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Understanding Blood Pressure
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We hear about it almost every day: blood pressure.

So, what is this thing about pressuring my blood?  And what should I know about it?

When your heart beats, it squeezes and pushes blood through your arteries to the rest of your body.  Measuring the pressure created by this force is called  taking your blood pressure.  It can tell you many things about your overall health, particularly when it comes to your cardiovascular system.

When a blood pressure (BP) cuff is put on you the device comes up with two numbers:

  • Systolic
  • Diastolic

The first number, systolic BP, is a measure of the pressure the heart causes when it pushes blood out. This number can range from below 120 to over 180:

  • Normal: below 120.
  • Elevated: 120-129.
  • Stage 1 hypertension: 130-139.
  • Stage 2 hypertension: 140 or more.
  • Hypertensive crisis: 180 or more. Call 911 or come to Frontline)

Diastolic BP, the second number, is the pressure put on the arteries when the heart rests between beats.  These numbers range from under 80 to over 120:

  • Normal: lower than 80
  • Stage 1 hypertension: 80-89.
  • Stage 2 hypertension: 90 or more.
  • Hypertensive crisis: 120 or more. Call 911 or come to Frontline)

In each case, the higher the number, the more danger you might be in to be suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure).

You can lower or keep your blood pressure normal by:

  • Cutting back on sodium.
  • Getting more exercise.
  • Losing weight.
  • Eating healthy.
  • Limiting alcohol.

Prevention is the best medicine in the fight against illness and disease.  It is our top priority to ensure the safe and immediate treatment of your illnesses and injuries, with the goal of getting you back on track faster to good health.

Frontline ER is an acute care emergency room providing healthcare services to the communities we live and work within. Give us a call or contact us through our website should you have more questions about our services.

*Photos courtesy of Unsplash

 

Stroke Awareness
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The fifth leading cause of death in the U. S. is stroke.  And it is also a major cause of disability for adults.

Since May is National Stroke Awareness Month, take a moment and learn about this health issue.

What is a stroke and how would I recognize if a loved one or someone around me is having one?  Basically, stroke is caused by blocked blood flow to the brain. Here are some of the warning signs of stroke:

  • Weakness in the face, arm or leg.
  • Difficulty speaking.
  • Vision loss.
  • Dizziness.
  • Brief loss of consciousness.

What can cause or contribute to a stroke?  Consider these risk factors:

  • Smoking.
  • Alcohol consumption.
  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Diabetes.
  • Poor eating choices.

Up to 80 percent of strokes could be prevented just by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

If you think someone is having a stroke, call 911 immediately.  Note the time when you first noticed the symptoms.

It is our top priority to ensure the safe and immediate treatment of your illnesses and injuries, with the goal of getting you back on track faster to good health.

Frontline ER is an acute care emergency room providing healthcare services to the communities we live and work within. Give us a call or contact us through our website should you have more questions about our services.

*Photos courtesy Unsplash and Paul Maynard

Coping With Digestive Issues
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Your lifestyle and the foods you eat impact you more than you might imagine.  If you are sedentary, you need to move. Movement helps the whole body and all of its systems.

When it comes to what you eat, that old saying “you are what you eat” becomes very true. By watching everything we put into our mouths, we become more aware of caloric intake (and output with a paired exercise program) as well as the makeup of those foods.

Many of us suffer from digestive issues (including IBS, constipation and celiac disease) that impair and restrict the rest of our lives and activities.  Having a solid strategy around your eating habits can lead to better digestive health.  Consider:

  • Eating a high-fiber diet.
    • This reduces constipation.
  • Including both insoluble and soluble fiber in that diet.
    • Things like wheat bran, vegetables and whole grain.
  • Limiting high-fat foods.
    • Or pair them with high-fiber foods.
  • Choose lean meats.
    • Pork loin, skinless chicken.
  • Include probiotics and prebiotics.
    • Healthy bacteria and raw fruits and veggies.
  • Eat on a schedule
    • Eat smaller meals and sit down to enjoy and digest them.
  • Stay hydrated.
    • Fiber likes water.
  • Avoid smoking, excessive caffeine and alcohol.
    • They can lead to ulcers and heartburn.
  • Reduce stress.
    • Too much stress puts your digestive system into overdrive.

It is our top priority to ensure the safe and immediate treatment of your illnesses and injuries, with the goal of getting you back on track faster to good health.

Frontline ER is an acute care emergency room providing healthcare services to the communities we live and work within. Give us a call or contact us through our website should you have more questions about our services.

*Photos courtesy of Paul E. Maynard

Work, Injuries, Care and Recovery
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“I’ve learned from…injury and come back even more humble.”—Troy Polamalu, former NFL player

Injury in the workplace is something to be avoided yet prepared for.  And while most workplaces aren’t NFL fields of play, workplace injuries happen everywhere from offices to construction sites to kitchens.

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, Frontline ER is here to provide both.  Included here are some tips as well as some explanation of how we can help when an injury does occur.

