COVID-19

COVID-19 and Healthcare Workers
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As the worldwide pandemic drags on, dragged along with it is an increasing toll on the mental health of those caring for us.

Frustration, anxiety, worry and burnout are weighing heavily on those who are on the frontlines caring for the public. From doctors and nurses to sanitation workers to grocery store employees and delivery people, the many that serve the masses are being subjected to stresses and strains they haven’t seen or felt before.

When it comes to the frontline healthcare professionals, we here at Frontline ER can speak directly to that impact.

“For the last 8 weeks at our locations, our staff has been experiencing stress levels somewhere between 7 and 10,” Laura Tschida said.  “It’s only been in the last few days we’ve seen that number slack off to a 4.”

Ms. Tschida is Marketing Director for Frontline ER. She also reports that there are days her Dallas location fields upwards of 800 phone calls per day, mostly related to COVID-19 testing.

According to a recent release from HIMSS Media, 93% of healthcare workers are reporting experiencing stress.  Anxiety, frustration, exhaustion and burnout and just being overwhelmed were reported by 75% to 86% of those surveyed. That doesn’t even include concerns for exposing their families to the virus.

Left untreated, these maladies can lead to more severe mental health conditions that could decimate our workforce and create issues with the well being of the broader population.

These are times of coming together (at a social distance) in understanding of what each of us is experiencing.  While, as potential patients and in need of medical treatment and care, we feel your needs come first, it is important to remember that those serving us deserve and need our empathy.  Organizations such as Frontline ER appreciate your needs and at the same time are very grateful for your understanding and support.

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.

Chest Pains and COVID-19
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Chest pains in and of themselves are a concern.  In these times of a global pandemic, they take on new significance.

If you experience discomfort in your chest, it might include a dull ache, a crushing or burning feeling, a sharp stabbing pain or a pain that radiates to your neck or shoulder.  It could be due to an underlying disease or it could be from heavy lifting, a trauma to the chest or the result of swallowing a large piece of food.

On the list of disease causes of chest pain include heart-related problems.  Usually these pains are also accompanied with shortness of breath, cold sweats, dizziness or weakness and nausea or vomiting.

However, in this time of COVID-19 chest pains could be an indicator of other things.  Since the coronavirus is a respiratory illness, the pain could be associated lung issues, including blood clots.  Clots in the lungs restrict blood flow and are serious, even leading to death.  Usually the clots start in the legs and migrate through the blood stream to the lungs.

In recent COVID-19 cases among children, there is a growing concern for blood clots in the lungs.

Since chest pains can be a concern for any number of reasons, please visit a physician as soon as possible.  And in this time of COVID-19, be concerned for the complications this disease can bring to your health and of those around you.

Give us a call or contact us through our website should you want more information on this condition.

(*photos courtesy of Upsplash)

Acute Care Versus a Hospital ER
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While Frontline ER has emergency room as part of its name, it is clear that we serve our communities with acute care.

So just what is the difference between an emergency room and an acute care center? And when should you go to the hospital ER and when should you use an urgent care center?

The answer isn’t always simple.  Usually health emergencies happen without warning and cause us to make split-second decisions.  A broken arm, chest pains or a sick infant in the middle of the night. However, there is a difference between “emergency” and “urgent.”

Hospital ERs are available and open to provide complex and critical care any time of the day or night.  They can care for a heart attack, life-and limb-threatening injuries and traumatic injuries resulting from car accidents. The best time to head for the hospital ER is when you are suffering chest pains, been severely burned, suspect stroke symptoms or have suffered a concussion. Plus they have the ability to admit you to their hospital should you require more intense care.

In the same vein, an urgent care center, like Frontline ER, is where you go when your doctor’s office is not open.  Anything you might consider consulting with your own PCP when they aren’t available, is a candidate affliction to talk with the urgent care physician about. Small cuts that might require stitches, sprains and strains, abdominal pain or fever without a rash are all basic ailments that could bring you to an urgent care center.

So take a moment to consider your injury or pain and then choose your care option.  Keep in mind, too, that should your injuries be more serious, that Frontline will recommend that you be taken to the nearest hospital for more acute care.

For more information, please give us a call or consult our website.

Operation Turkey Day 2020
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For Thanksgiving 2020, our Frontline ER Richmond team volunteered to be a part of Operation Turkey in the Houston area.

Sponsored by the Office of Veteran’s Affairs, the Frontline team was part of a joint effort with several agencies and supporting organizations.  The event fed the homeless and served meals to those who, otherwise, wouldn’t have food for the holiday.  All told, 500 turkeys were smoked resulting in 8,000 meals for families and the homeless from Katy to conroe, Texas.

Frontline ER is pleased and proud to be active in supporting the communities we serve.  Thanks to all who participated.

Telling the Difference Between Seasonal Allergies and COVID-19
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With allergy season coinciding with the global pandemic, it bears repeating that we should all consider the similarities and differences between the symptoms for the two afflictions. Before you run off to be tested, consider which symptoms go with with which illness.  Let’s list the symptoms of each and those they have in common (data courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control):

  • Symptoms more common of COVID-19
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Diarrhea
    • Fever and chills
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Muscle and body aches
  • Symptoms more common of seasonal allergies
    • Itchy or watery eyes
    • Sneezing
  • Symptoms common of both:
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Shortness of breath
    • Fatigue
    • Headache

If you are showing signs of a fever, shortness of breath, coughing or headache, you should be seen by a physician to see if you require testing.  Older adults or people who have severe underlying chronic conditions like heart or lung disease, diabetes seem to be at a higher risk.  Please do not hesitate to see a doctor.

Should you have any further questions, please consult this additional information on our website or give us a call.

 

Frontline ER Richmond Clarifies Its COVID-19 Testing Payment Policies
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Frontline ER Richmond is pleased to able to offer COVID-19 Antigen testing with results provided during your visit.  However, as of October, 24, 2020, payment policies have changed with regard to insurance and out-of-pocket payments.

Insurance. Insurance companies have announced varying deadlines regarding the “cost share” of payments for COVID-19 testing.  Frontline ER has established the following requirements for patients using their insurance:

  • A copay will apply to your ER visit for COVID-19 testing.
  • Patients must wait at least five days before testing after initial exposure.
  • A patient must exhibit symptoms within the last ten days.

Out of Pocket or Self Pay. For patients paying for the test themselves, Frontline ER offers quick registration and drive-thru testing paying by cash, credit or debit.  However, we do not provide insurance paperwork to file on your insurance.  We are also unable to provide billing codes or receipts for insurance.

Travel.  Testing for travel is self pay only (the fee).  We only offer the Antigen COVID-19 test with results during your visit.   We do not offer the molecular PCR test at this time.  It is the responsibility of the traveler to determine which test is required for their specific travel needs.

Frontline ER is a state-of-the-art freestanding emergency center providing diagnostics and treatment for patients 24/7.  Equipped to provide pediatric and trauma emergency care as well as treatment of workplace and household injuries, Frontline ER has locations in Dallas and Richmond, Texas.