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How Gratitude For Your Health Can Improve Your Health

It’s the season of giving — giving to our community and loved ones but also showing thanks for what we have. After almost two years living amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our patients have expressed that they’ve never been so thankful for their good health.

 

But, did you know that simply even showing thanks for your health can improve your health?

Gratitude & Physical Wellness

According to Harvard Health, positive psychology studies have shown that gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. This feeling not only helps patients feel more joy but also improves areas of their lives such as their health. Practicing gratitude can also keep anxiety and depression at bay.

 

This improvement in your mental wellbeing has a direct effect on your physical wellbeing: limiting aches and pains and boosting your immune system due to the release of endorphins.

Working Gratitude into Your Health Regimen

In the spirit of the season, here are some ways you can add more gratitude into your day to support your mental and physical wellbeing:

 

?      Keeping a daily journal.

?      Make a gratitude jar.

?      Use positive, affirming cues.

?      Try meditating or yoga.

Improving Your Health

If you’re inspired to take better care of your health this season, here are a few places to start:

Stepping Up Your Hygiene

One of the best ways to prevent illness is to stay on top of your family’s personal hygiene. This means handwashing, mask-wearing, social distancing, and keeping your home germ-free.

Take Preventative Care of Yourself

Keeping up with your physical health can help prevent a medical emergency. Although there is a debate if one should visit their doctor annually for a routine checkup or physical, the choice will be informed by age, general health, and specific health risks.

 

Just like brushing your teeth and scheduling your next dental cleaning, taking care of your body and scheduling recommended screenings is a vital part of your health. As you grow older, your chance of developing certain cancers increases — making regular screening essential to early detection and treatment.

 

Many screening recommendations are broken down by age. The following guidelines from the American Cancer Society can help you know when to be tested:

Age 25-39

Cervical cancer screenings are the main exam recommended for patients of this age group. Beginning at 25 years old, women should be checked annually.

Age 40-49

?      The following exams are recommended for patients of this age group:

?      Breast cancer screening (recommended annually at 45, optional at 40.)

?      Cervical cancer screening.

?      Colorectal cancer screening (recommended at 45.)

?      Prostate cancer screening (for African Americans starting at age 45.)

Age 50+

At age 50, the following exams are recommended annually for patients of this age group:

?      Breast cancer screening.

?      Cervical cancer screening.

?      Colorectal cancer screening.

?      Lung cancer screening (for patients who smoke.)

?      Prostate cancer.

Whether you have symptoms or not — early screening is vital. In addition to these recommendations, it’s important to perform self-checks at home, go over your family history with your primary care doctor, and go for regular visits so they can help advise you on what screenings you should have.

Lifestyle Changes

As the saying goes: Out with the old, in with the new. If you’re working on your health this season, it’s the perfect time to say goodbye to old habits that are bad for your health such as smoking.

Exercise

Exercising frequently supports your health,  strengthens your body, prevents inflammation, and maintains a healthy weight. Here are some general tips to follow while working out:

?      Get at least two and a half hours of moderate aerobic physical activity each week.

?      Add strength training exercises into your exercise routine.

?      Change your routine every so often to avoid growing bored.

Nutrition

Your diet can have a significant impact on your health. Here are a few ways you can support a healthy diet:

?      Drink plenty of water.

?      Limit your sugar intake.

?      Avoid solid fats.

?      Eat limited amounts of red meat and processed meats.

?      Add plenty of fruits and vegetables to your plate.

?      Eat nutrient-dense foods and whole grains.

Non-Emergent & Emergency Medical Care in Dallas

Day or night, the staff at Advance ER is standing by to provide the highest quality medical care — from routine scans to emergency treatment. We have the same services found in hospital emergency rooms and meet or exceed all emergency room requirements.

Contact us today if you are experiencing a medical emergency or have questions about treatment.

