Urgent Care Like a Hospital?

Urgent Care Like a Hospital?

When faced with a life-threatening emergency, you should defiantly visit a hospital ER or an independent ER like http://bellaireer.com/. However, if you have an illness that does not have any immediate life-threatening implications, you should go to the urgent care center. Here we are going to understand the similarities and differences of hospitals and the urgent care center.

Similarities between Hospitals and the Urgent Care Facility

Your insurer will still cover you depending on the facility you visit. Thus, at some hospitals, just like at some urgent care centers you will not get insurance cover. This will usually depend on the kind of agreement the insurer has with the facility. It is thus important for you to look for a facility, which is covered by your insurer. This could help to keep your cost of treatment low.

At both of these facilities, you can still get access to lab facilities and other testing facilities. For instance, most urgent care facilities will have an x-ray, MRI, CT Scans, blood work and other equipment required to make a diagnosis.

In case you visit an urgent care center or a hospital, you will have access to a qualified physician. It is the reason why people opt for a hospital visit. However, they may not know that most urgent care centers will usually have a doctor available at all times.

Differences between the Hospital and the Urgent Care Centers

Treatment for serious conditions

At an urgent care center, they do not have the facilities to treat chronic illness. For instance, if you have chronic cancer, the urgent care center cannot help you. They may help to stabilize the symptoms but only a hospital can help with the treatment.

For instance, do not expect to find radiotherapy equipment at the urgent care facility. Their activities are limited to simple procedures that help to stabilize the patient and eliminate any discomfort that they may have.

Long-term medical follow up care

Another difference between urgent care and a hospital is the long-term follow-up care. Most urgent care facilities will not keep long records of a patient’s care. In most cases, if they make a follow-up, it will usually be over just a few days or weeks.

However, at a hospital, this is quite different. At the hospital, you can expect them to keep a record of your visits, sometimes extending over a few decades. They use these records to predict or diagnose ay ailments that you may have.

Thus, although it is great to visit an urgent care center for minor issues, you should still ensure that you visit the hospital when you have a serious issue. Do not simply wait it out and hope it goes away. In some cases, conditions such as cancer can be mitigated if they are found early.

Overnight hospital stays

You should also know about admission. At urgent care centers, overnight stays are quite rare. In some cases, such stays are non-existent. They just do not have the capability to keep patients overnight for observation. However, hospitals will have facilities to keep patients around for weeks or months when needed.

If your condition deteriorates and you have to stay overnight, the urgent care facility will most likely send you off to a hospital. This will only lead to more costs for you. It is thus essential for you to ensure that your condition is not major when you decide to visit the urgent care center.

The location

Location is another major difference between urgent care centers and hospitals. Most hospitals will be located near the city center away from the suburbs. Thus, a hospital visit usually requires a lot of money and time. If you feel that your condition is distressful but not life-threatening, you should go to the urgent care center. It will take you less time and cost you less.

If you choose an urgent care center, it is quite possible to find one located in your neighborhood. As the need for urgent care continues to rise in the US, their locations are also expanding. With a simple online search, you may be able to one close to home.

The size of the crowds and the wait times

Another major difference between a hospital and the urgent care center is the crowds. Most hospitals, especially in major urban centers will be quite crowded. They will have to handle a wide range of conditions such as burns, gunshots, broken bones and much more.

Thus, if you visit the hospital, you may be placed at the back of the queue. The result is that you may have to wait for hours before anyone attends to you. However, this is not the case at the urgent care centers. Most of them have a first come first serve policy. Thus, if you were in a rush, it would be the best option. You will usually be served in about 20 minutes.

How to Find an Urgent Care with OB-GYN

How to Find an Urgent Care with OB-GYN

Urgent care is a concept that has caught on quite fast in the US. It is mainly due to some inadequacies that patients face at emergency care centers such as http://bellaireer.com/. For instance, the queues at urgent care centers are usually quite short. Besides that, these facilities work on a first come first serve basis. Thus, you can expect to see a doctor and be treated for about 30 minutes after stepping into the facility. If you would like to visit one with ob-gyn services, here are a few tips on how to find one.

Do an online search

If you would like to find an excellent urgent care facility that has ob-gyn services, an excellent way to do it is by using the internet. Some of the critical care services may not have this function since it requires a specialist. However, you can still find one if you do an internet search. Most urgent care facilities in your area that offer this service will no doubt have it listed as one of service which they provide.

