Seizures

If you or someone you love has recently experienced a seizure for the first time, you are well aware of how overwhelming the episode can be. What’s going on? How can I make it stop? What’s causing this? Please make it stop!

The uncertainty can feel just as awful as the incident itself. The sense of consternation and helplessness can feel crushing. What, exactly, causes seizures? Is there any way to predict the onset? Is there a treatment? Can you put a full stop to them?

The best way to address any situation starts with being well-informed. While it’s imperative to seek medical advice when confronted with a health concern, below is a basic overview to serve as a starting point.

What are Seizures?

Seizures are a neurological disorder that causes a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain. This affects muscle movements as well as vision and consciousness.

Although they can happen to anyone, at any age, they are most common in young children. Some causes include:

  • High fever
  • Inflammation
  • Physical injury
  • Infectious disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Altered brain development in utero

For some patients, the cause is unknown.

Children sometimes experience a seizure during a high fever, chicken pox, or an ear infection. This is due to abnormal brain activity related to the illness the child is fighting. However, having a seizure does not mean the child has epilepsy. Once cured of the underlying illness, the seizures usually cease.

Types of Seizures

There are different types of seizures.

1. Focal Onset

This happens when abnormal brain activity occurs on one side of the brain. The patient will be aware of what’s going on around them when a part of the body starts to convulse, which may gradually move to other parts of the body.

There are two types of focal onset seizures: (a) Focal Aware Seizure: The patient will not lose consciousness, and the seizure only lasts for one minute or less. (b) Focal Impaired Awareness: Prior to the seizure, the patient may feel nauseous and during the seizure, they may lose consciousness. This type of seizure can last for several minutes. Afterward, the patient will be confused.

2. Generalized Onset

This type of seizure happens when abnormal brain activity occurs on both sides of the brain. These are the most common and the type that people typically picture when thinking of epilepsy. The entire body convulses while the patient is unconscious. The patient’s eyes roll up and they may bite their tongue, hard. Their skin tone may change color, and their breathing may become obstructed. To keep the patient from choking, roll them onto their side.

Seizure Symptoms

Since there are so many different types of seizures, symptoms vary. They may also be different from one age group to another. However, it’s good to be vigilant about the following signs:

Seizure Symptoms in Babies:

It may not be completely obvious when a baby has a seizure, since a lot of babies’ movements are involuntary. However, some signs of a seizure include:

  • Change in breathing pattern
  • Inability to focus attention
  • Stiff limbs
  • Unusual movement of eyelids
  • Limp and unresponsive

Seizure Symptoms in Young Children:

  • Staring into space
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Confusion
  • Falling for no apparent reason
  • Non-responsive to noise

Seizure Symptoms in Adults:

  • Nausea
  • Muscle contractions
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Tingling skin
  • Vision changes
  • Hallucinations
  • Sweating

When to See a Doctor

You should see a doctor the first time you have a seizure. This is crucial to determine whether the incident was caused by a health condition, and if there’s a chance of reoccurrence.

Seizure Diagnosis and Treatment

Doctors are usually able to diagnose the type of seizure based on the patient’s recollection of symptoms prior to the event. However, since some seizures are a result of an underlying health condition, a medical provider will most likely order blood tests, imaging scans, an encephalogram, and/or a spinal tap.

Your doctor may prescribe medication to control seizures. However, some people only experience one seizure and never have one again. Therefore, the doctor may take a “wait and see” approach before prescribing anti-seizure meds.

The doctor may recommend lifestyle adjustments to lower the likelihood of another seizure, such as:

  1. Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can trigger seizures.
  2. Exercise. Consult with your doctor about activities that should be off-limits.
  3. Stay hydrated. Severe dehydration can lead to a seizure.
  4. Wear a medical alert bracelet. Include the name and contact information of an emergency contact in case you lose consciousness.

Seizure Complications

Complications of seizures vary:

  • Memory loss
  • Injured tongue or cheeks due to biting during a seizure
  • Poriomania
  • Injuries from hitting body parts during a seizure
  • Drowning if swimming or bathing when a seizure occurs
  • Sleep apnea
  • Psychological disorders
  • Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP).

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you’re suffering from seizures, 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.

Ear Infections in Children: When to See a Doctor

Being the parent of a young child goes hand in hand with being constantly tired and constantly worried. And while certain ailments are common among children, such as ear infections, it’s still stressful trying to figure out whether you can cure it with home remedies or if it’s time to see a doctor.

Below is a general overview of ear infections in children and how to know when it’s time to see a doctor.

What Is an Ear Infection?

Ear infections occur when there’s a bacteria overgrowth or virus behind the eardrum. The infection causes inflammation inside the ear and a buildup of fluids. As a result, the patient feels a sharp pain. While they do tend to clear up on their own in adults, children with ear infections may need antibiotics to fully heal.

