What to Do After a Dog Bite

From the tiniest Min Pin to the largest of Great Danes, dogs come in all breeds and sizes. There are quiet and yappy dogs, lazy and active dogs, and passive and aggressive dogs. So, when someone lets the dogs out, and it results in you or a loved one getting bit, what do you do next?

Steps to Take After a Dog Bite

Step 1. Get to safety.

Whether it’s a rogue bite from a pet being played with or an attack from an unknown dog, remove your loved one’s presence from the dog. Use force if necessary, but be mindful not to get bit yourself. Dogs that are acting erratically or foaming at the mouth are likely to have rabies, and medical attention should be sought immediately.

Step 2. Evaluate the wound.

Is the wound a single bite, or is the wound deeper and larger? Is any bone exposed? Has your loved one lost the ability to function their limb or bend their fingers? If the wound is deep and covers a large or sensitive area, you should take your loved one to an emergency room. Other reasons to visit an emergency room post a dog bite include:

  • If you or they can’t remember when they’ve had a tetanus shot
  • If they feel weak, disoriented, or faint
  • If they are running a fever

Step 3. Ask About the Dog’s Vaccination History

If possible, ask the dog’s owner for their vaccination history. Have they had a rabies shot? If so, how long ago? Get the owner’s information – including name and telephone number. If the owner isn’t around, ask any nearby witnesses if they’re familiar with the dog or know where you could find the owner.

Step 4. Clean the wound.

If the wound is a single bite that has penetrated the skin, use soap and warm water to clean the area. Gently press on the area to promote a small amount of bleeding – this helps to flush out germs. Then, use an antibiotic and bandages to address the wound. If the dog hasn’t had their rabies shot, you should also visit an emergency room to prevent further issues.

If the wound is deep, covers a larger or sensitive area, or exposes bone, an emergency room will be able to clean, disinfect, and provide wound care. They’ll also be able to administer a rabies vaccine if you’re unsure of the dog’s vaccination history or know that the dog hasn’t had one.

How to Prevent Infection from a Dog Bite

Since dogs can introduce dangerous bacteria to your loved one’s body, it’s important that the wound is properly cleaned and taken care of. To keep wounds from becoming infected, you should:

  • Use topical antibiotics in and around any broken skin.
  • Change bandages daily
  • Identify signs of infection before they spread
  • Follow your doctor’s treatment plan – including taking antibiotics for the time prescribed

Complications of a Dog Bite

For any dog bite, you should monitor the wound for signs of infection until it’s fully healed. It may be a sign that the area is becoming infected if the wound is:

  • Red
  • Swollen
  • Warm
  • Tender
  • Produces pus

Infection isn’t the only risk of a dog bite, however. Other complications may include:

  • Rabies
  • Tetanus
  • Nerve and muscle damage
  • Death

If the wound gets worse, your loved one experiences pain, or they develop a fever, you should visit the emergency care clinic immediately. A doctor will be able to provide antibiotics to treat infection and get your loved one back on the road to recovery.

Emergency Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

The Most Common Basketball Injuries & How to Treat Them

Sports — especially basketball — are often full of quick twists and turns. A play can change dramatically, and you find your loved one running back up the court as quickly as they can. Some of these sudden changes in movement also include physical contact, so it’s no wonder that basketball injuries are so common. But, basketball is a fun and exciting way to get exercise, so how can you prevent your loved one from the most common injuries?

Six Most Common Basketball Injuries

1. Deep Bruising

Usually occurring on the thigh, deep bruising can occur when physical contact is made with another player. Deep bruising can also occur on the arm, shin, ankle, and other body parts. It results in a dark, discolored area of skin that is tender to touch.

2. Sprains

Ankle sprains frequently occur because they’re caused by sudden turns. Weak ankles can also be at higher risk when landing from a jump or collision. Sprains involve pain and swelling – and depending on the severity of the sprain, it can be difficult to walk.

3. Jammed Fingers

Even passing the ball comes with its own risks. If the ball makes contact with the end of a finger, it can cause the finger to jam – swelling at a single joint. Sometimes the pain occurs quickly, but other times it can occur over the course of the game.

