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STAY HEALTHY. STAY OUT OF THE ER.


We love interacting with the people of the Laredo community, but we’d much rather do it outside the ER than inside it. Keep up with the latest knowledge from our professionals to help keep yourself in the peak of health.




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26/May/2020

We all experience pain – but some of us deal with it day in and day out. From knee pain and lower back pain to neck pain and more, chronic pain can come from many causes, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and migraine, to name a few, so it’s something that tens of millions of Americans must learn to live with. But how people with chronic pain manage it can have a huge effect on quality of life, so we’re sharing some tips on how you can live well with chronic pain.

Start with the basics.

It may sound obvious, but making sure that you are getting enough sleep can help diminish the intensity of chronic pain During sleep, your body can rest and restore itself, and without it, you’re unlikely to feel up to taking good care of yourself each following day. Yes, it can be difficult to achieve sleep when you’re in pain, but once you’ve been able to develop a good sleep routine, both pain management and sleep will get easier. Avoid screens, caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine late in the day, indulge in a relaxing activity, such as a warm bath, and limit daytime naps to no more than 30 minutes.

Exercise also is an amazing way to relieve chronic pain. It is difficult to feel motivated to exercise in the first place when you’re in pain, but getting up and moving in whatever way you can should release endorphins and lessen your sensation of pain. Over the long term, exercise builds muscle strength, which is especially helpful for pain management of osteoarthritis.

Be mindful.

Studies have shown that the practice of “mindfulness” can be an effective way to manage chronic pain. Practicing mindfulness can start with meditation. It’s something you can do almost anywhere. Simply sit in a comfortable position with your arms relaxed. Relax each muscle in what is called a “body scan” to make sure you release tension throughout your body. Then focus only on the now and on your breathing. You can also visualize yourself pain free during this time.

Manage stress and mood.

Pain can get you down, but pain, stress, and depression can also turn into a vicious cycle. Getting yourself out of the cycle takes work, but it’s work that can pay off. Try deep breathing and stretching to manage the physical feelings of stress. Schedule time to relax each day. Build a social network for emotional support and opportunities for activities you enjoy. Even laughter among friends is a great pain management tool. Seeking out professional help from a cognitive behavioral therapist can also help you better cope and live with chronic pain.

Distract yourself.

Getting started or back into the habit of engaging with a hobby or activity you love can get your mind off of pain and help you to lead a fuller life. Read a good book. Start a journal. Begin a collection. Get your mind engaged and off your chronic pain and onto something you love.

However you choose to live with your chronic pain, be sure to involve a trusted medical professional who can offer advice and support – before your pain sends you to Laredo Emergency Room.


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26/May/2020

Think about it. If your feet don’t feel their best, especially as you age, a cascade of health-damaging events can happen. You might slow down – or, even worse, become truly sedentary. Then comes the weight gain, the slower metabolism, the reduced strength, and so on – all of which have the potential to lead to life-threatening conditions like cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorder, and diabetes that have patients coming to Laredo ER.

It makes sense, then, to keep your feet and legs in good shape – because healthy feet make for healthy living. What’s more, it’s thought that strong legs are linked to better brain health. And research shows that foot massage techniques can help relieve a variety of ailments, including anxiety and back pain.

But we at Laredo Emergency Room understand that building and maintaining strong legs and caring for your feet can seem like just something else to add to your to-do list, or maybe you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, it’s easier than you may think – and it starts with a few simple adjustments.

Start with supportive shoes. We know that in footwear, style is often a primary consideration, but with so much at stake, it’s much more important to select footwear for their comfort and support. Routinely wearing shoes that don’t properly support your feet – or, worse, pinch them into abnormal positions – can cause a variety of foot injuries and conditions ranging from bunions, corns to plantar fasciitis, and more. For healthy feet, choose well-fitting shoes with wider toe boxes, arch support, and low heels.

Prep them for exercise. Begin by warming up your feet with some brisk walking first. Then use your hands to pull your toes upward in a stretch, repeating 10 times for each foot, and then pull your toes downward toward the bottoms of your feet. You can also roll a tennis ball with your foot for a gentle, massaging stretch.

Try exercises that promote feet and leg health. Yoga and Pilates are great exercises for gently building strength in the leg muscles and can improve feet and leg circulation. Tai chi is a type of exercise that offers similar benefits and also has been shown to improve balance and reduce the incidents of falls in seniors. For targeted leg workouts, set aside a few minutes three to five times each week to do some tried-and-true leg exercises like lunges, squats, and leg lifts.

