Emergency Room IV Fluids for Dehydration

There are several things that come to mind when most people think about dehydration. These may include hot summer days, not drinking enough water, and over-exercising without replenishing electrolytes. But, do you know what happens to the body when it’s dehydrated? And, do you know how to recognize symptoms? When can it be relieved by drinking fluids, and how do you know if you need to go to the Emergency Room?

What is dehydration?

Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than what it needs to function properly. While it’s normal to lose fluids through sweating, spitting, urinating, and bowel movements, the body replaces lost fluids by drinking and eating foods that contain water.

Dehydration can happen to any age group, and it can be the result of not drinking enough water — especially when in hot weather — overexertion, increased urination, severe diarrhea, vomiting, or infections.

People at a higher risk of dehydration include infants and children — since they can’t often tell you when they’re thirsty — as well as people with chronic health conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes or kidney disease. And, if you live in a hot climate and exercise outside, dehydration is more likely if you fail to drink enough fluids.

Signs of Dehydration

While thirst is an indication that your body needs water, experiencing it occurs when you’re already dehydrated. Therefore, it’s crucial to learn to recognize symptoms that you need to increase your water intake. These include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Infrequent urination
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Dry, cool skin
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps

When to go to the ER

You should seek immediate medical care if you experience symptoms of severe dehydration. In addition to the symptoms listed above, more serious dehydration cases include the following:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Lack of energy
  • Irritability
  • Poor skin elasticity — if you pinch it, it goes back to its original position slowly

Also, see your doctor if you’ve had diarrhea for more than 24 hours, can’t keep fluids down without vomiting, or if you have bloody or black bowel movements. Failing to do so may lead to complications such as heat stroke, hypovolemic shock, seizures, and/or kidney failure.

If the person experiencing severe dehydration was exercising outside in hot temperatures or has a high fever, seek treatment on an emergency basis. If the body temperature reaches 104 F (40C) or more, it could lead to permanent brain damage — or even death.

Does The Emergency Room give IV fluids?

Yes. Emergency rooms can provide IV fluids for patients experiencing severe dehydration. If you or a loved one are in this situation, an IV treatment will provide relief with the hydration being inserted directly into a vein. By doing so, the fluids, vitamins, and electrolytes go directly into the bloodstream instead of having to wait for your body to metabolize it through the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, vital organs such as the liver and kidneys receive an increased blood supply at a much faster rate.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you are dehydrated, our Emergency Rooms can provide you with the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care Emergency Room 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 Emergency Room location nearest you.

When to Visit the ER for Sudden Weakness

At some point in time, everyone experiences feeling tired. And if you are dealing with a lot of work responsibilities and tight deadlines, or — the big kahuna of them all — are a parent of young children, you may feel like your levels of exhaustion are reaching new heights. But, there’s a difference between a lack of energy and feeling fatigued and experiencing body weakness due to a chronic health condition.

What is weakness?

While the term is often used interchangeably by people experiencing fatigue or tiredness, weakness is the term used to refer to a loss of muscle strength — to such an extent that it interferes with muscle function. It can be generalized or it may affect exclusively a specific group of muscles. Sometimes, affecting the brain, peripheral nerves, or spinal cord.

Causes of Sudden Weakness

Sudden weakness is often the result of an injury, neuromuscular or metabolic diseases, heart disease, adrenal disease, malnutrition, hepatitis, toxin overload, or cancer. It may also be possible to experience muscle weakness if you are taking certain medications, excessive consumption of alcohol, or a loss of muscle tissue due to long periods of inactivity or extended bed rest.

On the non-life-threatening side of the spectrum, you may experience muscle weakness if you suffer from nerve impingement, fibromyalgia, influenza, mononucleosis, or a mood disorder. Less common causes include electrolyte deficiencies or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

When to Go to the ER For Sudden Weakness

While some chronic conditions include regular sudden bouts of weaknesses, there are instances when you should seek immediate medical attention to prevent permanent disability. These include:

  • Drooping on one side of the face
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Walking difficulties
  • Difficulty talking, chewing, or swallowing
  • Weakness in the legs
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fainting

When you go to the doctor, you will be asked questions about when the weakness began, which muscles are affected, which activities are difficult to perform, whether it began gradually or suddenly, and whether it has remained constant or it’s worsening. The medical provider will then conduct testing to determine the cause of weakness — a muscle disorder (myopathy), peripheral nerve disorder (polyneuropathies), or a spinal cord or brain disorder.

