Cholesterol and Heart Health

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The heart gets a lot of attention in February, and Five Star ER wants to make sure the health of your heart gets the attention it deserves.

Heart Disease
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America. Heart disease encompasses many different diseases, from congenital heart defects to arrhythmia. The most common type of heart disease in America is cardiovascular disease, which has to do with the blocking or narrowing of your blood vessels. This can lead to hart attack, chest pain (angina), or stroke.

Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that your body needs to build cells, but can be bad if there is too much. Your liver makes all the cholesterol your body needs and the rest comes from your diet, in foods such as meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products. There are two types of cholesterol — the “good kind” (HDL) and the “bad kind” (LDL). Too much LDL or too little HDL can cause damage such as clogged arteries, otherwise known as atherosclerosis. This can lead to stroke or heart attack.

High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when the force of the blood pushing against your blood vessels is too high. High blood pressure causes your heart to work harder and less efficiently, which can result in loss of vision, sexual dysfunction, stroke and heart attack or failure. New standards for high blood pressure were released in 2017, which put a majority of Americans at risk for high blood pressure.

Heart Emergencies
Heart disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure can all lead to serious emergency medical conditions, like heart attack or stroke. Symptoms of heart attack can include chest pain, dizziness, nausea, back/jaw pain, or tingling in arms. Stroke symptoms can include face drooping, arm weakness and speech difficulty. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical help immediately! In a heart emergency, minutes can make a matter of difference. Stroke and heart attack need immediate emergency medical treatment, like that found at Five Star ER.

Heart Health
The best way to take care of your heart is to take care of your health. Eating healthy, exercising and managing stress can all lower your chance for heart disease. Yoga and meditation are popular ways to lower your stress levels, and can be particularly effective in the morning when your chances for heart attack are highest. Eating foods like vegetables, multi-grain products like bran and oats, and fatty fishes can increase your HDL and lower your LDL cholesterol. Getting enough aerobic activity every week can also reduce your risk of heart disease. 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week, like walking briskly or mowing the lawn, is the recommendation.

If you think you’re having a serious heart problem, seek medical help right away! Five Star ER has all the services you’d expect at a traditional ER without the wait. If you’re having a heart attack a few minutes can make a huge difference! All four of our convenient locations are open 24/7, so that you can receive the same quality care you’d expect from a traditional ER.

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is owned and operated by the physicians of US Acute Care Solutions, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Connect with Five Star ER on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ for more information and health tips!

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Show your Heart Some Love This Valentine’s Day

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February 14 is all about the heart. Here are some fun facts to help you learn more about this vital organ, and maybe help you show your own heart some love today.

Your heart beats 100,000 times a day.

That means in the average human lifespan your heart beats 2,885,300,000 times! Your heart works hard to pump blood to the 60,000 miles of blood vessels in your body. Keep your heart healthy and pumping by making healthy choices, like eating right and exercising.

You’re most likely to have a heart attack in the morning.

According to Harvard researchers, you are 40% more likely to have a heart attack between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 p.m. This is due to your heart’s natural circadian changes.

An electric system controls the rhythm of your heart.

This system is called the cardiac conduction system. This is also why automatic external defibrillators, or AEDs, can be life-saving devices in cardiac emergencies. Pacemakers are also used to help keep the cardiac conduction system in check for people with heart health issues.

Falling in love can cause your heart to beat faster.

In the early stages of a relationship, hormones like dopamine, norepinephrine and adrenaline are released. This causes specific physical reactions that include flushed cheeks, sweaty palms and a racing heart.

Women and men have different hearts.

While it’s commonly thought that men and women have different approaches to relationships, there are physiological differences in the heart of a man and woman. A woman’s heart usually beats faster and typically weighs 2 ounces lees than a man’s. There are also different symptoms of heart attack in men and women. Men and women experience chest pain, but women are more likely to experience neck or back pain, nausea/vomiting or shortness of breath.

If you think you’re having a heart attack, seek medical help right away! Five Star ER has all the services you’d expect at a traditional ER without the wait. If you’re having a heart attack a few minutes can make a huge difference!All four of our convenient locations are open 24/7, so that you can receive the same quality care you’d expect from a traditional ER.

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is owned and operated by the physicians of US Acute Care Solutions, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Connect with Five Star ER on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ for more information and health tips!

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Fight the Flu

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This winter has been one of the worst flu seasons since records began being kept, 13 years ago. The vaccine has not been as effective in protecting against this year’s dominant strand of flu, H3N2. The 2017-18 season started early, and the H3N2 virus has been deadly, especially in children. The flu season is expected to peak now, in early February.

