Child ER Visit: Make It Pleasant. Ten Tips.

Child ER Visit: Make It Pleasant. Ten Tips.
You will find yourself needing to take your child to the ER at some point. Nearly 24 million children have to visit the ER each year. As you know, the more stressed out a child becomes, the harder it will be to administer treatment. Here are ten tips that we at have prepared to help make your visit more pleasant.
Stay Calm
One thing you have to note is that children are usually quite aware of your emotions. An anxiety that you express will likely rub off on them. That means you have to talk to them in a calm voice and use the right body language. The ER can be quite stressful as people walk in and out with various illnesses. However, you should note that calmness is also contagious. If you show composure, your kids will calm down too.
Always plan ahead
If you have a child, at some point your child will require a visit to the ER. Thus, it is vital that you ever have a plan in place for what you should do. For instance, you need to have identified an ER that is closest to your home. Besides that, you will have to ensure that the ER you choose offers pediatric ER services. If you take the child to an ER that happens not to provide pediatric services, you will be forced to transfer them to another facility. All of this may end up being quite stressful for both you and the child.
Talk to your pediatrician first
If you can reach your pediatrician’s office in good time, talk to them. They will listen to your problem and advice you on what to do. Besides that, they may advise you on what to say at the ER. In other cases, they may advise you on where to go. Additionally, they may encourage you to visit the office and have the issue sorted out instead of visiting the ER.
Treat your child at home
If your child has some fracture, treating them at home first can make things quite comfortable in the ER. For instance, you can safely administer some over the counter medication. It will help to get rid of some of the pain, which will make the ER visit easy. However, ensure you take note of any medication you give the child, as this is something you will be asked in the ER.
Talk to your child and tell them what to expect
When children are in an unfamiliar environment, they get quite anxious. However, when you tell them what to expect, it will help them calm down. A child, no matter their age, always looks to their parents for some reassurance.
Do not bring their siblings along
If you can, do not bring along any of the siblings with you. Without the siblings around, you will be able to focus on your child, which will help them feel reassured. Besides that, bringing siblings along can cause you to become anxious as you try to calm them down. It will affect how you can make the experience pleasant for the sick child.
Bring a comfort item
Do not be afraid to bring the child’s favorite stuffed animal along with you. By doing so, it could help to make them feel calm and relaxed in an unfamiliar area. If they have a favorite blanket, just take a few minutes to get it. When you get to the ER, the calmness it provides them will be quite enough.
Speak up and ask questions
At the ER, the nurses are quite busy. Since the child cannot speak for itself, you must do so. Otherwise, the nurses may assume it is a relatively minor incident and will tend to cases that are more serious. It is your job to ensure that the nurses understand how severe your condition is so that they can deal with it soon.
Bring some entertainment along
At the ER, they will have TV screen filled with infomercials. To keep your child at peace, ensure that you bring some form of entertainment device along with you. It could be your phone with some games on it. It will help to keep them distracted and at peace. You could also bring an iPod, and they could listen to music as you are being attended.
Come with another adult
At the ER, you may be required to fill in some documents, during which time you may have to leave the child alone. However, if you bring another adult with you, he or she can comfort the child as you sort out the documentation. It will help to keep the child from panicking, especially now that they are in a new and unfamiliar environment.

What is Esophagitis and How Can it be Treated?

What is Esophagitis and How Can it be Treated?

Esophagitis is an inflammation of the esophagus, the tube that runs from your throat to your stomach. Esophagitis is easily treatable, but the remedy depends on the actual type of the condition you are suffering. Here is a more profound insight into the characteristics of the different kinds of Esophagitis and proven remedies.

Symptoms of Esophagitis

There is a wide range of symptoms of Esophagitis, and they manifest themselves depending on the type of Esophagitis you are suffering. These symptoms include:

Abdominal pain
Chest pain
Difficulty and pain when swallowing
Food getting stuck in the esophagus
Acid reflux
A sore throat
Bad breath

Causes of Esophagitis

There are two primary causes of Esophagitis: irritation of the esophagus and infection. However, the specific causes are wide-ranging. They include:

Swallowing toxic substances
Eating foods high in acidic content

Candida is a yeast infection that especially tends to affect people suffering from chronic diseases such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and cancer.


Herpes is a viral infection that at times tends to spread to the esophagus when the body’s immune system is weak, hence causing Esophagitis.


Medications for other conditions may also cause Esophagitis or arouse symptoms similar to the disease. It primarily occurs when you take medications with little water.


Vomiting as a chronic condition can also eventually lead to Esophagitis. It is caused by the acid coming up with the vomit.


It is a condition of the esophagus whereby food gets stuck in the throat because its lower end does not open properly.

A hiatal hernia

It is a condition of the stomach whereby excess acid is produced when a part of the stomach moves above the diaphragm.

Types of Esophagitis and Proven Remedies

There are several types of Esophagitis:

Infectious Esophagitis

This kind of Esophagitis is caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The remedy for contagious Esophagitis is a range of drugs that kill the pathogens.

