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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17/Oct/2019

It seems like vape pens are everywhere in today’s society. You see people walking down the street, sitting in a restaurant, maybe even in school, all followed by large puffs of white smoke. Vaping is extremely common, and up until recently, totally acceptable to do almost anywhere other than an airplane. People have been convinced that using an electronic cigarette, or vape pen, is healthier for you than smoking real cigarettes, and might even be helpful in helping someone quit, but science is finding that the truth about vaping is just the opposite – vaping can be extremely detrimental to your lung health, sometimes even more so than real cigarettes.

Health Effects

It’s common knowledge that smoking in any form or fashion is going to be detrimental to your health, but there are certain health aspects you should know when reaching for a vape pen:

Vaping has been linked to 530 cases of lung injury and 7 confirmed deaths in the U.S.

Smoking nicotine results in 9 out of 10 all lung cancer deaths and more women die each year of lung cancer than from breast cancer

A smoker’s risk of lung cancer increases by 25 times in men, and 25.7 times in women

Smoking causes lung disease by damaging the airway and the small air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs

Other lung diseases caused by smoking include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and COPD

Smokers are 12 to 13 times more likely to die of COPD than non-smokers

People with asthma can have more frequent and more severe attacks triggered by vaping

General symptoms of deteriorating lung health include coughing, chest pain, trouble breathing, and fatigue

Secondhand smoke is another major issue for the community, as vaping is currently allowed in most public spaces. With a large majority of the people who vape being high school and middle school students, the danger of secondhand vape smoke is rising among those demographics. Secondhand smoke can cause many of the same side effects that smoking cigarettes can, leading to trouble breathing, illness, cancer, and even death. These effects are amplified by the ultra-fine aerosol particles found in smoke that comes from vaping.

State governments are now taking action against vape pen companies by cracking down on the sale and distribution of these products, but the only way to protect yourself from the adverse health effects of vape pens is to never pick them up. Your lungs will thank 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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17/Oct/2019

Hurricane season can be a scary time in Texas. Even though Laredo is not directly on the gulf coast, we have still felt the effects of storms like Hurricane Harvey. Flooding from rain saturating the ground and filling the Rio Grande River can be frightening and devastating, leaving people in Laredo and surrounding areas without power, or even without their homes. Severe weather events can make us all feel helpless, but there are steps you can take before, during, and after a storm to not only help prevent home and property damage but also make the recovery process a little easier for you and your family.

Storm Preparedness

The first step is to prepare when there is not a weather emergency on the horizon. Take steps to educate yourself and know your area’s risk for severe weather and flooding. Laredo Weather is prone to almost every extreme weather situation (other than snow), so it’s important to be prepared for thunderstorms, tropical storms, and hurricanes that can bring large amounts of rain, strong winds, and damaging hail. Watch for any warning signs and be aware if you are in an area that is at risk for flash flooding. Depending on your location, it’s good to be aware of evacuation routes. Create a plan with your family or loved ones in advance of severe weather arriving so that everyone knows what to do and where to go should the worst-case scenario take place. If there is a significant threat looming, be sure to stock up on emergency necessities like water, food, flashlights, batteries, and first aid supplies.

During the Storm

This might seem like a no-brainer, but try to stay indoors during a storm. If the power goes out, try to avoid using candles and opt for flashlights instead. Avoid going outside unless absolutely necessary. If you are caught outside, try to find high ground to hunker down. Floodwaters can be contaminated with sewage or contain wildlife from the river, so do not try to walk or play in them.

After the Storm

The most challenging aspect of storm recovery can be what happens after the storm is over. If your house has flooded, or has even taken on just a small amount of water, it’s important to act quickly to prevent mold from forming. When it comes to flood cleanup, you will need to:

Throw away all materials that cannot be thoroughly cleaned. Be sure to take photos of all of your damaged property for insurance purposes.

Wash all curtains, rugs, clothing, bedding, and upholstery with at minimum soap and water, but use bleach wherever possible.

Dry all of your flooded areas thoroughly. Any area of your home that stays wet for more than 48 hours can grow mold. It’s best to throw away anything that cannot be dried completely. Run your kitchen and bathroom ventilation systems to keep air flowing through the house.

If your house has sustained a significant amount of flooding, hire a professional to help you clean up. Surfaces like drywall and insulation can be tough to properly remove once they are overrun with mold and can end up making you and your family sick.

It’s impossible to control the weather, and mother nature has thrown us some rough storms in recent years, but hopefully, with these tips, you will be better prepared for when the worst-case scenario comes around again.

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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17/Oct/2019

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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17/Oct/2019

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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17/Oct/2019

Here in Laredo, the summer seems like one long heat wave. And though staying out of the heat is often our best defense against heat-related illness, it’s not always possible. That’s why Laredo Emergency Room sees many patients every year, especially in summertime, for heat exhaustion, dehydration, and the more serious heat stroke.

