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Medical News & Updates

Why Does a Walk-in Clinic Make Sense for Patients During Fall Season?

Fall is a wonderful time of year, but it’s also a time when a high number of people are in need of medical care. From a simple flu shot to treating a major sports injury, the medical community sees higher rates during the fall than any other time of the year. If you’re trying to decide where to receive the treatment that you need, these are all reasons that you should consider a walk-in clinic! 

Illness Prevention and Treatment

Walk-in clinics are the most convenient way to receive your flu vaccine and try to prevent the illness before it strikes. Walk-in clinics don’t require an appointment, are open longer than your doctor’s office, and will work with your insurance company to provide the flu shot at little to no cost to you. If you’ve waited too long to prevent an illness and are in need of treatment instead, we can help with that too! From a stuffy nose to a bad case of bronchitis, your local walk-in clinic will be able to diagnose and provide the medication you need to treat your condition. Even if the condition can’t be healed, we can help to make symptoms more manageable. 

An Alternative to the Emergency Room

Walk-in clinics are the ideal alternative to the emergency room. ER’s are known to have long wait times because they treat the most severe patients first, leaving less severe cases waiting for hours at a time. Alternatively, walk-in clinics treat on a first come first serve basis. That means even if you’re only here for a flu shot, you’ll still be seen in a reasonable amount of time! Walk-in clinics offer many of the same services as an emergency room at a fraction of the cost. 

Quick Treatment When Injury Strikes

When a fall sports related injury strikes, you need quick treatment. Waiting too long for injury treatment can actually cause that injury to become worse or lead to other injuries. walk-in clinics are prepared to handle sports related injuries quickly and provide referrals if further treatment is needed. Imaging and basic braces or casting is often available at walk-in clinics as well. 

If you’re in need of same-day treatment this fall season, it’s time to give your local walk-in clinic a try! If you have any questions or concerns about the treatment that’s offered, give us a call. Our team of experienced staff is dedicated to offering high quality treatment that fits the schedule of every patient, even during the busy fall season.

If you have any more questions, please let us know by calling us at 410-730-3399

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Who Needs a Flu Shot? Why Don’t Adults Vaccinate More Than Children?

Flu season is here and you’ve probably seen plenty of signs and commercials encouraging you to receive your flu shot. Despite all of the advertisements each year, many people still choose not to vaccinate, leaving themselves vulnerable to the flu. Let’s take a closer look at who chooses not to vaccinate and understand why that might be. 

Why Children Get Vaccinated More

Children tend to get vaccinated more for multiple reasons. First, they’re at the highest risk out of any group. In fact, children ages 0-4 are more likely than any other group the get the flu. Another reason is because many parents put their child’s health above their own.

They’ll take the time to get their children vaccinated because they don’t want to see them sick, but they fail to do the same for themselves. Children tend to see their pediatrician more frequently than adults see their primary care physician which is yet another reason why they tend to be vaccinated before their parents. 

Should Adults Get Vaccinated too?

Yes, adults should get vaccinated! Over half of the adults in this country opt out of their flu vaccine each year, but it isn’t because they aren’t at risk for the illness. Adults typically come into contact with the flu at their place or work, the grocery store, or even while shaking hands with a friend. Just because you aren’t going to school with a bunch of kids doesn’t mean you won’t come into contact with the flu!

Everybody over the age of 6 months old should receive their flu shot, including elderly people and pregnant women. 

Where to Get Vaccinated

Your local urgent care center is the best place to get vaccinated before peak flu season hits. Urgent care centers are able to offer quick treatment that works with your busy schedule. No appointment is needed, simply come by when you have a few extra minutes and you’ll protected all season long! Urgent care centers accept most major insurance companies and the flu shot is typically covered at little to no cost to you. 

If you have questions about receiving your flu shot or getting one for your child, give us a call today! Our team of flu fighting experts are standing by, ready to help keep you happy and healthy this flu season. No matter your age, your health should always be a top priority!

And make sure that you get vaccinated at First Call Urgent Care for your seasonal flu shots! 

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Places that the flu virus spreads more quickly

The influenza virus can cause flu-related illnesses and other health consequences for millions of people annually. By protecting yourself against the disease, families can ensure they are vaccinated, hygienic, and less likely to get the disease.

A big part of preventing the flu virus is knowing how, and where, the flu virus is likely to spread. Certain publicly shared spaces and environments have a greater chance of increased flu activity versus staying outdoors for prolonged periods of time. This is because the flu passes from host to host more rapidly when people are inside contained spaces. The flu is more likely to pass through direct contact, such as touching hands with an infected patient, or through airborne transmission.

Your child’s schools are more likely to experience increased flu activity than most other places

Younger children between the ages of 6-12 usually have the highest incidences of flu activity and infection than other schools. The result of this is usually children that haven’t quite learned how to stay hygienic are are still learning how to prevent the common cold and flu.