Call the urgent care center

In some cases, the critical care center may have just recently included the ob-gyn services and may not have listed them online. In such an instance, a phone call can help to clear things up. Give them a call via the phone number they have listed on their site to know if they offer the service.

You can use the internet to find this number, or you can use a phone directory. Here you will find the numbers listed and the services they offer. Even when they have not recorded ob-gyn services, a phone call can still help to confirm if they provide the service.

Ask your GP

If you require ob-gyn services, your GP can help you. He or she will no doubt know of a few urgent care facilities that offer the service. He can give you a few recommendations, and you can proceed to choose from one of them. It is one of the best ways to get access to a real urgent care center.

Visit ob-gyn forums online

These are forums dedicated to discussing ob-gyn issues. Look for a forum dedicated to the location in which you live. Use this forum to identify an urgent care facility that offers this service. You can do this by seeing comments on what others have recommended, or you can pose your question on this matter.

Use the responses you get to identify one that you think meets your requirements. Besides that, you can ask respondents for further information. For instance, you can ask them about the amount you can expect to pay.

Additionally, you can ask the respondents about insurance. If you find one that accepts your insurer, it will be the best. You will be able to keep costs low while getting the medical services that you require.

Ask family members and friends

Another way to find the right urgent care center with ob-gyn services is to talk to your family and friends. Ask them if the facility they visited has an ob-gyn. It is especially so if they required treatment from an ob-gyn.

Ask them about the quality of service. For instance, you can ask if the ob-gyn makes any follow-ups after the initial visit. The reason for this is that you may need to visit an ob-gyn more than once to get your issues sorted out.

Check the location of the urgent care center

If you find a critical care center that offers ob-gyn services, you need to check its location. The reason for this is that you want to get there as soon as possible. Besides that, if it is a long way from home, you may have to incur extra charges for fuel. Ideally, you would want to find an urgent care center that is as close to home as possible. It will ensure that you can make a quick dash to the center and get back home as soon as possible.

Read reviews about the center

The internet makes it possible for anyone displeased with the services they get to air their grievances. Look for these online reviews before you make your choice. You should read both the positive reviews and the negative ones. It informs your way into making informed decisions.

Check operating hours

Some of the urgent care centers will run on weekends and even on public holidays. However, not all of them do. Some of them only operate like the doctor’s office. Ensure the urgent care center you choose is operational on weekends and public holidays. That way, you do not have to skip work every time you need to visit the ob-gyn.

10 Differences: Urgent Care vs. Hospital

10 Differences: Urgent Care vs. Hospital

Urgent care facilities are becoming quite popular following hot on the heels of emergency rooms such as bellaireer. The main reason for this is that hospitals are not able to cope with all cases presented to them in good time. However, urgent care centers may be a bit confusing for some people. Here are some of the main differences between them.

Cost

One of the biggest differences between a hospital visit and an urgent care visit is the cost. Most critical care facilities charge far less than what you would expect to pay at a hospital. Even without insurance, the cost of a visit to an urgent care center is usually less when compared to the out-of-pocket cost of a hospital visit. For relatively minor issues, a hospital visit should be the first option.

Efficiency

At hospitals, patients are usually attended after triage. As a result, if you have an issue such as a sprained ankle, you may be pushed to the end of the queue. The result is that you may be in writhing in pain for hours before anyone has time to attend to your needs. At an urgent care facility, such crowding is not there. Any discomfort you have will be attended to as soon as possible.

Accessibility

Another significant difference between hospitals and urgent care is that hospitals are usually entirely inaccessible because of distance. However, a critical care center could be located right in your neighborhood. As they continue to increase in number, access to health services will only become easier.

Capabilities

If you have something such as a laceration on the hand, an urgent care center should be your first choice. However, hospitals are better equipped and staffed to deal with serious issues. For instance, if you require a surgical procedure done, the best place to have it done would be at a hospital. Urgent care centers may not have the equipment to carry out complex procedures.

Congestion

One of the most significant differences between a hospital and an urgent care center is congestion. At some hospitals, the queues could be almost a hundred people long. In most urgent care centers, queues are short, which reduces wait times to just about 20 minutes. If you hate being in crowded spaces, the urgent care center is the right choice for you.

