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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13/Dec/2018

As much joy as the holidays can bring for many of us, the season also brings with it more than its fair share of safety risks. With fireplaces aglow, candles burning, and string lights sparkling on giant piles of tinder, it’s a time for caution as well as merrymaking. Throw in a houseful of festive kids and pets, and your holiday joy could quickly turn into a trip to Laredo Emergency Room for your little ones, or a trip to the emergency vet for your furry companions.

We really don’t want you spending your holidays seeking emergency medical care for the ones you love most, so we’re sharing these holiday safety tips that will help you keep your kids and your pets safe all season long.

  • Watch the cords. Whether you string lights only on a simple tree in the corner or deck out your entire house in LEDs, the electrical cords from string lights can pose a major safety risk, especially for children and pets. Cords that snake out along the floor pose a tripping hazard that can result in falls and injuries to children, and can serve as a chewing temptation for pets. Very young children may even play among the strings and become strangled. So be sure to tuck away all cords and, when you can’t avoid running cords along walls, use cord covers designed to keep cords in place and protected.

 

  • Choose battery-operated candles. Kids are fascinated by fire and often can’t resist the temptation to experiment with lit candles, even if only to blow and watch the flames dance. The problem is that those dancing flames can catch nearby flammable materials, resulting in a potentially catastrophic fire. Pets are often fearful of flames, which may cause them to panic and accidentally overturn a lit candle. The National Fire Protection Association says that the top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. Luckily, battery-operated candle choices abound, with many realistic-looking options available to help you avoid adding to those numbers.

 

  • Screen the spread. The holidays bring with them many opportunities to indulge in once-a-year treats. Those delicious additions don’t just add calories to our diet – they also pose risks to our children and pets. Overeating can cause nausea and abdominal pain for all of us, but children oftentimes are even more sensitive to ingredients that are new to them and may have more significant reactions. Children also love to grab handfuls of the treats that pop up during the holidays – but because “bite-sized” treats are not one size fits all, children are more likely to choke on these goodies. Be sure to check all treats for size before you serve to your children. Pets are highly sensitive to the delicious smells of holiday foods and often can’t resist sneaking a serving for themselves – so beware of leaving out chocolate and any other foods that may be harmful to your pets.

 

  • Travel safely. The winter holiday season is one of extensive travel for many families with kids and pets, whether on the road or by air. Making your holiday trip safe for the kids and pets in your family is easy with just a few guidelines. First, always buckle up your children, even for long car rides, whether in a baby seat, booster, or the car’s seat belt. Pets can comfortably ride crated if you have the space, or you can fit them with their own seatbelt or car seat. Make sure to never let your pet out of the vehicle without a leash. If flying, don’t have your child sit on the aisle, where passengers are most likely to become injured by passing carts or other passengers.

 

These holiday safety tips are sure to help make your season more enjoyable for you and your family.

But if you should find yourself facing a medical emergency this holiday season, Laredo Emergency Room is here to help 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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13/Dec/2018

Thanksgiving kicks off the most joyous time of year. You’re off of work, spending time with friends and loved ones, enjoying nice weather, and of course, indulging in amazing holiday food! Unfortunately, weight gain over the holidays has become commonplace for many of us, but it doesn’t have to be the norm! If you’ve been worried about how you’re going to avoid the holiday pounds, we have a few ways you can make this Thanksgiving the healthiest on record.

Don’t Come to Dinner Starving

The same rule that applies to grocery shopping applies to Thanksgiving dinner: the hungrier you are, the more you’re going to consume! Have a lighter snack before arriving or bring a snack with you to curb your appetite before dinner. You are less likely to overindulge if you have been able to snack throughout the day.

Create a Colorful Plate

Fruits and vegetables are a great substitute for breads and starches. Swap the mashed potatoes for green beans, and the dinner rolls for carrots! Take advantage of the nutritious foods that are available to you, or suggest making and bringing healthy dishes for everyone to share! A colorful plate means you have mostly avoided the beige-colored calories – biscuits, gravy, stuffing, and mashed potatoes!

Opt for White Meat

Did you know that dark meat turkey with the skin has twice the fat of white meat, and 40% more calories? Choosing white meat selections without the skin in 3.5-ounce portions will save you on a good amount of calories that come on a Thanksgiving dinner plate. Turkey will also keep you feeling fuller longer.

Think “Simple” for Desert

Instead of going straight for the sugar after dinner, pick deserts that include fruit or something fruit-based. Traditional options like fruit salads and pumpkin pie are great alternatives to frosted sugar cookies and sweet pecan pie! 

Practice Mindfulness and Portion Control

These two approaches go hand-in-hand, as being conscious of your portion sizes and mindful of what you’re consuming will lead to healthier decisions when you’re passing through the casserole buffet line. It is easy to become distracted at family holiday gatherings and begin grazing on the first appetizer put in front of you but stay conscious of the items you’re putting on your plate or napkin.