Dehydration

Starting with the most common, dehydration affects almost all of us, especially in a heat wave. The saying that “if you’re already thirsty, you’re already dehydrated” is true. Common symptoms of dehydration include a cotton-mouth sensation and thirst – but other symptoms include inability to focus and fatigue.

Many, many people are mildly dehydrated regularly and don’t know it. Watching for symptoms and staying ahead of thirst by regularly drinking water even when you don’t feel thirsty can help. But on the other end of the spectrum, severe dehydration can be serious. When this happens, symptoms range from absence of or darkly colored urine, very dry skin, dizziness, rapid heartbeat and breathing, confusion, sunken eyes, and fainting. In these instances, Laredo Emergency Room can treat dehydration effectively with intravenous (IV) fluids. We can also perform a variety of simple tests to identify whether there is a more significant underlying cause of the dehydration.

Heat Exhaustion

More serious than dehydration alone, heat exhaustion often goes hand in hand with it and comes with many of the same symptoms, including dark-colored urine, dizziness, and fainting. It also adds nausea or diarrhea, heavy sweating, fatigue, headache, clammy skin, and muscle cramps to the list.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion should immediately seek a cool, breezy, and shady place to rest, rehydrate with water or sports drinks, and use cool compresses to the back of the neck and other parts of the body. If there isn’t improvement within an hour, seek emergency treatment.

Heat Stroke

The most serious of these heat wave ailments, heat stroke is a serious medical condition that sends more than 4,000 people to the ER each year in the United States. Heat stroke can cause death or damage to muscles and internal organs, including the brain. A signature sign of heat stroke is a core body temperature of at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit, combined with symptoms such as nausea, fainting, lack of sweat, red and hot skin, rapid heartbeat, seizures, confusion, disorientation, and even loss of consciousness.

When heat stroke is suspected, seek emergency care at Laredo Emergency Room right away. Until professional care can be given, attempt to lower the affected person’s body temperature by wetting the skin or, if the heat stroke occurred due to rigorous exercise, by applying ice packs.

Prevent Heat

Injury In spite of the summertime heat in Laredo, there are ways to help keep your cool and avoid heat injury, including wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothes, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, drinking extra water or sports drinks, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and avoiding outdoor activities in the middle to late afternoon.

The summertime heat and dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke go hand in hand, so take some simple measures to keep yourself cool when temperatures rise. And if you should find yourself experiencing symptoms of heat-related illness, Laredo Emergency Room is here to help.

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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17/Oct/2019

When it comes to your eyes, it’s not so easy to take a breath and consider whether a bit of redness or discomfort is an emergency or not.

So, is it?

The answer may be in a study undertaken by the University of Michigan, which revealed that less than 7% of eye-related emergency room visits were true emergencies. What’s more, nearly one in four eye-related ER visits during the study period were for mild, common, non-emergency conditions like pink eye and puffy eyelids.

At Laredo Emergency Room, we see our fair share of non-emergency eye complaints like pink eye, too, so we want to help our patients avoid unnecessary visits to the emergency room by sharing with you more insight on how to tell whether what’s bothering your eyes is a real emergency.

When to Seek Treatment

We recommend you come to Laredo Emergency Room for emergency eye care for the following eye symptoms:

* Sudden light sensitivity, vision loss, or blurring of vision in one or both eyes, with or without pain

* The sudden appearance of floaters, flashes of light, or the appearance of a dark spot in the vision

* Eyes that suddenly don’t move together or pupils that are dilated/constricted unequally

* An object in your eye that won’t come out after irrigation

* A bulging eye

* Bleeding in or from the eye

* Severe pain, swelling, and redness, with or without other symptoms such as nausea

* Severe headaches, especially with affected vision

* Physical injury, such as penetration, scraping, cuts, or burns to the eye, or chemical injury to the eye

Preventing Eye Emergencies

Because symptoms such as fatigue, muscle aches, and headaches can also indicate health issues that can ultimately affect your vision, Laredo Emergency Room recommends that you have regular visits with a primary care physician to make sure chronic conditions are kept under control or caught and treated early.

Regular visits to an ophthalmologist or optometrist also can help catch problems like glaucoma before it damages your sight. You can also prevent serious eye conditions and injuries by wearing protective eye safety goggles or sport glasses during a variety of activities such as working with tools and heavy equipment, activities like biking, sports that involve flying objects such as tennis, racquetball, or baseball, and hobbies like woodworking. Washing your hands can prevent the spread of germs that cause the common cold and also prevent the spread of eye infections, too.

