quality medical care. These emergency rooms are also properly equipped and have the necessary medical facilities and equipment to handle every possible medical condition.

If you are in Bellaire and are wondering whether an emergency room would be appropriate for your medical care, then give us a call here at Bellaire Emergency Room and we will give you a reason to choose us always.

We offer high quality, around the clock medical care to our patients at a fair rate. We accept most of the major medical insurances in the area and other payment methods. For more information on our services, give us a call today or visit our facility in Bellaire near Galleria and we will gladly be of help.

Notable Facts About Breast Cancer in the United States

A few years ago, HIV/AIDS was the most dreaded disease in the United States and around the world. Although it remains to be a global pandemic, HIV has lost the battle to cancer as the most dreaded disease in the world and it is easy to see why.

Although both of the diseases are absolute nightmares, cancer is pretty much the more difficult to deal with. HIV prognosis is good with antiretroviral treatment and as long as the viral load is kept low, the patient can lead a normal live for a very long time. Cancer on the other hand, has very many local complications including tumors, metastasis, low immunity, endless chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions.

Although there has been slight progress in the fight against cancer, it is still one of the leading causes of deaths in America and it deserves all the media attention that it gets all year round. To help put into perspective how widespread and just how deadly cancer is, we have taken a look at some of the latest statics concerning breast cancer in the United States.

Breast Cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the world and its statistics in the United States, are the perfect reflection of the state of Cancer not just in the country, but in the entire world. Here are notable facts about breast cancer in the United States as provided by the National Cancer Institute;

Notable Facts about Breast Cancer in the United States

1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime

According to the National Cancer Institute, the current statistics show that 1 in every 8 women will be diagnosed will be diagnosed with Cancer in their lifetime. This is an increase from the past numbers that we presented ten years which showed that 1 in every 14 women would be diagnosed with the dreaded breast cancer in their lifetime. This increase in cancer patients is down to the lifestyle.

More than 90% of all breast cancers occur in women above 40 years old

A lot of the reported breast cancer cases in the US are in women above 40 years and above. Actually, only 7% of all the reported cancer cases were below 38 years which goes to show the prevalence of the disease in older women. Older women are therefore encourage to go for screening as often as possible to help reduce the chances of the disease developing to dangerous levels.

Mammograms help reduce number of deaths by 30% to 50%

A simple mammogram can help reduce the chances of dying from breast cancer by 30 to 40%. This is why the government and other institutions have stepped up campaigns asking women above 30 years old to go get mammograms.

More than 40,000 women died from breast cancer in 2016

Despite the improved medical facilities and chemotherapy centers in the country, the number of women dying from cancer every year, is still very high. More than 40, 000 people succumbed to breast cancer related complications in 2016 and this marks a 5% decrease from 2013 when about 41,800 women died from cancer related complications.

Breast cancer deaths have been on the decline in the US since 1990

Thanks to sensitization programs, increased awareness, advanced research, earlier screening and better treatment options, the number of deaths from breast cancer in the US has been on the decline. The numbers are projected to decrease even further and the national goal is to get under 10,000 deaths from breast cancer by the year 2026.

Breast Cancer is the second leading cause of deaths among women

Breast cancer is only second to unintentional injury when it comes to causes of death in women aged between 18-44 years. Cancer beats the likes of heart diseases other deadly diseases and this goes to show how gruesome the disease is in the U.S and other parts of the world.

There are 3 million breast cancer survivors in the United States

In the United States today, there are close to 3 million survivors of breast cancer. This is the largest group of cancer survivors and this is a pointer that if the medical options are improved even further, then we can beat this monster eventually.

The chances of a man suffering from breast cancer are about 1 in 1000

Breast cancer is no exclusive to women as there has been cases of men suffering and even succumbing to breast cancer related complications. Although the chances are very low, it is estimated that there will be 2,500 new cases of invasive breast cancer in men in the next 5 years.

As part of the combined effort to combat breast cancer, here at Bellaire Emergency Room, we offer the best imaging services and will be quick to report any suspicious symptoms regarding to breast cancer.
We always encourage our patients to get mammograms and seek early medical attention whenever they suspect something is wrong and together we believe that we can fight this menacing problem. For more information on our efforts to combat breast cancer, give us a call today or visit our offices today in Bellaire.

