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All Posts Tagged: urgent care

Why Patients Should Not Defer Care Due to COVID-19

COVID-19 has many people scared and one response to the outbreak of the pandemic and the social distancing requirements involves patients deferring necessary medical care. This is a point of concern because this means that patients’ conditions would likely worsen while they choose to avoid going to the hospital from fear of exposure to COVID-19. Some patients have delayed care for reasons that stem from fear of exposure to the coronavirus to the burden of out-of-pocket costs when jobless. Deferred care is only likely to make a bad situation worse.

Patients Defer Necessary Medical Care Due to COVID-19

Many patients defer necessary medical care due to COVID-19. According to recent data from Cigna, patients have deferred treatments for seven different acute clinical conditions, including acute appendicitis, acute coronary syndromes, aortic aneurysm and dissection, atrial fibrillation epilepsy and seizure, gastrointestinal bleed and transient ischemic attack. All these conditions require immediate care, and a consistent reduction in hospitalization since COVID-19 is a disturbing sign that patients are opting not to seek medical care.

The fear of contracting the virus is a concern of many patients who need urgent care but would rather stay home than risk it. Others feel like the work that doctors are doing to fight COVID-19 is far more important than their health issue that is unrelated to coronavirus, and some patients have delayed care because they may have lost their jobs, and as a result, health insurance and income to cover out-of-pocket health-care costs. It is not only crucial that patients continue to seek medical care during the current COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s also important that they have access to critical clinical care.

Impact of Deferring Medical Care

A patient deferring medical care can have serious financial and health implications. It can lead to higher healthcare costs and unhealthier outcomes for many patients. A patient’s health may deteriorate when they defer care, making an already bad situation far worse. Missed care may very well impact survival rate, whereby a worsening health condition could mean death, consequently. Another reality of the impact of deferred medical care is that worsening health will likely result in higher healthcare costs. Bigger health problems usually require more money to fix. Many Americans are faced with unemployment, making medical care unaffordable for many patients.

Access Medical Care During COVID-19

Patients’ access to medical care is important during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that immediate medical care as well as continued care is received. Patients can access care by visiting an urgent care center that has COVID-sanitation policies, telemedicine, and COVID-19 testing. If you would like to seek medical care at a local urgent care center, do your research and ensure that the facility is equipped with the necessary tools to prevent the spread of the virus and ensure your safety.

Fears around exposure to COVID-19 has many patients deferring medical care. However, this move can have serious implications on a patient’s health and burden them with healthcare costs later on. Deferred medical care when your medical condition requires immediate care is a disaster waiting to happen. Don’t let COVID prevent you from getting the medical care you need.

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What happens during COVID-19 Antibody Testing?

As states and local businesses prepare to reopen, patients may be looking for more information about whether or not they have been exposed to COVID-19. Between the relatively young age of the virus and the high number of positive cases where the patient has not exhibited symptoms, much information is still being researched and determined. By getting tested for COVID-19 antibodies, you will be able to determine if you have developed an immune response against the virus.

What is done during an antibody test?

An antibody test detects the presence of antibodies, which is formed after an infection. Antibodies are an immune response to an illness or virus that can be found through a simple blood test. In order to get tested for COVID-19 antibodies, you must visit Centennial Medical Group. Please wear a mask when visiting our center for testing.

What do my test results mean?

positive antibody test result indicates that you have been exposed to COVID-19 and have developed an immune response to the virus. Research is still being conducted to determine whether or not that indicates immunity to further infection. If you test positive for COVID-19 antibodies, you should continue to follow local health and safety guidelines including wearing a mask or protective face covering in public areas and social distancing.

negative antibody test indicates no exposure to COVID-19 and that you have not developed antibodies for the virus.

Differences between COVID-19 Diagnostic & Antibody Testing

COVID-19 diagnostic testing is used to detect and diagnose the active COVID-19 virus. Testing is performed by taking a swab of the lower nasal cavity, which takes only a moment and is painless for the patient. Results are typically available within three days. Antibody testing is performed by taking a blood sample and can only determine if there has been a past infection. The test detects the presence of antibodies formed about ten days after an infection has healed. Due to this, it is recommended you wait between ten and fourteen days after symptoms subside to get tested for COVID-19 antibodies. It is important to note that while you may get a negative result back from your antibody test, you may have been exposed in the days leading up to your test.