4. Facial Cuts

Whether from someone’s shoe, nails, or another body part, cuts to the face can occur during physical contact while grabbing for the ball or going up for a layup. Depending on the depth and severity of the cut, there can be a significant amount of blood, and the wound should be addressed before play continues.

5. Stress Fractures

Similar to football injuries, stress fractures in basketball can occur when there is a rapid increase in activity level or training. They most commonly occur in the foot and lower leg, due to the nature of the game. Depending on the severity of the stress fracture, your loved one may not be able to put weight on the impacted body part.

6. Knee Injuries

Due to the high-intensity, stop-and-go maneuvers of basketball, the knee — including the ligaments and menisci — is at a high risk of injury. When a knee injury occurs, there is a lot of pain and swelling, and it can be difficult to walk or put weight on the knee. In the most severe cases, your loved one may experience a tear that could prevent them from playing the remainder of the season.

Treating the Six Most Common Basketball Injuries

1. Treating Deep Bruising

This minor injury is usually resolved with RICE – rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Bruising will subside anywhere between a few days to a couple of weeks, but your loved one should be able to continue training while recovering. When icing a bruise, remember to limit the time to 10-15 minutes with intermittent breaks.

2. Treating Sprains

Similar to deep bruises, sprains can be resolved with RICE. If the pain persists after a few days, then you may consider getting an x-ray and evaluation to determine the severity of the sprain. Sometimes an ankle sprain can be the result of an injury to the growth plate located around the ankle.

3. Treating Jammed Fingers

If a jam occurs during a game, then icing and taping the jammed finger to the next finger over will usually provide enough pain relief to keep them in the game. But, if pain and swelling persist longer than a week, you should take your loved one to see a physician or athletic trainer. They may x-ray the finger if needed.

4. Treating Facial Cuts

Depending on the depth of the wound, stitches or wound closure tape may be required to close the cut. Icing the wound for 10-15 minutes can reduce swelling and pain as the cut heals. To determine the severity of the injury, you should visit an emergency room – especially if the wound is close to the eye or mouth. The wound should heal anywhere between one to three weeks. Your loved one will be able to return to play after the wound has been addressed.

5. Treating Stress Fractures

Overuse injuries need to be medically diagnosed, so if you think your loved one may be experiencing an overuse stress fracture, then you should take them to the emergency room. A doctor will be able to diagnose the fracture using digital imaging and provide an adequate treatment plan. Stress fractures can take anywhere between a week to three weeks to heal. Your loved one won’t be able to return to play until the fracture is completely healed, and they’re pain-free.

6. Treating Knee Injuries

If your loved one receives a knee injury that prevents them from walking normally, you should take them to the emergency room. While a medial collateral ligament injury can be treated with ice, a brace, and rest, an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is more serious. To get a proper diagnosis, a doctor will use digital imaging to determine the cause of your loved one’s injury and provide a treatment plan to get them back on the court as quickly as possible. Depending on the severity of an ACL tear, surgery may be required as part of the treatment – which would keep your loved one out for the remainder of the season.

Preventing Basketball Injuries

While basketball injuries range from minor to severe, even the mildest sprain can be prevented. Adequately hydrating while training or playing, and maintaining proper fitness during the off-season can help lower risks of overuse during the basketball season. Other preventative measures include:

  • Getting a pre-season physical examination
  • Training gradually to get back into shape
  • Talking to your coach or athletic trainer about incorporating stretches that prevent ACL injuries
  • Refraining from returning to play until fully healed
  • Being mindful and preparing for environmental conditions – including heat

Emergency Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one has been injured while playing basketball, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

The 6 Most Common Football Injuries & How to Treat Them

It’s football season – and not just for the professionals. Fall is a time for cheering on your loved ones from the stands and getting grass stains out of uniforms. It’s supposed to be an exciting and competitive time – but if your loved one gets hurt, it could mean the end of their season. What are some of the most common football injuries, and how do you treat them?

Six Common Football Injuries

1. Shin Splints

When your loved one is just beginning to train, they may experience mild to severe shin splints. This is usually a pain in the shins caused by muscle tightness and overtraining too quickly. It can also be caused by not breaking in new shoes or cleats. Symptoms include pain along the inner side of the shins and swelling.