Barrett’s Esophagitis

Barrett’s Esophagitis is caused by delays in treatment of inflammation of the esophagus. It is usually the first symptoms of developing esophageal cancer. Remedies include drugs and a wide range of lifestyle changes.

Reflux Esophagitis

Reflux Esophagitis occurs when the stomach acid rises into the esophagus, hence corroding it. It often leads to erosive Esophagitis. Remedies for reflux Esophagitis include over-the-counter medicine and prescription-strength medications. Surgery may also be necessary for dire conditions.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Eosinophilic Esophagitis occurs when the body’s white blood cells count inflates and causes inflammation of the esophagus.

Remedies for Eosinophilic Esophagitis include steroids and proton pump inhibitors. The doctor may also recommend changing your diet as the inflammation can be as a result of an allergy to certain foods and drinks.

Drug-induced Esophagitis

As explained earlier, drug-induced Esophagitis occurs when drugs you may be taking cause inflammation of the esophagus.

Treatment of the condition includes taking alternative drugs. Doctors also recommend taking medications with a lot of water to flush them down the esophagus. In some cases, the doctor may recommend standing for at least 30 minutes after taking a pill.

Behçet’s syndrome

It is a condition that occurs when ulcers develop in the mouth and the esophagus. This disease is rare, and doctors may recommend drugs to cure it.

Graft-versus-host disease

It is a condition whereby newly transplanted cells attack the body’s cells after a bone marrow transplant. Esophagitis is one of the results of this condition. Remedies include drugs and surgery.

Cancer Esophagitis

This condition occurs when metastatic cancer spreads to the esophagus. Remedies include drugs and chemotherapy.

Alternative Medicine for Esophagitis

Some people prefer alternative remedies such as:
Acupuncture has not been proven to heal Esophagitis, but it helps to overcome some of the symptoms.
Herbal remedies
Certain herbal medicines have been proven to heal the condition. However, they can have severe side-effects and should be taken with caution.
Relaxation therapies
Stress and anxiety may also worsen the symptoms of Esophagitis. Taking relaxation therapy tends to help with this.
Lifestyles Remedies for Esophagitis
Changing your habits and diets can also help cure Esophagitis. Some proven lifestyle changes include:
Losing weight
Excess fats and calories can make Esophagitis worse. It requires you to exercise and change your diet to lose weight.
Stopping smoking
Smoking can also make Esophagitis worse, so you have to quit if you are a smoker.
Changing Diets
Certain foods and drinks may cause allergic reactions that cause Esophagitis. The remedy is talking to your nutritionist about which foods to avoid.
Avoiding bending and stooping
Bending after eating may cause food to get stuck in the esophagus.
Avoiding lying down after eating
Lying down after eating may cause food to get stuck in the esophagus. The remedy is remaining seated or standing for some minutes when and after eating.
Are You Suffering from Esophagitis?
Do you suspect that you are suffering from Esophagitis? Get tested and start a treatment plan to defeat the condition while it is still early. Go to to learn more about what to do and book an appointment with a doctor.

Alcohol Poisoning: Get Help Immediately. Ten Tips.

Alcohol Poisoning: Get Help Immediately. Ten Tips.

Alcohol poisoning is a result of consuming vast amounts of alcohol in a short duration. The concentration of alcohol in a victim’s blood is dangerously high, which could lead to one going into a coma, acquiring respiratory depression, or even dying. Some of the common signs that can indicate that one has alcohol poisoning include vomiting, irregular breathing, passing out, developing a pale skin, and becoming unresponsive. If you are with a person that is experiencing some of these symptoms, ten steps can be taken to avert the detrimental effects of alcohol poisoning.

Stay with The Individual at All Times.

Leaving him or her alone and checking up on them at intervals is risky because you may miss a crucial detail significant to their staying alive such as their breathing or pulse. If either of the two aspects becomes irregular, it is essential to get immediate help.

Keep Him or Her Warm.

The victim’s body may feel warm, but it is crucial to cover him or her since the high alcohol content can lead to a drop in the body temperature, which could also bring about hypothermia.

Upon the Victim Showing Signs of Wanting to Vomit.

Give him or her a plastic bowl or bucket to use. It is safer than propping the victim on a toilet. There is the likelihood of the victim passing out while still vomiting, and a washroom, unlike plastic items, may cause facial injuries.

Next, encourage him or her to drink some cold water to avert dehydration. You should not allow them to gulp down the water as it could stimulate more vomiting. Only give the victim water and not anything acidic such as juices. Also, it is essential to have the victim rinse his or her mouth out on occasion. It helps in eradicating the foul taste and eliminating stomach acid.

Employ the Bacchus Maneuver to Reduce the Risk to The Victim’s Life.

The first step relative to this procedure involves placing the arm of the victim closest to you directly above the individual’s head in preparation to roll him or her towards you.