Protect Yourself

If you have not gotten the flu yet, one of the best ways to keep you and your family safe is to wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Proper hand washing technique is to work the soap into a sudsy foam and wash your hands for the amount of time it takes you to sing the “Happy Birthday” song. Preventing the spread of germs is the best way to prevent the flu. Other ways to stop the spread of germs is to cover your mouth when you cough, wash your sheets regularly, and disinfect everyday surfaces like door knobs, remote controls, and cell phones.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of the flu have not changed this year. They include fever, aches, chills, fatigue or weakness, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, cough, discomfort or pain in the chest, and headache. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have the flu. It is important to note that not all flu sufferers will have all these symptoms, including fever.

When to Seek Emergency Medical Care

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you need emergency medical care for the flu if you are experiencing any of these symptoms: difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, severe pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, persistent vomiting, or symptoms that go away but return with fever a worse cough. Symptoms that would require emergency care in infants or kids may look different. If your child or infant is sick and begins to experience the above symptoms or any of the below symptoms they should be taken to the ER: fast breathing, bluish skin, not drinking fluids, not waking up or interacting, fever with a rash, being so irritable they don’t want to be touched, significantly fewer wet diapers or no tears when crying.

Because this year’s flu virus outbreak has been so widespread, traditional emergency rooms have been overcrowded and are asking people with the flu to stay home or wait to see their primary care physician. Freestanding emergency rooms, like Five Star ER, have all the same services as a traditional ER, but without the wait. We are not overcrowded and can handle the flu this season when you need medical care. All four of our convenient locations are open 24/7, so that you can receive the same quality care you’d expect from a traditional ER.

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is owned and operated by the physicians of US Acute Care Solutions, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Connect with Five Star ER on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ for more information and health tips!

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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

January 22 – 28 is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW). This week is meant to help shatter myths surrounding drugs and alcohol and further educate people about the dangers of drugs and alcohol use. Therefore, Five Star ER is sharing five common myths and misconceptions about drugs and alcohol.

MYTH: People with high a tolerance for alcohol can drink more and still be okay.

FACT: If you need to drink more to feel the same “buzz,” that is not a good thing! It means that the alcohol you drink is affecting your body negatively. You will still be getting drunk even if you don’t feel it. This means you will drink more and potentially cause more damage.

MYTH: Coffee sobers you up.

FACT: Coffee does not sober you up. The only thing that can sober a person who is under the influence or intoxicated is time. The caffeine in coffee can mask the feelings of drunkenness, but that does not mean you are still not drunk. Food has a similar effect, and can delay when you feel drunk, but it does not sober you.

MYTH: Beer doesn’t get you as drunk as hard liquor.

FACT: If you drink one ounce of beer compared to one ounce of hard liquor, this may be true. But 12 ounces of beer has the same alcoholic content as 5 ounces of wine and 1 ounce, or a shot, of hard liquor. It is important to pay attention to the size of your drink and the alcoholic content by volume (ACV). Some beers can have an ACV as high as 12% and will get you drunk much quicker. A mixed drink often has more than just 1 ounce of hard liquor, and will have a higher ACV.

MYTH: There’s no harm in trying drugs just once.

FACT: While this may be true for some people, it is not always the case. Trying drugs is always a gamble. You can become addicted to drugs from trying them just once. Depending on the drug, you could also overdose the first time you try it.

MYTH: People don’t have to go to the ER for being drunk.

FACT: Emergency room visits for alcohol intoxication have increased by more than 50% in the last decade. Not only are these visits more frequent, but the ER stays are lasting longer, too. Binge drinking is a problem for many Americans, which can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Five Star ER encourages everyone to drink responsibly. However, if an emergency arises you can trust our board-certified doctors and expert staff to treat your emergency. All four of our convenient locations are open 24/7, so that you can receive the same quality care you’d expect from a traditional ER.

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is owned and operated by the physicians of US Acute Care Solutions, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Connect with Five Star ER on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ for more information and health tips!

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Don’t Try a Fad Diet in 2018

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69 percent of fad diets failIf you’re like 21% of Americans, your new year’s resolution may be to lose weight or get in better shape. Those are great goals, but reports say only 9% of people who set resolutions for themselves felt they actually achieved them. One reason people won’t meet their 2018 health resolution is because they try a fad diet.

Fad diets are popular in the U.S., with the average American adult trying to implement a fad diet four times a year. However, 69% of fad diets fail, and 65% of people who lose weight on a fad diet gain it all back. Some popular fad diets today are the Keto-diet, which severely limits the amount of carbohydrates a person eats in a day; juice cleanses that replace meals with fresh squeezed juices; and Whole 30, which limits processed food and other types of food deemed unhealthy for 30 days.

