When to Use the ER? Sudden or Severe Pain

When to Use the ER? Sudden or Severe Pain

Statistics from National Centre for health show that most of the patients who visit the Emergency Room (ER) are not in need of immediate care. An emergency that requires treatment in the ER should be a serious problem that requires immediate help to prevent death or any other serious harm. Below are some instances when you should visit the ER.

A headache

The occasional headache does not warrant a trip to the ER. However, if you have sudden and intense pain in your head and you feel like you are being struck by lightning or hit by a hummer and the headache is accompanied by neck pain, a rash, stiffness or fever, you should visit the ER. These could be signs of something serious such as meningitis or subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Chest Pain

Heart attacks are the leading killer for women and men, and sudden chest pain can be scary. This is one of the leading cause of visits to the ER. However, it is good to know the kind of chest pain that warrants a visit to the ER. If the chest pain is accompanied by sweating, shortness of breath, decreased tolerance for activity or pain on the arms, jaw or neck, then you should visit the ER. Additionally, if your family has a history or higher risk of heart attacks do not waste time going to a care clinic as they will probably send you to the ER.

Difficulty Breathing

Shortness of breath might be caused by asthma, infection such as pneumonia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Shortness of breath is an immediate cause of alarm and if you can’t breathe, head to the ER immediately.

Cuts, Falls, And Bumps

Whether you have a deep cut from a car accident or you missed your step on the stairs, and you can see bone, tendon or muscle do not try to solve the problem at home. Get such problems addressed at the ER to prevent secondary complications.

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is the number one non-injury reason for ER visits for adults. If you have localized pain more so in your right lower abdomen area or the right upper region, visit the ER as this could be from issues with the gallbladder or appendix which will need immediate attention. Abdominal pain that is accompanied by blood in the stool, the inability to keep down fluids or food, or if the pain is too severe, warrants a visit to the ER.

Infection

ER visits due to infection are determined by how severe the symptoms are. For instance, if there is confusion, low blood pressure, lethargy and the inability to tolerate any fluids and foods, these may be signs of a bad infection. Infections such as meningitis, sepsis, pneumonia, and infections in those with a weak immune system should be treated at the ER.

Loss of Function

This might be characterized by slack facial muscles, numbness in some body parts or loss of bowel control. If a part of the body just stops working overtime or suddenly, it is good to seek medical help. Stroke and trauma are two of the most common causes of loss of function, and both of them require immediate medical attention.

Vomiting

This is a problem that is often dealt with at home. However, if the vomit has blood, accompanied by severe stomach pain or is dark green suggesting bowel obstruction, get to the ER.

Blood In The Stool Or Urine

Blood in the urine can be due to an infection such as a kidney infection or a urinary tract infection. Blood in your stool can be a sign of serious illness such as hemorrhoids, cancer, inflammation, or ulcers. If the blood is accompanied by fatigue or a rash, fever, intense pain or large amounts of blood, it is best to go to the ER.

Fever

A fever is often an indication that you are sick. It is a healthy sign that the body is trying to respond to the problem. However, the infection behind a fever can warrant a visit to the ER. If the fever is accompanied by lethargy especially if it is a child or neck pain, headache or altered mental status for adults, it should be treated at the ER.

Other life-threatening symptoms that should see you visiting the ER include:

Bleeding that won’t stop
Broken bones
Poisoning
Animal bite
Drug overdose
Seizure
Difficulty seeing, breathing, speaking or moving
Bleeding or pain during pregnancy or severe labor
Severe burns or deep cuts
Confusion or changes in vision or mental status
Suicidal thoughts.
Chocking
Unconsciousness

Treatment for patients with non-urgent conditions at the ER can lead to delays in the provision of care for those who truly need the ER services. ER visits are also expensive. Often two or five times more expensive than care in a primary care facility. Additionally, a visit to the ER can expose a not-so-sick person to infections and diseases that are rampant in the ER section. Today alternatives such as primary care doctors and urgent care centers exist to provide the most appropriate care for patients who might not need the ER services. However, if you experience any of the symptoms discussed above do not hesitate to visit Bellaire ER for urgent and the most appropriate care for your condition.

When to Use the Emergency Room – Sudden Dizziness, Weakness, and Change in Vision

When to Use the Emergency Room – Sudden Dizziness, Weakness, and Change in Vision

Illnesses often come unannounced and sometimes one may not even know that they are ill. Sudden dizziness, weakness, and change in vision are some common symptoms that hint to a person suffering from an ailment. One can easily brush off these symptoms especially if they have been feeling well for a long time. However, that might prove to be costly as these symptoms might be a sign of something deeper and more serious. Bellaire ER advises that you visit the Emergency Room as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.

The cause of dizziness and weakness

Dizziness can be as a result of the lack of sufficient oxygen in the blood or when your brain is not getting blood supply quickly enough as it should. Low blood sugar, heart failure, dehydration, changes in altitude and taking certain medications are the main causes of dizziness.