Ear Infection Signs & Symptoms

Depending on their age, the child may be able to tell you if she or he is having ear pain. Yet, if you’re the parent of a baby or an infant, pay attention to the following signs, as they could be an indication of an ear infection:

  • Tugging/pulling the ear
  • Crying frequently
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Fever
  • Fluid coming out of the ear
  • Loss of appetite

When to See a Doctor

If your child is younger than six months of age, see a doctor as soon as possible. If your child is older, you’ll know it’s time to seek medical attention if the symptoms last for more than a day, you see ear discharge, or the symptoms are accompanied by breathing problems.

Causes of Ear Infections

Ear infections in children tend to come on the heels of the common cold, allergies, a throat infection, acid reflux, or the flu. They occur most often in children between the ages of 2 and 4 because the space inside their ears is more narrow, while their adenoids are larger.

Risk Factors for Developing Ear Infections

Risk factors include age (as explained above), as well as the following:

  • Group child care: It’s no secret that daycare facilities tend to be full of germs. The more the body tries to fight off bacteria, the more likely the adenoids will swell, narrowing the ear canal.
  • Spring and fall. Seasonal allergies increase the probability of ear infections. This is because allergies cause inflammation in the nose and ear canal.
  • Pollution. Cigarette smoke, auto exhaust fumes, and poor indoor air quality increase the risk of ear infections in children. The polluted air affects the respiratory system, which, just as with other types of bacteria, cause the adenoids to swell.

Ear Infection Diagnosis and Treatment

If a doctor suspects that a child has an ear infection, he or she will use an otoscope to look into their ears. Once diagnosed, the doctor will take into account several factors before prescribing antibiotics. Some of these factors include:

  • The child’s age
  • How long the infection has lasted
  • The severity of the infection
  • How often the child has ear infections

Recovery Time for Ear Infections

Ear infections in children typically last between two to three days, unless there are complications.

Complications from Ear Infections

Left untreated, an ear infection can cause the eardrum to rupture. Signs that this has occurred include dizziness, nausea, and ringing in the ears.

More serious complications include:

  • Cysts filled with pus
  • Impaired hearing
  • Spread of infection

Ear Infection Prevention

While ear infections are sometimes unavoidable in young children, you can lower the risk by limiting time spent in large groups with other children, washing their hands regularly, and with seasonal flu shots.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you believe your child may have an ear infection, 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.

Pink Eye

Having healthy eyes is something many of us take for granted. Unless one is visually impaired, they wake up, open their eyes, and go on about their day without giving their sight a second thought.

Yet, as soon as there’s a visual disturbance or a change to the eye’s appearance, worry creeps in. Why do your eyes look pink? Why are they so itchy? And how can you get them back to their healthy state?

One common eye condition that causes irritation is conjunctivitis (more commonly known as “pink eye”).

What is Pink Eye?

Conjunctivitis refers to inflammation of the conjunctiva. This is the clear, thin layer that covers the front surface of the eyes and lines the inside of the eyelids.

When such inflammation occurs, the small blood vessels in the eyes expand, making the whites of the eyes look pink or light red.

What Causes Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis can be caused by several different things:

  • An allergic reaction
  • A foreign object in the eye
  • Wearing contact lenses that weren’t cleaned properly
  • A viral infection
  • Bacteria

If the pink eye is the result of a virus or bacteria, the condition is contagious at some stages.

Symptoms of Pink Eye

The symptoms of conjunctivitis are fairly obvious:

  • Red eye
  • Itchiness
  • Tearing
  • Crusting while sleeping

When to See a Doctor

While most cases of conjunctivitis clear up on their own, see a doctor if you’re also experiencing pain, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, if your symptoms don’t improve within a couple of days, or if you have a weakened immune system due to an underlying illness, such as lupus, cancer, HIV, or hepatitis.

Pink Eye Diagnosis and Treatment

In most cases of conjunctivitis, it is not necessary to visit a doctor for a diagnosis. If you do schedule a doctor appointment, they’ll be able to diagnose it by taking a look at your eyes. If the condition is severe, or if your doctor suspects an underlying condition, you’ll be asked additional questions about symptoms and health history.

In rare cases, the doctor will take a sample of the liquid in your eyes for further analysis.

If you wear contact lenses, take a break from them until the condition clears up. If it’s a recurring issue every time you wear lenses, consider switching to one-day disposable contacts.

If the condition was caused by bacteria, your doctor may prescribe eye drops. If it was caused by a virus, you’ll just have to wait it out until the illness runs its course.

Home Remedies for Pink Eye

If the condition was caused by a foreign object in the eye, flush the eye with cold water.

Other ways to reduce irritation include holding a cold compress against the eye or applying eyedrops/artificial tears if you’re experiencing eye dryness.