COVID-19 Antibody Testing in Elkridge & Columbia, MD

If you are preparing to return to your workplace and are unsure if you have been exposed to COVID-19, visit a local urgent care center for testing.

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What Should I Know About COVID-19 Test Types?

COVID-19 testing has developed as the pandemic has continued, with more accurate swab testing and antibody testing available to detect a past infection with the virus. Whether or not you have exhibited symptoms of the virus, getting tested may be on your mind as you prepare to return to your workplace and states begin to reopen. We understand that you may have questions about testing, the different available tests and when to get tested. Learn more about testing and who is qualified!

Antibody Testing

Antibody testing is a blood test that detects the presence of antibodies in your blood. Your blood sample is sent to a private lab and evaluated to look for signs of protein or antibodies in your immune system. A positive test indicates past infection or exposure with the virus, even if you have not experienced any symptoms. The full power of the antibodies is still unknown and continuing to be studied. Even if you have antibodies, it is still important to continue following local and state health and safety guidelines.

Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic swab testing is used to detect and diagnose an active case of COVID-19. A swab is taken of the lower nasal cavity and then brought to a lab for testing. The test takes only a few moments and is virtually painless. Results are available in two days.

What’s the Difference? 

The primary differences between diagnostic and antibody testing are how the sample is taken and what the test tests for. A diagnostic test will not show if you have antibodies from a previous exposure, while antibody testing will not identify a current case of COVID-19. Both tests require processing and analysis in a lab for accurate results.

How Long Does Testing Take? 

Both diagnostic and antibody testing results take about 2 business days to get back from the time the blood or nasal swab is taken. The process is quick, but until you get results back, you should still take all precautions recommended by the CDC and World Health Organization, as well as the state of Maryland. This includes wearing a protective mask or face covering, practicing social distancing and washing your hands regularly, especially after spending time in public areas.

COVID-19 Diagnostic Swab & Antibody Testing

If you are interested in learning more about or undergoing COVID-19 testing, visit Centennial Medical Group and First Call Urgent Care! We will be able to answer your questions and provide efficient testing, with results in only a couple of days. For more information, please call  410-730-3399.

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Why Should You Consider Using an Urgent Care Center?

Did you know that urgent care centers are one of the quickest growing areas of healthcare? With urgent care centers popping up in every town, sometimes more than one per town, it’s got people wondering what all the hype is about. If you’ve never used an urgent care center and you’re on the fence, these reasons are sure to change your mind! 

Low Cost

Urgent care centers charge a fraction of what an emergency room and traditional hospital setting does for the exact same care. Urgent care centers are designed to be as low cost as possible for the patient. In addition to their cost cutting design, they accept most major insurance companies. If you have insurance, the copay for an urgent care is usually about 1/3 of the amount of a copay for the emergency room! 

Convenient Location

With so many urgent care centers opening up, it’s almost guaranteed there’s one conveniently located close to you. Traveling to a hospital is not always easy when you’re sick or injured, but urgent cares take away that stress. You can probably find an urgent care on your way to or from work so you don’t even have to go out of your way for care! 

Flexible Hours

Urgent care centers open early in the morning and stay open late at night, with some even being open 24 hours per day. Traditional doctor’s office hours don’t pair well with the average work or school schedule, so these flexible hours are revolutionizing how easy it is to get medical care. There is no appointment needed for treatment either, so you can stop in whenever it fits into your schedule. Wait times are kept short because patients are seen on a first come first serve basis, unlike an emergency room. 

Comprehensive Care

Urgent care centers are able to offer the most comprehensive care of any medical establishment. Not only can they do physicals and offer vaccines, but they can treat broken bones, sprains, cuts, infections, and a variety of illnesses. Urgent care centers can treat both children and adults. They also have lab testing, x-ray imaging, and other services on-site that retail clinics and primary care offices do not have.