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Sports injuries are common, but with timely treatment and rest, including at-home recovery, you can generally avoid complications. Minor issues can be easily treated by your primary care doctor or at Urgent Care, but not all injuries fall into this category! Going to the Emergency Room can make a big difference in getting an accurate diagnosis and fitting treatment to prevent permanent damage or movement limitation. If you are suffering from a medical emergency, you should call 911 or get to your nearest ER location!

At Advance ER, we understand that some sports injuries can be more serious and require immediate attention from certified medical practitioners at an Emergency Room to ensure proper diagnosis and avoid lasting consequences. We want you to have effective help to take care of your injuries with minimal transport and waiting lines, and we offer medical care for both adults and children. Learning what symptoms and injuries to watch for is important so you may recognize when to get checked at the ER. And in case of doubt about the severity of your situation, we recommend speaking to one of our certified team members.  

Common Sports Injuries

  • Broken bones: Fractures, especially open ones where the bones protrude outside of the wound site, require immediate care to ensure proper healing. It is especially important to avoid further strain on either the broken bone or other parts of your body that may help compensate in terms of movement or stance.
  • Joint injuries: Joints are often at risk with sports injuries. Besides sharp pains, symptoms can include swelling and bruising. These injuries range from sprains to dislocations. Achilles tendon damage is also a possibility.
  • Head Injuries: Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries must be checked promptly to evaluate their severity. If you are experiencing a severe headache, dizziness, double vision, or loss of consciousness, you should go to the ER.
  • Uncontrolled or persistent bleeding
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Extreme back pain
  • Sharp abdominal pain
  • Chest pain
  • Exhaustion
  • Seizure

Other Symptoms to Watch For

Why Go to the ER Instead of Urgent Care

Limited Waiting Time

Timely care is crucial when it comes to severe injuries, and we want to make sure you don’t suffer avoidable complications and lasting effects. This is why we encourage you to call 911 or safely go to the nearest ER if you believe your sports injury is severe. Please stay safe and don’t drive yourself to the ER.

At Advance ER, one of our medical experts will diagnose and treat you as soon as possible, with minimal waiting time. We serve Galleria Area, Park Cities, and the surrounding North Dallas neighborhoods. Our 24/7 service includes available professionals ready to answer your calls to discuss your symptoms.

SPECIALIST NOW™

Most Urgent Care facilities operate like walk-in clinics and only have physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and/or medical assistants on staff. They generally don’t have specialists on location or on call, which can delay appropriate care.  Seeing a specialist can make a huge difference in addressing your injury and allow you to receive more efficient care. A specialist can provide a more accurate diagnosis and help you recover better and quicker.

At Advance ER, our board-certified general medicine experts collaborate with our SPECIALIST NOW™ team. Our on-call specialists are available to jump on conference consultations to offer you medical guidance in a matter of minutes. Whether you need a diagnosis from a cardiologist, an ophthalmologist, a neurologist, or a pediatrician, our SPECIALIST NOW™ feature means you can get a consultation at any of our locations. We offer this service to our patients at no additional office charge.

On-Site Services

While some Urgent Care facilities provide laboratories and diagnostic imaging tests (Ultrasounds, CT scans, X-Rays), this is not a guarantee. In case of severe symptoms and life-threatening injuries, you need to be at an ER where you have access to these resources. At Advance ER, our patients’ wellbeing and recovery are our priorities, which is why we invest in highly qualified personnel and cutting-edge technology.

Our on-site equipment helps you avoid delay in getting the appropriate screenings for your injuries. These non-invasive tools provide our medical team with accurate and detailed information to inform their diagnosis and take the best possible care of you. In addition to our imagery and laboratory services, we also have on-site pharmacies so you can get your prescription when you’re discharged without having to make an extra stop on your way home.

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Prevent Drowning: 11 Water Safety Tips for Kids

In this guide, discover top tips for water safety for kids. Prevent drowning hazards with these rules.
Call to speak with a doctor 24/7 www.advanceer.com


A kid's safety is always the number one priority to every parent, especially when around water. Numerous studies have shown that many kids who drown are always a few yards away from the nearest safety ground. 