Weakness is a common thing. It can be as a result of fatigue or inflammation due to an injury. However, weakness could, also, hint to a more serious condition especially if it comes with dizziness. If one happens to experience sudden weakness on one side of their body that could be a sign of transient ischemic attack or a stroke. If the weakness it setting in gradually, that could be an indicator that you have a neurological disease like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, or you could have nerve damage.

Dizziness and weakness could, also, be caused by alcohol and drug use, migraine, panic attack, thyroid conditions and infection of the spinal cord or the brain.

The common symptoms one may experience apart from the general body weakness and the dizziness include pain in the shoulders, neck or chest, confusion, and absent-mindedness, severe headaches, having difficulty in breathing, swallowing food and drinks and even speaking, sudden change in vision, loss of consciousness or seizures.

Blurred Vision

Blurred vision is also a common occurrence to people and can come in the form of farsightedness or nearsightedness. But if the change in vision occurs to you suddenly, you need to seek urgent medical care by visiting the Emergency Room. There is a wide range of conditions that can cause one to have blurred vision. The same can be sudden or gradual.

Blurred vision may be accompanied by a change in the color of your eyes by turning red. Other symptoms include weakness, seeing halos when you look at lights, double vision, dilated pupils, droopy eyelids, high sensitivity to light, the sensation of having a foreign object stuck in your eyes and hearing or feeling pulsation. One may, also, experience problems speaking or understanding speech and may have a stiff neck. Change in the color of your eye discharge may also come alongside the change in vision. Naturally, the eye produces an almost colorless discharge. If you notice that your vision has changed and the consistency and the color of this discharge have changed, that is an indicator of a deeper problem.

While blurred vision can be as a result of having an eye problem, a sudden change in vision could point to a number of serious medical conditions that need urgent medical attention. These conditions include severe high blood pressure, transient ischemic attack, and stroke, brain hemorrhage, tumors of the brain, orbit or the optic nerve, injury to your eye or its surrounding area, elevated spinal fluid pressure, presence of an inflammation in the brain due to an infection, presence of an inflammation of the blood vessel around your temple, chemical injury and glaucoma that may lead to permanent loss of vision.

Visiting the Emergency Room

When you experience the symptoms highlighted above, it is crucial that you visit the Emergency Room as soon as possible or call 911 for help. As stated, weakness, dizziness and sudden change in vision may be signals of a deeper problem. By visiting the Emergency Room, the main problem can be identified and the necessary treatment administered.

Treatment often involves examining your medical history and the medication you are on, and inquiries about the symptoms you are experiencing. A neurological exam, hearing function tests, and blood tests are some of the diagnostic tests that your doctor may perform. The results of these tests and examination are what will dictate the appropriate treatment measures to be administered.

Having a personal doctor who closely monitors your health is important, but you should know the situations that actually warrant you visiting the Emergency Room. In case you have your own personal doctor and you happen to experience either or all of the symptoms highlighted – sudden dizziness, weakness or change in your vision – you can consult them quickly to determine just how urgent your condition is. If the symptoms are severe, do not waste time. Rush to the ER immediately then inform your doctor after.

Good health is one of the most precious things one can have. One’s health, therefore, has to be guarded closely and never to be compromised. That is why anytime you experience sudden dizziness, weakness or change in vision, be sure to treat that as an emergency and rush to the Emergency Room quickly.

When to Use the ER – Severe or Persistent Vomiting or Diarrhea

When to Use the ER – Severe or Persistent Vomiting or Diarrhea

One of the most common cases in Emergency Rooms is of people with a severe stomach ache. This is usually accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea or even both. While at home, vomiting or diarrhea can seem to be a normal case that can be easily countered using simple over-the-counter drugs or by letting the condition get better by itself. This makes knowing when to visit the Emergency Room to seek emergency medical care can be quite a challenge. This post by Bellaire ER means to give more insight on how to know that your persistent or severe vomiting and diarrhea is an emergency room case.

Stomach Illness the main cause of vomiting and diarrhea

Vomiting

Stomach illnesses can either be as a result of viruses or bacteria. The viral illnesses are the ones often responsible for nausea and vomiting; although some bacterial illnesses result in vomiting too. Most of these viruses are self-limited meaning that the vomiting should wear off pretty fast. Therefore, if the vomiting is severe, that is a warning signal that you need to pay attention to. Vomiting usually results in a high degree of discomfort and ultimately dehydration due to the loss of body fluid.

Prolonged vomiting usually gives rise to another emergency complication of bleeding. The huge amounts of force may cause you to start vomiting blood which is quite dangerous to your health. When you notice that there are traces of blood in your vomit, do not wait any further. You should seek medical attention immediately. The blood might be red but signs of coffee ground appearance or a maroon color, also, hint to your vomiting blood.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is, even more than vomiting, a very unpleasant that to experience. It is a condition that almost everyone has experienced. Usually, it lasts for a couple of hours or days, but when you notice that the diarrhea shows no signs of slowing down, then that should be a cause for concern.
Acute diarrhea is usually caused by plastic, bacterial or viral agents. When either of these agents enters the body through contaminated food or water, the body usually tries to flash them out. At this time, the intestines become inflamed and cannot absorb fluid and digested food as efficiently as it normally does. The result is runny stools. Normally, one can experience diarrhea from a few hours up to three or four days. But when it extends beyond that period, then you should consider getting emergency treatment.