You should also tell your doctor if you’re undergoing chemotherapy or have a history of anemia or diabetes. If you’re feeling arm weakness and paralysis on one side of the body — along with slurred speech and impaired vision — you may be suffering from a stroke. If that’s the case, call 911 immediately.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you’re experiencing weakness, we can provide you with 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 5 Most Common Baseball Injuries & How to Prevent/Treat Them

There are many things that are quintessentially American — and baseball is somewhere near the top of that list. It’s entertaining, family-friendly, and a great sport. But, as with any athletic activity, it also carries the risk of injury. Learning how to recognize symptoms is essential to obtain treatment as soon as possible — so that you can get back to doing what you love most. What are these injuries? How do you treat them? And, is there any way to prevent them?

What are the most common baseball injuries?

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The shoulders are ball-and-socket joints composed of the humerus (the upper arm, with a ball at the top) and the scapula (the socket). They’re held together by muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Whenever one of these muscles, tendons, or ligaments suffer a tear — either partially or completely — you’ll experience swelling, and a nagging shoulder pain that radiates down the arm and increases with movement. Rotator cuff injuries also can be identified by a clicking sound when you lift your arms. If you’re experiencing symptoms, seek treatment as soon as possible. Failing to do so could lead to a frozen shoulder or a permanent loss of your full range of motion.

How to prevent it: You can prevent rotator cuff injuries by doing stretching exercises designed to preserve the range of motion of your shoulders.

Shoulder Instability

Shoulder instability occurs when the ball portion of the joint does not remain in the socket. This results in the joint becoming lose (subluxation) or becomes fully dislodged from the socket (dislocation). It can be the result of repetitive stress to the joint. Symptoms include pain, swelling, a diminished range of motion, and a sensation of having a loose shoulder. People with this condition often experience shoulder dislocations. Treatment requires anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. As a last resort, surgery may be required to restore the joint.

How to prevent it: To lower the risk of shoulder instability, make sure to incorporate several strength training exercises specifically designed to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder joint.

Labral Tears

The labrum is the ring of cartilage that cushions the socket in your shoulder joint. When this part of the body is injured, you’ll experience a clicking or grinding sensation and a limited range of motion of the shoulder. There are three types of shoulder labral tears — SLAP, Bankart, and posterior.

SLAP tears occur on the front of the labrum — SLAP standing for superior labrum, anterior to posterior. This is the most common type of labral tear to occur to baseball players since it’s mostly caused by repeated overhead arm motions. Depending on the severity of the tear, treatment may range from extended rest and over-the-counter painkillers to physical therapy or arthroscopic surgery.

How to prevent it: There are several things you can do to lower the risk of a shoulder labral tear. These include:

  • Do strength-training exercises to strengthen the shoulders.
  • Warm-up and stretch prior to every practice and baseball game.
  • Learn proper sliding into base techniques to avoid injuring your shoulders.

Hamate Hook Fractures

Where your forearm ends and the wrist begins, there are several small bones — the Capitate, lunate, pisiform, and hamate. The hamate is a square-shaped bone located below the ring and small finger. It’s prone to injury in athletes who play sports that involve gripping and swinging an object — such as a golf club or a bat. It can occur when the bat handle strikes the hamate hook on top of the bone. Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, and weakness of the grip. Treatment often requires immobilizing the wrist until the bone heals. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary, and recovery can take between four to six weeks.

How to prevent them: The best way to prevent hamate hook fractures is to wear batting gloves with relief zones every time you’re going to bat. You should also use proper technique when making the swinging movement.

Medial Epicondylitis

This condition is popularly known as golfer’s or baseball elbow. It consists of pain where the tendons in the forearm attach to the inside part of the elbow — and it radiates all the way down to the wrist. Symptoms also include numbness and/or tingling, stiffness, and weakness; and they become exacerbated when making a swinging movement. It’s caused by damage to the muscles and tendons around your wrist and fingers as a result of repetitive movements — such as throwing a ball or swinging a bat. Typically, it can be treated with rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, and icing the area. However, if you have a fever, the skin feels warm to the touch, or you can’t bend your elbow, seek medical attention — as these could be indications of a more serious injury.