Great doctors

If you visit a hospital emergency room, most of the doctors are overworked and have a short fuse. Thus, they usually do not have time to empathize with the patients. It can be a bit traumatizing, especially if it is a kid being treated. If possible, you should always look for an urgent care center where they can be treated with peace of mind.

Doctor’s Advice

At an urgent care center, you will likely receive extra advice when you go for a visit. Hospital, if you visit the emergency center attached to the hospital, you may not get this advice. The doctors are just in too much of a rush to attend to all cases with personal opinion. In some cases, you may not receive information that could help you avoid similar incidents in future. Whenever possible, you should always choose an urgent care center for this purpose.

First come first serve basis

At an urgent care, patients are served according to how they get to the facility. That means you will not have to wait for long periods. The reason for this is that urgent care facilities will refer the most severe cases to the ER. Thus, if you just needed a quick would wrap on your way to work, going to the urgent care center would be your best bet. You know you will be attended to and still attended the fundamental duty to which you were assigned.

Simplified Bills

It is common to hear of people claim that the hospital overcharged them on their hospital visit. Sometimes, they may include services which you are sure were never given to you. However, this is not the case with urgent care centers. Since they do not operate 24/7, they have more time to get their documents in order. It is thus likely that you will receive a simple bill, which is relatively easy for you to understand.

Great Facilities

Most urgent care facilities use the latest equipment out there. The main reason for this is that urgent care facilities are still entirely new. It is unlike hospitals, which may have been around for decades. Consequently, the equipment they use may be quite outdated in some cases. It includes aspects such as the software used at urgent care centers compared to that used at hospitals.

Summary

The piece above gives the difference between urgent care centers and hospitals; however, this short list should prove quite useful in helping you to make your choice. In most cases, if you have a relatively minor issue, going to an urgent care center will be the best choice.

How to Find an Urgent care without Insurance

How to Find an Urgent care without Insurance

The cost of urgent care varies by location. However, it is going to be cheaper than visiting a high-quality emergency room such as http://bellaireer.com/. The main issue with critical care facilities is the location. One may charge $50 while at another location; you may pay $200 for the same condition. If you want to find the best center and do not have any insurance, here are a few tips.

Call ahead to tell them you do not have insurance

The best way to find an urgent care center if you do not have insurance is to call ahead and inform them of your situation. In most urgent care centers, they will have a solution. For instance, some will have generic drugs that are just as effective but at only a fraction of the price. This way, you will still be able to afford care and keep out of pocket costs to a minimum.

Besides that, when you call and tell them you have no insurance, they will tell you if the treatment will be expensive for you or not. For instance, you may be told that you will still get care, but it will cost you a lot. In such a case, you may even get recommendations for other facilities that can help you keep costs low.

Search online

A simple way to find an excellent urgent care center if you do not have insurance is to search online for the best centers for someone in your situation. If an urgent care center offers service to those without coverage, you will no doubt find it listed online.

However, just because you do not have insurance does not mean you have to settle for less. Ensure that you conduct thorough research online. Look for a facility that will offer you all the services that you require for your condition. For instance, if you have a fractured leg, ensure that they have working x-ray machines.

Check that they are open

Medical emergencies arise at any time. You may wake up in the middle of the night with a constant cough. Whether you have insurance or not, you want to ensure that, the facility is open when you get there.

One of the ways to do this is to search for their working schedule online. See if they are open at the time when you need their services. You can also make a call to them. Ask them if they are open at the time. If you do not get anyone on the other side of your call, it is more than likely that they are not open at that time.

The last thing, which you want to happen, is to have to do drive to an urgent care center and find all the doors closed. Not only will you have wasted money on fuel, but you could also be potentially putting your life at risk.

Ask for recommendations from your friends

If you know of any of your friends that had an emergency when they were without insurance, you might want to give them a call. Request them to provide you with the name of the urgent care center to which they went. You can then proceed to ask them how much the treatment cost them.

You can do this a few times and ask each of your friends how much it cost them. With this information, you can be able to estimate how much money it will cost you. You will be able to weigh the kind of treatment you will get and the cost of the treatment.

Check the location of the urgent care facility

If you go to a critical care center in a high-end neighborhood, there is a good chance you will have to pay a lot of money. It is especially so if you do not have any insurance cover. However, if you visit an urgent care center in a rundown part of town, there is a good chance you will get a good deal.