Severe Vomiting and Diarrhea

When your diarrhea is associated with your vomiting, you will be facing a major risk of dehydration. One thing that is common between the two conditions is that they result in massive loss of body fluid. Things get even worse if one starts noticing blood in their vomit or diarrhea. If the two conditions occur to you at the same time, you will be losing fluids at a much faster rate hence dehydration will creep in even faster.

The main symptoms of dehydration include sunken cheeks, having sticky saliva, unable to urinate or having dark yellow urine, feeling weak and having dry or wrinkled skin. Other signs that indicate that you should visit the Emergency room are if you have a high fever, if you have mucus and worms in your stool and if the forceful vomiting results in a head injury. If dehydration is not combated fast enough, it could lead to volume loss and electrolyte disorders which yields the feelings of dizziness and weakness. Things could get worse, and the patient ends up fainting and going into a coma, or even worse, dying.

Treatment

As the main concern with persistent vomiting and diarrhea, the treatment usually involves the addition of fluids into the body. The patient is encouraged to take plenty of water to make for the lost fluids as a result of vomiting or diarrhea. While fruit juice might seem appealing, it is advisable to go easy on fruit juices as they can result in gas and diarrhea if consumed in large quantities. Water, soup, and tea are the best options.

In case of severe dehydration, the Emergency Room usually administers IV fluids to patients.

Using over the counter drugs

Going to an Emergency Room is more costly compared to purchasing over the counter drug. Drugs stores are usually characterized by a variety of drugs designated to combat vomiting and diarrhea. It can be quite tempting to get them given that most offer a promise of fast action. It is advisable that you keep of these drugs if your condition is severe and seek emergency treatment instead. In fact, utilization of some of these over-the-counter drugs may cause more harm than good especially if the cause of the diarrhea is a parasite or a bacterial infection.

While vomiting and diarrhea might seem to conditions that are quite obvious and that can happen to anyone, it is important to know when to draw the line to avoid putting your health at risk. If you notice that the associated symptoms don’t seem to subside within a couple of days, go to the ER immediately.

When to Use the ER? Chest pain lasting two minutes or more

When to Use the ER? Chest pain lasting two minutes or more

Chest pain, especially for those in their 40s and above, is usually a sign of heart problems. However, that does not mean younger people should ignore it. It is especially so if that chest pain lasts for more than two minutes. Chest pain could be a sign of indigestion or an impending heart attack. You should never ignore chest pain that hits you suddenly while you are at rest, walking or exercising.

Sensation of Pressure

If you begin to experience squeezing, crushing, pressure on your chest, it might be a sign of various things. For one, it could be a sign that you are under a lot of stress or it could indicate that you are about to experience a heart attack. If the chest pain is recurring, it could a sign of coronary artery disease.

If the chest pain persists more than two minutes and goes on for about 10 minutes, go to the ER. You should also visit an ER such as Bellaire ER if this pain is accompanied by sweating, shortness of breath, nausea, or fainting. The best choice would be to call an ambulance to get you there in case the situation gets worse before you get to the ER.

It can be hard to determine what is causing chest pain, even by an experienced doctor. However, in high-risk patients, sudden bouts of chest pain are usually a sign of a major underlying heart problem. Here is a breakdown of common types of chest pains:

Angina pain

This is a type of chest pain, which arises from just below the sternum. It usually occurs when there is reduced blood flow to the heart because of blockages to the coronary artery. This type of pain is usually a clear sign of coronary heart disease.

The Symptoms
Chest pain, which is characterized by a feeling of heaviness, crushing, or tightness below the sternum.
Duration of two to 15 minutes of persistent pain
Triggered by emotional stress, heavy lifting or strenuous exercising

This type of pain usually varies in severity. There are different subclasses of this pain, but the most common is stable angina. It usually lasts just a few minutes and only occurs during physical exercise such as climbing up the stairs or when you are stressed mentally or emotionally. The symptoms will often disappear after some rest and medication. This type of pain is not an indication of a heart attack.

The unstable angina is what you need to be wary of because it occurs even while at rest. The pain usually lasts for between two to 30 minutes. Besides that, it does not disappear with medication or rest. This type of pain may become a heart attack if there is a total blockage of the coronary artery.

New onset stable angina occurs when stable angina increases in frequency. It is especially so if the frequency grows with even less exertion. In such a case, it is classified as unstable angina. This is usually a sign that the blockage has progressed.

There is also another type of chest pain called variant angina. This pain occurs due to spasms in the coronary artery, which lead to reduced blood flow to the heart muscles. The chest pain is usually quite intense and can occur even at rest. The spasms usually resolve spontaneously. However, if not controlled, it could cause a heart attack. The best way to treat it is by using medication to cause immediate relief.

