urgent care

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.

Keeping Warm and Safe During Cold Weather
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This past week of extreme weather throughout Texas was—forgive this word—unprecedented. Snow, extreme cold, loss of heat and light, broken pipes and shut off water.

What are we supposed to do in times like this to stay safe, warm, dry and healthy?  A few of the difficulties that you might suffer should you have experienced these drastic conditions:

How can you prevent or treat these various maladies?

Hypothermia is caused when an individual is exposed to cold and wet conditions.  It is when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it.  Treatment involves warming the core of the person after removing any wet clothing.

Frostbite is an injury to the body caused by freezing It causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas like fingers, toes and the end of one’s nose. Dress properly and minimize exposure of the skin to extreme cold temperatures.

Trenchfoot is caused when one’s feet are exposed to wet and cold conditions for prolonged periods.  It is usually the result of the whole body being cold and shutting down the circulation to the feet to keep the rest of the body warm. Skin tissue dies with this loss of circulation and the buildup of toxins. Avoid having wet, cold feet by staying dry and warm.

Being exposed to CO2 (carbon dioxide) is probably the most dangerous.  The colorless, odorless, tasteless non-flammable gas is usually emitted by appliances and devices burning gasoline, wood, propane, charcoal or other fuels in a poorly or non-vented area. Avoid using these devices or make sure they are vented appropriately or used outdoors.

Whether immediate treatment is applied or follow up is needed, an immediate visit or follow up is recommended.  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.

 

Safe Cycling
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Living in Texas we are apt to be outside and exercising more than in colder climates.  One of the most popular ways of getting aerobic and cardio exercise outdoors is bicycling.

Along with the benefit of fresh air, exercise and a rush of endorphins, comes a bit of a risk.  Cycling can be risky if you don’t follow a few basic safety rules before and while you bike the trails and streets of your community.

  • Always wear a helmet. It’s called a “brain bucket” for a reason.
  • Ride a bike that fits you. From the frame to the saddle, a good bike has to fit your body.
  • Gloves and shorts will make riding more comfortable. And protect key parts of your body from injury.
  • Remember to stretch before and after a ride. Like runners, cyclists need to stretch their hamstrings, back and forearms before and after activity.

What if you take a spill or suffer some other kind of injury?  Which injuries could take you to Frontline ER?

  • Whether at speed or standing still, knees and hands get scraped up, and your head could be impacted. Or you might suffer a break—arm, shoulder, other bones.
  • Knee pain. Remember stretching? Overuse of a knee or an out-of-condition joint can flare up and need treatment.
  • Neck and back pain. Long rides hunched over handlebars can enflame the neck and back.
  • Wrist and forearm pain. While good padded gloves can help. Tight gripping of the handlebars and a static hand and arm position can lead to pain.
  • Urogenital problems. A poorly fitted seat and not using padded bike shorts can cause these pains to flare up, especially in older men.

Go out and enjoy yourself on your bike and with cycling friends.  Just be aware of how to prepare and where to go when an injury occurs.

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.

 

Allergies, Allergies, Allergies
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Sniff, sniff.  Cough, cough. Scratch, scratch.

Hmmm.  Must be allergy season.

Well, since it always seems to be allergy season here in Texas, someone is always looking for relief. And if the cause isn’t seasonal, then they can happen anytime the body reacts to an allergen.

Allergies come in many types, sizes and causes.  And there are a range of symptoms.

Allergies are the immune system’s response to a foreign substance not typically harmful to the body.  Allergens range from foods to pollens to pet dander.  Some people are more sensitive to some allergens than to others and some people, not at all.

Symptoms range, too, from congestion, runny nose and swollen eyes for seasonal allergies; to allergic reactions that result in:

  • Rashes
  • Eczema
  • Sore throat
  • Hives
  • Swollen eyes
  • Itching and burning

As for relief, here are some of the things you can do to relieve your symptoms and breath again. Most are medications that include these over-the-counter (OTC) medication types:

  • Antihistamines
  • Corticosteroids
  • Decongestants

There are also a number of prescribed medications that should only be dispensed and managed by medical professionals.

When should you seek professional help?  That is, when should you visit an acute care center?

  • When your symptoms become unmanageable and your regular physician is unavailable.
  • If your symptoms become life-threatening:
    • Breathing difficulties
    • Lightheadedness
    • Loss of consciousness

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.

Broken Bones and Other Childhood Injuries
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As a parent we don’t want significant accidents to occur—but they do.