The main reason for this is that such a facility will already have been used to dealing with people who do not have insurance. Thus, they will already have measures in place to keep costs down. For instance, it is more than likely they will have generic drugs in stock for such situations.

Join online forums

Access to the internet is an excellent way to find the right urgent care center to join on the online platform. Here you can follow up on the discussions and find a center that accepts those without insurance.

In most cases, there will be lengthy discussions about visiting a particular facility versus visiting another. You can go through these discussions until you find one, which has all the amenities that you need. For instance, you may discover that a particular facility offers low costs but their quality of service is equally low.

How to Find an Urgent Care with X-Ray

How to Find an Urgent Care with X-Ray

There are numerous reasons why you may need an x-ray. For one, you may suspect that you have a fractured leg or arm bone. Thus, you may want to get an x-ray so that you can get the medical attention you need. Besides that, you may also have a chest infection such as tuberculosis. An x-ray can help to confirm if this is the case. That way, you will receive the treatment you need in good time. It will also help to determine whether your lung needs to be cut out or not.

Ask your regular doctor

Many doctors now take considerable caseloads to pay the bills as the cost of living continues to increase. As a result, you may end up being squeezed out of the appointment because your case is not considered severe enough. Even if you were to make it to an emergency room such as http://bellaireer.com/, you might end up being sent to the back of the queue.

It has led to many urgent care services providers to bring x-ray equipment to their facilities. If you are lucky, your doctor will no doubt know of a few centers in your area. He or she could recommend a few that you can visit. Besides the x-ray, you may also benefit from a physical exam depending on the facility that you choose.

Look for one that is still open

While not all urgent care facilities open all night, there are some that do. You can be sure that they will not wait times as long as the ER even in the middle of the night. In most cases, not only will you find an x-ray machine, but you will also find a qualified doctor present. Studies show that about 65% of all urgent care centers always have a doctor present.

If you are lucky to find one that is operational in the middle of the night, ensure that the doctor is present. That way, you will not just get the x-ray done but any additional care that may be needed as well. Finding out if the facility is quite secure; just check the facilities website and see which hours they are open. You do not want to drive to a facility and find it closed.

Check whether they are compatible with your insurance provider

Most urgent care centers are not just famous for being able to offer quick service. They are also known for being able to provide extremely low prices. They can achieve this by covering patients from a wide range of insurers. Always inquire if they will accept your insurer before going to a specific urgent care center.

One of the ways you can do this is by speaking to a friend who uses the same provider as you. If they respond in the affirmative, you should visit that center. The costs will be quite low with minimal out of pocket payments.

Look for one with extra services

At a hospital, you will charge a lot of money for blood work and other lab tests. However, these costs are minimal at the urgent care. Not only is this great for a patient but the employer as well. If you are an employer and you cover all medical costs by your employees, it would be better to direct them to an urgent care center.

Look for one that offers a comprehensive list of services for their diagnosis. For instance, if they have a suspected case of tuberculosis, they may require a chest x-ray well as a lab test. It will help to keep costs low while getting the service you need.

Use search engines

One of the easiest ways to find an urgent care with x-ray is by searching for it online. Just key in a few words related to what you need. In search results, you will get a few options from which to choose. Check the rating of each facility and select the ones with the highest score.

Now you can start reading the reviews. Taking time and read the negative reviews. These are usually honest and give insight into what you can expect when you visit the facility.

Ask your friends

One of the easiest ways you can find an urgent care center with x-ray machines is by asking your friends and neighbors. If they live in the same neighborhood with you, a few of them will no doubt know of urgent care facilities in your area. Besides that, they will what kind of services you can expect to find there.

These friends will also know the shortest routes to get to these facilities. Talk to them and ask them to give you recommendations. If possible, ask five of them and pick the one that gets the most positive reviews. Do not be afraid to ask them in-depth questions to help you make the perfect choice for your medical needs.

How to Find an Urgent Care with Ultrasound

How to Find an Urgent Care with Ultrasound

Because of the long wait times at emergency centers like http://bellaireer.com/ and primary care hospitals, urgent care centers have become quite popular. However, most people do not understand these centers.

Urgent care centers will operate beyond the regular working hours of most doctors’ offices. Besides that, they at times have an extensive scope of service. If you are in need of ultrasound, it may make more sense to go to an urgent care center than a hospital. For one, you do not have to deal with long wait times and prioritization of patients. Here are few tips on how to find an urgent care center for the ultrasound.