We can’t tell you how to tell your mom that you just can’t eat her sweet potato casserole, but armed with these tips, you will be able to successfully navigate your way to a cleaner Thanksgiving.

 

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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13/Dec/2018

Most often, when the topic of cancer and women’s health comes up, people first think about breast cancer. It’s got a lot of marketing power behind it – its own month, its own signature color, and several highly publicized annual fundraisers complete with celebrity spokeswomen. Because of the prominence breast cancer is given – and the education about the disease that comes with it – women are more likely to have routine screening and to recognize possible signs that will prompt them to seek out medical attention.

However, at Laredo Emergency Room, we are seeking to shine the spotlight on another disease that’s taking the lives of thousands of women each year: ovarian cancer, which begins in the ovaries, the two small reproductive organs in which a woman’s eggs are produced. While the American Cancer Society ranks ovarian cancer fifth for cancer deaths among women, it’s still a very deadly disease – because while fewer women get cancer of the ovaries, it causes more deaths than any other cancer of female reproductive organs.

While a variety of tests, such as pelvic exams, ultrasounds, and biopsies, can help a physician diagnose ovarian cancer once it is suspected, the main problem lies in that there are no routine screenings for ovarian cancer. This means that more often than not, ovarian cancer has progressed to an advanced stage before it is caught.

A second problem is that ovarian cancer brings with it an assortment of ambiguous symptoms such as bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, a need to urinate frequently or urgently, and feeling full quickly during meals. The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance also warns that fatigue, pain in the back or with intercourse, constipation, and menstrual irregularities can also signal the presence of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer symptoms can even include gas, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite, along with weight fluctuations.

These are symptoms that we know many women wouldn’t even come to Laredo Emergency Room to treat, even though a deadly disease is lurking underneath. That’s because the symptoms of ovarian cancer are so generalized and easily mistaken for signs of other women’s health conditions or even simply for issues with diet or stress.

Because ovarian cancer is so sly and therefore difficult to catch in its earliest stages, the best course of action for women is to become knowledgeable of their own risk factors for the disease:

  1. 1. Women of advancing age – About half of all women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are age 63 and older.
  2. 2. Women who never had children or had children later – Not having a full-term pregnancy by the age of 35 puts women at greater risk for ovarian cancer.
  3. 3. Women who have undergone IVF – In vitro fertilization treatment increases a woman’s risk of certain types of ovarian cancers.
  4. 4. Women who take hormone therapy – Using estrogens after menopause can increase a woman’s risk for ovarian cancer.
  5. 5. Women with a personal or family history of cancers – If a woman has had breast cancer – or has a family history of breast or ovarian cancer – she is at greater risk.

While knowing your personal risk factors for ovarian cancer and any women’s health concerns can help you become more self-awareand more likely to start the right kinds of conversation with your physician


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13/Dec/2018

Once we clock in at work, it’s easy to focus simply on getting the job done. We want to be productive. We want to meet deadlines and goals. Even work in a few moments here and there to socialize with coworkers. But too often what falls by the wayside, forgotten and neglected, is our health.

For many of us, working means sitting at a desk for long periods of time. This sedentary presence leads employees down the path to poor cardiovascular health and weight gain. According to an article written by Dr. Edward Laskowski, a certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, sitting for too long repeatedly can create more significant health issues. This can give rise to metabolic syndrome, characterized by elevated cholesterol and an increase in blood pressure, blood sugar, and fat around the waist.
Staring at computer screens all day can be hard on the eyes and cause headaches, while poor chair support and computer screen alignment can lead to stiff, aching muscles and lasting (but not irreversible) changes in posture and carriage – which, if left uncorrected, can cause joint problems further down the road.

Some workers forgo breaks and lunch in order to remain focused on their tasks. Haley Robinson, a clinical dietitian at Piedmont Atlanta, describes how this causes the metabolism to slow down and go into survival mode, which makes it harder to maintain a healthy weight and prompts workers to overeat at the end of the workday.

At Laredo Emergency Room, we know firsthand that these workplace habits lead to significant health problems. We frequently treat patients for heart-related conditions that are directly related to an inactive lifestyle. We see people every day for complaints relating to back pain, muscle spasms caused by tension and poor posture, and much more. We, in the community, must understand that being at work does not preclude us from making healthy choices.