Regardless of your industry or business segment, there are some universal ways to avoid injury:

  • Educate your employees on proper use of equipment and make them aware of safe workplace practices.
    • Have a safety and wellness plan tailored to your company. Set a standard.
    • Conduct formal training sessions.
  • Engineer your workplace for safe working conditions.
    • Have clean and organized work areas and supply and toll areas.
    • Understand and monitor where most accidents can (and do) happen in your workplace.
    • Provide protection equipment.
    • Have adequate staffing levels.
    • Inspect and maintain company vehicles.
  • Enforce the rules.
    • Monitor safety measures.
    • Keep track of workplace injuries and incidents.

When accidents and incidents do occur, waste no time in tending to and caring for your employee.  Frontline ER is especially skilled in the treatment of a myriad of injuries and is well prepared for the documentation of those injuries for insurance and workman’s compensation requirements.

Frontline ER’s special services include:

  • No appointment necessary.
  • The same capabilities as a hospital emergency room without the wait.
  • Experienced medical staff and emergency physicians certified per DOT regulations.
  • Able to provide written reports about the injured employee once the visit is complete.
  • Allowance for stays up to 23 hours or overnight.
  • Transfer to area hospitals with immediate admission. Transportation partners include ambulance and helicopter services.

It is our top priority to ensure the safe and immediate treatment of your injured employee, with the goal of getting your business back on track faster.

Frontline ER is an acute care emergency room providing healthcare services to the communities we live and work within. Give us a call or contact us through our website should you have more questions about our services.

*Photos courtesy of Unsplash

 

Monoclonal Antibody Treatment for COVID-19
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As the battle against COVID-19 continues, science continues to find and use new and more effective treatments against the virus.

If you are high-risk and meet certain criteria, Frontline ER has a treatment option for you.  It’s called Monoclonal Antibody Treatment, mAb for short, and it’s available now.

“If you test positive for COVID-19 and meet certain criteria, you can be treated with mAb,” Dr. Neal Agarwal said.  “It is the same treatment that was given to former President Trump when he was hospitalized for the disease.”

Dr. Agarwal is Medical Director for Frontline ER.

To be administered this treatment, you must meet the following criteria and be prepared to stay overnight for observation:

  • A body mass index (BMI) greater than 35
  • Suffer from chronic kidney disease, diabetes or an immunosuppressive disease
  • Be receiving treatment for any of the above
  • Are 65 or older
  • Or are at least 55 and suffer from cardiovascular disease, hypertension or chronic pulmonary disease
  • Are 12 to 17 with a BMI in the 85th percentile for their age and gender and suffer from a specific list of diseases, most prominently congenital heart disease or asthma.
  • Not have received the COVID-19 vaccine within the past 90 days.

“There is mounting new promising data that this treatment will reduce the amount of hospitalizations needed from COVID-19,” Dr. Agarwal added.

For more information and to see if you qualify for this treatment, please give us a call or contact us through our website.

Frontline ER is an acute care emergency room providing healthcare services to the communities we live and work within. Give us a call or contact us through our website should you have more questions about our services.

 

Surviving Easter’s Goodies
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Easter is always a time of great joy—and sweets!  It is a day of temptation when it comes to our diet. It can be a day of binging on chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks!

So, how does one deal with this tsunami of sugar? Moderation, that’s how. And avoiding all of the aspects of treats.

Like Halloween, Easter can be a sugar nightmare unless you take a measured approach to how much or how many your celebrants can munch on.  Try a few of these ideas to help minimize the effects of the sugar, even if you can’t cut it out completely;

  • Start with a balanced breakfast or lunch before the egg hunt or celebration. Protein (eggs, meats), natural sugars (fruits) and “good” carbs (whole grain breads) will help balance the refined sugars in candy.
  • Practice moderation. As with Halloween, limit how much from their haul of goodies they can have.
  • Flush it out. Make sure lots of fresh, clean water is available to keep your family hydrated during the festivities.
  • Offer smaller portions, like a loot bag instead of a free-choice basket.
  • Just don’t give out candy. Yeah, we know that’s hard, but you can substitute things like homemade treats, carrots and things like hard-cooked eggs (really!).
  • And consider those in your group who are dealing with diabetes.

If your Easter celebrants do come down with an upset stomach or a reaction to the sugars or dies and ingredients, give us a call.  We can advise you how to treat that malady.  And we are here should things get really serious.

Frontline ER is an acute care emergency room providing healthcare services to the communities we live and work within. Give us a call or contact us through our website should you have more questions about our services.

The Healthcare Search Game
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Finding quality healthcare can be like a shell game.  Or a game of 20 questions.  Or any other guessing game.

By using online services like Healthgrades, WebMD, ZocDoc and FindaTopDoc you can read reviews and the backgrounds of physicians and healthcare options.  This gives you a better chance of “winning the game” of finding the best healthcare for you and your family. Like any other buying decision, choosing healthcare is really a relationship-based exercise. As has been said many times, “people do business with people, they know, like and trust.”

