FastMed Blog

FastMed Offers Discounted Sports Physicals at Select NC Locations

0 Comment(s) | | by Shanaye Crisp |











FastMed Urgent Care is now offering discounted sports physicals through May 31, 2015 at select North Carolina locations. Sports physicals can be used for both youth and adults sports organizations and are good for one year. Many organizations will prohibit participation without a current sports physical.

Click HERE to print the $15 sports physical voucher which is good for the following locations (Normally $30):

  • Candler
  • Durham
  • Hickory
  • Fayetteville at Ramsey St.
  • Henderson
  • Mooresville
  • Lumberton
  • Rockingham
  • Roxboro
  • Salisbury
  • Sanford
  • Winston-Salem at Old Country Club Rd.
  • Winston-Salem at Stratford Rd.
  • Winston-Salem at University Parkway

Click HERE to print the $10 sports physical voucher which is good for the following location (Normally $30):

  • Kernersville

FastMed is open 365 days a year and accepts most insurance plans. All clinic locations offer on-site digital x-rays, and are able to treat most mild to moderate injuries or illnesses. Walk-ins are always welcome. Stop by a participating clinic and get a sports physical today!

FastMed 2015 Sponsor of Kernersville, NC Spring Folly

0 Comment(s) | | by Michelle Anderson |

Spring Folly 2015 – Kernersville, NC

This year marks the 23rd annual Spring Folly in Kernersville, NC. The Spring Folly event attracts nearly 25,000 people to downtown Kernersville for a 3-day weekend of music, food, activities, and family fun!

There will be three main stages with music throughout Friday evening and Saturday. This year FastMed Urgent Care is co-sponsoring a stage with Cornerstone Health Care. Be sure to check out the music and fun at the Cornerstone-FastMed Harmon Park Stage. Click here for the music festival line-up and details.

Not only does Spring Folly offer a wide range of music throughout the festival weekend, but visitors can also enjoy a petting zoo, rides for kids, a rock climbing wall, an antique car show, arts and crafts, delicious food, and much more!

Be sure to visit us at Spring Folly this weekend at the FastMed Urgent Care and Cornerstone Health Care booth located at the corner of E. Mountain Street and S. Main Street. We will be there Friday, May 1st from 6pm -10pm and Saturday, May 2nd from 10am – 10pm.  FastMed will have fun prizes, games and balloons for the kids. With weekend weather looking to be warm and sunny, Spring Folly is certainly an event you don’t want to miss!

For more information visit:

Watch YouTube highlights from 2014 Spring Folly!

FastMed Celebrates Ribbon Cutting at Candler, NC Location

0 Comment(s) | | by Shanaye Crisp |











Residents of the city of Asheville and town of Candler were invited to the grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony of the new FastMed Urgent Care location in Candler, North Carolina.

The event was hosted by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, and included lunch, clinic tours and a meet and greet with the FastMed clinic and provider staff. Guests learned about FastMed’s treatment services, benefits and the mission and commitment to each FastMed patient. FastMed administrative staff shared FastMed’s commit to the health and well-being of every community FastMed has a clinic through the FastMed Community Cares Program.

FastMed Urgent Care clinics are proud to serve as a support to family doctors, specialists and local hospitals for after-hours weekday care and weekend access for non-life threatening injuries and illnesses. We are open 365 days a year and accepts most insurance. FastMed is thrilled to be a part of the Candler community!


May 9 FastMed Charity Committee Holds Yard Sale for the Special Olympics of NC

0 Comment(s) | | by Reuel Heyden |

Special Olympics of North Carolina

May 9th from 8 am to 11 am the FastMed Charity Committee is holding a Spring Cleaning for the Special Olympics Yard Sale at the Clayton, North Carolina administrative office for FastMed Urgent Care, with all money collected being donated to the Special Olympics of North Carolina (SONC).

The event is open to the public and local residents are encouraging to spread the word, come out, and buy donated yard sale items to raise money for the Special Olympics of North Carolina.

Any items not sold during the yard sale will be donated to the Clayton Goodwill center following the event.

For more information on the yard sale, contact Antony Grow at (919) 550-0821 x 1026 or at

FastMed Yard Sale for the Special Olympics

May 9
8am - 11am

For directions, click HERE.

About Special Olympics of North Carolina

SONC provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. SONC is one of the largest Special Olympics programs in the world with nearly 40,000 registered athletes who train and compete in year-round programs in 19 different sports. visit for more information.

The Low Down on High Blood Pressure

The national health and nutrition examination survey (NHANES) conducted from 2005 through 2008 estimated that approximately 29 to 31 percent of adults in the United States have hypertension. This translates into 58 to 65 million hypertensives in the adult population in the United States.