If you have heard of, or tried, these diets you may have seen quick success, but may not have been able to keep the weight off. Erin Ippen, a registered dietician nutritionist, says fad diets only work because “they cause initial weight loss but are not sustainable and rarely lead to long-term weight loss. For low-carb diets specifically, they change the way you metabolize nutrients, so most weight loss is a result of water weight instead of fat loss.”

Some of these diets can also have serious health repercussions. “When you restrict certain food groups, you can miss out on essential nutrients, which can negatively affect your health,” Ippen advises. For example, the keto-diet limits your carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrates are extremely important to the function of your body, because carbs are broken into glucose in the blood stream. Your brain, vital organs, and exercising muscle can only function with glucose in the blood stream. Without that glucose, your body makes alternate fuel sources, like ketones. Ketones occur in the blood when your body doesn’t have enough energy so it begins breaking down fats in the liver, then muscle, and causes your blood to become more acidic, and you are in a state of ketosis.

Ketosis occurs in people with anorexia, as well as diabetics with sustained high blood sugars, otherwise known as Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Ketosis is very serious and requires immediate medical care. The keto-diet advertises ketosis as a healthy, metabolic state. They claim your body will adjust to a state of ketosis, but instead you can cause serious damage to your internal organs; prolonged ketosis can result in becoming unconscious, seizures and even death.

If you are experiencing symptoms like fruity breath, excessive thirst or urination, weakness, fatigue or nausea and vomiting you may be in ketosis and need immediate medical attention. If you are dieting and experience dizziness, lose consciousness or experience low blood sugar, you should also seek medical help.

If you are serious about losing weight in 2018, ditch the fad diets. They often cause more harm then good, and could even land you in the ER. Talk to a nutritionist to figure out a healthy weight loss plan for yourself, and make small changes over time so you’re more likely to stick to your resolution.

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is owned and operated by the physicians of US Acute Care Solutions, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Connect with Five Star ER on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ for more information and health tips!

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Top 5 Reasons for Thanksgiving ER Visits

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Deep Fried Turkey Danger on ThanksgivingThanksgiving is a time for giving thanks, enjoying time spent with friends and family, and good food. Amid all the merriment and festivities, there is an increased chance for injury and accident. Here are the top five reasons people go to the ER during the Thanksgiving holiday (and some ways to avoid them):

  1. Over Indulgence

Thanksgiving is known for being an indulgent holiday, so it’s no surprise that one of the main reasons people visit the ER is for eating or drinking too much. This can result in chest pain, upset stomach and sometimes an irregular heartbeat. Know your limits and when to say “no more” this Thanksgiving.

  1. Food Poisoning

Food poisoning doesn’t just come from a crazy concoction your great aunt brought to the table. The most common cause of food poisoning is from food being left out too long and reaching an unsafe temperature. The danger zone for bacteria growth that can lead to food poisoning is between 41 and 140 degrees. To keep food safe, keep hot food hot and cold food cold, and don’t allow food to sit out for long periods of time.

  1. Auto Accident

The busiest travel weekend of the year is Thanksgiving weekend, and more DUI arrests happen between Thanksgiving and the end of New Year’s Eve than any other time of the year. With busier roads and more chances of enjoying one drink too many, people can end up in the ER after an accident. Enjoying drinks with family and friends at the dinner table can be great, just make sure you know your limits – or, better yet, designate a sober driver.

  1. Knife Injuries

Before you even sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, you could end up in the ER! Make sure not to do any food prep work with dull knives, as that can increase risk of cuts. When using a knife, make sure to also take your time and focus on the task at hand to decrease the risk of cutting yourself.

  1. Burns

Another common kitchen accident at Thanksgiving is burns. Just like when using a knife, if you are handling hot foods — especially oils that can spatter easily — take your time and focus on your task. Avoid wearing loose clothing that could potentially catch fire, especially if you want to deep fry your turkey, which results in 60 injuries every year.

 

When emergencies happen, you want the best care and FAST, especially over the holidays. Every emergency matters at Five Star ER, and our patient-centered care means you come first. Plus, with all the care of a traditional ER minus the wait you can get in and out — and back to Thanksgiving dinner fast. Find your nearest Five Star ER location

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is owned and operated by the physicians of US Acute Care Solutions, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Connect with Five Star ER on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ for more information and health tips!