To recover, your loved one may need to temporarily stop training to reduce the stress put on their shins. Exercises to stretch the shins and calves can be helpful to reduce tightness. Other exercises like swimming or biking can help stretch the muscles and maintain activity without further harming the muscles impacted by shin splints. Rest paired with ice can help reduce this injury over the course of a few days.

2. Sprains

From an ankle to a wrist, sprains can vary from mild to severe. Symptoms include tenderness, a limited range of motion, and a popping sensation in the injured body part. If your loved one has experienced a mild sprain, they’re likely still able to play and train with some minor discomfort, but playing with a severe sprain can further injure the ankle or wrist. This can slow recovery time and may lead to your loved one being unable to play.

Regardless of the severity, you can treat sprains with ice, compression, rest, and elevation. Icing an ankle should be done intermittently for 10-15 minutes at a time. By resting and reducing any swelling associated with the sprain, your loved one can fully recover within a few days to a couple of weeks – depending on the severity of their sprain.

3. Strains

Strain injuries are a little more serious than sprains and are usually associated with pain that is severe and radiates. They occur when a person’s muscle fibers tear due to using improper form when exercising, or by overuse and lack of appropriate rest. Symptoms include muscle spasms, weakness, stiffness, and swelling. Whether your loved one is experiencing a hamstring, rotator cuff, or other strain, they may be unable to train or play until their wound has been treated.

If your loved one has experienced a strain, they should visit an emergency or urgent care clinic to help determine the severity of their injury and get a treatment plan. Some strains include tears that may require surgery to repair. Your doctor will be able to provide you with an adequate treatment plan that includes rest and exercises to help strengthen their impacted muscle. Depending on the location and severity of your loved one’s strain, it can take anywhere from two days to 10 weeks for their full recovery.

4. Knee Ligament Injuries

Injuries to your loved one’s knee, including a dislocated kneecap or ACL tear, can be detrimental to their season. Knee ligament injuries are typically extremely painful and prevent your loved one from bending their knee properly. Walking will likely be difficult and painful for the first few days, and treatment should be acquired as soon as possible. The most common types of knee ligament injuries include an ACL tear or an MCL tear. An ACL injury often is accompanied by a popping sound at the time of injury, an inability to fully extend the leg, tenderness, swelling, and feeling like the knee is giving out. By the same token, an MCL tear includes the same symptoms – however, your loved one would also be unable to carry their body weight on the injured knee.

By visiting an emergency room or an urgent care clinic, you can evaluate the severity of your loved one’s knee ligament injury. A doctor will be able to determine the best treatment plan and whether or not surgery is a requirement to repair the knee. Depending on the severity of the tear, your loved one may be unable to play for anywhere between a couple of weeks to three months.

5. Metatarsal & Other Stress Fractures

Metatarsal bones are long and slender bones located in the middle of your foot and toes. Tackles, overuse, and excessive rotation can cause small stress fractures to occur. Stress fractures — whether metatarsal or otherwise — can cause pain during activity and are accompanied by swelling and possible bruising.

If your loved one has swelling and bruising that doesn’t subside after a few days, you should visit an emergency room or an urgent care clinic to get x-rays and determine if a stress fracture is the cause of their pain. A doctor will be able to properly diagnose the condition and prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to help relieve the discomfort and swelling. Depending on the location and severity of the stress fracture, recovery can take anywhere from one to six weeks.

6. Concussions

Concussions occur when trauma causes the brain to jolt back and forth too fast. One of the most commonly occurring football injuries, they can have long-term effects on your loved one. If your loved one plays a defensive position, they have a 17.8% chance of receiving a concussion each play. Anytime your loved one receives a head injury — regardless of impact — you should take them to an emergency room or an urgent care clinic to ensure there is no internal bleeding. Signs of a concussion include headaches, blurred vision, slurred speech, sensitivity to light or noise, confusion, nausea, and/or memory loss.

Depending on the severity of their head wound, your doctor may suggest shorter school days and suggest taking breaks throughout the day. Pain relievers can help mitigate discomfort, but rest is the best medicine for injuries of this caliber. Once signs and symptoms have resolved, your loved one can return to training and playing – but you should consider getting approval from a neurologist or other physician to minimize long-term complications.

