While it's important to go urgent care or the emergency room for minor injuries and illnesses that may be harmful to you, it's also important to educate yourself beforehand.
With flu season rapidly approaching, there are a few important things you need to know. Perhaps most important is to learn about the common myths and why they're wrong. Here's a quick lesson to get you started.
MYTH: The Flu Vaccine Can Get You Sick
This is perhaps one of the most widespread, and harmful, flu season myths that is perpetuated by countless people. The flu vaccine is created using an inactive virus that physically cannot transmit the virus. The purpose of a flu vaccine is to help your body create antibodies to fight the real virus, should it come knocking.
MYTH: The Flu Vaccine Works Right Away
Yet another harmful myth. If you get sick after receiving the flu vaccine, you were going to get sick anyway. The flu vaccine takes up to three weeks to reach maximum efficiency, which means the earlier you get this year's vaccine, the better.
MYTH: Healthy People Don't Need Vaccines
Even if you're healthy and not in the recommended age range to receive the vaccine, you could still catch and transmit the disease. A flu vaccine could help prevent both of those things.
MYTH: The Flu is Only a Bad Cold
If the flu was a cold, it would be called a cold. Influenza is a completely different virus. Although it may have similar symptoms at first, this disease can be fatal if you don't seek proper care. And even if it's not fatal, it will take a much greater toll on your body -- and on the sick days you'll need to take -- than any cold.
MYTH: You Don't Need a Flu Vaccine Every Year
Unfortunately, the flu virus changes every so often, and vaccines are carefully formulated every year to provide protection against the most common current strains. In short, this means the vaccine you got last year isn't necessarily going to be effective this time around. This is why it's important to get a flu shot every year.
The flu often requires visits to urgent care, as it falls into the category of minor injuries and illnesses that they treat. Urgent care clinics typically have seven exam rooms and shorter wait times, which means there's no issue in treating you. Urgent medical needs like the flu should be seen to immediately, and urgent care is one of the best ways to do it.
If your children are back in school this September, you'll know how common it is to receive a call from the principal or from your child that he or she has sustained an injury. For better or worse, these little injuries are just a part of growing up.
Whether they've had an accident in the classroom or a sports-related trauma, even minor injuries and illnesses may require a visit to the emergency room. Even if it's not a medical emergency, you may still need access to reliable walk-in urgent care. Our facility, which houses both urgent and emergency care, treats injury and illness of all varieties. However, we tend to see certain injuries quite a bit during the school year. Here are three of the most common injuries we treat at our walk-in urgent care and emergency facility:
Our skilled staff can assess whether your child's injury requires emergency treatment or can be treated by our urgent care staff. This distinction is important for patients in terms of cost; according to a private study conducted by Milliman, 44 to 66% of all emergency room visits could have been treated in an urgent care clinic. Luckily, our facility gives you and your family admittance to both of these services. No matter what type of injury or illness, a visit to our facility will provide you with the best urgent care or emergency healthcare services.
Visiting an urgent care clinic instead of taking a trip to the ER can certainly save you money. A recent study showed that 14 to 27% of visits to emergency centers could have been handled by urgent care -- and would have saved $4.4 billion a year in health costs as a result.
Although emergency room crowding is a real problem in the U.S., there are certain symptoms and conditions that absolutely warrant a trip to the ER. Being able to recognize these symptoms for their severity should help you decide when to seek emergency care and treatment. We encourage you to visit one of our emergency centers if you experience one of these four symptoms:
Because our facility offers walk-in urgent care as well as emergency treatment, our staff can assess the best course of action for your illness or injury. We urge you not to wait if you experience any of these emergency-level symptoms. If you have a health question or concern, it's better to be safe than sorry. Contact us today or walk right into our clinic to find out more about your care and treatment options.
With students, teachers, and parents all finally settled into their new school schedules, it's safe to say that back-to-school season is nearly at its end. However, fall sports season is only just beginning.