Teachers, school staff, and school nurses do their best to teach children how to stay healthy and safe during flu season. Sometimes, schools will organize special events to help prevent the flu, but it may not be enough.

Additionally, middle and high schools are also likely to see upticks in flu activity since the close proximity of several students can quickly cause a flu outbreak.

Workplaces and offices usually lead to significant flu activity

An office setting or a workplace can also breed flu epidemics and outbreaks if employees don’t stay at home with the flu.

Many employees may feel obligated to continue working even though they show signs of having the flu [link]. When this happens, the flu can travel across desks, countertops, and from direct peer-to-peer interactions.

The flu is attributed to massive setbacks in production and workforce participation since many employees may not be sure if the flu is going around at their office.

Remember to get a flu shot at First Call Urgent Care to stay safe in flu-heavy environments!

As a friendly reminder, First Call Urgent Care provides effective flu shots for patients that are fast, affordable, and accessible flu shots any day of the week!

Simply call in advance or get directions to get your flu shot ASAP! Our walk-in clinic allows patients to get their shots without an appointment.

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How can I tell if my symptoms are the flu?

The flu season is pretty much kicking off at this moment.  As more people stay close together indoors during gatherings, work, and school the flu has a greater chance of spreading from person to person.

The best way to protect against the flu virus is with an updated flu vaccine known as a “flu shot.” Without a flu shot, your chances of getting the flu increase significantly and could lead to a variety of uncomfortable, or even painful, symptoms.

Diagnosing the flu early can help most patients prevent further diseases, treat the disease faster, and ensure that they are ready to coordinate any symptom treatment that they may need. However, the best way for patients to prevent the flu is to first get a flu shot at a nearby urgent care center!

Fever is the first symptom of having the flu for most patients.

A higher-than-normal fever after a few days usually means you’re coming down with a case of the flu. Usually, a fever is the very first sign that you are infected with the flu virus.

Unlike other diseases, the flu usually leads to early onset symptoms after just a day or two, sometimes up to three. In those first two days, a fever is the best indicator of the flu. Record the severity of a strong headache or a potential fever for a day or two and then see a nearby medical provider, like an urgent care center, to coordinate treatment.

Flu symptoms include sneezing, coughing, congestion, and sore throat among others

When the flu has fully spread throughout your body, then you’ll begin to notice some traditional symptoms of the flu such as sneezing, coughing, congestion, sore throat, and general respiratory irritation.

During this time, breathing becomes harder and your body is fatigued as it fights of the influenza virus. Usually, patients will need extended rest or days off in order for their body to completely fight off the flu virus.

In rare cases the flu virus can lead to hospitalizations

Many patients may not fully realize that the flu can especially impact the health and safety of vulnerable individuals, which leads to hospitalizations. Patients that have trouble breathing, asthma, respiratory issues, or auto-immune deficiencies may have more serve symptoms that require intensive hospital care.

To avoid the flu, simply visit First Call Urgent Care to get your flu shot and receive seasonal flu treatment for any potential flu-related illnesses!

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How Much Time, and Money, Does Having the Flu Cost?

Although getting sick with the flu may not feel like a big deal right now, your opinion might change once you actually come down with the illness. Not only are the symptoms very uncomfortable, but they can take you out of your normal routine for days or even a full week. This can affect your productivity at work or school, and you can also lose money on treatment. Here’s what you should expect if you come down with the flu. 

The flu lasts one to two weeks

While many people hope to head back to work or school after a day or two, the truth is that the flu lasts for one to two weeks for most people. In severe cases, it can last even longer than that. Not only are you missing out on important work and school, but during that entire time, you’ll need to spend extra money on products from the drugstore to stay healthy, and you may need to pay for medical treatment as well. 

You may need to use sick days to miss work

When you come down with the flu, call out of work since the virus so contagious. However, this means you’ll need to tap into your sick or personal days to make sure you still get paid. If your company doesn’t offer sick days, you will actually lose money by missing work, which can be devastating. 

Kids may need make-up days from school

If your child gets sick with the flu, chances are they will miss a lot of important learning at school. They may come back and find they are far behind their peers and need to do make-up assignments to catch up. In some cases, if you miss enough school, you’ll need to take extra make-up days on weekends or holidays. 

Getting a flu shot prevents the flu

To avoid missing out on work or school, make sure you get a flu shot during flu season. Flu shots are easy to get through your local urgent care center, clinic, or pharmacy, and are available at affordable pricing. They are particularly important for kids going to school or adults who work in large offices, where illnesses spread quickly. 

Now is the perfect time to get a flu shot, before fall hits and flu season picks up. Visit your local clinic today, and you can make sure that you don’t lose valuable time and money to the flu this year. 