Emergency Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one has been injured playing football, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

Trampoline Injuries: Statistics, Common Injuries, Prevention, & More

For a child, jumping on a trampoline is exciting and fun – the feeling of leaping through the air, learning tricks, and trying to bounce higher than all your friends is enough to entice anyone. As a parent, you want your child to have a good time, but you also want them to be safe. A Consumer Product Safety Review found that 18,000 people were sent to the emergency room from trampoline parks alone in 2017. That’s not even considering the number of injuries that occur on at-home trampolines. What injuries can occur on trampolines, and how can you prevent them?

Types of Trampolines

There are a variety of different trampolines and shapes. Round trampolines are the most common, and some brands include a netting to help prevent people from falling off while jumping. There are also rectangular trampolines that are mostly used for gymnastic purposes and commonly used in trampoline parks.

Often, gyms will provide mini trampolines that you can use to exercise. These mini trampolines can also be found in homes for the same purpose. While falling from a mini trampoline doesn’t seem as likely, there are still risks associated with them.

In an attempt to reduce the risks of trampolines, there are also trends for in-ground — or sunken — trampolines. These are trampolines that have been placed within the ground, and the tops are flush with the rest of the yard. While these types of trampolines reduce the falling hazard, maintaining them brings other safety concerns. Improper draining can cause the base of the trampoline to rust and break during use.

Trampoline Statistics

Why all the hubbub about trampolines though? Sure, trampoline parks seem dangerous, but if your child is jumping on a trampoline by themselves, surely they’re safe from harm? The answer to this question isn’t so black and white. Yes, jumping on a trampoline is safer when it’s one person at a time, but that doesn’t eliminate all the risks. Let’s look at the facts:

  • 93% of fractures in children 16 or younger are caused by trampolines
  • About 15% of injuries on trampolines happen to children younger than six
  • One in 200 injuries result in permanent neurological damage
  • 40% of injuries are caused by falling from the trampoline
  • About 75% of trampoline injuries happen when more than one person is jumping at a time

Types of Trampoline Injuries

Trampoline injuries can range from small scrapes and bruises to greater risks, such as permanent brain damage and death. Injuries can occur when people bounce, land, or run into each other, fall off the side, step or fall on the springs around the edges, attempt tricks like back/front flips, and a variety of other circumstances. Trampoline injuries may include:

How to Prevent Trampoline Injuries

Trampolines are a great way to get your children to exercise, but how do you lower their risk of harm? While the easiest answer is: don’t buy one, the reality is that your child will likely come into contact with a trampoline whether you own one or not. Talking with your child about trampoline safety is the best way to help them learn to recognize the risks and minimize harm. But, children will be children, so if you own a trampoline, you should:

1. Create rules for jumping.

Make sure only one child is jumping on the trampoline at a time. Children under six shouldn’t use a trampoline – remove the trampoline ladder to prevent young children from entering the trampoline while someone else is bouncing. Tricks like somersaults and flips shouldn’t be performed without spotters and protective equipment like a harness. Provide careful supervision to ensure your children are following the safety instructions.

2. Maintain your trampoline.

Before anyone jumps on the trampoline, make sure you routinely check the trampoline’s supporting bars, springs, and other landing surfaces. Padding around the edges should be in good condition and positioned correctly. There should be no tears, rips, or deterioration in the netting or mat. The metal base should be regularly cleaned to prevent rust and create a sturdier base. Order replacement parts as needed.

3. Buy safety accessories.

Make sure that your trampoline has a protective netting around the edges. While this netting won’t prevent every fall — as typically is the case with older children and adults — the net will provide a boundary for safe play. Consider installing an in-ground trampoline to prevent falling risks. Make sure your trampoline is installed on an even surface. Harnesses and other equipment can minimize the risks associated with tricks and gymnastics on the trampoline.

Emergency Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one has been injured on a trampoline, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

What to Do If Your Child Eats Something Toxic

You always hear that once a baby starts walking, it’s all over. That’s because toddlers and small children tend to grab and eat things that they shouldn’t, and keeping track of them becomes harder to do once they’ve learned how to crawl or walk and reach out for things. In 2017, 39,100 children under the age of six consumed or were in contact with something poisonous. This exposure peaks for one- to two-year-olds, and then spikes again for teenagers 13-19 years old. What can you do if your child eats something toxic, and how can you keep your child safe from poisonous substances?