And with the advent of the fall sports season comes the inevitable fall season injuries. While some are more common than others, all should be treated by parents like a doctor treats injury and illness. Here are a few tips to help identify and avoid five common fall sports injuries.
A sprained ankle is likely the most common injury among young athletes. This occurs when ligaments outside of the ankle have been over-stretched or torn. However, adequate strength training and a thorough stretching routine before any sports event is an important way to prevent ankle sprains.
Muscle strains, or pulled muscles, are the result of over-stretching a muscle or group of muscles. This can result in pain and decreased performance for any athlete. Most pulled muscles will right themselves, but some, like a seriously sprained ankle, may require urgent care. Thorough stretching and proper form should be exercised to prevent pulled muscles.
These injuries occur most often in young athletes involved in running, jumping, or high-impact sports. The best method of treatment is RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Appropriate conditioning and warming up can help prevent these injuries, too. Shin splints and stress fractures can turn particularly nasty, which is why most seek emergency care if they believe the issue is serious.
If an ACL injury occurs, it's imperative that you seek emergency services or walk-in urgent care as soon as possible. These injuries most typically occur in sports such as football, basketball, soccer, baseball, skiing, and tennis. Prevention involves thorough stretching and careful movements.
A primary care physician who treats injury and illness should be able to identify a concussion easily. If an athlete is involved in a high-impact sport such as football, concussions are extremely likely. This is one of the many reasons protective headgear should be properly equipped. In the event you think your child may have a concussion, remember that approximately 97% of urgent care centers are open seven days a week, so diagnosis and treatment are never far away.
Fall sports are always fun to watch, but adequate protection and preparation are always needed. Think the way your doctor would as he or she treats injury and illness. Prevention is the best medicine!
It seems like summer only started yesterday, but somehow it's September once again. Back to school season is officially in full swing, but with the return to school also comes the return of those nasty school germs and illnesses.
Being in a community of hundreds of other students and sharing space with them is sure to lead to at least one back-to-school illness. To make sure you're prepared for anything your child could bring home, here are four common illnesses to stay aware of as school gets back in motion.
The Common Cold
It may not be the biggest and baddest of back-to-school illnesses, but it certainly is the most common. This generally occurs within the first three weeks of school being back in session, but luckily, is easily treated. A short trip to your family medicine professional or a family urgent care center near you should do the trick if symptoms get particularly bad. Otherwise, lots of sleep and fluids are the best cure for this pesky illness.
Especially if your child is in elementary school, this is a risk. The most important thing you can do as a parent in this situation is know the signs. Chicken pox usually starts off as red spots on the chest area and then spreads to other parts of the body, so make sure you're vigilant, especially if there have been any other cases at your child's school.
There are approximately 110 million emergency room visits annually, and a good number of them are for conditions like strep throat. Symptoms of this illness include throat pain, swollen nodes, and in severe cases, abdominal pain. This is an extremely common illness that often flares up at the beginning of the school year, as it is spread mainly through sneezes and coughs.
Though sharing some symptoms with the common cold, this illness is far nastier. If your child has a very high fever and you suspect they might have influenza, you should seek emergency care immediately.
Every family medicine practice is equipped to deal with these back-to-school illnesses, but you should be too. It's essential to know the signs and symptoms of these common illnesses so you can adequately care for your child and know when to visit your family medicine provider.
Oftentimes patients seek emergency services for conditions that are not life-threatening. In fact, RAND Corp. conducted a study in 2009 that reported 14 to 27% of emergency room visits could be handled by urgent care centers or retail clinics instead.
When patients seek medical attention at an emergency room, they run the risk of an over-inflated bill that does not reflect the cost of their treatment at a more suitable institution. RAND Corp. also said that the overall healthcare savings could amount to as much as $4.4 billion per year.
