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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12/Dec/2019

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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12/Dec/2019

The holiday season is filled with tempting foods and alluring gifts, but for those with allergies, the surprises of the holiday season aren’t always merry. Every scented lotion or perfume becomes a potential pathway to an allergic rash. And behind every delicious treat lies the risk of a serious allergic reaction that could send you to Laredo Emergency Room.

With all the potluck dinner gatherings and seasonal gifts such as bath and beauty products, gift recipients and party-goers are bound to stumble onto an allergen. Those who haven’t had an allergic reaction before may even experience one for the first time. That makes it especially important for everyone, not just experienced allergy sufferers, to enter the holiday season ready to not only enjoy the good things it has to offer – but also to identify and respond to an allergic reaction if one happens to you or a loved one this season.

What to watch for

The kind of allergic reaction you have may depend on the allergen you’ve been exposed to, but you can typically expect to experience the following:

Rash – A red, itchy rash is a common allergic reaction to many types of allergens from foods to substances that come in contact with your skin.

Other skin reactions – Hives, bumps, blisters, scaling or cracking, and swelling can all signal an allergic reaction.

Swollen tongue – This tell-tale allergic reaction is often associated with an allergy to bee stings – but it’s also common with allergies to fruits and vegetables. Other parts of the mouth area, including the lips and throat, can also be affected.

Breathing problems – From the wheezing associated with hay fever to full-blown asthma, breathing problems can be an allergic reaction brought on by a wide range of irritants.

Anaphylaxis – With this serious, even life-threatening overreaction of the immune system, allergic reaction symptoms are wide-ranging and can include trouble breathing, vomiting, skin reactions, loss of consciousness, and more.

The time it takes for an allergic reaction to happen can vary from just a few seconds up to several hours after exposure to an allergen. Allergens can hide in almost any food but are most commonly found in the proteins cow’s milk, peanuts and tree nuts, wheat, soy, and shellfish. Beauty products like soaps, lotions, nail products, fragrances, and more contain preservatives or fragrances that can also cause an allergic reaction like a rash. Jewelry and other gifts made up of certain metals like nickel can cause an allergic reaction of the skin.

What to do

Most allergic reactions are uncomfortable but not serious. In many cases, self-treatment with an over-the-counter product such as an antihistamine can bring relief for mild symptoms like a rash. At Laredo Emergency Room, we recommend that those who suffer from even mild allergic reactions frequently see a primary care physician to discuss ways to prevent and manage your allergies.

However, when the allergic reaction is severe and involves swelling of the tongue or mouth, trouble breathing, or any symptoms of anaphylaxis, first quickly use an epi-pen (epinephrine) if you have one. Then it’s time to come to Laredo Emergency Room. And even through the holidays, 24/7/365, we’re open to treat your allergic reaction or any emergency.

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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12/Dec/2019

Hear the words “emergency room,” and what used to come to mind may have been crowded waiting rooms and chaos. But over the last decade, that expectation has begun to change, as freestanding emergency room facilities have expanded access, bringing emergency room and urgent care type services closer to home. The result is a setting devoted to quality treatment, community service, and lower wait times.

Yet still a lack of understanding persists about who and what emergency rooms like Laredo ER are designed to treat. In answer, Laredo Emergency Room can be your first line of access to treatment in virtually any emergency.

If you or someone you know experience symptoms like these, it’s time to head to Laredo Emergency Room:

Sudden severe headache, confusion, or trouble with breathing, speaking, walking, moving, or seeing

Fainting or dizziness and/or weakness that does not resolve with rest or that is felt on one side of the body

Broken bones, heavy bleeding, and serious wounds, burns, or pain

High fever that does not improve with medications or that is accompanied by headache and stiff neck

Vomiting (especially of blood) or loose stools that do not improve

Pain in the chest, arm, or jaw, which can indicate heart attack

Poisoning by fumes or smoke inhalation – or overdose of drugs or alcohol

Suicidal thoughts

Seizures

Serious allergic reactions

Severe nausea or abdominal pain

Pneumonia and related complications

When more specialized treatment or overnight observation is needed, Laredo Emergency Room can still ensure your condition is made stable enough for the transport via ambulance to out-of-neighborhood hospitals.

With such a broad range of services provided at freestanding emergency rooms, suburban communities have faster access to 24/7 treatment, imaging, and testing and can avoid the longer travel distances and wait times associated with hospital-based emergency departments. With so much to offer, including board-certified emergency physicians and expert staff, it’s no wonder freestanding emergency rooms are experiencing such growth.

We’ve got you covered

As for who Laredo Emergency Room treats, the answer is in our insurance acceptance. Laredo ER accepts all major insurance providers, including Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealthcare, and BlueCross BlueShield of Texas. We also offer payment plans to help families get the treatment you need while staying in a budget that works for you.

At Laredo Emergency Room, we hope you never experience a medical emergency. But if you do, we’re 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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12/Dec/2019

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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12/Dec/2019

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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12/Dec/2019

Halloween has got to be one of our favorite holidays – the weather is getting cooler, friends and family are throwing great parties, and the kids are all dressed up and ready to trick-or-treat! This holiday was practically made for the kids, but we know that as parents, letting the kids run around the neighborhood in masks, asking random neighbors for candy, and carving up pumpkins with sharp knives are not the most comforting thoughts. It’s true that Halloween comes with its own set of risks and potential dangers, but if you’re armed with a few safety tips, your family will have no trouble enjoying this special holiday to the fullest.

Costume Safety

We know that it’s tempting to go for the most elaborate costume in the costume store (who doesn’t want to be Pennywise or Jon Snow?) but if you plan on going around the neighborhood with the kids, pick a costume that is less involved – you don’t want to be a walking safety hazard! Some good things to keep in mind when selecting a safe costume are:

Avoid masks that can obstruct your vision, and avoid sharp objects like swords or knives

If you’re going to be out after dark, be sure to have on light-colored clothing, or have reflective surfaces on your outfit

Always buy non-toxic makeup to avoid irritating your skin

Remove all makeup from yourself and the kids before going to bed to prevent eye and skin irritation

Trick-or-Treating Tips

It should go without saying that if you’re going to let the younger kids out to hunt for candy, be sure that they always have a responsible adult with them. Review routes with older kids who might be going alone or with friends and agree on a specific time to return home. Only travel in familiar, well-lit areas and make sure the children know never to enter a stranger’s house or vehicle. If you plan on inspecting the candy loot, be sure to instruct your kids not to dig into their stash until they return home. It’s also worth mentioning here that if you plan on driving during prime trick-or-treating hours, be extra aware of children on neighborhood roadways.

Candy Safety

There are a lot of concerns to consider when sifting through a pile of Halloween candy – are there sharp objects in here? What if my child is allergic to something? Is there such a thing as “healthy” candy? When in doubt, here are some good rules of thumb:

If you’re concerned about allergies, most likely other parents are too. Play it safe and choose allergy-friendly treat options

Only consume candy that has not been opened and still has the factory seal intact

Throw away any candy that has been opened or tampered with

With these tips in mind, the most important thing to remember now is to have fun! Have a safe, fun, spooky, and happy Halloween!

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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12/Dec/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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12/Dec/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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