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

We all know that trying to live a healthy lifestyle day in and day out can be difficult. You’re supposed to keep track of your calories, your sleep, and your steps on top of working out, meal prepping, and making sure you’re not eating junk – we’re exhausted just typing it all out! Thankfully, we live in a day and age that there is an app or a gadget for just about everything, and lately, there have been more than a few technological devices aimed at helping you maintain your health that has popped up. Here are some of the best health gadgets you can stock up on this Black Friday for yourself, or the health nut in your life:

PainPod

Chances are you probably know someone in your life that suffers from chronic pain if you don’t suffer from it yourself. The PainPod is a wearable gadget that is a safe substitute for painkillers that is powered by microcurrents and biomedical technology that is able to understand the body’s nervous and electrical systems and work to manage pain, improve muscle performance, and speed up recovery! All you have to do is stick it on the area that is in pain and the Pod goes to work! If this isn’t the future of healing, we don’t know what is.

Phillips Centrifugal Juicer

Are you getting enough fiber? Would you even know where to start if you weren’t? A good juicer can take the guessing out for you; welcome the Phillips Juicer! This gift comes complete with FiberBoost technology, which will allow you to switch the texture of your juice. The creamier the juice, the more the fiber (up to 50% more). This juicer is also super easy to clean, making it more likely for you to actually use it and not leave it on your kitchen shelf!

Nokia Thermo

Getting your temperature taken has never been easier. With the Nokia Thermo, all that’s necessary to get an accurate reading is to swipe the Thermo across your forehead and the device reads your temperature from your temporal artery.

Apple Watch

When Apple set out to change the face of personal technology, we don’t know if they had your workouts in mind, but they certainly have changed the way we track our physical activity. The Apple Watch is so high-tech, it can track your calories burned based on the type of workout you’re doing, your heart rate, age, and weight. Doing high-intensity interval training? Apple knows. Swimming a few laps in an outdoor pool? Apple knows! It also has the ability to keep track of your activity day after day, year over year, sending you motivating and encouraging messages to “close your rings!” along the way. Just slap on your watch and literally watch the burned calories add up!

While no device can make you healthy by itself, having high-tech toys to help you along the way can provide motivation. So, after stocking up on these gadgets, let there be no more excuses – get out and get moving!

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

Across the nation, sport related injuries are on the rise—and they can contribute to many factors. The physical stress is often too much for the growing bodies of young athletes and wearing the proper safety gear isn’t always enforced. And this just scratches the surface.

Studies have now connected concussions to prolonged participation in football. The condition known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, has led to life-altering physical and mental conditions for many prominent professional athletes. Although sports leagues and schools have sparked nationwide campaigns to help encourage safety in sports at all ages. And though sport related injuries are now on high alert, dangers of suffering injuries are no less alarming. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported the following:

1.) Football accounted for 1, 0240,022 doctor office, emergency room, and hospital visits

2.) Soccer accounted for 368,726 injuries

3.) Cheerleading caused 75,307 injuries

4.) Gymnastics contributed to 67,542 injuries

This is why parents must get involved to keep young athletes safe, in addition to efforts from programs such as Heads Up Football and our very own, here at Laredo Emergency Room. The following are some simple ways you can help protect your child from injuries:

  • 1.) Heart Screenings – Unfortunately, a life of sports is not meant for everyone, especially those of us with heart conditions. It’s never easy to take away something they love, but sometimes that’s the best way to protect our loved ones.
  • 2.) Stretching and Warming Up – To help prepare their body for exercise, make sure they loosen their joints and increase their blood flow by stretching. Encourage them to gently prepare for physical activity by warming up.
  • 3.) Playing with Kids Their Age – Your child can be as large as an older kid and still not as physically mature. Letting them play with them may be too big of a risk and literal hit to take.
  • 4.) Avoiding Excessive Fatigue – Some schools of thought have suggested fatigue contributes to sports-related injuries. Until the cause and correlation are clear, we should not let our children over-extend themselves.
  • 5.) Buying the Right Shoes – Running routes on wet grass in sneakers is an injury waiting to happen. Investing in the right shoes can help keep them out of our ER and on the playing field!
  • 6.) Staying Hydrated – Losing just 1% of their body’s water content can increase the likelihood of injury.
  • 7.) Avoiding Playing while Injured – When not under profession sports contract, playing injured should be out of the question. Let them heel before they get back on the field.
  • 8.) Watching Their Temperature – Combining sports with temperatures in the upper 90’s too 100’s can equal a heat stroke. In the summer, at its hottest, young athletes face the most significant risk.
  • 9.) Consuming Nutritious Foods – Sports injuries can often be a sign of nutritional imbalances. Help avoid the problem by preparing pre-workout-foods that have a healthy balance of proteins, carbs, and calories.
  • 10.) Joining a Team Sport – Youth sports participation can not only help improve your child’s health and physical fitness, but can also boost their self-esteem, and improve their leadership skills!