How to prevent it: There are several things you can do to prevent baseball elbow. These include the following:

  • Strengthen the muscles in your forearm.
  • Warm-up and stretch before every practice and game.
  • Talk with your coach to ensure you’re throwing/swinging with proper form.
  • Take rest days — do so regularly and at the first sign of pain.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you have an injury, we can provide you with 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 Bicycle Injuries & How to Treat Them

Bicycles are great devices for exercise, to have fun, and for transportation. Yet, just as with many activities, its use could occasionally result in injuries. If you’ve fallen off a bike — or ran into a pedestrian — you’re well aware of the damage that could result from either of these scenarios. But, what are the most common injuries? How can you treat them? And, is there anything you can do to prevent them?

What are the most common bicycle injuries?

Soft Tissue Injuries

These are superficial injuries to skin that occur from falling off a bike — such as skinning your knees or elbows, cuts and lacerations to the skin, and damage to muscle and tendons from trauma. To treat them, wash your hands to avoid germs from getting into the injury. If the injury is still bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean bandage and keep the area elevated until the bleeding stops. Cover with triple-antibiotic cream and a bandage. As days go by, watch for signs of infection — such as redness, swelling, skin that’s warm to the touch, and/or pus. If you notice any of them, seek medical care.

Road Rash

Road rash occurs when you lose skin as you skid along the pavement. While these are also considered soft tissue injuries, road rash tends to be more serious — since it’s susceptible to infections due to grit and dirt that gets embedded in the injured body part. It’s crucial to obtain treatment as soon as possible, as some infections could be life-threatening. Gently scrub the wound with iodine or betadine, apply a layer of triple antibiotic ointment, and cover the wound with a gauze pad. If the injury is large, seek medical care immediately.

Muscle Pain & Soreness

The position required to ride a bicycle can put a lot of strain on your spine if you often ride for long periods of time without taking a break. If you ride for sport, make sure to consult with a coach — or look for YouTube videos — about proper posture while riding your specific type of bike. By the same token, cyclists can also experience pain and tightness of the muscles at the base of the skull and towards the sides of the neck, all the way down to the shoulders. The best ways to prevent this from occurring is to ensure you have a bicycle that’s adequate for your height and using good posture. If you’re already experiencing soreness, use a foam roller to loosen muscle knots. Do static stretching exercises, apply an analgesic ointment, and a heating pad for 20 minutes. If pain persists, see a doctor.

Fractures

Any fall from a high speed — or collision with a car, runner, or another cyclist — could lead to broken bones. Signs include intense pain — especially when applying pressure — a limited range of motion (or an inability to move the injured body part), swelling, and bruising. In more severe cases, the injured body part may look deformed, or you may be able to see the bone protruding from the skin. These types of injuries should always be treated by a doctor. Failing to do so may result in permanent deformity or disability.

Concussions

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that occurs when the brain is jolted quickly back and forth inside the cranium. The sudden movement can damage blood vessels, brain cells, and/or nerves. These are typically associated with accidents where the cyclist was riding at a high speed or was impacted by a car. The best way to prevent this type of injury is to always wear a helmet — regardless of whether you’re required to do so by law.

Overuse Injuries

This includes discomfort in the perineum (the area between the anus and genitals) and numbness in the genital area, as well as compression neuropathy (squeezed nerves) — which can happen often to cyclists on their ulnar nerve from the pressure of constantly gripping the handlebars. The best way to avoid these types of injuries is to adjust the seat so that it’s higher than the saddle for long-distance riding sessions. Similarly, a downward tilted saddle can reduce stress on the perineum. Installing a wide saddle reduces the likelihood of compressing nerves and blood vessels in the genital area. Finally, make it a point to loosen your grip on the handlebars.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you’ve been injured from a bicycle accident, we can provide you with 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 Is Fainting a Concern that Requires Medical Attention

Tune into your favorite soap opera, and you’ll probably see someone faint at least once per episode. While the characters are doing it for dramatic effect, fainting off-camera can be extremely dangerous. For some people — with chronic conditions that cause them to faint or become unconscious — the problem feels like a normal every-day part of their life. But, some episodes of fainting require immediate medical attention.