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What are some benefits of back-to-school physicals for my child?

With the school year fast approaching, it’s time to make sure your child gets their annual physical. Not only do many schools require children to get a physical exam, but these exams help address medical concerns and lower overall stress during the year. Here are some of primary benefits of scheduling a back to school physical for your child. 

Preventative Care

Getting preventative care as your child develops can help prevent health problems later on in life. Your child’s doctor will get to know you both so they can give relevant care and advice, given your lifestyles. Your pediatrician will also perform a variety of routine tests, which helps them catch any problems as early as possible. 

Development Checks

It’s important that your child is growing and developing at a rate that is appropriate given their age and gender. Your annual physical is an ideal time to check in on this and make sure that your child is on track for a long, healthy life. If there are any concerns, your doctor can address this by prescribing medication and recommending further treatment. By catching problems early, you can take care of them quickly, ensuring a more productive learning environment for your child. 

Medical Vaccinations and Health Review

Your child must get their vaccinations every year to prevent the spread of diseases. Since your child is going to be near so many other kids for most of their day, preventing the spread of illness should be a big concern. Your doctor will do a comprehensive review of your child’s entire health, which can help both of you stay informed as you head into the new semester. 

Helps School Staff to Prevent Medical Issues

When your children are at school, their teachers and other school staff are responsible for keeping them safe. After a physical, you can bring your child’s medical information directly to their school, and inform them about the best ways to handle any medical conditions. The exam is also used to help them effectively handle any injuries or illnesses that might come up. Close communication between parents, kids, and school staff is crucial to a safe and healthy environment at school. 

If school is fast approaching and you are unsure of where to get a physical, consider visiting your local urgent care center. They provide affordable and comprehensive physicals, and they are also very accessible, particularly if you don’t have much time to get a physical done. 

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How to Prevent Sunburns At the Beach and Elsewhere!

Summer is in full swing which usually follows a beach trip or a similar outing, in order to enjoy the nice weather. However, it is always important to practice good sun safety and sunburn prevention whenever you’re outside.

Even though most people associate sunburns with a trip at the beach, individuals need to be aware that sunburns happen during other types of outings. These include camping and hiking as well as any activity where you are outside for prolonged periods of time.

When your skin becomes overexposed to the sun you are likely to experience skin damage and sunburns from UV rays. UV rays are radiation coming from the sun, which can also lead to melanoma in extreme cases of UV exposure. Other health risks from sun and heat exposure includes dehydration and heat rash to name a few.

Here are just a few simple but effective ways in which you can prevent sunburn and prevent UV ray damage:

Bring plenty of sunblock when you’re outside and reapply it frequently

Easily the most effective way to prevent sunburn is to apply sunscreen throughout the day. The most effective type of sunscreen or sunblock is SPF 30, which is the maximum amount that sunscreen can protect skin. Some sunscreens advertise with higher SPF count and also offer water-resistant and sweat-proof sunscreen options.

Regardless of the brand of sunscreen you choose you’ll want to actively reapply it throughout the day. A good benchmark to set is at least every hour or two hours to reapply sunscreen.

Water is also key to staying hydrated throughout the day and preventing potential fatigue

When individuals don’t drink enough water on a hot, sunny day then they could experience potential fatigue and even heat stroke. Whenever you’re outside for a prolonged period make sure to drink water as soon as you feel thirsty.

Bring a refillable water bottle on your person at all times to ensure that you can stay hydrated throughout the day. Even though some people will tell you to drink eight glasses of water throughout the day you only need to drink enough water to feel quenched.

Wear protective clothing whenever you are outside

During a camping trip, or a beach day, make sure to wear protective clothing in order to prevent a possible burn. The best options include a lightweight shirt, pants, and hat that can protect against UV rays. Additionally, protective clothing can also help prevent other hazards when outside such as insect bites in wooded areas.

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Camping Trip Health and Safety Guidelines

Summertime is also camping time for thousands of families, hikers, and outdoorspeople across the U.S. To make sure you are focusing more on enjoying the outdoors it helps to incorporate some basic health and safety skills during your camping trip.

When your outdoors you may likely experience a slew of personal safety risks including insect bites, UV rays, dehydration, and even limited medical access. But the good news for campers is that it is a fairly straightforward process for maintaining adequate health and safety during your trip. Based on similar camping safety skills collected by the CDC, here are just a few ideas to keep you safe and healthy throughout your camping trip!

Prepare for the outdoors with ample food and water

Regardless of where you are camping you’ll want to make sure that you have ample food and water on your person at all times. This is especially important in remote camping sites where access to food or water is limited or not close by.

A good rule of thumb is to have enough food and water for two or three days more than expected. Keep food properly refrigerated (in a temperature-controlled bag) and stored to prevent pests and other animals from finding it. An emergency supply of food and water is also a great way to prepare for a camping trip.