Kids suffer abrasions, cuts, scalds and burns.  They dislocate fingers and break bones. And they swallow things. While we don’t recommend that you encase your young ones in bubble wrap or tape their mouths shut, we do suggest you

The most common sources of injuries in children are due to:

  • Falls.
  • Bites and stings (animals and insects).
  • Accidental impacts (struck by a ball, colliding with another child; sports injuries)
  • Car accidents (mostly involving teenagers).
  • Cuts and puncture wounds.
  • Foreign objects (splinters and swallowing things).
  • Burns and scalding (usually involving stoves and heaters).

Fortunately, most of these result in non-fatal injuries. And most can be treated at home.

And when they can’t be treated at home, what should you do? Come see us when your child suffers one of these accidents and then they suffer:

  • Difficulty breathing.
  • The injury to their neck, head, back or spine.
  • Excessive bleeding, headache, nausea or vomiting.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Numbness.
  • The injury was caused by a dirty or rusty object.
  • The injury shows sign of infection.
  • A bite from a venomous or wild animal.
  • Constipation or bloating (due to ingesting a foreign object).

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.

Affairs of the Heart
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Take things to heart.  Heartfelt. Places in the heart.

But a pain in the heart or your chest—not so romantic.

What should you do when you experience chest pains?  Is it your heart or something else? When should you head to the hospital ER or the acute care center?

First of all, there are different kinds of chest pain:

  • Tightness
  • Dull
  • Stabbing
  • Burning
  • Aching
  • Sharp

And the causes are just as varied:

  • Heart problems
  • Lung issues
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Bone, muscle or nerve issues

As you can see, at the top of that list are heart issues.  From coronary artery disease to heart attack to myocarditis to pericarditis to cardiomyopathy to valve issue these problems are nothing to ignore.

So, when should you seek out help? If your doctor isn’t available and immediate self-care options don’t help, consider an immediate visit to an acute care center (or calling 9-1-1) when you experience:

  • A crushing pain under your breastbone.
  • A pain that spreads to your jaw, left arm or back.
  • A sudden chest pain with a shortness of breath.
  • Nausea, dizziness or a rapid heart rate or rapid breathing.
  • A change in your color to ashen.
  • Very low blood pressure or low heart rate.

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.

Migraines and Headaches
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To migraine sufferers, a pain in the head isn’t so simple and can be excruciating.

When your vision is affected, you can’t sleep and nausea overcomes you, it’s hard to stand, sit or lay down, let alone function even close to normal.

Migraines are triggered by a number of factors including hormonal changes, stress, anxiety and dietary changes. They can last a few hours or a few days. Some people experience them only a few times a year; others every few days. They can start as a dull pain and grow into a throbbing pain.

Treatment varies, too.  As no two people are alike, how migraines affect an individual vary widely. Over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen, aspirin, caffeine and ibuprofen can be effective as well as nausea medicines.  A variety of prescription medicines are also used for treatment.

Sometimes self-treatment or getting in for a visit with your regular doctor is near impossible when that headache just won’t go away.  When that happens, you need to resort to an acute care center like Frontline ER.

Our ER physicians and staff are familiar with migraines and the impact they have on a patient’s body. Calm and kindness are as much a part of the treatment as any drugs or physical treatment.  When you can’t find care at home or your own doctor isn’t available, please turn to us. We are open 24/7, even when your doctor or infusion center isn’t open. And since we are an ER, no physician referral is required for acute migraine treatment.

On a recent Instagram review, a patient said of Frontline: “The nurses and doctors at Frontline are always so kind and understanding and they know exactly how to treat migraines.”

We are equipped with a clean and safe environment, private rooms, the latest in lab and dispensary facilities and the best-trained ER staff in the business. And we bill as in-network for your insurance.

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.

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.

Pediatric Emergencies
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When it comes to our children, nothing stands in our way to ensure their safety and health.  Emergencies can be particularly trying and leaving parents in a quandary at times as to where to turn when their child is injured or falls ill.

We are available and able to treat a number of conditions including:

  • Colds and flu
  • Fevers
  • Ear infections
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Rashes
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Sprains
  • Fractures
  • Concussions
  • Seizures

We know that visiting a hospital or doctor can be scary for child.  Our waiting areas and treatment spaces are designed with children in mind.  At Frontline ER we pride ourselves in being at the ready to help parents and caregivers with the best, most immediate and careful care.  When it comes to emergency care of children, we offer:

  • More individualized care with doctors and nurses
  • Less trauma
  • Short- to no-wait times
  • Extensive lab and imaging services at the ready

Give us a call or contact us through our website should you have more questions about our pediatric care and 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)

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