Causes of Fainting

Fainting can happen to anyone, as it’s often caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure. This can occur when you stand up too quickly from a laying down or sitting position. It can also occur from overexcitement. Vasovagal syncope occurs when the part of your nervous system that controls your heart rate and blood pressure overreacts to an emotional trigger. Fortunately, these types of fainting episodes are usually rare and don’t really require treatment. But, in some cases, it can be a symptom of serious underlying conditions. The most common involve:

  • People with a prior history of a heart attack
  • People who have had heart surgery
  • People with heart disease or an irregular heart rhythm
  • People with abnormalities in their heart valve
  • People that experience seizures

Fainting Warning Signs

Before passing out, people that faint often experience warning signs that can make anticipating the episodes easier. This allows them to sit down or prevent injury but is usually only useful for those who have experienced fainting episodes before and know how to recognize the signs. The most common indicators are:

  • Heaviness in the legs
  • Blurred or tunnel vision
  • Confusion
  • Feeling warm or hot
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or a floating feeling
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Yawning
  • Becoming pale
  • A weak pulse

4 Signs Your Fainting Episode is a Serious Concern

If you faint often, you should schedule an evaluation with your doctor to determine the underlying cause. But, there are some situations that require more immediate attention. Your fainting spell may require an immediate emergency room visit if:

  • Fainting has caused you to hit your head or get hurt
  • Your family have a history of heart problems
  • Your family history involves members passing away at a young age
  • You have other medical problems

Diagnoses & Treatment

When seeking immediate medical attention after fainting, your doctor will first ask you about your family history. Then, they’ll inquire about the location and circumstances of your episode — did you just receive disturbing news, did you see blood, did you fall from a great distance? After researching the situation for when you fell, your doctor may conduct a few tests to determine if your fainting is a symptom of other conditions or a one-off occurrence.

Once the cause of your fainting has been determined, your doctor can begin creating a treatment plan. If your fainting occurs because of seizures, your treatment will depend on the type of seizure and whether or not your seizure is occurring because of infection. If your fainting is triggered by reactions, the best way to prevent fainting in the future is to avoid them — such as seeing blood or getting up too quickly. Your doctor will be able to talk through your options and help you weigh the risk and benefits of each choice.

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.

Visit us online to find the Complete Care location nearest you.

Severe Stomach Pain: Causes & When to Go to the ER

Odds are, you’ve experienced stomach pain at some point in your life. Stomach pain isn’t exactly uncommon, but that doesn’t mean that it’s normal. It’s usually a sign that something is wrong — either you’re having trouble digesting a heavy or spicy meal, you ate too much candy, and it’s upsetting your stomach, or you’re more stressed than usual. None of these situations are necessarily life-threatening though, so how do you know when your severe stomach pain is a reason to visit the emergency room?

What causes severe stomach pain?

When you’re experiencing stomach pain — especially if it’s severe — it’s usually a problem that’s more serious than eating a spicy meal. Instead, the source is typically an organ not functioning correctly, the symptom of a condition, or the result of a sudden change within the body — such as is the case with dehydration. Some of the most common causes of severe stomach pain are:

5 Signs You Should Go to the ER for Severe Stomach Pain

Since some causes of severe stomach pain are life-threatening, it’s important that you recognize the signs, monitor your pain as it develops, and take note of any additional symptoms that may occur. If you’re experiencing severe stomach pain, you should visit an emergency room immediately if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Experienced the pain within a week of abdominal surgery or a gastrointestinal procedure
  • Have ever had a gastric bypass, colostomy, or bowel resection
  • Experienced pain after severe abdominal trauma
  • Have an abdomen that appears bruised or is rapidly expanding in size

In some cases, your stomach pain may begin as mild discomfort and develop in severity over time. If this is the case, you should visit an ER if you experience any of the following systems in addition to your severe stomach pain:

  • Your abdomen is extremely hard
  • Your abdomen is tender to touch
  • You’re coughing up or vomiting blood
  • You have persistent vomiting
  • You have bloody diarrhea
  • You have chest pain or pressure
  • You’re having difficulty breathing
  • You’re feeling dizzy
  • You’re fainting
  • You’re unable to have bowel movements without also vomiting
  • You have pain in your neck, shoulder, or between shoulder blades
  • Your vision changes

Diagnosing & Treating Your Severe Stomach Pain

The location of your severe stomach pain can provide insight into what may be causing issues. Your doctor will review your health history and give you pain medication to relieve your discomfort. They’ll also conduct a variety of tests to determine the root cause and rule out other possibilities. Common tests include:

  • Physical examination
  • Blood test
  • Liver function test
  • CT scan
  • Ultrasound

Once your doctor has diagnosed the source of your pain, they can provide treatment options to get you on the road to recovery. Your treatment plan will depend on the cause of your severe stomach pain but will include a prescription for pain medication to help relieve your symptoms. You should always talk to your doctor about your options before beginning any treatment plans.