What Products are Toxic for a Child?

The best way of preventing your child from being exposed to toxic or poisonous substances is to be mindful of the type of substances that can be poisonous to children, and keeping them safely out of reach. These products include:

  • Medications – whether found and ingested or in incorrect dosage quantities
  • Household products and pesticides – such as bleach, detergent, paint thinners, drain cleaners, and more
  • Household plants – such as daffodils, hydrangeas, lilies, and other plants
  • Alcohol, nicotine, and illicit substances
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Batteries
  • Personal care products – such as perfume, nail polish remover, and more
  • Undercooked or poorly kept foods

You should also be mindful of carbon monoxide produced by fuel-burning appliances that aren’t properly functioning. Carbon monoxide poisoning has flu-like symptoms and includes nausea and fatigue. By installing a carbon monoxide detector, you can keep your family safe.

How to Recognize the Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of poisoning can range depending on the substance and how it was exposed. Some signs include:

  • The pupils enlarging or shrinking
  • Excessive drooling or dry mouth and skin
  • A faster or slower than normal heart rate
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain
  • Hyperactivity or drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite when normally hungry
  • Nervous system abnormalities
  • Abnormal skin coloring
  • Seizures

It can be difficult to determine if your child has been exposed to something toxic, so the best thing you can do is to be aware of their actions and trust your gut if you see sudden changes.

What To Do If Your Child is Exposed to Toxic Substances

If you know your child has ingested, breathed in, or absorbed poison, don’t wait for any signs or symptoms. Instead, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the substance – if the substance has packaging that addresses poisoning cases, follow the instructions.
  2. Take note of  your child’s health status. Do they currently appear fine, or are they showing symptoms – vomiting, drowsiness, coughing?
  3. Call the US National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) and give them as much information as you can. Get advice on what you should do now and any next steps.
  4. Take a picture of the substance. If it was a berry or other type of wild plant, take a picture of the leaf or plant to help identify it.
  5. Keep your child calm and still. Running around can cause the metabolism to increase and quicken symptoms.
  6. Call 911 if your child shows any sudden changes — including vomiting or drowsiness. The emergency operator will provide immediate instructions on what you can do while you wait for an ambulance. It’s important that you don’t try to drive the child yourself, as driving erratically could put you, your loved one, and other drivers at risk. This exception is only made if the emergency services operator suggests driving to meet the ambulance or in the case that it’s quicker for you to get to an emergency room than for an ambulance to get to your home.

What Not To Do If Your Child is Exposed to Toxic Substances

When your child is hurting, and stress is high, it can be common for you to want to try and resolve the issue immediately by using at-home remedies. In the past, some of these remedies have included giving Ipecac which induces vomiting. Since then, the American Association of Poison Control Centers and the American Academy of Pediatrics have recommended against it. Other immediate solutions may include giving activated charcoal, but you should wait for medical personnel to determine if that treatment is appropriate. The best thing you can do for your child if they’ve been poisoned or exposed to toxic substances is to follow the steps above and call the US National Poison Control Center.

Emergency Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one has been exposed to poisonous substances, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

The 6 Most Common Soccer Injuries & How to Treat Them

If your child plays sports, then bumps, scrapes, and bruises are typically a part of their routine. From falling to coming into contact with other players, getting hurt is never fun, but sometimes it’s inevitable. When it comes to the most dangerous sports, football is usually the first that comes to mind – but what about European football? In 2017, soccer resulted in 218,926 injuries compared to football’s 341,150. What are some of the most common soccer injuries, and how can you treat them?

Most Common Soccer Injuries

1. Strains and Sprains

From twisted ankles to knees, sprains and strains are very common in soccer. They usually occur from a sudden stop in movement and sharp directional turns. While most strains and sprains are minor injuries that require rest, pain relief medication, and ice packs, other cases can be more extreme.