When you have the ability to get all the care you need, in a convenient location, on your own schedule, at a reasonable price, it feels impossible to go anywhere else for your medical needs! Give your local urgent care a call today to learn more about the services they offer. 

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How Can I Treat Strep Throat?

Strep throat is something that most of us will suffer from at some point in our life. It’s most commonly seen in young children, but anyone can be affected. When you’re suffering from strep throat, getting the right treatment in a timely fashion is vital to preventing the spread of the illness to those around you. 

What is Strep Throat?

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that’s highly contagious. It causes fever, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and red or white splotches along the back of the throat. If strep throat is left untreated, it can cause the bacterial infection to spread to nearby areas and even affect other internal organs. 

Home Remedies

Home remedies may be able to help relieve some of your strep throat symptoms until antibiotics are able to clear the infection. Common home remedies include: 

  • Drinking hot tea or warm water with lemon and honey
  • Over the counter pain relievers 
  • Using a humidifier to breathe in moist air 

Lower your risk of catching or spreading strep throat by not sharing personal items, washing your hands frequently, and coughing or sneezing into your arm rather than your hands. Since strep throat is a bacterial infection, it cannot be treated with home remedies alone. Even if you notice symptom improvement initially, strep throat will continue to progress until you get the right antibiotics in your system. 

When to Seek Professional Help

If a sore throat lasts more than 48 hours or comes along with a fever, swollen lymph nodes, visible rash along the back of the throat, or difficulty swallowing, you should visit a medical professional. A doctor or nurse practitioner will assess your symptoms, swab for strep throat, and provide antibiotics if you test positive. 

Strep throat is extremely contagious and can lead to more serious health conditions if it’s left untreated. Instead of waiting for the next available appointment at your family doctor, visit your local urgent care center to receive strep throat treatment. An urgent care center will be able to test for and treat strep in the same way a family doctor or emergency room would, but they do it at a fraction of the cost! Not only will you leave with a lower bill, you won’t spend hours in the waiting room before you’re seen. 

When it comes to strep throat time is of the essence, so head to your local urgent care center today!

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How Does a Patient Get an Upper Respiratory Infection?

Upper respiratory infections are more commonly referred to as the common cold and it’s something that every person will face in their lifetime. In fact, adults suffer from an average of 2-3 upper respiratory infections each year and children see even higher numbers! Winter and early spring are the peak season for colds, but they can happen any time of year. Whenever you’re suffering from the unpleasant illness you might find yourself wondering, how did you catch it in the first place? 

Causes of upper respiratory infection

Upper respiratory infections are caused by bacteria that enter the body through the nose, eyes, or mouth. You can also be exposed to the bacteria in the air if you’re in close contact with a sick person and they sneeze or cough, putting small mucus membranes into the air. A cold or upper respiratory infection can only occur if you’ve been exposed to the bacteria that causes it. Claims that cold weather causes the illness are outdated and untrue.

Symptoms of an upper respiratory infection

The symptoms of an upper respiratory infection include: 

  • Sinus pain and pressure
  • Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Throat irritation and coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches 

Young children might also suffer from a low-grade fever. 

Treatment for Infections

Treating an upper respiratory infection begins at home with plenty of fluids and rest. You can also utilize a humidifier to help keep the air moist, and over the counter decongestants or cold medicines. Your symptoms should last no longer than 2 weeks. If your symptoms continue past 2 weeks, you’re suffering from a fever for more than 3 days, or you feel your symptoms are getting worse, you should visit a local urgent care center for professional treatment and diagnosis. 

Preventing an Upper Respiratory Infection

Since upper respiratory infections are caused by direct contact with bacteria, there are multiple things you can do to reduce your risk! Begin by practicing good hand hygiene. This means washing your hands frequently and thoroughly throughout the day. If you don’t have time to wash your hands, hand sanitizer can be used until you get the time. You should always remember to cough or sneeze into your elbow and encourage those around you to do the same. Avoid touching your face with your hands, especially when you’re at work or school. 

For more information about treating your upper respiratory infection and preventing more in the future, give your local urgent care a call or just stop in whenever you’ve got time! 

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What Are the Most Common Reasons Patients Use Urgent Care?