Next, you should roll the victim gently in your direction besides ensuring that their head does not hit the floor. The head should not be positioned on the arm but in front of it.

The third step entails maintaining the airway via ensuring that the head is tilted up, which can be achieved by tucking the other hand under the victim’s cheek. Lastly, you should monitor him or her continuously.

Try to Keep the Individual Awake at All Times.

When they become non-responsive, immediate medical assistance is imperative. You can either rush the person to the nearest emergency room or dial 911 when you cannot wake them.

For those in Texas, Bellaire ER would be an excellent healthcare facility to take someone due to the high level of emergency care they provide. One is sure that the victim will get the proper care they need to recover.

Allow the victim to sleep it off.

If the person is responsive, medical attention may not be necessary, and he or she could sleep it off. You should ensure that the victim remains on his or her side to ensure that they do not choke if vomiting occurs. It can be done by having a pillow positioned behind him or her, which will ensure that the desired position is maintained.

It is still imperative to remain with the individual besides waking him or her occasionally. The frequent checking up on them aids in guaranteeing that the victim is sleeping and is not unconscious since the level of alcohol may increase with time.

A Sober Individual Should Look After Them.

The person in charge of monitoring the person suspected of experiencing alcohol poisoning should not be drunk as well. He or she should be sober because none of the senses are impaired meaning that his or her acuity remains optimal thereby not putting the victim’s life at risk.

Also, alcohol tends to have a tranquilizing impact on one’s central nervous system resulting in a slowed reaction time and an impairment of judgment. Optimal judgment and reaction time can be significant in saving the life of a victim undergoing alcohol poisoning.

Do not try to sober the victim up.

You should not attempt any methods believed to help in sobering people up. Time is the only aspect that will enable a person to sober up. Caffeine will not be of any help; it will just try to keep them awake. A cold shower will not help as well, and the shock of the cold could bring about unconsciousness.

The individual should not be allowed to attempt to drive their car or ride their motorcycle or bicycle. They could cause bodily harm to themselves or others.

If any doubt occurs at any moment concerning the victim’s condition, you should call 911 immediately.

In summary, whenever you are with someone that is showing signs of alcohol poisoning, ten steps can be employed to reduce any risk to the victim’s life.

Is Your Allergic Reaction an Emergency?

Is Your Allergic Reaction an Emergency?

Knowing the first signs of an allergic reaction can be the difference between life and death. Some people will notice the symptoms of the allergic reaction and shrug off the symptoms when they need immediate medical care. Anaphylaxis usually leads to death when coupled with delays in treatments. The symptoms of an allergic reaction typically vary from person to person. Some suffer immediate reactions while others will take hours. Also, some responses will show after slightest allergen irritation or intake while others will require excessive exposure to allergens to manifest on the person. Here are some symptoms indicating the urgency of an allergic reaction.

Breathing Difficulties

Some allergen triggers breathing problems such as asthma. The patient’s airways are blocked reducing the air intake into the blood. The triggers could be dust, pollen, some perfumes, etc. Once in the lungs, the patient’s body produces excess mucus in the airways. The patient may have shortness of breath, wheezing, chest soreness and persistent dry coughs. Usually, some patients will use inhalers to clear their airways. In the absence or delay of treatment, the patients could die.

2. Nasal Congestion

In some cases of trigger contact, the patient’s nasal ways may get congested by means other than mucus. Some patients once in contact with triggers such as dander from pets or pollen will experience skin irritation. It may start off as slight itchiness and build up to swelling. When this swelling goes untreated, it may spread to the sinus cavities. Breathing via the nose becomes a near-impossible task, and the patient will need antihistamines and decongestants.

3. Anaphylactic Shock

This condition is often described as an overreaction of one’s immune symptoms. The patient is unable to breathe normally and may experience vomiting. The patient’s lips will swell up, and the person becomes faint. Slowly, the allergy shuts essential body systems. Some of the common triggers are food based or from stings and bites from insects. Trying to pull out an insect sting only makes the situation worse as more allergens are released into the body. Anaphylactic shock is a common symptom in extreme allergy cases, of all types. It is life-threatening and must get immediate medical care.

4. Reduced Blood Pressure

Normal blood pressure is usually less than 120/80 mm Hg. When exposed to some allergens, the blood pressure will have a rapid drop from this value. The reduced blood pressure leads to lightheadedness, weakness, and blurred vision, etc. The sudden drop in blood pressure results from the production of chemicals such as histamine in the blood, after exposure to an allergen. They cause dilation of one’s blood vessels thus plummeting in the blood pressure. The sudden dropping blood pressure and ignoring of the symptoms may lead to shock which is life-threatening.

5. Loss of Consciousness in Egg Allergies

In some allergy cases, the patient will faint. Such loss of consciousness is life-threatening especially since the patient has no control over where they faint or for how long. It is common in allergies related to foods such as eggs whereby the patient’s body cannot handle the albumen in egg whites or handle the York. The allergy starts off with symptoms such as swelling of the tongue and lips, throat constriction, a rapid drop in blood pressure, then the loss of consciousness. Patients with such allergies an advised to always have an epinephrine auto-injection with them at all times. Also, they should stay away from foods based on triggers such as eggs.