Some injuries result in ACL tears where the anterior cruciate ligament is torn or detached from the joint. Symptoms include swelling, tenderness, an inability to extend the injured leg, and the knee giving out. When this happens, the pain can be incredibly severe, and a trip to an urgent clinic should be your next step. There, a doctor will provide a brace and sometimes crutches — depending on the severity of the tear — and prescribe pain relief medications. Based on the severity of the injury, physical therapy or surgery may also be required.

2. Shin Splints

Sometimes when the intensity or duration of training has changed, shin splints may occur in the front of the lower leg. This can occur from soreness in the calf or tight muscles in the leg. Symptoms include numb feet, pain along the inner part of the lower leg, and pain on either side of the shins.

When this happens, pain medication can provide temporary relief while stretching can alleviate symptoms over a few days. To prevent this from occurring, you should make sure your loved one is stretching before and after physical activity. If the shin splints happen frequently or last for more than a few days, you may want to visit your doctor to get further recuperation instructions.

3. Tendinitis

Sometimes your body will react to injuries with inflammation. This is often known as tendinitis and occurs when there has been an injury to a tendon and microtears in the muscle fiber occurs. This typically happens when the tendons are being overused.

Tendinitis may cause pain, tenderness, and mild swelling at the site of the tendon and surrounding area, or in some cases loss of motion. The skin in the injured area may also feel warm to the touch. If your loved one is experiencing tendinitis, they should rest the injured area and take anti-inflammatory medications. Icing the area on the day of the injury will also promote a speedy recovery.

4. Fractures

Running into other players or hitting the ground hard can often result in an ankle, arm, wrist, or other fractures. Depending on the severity and location of your broken bone, a trip to urgent care should be your first step. Symptoms of a fracture include sharp pain, substantial swelling, bruising, and loss of range of motion. If the fracture occurred on a lower extremity, an inability to bear weight on the affected leg or foot may occur. It’s also possible to actually hear the bone crack or pop at the time of the injury.

A doctor will conduct an x-ray to determine the severity of the injury, and provide a brace to help the bone mend. This may result in follow-up appointments to get a more permanent cast or monitor the progression of the healing bone. These types of injuries may prevent your loved one from playing soccer for several weeks.

5. Dermal Injuries

While some dermal injuries may result in a quick trip to the sidelines for a medical kit, others require more immediate attention. Some deep cuts require stitches. If your loved one has a deep laceration, then you should go to an urgent care facility as soon as possible.

An urgent care clinic will be able to clean the wound, and quickly stitch the laceration to minimize scarring and exposure. Some stitches will require follow-up visits for removal, while others can dissolve on their own.

6. Head Injuries

Head-on collisions can be extremely dangerous. While some minor injuries may result in headaches or nausea, other extreme head injuries can result in concussions. This causes brain trauma, which involves headaches, loss of consciousness, dizziness, and often memory loss.

If your loved one has come in contact with another player and displays signs of a concussion — including trouble focusing their eyes, dizziness, memory loss, and sluggishness — you should take them to an emergency room immediately. A physician will need to monitor their brain activity with a CT scan or MRI and ensure the brain is not swollen or damaged. In some extreme cases, your loved one may be kept overnight in a hospital. Otherwise, instructions will be provided for a speedy recovery. Rest is key when a head injury occurs.

Urgent Care Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one have been injured playing soccer or another sport, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

The Risks of Blood Thinners

There are few things that are as disheartening as finding out that you have a serious health condition. All of a sudden, new rules, medications, and lifestyle modifications become your new normal. And while at some point everything may become second nature, there’s a learning curve while you get used to it. Such is the case when you’re taking blood thinners. You may have a general idea of what they are and what they do, but how else can they impact your life?

What are Blood Thinners?

When you’re injured and experience a cut, platelets in your blood stick to the walls of your blood vessels to form a barrier and prevent you from bleeding to death. However, if these solid clumps of platelets form when they aren’t needed, they can obstruct blood flow within your veins or arteries, which can result in a stroke or heart attack. This is called a blood clot.

To prevent clots from happening, medical providers prescribe medication known as blood thinners (also known as anticoagulants). They can be administered by injection or as pills.

Blood thinners do not make your blood thinner nor break up formed clots. What they do is prevent your blood from forming new clots, as well as slowing down the growth of existing ones.