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.

Visit us online to find the Complete Care location nearest you.

Coughing up Blood (Hemoptysis): Causes & When to Go to the ER

When it comes to your health, there are certain indications that make it easy to say, something’s not right. Whether it’s a fever more than 100 degrees or coughing up blood, you know that you’ll need serious medical attention. But, how serious is serious, and when should a trip to the emergency room be your first priority?

What is hemoptysis?

When you cough up blood that originated in your lungs or bronchial tubes, it’s known as hemoptysis. Other forms of spitting up blood include pseudohemoptysis and hematemesis. The amount of blood and your family history helps determine which condition you’re experiencing.

Causes of Hemoptysis

When the case is hemoptysis, the cause is usually due to pulmonary or bronchial hemorrhage. But, other conditions or situations may also contribute. The most common include:

  • Bronchitis — acute or chronic
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Lung abscess
  • Lung cancer
  • Non-cancerous lung tumors
  • Parasitic infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Tuberculosis
  • Blood thinner usage
  • Inflammatory or autoimmune conditions
  • Cocaine usage
  • Foreign objects within your airway

8 Signs You Should Visit the ER After Coughing up Blood

Ultimately, if you are coughing up blood, you should always seek medical attention. But, some cases are more time-sensitive than others. You should visit the emergency room if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Coughing up blood after drinking
  • Coughing up blood that’s mixed with mucus
  • Coughing up blood after a surgery
  • Coughing up blood while pregnant
  • Coughing up more than a few teaspoons of blood
  • Coughing up blood while also experiencing chest pain, dizziness, fever, lightheadedness, or shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood following a fall or injury to the chest
  • Coughing up blood and also experiencing blood in your urine or stool

Hemoptysis Treatment

During your visit to the emergency room, your doctor’s first goal will be to stop the bleeding. They will also ask questions about your family history and conduct tests to determine the likely cause. Some common treatments include:

1. Bronchial Artery Embolization

Your doctor runs a catheter through your leg to an artery supplying blood to your lungs. They’ll put dye into the catheter to get a better look at your arteries on a video screen and identify the source of the bleeding. Then, they’ll block the source using metal coils or other methods.

2. Bronchoscopy

Using a tool at the end of an endoscope, the doctor can navigate and uncover the cause of your bleeding. The tool helps to stop the bleeding, while the endoscope helps them see what’s causing the issue.

3. Surgery

If the reason you’re coughing up blood is severe, your doctor may suggest surgery. This usually involves removing all or part of your lung. This option is typically only suggested if your cause is life-threatening.

Once the blood has stopped, your doctor will be able to prescribe treatment for the root cause of the issue. Treatments often consist of antibiotics, chemotherapy or radiation, or steroids. After diagnosis, your doctor will be able to provide the best options for your situation — including talking about the risks and benefits of each treatment.

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.

Visit us online to find the Complete Care location nearest you.

When to Go to the ER for a Burn

Getting burned is always an excruciating experience. The shock, pain, and scarring are all blatant reminders that the body has just experienced trauma. But, not all burns are the same. Minor ones can heal with a topical ointment. However, the more serious the burn, the higher the risk of infection and having it affect your overall health. What are the types of burns that require medical attention? How can you learn to recognize symptoms? And, if you were relatively lucky enough to only get a minor one, what’s the best way to treat it?

Degrees of Skin Burns

The skin has three layers: epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. The epidermis is the outermost layer and serves as protection to the body. The dermis is right under the epidermis, and it contains hair follicles and sweat glands. The hypodermis is the innermost layer, and it contains fat and tissue connecting the skin to the muscles and bones.

There are three degrees of burns — first, second, and third-degree. They range in severity from minor to significant skin damage, with third-degree burns being the most dangerous. It’s also important to note that there are several ways of burning your skin — open flames, touching a hot surface, chemical burns (from chemicals or detergents), cold burns (frostbite), sunburns, and friction burns. They all can cause damage to your skin.