Lose weight if you need to. Excess weight can put a lot of stress on your lower body – and that includes your feet, which do the hard job of supporting your entire body. So, if you need to lose weight, make now the time you start working at it. Reducing your weight offers a host of health benefits for your entire body, from the feet up. And of course, if you’re already suffering from painful foot conditions that have affected your ability to stay active and strong, see your primary care physician. She will be able to advise you on next steps to take to get your feet in better health – and to ultimately keep you out of the emergency room


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26/May/2020

With the coronavirus pandemic, most of us now are faced with something we’ve never experienced before, so it’s understandable that most of us also have questions about what to do and what not to do. Laredo ER is here for you – not only for the emergency treatment you need, but also with the prevention information you need to stay safe and informed about COVID-19.

DO prepare. For most people, this simply means having enough household supplies and food to last for extended periods of time in quarantine. This includes medications you need during that time, as well as cleaning supplies and hygiene items like tissues and antibacterial soap.

DON’T panic. We understand the temptation to go overboard and panic-buy items once you’ve seen they are in short supply. However, this spiral of fear-driven hoarding behavior is resulting in important items not being available for other people who need them. Remember that for the average American, your risk of contracting the coronavirus is still low.

DO wash your hands. Laredo ER recommends you follow the World Health Organization’s guidelines for handwashing, which is to use warm water and soap and to scrub your hands well for at least 20 seconds – which is about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday.” When you are done soaping up, rinse well and use a clean towel to dry. Wash your hands frequently throughout the day, before eating or cooking, and after using the bathroom, touching animals, blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

DO keep your surroundings clean. The coronavirus can live on surfaces several days, so it’s important to practice good sanitizing at home. Wipe down frequently used surfaces and objects, like countertops, doorknobs, remotes, and phones, with disinfecting wipes or cleaning sprays.

DON’T touch your face. This one is hard because we don’t really think about it, but every little scratch of the nose or touch of the lips is an opportunity to spread or pick up germs.

DO stay at home as much as possible. As schools and many businesses and special events are being shuttered, this is the time to practice “social distancing” to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible. The purpose is to slow the infection rate so that our healthcare system can keep up with the demands presented by the pandemic.

DO know the symptoms. The most prevalent symptom of coronavirus is fever, followed by a dry cough. Some patients also report fatigue, a wet cough, and shortness of breath, along with other symptoms. And if you start feeling ill with any of these symptoms, again, don’t panic. Call Laredo Emergency Room, and we’ll walk you through any next steps you need to take for treatment. Whether it’s just a cold, the flu, or COVID-19, we’re here for you.


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26/May/2020

Ah, the holidays. It’s the season that many of us look forward to all year long. And with all the good food, friends, and gifts, it’s no wonder. But along with the extra holiday festivities come extra opportunities to put you and your kids at risk of injury or illness – some of which can send you to the emergency room.

This holiday season, we at Laredo Emergency Room are all for making merry – but we do recommend you navigate the season with care and caution because of holiday risks like these:

  • Overeating. What would the holidays be without all your favorite seasonal treats? We get it. But patients come to Laredo Emergency Room frequently for nausea and stomach pain, and the sad truth is that overindulging in those festive foods can turn you into a humbug with indigestion, nausea, and excess gas. Instead of giving yourself permission to go overboard because it’s the holidays, approach the season’s goodies with a dose of moderation. Go ahead and enjoy reasonable portions of all your holiday favorites – and then skip the foods that simply aren’t worth the pain and weight gain.
  • Alcohol. Holiday parties also serve up plenty of opportunities to enjoy your favorite alcoholic beverages – and to overindulge in them. While this can result in hangover symptoms like headache and nausea, the consequences of drinking too much also can be deadly. Drinking in excess can put you at risk for alcohol poisoning, a life-threatening condition that requires emergency room treatment. Aside from that risk, drinking too much can be deadly for others if you drink and then choose to drive. If you plan to drink at holiday parties, be sure to set a limit for yourself and have a designated driver help you get home.
  • Travel. With holiday travel comes risk associated with getting out on the highways or airways at one of the busiest times of the year. To minimize your risk of a vehicle crash, be sure you are well-rested, using your seat belt, and taking frequent breaks throughout your road trips. If you are flying, reduce your risk of blood clots by standing and walking around in the plane at least once every hour or two. Be sure to use your seat belt however you travel.
  • Decorating. If you’re in fierce competition with the neighbors to see who can put up the most holiday lights in your yard, we’re rooting for you. But keep in mind that this kind of decorating comes with serious health hazards. When climbing ladders, make sure you have a helper holding the ladder at its base for stability and don’t try to carry too much up at once. Check all light strings and electrical extension cords for shorts and other signs of damage – and don’t overload your electrical panel’s circuits.
  • Cooking, candles, and fire. All season long kitchens across Laredo are warmed by the hustle of cooking and the ovens and stoves that make it all come together. But Laredo Emergency Room sees our fair share of burn victims, so we urge you to use care while cooking for your loved ones. And while candles and fires add a festive glow to the season, they also pose a significant burn hazard. Keep fireplace screens in front of blazes and opt for battery-operated candles.
  • Medical office closures. Throughout the holidays, many primary care physicians and even urgent care practices close their doors in observance of the holidays. This means it’s important for you to have a holiday season plan for your emergency care. Know that Laredo Emergency Room is here for you 24/7/365 to treat emergencies throughout the season for you and your family.