6. Nosebleed in lactose-allergies

Nose bleeding is a typical allergic reaction to people who are lactose intolerant. When the patient has ingested dairy based food, the person’s nose will start bleeding. It will usually take a few minutes, and the bleeding will subside. In some allergic reaction cases, the nose will continually bleed for extended periods. In other cases, the nosebleeds will occur at intervals all through the day. The patient must seek medical attention as soon as possible to avoid excessive blood loss.

7. Food Protein-Induced Enter Colitis Syndrome (FPIES) allergy

FPIES is a common allergic condition in infants. It usually occurs after they’ve had foods such as sweet potatoes, barley, oat, soy, and peas. Two hours after consumption, the child will experience a lot of vomiting. It may also lead to diarrheas, a poor gain of height and weight in the infant. The child will need immediate medical attention.

8. Drug Allergies

Some people’s bodies will fight medications, common in drugs based on sulfur, insulin, anti-seizure and barbiturates. The doctor may test for allergic reactions to the medications from your skin. If allergic, the patient could develop hives, itching, swellings, and difficulties breathing. The Prescription amounts of the drugs can end up being life threatening when the patient has allergic reactions to the drug and doctor will prescribe an alternative medication. In case there are no alternatives, the patient will receive small doses of the trigger medication. With time, the patient’s body adapts to the drug and the doses can get to normal levels.

9. Dermatitis:

It is an allergy whereby the skin gets inflamed after contact with specific allergens. These could be a plant, jeweler, some clothing chemicals, soaps, nickel, perfumes, etc. once in touch with your body; the body produces histamines sensing an attack on the immune system. Slowly, the skin gets red and tender and in some cases accompanied by itching. In extreme cases, the swelling and itching weaken the surface shielding your skin and could cause grave wounds. Such allergies are usually mild and not an emergency.

10. Antihistamine Allergies
When dealing with allergy medication, it is essential to get a doctor’s prescription. Some people will use antihistamines to treat allergies after researching online. They will then continue to suffer another allergic reaction, this time to the antihistamine medication.

Bellaire is keen on keeping all their patients healthy. Apart from getting world-class treatment, they also ensure their patients are well aware of possible emergency conditions. Understanding the above tips will help you know when to seek immediate medical attention and when to settle for basic first aid.

10 Tips to Keep Your Kids Healthy this Flu Season

10 Tips to Keep Your Kids Healthy this Flu Season

So, the winter season is here, and all you can think about as a parent is the cold or flu getting to your kid(s). That leads you to seek ways to protect your kids from the most imminent threat to their health this cold and flu season. Do not keep your kids locked in the house for the rest of the season. It takes a slightly more elaborate yet achievable health plan, which you can and should apply in your home. The following are ten plausible tips to keep your kids healthy this flu season thanks to Bellaire ER; the first medical facility you should consider bringing your kids to if the flu symptoms you are preventing them from persist (equipped with state of the art equipment and experienced staff).

Frequent Hand Washing

Whether they are cooped up inside the house or playing outside your children are exposed to bacteria and viruses all around them. And their hands are the number one pathway to transferring these germs from their surroundings to their bodies. Thus, a frequent hand wash program in your house should be the number one technique to keep your kids safe from germs causing illness. You should teach your kids to practice washing hands; immediately you are from outside, after petting an animal, coming from the bathroom and before having a meal or a snack.

Consider Getting Flu Shots

In as much as you may try to keep your kids healthy by leading a hygienic lifestyle, it is an unfortunate fact that you cannot be with them everywhere they go unless they are infants. And in a split second of your separation from your child while they are playing with their friends they can easily contract the flu. However, with the advancements in medicine, you can protect them even when you are not with them, by getting them to get flu shots annually as long as they have attained an age of six months and above. Remember to follow your pediatrician’s recommendations in getting the shot.

Indoor Playing

Your kids do not have to go outside into the cold snow to play and have fun. Nonetheless, physical activity is known to boost a child’s immunity not forgetting the psychological aspect of their health that also needs a fair amount of play. Thus, an indoor gaming routine could suffice in this flu season to reduce their exposure but still maximize the fun. With even the smallest of space, you can create a fun activity to indulge your kids in, for instance, a simple obstacle course made of pillows cushions and chairs or a dance competition.

Teach Your Kids How to Sneeze and Cough

If one of the kids gets the flu or a cold, they need to know how to act around their siblings to prevent spreading it. You need to teach them and also encourage the rest of your household to sneeze or cough into a handkerchief or tissue whenever they feel the urge to do so. However, if they happen not be in possession of any of the two at that moment, they should do so into their elbows or sleeves and not their palms. That only enhances the spread of the flu to the rest of the household.