Reasons for Needing Blood Thinners

There are several types of people who are most likely to benefit from taking blood thinners. These include those who have any of the following in their medical history:

  1. Heart disease
  2. Heart attack
  3. Having to wear a heart valve
  4. Irregular heartbeats
  5. Recent surgery
  6. A history of blood clots in their lungs or legs
  7. Being overweight or obese
  8. Deep Vein Thrombosis
  9. Lupus

Risks of Blood Thinners

Blood thinners have several side effects, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nose bleeds
  • Bleeding gums
  • Heavy periods
  • Excessive bleeding from cuts
  • Blood in urine
  • Blood in bowel movements

Due to the increased risk of bleeding, always tell your dentist you’re on blood thinners before undergoing dental cleanings or other oral treatments.

Foods To Limit Or Avoid When You’re On Blood Thinners

There are several foods that may interfere with the effectiveness of blood thinners. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor about any required modifications to your diet. Typically, foods to limit include:

  1. Foods Rich in Vitamin K. These include leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and broccoli, as well as asparagus and cabbage.
  2. Herbal Supplements. Common herbal supplements taken to help you sleep or as ingredients in tea include chamomile, ginseng, cloves, licorice, and echinacea.
  3. Alcohol. Your liver breaks down both alcohol as well as medications. If you drink while also taking blood thinners, the level of medication in your blood may be higher than it should be as your liver breaks down consumed alcohol.

Do Blood Thinners Increase The Risk of Cancer?

There are different types of blood thinners. Some of them, such as Warfarin, may protect against breast, lung, and prostate cancers. However, studies are somewhat inconclusive and you should not take thinners as a preventive measure, since it could lead to health complications.

When To Go To The ER

Since blood thinners are specifically designed to keep platelets from clumping up, any time you suffer from an injury, you have a higher risk than the average person from experiencing internal bleeding or prolonged bleeding from cuts. Therefore, seek emergency medical attention if you’ve experienced any kind of trauma.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one have a medical emergency, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

Most Common Causes of Summer Injuries

Summer is typically a time for relaxation. Kids are out of school, so there’s less rushing around in the mornings. There’s less traffic. It’s a time for slowing down, spending more time with loved ones, and enjoying leisurely days by the pool. It’s also the time of year where injuries are most common.

In order to prevent them, it’s good to be aware of what the are and what to do in the event of experiencing them.

The Top 5 Most Common Causes of Summer Injuries

1. Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke

It’s common for people to sweat profusely and feel more tired than usual when out in the sun. Some people with light sensitivity may also get migraines. But if your pulse quickens, you get muscle cramps, get dizzy, or are nauseous, chances are you are experiencing a heat stroke. If such is the case, move inside to an air conditioned room. If that’s not available, move to a shaded area and drink water. Failing to do so could lead to a heat stroke, which could be life-threatening.

2. Food Poisoning

Pools, beaches, barbecues, garden parties… all of them provide plenty of food to keep everyone happy. In many instances, they’re left outside for hours at a time, exposed to direct sunlight. Do this with perishables, and you’re asking for food poisoning. This is because heat causes bacteria to multiply at a much faster rate. The best word of advice is to only leave out items that don’t require refrigeration and only bring out those that do close to meal times. Never leave them exposed to heat for over an hour.

For more tips, check out our article: Food Safety Tips to Avoid Food Poisoning this Summer

3. Boating Accidents

Lakes and beaches are popular destinations during the summer. Between congested waterways, reckless behavior while boating, and a higher increase in alcohol consumption, it’s a recipe for accidents. Drinking and boating can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving.

4. Drownings

Just as with boating accidents, excessive alcohol consumption prior to swimming could lead to swimming injuries or drowning. And due to the social aspect of many summer activities, it’s easy to get distracted for a few minutes… enough time for children to drown. There are several things you can do to try to rescue a drowning person, but always make sure to take the appropriate safety measures to prevent yourself or someone else from being pulled underwater as well.