These numbers fluctuate depending on the study, of course. Milliman reported that 44 to 65% of all emergency visits could have been treated at urgent care, while Truven Health Analytics said that upwards of 70% of visits could have been taken care of at an urgent care clinic.
But no matter where you get your statistics, the trend is clear. Walk-in urgent care facilities provide the necessary treatments and services for more minor injuries and illnesses that do not warrant a trip to the ER. By removing the wait from the ER, urgent care providers are able to give fast, reliable care for a fraction of the cost.
Because the U.S. healthcare system is so complex (and expensive), many people without insurance believe the emergency room is their only option for healthcare. In reality, walk in clinics are a practical and affordable option for countless Americans.
The average patient will wait less than 15 minutes at at least 60% of urgent care centers. Not only that, but 65% have a physician on the premises at all time. When alternative care is available at this magnitude, more people will see the fault in visiting the wrong facility. The number of walk-in, stand-alone urgent care centers in the United States amounts to about 9,300, with 50 to 100 new clinics opening every year.
Since most primary physician offices are closed by 5 p.m., urgent care provides an option to treat minor injuries and illnesses before or after business hours. In 2014, 97% of urgent cares were open seven days per week, and 99% are open for at least four hours every day.
However, some medical problems aren't so black and white, and patients aren't sure whether to hit the ER or urgent care center. For cases like these, Legacy ER and Urgent Care is able to provide both emergency and urgent care services on-site, and will not charge you for unnecessary care. By having both services under one roof, you will avoid unnecessary travel and expenses.
Just because kids are starting to head back to school doesn't mean that summer is over! There is still plenty of warm weather to be had, but these hot and sticky days come with one major risk factor, illness.
Here are some common summertime illnesses to be aware of during hot weather.
This is especially prominent in those who love to be in the water. Despite popular belief, swimmer's ear isn't quite the same as the ear infections you're used to. Swimmer's ear is an infection of the outer ear canal that runs from the eardrum to the outside of the head, while most ear infections affect the inner ear. Typically, it is often caused by water that remains in the ear after swimming.
In order to prevent this infection from growing, make sure to wear ear plugs while in the water and to dry your ears completely after getting out. A drop or two of hydrogen peroxide also works great on dry ears to combat any remaining bacteria.
There are many abdominal pain causes, but an extremely common one during the warm weather months is food being left in the sun for too long. Like that sketchy potato salad at the picnic, do everything you can to avoid common abdominal illnesses. The heat will cause the food to spoil, and can cause nausea, vomiting, or in severe cases food poisoning. Keep this in mind for those Labor Day parties, and keep your food in a cool space inside.
For kids everywhere, the warm weather calls for exploring outside. But this can bring you in contact with poisonous plants that can cause red rashes all over your body, itchy eyes, and uncomfortable wounds. Generally, these infections do not require emergency care if they are mild, but it is a good idea to head to an urgent care center to get them check out if you are worried about a particularly stubborn rash.
So before you head outside, read up on the different dangerous plants in your environment so you can stay away!
If by chance you come down with one of these ailments, it is important to decide if you need emergency care from the ER, or if it is mild enough for a visit to a local walk in clinic.
Emergency rooms are meant for imminent emergencies, such as a stroke, heart attack, or seizures, whereas walk in clinics specialize in non-emergency care with flexible hours. Nearly all urgent care centers operate seven days a week and are open at least four hours per day, so they offer a great backup if you cannot get in to see your primary care physician.
Considering the fact that there are more than 110 million annual visits to the emergency room, and that a full 70% of emergency department visits from patients could be prevented with simple outpatient care, a walk in clinic is the way to go to save time, money, and to get the quality healthcare you need!
There are approximately 110 million emergency room visits made annually, but the reality is that not all of them are necessary, especially for your child.
Parents, especially first-time parents, are known to panic at the first sign of a medical problem. And while you don't want to take chances when it comes to your child's health, every pediatrician can tell you countless stories about nervous parents, who after lightly bumping their child's head, convince themselves they've caused permanent brain damage.