Keep Your Surfaces Clean

The surfaces in your house are significant spreaders of germs within your home that can come from anyone, including guests from outside. Thus, you should consider choosing a reliable disinfectant to use on the surfaces in your home. That includes; toys, tables, electronics, knobs, switches and even tap heads just to name a few common ones.

Drink a lot of Water

Drinking water is standard advice from any pediatrician or physician in the medical industry, and it is so for a good reason. Drinking adequate water and staying hydrated enables your child’s body to fight viruses. Also in the unfortunate event that your child has a fever, they need the water more. That is because it is meant to replenish the water lost through sweating and increased metabolism.

Encourage a Balanced Diet

Eating healthy is another quite common advice recommended by any individual practicing in the medical industry. Your kids may not be enthusiastic about eating some of the foods that balance their diets such as vegetables and fruits, but as a parent, you should be creative. Healthy eating boosts your child’s immune system and helps their bodies fight viruses more successfully.

Let the Air In

Once in a while, it is advisable to open the windows in your house and let clean, fresh air in, to facilitate good air circulation. Despite the winter coldness you can take advantage of the warmer days and let the air into the house. A proper air circulation in the house reduces your home’s characteristic as a germ habitat.

Sleep Healthy
Studies have shown that a good night’s sleep reduces your child’s rate of getting sick, and that poor sleepers fall sick more often. Ensure that your child gets adequate sleeping hours.

Deal with the Sick Ones

For those individuals within your household that are sick, measures need to be taken to avoid them spreading their infections to the rest of the family, more so the children. These steps include; avoid sharing utensils (recommended that until you get them disposable utensils), disinfect areas that are commonly shared in the house such as countertops and change their sheets and blankets. If plausible, you can go ahead to quarantine the affected individual until they are well.

All in all above are the tips that can keep your kid(s) protected from the flu or a cold in this flu season. Add that to sufficient physical activity, a healthy sleeping pattern, a balanced diet and the assurance of good health is enhanced. However, if your child gets sick of the flu, Bellaire ER provides experienced pediatrics that can see your child on that same day and offer their professional services.

10 Things You Should Bring to the Emergency Room

5 Jan 2018 Uncategorized

10 Things You Should Bring to the Emergency Room

An ER visit is never a smooth experience. For one, you have to deal with the smell of iodine mixed in with the smell of saline. Besides that, you have nurses who appear too busy to look at you. These feelings of frustration coupled with the nature of the severe cases at the ER can be quite stressful. That is why we at have prepared a list of things, which we think you should bring on your next ER visit.

Shaved arms

Shave arms are an especially important consideration for the swarthy. It will be quite crucial once you are about to leave the ER. For one, when you get to the ER, you may require having an IV drip placed on your arm. This drip is usually held in place with tape.

You should know that the ER nurses would not take their sweet time to shave your arms unless it is life-threatening. When it comes time to remove the bandages, they will rip it out, and it is going to hurt. Taking a few minutes to shave your arms will save you a lot of pain.

Your pajamas

A visit to the ER can either be entirely fast or end up taking all night. It is very uncomfortable to sit on the tiny plastic chairs all night in your tight jeans. It is already going to be a lousy ordeal so you might as well make it comfortable with some comfortable clothes. Do not be worried whether the ER staff is going to judge you. Your comfort needs to be your primary consideration.

Some fluffy blankets

As already mentioned, a visit to the ER will most likely not take less than four hours if you are lucky. The best way to get through it is to bring your fluffiest blanket along. While waiting for the nurse to attend to you, ensure that you bundle up in it and get some rest as you may still have to attend work tomorrow, which can be a nightmare if you never slept all night.

Bring some entertainment with you

At the ER, you will see some great TV screens, but most of them are just infomercials. If you do not want to be bored out of your mind as you watch repeating infomercials bring along some entertainment. It can be your phone or an iPod with your favorite music. If possible, bring along your charger, as you never know how long you may have to be at the hospital.

Bring along all necessary personal medical records

When you bring along this medical records, it will shorten the time that you spend in the ER. The staff will have many questions for you, which can be confusing. However, if you bring these records with you, it will take them less time to complete their work.

A full account of everything

When you report to the ER for a specific case, you do not just need to explain your medical history. You will provide precise details of what took place. If you took any video of the incident, bring it along with you. It will help the nurses make a reasonable assessment of what might have occurred and how severe the case might be.

Bring your glasses and other personal items

If you use retainers, glasses, contacts or anything else, bring them along. In some cases, the ER visit may only be a few hours. In others you may have to spend the night there. It can be quite stressful if you have to send people home to collect these items for you.

Snacks and drinks

While you can still buy sandwiches at the ER, be assured that they will be quite dry and tasteless. However, after waiting for a while at the ER, you will undoubtedly get hungry. For that, you will need to bring some snacks and a bottle with some drink from home. It will ensure that you get through the ordeal without having to endure the bad food as well.