The number of patients with hypertension is likely to grow as the population ages, since either isolated systolic hypertension or combined systolic and diastolic hypertension occurs in the majority of persons older than 65 years. The rising incidence of obesity will also increase the number of hypertensive individuals.

Despite the prevalence of hypertension and its associated complications, control of the disease is far from adequate. Data from the 2005-2008 NHANES survey show that only 46 to 51 percent of persons with hypertension have their blood pressure under control, defined as a level below 140/90 mmHg.

There are numerous potential reasons for low rates of blood pressure control, including poor access to health care and medications and lack of adherence with long-term therapy for a condition that is usually asymptomatic (producing or showing no symptoms). The latter may be particularly true when the therapy may interfere with the patient's quality of life and when its immediate benefits may not be obvious to the patient. Thus, hypertension will likely remain the most common risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

What is High Blood Pressure?

Health class taught us that the arteries in your body take oxygenated blood from your heart and deliver it throughout your body to all your organs.  Pretty important right?  When we are young and healthy our arteries are stretchy and are able to widen easily to withhold the pressure of our blood racing through them.  Through the natural aging process and wear and tear from diet and lifestyle choices, our arteries become calcified and less elastic.  As the elasticity decreases, it becomes much harder for the blood to pump through a smaller area.  Imagine a fire hydrant trying to pump the same amount of water through a straw.  This is hypertension.

What causes the wear and tear?

Many different factors often combine to cause someone to have high blood pressure.  Some of these factors are preventable, and some are not.  

The non-preventable causes of high blood pressure include things like genetics, race, gender, and age.  For example, hypertension is twice as likely in an individual that has had 1 or 2 hypertensive parents.  High blood pressure is more likely and is often more severe in African Americans.  Males are more likely than females to get hypertension, and as discussed before, increased age is a risk factor for high blood pressure as well.  

There are many other factors that are completely preventable.  These include obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, physical inactivity, and high salt diet.  Things like smoking and alcohol cause the blood vessels to constrict or become smaller, causing the pressure to increase.  High salt diets cause us to hold in more water which increases the volume of the blood that moves through our body, which increases the pressure.  Obesity causes hypertension in many ways.  One is that it increases the area the blood must circulate, causing the heart to work more strenuously.

What do the numbers mean?

Now that we know what it is and what causes it, let’s break down those mystery numbers.  When you go to your doctor’s office or urgent care, the first thing they do is squeeze your arm with a cuff, and give you a set of numbers.  One on top and one on the bottom.  Turns out it’s not so confusing.  The number on top is the “pressure” in your arteries as your heart PUMPs blood out to your body, this is generally the higher number and most looked at.  The number on the bottom is the “pressure” in your arteries when the heart is relaxing, and is generally the lower number.  A blood pressure of 120/80 mmHg (read 120 over 80 millimeters of mercury) is considered ideal.  Stage 1 hypertension is when the top or bottom number is greater than 140/90.  Stage 2 hypertension is when one is greater than 160/100.

Why is it called the “silent killer”?

In general, high blood pressure does not have any symptoms, which allows it to possibly be present for a very long time before it is caught or before a person will seek treatment.  It is not like a broken arm or sinus infection, where people actually feel pain or badly and request treatment, but the effects of high blood pressure is much more damaging.  Untreated hypertension is the number one risk factor for heart disease, which causes things such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, sudden death and heart failure.  Remember our fire hydrant into a straw analogy?  Now imagine your heart pumping to push the water through such a small space, and you can imagine how your heart has to work overtime when you have hypertension.  This is why it is important, even if you feel fine, to go to your clinician for yearly check-ups, especially if you have a family history or the risk factors we discussed above.

What can you do to prevent and treat high blood pressure?


Start in the kitchen. There are actually some diets that can help to lower your blood pressure.  One of the best things to do is to decrease your salt intake.  While you may not add salt to things, it is a good idea to take a look at labels next time you’re shopping.  It can be surprising how much salt is in your favorite foods!

The DASH diet is the “Dietary Action to Stop Hypertension”.  This diet is high in vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts.  It is also low in sugar-sweetened beverages and red meats.  

Weight Loss

Along with dietary changes, weight loss is one of the best treatments of high blood pressure.  For every pound lost there is an average decrease of about 1 point in your blood pressure.  So even just a 5 lb. weight loss can mean a huge difference in blood pressure.  


Independent from weight loss, exercise is another great treatment for hypertension.  Partaking in about 40 minutes of aerobic exercise 3-4 times per week can reduce Blood Pressure 6 points! Incorporating weight training can drop it 3 more points.  