5. Lawn Mower Accidents

Hot weather means flip flop weather. But if you’re doing yard work like mowing the lawn, wear closed toed shoes for protection. In addition, turn off the blades if you have to cross an area of your yard that doesn’t have grass. Failing to do so could cause small rocks to be shot into your eyes. Also, remember that due to the lawnmower’s loud sounds, it may be possible for you to not hear children or pets playing nearby. Keep them inside while you’re using it.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one have a medical emergency, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

When to go to the Emergency Room for Dental Pain

In addition to being uncomfortable, dealing with dental pain affects many aspects of your daily life: Being able to brush your teeth, speak, and eat meals. If the pain is significant, it may also affect your sleep. Thankfully, there are plenty of dentists who can help alleviate symptoms, but they’re not always available at a moment’s notice; especially overnight, during a weekend, or over holidays.

How can you tell when dental pain is something you can “tough out” with an Ibuprofen until you can see a dentist in a day or two, and when are your symptoms a sign of a medical emergency?

When to Schedule a Dentist’s Appointment

Emergency rooms are not usually staffed with dentists. Therefore, if you’ve noticed you may have a cavity or have minor pain that can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers, it’s fine to schedule a dentist’s appointment, even if they can’t see you right away.

You can also wait to see a dentist if you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking hot or cold items, or if you have a cracked tooth… unless the crack is resulting in bleeding. If the crack is minor and it does not hurt, you can wait until a dental appointment.

Additionally, if you’ve lost a crown or filling, you can use over-the-counter dental cement to put it back in place until your dentist can see you.

When to go to the Emergency Room

Always visit the emergency room if you’ve experienced any of the following:

  • Trauma to the face
  • Cuts inside your mouth
  • Severe swelling
  • A broken jaw
  • A dislocated jaw
  • An abscess that’s affecting your ability to swallow
  • An untreated infection
  • Pain or swelling that radiates to the neck
  • If the condition is affecting your breathing
  • If you’re an adult and you have a loose tooth or teeth
  • Headache
  • High fever
  • Severe pain

Do not try to wait and see if the injury gets better on its own, as left untreated, all of the conditions listed above could lead to life-threatening complications, such as necrosis of the pulpcellulitis, or septic shock.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one have a medical emergency, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

When to Go to the ER For Your Cough

At some point or another, everyone experiences the common cold. And yes, coughing is as disruptive as it is annoying. Coworkers may stare at you as if you have the plague, and sleep may elude you as you are overcome with coughing fits.

But how do you know if you should ride it out with cough drops and tissues or seek medical attention? To help determine whether you’ll be fine after a couple days of TLC or whether you might have a respiratory infection, let’s review the most common reasons for coughing.

Common Cold

The common cold is an infection that only affects the nose and throat. Symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion

It’s relatively harmless and people generally recover within a week.

When to see a doctor for a common cold: See a doctor if symptoms persist for more than 10 days, or if the patient has a fever, ear pain, wheezing, or shortness of breath.

Influenza (the flu)

Influenza is a viral infection that affects both the upper respiratory tract as well as the lungs. Symptoms include:

  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Exhaustion

When to see a doctor for influenza: While the flu can go away on its own, complications can be life-threatening. Therefore, see a doctor if the patient falls into any of these categories: Weakened immune system, pregnant, younger than five years of age, older than 65, or obese.

Bronchitis

Bronchitis is the medical term used when your bronchial tubes become inflamed. It can develop from complications of the common cold or an upper respiratory infection.  A patient with bronchitis will cough up mucus, and the discomfort may last up to 10 days. Other symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Mild fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Phlegm
  • Chest congestion
  • Mild body aches

Once you heal from bronchitis, it’s common to have a lingering cough for several weeks. However, the rest of the symptoms should disappear.

When to see a doctor for bronchitis: See a doctor if the illness is recurring, since chronic bronchitis may be a sign of a more serious infection. Seek medical attention if you have a fever higher than 100.4 F, or if you’re coughing up blood.

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection that causes the air sacs in the lungs to become inflamed. It can range from mild to life-threatening, so it’s important to pay attention to symptoms. These include:

  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain when coughing
  • Chest pain when taking deep breaths
  • Phlegm
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

When to see a doctor for pneumonia: Go to the ER if you have a fever of over 102 F, are coughing up phlegm, or have difficulty breathing. See a doctor immediately if you’re undergoing chemotherapy or have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, such as cancer, lupus, or HIV.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you’re not feeling well, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.