Eye First Aid

In the instance that you do experience an eye injury, there are steps you can take right away before heading to the emergency room. These include:

* Shielding the eye with something like a cup that won’t put pressure on the eye if it is injured

* Cold compress applied to an eye that has been struck with a blunt object

* Irrigation with water for 20-30 minutes for eyes splashed with chemicals. This can be done by holding your eye open with your fingers while placing your eye under a faucet of running water.

Where to Go for Eye Emergency

We know in the midst of an eye emergency that thinking about where to go adds even more stress to an already stressful situation.

 

If you need emergency eye care, the skilled team at Laredo Emergency Room can provide the treatment you need. 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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17/Oct/2019

Group exercise classes are all of the rage these days. On every corner, you see a new cycle studio, Crossfit gym, dance class, or kickboxing gym pop up due to the high demand for these types of workouts. But what is it about these classes that makes them so popular? Why are masses of people flocking to dark studios with loud, pumping music to get their sweat on? Both young and old, fit and working-on-fit alike have found value in working out with others for a multitude of reasons, mainly motivation, encouragement, accountability, and maybe even a little psychological and physiological boost.

Motivational Boost

It’s no secret that the New Year’s resolutions that you made 7 months ago might be waning, which is the perfect reason to give your motivation a jump start by signing up for a group workout class. Participating in classes like this can give you the opportunity to be encouraged by your classmates, as well as your instructors who know how to push you to your limits when they see you fatiguing out or not hitting correct form. You’re also more likely to work harder if you see everyone around you pushing for the same goal. Call it a competitive edge, but this positive, competitive desire to want to keep up with the people who are working hard around you can lead you to push yourself harder than you would when working out by yourself. Working out at a high intensity produces endorphins, endorphins make you happy, happy people stay motivated and stick to their workout routines!

Team Mindset

This might not be a scientifically proven fact, but it seems to us that it would be a lot harder to miss a 6am boot camp when you have a few friends in the group who are relying on you to be there, texting you the night before or the morning of asking if you’re ready for the workout. Accountability to people other than yourself can be encouragement enough to get to that workout you’ve been planning on, and the camaraderie that is built in these classes will keep you coming back. The social aspect of these communities can also be a huge benefit as an excellent place to meet new people who have the same interests and fitness goals as you do.

All in all, if you are feeling the need for a new, renewed feeling of motivation and accountability that comes with a community feel and mindset, these group workouts could be just what you’re looking for. Use Google to find local classes and workouts that fit your schedule, and don’t be afraid to mix it up between different types of classes to keep things feeling new and fresh!

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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17/Oct/2019

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “beat the heat”? Our guess is probably the image of a pool, ocean, or lake with a cold beverage in hand.

Here in Laredo, we are lucky to have various options to choose from when it comes to accessible bodies of water, so we’ve decided to give you a list of our favorite options to choose the way you want to make a splash this summer – but first, let’s go over some safety basics before you hit the waves.

Summer Water Safety

There are a few things you need to consider and be aware of before you head out to your beach vacation or a day at the swimming pool, especially if you have young children. Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 5? This scary and all-too-common occurrence can happen to any family very quickly, so it is vitally important to keep a sharp eye on young children at all points in time while around water. An adult should always be within arm’s reach of a child, be sure every child is fitted with a floatation device, check the water first if a child is missing, and know what to do in case an emergency should arise. It’s not pleasant to think about, but seconds count when a child is in danger.

If you are planning on swimming in the ocean, try to swim in designated areas with a lifeguard present. If no lifeguard is on duty, be sure to swim with a buddy so that you can keep track of each other. Be mindful of areas with moving water, strong waves, or rip currents that can quickly pull you under and out to sea. If you do end up caught in a rip current, don’t fight it and stay calm. Swim parallel to the shore until out of the current, then turn to swim back to the shoreline.

Other important water safety tips to keep in mind include always wearing sunscreen, keeping an eye out for bad weather, keep electronics out of the water, and plan for snacks and refreshments if you’re going to be out in the elements for any good portion of the day.

Best Summer Water Spots

You’re packed, ready, super safe, and on your way to hitting the water!

Check out some of the best places here in Texas and around Laredo to jump in and cool off:

  • Lake Casa Blanca – a local favorite, this watering hole is right here in Laredo!
  • South Padre Island – this beautiful south Texas beach is a short road trip away, and an excellent place for the whole family to vacation and relax.
  • Corpus Christi – another great beach-front location, and at 2 and a half hours away, this town is even closer than South Padre.
  • Galveston Island – with beaches, an aquarium, water park, and the new Pleasure Pier amusement park, this island getaway is worth the longer road trip. It’s time to take your pick and hit the road to your next great watery destination, equipped with all of the safety knowledge and sunscreen you need!


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