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    Recognizing the Warning Signs of a Stroke

    Last updated 10 months ago

    When a person suffers a stroke, brain cells are deprived of oxygen, and they become permanently damaged. As a longer period of time passes between the first signs of stroke and the application of emergency care, more cell damage occurs in the area of the brain affected by the incident. Therefore, it is incredibly important to know the signs of a stroke and the risk factors that could lead to this traumatizing situation. 

    Physical signs

    The acronym F-A-S-T can help you remember the basics of stroke recognition and response. In the face there may be muscle weakness, which is most noticeable when the individual attempts to smile, as one side will be drooping. Inability to keep one or both arms lifted is the next sign to look for. Speech difficulties are common in stroke victims, and they may include trouble speaking and understanding simple phrases. Finally, time is an essential factor to keep in mind, as every second counts when it comes to stroke treatment.

    Risk factors

    You may be more likely to look out for the signs of stroke in a person with a greater risk. 80% of stroke cases are actually preventable with better lifestyle habits to lower blood pressure, manage cholesterol, maintain a healthy weight, and prevent blood clots. Those with the highest risk for these problems that contribute to stroke include smokers, obese individuals, and people who do not regularly exercise.

    Emergency response

    Emergency stroke care focuses on restoring blood flow to the brain. It is important to call 911 as soon as a stroke is suspected so that this type of care can be received.

    For excellent stroke care that will improve the possibilities for a more successful long-term recovery, you can count on River Oaks Emergency Center in Houston. We are a 24/7 freestanding emergency facility providing accurate and immediate care with state-of-the-art radiology and laboratory equipment on-site. You can learn more about us on our website or by calling (713) 526-2320. 

    Determining Whether Your Symptoms Are Signs of the Flu or Allergies

    Last updated 10 months ago

    Most people think of allergies as a springtime problem, but as many allergy sufferers can tell you, they don’t take a break during the winter. Winter also heralds the start of flu season. It can often be tricky to distinguish between allergies and the flu, but it is helpful to do so, so that you can choose the right treatments. Keep in mind that both allergies and the flu can sometimes demand emergency medical care, particularly for people with chronic illnesses like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. Are your symptoms being triggered by allergies, or have you picked up a case of the flu? Here are a few simple ways to tell:

    Nose and Throat Irritation

    Runny noses come with both the flu and allergies, but the key to which is the culprit is in your Kleenex. If nasal discharge is clear, chances are that allergies are causing your symptoms. If the discharge is yellow or discolored, you likely have the flu or a cold. If your nose is runny but also feels stuffed, it’s most likely that you are suffering from allergies. If your throat is sore and scratchy, the flu is probably to blame.

    Fever and Coughing

    It is rare for people with allergies to develop a fever. However, fever often accompanies the flu, as does frequent coughing. Sneezing comes along with both allergies and the flu, but violent, persistent sneezing is most associated with allergies.

    Onset and Duration

    Allergies appear almost immediately after you are exposed to the allergen. For the flu, it usually takes a few days after exposure for symptoms to develop. The flu lasts anywhere from a few days to up to 10 days. Allergies can last indefinitely, if the allergen is not removed.

    Whether you have allergies or the flu, be mindful of symptoms like shortness of breath, dizziness, and high fevers. If you experience these signs of a medical emergency, come to River Oaks Emergency Center in Houston for care. Our experienced team of ER physicians offers pediatric care and a complete range of emergency care for adult patients. To find out more, call (713) 526-2320. 

    Debunking Winter Health Myths

    Last updated 10 months ago

    The winter months bring exciting events like the holidays and the Super Bowl, but unfortunately, they also bring an increased risk of illness. Some health conditions that require emergency care, like heart attacks, actually spike during the winter. The good news is that there are many things you can do to stay healthy in the wintertime. You can start by getting the facts and debunking common winter health myths. Here is what you need to know:

    Myth: You Can Get Sick from Being Outside

    Being cold has no relationship to getting a cold. In fact, being inside is more likely to get you sick. People tend to hover indoors in warm rooms, where bacteria and viruses thrive. Getting outside for a breath of fresh air gives you a break from inhaling all of those indoor germs that put you at risk.

    Myth: Eating Chicken Soup for a Cold Is Just an Old Wives’ Tale

    It’s easy to write off the notion that a bowl of chicken soup can cure what ails you, but if you have a cold, it’s actually true. The ingredients in chicken soup trigger something called neutrophil aggregation—a process that brings your white blood cells together to fight off infection. Chicken soup can also ease sinus and throat pain.

    Myth: You Shouldn’t Exercise in the Cold

    It is true that exerting yourself in cold temperatures can be an issue for people with heart disease. Part of the reason why medical emergencies like heart attacks increase during winter months is that people with weak hearts often over-exert themselves by shoveling snow. However, if you don’t have heart disease, winter is a fine time to exercise outside. Warm-up beforehand and ease into your cold weather routine.

    No matter what the temperature is outside, for emergency medical care year-round, trust River Oaks Emergency Center in Houston. Our center is open 24 hours and is equipped to deliver all kinds of emergency treatment, from pediatric care to treatment of life-threatening emergencies. Find out about our services by calling (713) 526-2320.  

    The Subtle Signs of Stroke

    Last updated 10 months ago

    Emergency medical care is crucial when someone is having a stroke, but the signs of stroke are often subtle. By noticing the unusual body language of stroke victims, you will be better equipped to act quickly.

    This video shows the most common symptoms of a stroke. Facial paralysis or drooping is one common symptom in stroke victims, as is arm weakness. Many people who are experiencing a stroke also have trouble with speech. If you notice any of these signs, seek immediate medical treatment. 

    At River Oaks Emergency Center, we are ready and equipped to give stroke victims the emergency medical care they need to preserve brain function and beat long-term complications. Our 24-hour emergency room in Houston is equipped to handle all levels of medical emergencies. Learn more about our services by calling (713) 526-2320. 

    Why Heart Attacks Are More Common During the Wintertime

    Last updated 10 months ago

    Winter is hard on the heart. Across the globe, heart attacks spike during winter months. In fact, the three most deadly days for heart attacks are Christmas, the day after Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Why do heart attacks increase so much around the holidays and during winter as whole? The answer is complicated. 

    Doctors believe that cold temperatures may be a factor in winter heart attack rates. Cold weather constricts blood vessels, which could create havoc for the heart. People are also more likely to catch colds or the flu during the winter, and both of these conditions put undue strain on the heart. As for the holiday increase in heart attacks, stress may play a role. People are also often hesitant to break up holiday gatherings to go to the emergency room, so they delay treatment. Likewise, they may be away from their usual physicians and may want to wait until they are back on familiar ground to get care.

    Heart attacks always require emergency medical treatment. If you suspect you or someone you love is having a heart attack, go to River Oaks Emergency Center right away. Our expert physicians are available 24 hours a day for all of your medical emergencies. Call our Houston ER at (713) 526-2320 to learn more. 

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