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


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26/May/2020

If you’re like many people, you find the thought of joining a gym alluring. You envision a community of people encouraging you to be your best. A convenient location. Sparkling clean equipment. Everything you need to keep you motivated and coming back for more. But how do you really find a gym that’s right for you?

As it turns out, even though there are a lot of great Laredo gyms out there, selecting one that works for you is more difficult than driving down the street and dropping in the first gym you see. In addition to location, there are a number of factors you need to consider in choosing a gym that will give you the best chances at success.

Location – Of course it’s great if the perfect gym is in your neighborhood, but that’s not always the case. Regardless, a gym can’t be so far away from your home or work that it’s difficult to go to regularly. You may also find that finding a gym closer to work gives you the opportunity to work out during lunch or rush hour. Consider also whether you need a gym that allows you to go to multiple locations.

Type of workout – Laredo gyms are not all the same. Some focus on cardio. Others on obstacle courses. There are cross fit gyms. Pilates and yoga gyms. Those with weight machines by the hundreds. The list goes on and on. You may already know what type of workout you prefer and would rather choose a gym that specializes. Or you may be open to trying lots of different types of exercise and need a gym that offers a variety to keep you motivated.

Equipment – Regardless of what type of gym you choose, be sure to inspect the facilities and equipment. Is it clean? In good condition? Is there enough to accommodate plenty of members during peak times?

Staff and Services – Also consider whether the staff is knowledgeable and friendly. Do they have a Laredo personal trainer to help you reach your goals? Do they offer childcare if you need it? Are there classes? Consider whether all your needs match up to the services offered.

Price – And of course price is a huge factor. If you can’t afford to keep up the monthly payments, you won’t be able to maintain your membership. Choose a gym with a reasonable and flexible monthly payment option. Some even offer family or employee discounts – and it never hurts to simply ask for a discount.

Before You Sign – Once you’ve narrowed your list of Laredo gyms to your top choice, ask for a guest pass and visit the gym during the time of day when you’d be most likely to go. Read every page of the contract you sign to be sure you’re comfortable with all the gym’s terms.

Laredo gyms offer our neighbors countless ways to get and stay healthy – which, when you exercise safely, can reduce your chances of needing to visit us at Laredo Emergency Room. And we’re good with that.

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


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26/May/2020

As the prevalence of diabetes continues to rise, it’s becoming known as the new silent killer. And because about 10% of all adult emergency room visits stem from diabetes-related symptoms or complications, what you don’t know about diabetes could hurt you … or even kill you. So, as we celebrate American Diabetes Month in November, there’s never been a better time to know more about diabetes, what to watch for, and how to live vibrantly with it.

Why awareness matters

In the United States, an estimated 84 million people live with diabetes, and in addition to being one of the leading causes of trips to the emergency room or urgent care, it’s also one of the leading causes of death. Because symptoms often don’t appear until the condition is somewhat advanced, many people have diabetes or pre-diabetes and don’t even know it.

Who’s most at risk

Advancing age puts people at risk for type 2 (adult onset) diabetes, as more than 85% of those with diabetes are age 45 or older. You’re at high risk for diabetes if you are overweight, lead a sedentary lifestyle, or if diabetes runs in your family.

Children and young adults are more often diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, which tends to run in families. Pregnant women can get gestational diabetes and are typically tested for it near the end of the second trimester.

What you can do

If you have any risk factors for type 2 diabetes, get tested regularly. All that’s needed is a simple blood test. If the results show you have diabetes or pre-diabetes but have not yet experienced symptoms, this gives you an early opportunity to get the disease under control.

In addition to following orders from your primary care physician, the following tips can also help:

  • Think of food as fuel for a healthy lifestyle. Too often, people who need to lose weight in order to get their diabetes (or risk for it) in check head straight into the latest fad diet. While such diets may help you have a short-term success, they are often so restrictive that most people can’t – and shouldn’t – stick with them for the long term. Instead of depriving yourself, plan your meals to include healthy fats, whole grains, lean proteins, and plenty of vegetables and fruits. You’ll feel satisfied and be able to stick with it for life.

  • Get preventive care. Keeping a regular schedule of checkups can help your primary care physician identify subtle symptoms or problems lurking in the background – so you can address them early and avoid trips to urgent care or the emergency room.