A kid drowning is a parent's biggest fear, especially if the accident could be avoided. It's not only a swimming pool or at the beach that exposes your child or toddler to this kind of risk. A child can also drown and perish through other neglected water sources like ponds and even your bathtub at home! 

Listed below are some of the ways that you can consider implementing to avoid such accidents to your child.
 
1. Be Present

A parent's presence is one of the best ways to go about it. Children are known to be very enterprising and cheeky at the same time. For this reason, it's advisable for you to be physically present so you can monitor your child's every move. 

Your supervision might prove to be essential as most kids tend to behave in the right manner once they know a parent is around.

Never let your kid visit such places unaccompanied. Your guidance is key.
 
2. Close Toilet Lids

This is a crucial thing to do. It comes as a perfect way to control toddlers who are usually very agile at that stage. Most parents tend to ignore the fact leaving toilet lids open is very dangerous to young kids. 

You can also ensure their safety by always locking the door or having the doorknob installed at a distance too high for the kid.
 
3. Empty Containers After Use 

This precaution is just as plain as it sounds. Don’t leave containers with water after concluding its intended purpose. Your kid might be playing around and accidentally trip and fall into it while you're not around. 

Accompany your child to the bathroom if he or she is too young to use the tub correctly. Make sure you drain the water after they are done taking a bath.

These containers amount to tubs, kiddie pools, and buckets. It's advisable to place the containers upside down while not in use.
 
4. Remove Toys from the Pool 

Toys remaining at the pool is another significant cause for a lot of kids drowning. Kids usually try to retrieve the toys on their own later on when its play time. 

It might turn out to be a horrific ordeal if a parent is not available to pick it up for him or her. It's advisable to collect all the toys and get them off the pool immediately after swimming to avoid such instances.
 
5. Introduce Barriers to Entry

A lot of people find fencing as one of the best ways to prevent drowning. Install a fence around the pool that will isolate it from the rest of the house or the yard. The wall should be of the appropriate height to keep the children from climbing and gaining access to the pool. 

A gate should also be put in place and continuously locked if a senior figure is not around to supervise the session. Once this is implemented, it gives the parent more time to work on how to avail themselves when their children are in the pool.
 
6. Enroll Your Kids for Swimming Classes

Kids not knowing how to swim is a major cause of drowning. Most kids usually join their peers in the pool or at the beach despite them lacking swimming skills. It’s a very dangerous dare as one can drown in the shallowest waters.

It is therefore advisable for parents to enlist their kids for swimming classes. Not only will learning how to swim make them better swimmers but also their confidence will be increased. They will be able to handle themselves well during an emergency without panicking.
 
7. Check Property for Ditches to Avoid Drowning 

Ditches might be left behind after construction work has been completed. It is, therefore, essential for you to regularly check the property for them. The utility holes may be filled with water once it rains, and this may be catastrophic to your child. 

Other water dangers in the property might be ponds.
 
8. Educate Your Child on Safety Precautions 

Educating your child on the various safety measures to consider is another excellent way to prevent drowning. Information your kid of the dangers of unethical practices while in the pool is essential. 

Give them information like pushing their peers around while in the water is not good. Encourage them to enter the water using their feet first rather than diving.

They will be able to know the depth of the water hence preventing accidents by it being too deep or too shallow.
 
9. Wear Life Jackets While on a boat 

Wearing life jackets should be a necessity while having fun in the water. The teacher or guardian should also make sure that no kid is sitting near the edge of the boat to avoid toppling over.

Life jackets have come in handy, especially to the lot that doesn’t know how to swim. The supervisor should ensure every child has a safety jacket before they set out.
 
10. Don't Rely on Floaters 

As much as a variety of floaters are very important to beginners or those who don’t know how to swim, they can't be fully trusted.

It is mainly because a tube or water wings can rapture while your child is in the water.