Heart Attack Chest Pain

The chest pain that causes a heart attack is usually quite intense compared to angina pain. This pain usually always lasts for more than 15 minutes. Even when the patient rests, there is usually no relief.

Some of the other signs of a heart attack chest pain are vomiting, nausea, dizziness, sweating, loss of breath, irregular and fast heartbeats, and radiating pain to the neck and arms from the chest.

Chest Wall Pain

Pain in the chest wall is usually harmless and is characterized by a sharp pain in the bones, muscles, or cartilage that makes up the chest wall. The possible causes of this pain include strained chest muscles, prolonged coughing, injury, inflammation of the cartilages, and due to gastrointestinal tract issues.

Pulmonary Embolism

A blood clot in the lung artery could also lead to sudden sharp chest pain. This is usually caused by long periods of immobilizing the legs such as on long-distance plane rides. This causes clots in the legs to travel to the lungs, where they cause severe pain and a fast heartbeat. A pulmonary embolism is a medical emergency.

Aortic Dissection

This usually occurs when the layers of the wall of the aorta split. The pain is usually described as tearing in the chest, which radiates to the back. In some cases, this dissection could find its way to the root of the aorta and block a coronary artery, causing a heart attack. It usually requires an immediate visit to the ER.

When to use the ER – Change in Mental Status

12 Feb 2018 Health Care

When to use the ER – Change in Mental Status

The brain is the control center for the entire body. It is in charge of controlling all the organs and systems in the body to ensure that everything functions the way they should. But what if the brain fails to perform its work as it should? Change in mental status refers to the general change in the functioning of the brain resulting in a state of confusion, memory loss (amnesia), defects in thoughts and judgment, disorientation by not being cognizant of place, times ad self, poor emotional regulation and disruption in psychomotor skills and behavior.

Bellaire ER advices that if you notice any of the symptoms highlighted, you should rush to the emergency room for immediate treatment. This is because a change in mental status can cause a threat to oneself and those around them.

Cause of change in mental status

Change in mental status is not a disease in itself but the result of an underlying condition. Some of the most common factors include high or low blood sugar levels, low oxygen levels, dehydration or high or low sodium levels in the body, heart attack, adrenal or thyroid gland disease, renal failure, seizures, head traumas, strokes, encephalopathy, high altitude cerebral edema, burns, hyperthermia, hypothermia, consumption of toxic plants, inhalation of large volumes of carbon monoxide, psychiatric problems and alcohol and drug withdrawal.

Things like changes in medicine, hip fractures, pneumonia and heart attacks can increase the chance of an older adult experiencing a change in their mental status. Having a medical history of such diseases, also, has the same effect on a person.

Diagnosis and treatment of Change in mental status in the Emergency room

The treatment of the change in mental status usually begins by examining of a person’s normal mental status. The healthcare provider will want to determine whether the change has occurred gradually over a long period of time or if it was sudden. The cause of the change in mental status is what will dictate the treatment to be administered. These are the main diagnostic tests often used.

Gathering of patient’s medical history

This is the first and most important step in the treatment process. Gathering of past medical history will help the health specialists to determine the cause of the change in mental status thus help in the making of proper judgment as to which treatment is the most suitable to administer. The review of one’s medical history usually involves a look at the mental conditions the patient has experienced in the past, recent surgeries, the medication they have been taking and whether they have a history of alcohol and drug abuse. The knowledge of when the patient was last in a normal state is also important in examining the situation.

Checking the vital signs

This is the stage where the real test begins. The basic vital signs for change in mental status are examined. The health specialist will measure the patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and their respiratory rate. There are the basic non-invasive tests that that can give an idea of what is going on within your body. If the vital signs are abnormal, that would direct the healthcare specialist to conduct further tests.

Physical examination

The specialist will perform a focused neurological exam on the patient to determine the extent of the change in mental status. Here, the patient’s alertness, their memory, reflexes, orientation and their ability to follow basic commands are assessed.

Blood tests

Blood tests are pretty simple to perform. A blood sample is drawn from the patient and taken to the lab for testing. The testing usually involves determining the patient’s blood count, blood cultures, glucose levels, electrolytes, thyroid function and screening for drugs. The specialist may, also, perform an arterial blood test to determine if there are any acid or base imbalances present. The results of the blood tests usually shed light on how well the lungs, the liver, and the kidneys are functioning. They, also, can reveal any potential infections present.

Lumbar puncture

This procedure involves a needle being inserted into your spinal cord column to get a specimen of your cerebral spinal fluid to be used for lab tests. It is often performed when it is suspected that the patient has meningitis.

Radiology tests may, also, be performed to determine the extent if the altered mental status.
Ones the results of the tests are out, the physician will determine the best cause of action which usually involves treating the cause of the problem. The specialist may recommend that the patient be put under special care treatment. A patient has the right to take part in the planning of their health care and hence you can discuss the best treatment option to undertake with the physician.

The brain is the most important organ in the body as it controls all the other organs. As such, any change in the state of your mental status should not be taken lightly. If you notice that you or your loved one is experiencing a change in their mental status, rush to the emergency room for treatment.