If the irritation was caused by allergies, remove the allergen from your home. Change air filters, close windows, and purchase dust mite covers for bedding.

Complications of Pink Eye

If you don’t take measures to alleviate the symptoms of conjunctivitis, it could result in inflammation of the cornea, also known as keratitis. As a result, your vision could be affected.

Risk Factors for Getting Pink Eye

Risk factors of conjunctivitis include being exposed to someone who has it. Therefore, if you are experiencing it, take a couple of days off from school or work to avoid spreading it to others.

If you’re prone to pink eye and you wear contact lenses, opt for disposable ones and disinfect contact lens cases regularly.

If you suffer from allergies, install HEPA air filters in your home.

Pink Eye Prevention

There are several things you can do to prevent contracting or spreading conjunctivitis:

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Change your pillowcases regularly
  • Do not share makeup or cosmetics
  • Throw away cosmetics and eye makeup if you’ve already been sick
  • Do not share towels
  • Avoid allergy triggers

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you think you have pink eye, we can provide the care you need at one of our Urgent Care facilities. 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.

Types of Fractures

If you’ve ever fractured a bone, you fully understand how miserable the experience can be. In some cases, you even hear the bone when it cracks, which is both shocking and disconcerting. Then the shooting pain sets in and the inability to move the injured body part.

Other times, the injury progresses gradually, and you don’t even realize that there’s a problem until you feel the pain of the fracture.

Regardless of which experience you identify with, fractures can leave one feeling frustrated: about the pain, the inability to do simple tasks independently, and the interruption of job, sports, and hobbies.

But not all fractures are created equal. Sometimes they’re caused by trauma; while other times they’re caused by repetitive movements or an underlying disease that weakens the bones. Treatment and recovery time varies depending on the type of injury.

What are the Different Types of Fractures?

1. Stable Fracture

This is the type of fracture that occurs when an injury causes the bone to break clean, with its parts in alignment. This means that the bone maintains its original position.

Treatment for a Stable Fracture: Since this type of fracture doesn’t require realignment, the doctor will simply immobilize the bone with a cast. The patient can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to alleviate pain.

2. Transverse Fracture

A transverse fracture is one that occurs at a 90-degree angle, straight across the bone. It happens when the impact comes perpendicular to the site of injury.

Treatment for a Transverse Fracture: The medical provider will realign the bones through an open reduction internal fixation(ORIF). Once the bone fragments are aligned, a traditional cast or splint will be used to immobilize the bone.

3. Comminuted Fracture

A comminuted fracture leaves the bone in fragments. It is most common after severe trauma, such as a car accident, and is more likely to occur in the hands or feet.

Treatment for a Comminuted Fracture: Due to the bones being fragmented, this type of fracture requires surgery in order to prevent additional damage to surrounding organs, nerves, ligaments, arteries, and veins.

4. Oblique Fracture

An oblique fracture occurs when the bone breaks at an angle. It tends to occur most often on long bones, such as the femur or tibia. This type of injury causes a visible deformity beneath the skin.

Treatment for an Oblique Fracture: Treatment varies depending on the severity of the injury. If it’s a minor fracture, conservative treatment (such as immobilizing the bone with a cast) will suffice. However, there are instances when the bones need to be realigned and surgery is required.

5. Compound Fracture

This is one of the most severe injuries: A compound or open fracture is when the bone pierces the skin when it breaks. Surgery is usually called for due to its severity and the risk of infection.

Treatment for a Compound Fracture: This type of injury is an emergency. More likely than not, the patient will require surgery to clean the area, remove debris, and stabilize the fracture. The patient will need a tetanus shot and antibiotics.

6. Hairline Fracture

A hairline fracture is also known as a stress fracture and occurs mostly on the legs and feet. It is a result of repetitive movement and occurs when athletes suddenly increase the frequency or intensity of workouts such as running or jogging.

Symptoms include pain when participating in your sport of choice; pain that subsides when resting; swelling, tenderness, and bruising.

Treatment for a Hairline Fracture: The most important thing you can do to heal a stress fracture is rest. Take time off from exercising. Depending on the severity of the injury, your doctor will recommend a specific resting timeframe. Also, ice the injury site for up to 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, and keep the foot or leg elevated.

7. Avulsion Fracture

An avulsion fracture is a break at the site where bone attaches to a tendon or ligament. When this happens, the tendon or ligament pulls off a part of the bone it’s attached to.

Treatment for an Avulsion Fracture: Surgery is not necessary for most avulsion fractures; unless the detached bone fragment ends up at a significant distance from the bone. The medical provider will instruct you to rest and ice the injury and will recommend specific range of motion exercises.