 

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National Diabetes Awareness Month

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Approximately 9.4% of the population, or about 30.3 million Americans, has either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year. With proper control, diabetes can be managed and diabetics can live long, healthy lives. But even those in the best control can sometimes require emergency medical care. In honor of National Diabetes Awareness Month, here are some things you should do if you ever need to offer help to a diabetic in an emergency.

  1. Know the Signs

Everyone will react differently in a diabetic emergency. Sometimes a diabetic can be having a reaction due to high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia. This is when the person’s blood sugar levels are too high due to too little insulin in their body. Symptoms of hypoglycemia can include: extreme thirst or hunger, frequent urination, nausea, fast heart rate, blurred vision and drowsiness. The other cause of an extreme reaction is low blood sugar is hypoglycemia. This is due to there being too much insulin and not enough carbohydrates in the diabetic’s blood stream. Symptoms for low blood sugar include: shaking, sweating, anxiety, dizziness, irritability, weakness, extreme mood changes. Very extreme cases can lead to loss of consciousness, seizures and coma.

 

  1. Assess the Situation

Because a diabetic emergency can be caused by two very different reasons, it is important to assess the situation. If the person is unconscious or unresponsive, always call 9-1-1 first. If the person is responsive, you can help them to test their blood sugar. This will help determine the right kind of help to offer. A low blood sugar is generally considered anything less than 80 mg/dl. A high blood sugar varies, but if the glucose meter says 250 mg/dl or above that is considered high.

 

  1. Offer Help

If the person is having a low blood sugar reaction, the best way to help is to provide fast-acting carbohydrates for the person to eat. This can include juice, fruits, or soda. Often the diabetic will be carrying such a food around for instances like this. If they are confused, help them to find this food item or provide one of your own. Wait with the person and have them continue to test their blood sugar every 10 minutes.

If they are having a high blood sugar reaction, do not give the person any food as this may only worsen the condition. The best thing to do is to get the person to an emergency room, like Five Star ER, as soon as possible. There they will receive the diagnostic testing to see if the person is suffering a complication like Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), and provide the right medical treatment to safely lower their blood sugar.

 

Emergencies happen, and when they do you want the best care FAST. For diabetics who are having severe reactions, just a few minutes can make a huge difference, so trust the board-certified doctors and expert staff at Five Star ER to take care of you with all the care you’d expect from a traditional emergency room with none of the wait.

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is owned and operated by the physicians of US Acute Care Solutions, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Connect with Five Star ER on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ for more information and health tips!

 

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Halloween Safety Tips

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From wearing costumes to walking around outside at night, there are many potential hazards on Halloween. On average, children are twice as likely to be struck by a vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year. And while 75% of parents say they choose a costume with safety in mind, only a fraction of kids take precautionary measures like walking with flashlights.

Halloween can be scary, but you don’t have to be scared for all the wrong reasons. When you are trick-or-treating, these 10 tips can keep everyone safe and ensure a fun night:

  1. Make sure children under the age of 12 always trick-or-treat with an adult.
  2. Always walk, not run, from house to house.
  3. Use crosswalks, traffic signals and stay on sidewalks or paths. If there is no sidewalk, you should walk facing traffic, as far left as possible.
  4. Choose costumes that have light colored fabrics, are marked as flame resistant, and fit well to prevent painful trips and falls.
  5. Glow sticks can be a fun way to increase kids’ visibility to drivers as well as increase their vision.
  6. Only 18% of parents use reflective tape on their child’s costumes, but the use of reflective tape can make you and your kids more visible to drivers.
  7. Don’t carry swords, canes, or other sharp objects that could injure a child if they fall.
  8. Always test face make-up on a small area of skin before wearing to make sure there are no adverse reactions such as irritation or an allergic reaction. Always choose make-up that is non-toxic.
  9. Only eat treats that are factory-wrapped, and always check for evidence of tampering before consumption.
  10. Talk to your kids about safety every year and before Halloween night. The excitement of Halloween may distract kids, so parents should have regular conversations about safety in the weeks leading to Halloween.

Even with the best preparation and planning, emergencies happen. And when they do, you can count on Five Star ER. Our experienced medical team can treat adults and kids of all ages, providing the care you’d expect from a traditional emergency room with none of the wait. With locations throughout the greater Austin area, no matter where you are celebrating Halloween there is a Five Star ER near you. Click here to find your nearest location.

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Connect with Five Star ER on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ for more information and health tips!