It is why swimming pools should have experienced lifesavers to avoid such events to cause mortality. Avoid water resources that don’t have lifesavers.
 
11. Invest in Learning Basic Water Rescue 

Learning necessary water rescue is an equivalent of taking first aid classes that involve water emergency.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is one of the most important things you should learn how to do. It enables one to revive someone through measurable chest compressions and artificial ventilation. 

Learn the various first aid measures you can take in case of an emergency.
Bottom Line

The water environment poses a lot of risks to kids. The safety measures above will, however, help understand some of the best ways to prevent your child from drowning.

Keep browsing our website for insightful information on quality emergency medical care services.
 
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It's time to get in the holiday spirit!

GET CREATIVE and enter your child's coloring page for a chance to win a Gift Card to Learning Express Toys! Ages 3-15 can participate. You can pick up a coloring page from the front desk at one of our Advance ER locations at any time.

5201 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX 75209 or 12338 Inwood Rd, Dallas, TX 75244

*Deadline to turn in: December 21st Winner will be announced the morning of December 22nd, 2018

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Everyone loves February with its abundance of hearts, candies and good feelings. But a growing number of people – beyond the medical field – are recognizing it as heart health month. Understanding the workings of the cardiovascular system could mean the difference between life and death.

“Heart attacks manifest in different ways for different people,” said Advance ER physician Dr. Brian King. “That’s why it’s important to know all the symptoms in case only one or two are present and the patient doesn’t show the classic symptom of crushing chest pain.”

To help you better understand heart attacks, or myocardial infarction, Advance ER has put together these tips to help you spot a problem and know what to do next.

Here are 6 warning signs of a heart attack you shouldn’t ignore:

  1. Chest discomfort – any kind of pressure, pain, squeezing, fullness or discomfort felt in the chest that lasts or that comes and goes.
  2. Discomfort in other areas – any pain or discomfort in one or both arms, neck, back, shoulders, stomach or jaw.
  3. Shortness of breath – accompanying discomfort or by itself.
  4. Nausea
  5. Lightheadedness
  6. Cold sweat

What should I do first if I suspect a heart episode is occurring?

Act fast. It’s better to find out later you were wrong than to wait too long, allowing damage to occur to the heart.

Call 911 immediately. An EMS responder can begin helping you right away. If you are close to Advance ER, go there immediately. Every minute counts.

What are the top tips for preventing a heart attack?

Exercise remains at the top of the list of preventative measures. “If you are at work all week, getting enough exercise can be a real challenge,” said Dr. King. “Try discussing with your boss possible ways that you and your coworkers can add exercise to the workday.” According to Forbes, a more active staff is a more productive staff.

  • Walking meetings – have your committee walk and talk, rather than sit in a meeting room.
  • Walking lunches – get a buddy or earbuds and take a brisk walk during lunch break. Don’t forget to switch into supportive shoes.
  • Fitness campaigns – partner with your company medical provider for a great fitness campaign with personal goals and prizes for achievements.
  • Gym memberships – research group memberships to the gym to be given as a benefit.
  • Office exercises – have a personal trainer come in and demonstrate simple and fast stretches and resistance exercises that can be done inconspicuously in offices or cubicles.
  • Timeless tricks – take the stairs rather than the elevator, park farther away, ride your bike to work – whatever you can do to add steps and exercise to your workday.

Other than exercise, eating a healthy diet is another key preventative step to take. Five fruits and vegetables a day and 6 glasses of water is the minimum goal. Visit your physician for a heart check-up, especially if you have a family history of heart problems or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity. If you are overweight, talk to your physician about a healthy weight loss plan. These are all positive ways to protect the health of your heart.

Where can I get fast help with no waiting?

Advance ER has pioneered No Wait service that puts the needs of our patients first. A board-certified physician is available to help you immediately and a cardiologist is available* for a consultation through our unique SPECIALIST NOWTM program.

For more information, call Park Cities at (214) 915-0428 or Galleria Area at (214) 238-6270.