Here are nine tips on staying healthy at work:

 1. When you have to sit, do it right. Start by making sure your chair is supportive to your back and that you can sit comfortably with your legs uncrossed.
2. When you use a computer, your neck should be straight. If you find yourself looking down, you should elevate your screen.
3. For those with hand and wrist issues, like carpal tunnel syndrome, look into keyboard and mouse options that can help with hand and wrist comfort.
4. Take frequent breaks. Stand up and stretch, and then walk for even just a few minutes once every thirty minutes.
5. Find ways to stay active as you work, like pacing around your workspace as you talk on the phone, or having coworkers join you for “working walks” instead of traditional conference-room meetings.
6. As you sit at your computer, you can work a variety of desk exercises into your day.
7. Trade your traditional chair for a balance ball chair, which can help with posture and strengthen your core.
8. Incorporate a raised desk that allows you to stand while you work. If your environment allows, you can even position your computer or work surface above a treadmill.
9. Eat small, healthy meals throughout the day, including snacks high in protein and fiber, to keep up your energy and help you maintain a healthy metabolism.

The great thing is that putting into place some of these healthy approaches to your workday is actually easy. We know that making them a habit is the hard part – but recruiting co-workers to join you in your quest can help. Most employers also love hearing that their staff is seeking ways to be healthier and are usually willing to help in any way they can.

 

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Be sure to check out 10 additional ways you can stay healthy at work.

Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

 


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13/Dec/2018

When we contemplate eating healthfully, we usually think about the types of foods to avoid – things like saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, sodium, added sugars, etc. As part of Nationals Men’s Health Month, we are excited to celebrate all the amazing foods and beverages that are both delicious and healthy – and are especially good for your heart.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the US, and one way to help lower your risk is by eating well daily. Making changes in your diet to consume more heart-healthy foods and fewer unhealthy foods can be easier when you enjoy these tasty options:

Salmon and other fish rich in omega-3 fats – Try to eat at least eight ounces of salmon and other fish like tuna and trout each week.  These types of fish contain high amounts of omega-3s, which have an anti-clotting benefit to keep your blood flowing and can lower your triglycerides.

Other examples of heart-healthy foods include:

1.) Walnuts – like salmon, walnuts, along with other nuts like almonds and cashews, are high in omega-3 fats and can improve your cholesterol levels. Eat five ounces each week for a heart-heathy snack or use as a salad topping

2.) Berries – Raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries are all high in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C, which can help lower your risk of stroke.

3.) Oatmeal – Start your day with a hearty bowl of oatmeal, which is loaded with soluble fiber that can help reduce heart disease and improve cholesterol.

4.) Fruits and vegetables – You can’t go wrong with a diet high in fruits and vegetables, but choosing spinach, tomatoes, asparagus, avocados, and broccoli will deliver nutrients that are great for your heart health.  Fruits like oranges and cantaloupes are also high in fiber and nutrient rich.

5.) Coffee and green tea – Even that cup of joe you look forward to every morning can help decrease your risk of developing heart failure and stroke, when consumed in moderation. Green tea has been shown to help reduce high blood pressure, too.

6.) Red wine – When consumed in moderation, red wine, with its antioxidants, is a better choice for your heart than other alcoholic beverages and can improve good (HDL) cholesterol levels.

7.) Dark chocolate – Perhaps we’ve saved the best for last – and it’s the perfect dessert to end a heart-healthy meal. Dark chocolate, in moderation, has been shown to protect against atherosclerosis – a build-up of plaque inside the arteries.

We think these heart-healthy foods are winners for their taste and for their health value – and with all of these heart-healthy choices, it will be easy to observe National Men’s Health Month with great eating. For more ideas on how to incorporate heart-healthy choices into your diet, check out the American Heart Association’s “Healthy for Good” recipes at https://recipes.heart.org/.

Here’s to your health – and to great, heart-healthy food!

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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13/Dec/2018

Did you know that in the U.S. alone, approximately 6 million kids suffer from asthma? That’s about 1 in 12 children. For a child, an asthma attack can feel frightening. The most important thing we can do for our kids is to arm them with knowledge ahead of the attack and help them stay calm when the next attack comes.

As a community, we can continue to learn more about asthma, learn how to manage it and learn how to recognize the warning signs of an asthma attack. Interestingly, asthma hospitalizations for children are actually decreasing. Children with asthma are also reporting fewer attacks and fewer missed days of school. Despite this progress, 1 in 6 children with asthma still end up in the Emergency Room every year.

What you can do to help your child:

1.) Reducing asthma triggers at home:

2.) Cleaning for allergens (i.e. dust mites, animal dander and molds)

3.) Eliminating all sources of smoke

4.)Reminding them to take breaks during exercise to catch their breath

5.) Reducing emotional anxiety and stress

Using asthma controller medicine as prescribed

Sharing child’s asthma plan with schools, caregivers and healthcare providers.

Weather change can also trigger asthma attacks. Spring can be tough on kids with asthma, particularly if they have a pollen allergy. As our temperatures rise in Texas, increased heat and changes in humidity are also associated with an increase in asthma-related visits to the ER, so always have your child’s medication with you.