When to Use the ER? Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath

12 Feb 2018 General Health

When to Use the ER? Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath

If you have allergies or suffer from asthma, then you are well aware of issues such as shortness of breath. However, experiencing breathing issues is not limited to people with allergies or that suffer from asthma attacks. Shortness of breath can happen to anyone. Thus, it is important to understand when breathing issues warrant a visit to the ER. That way, your breathing issues do not end up being a matter of life and death.

The first step in understanding breathing issues is to understand what causes them. Thus, you need to identify the symptoms of breathing difficulty and understand what medication will work for your particular situation. Here is a bit more on breathing issues:

The Cause of Breathing Problems

Allergies

There are various causes of breathing difficulty, but the main causes are allergies and asthma. People who have allergies often experience problems drawing breath when they encounter agents that can trigger allergies. These triggers include things such as dust, pollen grains, chemical fumes, and even some scents.

Asthma

People who have asthma often experience breathing issues. In fact, asthma attacks are one of the leading causes of visits to ERs such as Bellaire ER. The data shows that over 15% of all visits to the ER as results of asthma attacks. However, with timely care, these attacks usually take just minutes to treat, and the patient can go back home.

Asthma is thought to be hereditary and is passed down from one generation to the next. People who are prone to asthma also usually have a weakened immunity and are prone to attacks from viral infections. Some of the common causes of asthma attacks are cigarette smoke, pollen, dust mites, cold air, some types of food, and even the levels of air pollution. In some people, the attacks are caused by even low levels of these triggers while in others it requires higher levels.

Sinusitis

This is the other common cause of breathing issues. Sinusitis refers to the inflammation of the inner linings of the sinuses. This usually arises when the sinuses become covered in fluids. Germs will tend to accumulate on this surface, and this is what causes the inflammation of the sinuses. Now that you understand the common causes of difficulty in breathing, what are signs and symptoms to watch out for and when should you go to the ER. Here are a few tips.

Nasal Congestion

A common symptom of the flue is nasal congestion. This can make it almost impossible for you to breathe in and out of the nose properly. Nasal congestion can usually be cleared by blowing the nose or taking over the counter medication. There is usually no need to visit the ER unless it is a small child who is showing serious distress due to nasal congestion.

Chest congestion

During chest congestion, the chest feels quite heavy, and it requires quite a lot of effort just to breathe. This is not usually a sign that you need to visit the ER unless there is a significant amount of accompanying pain.

Watery and itchy eyes

This is an important symptom, especially in people with asthma. If you notice your eyes welling up for no reason, you should ensure that you have your inhaler with you.

A Runny Nose

A runny nose is usually a sign of a simple common cold. However, it could be a sign of major respiratory problems. It could also be a sign that you are inhaling too much cold air, which irritates the linings of your respiratory system. Always try to cover yourself up with a scarf or stay indoors during extremely cold weather.

Wheezing

This is when you make a high-pitched noise as you breathe in. It is usually a clear indication that there is a problem with your respiratory system. In some cases, it could be a sign of the onset of an asthma attack or it could show that you have the obstructive pulmonary disease.

Endless coughing

If you have a persistent cough, it is usually a sign that you have breathing issues. The act of coughing is meant to help you get rid of any foreign bodies in the respiratory tract so that you can clear the airways.

When to visit the ER

If you experience breathing problems that last more than 3 days, it is important you report to an ER near you. Although some breathing problems are because of the flu or common cold, some problems result from serious infections and if not treated, can prove fatal or lead to serious lifelong complications.

How does the ER handle breathing issues?

One of the first things that an ER will do is administer medication to clear the airways. If the situation gets worse, you may be hooked to a machine to assist you in breathing.However, in most cases, just a few shots of the right medication are usually enough to cure a person.

When to Take Your Child to an Emergency Room?

When to Take Your Child to an Emergency Room?

Sudden health issues can be quite frightening. However, they are even worse when a kid is involved. As you know, kids are not very good at communicating, and it may actually be worse than you imagine. Thus, when do you tell whether you need to rush your kid to the ER such as Bellaire ER? Here are a few pointers to help you make this decision.

It can be quite hard to figure out what is a true emergency, especially if you are first time parents. However, with a bit of education, instinct, and experience, you can get it right. To gain experience, you will need to study your child closely. That means you have to observe your child often so that you can tell when they are in real trouble.

Call the pediatrician

Sudden health problems with a child can be quite scary. Whenever you are in doubt, call the pediatrician. He or she will readily tell you if there is cause for alarm. It is important that you chose a doctor’s office that always has someone available 24/7. If you cannot get to your doctor, have access to a nurse or a covering physician. Explain to them what occurred so that you can find a solution together.

For Respiratory diseases

A stuffy nose caused by a cold is relatively minor. However, if you notice your child is laboring to take a breath, that will require some immediate action from you. Hands down that is something that you should report to the ER immediately. It could get worse if you simply ignore it.

If you notice your child choking, call 911. Additionally, if you notice the child flaring their nostril, breathing rapidly, and using accessory muscles just to breathe, that is bad. It is especially so if you notice the skin retract between the ribs. That is a worrisome sign, and it could indicate it is more than just a cold.

