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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Sunscreen-1200x800.jpg
17/Jun/2019

Time and time again, you have been told by advertisements, doctors, or other medical professionals that wearing sunscreen is essential, but it can be hard to understand the benefits of wearing it until it’s too late and you’ve got a bad sunburn! Wearing sunscreen daily, especially during the summer months, can make a huge difference in your skin’s health and appearance, especially later down the road. In fact, studies have shown that individuals under the age of 55 who use sunscreen regularly have a 24% less chance of developing early signs of aging, compared to their non-sunscreen/occasional sunscreen wearing counterparts.

Sunscreen 101 dictates that wearing it lowers the risk of getting sunburns, which if severe enough have the potential to escalate to skin cancer. People who have received repeated sunburns are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with melanoma (the most dangerous kind of skin cancer) later down the road. This type of skin cancer can be life threatening to all ages, even people in their twenties.

The first and most important thing to look for when shopping for sunscreen is the “broad spectrum” protection. This label means the protection offered covers both UVA and UVB rays and has gone through specific tests to receive this certification. UVB rays are what causes the standard sunburn, but UVA rays are what can cause skin cancer and signs of premature aging. It is also essential to understand that the SPF count is the percentage of protection the product offers against UVB rays. It’s recommended that you use at least SPF 30 or higher, as SPF 15 only filters out 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 sunscreens filter out 97%, SPF 50 filters 98%, and finally SPF 100 screens 99%. Unfortunately, there is not an SPF count that filters out 100% of protection. We should also note that the FDA requires any sunscreen with SPF below 15 to carry a warning that it only protects against sunburn, not skin cancer or skin aging. When searching for a “water-resistant” option, you should know that no sunscreen is considered water or sweat-proof, which is why it is recommended to continuously re-apply every two hours, even more often if you are in the water or breaking a sweat.

When examining the ingredients list, specific ingredients are vital to making sure your sunscreen is effective, such as titanium oxide, for promoting healthy skin, octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), avobenzone (also parasol), zinc oxide, which all offer basic, everyday protection.

As far as sunscreen goes, another way to protect your skin from the blazing summer sun is by simply covering up. Be sure you are wearing clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your skin as much as possible. It’s also important to wear sunglasses, which can protect your eyes from 99% of UV light. Limiting direct exposure to the sun between the hours of 10am and 4pm, when UV rays are most active, will also be beneficial to your skin.

We hope you find these tips helpful and beneficial with summer quickly approaching!

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/Jun/2019

Springtime can be the season to catch the DIY bug. Replacing the cabinets, painting the shutters, planting some new trees – but let’s face it, nothing is ever as easy as it seems on television, especially when it involves taking on a home improvement project!

Here at Laredo Emergency Room, we know that spring is the season for tidying up and getting around to those home improvement projects that have been put off all year. We also know it is a time of the year where severe injuries can increase due to lack of safety precautions taken while tackling those home improvement projects. Whether it is finally cleaning out those gutters or completely revamping your backyard for the perfect outdoor barbecue, we want to provide you with some basic safety tips that can be applied to all of your improvement projects and make a significant difference when it comes to protecting yourself and loved ones.

The first and most important safety rule is to only take on home improvement projects that are you are capable of and prepared to handle. Meaning, if you’re afraid of heights, it might be best to leave the roof repairs to the professionals. This rule also applies to any projects having to do with electricity and especially gas repairs. If a home improvement project requires knowledge or training you do not possess, the general rule of thumb is to hire a technician, saving yourself the risk of a severe injury and costly damage to your home or even your person.

Another great safety tip to abide by is to be mindful about outwear when working on your DIY project. Working areas can become cluttered and crowded, making it easier for items to be tripped over or stepped on. You should always dress for safety. Wearing a long sleeve t-shirt, durable jeans, and close-toed shoes can save you from a lot of cuts and bruises that project sites can bring. If you are working on larger project or construction sites, think about wearing a hard hat to protect yourself from any possible head injuries, and glasses to shield your eyes from dust fibers that could cut your cornea. Gloves are also essential when handling wood, metal, or electrical wires.

If you are working on anything that requires a ladder, be careful knowing that gravity will always win! Make sure the ladder is placed securely on a flat surface, only work when it is light outside, and don’t work when the weather is bad to avoid any slips. This next tip should apply for all projects: avoid working under dangerous weather conditions. Bad weather can cause power outages, wet grounds, and bring other hostile elements into your DIY site, putting you at a higher risk for injury. If working on a project that requires the use of a power tool, make sure you have read and understood the manual fully before using. If you are accustomed to handling a power tool, make sure to keep up with the tool’s maintenance, like keeping the blades and tips sharp. This might not sound important but letting a tool’s blade or drill bit dull out will require you to place extra force on the tool while using it, allowing more opportunity for risk of injury.

Finally, be sure to have a fire extinguisher and a fully equipped first aid kit ready. These two items might seem like no-brainers, but from our experience, when an emergency arises these two items can be literally life-saving.