Know When you Need a Doctor After Being Bitten by a Spider

We all dread spiders. They might look like relatively harmless creatures but if you get in their way, they will not hesitate to strike you and bite you. Although spider bites in the United States are very rare, they are accompanied with devastating consequences especially if they are not given proper medication.

There are more then 40,000 species of spiders found in the United States but only about 0.1% of these species are capable of biting and causing harm to humans. Actually, only two spiders that are native to the U.S can do any harm when they bite an individual. These are the black widows and the brown recluses which are very rare to come across. It is therefore not surprising that some people are comfortable enough to pet the fascinating creatures- a lot of them are harmless.

If you, just like me are scared of spiders and would love to stay safe from spider bites, then this guide will help you to identify the symptoms of spider bites, how to immediately deal with a spider bite and when to report a spider bite to an emergency room. Here is all you need to know about spider bites;

Most of the other species are relatively harmless

As early on mentioned, only a few species of spiders are capable of causing any harm after a bite; the brown recluses, hobo spiders and black widows. The other spiders are not any poisonous and even if they tried to bite you, their fangs are too weak and will not penetrate your skin to inject their venom. So, how can you tell that you have been bitten by a dangerous spider?

Symptoms of a poisonous spider bite

Sharp pain

Immediately after a poisonous spider bite, there will be a very painful sensation at the point of penetration. The pain is down to the puncturing of the skin as the spider penetrates to inject its venom.

Swelling at the site of the bite

Besides the pain, there will be swelling at the site of the bite. The swelling is as a result of the body sending antibodies to try and counter the foreign substance that has been injected into the body.

Severe stomach pains and cramps

Just like when someone gets bitten by a poisonous snakes, a spider bite will be accompanied by stomach pains and cramps of the abdominal muscles. The venom from the spider causes rapid muscle contractions and is responsible for the cramps.

Nausea and vomiting

The other symptom that should help you identify a poisonous spider bite, is the constant vomiting and sickening nausea that accompanies the bite. The poison injected into the blood stream, affects brain activity and will cause the stomach upsets and rapid vomiting. The nausea is normally accompanied by blurred vision and if you don’t get urgent medical care, you could lose your life after a few hours.

Headache and profuse sweating

The other symptom that accompanies poisonous spider bites, is the profuse sweating and throbbing headaches. The sweating is down to the induced fever which is the body’s response to the injection of a foreign toxic substance and the headache is related to the alteration of brain activity by the injected venom.

Swollen lymph nodes

Lymph nodes are crucial in the body’s defense mechanism. They help filter out fluid flowing through them and traps any foreign pathogens. If you are experiencing swollen or soft lymph nodes, it means that there is an accumulation of fluids and this is indicative of presence of venom in your system and you need to rush to the nearest emergency room and get urgent medical care.

High blood pressure

The other symptom of venomous spider bites is the fact that they will result in an increase in the blood pressure. There will therefore be an increase in the heart beating rate and this will be followed by difficulties in the breathing. When it gets to this levels, it means that the poison has spread to the vital organs of the body and you need to get medical care as soon as possible.

What are the first aid measures for spider bites at home?

If you suspect a spider bite at home, then use a cold ice pack on and off the site of the bite for a few minutes to numb the pain. Antihistamine has also been found to reduce the itching and irritation.

Seek medical care as soon as possible

Because you can conclusively tell when a poisonous spider has bitten you, it is imperative to rush to the nearest emergency room and report and suspicious symptoms. It is better to be safe than sorry.

If you are in Bellaire in Texas and are looking for the best emergency room to report any spider bites, look no further than Bellaire Emergency Room. We offer quick and high quality treatment for spider bites and will offer professional advice on how to stay safe from spider bites.

How is a Freestanding Emergency Room Different from a Doctor’s Office, a Clinic, or an Urgent Care Center

How is a freestanding emergency room different from a doctor’s office, a clinic, or an urgent care center? Do you ever think about the differences between the above named facilities when seeking medical help?