Additionally, if they stop breathing and start turning blue, call 911. Besides that, if the child starts to breathe with their mouth wide open, call the doctor. This is so even when his color is not changing or breathing heavily. You can get it treated at home if the child just has normal congestion from a runny nose.

For Fever

The first sign of fever is when you get a higher than normal thermometer reading. Besides that, the child may have flushed cheeks and general malaise. However, it is not the fever which you need to check but the accompanying symptoms.

If you have a child younger than three months old and the temperature goes to 100°F or higher, you need to rush to the ER. This temperature should be taken rectally for the best results. There is a unique group of infections, which occur at this age. These can be quite bad. The reason for this is that your child’s immunity is still developing and they may not be able to handle the infection.

If your child is older than three months, but he or she has a fever of 104°F or higher, you need to go to the ER. It is especially so if they have other symptoms such as unresponsiveness, inconsolable wailing, vomiting, seizures, and trouble breathing.

You should call your doctor if the temperature persists for a few days but the child does not seem to have a runny nose, an earache, or a sore throat. Besides that, if the medication does not seem to work, you should call the doctor.

However, if the child appears to respond to a fever reducer such as Tylenol, there is no need for panic. If they get back to normal, it is okay to assume that it was just a bug. However, you need to ensure that they stay hydrated even after that.

Bleeding

Sudden falls and minor cuts can occur at any time when the kids become active. This is especially so if they inquisitive and do not know what is dangerous and what is not. If the bleeding is accompanied by open flesh or the bone becomes exposed, you should go to the ER.

Besides that, if 15 minutes after the cut, the bleeding is still there, you should go to the ER. The wound is probably so deep that it will require some stitching. Also, if your child bleeds often, you should call your doctor. It may be signs that your child has a platelet disorder.

For minor cuts and lacerations, you can treat them at home. Clean it with some soap and water and place a bandage on it. You also need to ensure that a lesson is learned. Use that as an opportunity to educate your child on the world. They will learn to stay away from sharp objects. Additionally, they will know how to be careful next time. Remember the world is still new to them, and everything seems like fun.

What Laboratory Services Do Emergency Rooms Provide?

What Laboratory Services Do Emergency Rooms Provide?

The laboratory is an integral part of any ER. The test performed here help to diagnose patients so that they can receive the care that they need. Without a lab, the ER would just not function. If you want to find out what tests you can get at the ER such as Bellaire ER, read on.

Preventive Care services

Patient education is an integral part of health care. At an ER laboratory, they have the facilities to conduct preventive screening when necessary. At the laboratory, you can get preventive checkups as well as advice on healthy habits you should follow. However, the preventive care services offered at ER labs are not as comprehensive as those offered at other general labs are. It is important to note that the result of an ER lab should only be used to seek further advice on your health.

Organ-specific examinations

When you go to the ER, you may complain of pain in your belly or other parts of your body. In such a case, the doctor may order that an organ-specific test is conducted. This will help to establish what ails you and thus what other measures you need to take. This test is usually done after a careful examination of various symptoms expressed by the patient.

For instance, the test may help to determine if you have a ruptured appendix or your kidney is in trouble. The test is usually done with the best in medical technology and by an experienced medical expert. The results are then sent to the doctor, who makes the final determination of what treatment options you require.

Red blood cell antibody testing

Red blood cell antibody testing is one of the standard testing services offered by an ER laboratory. This is a crucial test, especially when you have lost a lot of blood. It helps to determine which blood group is safe for you. However, if you have already had this test performed in the past, there will be no need to test for it again. However, laboratories may still perform it to be sure that you have not developed any antibodies against a specific blood type.

Cytopathology testing services

The ER lab performs cytopathology testing when the need arises. This test is used to examine for any pathogens that may be causing any of the symptoms that a patient shows. It is a test that is usually ordered by the doctor to determine the best way to treat a patient. An ER lab will have the expertise to interpret all the cytological specimens that they collect.

X-ray services

This is a standard service offered by all ERs across the country. When you come to the ER after an accident or a fall, it is one of the first tests, which the doctor will order. It will help to determine if there are any broken bones and what needs to be done. It is especially so when you are unsure of the exact area of the injury. For instance, it can help to determine if you have fractured any of the bones in your neck. It can also help to determine whether you have fractured your skull.

CAT Scans

After major trauma, there is the expectation that you may have damaged some of your organs. While CAT scans may not be offered at all ERs, most of the ERs have a CAT scan machine. It will help to eliminate the chances of any internal injury. It is critical to the diagnosis process. For instance, it helps the doctor know whether you have internal injuries, which could bleed out and cause death if not treated.

Acid-base testing services

Blood is usually slightly alkaline with a PH of about 7.45. When this balance is affected, it can cause you major issues. Some of the symptoms can include fainting, shallow breathing, confusion, and an increased heart rate. If you have other medical issues such as a weak heart, it can lead to major health complications.