It’s no secret that urgent care centers are growing in popularity. It seems that every town and city has begun seeing them pop up one after another, but why is that? Urgent care centers are changing the way that the world of medicine works, let’s find out how! 

Why Are Urgent Care Centers So Popular?

Did you know that urgent care centers are one of the fastest growing branches of the medical industry? The last few years have seen rapid growth as patient begin to notice the perks of utilizing an urgent care center rather than an emergency room. A few of the most notable reasons why patients are choosing urgent care include: 

  • Cost – urgent care centers provide high quality care at an affordable price. The exact same testing and treatment options of an emergency room are offered at a fraction of the cost you would find at an emergency room or even a primary care physician. 
  • Time – urgent care centers operate on a first come first serve basis. That means that you’re treated in the order you arrive, regardless of what you’re there for. A traditional emergency room operates differently, seeing the most severe cases first. While this helps save lives, it leaves less-severe patients waiting for hours before they’re ever seen. Urgent care centers are helping to get patients seen faster and unclogging emergency rooms all at the same time. 
  • Flexibility – urgent care centers are great for people needing care that they could get from their primary care physician but are unable to get due to their schedules. Urgent cares typically open early and stay open late so you can come by when it fits into your schedule. 

What Do Urgent Care Centers Do?

The most common reasons to visit an urgent care include: 

  • Stitches 
  • Muscle strains
  • Minor fractures
  • Infections – ear infection, UTI, sinus infection, etc. 
  • Flu vaccine 
  • Physicals 
  • STD testing 
  • Respiratory illness – bronchitis, pneumonia, etc. 

Urgent care centers offer on-site x-ray imaging, blood work, and much more! Unless you’re suffering from a life-threatening injury or illness, urgent care will likely be able to give you the care that you need. 

Next time you’re in need of injury care, illness care, preventative care, or even just a physical, visit your local urgent care! Look online to find the nearest urgent care to you and learn more about their hours of operation and services offered. 

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What are the Most Common Seasonal Illnesses to Watch for?

We’re in the middle of the winter season which also means being in the middle of cold and flu season. These seasonal illnesses peak around this time of year, every year. Luckily, knowing what illnesses to expect makes them much easier to overcome! 

Seasonal Illnesses

The two most common seasonal illnesses are: 

  • Cold – the common cold is very contagious, but typically not serious. Symptoms of the common cold include nasal congestion, runny nose, headache, fatigue, and coughing. Not everybody displays all of these symptoms while some others may present symptoms not listed. The common cold can be treated using over the counter remedies and typically resolves in 5-7 days. 
  • Flu – the flu is the second type of seasonal illness, but it’s more serious than the common cold. The flu comes along with all of the same symptoms as a cold, but you may also feel muscle aches, nausea, diarrhea, and a low grade fever. 

Prevention

There are some steps you can take to prevent these seasonal illnesses. First, remember to wash your hands regularly throughout the day. Each handwashing session should last at least 20 seconds to ensure your hands are actually clean. If you don’t have access to a sink, carrying hand sanitizer to use throughout the day is an easy alternative. Handwashing helps protect against the cold and the flu, but it isn’t enough on its own.

To lower your risk of catching the flu even more, get your flu shot each year. Anybody over the age of 6 months old is eligible to receive a flu shot. This vaccine is over 80% effective at reducing your risk of the flu and has little to no side effects. Even though the cold and flu season is already here, it’s not too late to get vaccinated! Visit your local urgent care or walk-in clinic to get your flu shot today. 

Treatment

Some seasonal illnesses can be treated at home using over the counter remedies, but others may require professional treatment. If you notice your condition worsening, a high fever, or signs of dehydration, visit your local urgent care center right away. The expert staff at an urgent care center will help diagnose you and offer treatment options that are right for you. No appointment is needed and most insurance is accepted, so why continue suffering when urgent care could help?

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Why Adults Need Regular and Frequent STD Testing

Every adult is responsible for his or her own health and getting regular and frequent testing for sexually transmitted diseases or infections is an important part of taking care of yourself. Not only is this necessary for your own health and safety, but for the health and safety of your sexual partner, as well. Even if you get regular testing and are free of sexually transmitted infections, always use protection and encourage your partner(s) to get tested, too. 