First-Degree Burns

These types of burns cause minimal skin damage. They only affect the epidermis and heal within two weeks, without leaving any scars. Signs include pain, redness, and minor inflammation. As the burn heals, you may also notice peeling skin.

Second-Degree Burns

These types of burns include damage to the epidermis and dermis. They also cause the skin to blister. Since the blisters can pop open, they are more prone to infection. They usually take within three weeks to heal and — while there’s no scarring — you may notice a difference in skin pigmentation at the site of the wound.

Third-Degree Burns

These are the most severe types of burns — affecting every layer of the skin, all the way to the hypodermis. And, while they are the most dangerous, it’s possible that the person experiencing it may not feel as much pain as with other types of burns, due to nerve damage. Signs include a waxy, white color, charred skin, or a leathery texture. They can take a significant time to heal, and typically leave scars.

Signs You Should Go To the ER Immediately

You should never attempt to treat a third-degree burn on your own. Even if you feel no pain, call 911. Failing to seek immediate medical attention can result in a long list of complications — such as infections, blood loss, dehydration, sepsis, tetanus, muscle contractions, damage to your nervous system, and going into shock.

In addition, there are circumstances that require medical attention on an emergency basis, regardless of the type of burn. These include:

  • The burn is on your face, hands, feet, or on a joint
  • The burn was caused by an electric shock or a chemical
  • There’s pus oozing from the burn
  • The pain gets worse with time
  • The burn is larger than three inches
  • Change in the thickness of the burn
  • Foul odor
  • Fever

How to Treat Minor Burns

First-degree burns can be treated at home. To promote healing quicker, use home remedies as soon as possible. These include submerging the burn in cool water for several minutes, applying a topical anesthetic cream or antibiotic ointment, and covering the burn with gauze. If the pain lasts for an extended period of time, take an over-the-counter painkiller.

There are some forms of relief that you should avoid. Don’t apply ice to your burn, because it may worsen the damage, and don’t clean it up with cotton balls, since its fibers can stick to the wound — increasing the risk of infection.

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 Kidney Stones

When you suddenly experience severe pain in the abdomen, your mind races to what could be causing the problem — is it your gallbladder, a cyst (if you’re a woman), or your kidneys? Has your time on this earth finally reached an end? While that last question may be a little dramatic, most people experiencing sudden, extreme pain usually only think about one thing while in the moment — how to make the pain stop.

When the cause is kidney stones, a trip to the emergency room is typically your best bet. But, what if you’re not yet experiencing excruciating pain? How do you know when severe is severe enough?

Causes of Kidney Stones

When there is an imbalance of water, salt, and mineral water in your urine, you may begin developing small crystals that turn into stones within your kidneys. As the stones grow in size, they can lead to severe pain and other symptoms. But, before enlarging, they’re often resolved without any medical interference.

Kidney stones typically occur when you’re drinking less water than what your body needs. People in warmer climates are often more susceptible, as they sweat more and require more water to stay hydrated. But, other factors can increase your risk of developing kidney stones — including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Signs of Kidney Stones

It’s not uncommon for kidney stones to begin to occur but resolve without any medical treatment. In these minor cases and similar mild cases, it’s fairly common not to experience any symptoms. However, kidney stones, if left untreated, can enlarge and become infected — posing a dangerous problem. When this happens, you’ll experience:

When to Go to the ER for Kidney Stones

In addition to the symptoms above, you should visit the emergency room immediately if you have:

  • A fever higher than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Burning during urination
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Intolerable pain
  • Certain medical conditions that make passing a stone more dangerous — such as diabetes or decreased kidney function

At the ER, you’ll be administered an x-ray and/or CT scan of your abdomen and pelvis. This is to determine that you do have kidney stones and are not experiencing symptoms of a different condition. Once confirmed, you’ll be prescribed medications to help alleviate the pain and manage your symptoms.

In some cases where the kidney stone has grown too large, surgery may be required. When this is the case, you’re administered a non-invasive shockwave treatment procedure — or something similar — to remove the enlarged kidney stone.