Most doctors in the ER will request this test just to be sure. Some of the common causes of this problem include overuse of alcohol, obesity, and problems with the nervous system. It is thus very important that you are candid when you get to the hospital, to help determine the best cause of treatment.

Urinalysis testing services

Urinalysis is performed for various reasons and is crucial to any diagnosis in the ER. For one, it can help to determine whether you have been the victim of any malicious poisoning. It can also be important in helping to determine what kind of drugs are in the patient’s system, especially when they are incoherent. It can also be useful in helping determine what disease is ailing the patient.

Summary

These are just a sample of the services that you can get at a standard ER laboratory. They have a lot of equipment and capabilities to diagnose patients. It is recommended that you bring as much medical information with you to help eliminate some of suspected causes of your condition.

What Imaging Services Do Emergency Rooms Provide?

What Imaging Services Do Emergency Rooms Provide?

Medical imaging forms a basic component in the diagnosis and treatment of some related illnesses and injuries, some of which need urgent medical attention. These, therefore, form the emergency room category of imaging services. Most patients are not aware of these services, and thus do not know the importance of emergency room medical imaging in the diagnosis and treatment of their ailments. Luckily for this category of patients and others, this article has listed with details the imaging services available in the ER courtesy of Bellaire ER.

Body Imaging

Body imaging which is also referred to as gastrointestinal radiology entails the radiology of the digestive tract including the stomach, intestines as well as the abdominal region. Body imaging is especially essential in the detection of anomalies in the abdominal organs such as the kidney, urinary tracts, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and the prostate regions. For instance, urography, which is a sub-specialty of body imaging, uses image contrast to detect cancer cells in the urinary tract, kidney stones, bladder stones or blood in urine. Other sub-specialties of body imaging include; Barium Enema, Ultrasound-thyroid, MR Enterography, CT colonography among many others.

Cardiac Screening

Given the delicate nature of the heart, cardiac screening was introduced to detect any cardiac diseases through their earliest symptoms. This factor helps in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac diseases in their earliest and treatable stages. The evaluation process entails looking for genetic markers that may be inherited related to a given cardiac disease, laboratory blood tests, and imaging tests. Candidates legible for a cardiac screening test vary depending on age, gender and medical history of the family.

However, other factors are also to be considered in an individual’s cardiac screening evaluation process. That includes; blood pressure levels, blood glucose levels, blood cholesterol levels and the amount of C-reactive protein within the body.

Breast Imaging

Breast cancer is among the most common cancers there are, which unlike its counterparts, can be treated effectively if detected at its early stages. Breast imaging, which commonly entails mammography, is used to screen for breast cancer in women with or without symptoms, helping to detect the cancerous cells within the breasts in their earliest stages. Mammography, for instance, has been attested to have reduced the number of breast cancer mortalities over the years through randomized trials. It, however, is less sensitive to women with extremely dense breasts. Luckily, that is not the only breast imaging sub-specialty available. Others include; breast MRI, breast Ultrasound, galactography among many others.

Neuroimaging

Neuroimaging entails the imaging of the brain and the spine (the central nervous system), which with the right equipment should be able to capture details as minute as craniocerebral blood vessels. This imaging service requires a consistent urgency response given the kind of ailments it is associated with. That is especially for stroke, which if not diagnosed and treated immediately may have long-term damaging effects on the victim. Other neurological cases that may require the neuroimaging service include brain tumors, brain, and spinal injuries just to mention a few common ones.

Lung Screening

Just like cardiac screening, lung screening is meant to detect symptoms of underlying lung diseases before they fully manifest. It is very effective in rooting out cancerous cells in their early developing stages. There is a category of individuals who are at high risk of developing lung cancer but show no symptoms of it. For this group, lung screening is done through a sub-specialty known as low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) chest scanning. Lung cancer is among the most lethal cancers there are, given that once it is diagnosed, it has already spread all through the lung tissue. Which is why lung screening is to be an important health consideration.

Musculoskeletal Imaging

This imaging service involves the radiology of the bones, joints, muscles and associated soft tissue. It is quite effective in the detection of musculoskeletal disorders and injury for proper diagnosis and treatment measures in cases of emergency and otherwise. It entails a wide range of sub-specialties that include; Spine CT scan, discography, arthrography, musculoskeletal MRI, hip-Ultrasound, bone X-ray just to mention a few.

Conclusively, this article has hopefully enlightened you and therefore assisted you to understand that the ER has a more extensive imaging service. The imaging service requires speed and accurate diagnosis to ensure that the desired effect is achieved in the alleviation of physiological suffering and the ultimate saving of lives in the process.

Note that the above imaging services may seem preventive. However, these services alongside the expertise of an experienced professional are to be used in the general diagnosis and treatment of emergency room cases to improve the quality of the care offered to patients with the different ailments that may require the different imaging services mentioned above and more as an emergency. Bellaire ER has state of the art medical imaging equipment and experienced professional staff.