Protect from insects and the environment throughout your camping trip

Insect bites, dehydration, and sunburn are common medical ailments that largely impact unprepared campers or hikers. However, it is fairly easy to prevent insect bites and other environmental hazards with the following techniques:

  • Wear protective and lightweight clothing to prevent UV rays, tick bites, and other insect bites. If if is hot out find lighter-weight options if possible.
  • Apply sunscreen and insect repellent frequently during your trip. A good time to reapply either sunblock or bug spray is every two hours.
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and keep a refillable water to safely store water throughout the day.
  • Seek shade and use protective netting to keep insects away from your campsite.

Stay prepared with first-aid and similar medical precautions

During outdoor activity you may experience a sudden injury such as a bruise, cut, or scrape while hiking or camping outdoors. To avoid further injury make sure to bring a first aid kit and brush up on some basic first aid skills. If you need a refresher, then try finding a local course that provides free lessons.

Camping safety is an important part of any trip to ensure you get to enjoy Mother Nature without interruption!

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Prepare Your Kids For School Sports Season

More and more parents have enlisted their kids in school sports nowadays. Besides the obvious health benefits, sports teach the players teamwork, communication, and disciplines which will groom them into well-rounded individuals. In order for young athletes to fully enjoy the experience, there are some easy things parents could do. Here are a few of them:

Let the kids prepare their own breakfast

By waking up 15 minutes earlier every day, kids can have enough time to get ready for school and make themselves breakfast. This will tremendously help develop their own discipline, which is critical to any sports team. A team can only be as strong as the players who make it up. It’s not that difficult, and you should encourage your kids to adopt this habit as soon as possible before the school year begins.

Act as a role model

Like father, like son. Your kids most likely adopt your habits and behaviors which include both good and bad ones. If you exhibit a healthy and active lifestyle, that will greatly benefit your young ones. Instead of eating junk/fast food regularly, cook up proper meals. Instead of sitting on the couch watching TV all day, sign up for the gym or go for a run few times a week. Your health, and your kids, of course, will be grateful for that!

Sports physicals

A sports physicals is a series of test to determine any underlying risk of illness or injury before young athletes sign up for sports at school. Almost every school requires this examination from students before accepting them into sports programs. It doesn’t take much of your time and effort and could prevent your kids from getting serious injuries in future.

If your student athlete is joining a sports team this upcoming season, visit FirstCall Urgent Care for a sports physicals.  We also treat common sports injuries such as:

  • Fractures
  • Sprains
  • Cuts
  • Bruises
  • & More

Stop by our urgent care center, or call us at 410-730-3399 for more information.

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Evidence-Based Nutrition Tips to Improve Overall Health

If you’ve ever tried to look up some nutrition info online or asked a friend for advice, you’ve likely heard some conflicting statements. Many of the nutrition tips we’re told are actually opinions rather than evidence-based facts. Today we’re going to share some of our favorite nutrition tips that can actually be backed with solid evidence and science, not just one strong opinion.

Processed Foods are Bad

Many diet plans recommend sticking to whole foods and avoiding processed options, but it turns out that recommendation comes from real evidence. The processed foods we eat are loaded with unnecessary chemicals and sugars that trigger the pleasure center in the brain. That causes you to want to eat more processed junk and ultimately, your health pays the price.

Sleep is Key

Rather you want to improve your mental or physical health, sleep is the answer. Without enough quality sleep your body’s performance begins to go downhill. You’ll be less focused, more likely to eat unhealthy foods, and be at an increased risk for diabetes. Kick-start your new healthy sleeping habits by setting a “bedtime” for yourself each night and avoiding all electronics for one hour prior to that time.

Drink Water Before a Meal

Did you know that drinking more water makes your body begin to burn more calories? In fact, if you drink 2 liters of water per day, your body will automatically be burning 96 extra calories! Enjoy some water 30 minutes prior to each meal time. This habit will help you to feel full faster and gradually lose weight.

Monitor Your Intake

Evidence shows that occasional monitoring of your food and beverage intake is very good for your overall health. Not only does monitoring allow you to know exactly how many calories you’re consuming, but what’s in those calories as well. Once you get in the habit of checking the nutrition label you’re more likely to make healthier choices, even if you aren’t counting calories. Pay attention to your protein, fat, and carb intake to see where you can improve your diet.

Surround Yourself with Positive Relationships

Negative personal relationships in your life could be having a negative impact on your health. Not only do positive personal relationships improve mental health, but physical health as well. Studies have shown that people with positive friends and family relationships take better care of themselves and have a higher life expectancy.

If you’ve heard other help tips that you’re skeptical of, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or do some research on your own! Evidence-based facts are widely agreed upon and supported by plenty of notable research. Just remember, not every health tip you’re told is actually true!

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