8. Greenstick Fracture

In a Greenstick fracture, a portion of the bone breaks but not completely through. The injured bone may also bend near the broken portion. This type of injury is most common in children.

Treatment for a Greenstick Fracture: If the bone is bent, the doctor will manually straighten it. And the patient can wear a removable splint as opposed to a cast.

9. Spiral Fracture

This happens when a bone is wrenched by the forceful rotation or twisting of a limb. It results in a clean break where the bone completely breaks into two fragments.

Treatment for a Spiral Fracture: The healing process for a spiral fracture is more complicated than other types of fractures because the twisting motion results in jagged edges on the bone. Surgery is required in most cases to realign the bones and set them back in place with screws, pins or rods. Post surgery the patient will wear a cast and undergo physical therapy before returning to their regular activities.

10. Pathological Fracture

Pathological fractures occur when a patient has an illness that has weakened their bones, such as osteoporosisarthritisosteomyelitisosteosarcoma, or metabolic bone disorders.

Treatment for a Pathological Fracture: Treatment will depend on the underlying condition that caused the fracture. If the illness doesn’t affect the bone’s ability to heal, the patient will only need to wear a cast to immobilize the limb. If an illness has compromised the body’s ability to heal, surgery will be necessary.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you’ve suffered a bone fracture, 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.

Nausea and Vomiting

Vomiting. It’s one of those subjects that turns people off and causes their face to contort in expressions of disgust. It’s unpleasant and revolting. It’s also something that every single person will experience more than once during their lifetime.

Nausea brings on other concerns: discomfort, the inconvenience of staying home to avoid public embarrassment, and worry that there may be something seriously wrong with your health.

What are the most common causes of nausea and vomiting? Is there anything you can do to treat it?

Fortunately, we have answers.

8 Most Common Causes of Nausea

1. Indigestion

Indigestion is pain or discomfort in the stomach after a meal. It can be caused by acid reflux, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, or inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

Treatment for Nausea from Indigestion: If you suffer from chronic indigestion, you can implement lifestyle changes to decrease its frequency, such as; eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of three big meals; eat slowly; avoid laying down right after a meal; avoid spicy or deep fried foods; lose weightquit smoking.

2. Motion Sickness

Motion sickness occurs when your brain senses movement even though your body is not moving. This is why it often occurs when traveling, whether by car, train, plane or boat. It’s most common in children, people taking certain medications, and pregnant women. It’s also very likely to occur when people read while in motion.

Treatment for Nausea from Motion Sickness: Prior to your trip, avoid caffeine and alcohol. Once you’re in motion, close your eyes or find ways to distract yourself by listening to music or having a conversation. Drinking ginger ale can also help to settle your stomach.

3. Overeating

This one’s pretty obvious. However, living in the United States, where supersized portions are standard, it’s easy to dismiss how large some meals actually are, and attempt to polish everything off your plater. This results in consuming two or three times the amount of food the stomach can comfortably hold.

Treatment for Nausea from Overeating: Despite feeling like you’re slipping into a food coma, avoid napping. Laying down soon after a large meal makes it easier for the food to work its way back up the esophagus. Avoid sodas, the carbonation will make you feel even more bloated. Finally, go for a walk to stimulate digestion.

4. Medications

Unfortunately, nausea is a common side effect of several medications, especially chemotherapy drugs. Some anti-depressants can also cause nausea.

Treatment for Nausea from Medications: Read medication instructions carefully. Some direct you to take meds on an empty stomach, while others advise taking them with food. There are also medications that should be taken with a specific amount of water. If you’ve followed instructions and are still feeling nauseous, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to discuss solutions or viable alternatives.

5. Pregnancy

Pregnancy makes some women feel as though they’re on top of the world. For others, it’s miserable. While morning sickness is named after a specific time of day, nausea and vomiting can linger around the clock, usually starting around the sixth week of pregnancy. Sometimes, it will come and go throughout the pregnancy.

Treatment for Nausea from Pregnancy: Stay hydrated. Pregnant women need more water than the average person since it helps the body form the placenta and amniotic sac. Get as much rest as possible: Sleep in, take time off from work, nap throughout the day. Open the windows, turn on fans, lower the AC temperature, wear light clothes… feeling hot will increase nausea. Avoid spicy foods and try not to lay down after meals.

6. Viral Gastroenteritis

Having a virus such as norovirus or rotavirus is the most common cause of the “stomach flu”. It can be contracted through contact with an infected person, or by ingesting contaminated food or water.

Treatment for Nausea from Viral Gastroenteritis: Wash your hands regularly, especially if you work with children, sick patients, or in an office where people share supplies. Get vaccinated for common viruses.  Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and replace electrolytes if you’ve already been vomiting.