 

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Get Ready for National Health Education Week: October 16-20

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October 16-20 is National Health Education Week! Five Star ER encourages everyone to take control of their well-being and learn new ways to improve their health. Knowledge is a proactive and powerful health tool, so here are five actionable ways to learn more about your health this week:

  1. Take a Healthy Cooking Class

An easy way to take control of your health is to learn to make healthy, homemade meals. An unhealthy diet contributes to over 650,000 deaths each year in the U.S. and can leads to diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Learning to make healthy meals that include lots of fresh, green vegetables and are low in fat can help keep you and your family in good shape and prevent obesity-related diseases.

  1. Learn your Family’s Medical History

Knowing your family’s medical history can help you learn more about your risk for certain diseases, and lead you to make healthy choices that may help prevent those same issues for yourself. If you can, the easiest way to learn your family’s health history is to talk to your family members, including extended family, for any illnesses they may have that can be hereditary like high blood pressure, cancers, and more. Be sure to write down any information so that you can refer to it later.

  1. Have an Annual Physical

An annual physical can often be the first step to learning what you may be at risk for, or what illnesses you may already have. Many insurance companies fully cover one physical a year with your primary care physician, and the annual physical can be an important tool in learning about your own health.

  1. Research any Current Diagnoses

If you are one of the 133 million Americans with a chronic condition, like diabetes, depression, or asthma you should be doing research to stay up-to-date on your condition. Through knowledge not only can you better advocate for yourself but many chronic illnesses are manageable with proper detection and treatment. When doing research, you should look to reputable websites and sources like government resources such as the National Institute of Health, or talk to your doctor.

  1. Learn What to do and Where to go in a Medical Emergency

Creating an emergency plan can help you be better prepared for any situation. You should have a plan which includes a kit with basic medical supplies, like band-aids and aspirin. You should also know the closest place to go to seek medical emergency care. Five Star ER offers on-site laboratories and diagnostic tests, like CT scans, so you can get answers faster. And with several Austin locations along major highways, Five Star ER is a great choice when emergencies happen. Learn where you closest Five Star ER location is here.

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Connect with Five Star ER on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ for more information and health tips!

 

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We’re Nuts About Allergy Safety!

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Food Allergies

October 22 is National Nut Day, and while you may enjoy a mixed nut snack or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an estimated 4% of the U.S. population have a food allergy, including nut allergies. For those 13 million Americans with food allergies, they must take precautions to avoid coming in contact with specific foods as allergies can become dangerous and even deadly very quickly.

For mild reactions, common symptoms include digestive problems, hives, flushing or itching. These symptoms should be treated by a doctor but may not need emergency medical care. However, every three minutes, a food allergy sends someone to the emergency room due to anaphylaxis, which can include the tightening or closing of the airway, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing.

“Be very respectful of food allergy symptoms, including any tongue, throat or facial swelling, problems swallowing, breathing difficulties like wheezing, multiple episodes of vomiting, or significant dizziness or faintness,” says Dr. Brian Aldred, medical director at Five Star ER in Round Rock. “These symptoms can come very quickly after ingestion of foods such as nuts. You should seek immediate emergency medical care for the above symptoms or call 911 if the symptoms quickly progress.”

In the most serious of cases, a person who has been exposed to an allergy may enter anaphylactic shock. This occurs when there is not enough blood flowing to critical organs during an allergic reaction. If you ever see someone who is having a severe allergic reaction, take these steps to help them:

  1. Know the symptoms of anaphylaxis!

Along with the symptoms mentioned above, it’s important to know other signs of anaphylaxis and that only a few symptoms may be present. The severity of symptoms can change quickly, and because some symptoms are life threatening the patient may not be able to tell you they are having an allergic reaction. You can find a list of anaphylaxis symptoms here.

  1. Act Fast

Epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, and referred to by the brand name of EpiPen, is the only effective treatment once someone is in anaphylaxis. If someone is in anaphylaxis you will need to inject them with epinephrine, and more than one dose may need to be given. Antihistamines and asthma inhalers are not effective treatments for anaphylaxis.

  1. Seek Emergency Medical Care

If the person is unconscious or has stopped breathing, call 9-1-1 immediately after giving epinephrine. All people who are having an allergic reaction should seek immediate medical care. Five Star ER has highly trained, board certified doctors and nurses on staff who can treat an allergic reaction 24/7. You will receive the care you’d expect from a traditional emergency room, but without the wait. With convenient locations throughout the Austin area, located along main highways, you can be seen by a doctor within minutes.

Emergencies happen. And when they do, you need the best care — FAST. That’s why when you visit Five Star ER we will take care of you from the moment you arrive with speed, compassion and quality care. Click here to find the Five Star ER location nearest you.

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

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