Well, although the above mentioned medical facilities offer pretty much the same quality medical care, they have distinguishing factors that differentiate them and understanding these differences is very important. Understanding the differences between the facilities will help you make more informed decisions when you need a medical check-up, need emergency medical care or simply need to consult.

Here is a quick guide on a doctor’s office, a clinic, an urgent care center and a freestanding emergency room to help you understand the facility best suited for your medical situation;

Freestanding emergency room

Freestanding emergency rooms are medical emergency facilities which are structurally separate and distinct from a hospital but offer similar emergency care. Depending on the ownership of the freestanding emergency room, it can either be a hospital outpatient department or an independent emergency center.

Hospital outpatient departments

Hospital outpatient departments or satellite emergency departments as they are referred to as in some states, are owned and run by hospitals and medical centers but are structurally separated from the main hospital facility. These are emergency rooms which are built close to neighborhoods to bring emergency services closer to people-especially if the main hospital facilities are a quite far from the people who need the services.

Independent freestanding emergency centers

Independent freestanding emergency centers on the other hand, are run and owned by individuals or business groups. Such emergency rooms are not affiliated to any particular hospital and operate independently.

Freestanding emergency rooms operate 24/7 all year round and are staffed by qualified physicians and registered nurses to help administer quality care to patients. These emergency rooms have the required medical facilities as well and are capable of handling any emergency medical condition ranging from accidents, heart attacks, bone fractures to less serious conditions like headaches and stomachaches.

Doctor’s Office

The doctor’s office is the most basic medical facility run by a doctor or primary care physician. Typically, the physician offers the services from an office which is situated away from the hospital. With the help of a registered nurse and a couple of other medical practitioners, the primary care physician is able to provide basic medical care when you ill, hurt, in pain or just need some consultation.

The doctor’s office is just about adequately equipped and lacks the complex machinery and equipment that you would expect to find in a fully-fledged hospital. You can however expect simple tests, mammograms, physicals and other preventive health services. A doctor’s office typically operates from 8.00A.m to 6.00P.m and doesn’t operate on weekends and national holidays with the exception of special consultations and other doctor-patient arrangements.

Urgent care centers

Urgent care centers are alternatives to the doctor’s office. The thinking behind them was to provide easy and accessible health care to patients when they can reach their primary care physicians. They therefore operate past 6.00P.m and will be open during weekends and national holidays.

Urgent care centers are designed to provide care to patients suffering from illnesses and injuries that are not life-threatening per se. All they do therefore, is provide care for the patients who are suffering from mild conditions which cannot wait until their primary care physicians can treat them.

Most urgent care centers have at least one medical doctor or physician at all times to attend to the patients with the help of a registered nurse and other medical practitioners. In case the physician is away, an assistant physician fills in and can competently offer the required medical care. Urgent care centers can treat anything from broken bones to less serious invasive infections like flu and fever.

Clinics

Just like doctors’ offices, clinics are set up in large commercial zones and specialize in minor injuries and illnesses like cold, sore throats, headaches and toothaches. The clinics are therefore sufficiently equipped to offer primary care and you don’t expect to find complicated medical equipment.

They are typically run by nurse practitioners and physician assistants although a few have medical physicians heading operations. Their opening and closing times normally coincide with those of the other retail stores within which the clinic is situated and they don’t operate past 6.00P.m.

Choosing the best medical facility for your condition

Think about the severity of your condition before settling on a medical facility. For less serious conditions, opt for a doctor’s office, a clinic or an urgent care center depending on their proximity to your workplace or home. As for serious medical emergencies, opt for freestanding emergency room.

Freestanding emergency rooms offer more comprehensive medical care and are capable of handling a lot of the medical emergencies reported in the United States. Here at Bellaire Emergency Room in Texas, we appreciate the significance of bring medical services closer to people and this is exactly what we are doing to the locals of Bellaire.

If you are in need of medical emergency services in and around Texas, give Bellaire Emergency Room a call or visit our facility near Galleria and we will gladly offer the medical care you need.

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