Severe Respiratory Distress- 10 Things You Should Know

Severe Respiratory Distress- 10 Things You Should Know

Severe or acute respiratory distress commonly referred to as ARDS is a medical condition that occurs when the lungs are unable to pump enough oxygen to organs such as the kidneys and the brain. The cause is because fluids collect in the lungs and make it hard for them to work properly. ARDS is a fatal condition, and the symptoms often develop within one to two days. If left untreated it can lead to death. Below are ten facts you need to know about the condition.

Risk Factors

According to estimates from the American Lung Association, 30 to 50 percent of the people diagnosed with ARDS do not survive. However, the risk is not similar for all the people as there are some who have a higher possibility of developing the condition. However, this does not mean people who are healthy do not get diagnosed with ARDS. Most of the people diagnosed with ARDS are usually patients admitted to hospital suffering from another health condition or those with the below characteristics:

Older people 65 years and above
Those with chronic lung diseases
Smokers
Those with a history of alcoholism
Those With A Higher Risk Of Suffering From ARDS
The condition is life-threatening more so to people who are:
Older
Have liver failure
With toxic shock
With a history of smoking or alcoholism

Symptoms

The key symptoms of ARDS include low blood pressure, difficulty breathing or rapid air gasps, general fatigue, dry hacking cough, discolored nails and skins due to the minimal supply of oxygen, mental confusion, headache and shortness of breath.

Cause Of ARDS

ARDS is caused when the small blood vessels in the lungs are damaged. Fluids from the damaged vessels leak to the air sacs in the lungs where blood is oxygenated. This leads to less air and oxygen reaching the blood.

Some of the reasons why the tiny blood vessels in the lungs are damaged include:
Severe infection of the blood or sepsis
Severe infection of the lungs due to illnesses such as Pneumonia
Inhalation of toxic substances and materials including vomit, smoke, salt water, chemicals among others
Overdosing on some drugs such as tricyclic depressants or sedatives
Fatal Injury to the chest or head for instance, when one is involved in a car accident that can cause heavy bleeding.

Diagnosis

No one test can be used to diagnose if one has ARDS. However, if you suspect someone is suffering from the condition, it is paramount that you take them to the hospital immediately or call 911 as the condition is a medical emergency. Once at the hospital, doctors will get the patient’s blood pressure, perform a physical exam, do a chest x-ray or perform an electrocardiogram or an echocardiogram, examine the airwaves or order a CT scan to diagnose the problem. The doctors will also check the patient’s medical history.

One of the key symptoms of ARDS is low blood oxygen and low blood pressure. This is why the doctors check the blood pressure and perform a physical exam. Echocardiogram and electrocardiogram are performed to rule out any heart disease. The CT scan and the x-ray will show if the air sacs have fluids. If the fluid is present, this is a positive confirmation of the condition. Another confirmation can be done through a lung biopsy

Treatment

Once the diagnosis is complete, the patient is put on oxygen support to ensure sufficient flow of oxygen to the vital organs. An air mask or breathing tube is used to allow the patient get enough oxygen. In some cases, a ventilator may be used. Another means that a doctor can use to ensure you get enough oxygen is the use of Positive End-Expiratory pressure. This is a technique that minimizes the pressure on the lungs boosting the functioning of the lungs and also preventing lung injury which is common when a ventilator is used.

Other Forms Of Treatment

The doctor will also try to manage the fluids in the patient’s lungs and body to ensure a balance as too much fluid leads to more distress in the lungs while too little fluid can strain the heart and other organs.

To prevent further bleeding and clotting, oral medicines will also be prescribed or administrated via IV fluids. Patients are often advised to be calm even in this condition as excitement or agitation increases the oxygen demand in the body. If the patient cannot remain calm, then the doctor will prescribe drugs that can keep the patient calm. It is not uncommon for patients with ARDS to suffer from other health conditions including infections, scarring, pneumothorax, or blood clots during their hospital stay.

Recovery

It is possible to fully recover from ARDS and resume normal activities. While some recover completely, others suffer from long-term health conditions including:

Weakness in the muscles
Fatigue
Shortness of breath
Memory problems
Depression

Beyond Recovery

Doctors will advise the patient to quit smoking and reduce alcohol intake and avoid anything that might irritate the lungs. It is also advisable to take occasional flu shots to protect against colds and flu-related diseases such as pneumonia. If you are recovering from the condition, you might need pulmonary rehabilitation which boosts the respiratory system and increases the capacity of the lungs. Some programs include:

Support from family and friends
Lifestyle classes
Exercises that can help you recover

Prevention

Prevention of ARDS is not fully possible although there are several ways of lowering the risk of getting the health problem

It is advised that in case of any infection, trauma or illness one should seek medical attention
Stop smoking and drinking alcohol as these hinder the proper functioning of the lungs
Get pneumonia and a flu vaccine every five years as this leads to lower lung infections
Remember the chances of surviving ARDS depends on a fast diagnosis of the condition. If you suspect that you have the condition or a loved one seems to show the symptoms discussed above, it is always important to consult an expert.

Bellaire ER in Texas is one such medical facility that offers superior emergency care to such patients, and they will be glad to answer any question you might have on the condition.

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