* Access to specialists through Advance ER’s SPECIALIST NOWSM program is contingent on the specialist’s availability.

 

Meet Dr. Brian King:

Brian King, M.D., is board-certified in emergency medicine and has two decades of experience in treating acute and minor medical conditions. Dr. King received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, TX. He completed his residency in emergency medicine at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC.

With a focus on open communication, Dr. King believes in taking the time to listen to his patients to formulate a personalized treatment plan. Dr. King is an active member of the Dallas community and enjoys time spent outdoors and with his family.

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It’s that time of year again when new resolutions to suddenly become physically fit are weighing heavily on our minds. With the public obsession with glamor and all things Hollywood, you may find yourself tempted to try a fad diet to drop some fast pounds.

“Healthy lifestyle habits often go unexamined while the spotlight is on the scales,” said Advance ER physician Dr. Alan Dennington. “It’s better to work at tweaking lifestyle factors such as how much exercise you are getting, how often you indulge in empty calories, and how much stress you are under. If you are smoking, now is a great time to talk to your doctor about a cessation program. If you are frequently drinking, now is a great time to cut back. These tweaks can make a big impact on your overall health.”

If you have turned your attention on dieting to work on your weight, here are five diet myths that are commonly accepted as fact:

Myth #1 – Cutting carbohydrates will help me lose weight.

Fact: Simple carbohydrates, such as cookies, cakes, white rice, white flour bread or noodles, and prepackaged cereals should be limited since they translate directly into sugar in your body. However, complex carbs, such as multi-grain bread, oat bran, pinto beans, and brown or wild rice should be kept in your diet since they give you long-lasting energy, fiber for digestion, and they help you feel less hungry.

Myth #2 – If it says “low fat” or “no fat” it’s super healthy.

Fact: Many products have added extra sugars, salt and artificial flavors to make up for the loss of fat. You should read every label to make sure you know how many calories and how much sodium you are consuming. Train yourself to notice serving size when you look at labels, since that can be much less than what you would expect.

Myth #3 – A vegetarian diet is healthier.

Fact: Maintaining a vegetarian diet can have you reaching for processed foods that have higher calories and fat. Vegetarian diets also leave deficiencies in protein, iron, zinc, calcium and B12. A well-balanced diet that includes lean meats can make a difference.

Myth #4 – High protein diets are a great way to lose weight.

Fact: While it is true that many people have had great success with a ketogenic or Paleo diet, those people tend to be at higher risk for regaining weight once they stop. Since this diet of high protein and high fats is hard to sustain for very long, it is not the best way to lose weight and keep it off. Losing weight more slowly with healthy lifestyle changes is preferable.

Myth #5 – Eating late at night goes straight to your waist.

Fact: Eating a large meal just before bed can cause indigestion which reduces the quality of sleep that you get. But for some people, going to bed hungry can hurt their sleep habits, too. Sleep and weight have been linked in recent studies. One idea is that sleep affects the hormones that regulate hunger, therefore poor sleep can stimulate a feeling of hunger. If your goal is to lose weight, try eating smaller, more frequent meals and getting extra sleep.

I’m on a strict diet and I’m not feeling well, what should I do?

If you’ve been skipping meals, eating only a certain kind of food, taking diet pills or taking extreme measures to lose weight, and you find yourself feeling run-down, faint, headache, chills, nausea, rapid heartbeat, hallucinations or other symptoms, see your physician or come to the ER right away.

“Trying to lose weight fast with a bunch of different methods and without doctor’s supervision can make you very sick very quickly,” said Dr. Dennington. “Come to Advance ER anytime, day or night, for a confidential consultation to make sure you aren’t harming your health.”

 

Meet Dr. James Alan Dennington:

James Alan Dennington, M.D., is board-certified in emergency medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center, Dallas, TX. He specializes in emergency medicine including wound care and closure. Dr. Dennington has been providing quality medical care for a decade for patients of all ages.