Big fuzzy socks and some slip-on shoes

One thing about the ER is that is quite cold. There is a good reason for this of course; cold temperature kills germs. However, for you, that will mean your feet will be quite cold. That means you need to bring some big fuzzy socks if you want to stay warm through the night. The situation can be even worse in winter when the ER door is continuously being flung open as more patients are brought in.

Bring some patience

One important thing that you will need in the ER is patience. No matter how busy you might be, a visit will usually never take less than an hour. If you start screaming at the staff, it will not makes things move any faster. That will only tier you out and frustrate you.

10 Things You Should Know About the 2017 Houston Flu Season

10 Things You Should Know About the 2017 Houston Flu Season

The Flu season, which began in 2017, is still in full swing. Before things get any worse, it is important that you get the flu shot. Otherwise, your entire family will experience, aching bodies, fever, and runny noses. If you do not know much about the Houston flu season, here are some ten facts that we at think you should know.

Flu vaccines help the whole community

A flu shot is beneficial to you. It will help you avoid the worst consequences of the flu. However, it is also good for the community in which you live. It is especially so for people whose immune system has been compromised. For instance, infants less than six months old who cannot receive the flu shots are protected.

As long as a significant portion of the community is vaccinated, even those with a weak immunity are protected. If you live in a family with young babies, it is vital that you ensure everyone in the family gets their flu shot.

The Best protection from the flu is vaccination

Despite some conspiracy theories, if you want to stay safe during the Houston flu season, a vaccine is the way to go. In most years, the flu shot is usually about 70% effective. However, that is still better than not getting it. Although no vaccine works 100%, the benefits of the vaccine are far much better than the risks.

Simple hygiene practices could keep you from catching the flu

Besides getting the flu shot, basic hygiene can be a useful method of reducing the chances of sickness. One efficient way out there is hand washing. Although influenza is airborne, most people get the virus from physical contact with infected surfaces. By cleaning hands often, it can reduce the chances of the infection spreading to you.

Besides that, respiratory etiquette is essential. For instance, if you have the flu, sneeze into your sleeve rather than your palms. After touching your nose or mouth, ensure that you wash your hands.

The flu can be deadly even in healthy people

One reason you should ensure that you get the flu shot is that it can be fatal. According to the CDC, thousands of people die annually from the flu. It estimates that 3000-49000 people die depending on which year it is. In fact, at the high end of the scale, more people die from flu than from gun violence or car accidents.

Most of these people usually have an underlying medical condition like muscle weakness or asthma. The elderly, pregnant women and young children are the ones most at risk. The uncertainty as to how many healthy people succumb to the flue makes it paramount to get flu shots.

The CDC does not support the use of nasal spray vaccines

In recent years, doctors have been recommending the use of an aerosol version of the flu vaccine. In fact, many kids prefer this method instead of getting a shot. However, according to data from the CDC, people who get this vaccine show almost no signs of benefiting from it. As a result, the CDC is not recommending the nasal spray until they can be sure what is causing this situation.

The flu virus changes each year

When you are vaccinated against measles or mumps, you probably need to get it done only once. However, the flu vaccine is usually active for just one season. The reason for this is that influenza mutates quite fast. Thus, what works in the previous season may not be effective this season.

The flu shots do not work in some seasons, but you still need to get them

In some seasons, almost everyone gets the flu. However, it does not mean you do not need the shot. Researchers rely on studies from around the world to determine which strain of influenza will hit each season. They then have to begin production early on to have enough vials by the start of the season. However, the predictions do not always pan out. However, in most years, the scientists get it right.

Flu shots do not cause the flu

A common myth amongst people is that the flu vaccine causes flu. However, this is impossible since the vaccine does not contain a live virus in it. However, some people get their flu shots before the onset of the flu season. It leads to the false association it was the shot that gave them the virus.

Avoid public spaces if you are sick

If you get the flu, do not try to force your way through work. For one, when you tire the body, it makes it hard for it to fight back. Besides that, you will only be spreading the virus to others in the workplace.

The flu vaccine is not immediately effective

It takes a fortnight for the vaccine’s protection to kick in. Thus, it is still possible for you to get the flu if you do not take any protective measures like hand washing.

Dealing with Asthma Attacks: What You Need to Know

Dealing with Asthma Attacks: What You Need to Know

Every few seconds of every day, some faces a potentially fatal asthma attack. If you are undergoing treatment, the chances of you suffering an attack are minimal. However, you still need to visit your doctor at least once a year for routine checkups. If you are wondering how you can deal with asthma attacks, here is a bit of information that we at have prepared.

The Onset of an Asthma Attack

The first step in dealing with asthma attacks to understand their onset. The most obvious sign of an asthma attack is difficulty in breathing. It is because of inflammation in the airways that causes the surrounding muscles to tighten. When it occurs, it first triggers a spell of coughing, tightening of the chest, wheezing, and the inability to breathe in and out.