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13/Dec/2018

Here’s the good news: the rate at which American men are getting prostate cancer has been undergoing a fairly steady (and significant) decline for years  according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the bad news is that prostate cancer is still the second most common cancer in American men. This makes having a basic understanding about the disease, as well as your personal risk factors for getting it, as important as ever for men.

The prostate sits just below a man’s bladder, in front of the rectum, and surrounds the urethra. While its normal size is about that of a marble, it tends to grow as a man advances in age, which can put pressure along the urethra, affecting the flow of urine. Enlarging of the prostate is a relatively common occurrence, but, unfortunately, the symptoms of prostate cancer can be mistaken for the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Therefore, it’s critical to see your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • A frequent urge to urinate, especially at night
  • Difficulty controlling the flow of urine
  • A weak, interrupted urine flow
  • Pain during urination or ejaculation
  • Difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Pain or pressure in the rectum, lower back, hips, or thighs

Again, the problem with this list of symptoms is that it is eerily similar to those of other conditions, such as an enlarged prostate – which causes many men a great deal of discomfort, but for which many men may also procrastinate seeking treatment… a delay that can be deadly when we’re talking about something as serious as cancer.

(By the way, at Laredo Emergency Room, we do treat men who have experienced medical emergencies associated with enlarged prostates, and we can tell you that seeing your doctor sooner rather than later is best, even if you don’t suspect cancer as the culprit.)

 

When the above symptoms indicate the presence of cancerous tumors, it usually means the cancer is more advanced and more difficult to treat. That means screenings are essential to your men’s health routine – and can find the cancer before you experience significant symptoms. Laredo Emergency Room physicians advise our patients without symptoms to have prostate screening done yearly beginning at age 40 if you have a family history of prostate cancer, age 45 if you are African American, and by age 50 for everyone else.

 

To be screened for prostate cancer, you need only have a simple blood test called a PSA test, which measures the level of protein produced by the prostate. Some physicians will conduct a rectal exam in addition to a PSA test. Elevated PSA levels may prompt your doctor to ask you to undergo further testing.

 

When screening is this easy, it’s hard to understand why so many men put it off … so Laredo Emergency Room urges you to take control of your health and talk to your doctor – especially if you have any symptoms. Taking a little bit of time out of your busy schedule once a year as your doctor recommends can save your 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

We all know that the month of July is a time for fun in the sun! Many of us are flocking to vacations, pool parties, camping trips and sporting events that will occupy a large part of our time during the warmer months. These activities can be exciting, but they can often take a dangerous turn if we are not thinking about our exposure to the elements – Heat Exhaustion can strike without notice or warning, and quickly turn to the more deadly Heatstroke without treatment.

The CDC tells us that heat-related illness kills up to 600 people every year in the US alone, but we can easily avoided it if we can recognize the risk. Obvious risk factors like time of day and activity level do play a major role in the onset of heat-related illnesses, but there are other contributors that may not be as easily noticeable. Some important factors to recognize are:

1.)Using prescription medication – The elderly are especially susceptible to heat-related illness due in large part to the use of medications that are used to treat heart conditions, blood pressure or urinary problems. If you are out and about on a hot day with your grandparents or other older friends, be sure that they are properly hydrated, shaded and have frequent breaks from activity.

2.)Alcohol use – It’s safe to say that people who are on vacation or at a backyard party are usually not thinking about the risk of sun exposure as their first concern, especially once someone has had a few drinks, protection from the sun may be an afterthought. For those times this summer when the only thing on your mind is having a good time, be sure that sunscreen, shade, and hydration come first!

3.)Being overweight or obese – anyone carrying more weight can be prone to overheating quickly. As the body is expending more energy to move, it also cannot process the heat it’s taking on through thicker bodily layers. This combination can be a fast track to heat-induced issues for people who are overweight.

We know that recognizing risk factors is half the battle when it comes to fighting heat-related illness, but the other half is being able to identify heat exhaustion and heatstroke in time to avoid permanent physical consequences.

 

Heat Exhaustion

 

Heat Exhaustion can be thought of as the precursor to Heatstroke, and though it is less serious, treatment should be rendered immediately if you see someone displaying symptoms.  Identifiable symptoms of heat exhaustion are:

  • Muscle cramping
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Excessive sweating
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Headache

 

The best treatment for Heat Exhaustion is to help that person to cool themselves and lower their body temperature. A person suffering from mild Heat Exhaustion can recover if they take the steps rest and thoroughly rehydrate – move into the shade, remove excess clothing, drink water or a sports drink, and run cold water over the skin if it’s available. If the symptoms do not improve within an hour, it’s time to call a doctor.