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The flu is here and hitting Texans hard! Most of the United States is experiencing an early and robust flu season this year. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a flu update reporting that the number of patients seeking medical care for influenza-like illness (ILI) has escalated in the past week. The predominant strain of flu at this time is H3N2 virus, or Influenza A, although other viruses are also widely circulating.

“H3N2 is a particularly hard-hitting flu,” said Advance ER Director Dr. Michael Chiang. “It can be especially harmful for the elderly, babies and people with compromised immune systems.”

While Texas remains one of the top states reporting influenza outbreaks, it’s not too late to get a flu shot. This year’s flu shot won’t inoculate against H3N2, but it will protect you from other viruses, such as the common H1N1. The CDC recommends a flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.

“I would strongly recommend the flu shot for everyone, especially this year,” said Dr. Chiang. “You can get the shot at your regular physician or pharmacy. But it should be done quickly to start turning the tide on this wave of sickness in our area. Remember, it takes up to 10 days to become effective, so you really shouldn’t wait any longer if you don’t want to get the flu.”

What are the symptoms?

According to the CDC, the symptoms of H3N2 are similar to other strains of influenza including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

In addition, patients may experience headache, sore throat, sneezing and chills. Complications can be life-threatening, such as pneumonia, which can lead to hospitalizations and even death. So far this year, 9 children have died from influenza.

What are the emergency symptoms?

If you or your child shows any of these symptoms, get emergency medical help immediately:

  • Fast, labored breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Pain or pressure in chest or abdomen
  • Bluish skin color
  • Dehydration
  • Confusion
  • Not responsive
  • Severe, persistent vomiting
  • Fever with a rash
  • Flu symptoms diminish, then return with fever and worse cough
  • Infants: unable to eat, few wet diapers, no tears when crying, trouble breathing

What is the treatment?

Most patients recover normally in two weeks from the flu, but others may need medical care. “Patients in the high risk category are encouraged to get an antiviral drug as soon as flu-like symptoms begin,” said Dr. Chiang. “The medication must be obtained from your physician or ER immediately in order to be effective in reducing the amount of sick time that you will experience.”

Other medical care may include receiving intravenous fluids for hydration purposes. “Making sure the sick person stays hydrated is very important. We can help with that at the ER, but you can also try sports drinks or electrolyte powder,” said Dr. Chiang. “Also, patients experiencing respiratory complications should seek medical help right away.”

How can I avoid getting the flu?

These basic tips are recommended to try to prevent the spread of viruses:

  • Frequent hand washing with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Clean surfaces carefully
  • Sneeze into a tissue and throw it away
  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes
  • Minimize contact with pigs (they can transmit the H3N2 virus)

How can I avoid spreading the flu?

If you have the flu, the CDC recommends you stay home for 24 hours after your fever is gone. At that point, the fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicines. Avoid contact with others during the duration of your fever and the subsequent 24 hours. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough, then throw the tissue away. Wear a disposable mask if you must go out for medications or to the doctor’s office. Wash your hands frequently. Run an air purifier with UV light, if possible. Clean surfaces, sanitize toothbrush, and wash clothing and bedding when you are able.

“It’s up to all of us to work at preventing the spread of these viruses and to do the right things for our health when we are sick,” said Dr. Chiang. “If you are at high risk for complications, if you are too sick, dehydrated or run down, get medical help at the ER which is open 24/7. Otherwise, get rest and plenty of fluids at home. Take ibuprofen according to directions for pain and fever. If you live alone, make sure someone is checking up on you. We want everyone to be safe and healthy this flu season.”

 

Meet Dr. Chiang:

Michael Chiang, M.D., is the Managing Partner and Director of SPECIALIST NOWSM at Advance ER.

Dr. Chiang graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine, and completed his residency from UCLA. He is board-certified and a member of the American College of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Chiang has been practicing emergency medicine for two decades and sees patients of all ages for emergency health care.