Limit Alcohol, Stop Smoking

Other things to do at home are limiting alcohol intake and smoking cessation.  Sometimes making these lifestyle changes is not enough and you may need medical therapy.  You and your clinician will be able to decide what type of medicine is right for you, but medication should always be used in addition to your lifestyle modifications at home.

As a family practice Physician Assistant at FastMed Family Practice in Asheville, I am passionate about educating my patients and community about general health maintenance and preventable conditions like hypertension. Now that you have the low down on high blood pressure, give us a call to get an appointment for you blood pressure screening and wellness exam today!

Amy Kosich, PA-C
FastMed Family Practice of Asheville

Amy is family practice provider at FastMed Family Practice at FastMed Urgent Care in Asheville, North Carolina. For more information on FastMed's family practice services or to make Amy your family's medical provider, click HERE or call 828.210.2835 today.

Sports Injuries: Know the Risks

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 Sports Injuries: Know the Risks

Rips. Tears. Sprains. Strains. If you’re an athlete, you’ve probably experienced your fair share of them. Sports injuries are incredibly common, and they range from the annoying (shin splints, anyone?) to the severe (you didn’t really need that ACL, anyway) to the potentially deadly (contrecoup is not a good thing. Trust us.) The likelihood that you’ll experience injury depends on your age, gender, and sport of choice.

Who gets hurt?

While athletes of all ages are susceptible to injury, it may surprise you to learn that children are one of the most-injured populations in the sporting community. The Insurance Information Institute reports that kids ages five to 14 “accounted for 52 percent of the football injuries … 71 percent of gymnastics injuries … and 41 percent of track and field injuries treated in emergency rooms” in 2012. Stop Sports Injuries, an organization dedicated to helping children play safe, reports that 3.5 million kids under age 14 receive treatment for sports-related injuries each year.1 And that’s only the number of treated injuries; imagine how many go untreated, and you’ll begin to see the size of the problem! 

What sports are most dangerous? 

The list of sports in which athletes are most susceptible to injury looks like what you might expect, with a few surprises: the Insurance Information Institute reports that in 2012, for instance, basketball and cycling were at the top of the list, beating out even football.2 And though full-contact sports dominate the list, two of the top five — swimming and cycling — are individual undertakings. Clearly, no athletic endeavor is free from risk; over 1,000 people were hurt playing horseshoes, and almost 5,000 injuries were a result of playing billiards!

The five sports that incurred the most injuries in 2012 were:3

  1. Basketball — 569,746
  2. Cycling — 547,499  
  3. Football — 466,492
  4. Soccer — 231,447
  5. Swimming — 213,464 

What are the most common injuries? 

Massachusetts General Hospital reports that strains and sprains — overstretching or tearing of the muscles, tendons or ligaments — are the most common sports injuries. You can usually recognize a sprain or strain by localized swelling and redness. Although sprains or strains are sometimes severe enough to require surgery, they can often be healed with the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.  

According to Mt. Sinai Hospital, the most common major sports injuries all involve joints. Shoulders, hips, and knees are especially vulnerable. Joints are points of least resistance; when stress is applied to the body, joints often take the brunt of the force, and the soft tissues in the joint become strained or torn. These injuries often require long-term rest or surgical intervention. Rotator cuff tears lead the joint injury list, followed by ACL and meniscal tears in the knee, labral tears in the hip, and labral tears in the shoulder. 

Head injuries shouldn’t be ignored, either; while they are less common, they are often much more serious than joint injuries, and they can lead to brain damage or even death. Concussion is the most common head injury. A particularly bad concussion involves a condition called contrecoup, in which the brain bounces off the side of the skull. Any impact to the head should be treated as a serious injury until a doctor can examine the athlete. 

Each of these injuries is more common in full-contact sports like football; knee injuries are common in sports that involve footwork, like basketball or soccer, or in cycling from overuse; shoulder injuries are more common in swimming; and head injuries are often seen in soccer and football players.

How do I prevent injuries? 

Know the facts about injuries that are prevalent in your sport so you can take precautions to try to minimize the risks. A few protective measures can go a long way. 

1) Lift Weights. One way to protect joints is to strengthen the muscles around them. Hit the weight room as a part of your training routine.

2) Stretch. Not only does stretching before play warm up your muscles, making them more mobile, they will also loosen up so they are less likely to rip. 

2) Rest. Don’t overtrain; tired muscles are more susceptible to strain. Take at least one full day off from training per week. 