  • Increase your physical activity in manageable steps. Find small opportunities for adding activity to your day, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator – or parking at the back of the lot and walking farther. Gradually adding more and more exercise to your routine is the best way to incorporate it into your lifestyle for good.

The best news about type 2 diabetes is that it can be reversed – with the right care and lifestyle. So be aware of your risks and talk to your doctor about any concerns you might have.

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


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26/May/2020

Let’s face it, the beginning of the school year is a hectic time. Teachers and parents are stressed, and there are a million and one things to keep up with. Meanwhile, all of the kids are running around just trying to have fun or stay on task! It’s easy to see how germs and sickness can spread in the hustle and bustle of everything going on during this back-to-school time of year, but sick kids can mean sick families, which can lead to missed school days and time off of work. If trying to keep your school-aged children healthy all the time seems like a daunting task, don’t be afraid, there are simple things you can do to help prevent sickness before it gets to your household.

Boost Your Immune System

There are several easy ways that you can boost your immune system without a lot of forethought or planning, the first of which is just maintaining a relatively healthy lifestyle. If you have the basics like not smoking, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and eating a balanced diet covered, you’re already well on your way to having a healthy immune system. There are also certain types of foods that can help to give your immune system a boost, foods that are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. You can start with a traditional glass of orange juice for vitamin C, but including foods like berries, nuts, dark chocolate, and green tea can all help you eat your way to better health and immunity.

Teach Good Hygiene Habits

Helping school-aged kids form good personal hygiene habits can play a crucial role in fending off germs and sickness. Teaching your kids to wash their hands after meals, going to the restroom, playing on the playground or with other children can help eliminate unwanted germs and bacteria from their skin. Basic hygiene habits like regular showers, brushing teeth, and washing their hair are also essential in maintaining a healthy level of cleanliness and promoting disease prevention.

Take Preventative Measures

The majority of schools in the U.S. require all students to be fully vaccinated before they can attend, but there are other preventative steps that parents can take to keep their families protected from school-borne illnesses, like having regular check-ups and making sure every member of the family is getting their annual flu shot. Even if you feel like you or your family is perfectly healthy, it’s important to get your flu shot every year to improve your chances of avoiding the dreaded influenza virus.

We hope you have a happy and healthy new school year, but if you do need emergency medical care this school year, Laredo Emergency Room will be here for you and your family 24/7/365.

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


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26/May/2020

When it comes to your child, emergency room visits are considered a part of the package – and millions upon millions of children are seen in ERs like Laredo Emergency Room each year, mostly from unintentional injuries like falls, burns, drowning, poisoning, suffocation, and vehicle crashes. Accidental falls dramatically outrank any other cause of nonfatal injury until the preteen years – and fatal injuries are most commonly caused by suffocation for babies, drowning for toddlers, and vehicle crashes for older children.

With the number of emergency room visits children require, it’s important to know that not every illness or injury is an emergency… but here are some more urgent symptoms to look for, especially in the midst of illness or following an injury:

* Fever that doesn’t respond to medication with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit in a baby 2 months or younger, 102 degrees in older babies through 3 years, and 104 degrees in older children.

* Crying that’s inconsolable and constant following an injury

* A bulging or sunken appearance of the soft spot in younger babies or continual rubbing of the head in young children after a fall – or any bruising on the head of a baby less than 2 months old

* Appearance of loss of balance or slurred speech

* Unequal pupils

* Vomiting that comes on after injury or is severe, ongoing, or contains blood

* Significant fatigue or difficulty waking after a fall

* Choking, trouble breathing, or turning blue

* A deep cut and profuse or nonstop bleeding

* A non-blanching, widespread rash over the entire body (if it doesn’t turn white or disappear for a few seconds when you press it, it is non-blanching)

* Stiff neck accompanied by fever and light sensitivity, which can indicate meningitis Keeping Young Children Safe Despite all the unavoidable trouble our curious little ones can get into, there are many ways we can help keep our children safe.

* Supervise young children at all times, especially during active play

* Teach children, even toddlers, how to swim or float

* Insist your children wear helmets for all physical activities like biking and roller skating

* Buckle up your children in seat belts for every trip, no matter how short, and have them ride in the proper seat for their sizes

* Put babies to sleep on their backs, not their tummies. Swaddling can help them stay in the right position Even with these safety measures, accidents happen.

Whether you have an older child or a newborn, emergency room visits are almost inevitable. To care for your baby Laredo Emergency Room can examine your child and treat a variety of emergency conditions, including severe infections, dehydration, and serious injuries. We know that worrying about your child’s health is a natural part of parenting – and we’re here to provide child emergency care and help take some of life’s worries away for parents like you.

 

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


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