STDs Are on the Rise

Although more research and resources are available now than ever, STD rates are on the rise in the US. There are many reasons for this, including the stigma around STDs, ignorance about STD testing, and lack of communication between partners. There is no shame in getting tested for STDs and is something every sexually active adult must do regularly.

You may think that STD testing is part of your regular annual physical or gynecological exam, but this is not the case. Many people think that it’s included in your annual exam and since they don’t hear any results, they assume they are free of STDs. You usually need to ask for your doctor to perform an STD test. You may also assume that your partner is free of STDs, has been tested, and knows about proper testing methods. It’s important to talk to your partner about STD testing to make sure you are both healthy and safe. 

Another reason for the spread of STDs is that many have mild to no symptoms at all. You can have an STD without symptoms and not know it. This is why it’s so important to get tested regularly, even if you think you are healthy. 

As fewer people get tested, STD rates rise. You should get tested between every sexual partner and continue to get checked regularly. 

Get Fast and Affordable Testing

There are many options for affordable and accessible STD testing today. You can even test yourself at home with a kit. However, these kits usually require you to send a sample of your blood or urine off to a lab before you get results, so it doesn’t really save time compared to a doctor’s visit. Also, sometimes the samples are inconclusive and need to be retaken and resent.

Urgent care is an excellent resource for STD testing. You can walk in at any time and often get same-day results. This spares you from making and waiting for a doctor’s appointment, taking your own sample at home, or having unprofessional or inconclusive results. You can get peace of mind quickly, even if you don’t have health insurance. 

No matter what gender you are, your sexual history, or how many partners you have had or currently have, all sexually active adults must get regular STD testing. Don’t wait; walk into your local urgent care and get peace of mind right away.

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How to Manage Stress and Other Health Conditions During the Holidays!

Stress and the holiday season are sometimes synonymous with one another, which can lead to actual health issues and complications The planning, decorating, cooking, entertaining, and general holiday chaos can build up significant stress level over a very short period of time. Holiday stress seems insurmountable but most patients can control their stress with a few prevention and self-care strategies! 

And if you every believe your stress could contribute to other health conditions, don’t hesitate to visit urgent care! An urgent care team provides patients with immediate and fast treatment for most medical needs!

How stress levels contribute to overall health conditions

High stress levels are linked to many health conditions, including chronic diseases that can lead to long-term healthcare conditions. Stress can exacerbate chronic disease factors like weight gain, high blood pressure, worsened mood, and other health factors. The types of diseases that can be triggered by stress levels includes heart disease, stroke, hypertension (high blood pressure), and similar ailments. Holidays are supposed to be a happy time, so why should you health worsen because of them? People who struggle with seasonal depression during the winter months are at an increased risk of poor stress management, but it can affect anyone. 

What to do to manage stress.

Managing your stress during the holidays isn’t easy, but it is possible. A few good tips to follow include: 

  • Set realistic expectations for shopping and planning – there are only so many hours in the day and only so many days in the week. Don’t overextend yourself by planning to go to too many holiday events or gift exchanges. Choose a couple each year and decline the rest of your invites. This also helps manage financial expectations of gift giving. 
  • Talk to someone – open up to a friend or family member about the stress that you’re feeling. Chances are, they’re feeling the same way! Sometimes just talking out your stress helps put it into perspective and make it more manageable. 
  • Set aside time for you – having time to yourself during the holidays is vital this will help you decompress and enjoy being alone before you attend the next family gathering or holiday party. 
  • Don’t disregard healthy habits – if you normally exercise every day, don’t let the holidays get in the way of that. No matter what your healthy habits may be, don’t forget to make time for them during your busy holiday schedule. 

Talk to a healthcare professional about stress during the holidays!

If you begin feeling overwhelmed with stress or depression this holiday season, reach out for help right away. Visit your local walk-in clinic to speak with a professional and get more tips to manage stress, or further treatment if needed.

If you need an expert ASAP, you can always visit First Call Urgent Care for key screenings and other prevention methods to help control stress this season!

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