He previously served as the Chief of Emergency Medicine at the nationally renowned The Heart Hospital at Baylor Plano.

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It's time to get in the holiday spirit!
 
GET CREATIVE and enter your child's coloring page for a chance to win a $100 Gift Card to Learning Express Toys! Ages 3+ can participate. You can pick up a coloring page from the front desk at one of our Advance ER locations at any time.
 
5201 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX 75209 or 12338 Inwood Rd, Dallas, TX 75244
 
*Deadline to turn in: December 21st
 
Happy Holidays!
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5 Myths about Concussions:

A head-butt in soccer, a chest tackle in football, a fall at home, or an accident can all be causes for a concussion. You’ve heard lots of things about concussions, but what are the facts? What do you really need to know about a concussion if you or your child plays sports? Advance ER’s physician, Dr. Thomas Allen, can answer your questions below.

Here are 5 myths about concussions that people commonly believe are true:

  1. If you fall asleep with a concussion you won’t wake back up – while a concussion can change your sleep patterns – make you more tired or sleep longer – you shouldn’t have a problem waking up. “If the patient is unresponsive or difficult to wake up, get immediate medical help,” said Dr. Allen. “But generally, the patient will wake up after sleeping with a concussion.”
  1. A concussion is a bruised brain – different from a physical problem with the brain, a concussion is measured by difficulties with the function of the brain. “Function impairment could include things like difficulty following directions, memory problems or concentration problems,” said Dr. Allen. “These function problems require medical supervision to work towards improvement.”
  1. Once the initial “stars” clear up, I can go back into the game – if you are suffering from a concussion and you return to the game, you are at risk for aggravating your condition or receiving a very serious second injury, called Second Impact Syndrome. “No game is worth the possibility of permanent damage or impairment caused by playing through with a concussion,” said Dr. Allen. “If your coach doesn’t remove you, you need to remove yourself and stay out of the game. Get medical treatment as soon as possible.”
  1. You have to have your head hit to get a concussion – while some concussions are caused by impact, others are caused by a violent motion of the head, such as in a tackle in football that suddenly changes the player’s momentum.
  1. I didn’t black out, so I don’t have a concussion – loss of consciousness is not a good gauge for concussions. “It’s better to be checked out by a physician to know if a concussion has occurred,” said Dr. Allen. “However, if you did lose consciousness, it’s likely that it was a concussion.”

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

There are several different symptoms that could indicate a concussion. If you notice any of these, see a medical professional immediately:

  • Blurred vision or double vision
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Wobbling or balance problems
  • Ear ringing
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty following conversation
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Irritability
  • Sensitivity to light or smells

What should I do if I think I have a concussion?

Have someone drive you to the nearest Advance ER in the Galleria Area at 12338 Inwood Road or in Park Cities at 5201 W. Lovers Lane. There, you will find a board-certified physician with years of experience and the necessary imaging equipment to evaluate you for a concussion. For your convenience, Advance ER features No Wait access and we are open 24/7.

I need a specialist

Advance ER is the only freestanding ER to offer bedside assessment by a board-certified neurologist. Our SPECIALIST NOWSM program offers access within minutes* to a neurologist. This unique feature is offered to our patients at no additional office charge from the neurologist. “We will do whatever is needed to make sure you’re properly evaluated and set up with a treatment plan,” said Dr. Allen.

*Access to specialists through Advance ER’s SPECIALIST NOWSM program is contingent on the specialist’s availability.

 

Meet Dr. Allen:

Thomas Allen, M.D., FACEP, is board-certified in emergency medicine. He received his medical degree from Oregon Health Science University, Portland, OR. He completed his internship at the Legacy Health Systems’ Emanuel and Good Samaritan Hospitals, Portland, OR, and his residency at the University of Texas at Houston Herman Hospitals, Houston, TX.

Dr. Allen has been practicing for over two decades. He and his family are active in their Dallas community and love being a part of the neighborhood.