7. Ulcers

Ulcers are open sores in the stomach lining. Symptoms of ulcers are hard to miss: bloating, heartburn, bloody or black stools, or a burning sensation in the abdomen (especially after drinking citrus juice, coffee, or alcohol).

Treatment for Nausea from Ulcers: In addition to taking prescribed medication, include foods rich in flavonoids in your diet: berries, green tea, red grapes, kale, and apples. Probiotics and honey will help to alleviate nausea. Ask your doctor about taking antacids.

8. Migraines

Migraines are a neurological condition that come with intense headaches, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and vomiting. Signs of an oncoming migraine include seeing flashes of light, blind spots in the field of vision, or seeing an aura around objects. They can cause mood changes, constipation, and neck stiffness. Migraines can be triggered by stress, hormonal changes, food additives, or certain medications.

Treatment for Nausea from Migraines: Lay down in a dark, silent room. Apply peppermint oil on pulse points. Take a ginger multivitamin. Take prescribed medication.

When to See a Doctor

Seek medical attention if any of these factors apply to you:

  • You’re an adult and have been vomiting for more than two days.
  • A child under the age of 12 vomiting for more than 24 hours.
  • Blurred vision
  • High fever
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Confusion
  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness
  • Blood in vomit

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you’re experiencing severe nausea and vomiting, 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.

Appendicitis

There are few things more distressing than personal health issues or the ill health of a loved one. Unusual aches and pains can cause a person to lose sleep, especially if they have a family history of health adversities. If it’s your child who’s suffering the worry increases exponentially.

One of the most common conditions resulting in surgery in the United States is appendicitis.

What Is Appendicitis?

Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. The appendix is a tube-shaped organ located between the large and small intestine, on the lower right side of the abdomen. It’s about four inches long, and its purpose is a mystery. In fact, removing it won’t have any negative consequences on a person’s health.

What Causes Appendicitis?

Appendicitis is caused by abnormal bacterial growth in the intestines which can result from a bowel disease such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Crohn’s Disease for example. It can also be a result of fecal blockage or trauma to the abdomen.

Symptoms of Appendicitis

There are several signs of appendicitis:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Pain in the lower right side of the abdomen
  • Pain that radiates through the upper or lower abdomen, back or rectum
  • Pain worsens when taking a deep breath or coughing
  • Pain worsens when walking
  • Cramps
  • Fever
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Inability to pass gas

Do note that pregnant women may feel the pain higher than other patients, and the pain may start around the navel in teenagers.

Do not use enemas or laxatives to relieve the pain, as they can cause an inflamed appendix to rupture.

Appendicitis Diagnosis and Treatment

When experiencing the symptoms above, see a doctor. Your medical provider will apply gentle pressure on the abdomen. If the pain worsens when the pressure is released, the doctor may order imaging and blood tests, as well as a urine sample to confirm appendicitis.

Treatment is rather straightforward: The doctor may prescribe antibiotics and will likely schedule surgery to remove the appendix. Post surgery, the patient is usually released from the hospital after a day or two.

When recovering from surgery, take ample time to rest for the first two weeks. Ask your doctor about which activities to avoid. In general, they will include anything that involves strenuous exercise. If you have to cough, place a pillow over the abdomen.

When preparing meals, opt for foods high in fiber, which will help your body regulate bowel movements. This will relieve temporary constipation that a patient experiences after surgery.

Appendicitis Complications

If left untreated, the appendix can rupture. As a result, the bacteria in the appendix will spread throughout the abdomen and cause peritonitis, which can be life-threatening.

Appendicitis Risk Factors

Sometimes, people get appendicitis for reasons unknown. However, the following characteristics may increase the likelihood of developing the condition:

  • Being between the ages of 10-30
  • Family history
  • Having cystic fibrosis
  • Being male

Appendicitis Prevention

There is nothing you can do to prevent appendicitis.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you believe that you or a loved one may have appendicitis, 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.

Fevers in Children

Having children comes with plenty of trips to the doctor for vaccines, the common cold, ear infections, and the occasional Lego stuck up a nostril. And while it’s expected that kids will have minor health-related issues every now and then, parents may be confused as to when they can address a concern with over-the-counter medications and home remedies and when it’s necessary to see a doctor.

To better help you understand fevers in children, below is an overview of how to recognize a fever, and how to know when it’s time to see a doctor.

What Is a Fever and What Causes It?

The average body temperature of a healthy person is 98.6 degrees. However, when a person has an infection, the temperature will rise as the body tries to fight it.

A child’s body temperature will also rise if they have been active or are wearing several layers of clothes. However, if their temperature reaches 100.4 degrees (or 99.5 degrees for a baby), they have a fever.

Symptoms of Fever

Typically, you’ll know a child has a fever if their skin is warm or hot to the touch. However, there are additional signs that indicate a fever:

  • Flushed skin
  • Shivering
  • Body Aches
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of appetite

When Is a Fever Too High?