 

Heatstroke

 

After the stages of Heat Exhaustion progress, we are now dealing with the most dangerous heat-related illness: Heatstroke, and it can be deadly. Heatstroke can cause damage to nearly every major bodily system if not treated immediately. Recognizable symptoms of Heatstroke include:

  • Hot, dry skin (this person is no longer sweating)
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures

 

It is vitally important that anyone who is suffering from Heatstroke seek emergency medical attention immediately because as we mentioned before, permanent damage to the body and its functions can occur very quickly.

 

The bottom line for fun in the sun: if you’re going to be out in it, be prepared! Pack sunscreen, shady hats, and plenty of fluids. The risk of Heat-related illnesses can definitely be scary, but with awareness and knowledge, you can enjoy your summer fun knowing that you’re ready to handle the heat!

 

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

Studies have found that people have the potential to be their happiest in their 50s. If you are in your 50s with many of life’s challenges well behind you, you may agree. Perhaps you have a little more free time – more time to focus on what fulfills you. More time to find new interests. More freedom and flexibility.

 

However, your 50s can also be a time of some physical decline for those not staying vigilant about their health. A slower pace of life can also induce boredom and even depression. Physical aches and other medical conditions can begin to show up, seemingly out of nowhere, leaving you with a feeling of hopeless.

 

On the other hand, there is good news! In your 50s, you are still young enough to stay fit – or even to get fit if you aren’t already. And you are also young enough to learn new habits, adopt new ways of thinking, and adapt to new lifestyle changes that will leave you happier than ever – like these:

 

  • Eating smarter – Including more healthy fats, like those found in salmon, almonds, and avocados, has been shown to improve heart health. Eating more fruits and vegetables, fortified cereals, and other sources of whole grains, are great choices for bodies with slower metabolisms. Be sure to drink your milk, too – or find calcium in other foods like low-fat cheeses.
  • Exercise – It’s never too late to start the latest exercise craze – or to return to a sport you loved in your youth. Regular exercise can help reduce your risk of memory problems later in life, keep your joints strong and flexible, and lower your risk of heart problems and cancer. Whether you enjoy a brisk walk, a jog in the park, yoga, or even weight lifting, exercise is great at any age – and using technology to track your progress is a great way to stay on track and accountable to yourself. Smartphone apps and wearable gadgets abound and can help you improve your health one step at a time.
  • Continue to learn – This phase of life is the perfect time to learn something new – like a musical instrument, a foreign language, a craft or technical skill, or even a new vocation that can turn you into a budding entrepreneur. Science shows us that learning actually keeps our brains healthy, in addition to making us happier people.
  • Socialize – In our 50s, many of us are starting to find ourselves with empty nests. That makes it a great time to build our social circles. Host a book or dinner club. Organize a block party. Make new friends. Even a new friend with four legs can be a great addition to your life – and pet owners have been found to have lower cholesterol and risk of heart disease. Go figure, and go adopt today!
  • Take care – Even if you aren’t the type to dutifully visit your physician’s office once every year, make it a habit in your 50s. Staying on top of your health with regular well checks in your 50s can help you identify early signs of manageable, treatable conditions – before they become debilitating.  In other words, visiting the doctor now while you are still healthy can help keep you that way for decades more to come.

 

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 people will experience a headache at some point in their life. At the least, headaches are an inconvenience. At the worst, they can indicate a serious health problem. Here are some common types of headaches and whether you should wait it out – or if you should seek medical attention.

Primary headaches are those that are not a symptom of an underlying disease or health problem. These include:
Cluster headaches (occur in patterns or ‘clusters’)
• Migraines
• Tension headaches

Primary headaches can be caused by certain lifestyle choices, including drinking alcohol, lack of sleep, skipped meals or stress.

A secondary headache is a symptom of a disease that can irritate and activate nerves of the head. A few of these headaches include:
• Sinus headaches
Thunderclap headaches (sudden, severe headaches associated with multiple causes)
• External compression headaches

The causes of secondary headaches vary from benign to severe. These conditions include concussions, encephalitis (brain inflammation), brain tumors, ear infections and high blood pressure.

So, when should seek medical attention? If your headache is coupled with confusion, fainting, high fever (over 102 degrees), stiff neck, nausea or vomiting, it could indicate a more serious condition. If your headaches are happening more than usual, worsen, don’t improve with over-the-counter medication, or keep you from your normal activities, you should seek medical attention to explore your options of alleviating the symptoms.

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


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