Treatment for Kidney Stones

In some cases, an ER visit isn’t necessary. This includes not having severe symptoms, but still feeling some discomfort around the abdomen, groin, genitals, and side area. When this is the case, there are three main ways to treat your kidney stones:

  • Allowing the stone to pass on its own
  • Using medications to help the stone pass
  • Surgery to treat or remove the stone

Your treatment options are dependent on the size and location of the kidney stone. A good rule of thumb is that if your kidney stone is larger than 5 millimeters, then you’ll likely need surgery to remove the mass.

Preventing Kidney Stones

To lower your risk of kidney stones, you should drink the suggested amount of water per day. For the average adult, this should be eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. This increases when experiencing warmer conditions — such as from warmer climates or exercising. Since obesity can also raise your risk, if your BMI is within the obese range, you should talk to your doctor about making lifestyle changes and creating a diet plan that works with your body type.

Emergency Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one are showing signs of kidney stones, 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.

Fainting & Passing Out: When is Fainting Serious?

Turn on any soap opera, and there is no doubt that at some point during your viewing, you’ll see someone faint. You’ll watch as the character slowly falls on the nearest piece of furniture – unable to comprehend the scene that has unfolded before them. But, for some Americans, fainting isn’t an act to stimulate drama. It’s a real condition that occurs suddenly with little indication. Why does fainting occur, and when should someone who has passed out visit an emergency room?

Causes of Fainting & Passing Out

Fainting is a temporary loss of consciousness that typically occurs from insufficient blood flow to the brain. Fainting is caused by a variety of conditions, ranging from mild to life-threatening. Some of the most common causes of fainting and passing out include:

Types of Fainting

There are two specific categories of fainting spells – pre- or near-syncope and syncope. Pre- or near-syncope occurs when you experience symptoms of fainting, including falling and losing consciousness, but you remember everything. Syncope is when you’re experiencing fainting and its symptoms, but don’t remember the part where you fall.

Aside from these two categories, there are three different types of syncope:

  • Vasovagal syncope involves the vaus nerve and is triggered by emotional trauma, stress, and standing for long periods of time
  • Carotid sinus syncope involves the carotid artery and results when the neck is constricted
  • Situational syncope is caused by straining and occurs when coughing, urinating, moving your bowels, or experiencing gastrointestinal issues

Symptoms of Fainting & Passing Out

Losing consciousness is the most sure-sign of fainting, but there are several symptoms that occur before passing out. These signs act as warnings, and usually occur before you fall/slump over and lose consciousness. The most common signs before fainting include:

  • Heaviness in the legs
  • Blurred or tunnel vision
  • Confusion
  • Feeling warm or hot
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or a floating feeling
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Yawning
  • Becoming pale
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Weak pulse

When should you go to the ER?

Serious issues that cause fainting include heart problems, which temporarily lower your blood pressure. In these scenarios, you may experience palpitations — your heart is skipping a beat or racing — shortness of breath, or chest tightness. Experiencing these symptoms are clear indicators that you should take a trip to the emergency room. Make sure that you either call an ambulance or have someone else drive you – never drive yourself.

If you experience minor fainting episodes caused by suddenly standing up or heat exhaustion, then you may not need to visit an emergency room. An exception is made if falling after fainting has caused damage to your body – including concussions, fractures, or other severe injuries. If you’ve hit your head when fainting, are excessively bleeding, or are in pain and seemed to have broken a limb, have someone drive you to an emergency care clinic or call for an ambulance.

Diagnosing the Cause of Your Fainting

Whether you’re visiting an emergency room or your regular doctor, a physician will first check your blood pressure and identify any medications in your medical history that can cause the issue. They’ll draw blood and perform a series of tests to check for irregular heartbeats, then determine if you’ve been experiencing syncope or pre- or near-syncope.

Your doctor will also talk to you about your symptoms and try and help you identify what triggers your episodes. In some cases, lifestyle changes may be suggested to avoid heat exhaustion, reduce hunger, or eliminate stress – since these are some indications of minor fainting causes.

Treatment Options

If you have underlying health conditions that caused you to faint, then you’ll need medical treatment. Your doctor will be able to create a treatment plan for your condition and help you identify triggers to prevent future issues.

If you suffer from vasovagal syncope, then avoiding triggers like seeing blood will help you reduce your risk of fainting or passing out. If you notice symptoms of syncope starting to occur, find a safe place to play down to avoid getting hurt. Often, this simple act can also prevent passing out altogether. Make sure to rise slowly to reduce blood pressure from pooling.

Emergency Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one have experienced a fainting episode, 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.