If an infant who’s younger than three months old has a fever, seek medical attention immediately. For children older than three months, a high-grade fever is 102 degrees or higher.

How to Decrease a Child’s Fever

If a child has an underlying infection that’s causing the fever, the pediatrician will likely prescribe antibiotics. However, there are additional things you can do at home to help decrease a high temperature:

  1. Tepid bath. You can decrease a child’s fever at home by giving them a sponge bath with lukewarm water.
  2. Drink fluids. Fevers often lead to dehydration. Make sure to give your child plenty of water or natural fruit juice.
  3. Keep the child cool. You can do this by placing a cool, wet cloth on their forehead and dressing them in light clothing.
  4. Rest. Allow your child to skip school, sleep in, take naps throughout the day, and avoid strenuous play.
  5. Ibuprofen. This will alleviate body aches that often come with a fever. Make sure to read the dosage instructions for children.

When to See a Doctor

While sometimes, fevers can be treated at home, see a doctor immediately if the child is under three months of age or experiencing any of the following:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blue lips
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Unresponsiveness

A note about seizures: There are two types of febrile seizures, and most of them happen to children under three years of age. When these occur, roll your child over to their side, do not restrict their movements, and do not place anything in their mouth.

Call 911 if it lasts longer than five minutes.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If your child has a fever, 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.

Types of Shock

When most people hear the word “shock”, one of the first images that comes to mind is that of someone experiencing psychological shock after a traumatic experience. While this condition is serious and warrants medical attention, there are other equally dangerous types of shock that affect the human body. The most pressing danger of shock is the interference of blood flow to the organs and soft tissue. If ignored, this obstruction of blood flow can be fatal.

The 5 Types of Shock and Their Causes

1. Anaphylactic Shock

Anaphylactic Shock refers to a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction. It can occur as a result of eating particular foods, taking certain medications, or an insect bite. Symptoms occur within 15 minutes of exposure, so it’s crucial to be familiar with them.

Symptoms of Anaphylactic Shock

  • Itchy skin
  • Dizziness
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Breaking out in hives
  • Labored breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Wheezing
  • Vomiting

The best way to prevent Anaphylactic Shock is to know and avoid its triggers. The next best thing is to carry antihistamines or Epinephrine.

2. Hypovolemic Shock

Hypovolemic Shock is what happens to the body when a person loses too much blood. As a result, the heart is unable to pump enough blood to reach the organs, which can lead to organ failure. It’s often the consequence of severe cuts, traumatic injuries, internal bleeding, or endometriosis.

Symptoms of Hypovolemic Shock

  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Pale skin
  • Shallow breathing
  • Confusion
  • Blue lips
  • Blue fingernails
  • Blood in urine
  • Blood in the stool
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Vomiting blood

Left untreated, the patient may suffer from brain damage or death. Call for medical emergency assistance immediately. Make sure the patient is lying down, with their feet elevated. Do not elevate their head. Use a tourniquet to prevent additional blood loss.

Once the patient receives medical attention, they will need a blood transfusion and medication to assist the heart in pumping blood to all organs.

3. Septic Shock

When a person has an infection, the immune system sends it’s special cells into the blood to fight it. The process causes inflammation and can lower blood pressure. If the blood pressure drops too low, the organs may not receive enough oxygen and blood flow, causing the patient to go into septic shock. This is potentially life-threatening.

Pregnant women, babies, senior citizens, and people with a compromised immune system are more likely to experience Septic Shock as a result of infection.

Symptoms of Septic Shock

  • Dizziness
  • Slurred Speech
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Vomiting
  • Severe Muscular Pain
  • Disorientation
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of Consciousness

Septic Shock should be treated immediately. Treatment options can include intravenous fluids, oxygen therapy, antibiotics, or in a severe situation, surgery to remove the source of infection.

4. Neurogenic Shock

Neurogenic Shock occurs when there’s an uneven blood distribution throughout the body. It’s often the result of a severe injury to the central nervous system, a spinal injury, or damage to the brain. Left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to organs or even death.

Some of the most common causes for Neurogenic Shock include car accidents, gunshot wounds, sports injuries, or improper administration of anesthesia to the spinal cord.

Symptoms of Neurogenic Shock

  • Chest pain
  • Weak pulse
  • Discolored lips
  • Hypothermia
  • Blank stares
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

Treatment includes immobilizing the patient to prevent further injury, intravenous fluids, and medication to increase blood pressure.

5. Cardiogenic Shock

Cardiogenic Shock occurs when the heart is damaged and can’t pump blood adequately. It’s often the result of a heart attack. This can lead to organ failure. Although rare, it’s very difficult to survive Cardiogenic Shock.