However, most people usually think that an asthma attack must go hand in hand with wheezing. However, this does not always happen. Wheezing only occurs when some air is moving in an out of the airways. However, they may be blocked entirely, which makes wheezing impossible. Another sign of attack is when the lips turn blue or grey, hard time talking, and difficulty doing simple things like walking or lifting something.

Measures to take During an Asthma Attack

Because of the advances in medical technology, asthma attacks have become quite rare. However, there are still those who experience them. In such an instance, there are a few measures, which you can take to ensure that the attack does not lead to a fatality.

Keep Calm

Keeping calm applies to both the one affected and those trying to offer assistance. The person suffering the attack needs to be assured that you will be there for them. If you panic, it could lead to a contagion, which could make things even worse. By appearing relaxed, you can help the affected person know they are safe, which will help them calm down.

Sit Up

If you are alone, you need to do your best to try to sit up. If you are helping someone, get him or her in an upright position and do not help him or her lie down. The vertical position ensures that breathing is as unobstructed as possible.

Get rid of the trigger

It is quite easy to identify the trigger as time goes. For instance, if they are next to a smoker, get them away from there. There are numerous potential sources of asthma such as certain foods, feathers, animal fur, dust mites, pollen, dirt, illness, stress, windy weather, cold weather, or acetaminophen. If you do not know what triggers their attacks, ask them to tell you or point at it.

Use the rescue plan

Most asthma patients will have a plan on them for emergencies. It may include inhalers, bronchodilators, or some other anti-inflammatory agent. When they stabilize, you can then ask them about other emergency plans they have in case things get worse. Ask them if you need to call for an ambulance at the first sign of things getting serious.

Assess the severity

Even as you offer some assistance, you need to keep an eye out for signs of the seriousness of the attack. If the attack is too severe, you may need to visit the emergency room. Some signs of severe attacks are the skin being sucked in around the ribs and neck, discoloration of the lips, a prolonged struggle to breathe even after using the inhaler.

Talk to those around you

If you are the one who suffers from asthma attacks, it is best to keep those around you informed. For instance, if you attend a party or other social event, ensures that a few of the people know you may suffer asthma attacks. Go into a bit of detail about the rescue plan and the possible triggers. That way, they do not panic when an attack happens. It will ensure that they can offer assistance promptly.

Even if after these steps, the person appears to have recovered, it is best to call the doctor. He or she will discuss other measures that can prevent future attacks. It may also help to identify changes that need to be made to the current treatment regime.


It is important to realize when your actions are not working. If the tips mentioned above do not work, do not shy away from calling an ambulance do it as soon as you can. Do not wait longer the patient will suffer some brain damage or something worse. Remember it is quite essential to check for signs, especially when dealing with young kids. Thus, keeping a close eye on them at all times is crucial. Asthma attacks are not often severe. However, there are good days and bad ones you just need to differentiate.

Root Canal Infections: What You Need to Know

Root Canal Infections: What You Need to Know

A root canal is a treatment recommended to save and repair a tooth that is infected or damaged. The procedure entails getting rid of the infected part, which is usually the pulp, cleaning it, then filling and sealing the tooth. The main reason why a tooth pulp becomes infected is a deep cavity, cracked tooth, and repeated treatment to the same tooth. The term root canal refers to cleaning the canal inside the roots of the tooth. Here is a bit more about it that we at have prepared.

Steps to expect during the root canal

Here are the steps if the doctor agrees that a root canal is what you require to treat your infected tooth.


If a dentist suspects your tooth may be infected beyond normal cleaning, he or she will conduct an x-ray. It will help him or her to identify the location of the decay.


After the problem has been identified and a root canal recommended for the treatment, a local anesthesia is administered. The anesthesia dulls everything. Thus, the widespread belief that a root canal is quite painful merely is not true.


With specialized equipment, the dentist makes an opening and sucks out the infected tooth pulp.


The roots that were opened to remove the rotting pulp are filled with a particular material and then sealed using dental cement.

Some Issues You May Face During a Root Canal

A root canal is a procedure that usually requires a fair bit of recovery. Dentists only recommend this procedure when there is a significant infection or inflammation that could cause tooth decay. Besides that, if continuous treatment is required for one tooth or it is cracked, it might be time for the root canal.

When a root canal is performed, it will help prevent the pain and the chances of developing abscesses. For most people, the procedure goes on flawlessly. However, some complications may arise because of the surgery. If you understand these issues, it can help you to prepare yourself mentally for the recovery. You will be able to go back to your daily activities.


Since a root canal involves cleaning and meddling with the root of the tooth, expect some pain days after the operation. The pain can be just a dull pain or a very sharp pain. However, at no point should it be so bad that it makes it impossible for you to do anything.

However, in some rare cases, bacteria are left behind after the root canal. These bacteria can grow and cause pain later. Thus, if the area heals and then begins to hurt a few days later, you need to contact the dentist. He or she will know what needs to be done.