We here at Frontline ER are very fortunate to have one of our own highlighted on one of these sites. Dr. Neal Agarwal is featured on FindATopDoc. Dr. A is a featured Top Doc and his page features his biography as well as his patient ratings and specialties.

Thanks, Dr. A, for your great work and for being a featured Top Doc!

“Having one of our docs featured on these search sites is a tremendous opportunity,” Laura Tschida said. “Being found by patients searching for help close by gives us an opportunity to build a relationship before they come in the door.”

Laura is Marketing Director for Frontline ER.

Frontline ER is an acute care emergency room providing healthcare services to the communities we live and work within. Give us a call or contact us through our website should you have more questions about our services.

The Sisterhood of the ER
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It takes a lot of work to realize a career as a physician.  It takes a village, a team, a shared vision.  It’s about knowing what you want to do, then doing it.  It is rare.

Now imagine you are a twin. Each of you has a medical degree.  And working, not only in the same field, but for the same organization.

Wow. That’s pretty rare, too!

We here at Frontline ER are very fortunate to have in our ranks two very talented doctors.  Dr. Mekeshia (Keshia) Fitzgerald and Dr. Meshann (Shann) Fitzgerald are two of our top-notch docs at our Richmond location.

“Our friends tell us that we are always together,” Keshia said.  “But never at work.”

The Doctors Fitzgerald started life in rural Mississippi.  Because of visionary parents, they grew up in a variety of places ranging from Georgia to California.  Each earned their medical degree (as well as undergraduate and advanced degrees) from different schools.

“Our mother felt we needed to aspire to something beyond a job at the local store,” Keshia said. “We learned to see past the immediate.”

Keshia earned her medical degree at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia, PA.  Shann earned her MD from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. Both are active in their community as volunteers.

Each got involved with medicine because of an intense interest in science and in wanting to help people. And their family is intensely important to them.

“We graduated from medical school on successive weekends in 2006,” Shann said.  “We celebrated with our parents and brother.  It was a most special time for us.”

At Frontline ER they have worked as attending physicians since 2017 at our Houston location. This location serves patients in Mission Bend, Richmond and Sugar Land.

“We are very proud of and grateful for the Doctors Fitzgerald,” Dr. Ethan Tran said.  Dr. Tran is Medical Director for all Frontline ER locations.

Frontline ER is an acute care emergency room providing healthcare services to the communities we live and work within. Give us a call or contact us through our website should you have more questions about our services.

Imaging and Women’s History Month
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What do Women’s History Month and medical imaging have in common?

Marie Curie.

The first woman to win a Nobel Prize (actually two), Madam Curie was the champion of developing x-ray imaging as well as many cancer treatments. Because of her research and studies we have the modern x-ray machines in use daily around the world.

Here at Frontline ER, we are proud of our imaging capability and of Madam Curie’s legacy.  Our imaging capabilities include not only x-rays and radiological services, but CT scans (including low radiation) and ultrasounds (including fetal ultrasounds).  This capability allows us immediate results, so our physicians can diagnose and treat each patient more quickly.  Couple this with our comprehensive laboratory services and care is quick and thorough, 24/7/365.

Not only did Madam Curie work to develop the x-ray, she was also a pioneer in the treatment of battlefield injuries during World War I.  And you might call her the mother of mobile radiography, as she built truck-based x-ray units during the war.  In a way, she pioneered emergency field ER services.

Emergency medicine has long been a place where women health care professionals have not only served but excelled.  With women representing half of all medical school student bodies and almost half of all physicians, if you seek emergency care, chances are you will be treated by a woman.

Frontline ER is an acute care emergency room providing healthcare services to the communities we live and work within. Give us a call or contact us through our website should you have more questions about our services.

*photo courtesy of Wikipedia

 

Common Household Poisons and Their Treatment
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Whether you know it or not, there are things in your house right now that could cause you, or, worse, your children, harm.

There are a number of items in your home that could or do contain components that are poisonous to children, adults and pets.

The first defense is prevention: secure these items out of reach of children and in their original containers.  And poison-proof your home.

A short list of things you should keep an eye on or allow limited access to:

  • Cosmetics and personal care products.
  • Bug and insect sprays (pesticides).
  • Pain medicines.
  • Laundry cleaners including soap pods, detergents and bleach.

What should you do if your child or you are exposed to or ingest any of these items?

First, call 9-1-1. Or Frontline ER.

Be sure you have access to the package or container, so you can tell the operator the nature of the item causing the emergency.  Read the label.  If you have more time, call the 800 number on the label and follow the guidelines spelled out on the label for an emergency. Some of those recommendations could include:

  • Inducement of vomiting (take care with this as many caustic materials can cause even more harm; see the link above).
  • Feeding of milk or water.
  • Washing of skin and clothing.
  • Flushing out eyes with clean water.

Should the operator tell you to seek immediate medical attention, call or visit your closest Frontline ER.  We are here to help and can help the treatment and recovery start sooner than a hospital ER can.

Frontline ER is an acute care emergency room providing healthcare services to the communities we live and work within. Give us a call or contact us through our website should you have more questions about our services.