3) Get the right equipment. This step is especially important in contact sports. Wear well-maintained and effective gear like helmets, pads, and shin guards.

4) Don’t ignore pain. Muscling through it is not the way to go; you’ll likely exacerbate your injury. If you’re in pain, rest. If you feel some strain, but not enough to keep you out of practice, then wear a brace on the affected area until the feeling subsides. Your body will let you know if it’s injured — listen to it.

5) Work hard. Don’t skimp in practice. Don’t take the easy way out. If your technique is in top shape, you’re more likely to be nimble and strong, so that you can avoid mistakes that lead to acute injuries and repetitive-use injuries born of bad form.

What do I do if I’m injured?

If you experience a sports injury and you’re in pain, you can go to a FastMed near you for help. We can treat you or refer you to a specialist. You’ll get top-notch care without having to wait for hours in the emergency room, or days for an appointment. 

Injuries are simply part of the world of sports. However, knowing your risk and being proactive can help you continue to enjoy the thrill of the game for a long, long time.



1. JS Powell, KD Barber Foss, 1999. Injury patterns in selected high school sports: a review of the 1995-1997 seasons. J Athl Train. 34: 277-84.

 2. National Safety Council. (2014). Injury Facts®, 2014 Edition. Itasca, IL.

3. Ibid.

FastMed Chapel Hill Sponsors Cadence at UNC-Chapel Hill

0 Comment(s) | | by Michelle Anderson |

 FastMed Cadence Sponsor 2015

As part of the FastMed Cares Community Program, FastMed Urgent Care in Chapel Hill and Durham is a 2015 sponsor of Cadence, the UNC all-female A Cappella group founded to perform music through the voices of 16 diverse and talented young women with a passion for singing.

Cadence was founded by Mellissa “Lisa” Offoha in 2003.  After a great deal of hard work, Cadence established its presence as one of the most service-oriented groups on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus.  Focused on philanthropy and performances at many on-campus and community events, their mission being to celebrate social justice, diversity, and personal empowerment through the music they create and perform.  Cadence also performs at private events and special occasions in addition to the Cadence concert they have at the end of each semester. 

Cadence released their newest EP album, Brand New Behavior, on April 16th, 2011 and their first full length LP, Double Take, in May of 2013 - both albums are available for purchase on their website. For more album and booking information, please contact the group at For more information, visit

The FastMed Cares Program was created by FastMed Urgent Care to show FastMed's commitment beyond patient urgent care treatment, through involvement through sponsorship and support of special programs for sports, education and community service. Visit for more information on FastMed Cares.


FastMed Reviewed, Wins Statesville’s Finest Urgent Care in 2015

0 Comment(s) | | by Reuel Heyden |

FastMed Urgent Care Statesville Best of Statesville

FastMed Voted 2015 Reader’s Choice for Urgent Care in Statesville by Landmark and Record

The Statesville Landmark and Record has announced FastMed Urgent Care in Statesville North Carolina was voted Statesville’s Finest Urgent Care by 2015 Reader’s Choice poll.  The 2015 Readers Choice Contest ran both in print and online through February 2015, with Statesville residents mailing or bringing ballots to the newspaper or submitting their vote online through

“This recognition underscores FastMed’s commitment to the personal health and wellbeing of residents of Iredell County and the surrounding communities,” said Jan Pickett, Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Practice Manager for FastMed Urgent Care in Statesville, NC.  “From FastMed’s commitment to patient care and service standards, to our clinical quality and state-of-the-art clinic, every aspect of FastMed is designed to provide quality, convenient and affordable care.”

In 2014, FastMed Urgent Care was awarded The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with the Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in ambulatory health care. The accreditation means FastMed patients can expect high quality care through adherence to The Joint Commission’s standards, from clinical systems and health procedures to patient discharge and billing. For more information on Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in ambulatory health care click HERE.

FastMed clinics have grown in North Carolina communities, just like Statesville, by meeting local needs for affordable, accessible walk-in treatment. FastMed clinics provide a local cost effective alternative to the emergency department, accept all major insurances and a treat a wide range of injuries and illnesses.

Each FastMed clinic provides adult and kids physicals, vaccinations, rapid testing and onsite lab testing and onsite digital x-rays. FastMed utilizes an industry leading electronic medical record (EMR) system that can be accessed from any FastMed location, allowing coordination of care with a patient’s specialists and family practice providers at the conclusion of their visit instantly.

FastMed in Statesville is open 365 days a year, from 8 am to 8 pm Monday through Friday and 8am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday.

For directions, a complete list of services and more information on FastMed in Statesville, visit

Allergies, Asthma, and Anaphylaxis: Which One Is an Emergency?