So before you rush your child to the emergency room, it's important to consider more cost-effective options. There are an estimated 93,000 walk-in urgent care centers in the United States, and a number of them include pediatric urgent care in their services. Here's what you should know.
What is Pediatric Urgent Care?
Pediatric urgent care is an additional service offered by urgent care clinics that caters specifically to children and the issues they may encounter. There are specific disorders and illnesses that children are at risk of contracting, and only someone highly versed in infant and child medicine should handle them. Your child visits a pediatrician for a reason, after all.
When Should a Child Be Taken to Urgent Care?
A child should be taken to a walk in family care center in the same instances that any adult would be. If a child suffers a cold, symptoms of the flu, fever, or even a twisted ankle, those are all situations that pediatric urgent care is capable of handling. However, if your child can neither walk, talk, nor play, those may be signs of a medical emergency and should be taken care of by emergency services. Similarly, any open or misaligned fractures should be treated at an emergency room immediately.
How is Pediatric Urgent Care Different?
Unlike standard urgent care services, pediatric urgent care facilities usually have a pediatrician on staff to ensure that all patients are receiving the correct treatment for their condition. Because children are subject to different risks, it's important to have someone at the facility who understands their needs specifically.
Benefits of Urgent Care for Your Child
Urgent care services, in general, are far less expensive than emergency room visits and have shorter wait times. In fact, the average wait time at an urgent care facility is approximately 15 minutes, compared to what could possibly be hours spent in an emergency room the waiting room of an emergency room.
While severe situations certainly require emergency treatment, most cases of fever or flu symptoms can be taken care of at an urgent care center. Even things like back to school check ups and vaccinations can often be handled at a pediatric urgent care center.
Illness doesn't always occur at the most opportune times, especially in children. Don't count urgent care centers out when your child falls ill.
There are an estimated 9,300 walk-in, stand alone urgent care centers in the United States today, and more are opening every year. However, just because they offer a wide variety of treatment options, that doesn't mean you should be there for every medical emergency.
While it's important to make sure you're receiving proper care in any medical situation, it's just as important to know whether an emergency room or urgent care clinic is the right choice for you.
Do You Have a Broken Bone?
In most cases, an urgent care center can treat a broken bone. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For instance, if your bone has been shattered or you suffer an open fracture, meaning the bone breaks through your skin, you should visit an emergency room immediately. These types of fractures are much more serious, require immediate care, and sometimes even immediate surgery.
Do You Have a Cold?
If you're experiencing symptoms of a cold or the flu at a time when your primary care physician can't see you, it's definitely time to go to an urgent care center. Urgent care centers have an average of seven treatment/exam rooms, and the physicians working are equipped to handle these symptoms. Many can even provide intravenous fluids when needed. However, if you're experiencing a severe case of the flu that could be life-threatening, you should seek out emergency services.
Have You Sustained a Head Injury?
If you've received a simple bump or cut on your head, visiting urgent care is fine. However, any severe head injuries that came as a result of falls, sports injuries, or any other kind of accident need to be treated by emergency services. Urgent care centers can handle minor injuries, but a hospital is equipped to handle possibly life-threatening injuries and severe concussions.
Do You Have Allergies?
If you're suffering from itchy eyes and a runny nose during peak allergy season, an urgent care center is the place to be. While they can't prescribe the serious medication that your primary care physician handles, they can provide simple medications for minor allergies. That being said, if you're experiencing a severe allergic reaction, you should always visit the emergency room right away. Food allergies can be especially life-threatening and require treatment as soon as possible.
Nearly 97% of urgent care centers are open seven days a week, which makes them a great option if you can't get to your doctor. Just remember: urgent care centers aren't a replacement for your primary care physician or emergency services!
Legacy ER & Urgent Care
Legacy pioneered retail healthcare in 2008 and is now ranks in the top 1% of global retailers for customer service.
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