Other Problem Areas

In some instances, you may have more than one root that is causing you problems. If a canal is not identified, bacteria can grow there, which can mean another root canal needs to be performed. A second surgery can be quite taxing. It will mean the dentist has to remove any fillings and crowns that were there. It will then allow him access to the roots of your teeth.

Undetected Root Cracks

Sometimes, the dentist may fail to notice a crack in one of the roots. It can, later on, cause bacteria to grow, which will mean more treatments. If the dentist does not notice and thus seal any crack, it could provide an avenue for the further growth of bacteria in that area.

Defective Sealants

With time, the seals used on the roots could erode. It will allow bacteria to find their way into the roots of the teeth. Your doctor is likely to warn of such a possible complication. Thus, you will be required to take good care of the tooth to prevent this from occurring. However, in some cases, it will happen despite proper care, and you will need to go for further treatments.

What to Keep in Mind

When you go for a root canal, ensure that you have it done by a qualified dentist. It would be best that you find a dental office with some experience in carrying out this procedure. Besides that, it is paramount that you follow all instructions issued to you. Thus, if you are told to avoid certain foods, ensure that you do no matter how you love them. Immediately you feel that something is amiss, call your doctor and tell him. Besides that, you need to ensure that you never miss any routine checkups. At these visits, any issues can be detected before they turn into a costly exercise.


While a root canal is a great way to repair teeth, the best option remains prevention. Thus, you should brush your teeth often and avoid using them for more than their intended purpose. For instance, never use them to remove caps from bottles.

What is the Difference Between Confidential and Anonymous HIV Testing?

What is the Difference Between Confidential and Anonymous HIV Testing?

ON the surface of it, anonymous and confidential testing of HIV may look the same. However, that is not so. There are numerous differences between these two methods of being tested for HIV. Here are definitions of these two methods and their variations that we at have prepared.

Anonymous Testing

It is a type of testing that is offered by some clinics is individual states in the US. With this test, it merely means that no one else except you can access the results of your test. The reason for this is that your name will not be recorded. Before going for a test, always confirm the kind of test that they offer.

Confidential Testing

In a confidential test for HIV, you and your provider will know the results; they may even be recorded somewhere. Confidential testing is offered in some places to make it easier to access results later. Besides that, confidential testing is excellent for tracking the number of new infections.

In fact, at some clinics, confidential testing is mandatory if they want to receive funding. It makes it easy for agencies involved in combating HIV infections for identifying new cases from those that go for multiple testing in different locations.

Even in cases where a test facility does not have anonymous testing, your results are still legally protected by the HIPAA rules. It means that an institution is legally obliged to protect your records so that only authorized people can gain access to them.

Below are some of the critical differences between these two types of testing:

Anonymous testing is only available in select states

Since anonymous testing is not offered across all the states in the US, it is one of the reasons why the FDA approved home-based testing kits. This lack of anonymous testing is found in 11 states in the US. Although in these 11 states the results will be accurate and confidential, the anonymous option is not offered. It has a lot of legal and personal consideration. Since it may discourage some from visiting the clinic, they opt for a home testing option.

Your name is not revealed in an anonymous test

When you opt to be tested anonymously, your name remains a secret. Instead, you may be issued a unique code or number, which will help you access your results. In confidential testing, all personal details that identify you as an individual are sent to local health officials. It is one of the significant differences between anonymous and confidential testing. In a confidential test, your name and details are sent to local public health officials. However, this is not always a bad thing.

The information they get from you can be used to offer better medical assistance and allow health officials to study the impact of HIV on the community. With a confidential test, your details are not released to an insurer or the employer. Besides that, the details are not released to the federal government. The rules vary state to state. It is thus essential that you check how your state will handle your details once you go for the test.

With an anonymous test, there is no negative impact on your social life

As already mentioned, with a confidential test, your results will not be released to the insurance company or employer. However, if you sign a release form to let your doctor know about your condition, such information will be part of your medical records forever.

At some later point, it could become available to your insurer or employer. However, if you opt for the anonymous test, there is no risk of any such information ever becoming a matter of public record. You will never be a name, only a number.

Anonymous tests, unlike confidential ones, can take place at home

Any FDA approved home testing kit is anonymous. That means you do not have to record such results with any healthcare provider ever. The results are sent to you via a code that you are issued. That means it is impossible for anyone to know your name. They will only know the results. There are just two FDA approved home testing kits. Both of these are 100% anonymous.

Anonymous testing offers a higher degree of privacy

If you are seriously worried about the risk of your HIV status becoming public knowledge, you should choose for an anonymous test. With a confidential test, you will still have to trust your name and other details with a human.

With anonymous home kits, the package is discreetly sent to you. It comes with a unique 11-digit code. When the package is shipped to the lab, there is no return address included, to keep things as private as possible.

Whether you choose the anonymous or confidential test, you need to be tested. With HIV, your chances of survival increase the earlier it is identified. There are already many people doing it. The CDC estimates that about 16-22 million Americans are tested each year.

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