Ask the primary care physician

Sometimes, the primary care physician may not have an ultrasound machine. Besides that, you may need to have an ultrasound conducted when he or she is not at the office. However, you can still call the office and ask for information.

He or she will no doubt have information on a few urgent care facilities where the ultrasound can be done. Besides that, he or she will help you identify a critical care center that is within your network. That way, you do not have to incur out-of-pocket costs that are too high.

Ask your insurance provider

One of the best ways to identify an excellent urgent care center with ultrasound is to ask your insurance provider. Just call the office and ask them if they have an in-network critical care facility within your location. It helps you to cut down the costs since the insurer may cover some of the costs.

Talk to an urgent care network

In some cases, critical care facilities will operate as part of a network. In such a case, it would pay to call the network and ask if they have a facility within you are. It can be quite helpful since some of their facilities may not have been listed yet. In some cases, being listed in a business directory could take weeks or months, and you may just happen to need an urgent care center during this time.

Do a simple internet search

The internet is one essential tool for anyone looking for an urgent care center that has ultrasound facilities. You will most likely get a few results when you conduct an internet search.

It will be up to you to choose one that has everything you require. Just check out the respective websites and read about what they offer. After that, you can write or call and inquire about the ultrasound facilities. This way, you do not end up making a futile trip only to find that there is something wrong with their ultrasound equipment.

Use a business directory

Physical business directories still exist. Here, companies list their phone number, services, and address. You can use these directories to find an urgent care center that will help you get your ultrasound.

Call a few of them and inquire if they still offer these services. The reason for this is that these directories can only be updated once every two years or annually. As a result, some of the services listed may no longer be offered.

Join women’s health forums in your area

If there are any forums on women’s health in your area, you should join them. At these forums, ensure you listen attentively to find out about the best urgent care centers in your area. Not only should you choose a center where there is an ultrasound machine, you also want to ensure that you are treated in the right manner. That means finding a facility where the wait times are short and the doctors are courteous.

Join online forums

If you have an internet connection, you should join an online platform. Look for one that is specifically about women’s health issues. From there, you can pose a question about which urgent care center you should visit.

You will get numerous responses on where you should go. Besides that, you will be informed on which centers you should avoid. It could be because of multiple reasons such as slow workers and poor handling of issues.

Ask about the cost

It is not just enough to find an urgent care center, which offers ultrasound services; you also need to understand the price. Sometimes, the care can be great but the prices too exorbitant. Always ask about the pricing before visiting the urgent care center.

However, you should note that it might not be possible to get the pricing information until after you have been processed. Thus, you should think of asking others about the prices instead. Tell them to inform you how much they paid. It can be a great way for you to estimate how much you will pay for your visit. Besides that, you might want to know the kind of services you get for a certain amount.

When to Go to an Emergency Room for Urinary Tract Infections

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

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

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

Causes of Urinary Tract Infections

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

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

Are urinary tract infections transmittable?

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

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections

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

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

Upper Urinary Tract

Flank pain

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

Nausea and vomiting

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

Lower urinary tract infection

Urinary urgency

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

Cloudy and bloody urine

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

Dysuria

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

Chills and fever

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

When to go to the emergency room for urinary tract infections

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

How do emergency rooms treat UTIs?

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

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

When to Go to an Emergency Room for Strep Throat

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

What is strep throat?

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

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

What are the symptoms of strep throat?

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

Fever

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

A sore throat

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

Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

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

Headaches

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

Loss of appetite

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

Is strep throat contagious?

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

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

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

How do emergency rooms treat strep throat?

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

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

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

When to Go to an Emergency Room for Stomach Flu

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

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

Stomach flu

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

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

Symptoms of stomach flu

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

Diarrhea

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

Nausea and vomiting

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

Mild fever and chills

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

Headaches

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

Bloody diarrhea

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

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

How is the stomach flu spread?

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

Is stomach flu deadly?

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

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

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

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

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

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

When to Go to an Emergency Room for a Pink Eye

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

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

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

Causes of conjunctivitis

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

Is pink eye contagious?

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

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

Symptoms of viral conjunctivitis

Itching of the eyelids

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

Redness in the conjunctiva

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

Swollen and tender areas in front of ears

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

A lot of tearing

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

Clear thick, whitish drainage

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

When to go to the emergency room for pink eyes

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

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

How is a pink eye treated?

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

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

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