Symptoms of Cardiogenic Shock

  • Tachycardia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weak pulse
  • Pale skin
  • Cold hands
  • Sweating
  • Loss of consciousness

Because it is generally the consequence of a heart attack, it’s important to know the symptoms:

  • Chest pressure
  • Shoulder pain
  • Pain along the jawline
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

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.

Stress Fractures

If you’re an athlete, you’re likely familiar with the term “stress fracture.” Maybe you heard a peer complaining about the pain, or you’ve heard it at the court, field, track, [insert your sports venue of choice]. So if you’re experiencing pain that sounds like that associated with a stress fracture, you may be wondering if this is the cause.

What Is a Stress Fracture?

A stress fracture is the term used when a bone develops tiny cracks due to repetitive stress on a specific body part. As opposed to a sudden fracture from an acute injury, a stress fracture develops slowly over time. It occurs most often on a foot or lower leg.

Symptoms of a Stress Fracture

Signs of a stress fracture appear gradually. You may first experience slight pain while participating in your activity of choice. It’s easy to ignore in the beginning because as soon as you rest, the discomfort goes away.

However, if not diagnosed early, the fracture will become worse and pain will increase. Additional symptoms include

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Skin that feels warm to the touch
  • Difficulty bearing weight
  • Pain that subsides when resting
  • Bruising

Common Causes of  Stress Fractures

It’s important to note that practicing sports does not inherently mean that a person will get a stress fracture at some point. They usually occur when one doesn’t train or prepare properly, such as:

1. Not Wearing Adequate Shoes

There are different types of shoes for different sports for a reason. Depending on your activity, you’ll need support in different areas of your feet. Even within the same activity, there may be different styles to choose from, depending on your gait.

2. Being Overeager

Increasing the intensity or frequency of workouts all at once is a recipe for disaster. If you’re a beginner, let your body adjust to the level of activity. If you’re not sure, talk to a coach or read magazines targeted to people who participate in your sport of choice.

3. Not Resting

You have to allow your body enough time to recover from the workout. This is the time when your body repairs damaged tissue and replenishes its energy.

Risk Factors for Stress Fractures

Stress fractures could happen in any sport with repetitive motions, such as running, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, ballet, or anything else that involves running long distances or jumping frequently. Other risk factors include:

Diagnosis and Treatment of Stress Fractures

If you believe you have a stress fracture, your doctor will examine the area of pain for bruising or swelling. You’ll also likely walk around the office so the doctor can determine whether the pain is causing you to modify your gait. If the medical provider believes you have a stress fracture, they will order x-rays or an MRI to confirm.

Here’s the part we know most athletes will have an issue with: If you do indeed have a stress fracture, you will need to take time off from the sport that caused the injury. It doesn’t matter if you have a race or competition coming up. Take a deep breath, accept that you’ll likely have to miss it, and get comfortable with resting a lot more often than you’re used to. If the injury is severe or if you’re an elite athlete whose livelihood depends on the sport, your doctor will discuss whether you’re a good candidate for surgery. If surgery is not necessary, you may have to use crutches to keep weight off the limb while it heals. You can also ice the injury for 15 minutes at a time, several times throughout the day. If the pain is constant, talk with your medical provider about taking ibuprofen.

Complications of Stress Fractures

Ignoring medical advice regarding a stress fracture could result in an aggravated injury, long-term chronic pain, and a higher likelihood of additional fractures.

Additionally, while a stress fracture may heal on its own without treatment, it could result in malunion. This means that the bone doesn’t align correctly when it heals. As a result, the limb could end up shorter than it was prior to the injury. It could also lead to cartilage breakdown if the injury was located near a joint. This increases the risk of post-traumatic arthritis.

Preventing Stress Fractures

There are several lifestyle changes you can implement to lower your risk of a stress fracture:

1. Be Mindful about Nutrition

Eating the right foods play an important role in bone health. Specifically, you need calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium.

2. Buy Shoes from a Specialty Store

There are several factors that come into play when purchasing the right pair of athletic shoes: Your gait, whether you’re an overpronator, or whether you have flat feet. This is why you need knowledge of the staff at a specialty store.

3. Increase Workout Intensity Gradually

No matter how eager you are to get better at your favorite sport, one way to prevent injuries is to increase the frequency and intensity gradually.

4. Cross Train

Since stress fractures are caused by overuse, changing up your routine gives your bones and muscles a break from the activity you participate in most. This will give them time to recover and be in optimal condition for your next favorite workout. If you’re a runner, go for a swim, ride a bicycle, or do yoga.

5. Lift Weights

Lifting weights will make your muscles stronger. This reduces some of the stress on your bones when you do a repetitive activity.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you think you may have a stress fracture, 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.