We believe that keeping a child’s asthma under control is an achievable goal, but not without help from parents and our community. With knowledge, awareness and management, you can rest assured knowing your child will live an active, normal life!

                                  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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13/Dec/2018

Summer is officially here, and so is the inevitable heat that comes with it! Being outdoors is one of the simple joys of summertime, but it can sometimes be dangerous. Whether you’re working out or relaxing at the park, it’s important to know how to keep you and your family safe from the hazards of high temperatures.

When your body is exposed to high heat, especially when coupled with humidity, your core body temperature can rise. In an effort to cool itself, your body will send more blood to circulate throughout your skin, leaving less blood for your muscles. These factors can increase your heart rate, putting more stress on your body. Perspiration can also fail as a cooling mechanism when exposed to high heat for too long.

Some of the ailments you run the risk of developing when your core body temperature rises are:
• Heat exhaustion
• Heat cramps
• Heat syncope (fainting)
• Heatstroke

The symptoms of these heat-related illnesses vary from nausea and headaches to fatigue and shortness of breath. If you aren’t feeling well, seek medical attention.

There are ways to safeguard you and your family from the potentially harmful effects of heat overexposure.
• Avoid physical activity outside during the hottest part of the day (10AM – 4PM).
• Drink plenty of water before you go outside, and keep hydrating in the sun.
• Take frequent breaks from activity and find shade.
• If you must be in the sun for long stretches of time, be sure to stretch your leg muscles often. This will prevent blood from pooling in your legs, potentially leading to fainting.

These are just some of the ways you can protect yourself in the heat. Always make sure you exercise common sense. If you’re hot, take a break!
If you would like to learn more about staying safe in the summer heat, read more on how to pick the right SPF sunscreen for your skin!

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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13/Dec/2018

When it comes to exercising, it seems like people are never at a loss for new excuses. “I work too much,” “I don’t have time,” “My kid needs help with their homework,” “I walk a lot at my job…” the list goes on and on. But even in a small town like Laredo, “I don’t have anywhere to work out,” is the last excuse you should make for why you aren’t working out.


13/Dec/2018

Obesity is one of the greatest health risks facing the United States today. While obesity may be preventable, it has many causes that people don’t usually think about. Diet and exercise make an obvious impact on a person’s obesity, but they aren’t the only important factors to consider. Income, ethnicity, and where you live are closely linked to the development of obesity.


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13/Dec/2018

February is a month full of love, sweets, roses, and … heart health! It’s not just a time to celebrate your loved ones; February is a great time to take steps toward improving the health of your heart. Heart disease affects more than 600,000 Americans each year. This can be in the form of coronary artery disease, heart attack, irregular heart rhythm or heart valve disease. However, there are ways you can start taking care of your heart and reduce your risk for heart disease.

Heart-Healthy Eating

You don’t have to give up foods immediately, but you can make small changes in what you eat. We all love snacking, but snacks can add unwanted sugar and sodium. Switch up the bag of chips for healthier options such as apples, berries, whole-grain crackers, rice cakes, nuts, and seeds. If you’re used to grabbing a soda (loaded with sugar), try sparkling water or soymilk instead. For those with a sweet tooth, try a baked apple or bake banana nut bread. Both are delicious and healthier alternatives.

Daily Exercise

One of the best ways to improve your cardiovascular health is exercise. It doesn’t have to be boring, and we’re not asking you to start CrossFit tomorrow (unless you want to). According to the American Heart Association, they recommend “at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days per week for a total of 150 minutes” for overall cardiovascular health. You can walk your dog, ride your bicycle or lightly jog. What matters is finding an exercise activity that you like doing, or finding an exercise buddy to help keep you accountable.

Manage Your Stress

Stress affects your mental health as well as your physical health. It can give you a headache, tighten muscles, and clench your jaw. When you’re stressed, it can cause your breathing to quicken and your heart rate and blood pressure to rise. If you have a history of heart disease, it’s important you learn how to manage your stress. Studies have shown meditation helps lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Quit Smoking

It’s not easy, but we highly recommend taking those cigarettes to the trash. When you quit smoking, you reduce your risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty substances in your arteries), lung cancer, and stroke. If you’re not a smoker, be sure that you avoid other people’s smoke as “second hand” smoke can still cause health issues.

Know the Signs of a Heart Attack

Pay attention to the signs your body is telling you. These are the common symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Jaw, neck, back pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweatiness
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness

If you are experiencing any chest pain, come to our facility. Laredo Emergency Room is located at 7510 McPherson Rd, and we’re open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No appointments necessary. Follow us on Twitter to learn health tips for you and your family!

 


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