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Allergies, Asthma, and Anaphylaxis: Which One Is an Emergency?

Finally … spring has sprung! Tulip poplars are blooming, ferns are unfurling, and a chorus of birds is suddenly back outside your window at sunrise. It’s a beautiful time of year, and you’d really be enjoying it if it weren’t for one thing: allergens.


Allergens are invaders that your immune system mistakes for bacteria. In the spring, those invaders are likely to be pollen grains. The yellow glaze on the roof of your car in the morning? It’s pine pollen, and it’s not just adorning your vehicle — it’s also in your lungs. Allergens can cause your body to produce chemicals called histamines as protection. Unfortunately, histamines cause unpleasant symptoms that can range from the uncomfortable to the downright dangerous. 

Your body has a few different responses to allergens. Depending on how strongly it tries to repel the invaders, you could end up with basic allergies, an asthma attack, or full-on anaphylaxis, a very dangerous reaction that can be deadly. FastMed can treat your allergy symptoms and your asthma and help you avoid feeling this way in the future. Severe asthma attacks or anaphylaxis, however, should send you straight to the hospital. How do you know if it’s severe? If your body calls out the troops in the spring, learn the symptoms of each condition and be sure you know what to do. 

Allergic Rhinitis

Coughing, sneezing, itchy skin, watery eyes, and other symptoms of allergic rhinitis — otherwise known as allergies — can leave your nose raw and your temper short. If spring’s really not your thing, you probably have seasonal allergies specific to certain types of pollen. Tree pollen is the most likely suspect, followed by flower pollen from flowers like chrysanthemums and goldenrods.

One little-known fact about pollen allergies: the sex of the plant matters! Pollen carries male reproductive material, so only males or plants that exhibit both sexes produce it. Unfortunately, you can’t pick the sex of the trees in your neighborhood, but you might be able to beautify your house with some female blossoms that won’t make you feel miserable. 

When you need relief from your allergy symptoms, come to FastMed. We probably won’t send you home with flowers, but we will make sure you feel better.

Allergic Asthma

Allergic asthma is a condition that is also caused by allergens, but involves a specific bodily response: restriction of airflow. In the case of allergic asthma, histamines cause the muscles lining the walls of the bronchial tubes to become tighter and inflamed, a condition called bronchoconstriction. Eventually, your airways will become flooded with mucus. These symptoms make it increasingly difficult to breathe. 

Some people who have asthma might not even know it; they may believe they simply have severe allergies. If you’re wondering about asthma, look for allergies that: 

  • Make you wheeze or cough a lot
  • Seem unrelenting
  • Make you consistently short of breath
  • Get worse at night or wake you up from sleep
  • Get worse in the presence of particular stimuli like flowers, animals, or mold

If you don’t know whether you have allergies or asthma, head on in to FastMed, and we’ll help you figure it out. 

Sometimes an asthma attack can be so severe that it becomes life threatening. If you are experiencing restriction of breath that makes you gasp for air or pass out, you should go to the emergency room for help. 


Anaphylaxis is the most serious allergic response a person can experience. Unlike asthma, anaphylaxis isn’t limited to the lungs, although it often has a breathing component. If you’re concerned about the severity of an allergic response, look for swelling in the throat or face, which is the hallmark of anaphylaxis. These other symptoms are also a good indicator that something more serious than allergies is going on: 

  • Hives
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Dilated blood vessels
  • Shock
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Restricted breathing 

If you suspect that your are experiencing anaphylaxis, go to the emergency room. 

All of these conditions are caused by those pesky little allergens, and if you recognize early on that you’re having an allergic response, you may be able to avoid severe symptoms. FastMed can help guide you toward the best allergy treatment, so you can stop those allergens in their tracks.

Asheville, Candler Residents Welcome to Review New FastMed at Grand Opening

0 Comment(s) | | by Reuel Heyden |

FastMed Grand Opening Review Candler West Asheville

Residents of the city of Asheville and town of Candler, North Carolina are invited to attend the official Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of FastMed Urgent Care Asheville West (Candler) on April 27, at 11 am.

Put on by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, the ribbon cutting will give local residents and businesses the opportunity to meet the providers and clinical staff, tour the facility and clinic’s services and have their questions answered about the new state-of-the-art urgent care.

Local practices and physicians are welcome to attend, as FastMed Urgent Care clinics serve as a support to family doctors, specialists and local hospitals for after-hours weekday care and weekend access for non-life threatening injuries and illnesses.

Click HERE for the FastMed Candler Grand Opening save-the-date flier.

Click HERE to contact the clinic for more info, questions or directions.