Taking on home improvements projects can be stressful enough, don’t make it that much harder by creating hazards for yourself. Although simple, these safety precautions can make a world of difference when it comes to your safety and self-preservation. We hope you find these safety tips useful in your home improvement projects this spring season!

Remember: if it seems too complicated to accomplish, its best left to the professionals.

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/Jun/2019

Congratulations!

You have made it through another year of holiday travel, complete with crowded airports, busy freeways, and stressed family members. Travel stress always seems to be amplified over the last months of the year, but how many of us experienced an emergency that made traveling that much more hectic? Maybe food poisoning had you sidelined during Christmas, or one of the kids managed to hit their head on the fireplace at your relative’s home. Whatever it might have been, the next time you face an emergency while out of town, you can be ready to face it with a few helpful tips:

1.) Be Prepared. The best thing you can do when getting your holiday (or any time of year) travel plans together is to be prepared for anything that might befall you or your loved ones while on vacation. If you’re going overseas, be aware of any health concerns going on at your destination. Arm yourself with a travel health kit that not only includes prescription and over the counter medications, but also first aid supplies, vitamins, and your health insurance information. Pack clothing that will protect you from the elements, whether it’s sun or snow. Give your body a fighting chance against illness by staying hydrated and getting plenty of sleep before and during your trip.

2.) Know Your Options. One of the hardest issues to face when dealing with a medical emergency at home or on vacation can be where you can go to receive care, and which establishments will accept your insurance. There is nothing like a heavy medical bill to compound an already hectic health emergency, and this is something that can usually be avoided with a little planning. Most insurance providers have a tool on their website to find the closest urgent care, emergency room, or hospital. Use these tools to do some research and make a plan for the best course of action in the worst case scenario. Do you have a travel credit card? Check with your card company to see if they offer coverage for medical expenses.

3.) Don’t Stress. This last tip may sound like a tall order, but one of the most important things to keep in mind when dealing with any medical emergency is to keep a level head. Staying calm for yourself and your family members can go a long way in de-stressing the situation. It’s true that you can’t predict an emergency. But, if you have prepped and planned for this situation, you should be ready to face most of the illnesses, bumps, and bruises that come your way.

You don’t always need to be prepared for the worst, but the more complete plan you have, the less you will be surprised when emergencies do arise!

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.


Lifestyle-1200x800.jpg
17/Jun/2019

While the New Year starts to roll in and you begin to prepare for wholesome January or another popular cleanse diet, ask yourself this, is it worth putting your body through this stress?

We all recognize that these diets may get the job done now, but let’s try to think about what the best options are for long-term healthy lifestyle.

The debate between dieting and lifestyle changes has been going on for years. We know this can be confusing for the individuals trying to find the best option for them and their health, so we here at the Laredo Emergency Room want to give you the facts so you can make the best decision for you and your needs.

While getting ready to start your new health craze, ask yourself a few questions, does your diet make specific foods off limits? Has this diet promised unrealistic weight loss goals over a short time period? Finally, has it promised to help you lose weight without exercising?

If you answered yes to any of the following questions, chances are you’re looking at a fad diet. Fad or trendy diets are not always a bad thing, but depending on its implementation, they can lead to more severe health consequences later down the road.

When dieting, results tend to show faster, but nutritionists and doctors report that losing weight quickly over an extended period of time may appear to be a healthy jumpstart, but in actuality, is quite the opposite.

These extreme, fast-paced weight-loss regimens can make you think you are shedding those unwanted pounds, but instead of weight, you are dropping a high proportion of water mass, or even losing muscle tissue. By limiting your nutritional intake, this process can be very unhealthy.

Since the majority of diets are considered temporary, most likely you will eventually fluctuate back to your original weight. Professionals call this fluctuation of weight ‘yo-yo dieting’, and while the term might sound harmless enough, the repetition of this dieting method can take a severe toll on your body that can lead to health problems later down the road. In response to this, doctors are now emphasizing the importance of maintaining a healthy regime by adjusting their lifestyle, rather than dieting, in order to maintain peak mental and physical health.

Managing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle does not result from a short-term dietary change. Rather, it’s about making a long-term commitment to change that includes healthy eating, regular physical activity, and balancing the number of calories eaten alongside the calories the body uses.

Although the term ‘lifestyle change’ sounds intimidating, it’s all about making small modifications that lead to a significant result. Results may take longer to notice, but the body is then able to maintain a healthy, and sustainable weight loss rate, which is around 1 to 2 pounds per week.
The key to making a lifestyle change last is creating a realistic plan that you are confident you can maintain. The most critical element to being able to implement this change into your day-to-day regimen is progressing as the process becomes more normalized. Therefore make sure you start small and break down your overall goal into manageable steps. Making a lifestyle change is not an easy job, but it is the most beneficial for your health. If you can, involve a friend for support. It will make the process much less intimidating. There are also support groups in your community and online that have other people just like you who are making healthy lifestyle changes.

So remember when you think that making a lifestyle change sounds hard compared to dieting, don’t forget that there is a massive difference in weight loss and being healthy, and dieting gets in the way of long-lasting change.