Pneumonia

There are several diseases that seem so commonplace, that the average person tends to believe they have a rudimentary understanding of them and how they affect people. Such is often the case with the common cold, the flu, stomach “bugs”, and pneumonia. However, failing to understand how certain illnesses can progress can result in dire consequences.

In an effort to shed light on one illness, below is an overview of pneumonia: What, exactly, is it? What are the symptoms? How can you treat it?

While our aim is to educate our readers, always seek medical attention when you believe your health has been compromised.

What Is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a lung infection that’s caused by a virus (viral pneumonia) or bacteria (bacterial pneumonia).

Viral Pneumonia is caused by a recent bout with influenza or an upper respiratory virus.

Bacterial Pneumonia is commonly caused by a bacteria called streptococcus or “strep” throat.

When the infection reaches air sac located inside the lungs, they become inflamed, causing the lungs to fill with fluid. As a result, a patient has difficulty breathing and coughs up phlegm. It is spread in droplets from the infected patient’s coughing, sneezing, or breathing, or by touching infected surfaces.

While an otherwise healthy patient could recover within three weeks of contagion, a patient with a weak immune system or who fails to seek medical attention could experience complications; which can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of Pneumonia

Symptoms of pneumonia vary and can range from mild to severe, depending on the type of infection, the age of the patient, and the patient’s medical history. The most common signs of the illness include:

  • Coughing
  • Phlegm
  • Chest pain when coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Pneumonia Diagnosis, Treatment, and Recovery Time

To diagnose pneumonia, your doctor will examine your lungs and breathing patterns with a stethoscope. If there are any abnormal sounds during this exam, the doctor will order X-Rays. If the symptoms are severe, the doctor may also order blood tests or take a sample of the fluids in your chest.

Treatment includes antibiotics and rest. Typically, a patient will start to feel better within several days of starting antibiotics.

If antibiotics do not work well, the doctor will likely order a bronchoscopy to look at the air passages with a tiny camera inside the lungs.

If you’re at high risk, your doctor may order a pulse oximetry to measure the amount of oxygen in your blood.

Home Remedies for Pneumonia

Home remedies for pneumonia are straightforward: Take time off from work or school until you feel better. This will promote faster healing and prevent the spread of the illness to other people. Sleep as much as you want including naps throughout the day. Your body needs the rest to fully heal.

In addition, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. This will help loosen the mucus in your lungs.

To alleviate throat discomfort, drink hot tea with honey and lemon.

If you have a fever, place a cool wet cloth on your forehead to lower your body temperature from the outside.

Pneumonia in Children

Pneumonia is most serious in children and older adults (over 65 years of age).

Since small children may not be able to communicate the symptoms, it’s important to recognize the signs of pneumonia:

  • Wheezing when breathing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Blue hue in lips and fingernails

Pneumonia in the Elderly

In addition to being at risk for being age 65 or older, senior citizens who spend a lot of time in hospitals or who reside in an assisted living community have a higher likelihood of developing pneumonia.

In this sector of the population, pneumonia could be fatal; therefore, time is of the essence when seeking medical treatment.

Become familiarized with the symptoms listed above and be aware that pneumonia in the elderly may also cause confusion or disorientation. If they are coughing, experiencing chest pain, have a fever, and are having a hard time articulating what they want to say see a doctor on an emergency basis.

If the patient already has a series of health ailments, they may require inpatient treatment until fully healed from pneumonia.

Complications from Pneumonia

Patients who are at high-risk, or who fail to seek medical treatment could face the following complications:

  1. Breathing issues. If the condition becomes severe, the patient may need hospitalization for oxygen treatment.
  2. Pleural Effusion. The pleura are thin membranes that line the lungs. They serve as lubrication and make breathing easier. When irritated, they can cause fluid buildup in the lungs. This is known as “pleural effusion” or “water on the lungs”.
  3. Bacteria in the bloodstream. This is known by several names: sepsis, bacteremia, or blood poisoning.

Risk Factors for Developing Pneumonia

Risk factors for developing pneumonia include a weakened immune system due to an underlying medical condition such as HIV, cancer, or a recent bout with the flu.

The probability of developing pneumonia is higher for people with chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Being hospitalized can also increase the chance of becoming infected with pneumonia, due to the substantial amount of germs in the environment.

Pneumonia Prevention

  1. Get vaccinated. Get the vaccine against both influenza and pneumonia. While they may not fully prevent you from getting sick, they can help decrease the length and severity of illness.
  2. Wash your hands regularly. Doorknobs, office telephones, faucets, shared coffee pots, items in shared lounges and kitchens are all teeming with germs. Wash your hands regularly throughout the day to prevent bacteria from entering your system.
  3. Strengthen your immune system. You can do this by sleeping welleating healthyregular exercise, and reducing stress.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you think you may have pneumonia, 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.