Check out these 4 habits you can start right now for a better, healthier 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.


sedentary-1200x969.jpg
17/Jun/2019

Let’s face it: nobody’s perfect. And with the holidays, it’s easy to give ourselves plenty of excuses for not exercising and eating right. But excuses and holidays aside, too many of us adopt poor health habits all throughout the year, and one of the worst is a sedentary lifestyle. The National Institutes of Health reminds us that we humans were “designed to move” and that our very survival depended upon it. Yet our modern world is forcing us more and more into activities that restrict physical movement, whether in our homes, in our cars, or at work.

A sedentary lifestyle can be learned from childhood if you grew up with few active role models and opportunities for exercise. It can be the result of chronic illness, pain, or injury. It also can sneak into your otherwise once healthy life gradually and in many ways, overtaking one hour here and another there as you trade more physical activities for those less rigorous. With the rise of electronic media and the many ways to consume it, people are becoming even more sedentary than ever, as they binge on entire television seasons, play endless hours of video games, and participate in social media.

The real problem with living a sedentary life is that is comes with real consequences and serious risks to your health,[ https://medlineplus.gov/healthrisksofaninactivelifestyle.html] including:

* Slowing metabolism, resulting in weight gain

* Loss of muscle and endurance

* Metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes

* Heart diseases and stroke

* Poor blood circulation, increased blood pressure, and increased cholesterol

* Weaker bones and osteoporosis

* Rise in inflammation

* And even hormone imbalance, depression, and anxiety In fact, Laredo Emergency Room cares for countless patients who suffer from these conditions, all too many the result of sedentary lifestyles. While catching up on the latest 12 episodes of your favorite show comes with a steep cost, there is good news.

Just as a more sedentary lifestyle can creep in almost unnoticed, a more healthy, active lifestyle can begin gradually with just a few simple swaps.

In fact, starting slowly is the safest way to build more exercise into your daily routine:

* Do more chores around the home – housework, do-it-yourself repairs, and yard work are great exercise.

* Walk laps around the room when you talk on the phone and dance when you listen to music.

* Cook instead of going out to eat – the activity in the kitchen gets you moving, and you’re more likely to eat healthfully when you prepare your meals yourself.

* Use the stairs instead of an elevator wherever you go.

* Park farther away from building entrances.

* Do chair exercises at work and take frequent breaks to stretch and walk for even a couple of minutes.

* Choose one new hobby to get you doing something more active; even “sitting” hobbies, like crafting or working jigsaw puzzles, get you moving more than the television does.

* Do floor exercises or yoga poses while you watch TV – and use social media to support and keep you accountable to a healthy lifestyle.

However you work more physical activity into your daily routine, your body will thank you for it. Your body needs to move to be healthy, and Laredo Emergency Room wants it to stay that way.

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.


flu-blog.jpg
17/Jun/2019

The holiday season is near, and no one wants to feel bad during the happiest time of the year. The cold and flu season always seems to start earlier and more aggressively than the year before, which is why it is important to stay ahead of the virus by taking precautions to avoid the cold and flu. While there is no 100% guarantee that you can prevent the cold and flu, we have a few tips you can use to help strengthen your immune system and avoid catching the cold and flu this season!

  • Wash your hands frequently: One of the best ways to prevent the common cold and flu is to wash your hands. As we touch public doors, buttons, bathroom door handles, and come into close contact with a sick co-worker or a significant other, we then touch our face transferring bacteria and viruses causing germs to easily enter the body. Biotherm states that on average you touch your face 2000 to 3000 times per day – which is 2 to 5 times a minute! LER recommends washing your hands shortly after interaction with public objects. The proper way to wash your hands is to use soap and warm water. Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds. Rinse well with water and finally dry with a towel. Another way to prevent the cold and flu is to utilize hand sanitizer. Apply throughout the day to stay germ-free.

 

  • Drink plenty of water: By staying hydrated, you can flush out bad toxins in your body, which will allow you to recover faster and stay hydrated. Although water is best, hot tea is also a doctor’s recommendation because it has antioxidants. Drinking hot tea can deliver instant and constant relief from a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, chilliness, and tiredness. Whether it’s water or tea, keep hydrated with plenty of fluids to strengthen your immune system.

 

  • Flu vaccinations: Staying up to date with yearly vaccinations is important. If you’re waiting for your symptoms to worsen, it’s too late. Every year, the flu causes hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. The flu shot is available to help protect people from the virus. We encourage you to visit your primary care physician, or your closest CVS or Walgreens, to receive this year’s vaccination. According to CDC, by getting the flu shot you are reducing the risk of having to visit the doctor due to the flu by 30 percent to 60 percent. Get the flu shot today, before it’s too late!

 

Though cold and flu season is here, following these health tips can help you maintain a strong immune system and recover faster should you get sick. If you have any questions or concerns about your personal health or if the flu shot is right for you, contact your doctor to discuss other possible safe solutions 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.

 


Ovarian-Cancer.png
17/Jun/2019

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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