FastMed Blog

It's not a Cold... it's Pertussis (Whooping Cough). [INFOGRAPHIC]

0 Comment(s) |

 Is it a Cold... or is it Pertussis (Whooping Cough)?

If you or child catches pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, you may think you just have a cold. But pertussis is more severe than the common cold and tends to last much longer. What’s more, pertussis isn’t just a virus that will eventually run its course. It’s a respiratory tract infection that calls for a specific treatment regimen.

Most people can receive a pertussis vaccine to avoid the disease completely. Children who get the five-part vaccine are unlikely to ever catch pertussis.

You will know your “cold” might be pertussis when symptoms evolve into intense coughing fits around one to two weeks after you started feeling sick. Wondering where “whooping” enters the picture? People infected with pertussis usually suffer intense coughing bouts followed by a strained intake of air. Just imagine somebody in the middle of a coughing fit who sounds like this: “Cough, cough, cough… whoop!,” and you should get the idea. 

Thankfully, pertussis is highly treatable in most cases. And if you’ve received the vaccine, it’s highly preventable as well. Infants are particularly vulnerable to pertussis, so pregnant women and people who will come in contact with an infant should always receive the vaccine. While most people receive the pertussis vaccine as children, its effectiveness tends to wane after age 11. For this reason, vaccine boosters are available for adolescents and adults. 

If you’re exhibiting symptoms of pertussis or think your child might be infected, contact your local FastMed Urgent Care clinic. We can perform a simple test for pertussis and start you on a treatment regimen that makes you feel better fast.

 

 

Roxboro, NC Community Attends FastMed Grand Opening

0 Comment(s) |

FastMed Opening Roxboro

FastMed Urgent Care has opened its 53rd North Carolina clinic in city of Roxboro.

The grand opening event, which was open to the public, was put on by the Roxboro Chamber of Commerce, and was attended by Roxboro’s city leaders, city council, business owners and local residents. Immediately following the official ribbon cutting ceremony, FastMed providers, clinical and administrative staff provided tours, answered questions about the facility, and spoke on services and benefits of urgent care. FastMed guests were provided lunch, refreshments, educational material on urgent care series, and FastMed branded mugs, pens and magnets were available to all in attendance.

Among those in attendance from the community and that FastMed would like to provide a special thanks:

FastMed will be open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, providing Roxboro residents greater convenience to affordable, walk-in treatment of injuries and illnesses.

FastMed will also provide onsite digital x-rays, lab services, suturing, sports injury treatment, drug testing, sports and camp physicals and many other medical services. For a complete list of services click HERE.

FastMed will also accept all major insurances including BCBS North Carolina, Medicare and Medicaid. For self-pay patients FastMed has a Discount Program available that covers the entire family at any FastMed clinic.

Located just off highway 501 North Madison Blvd., FastMed is in located next to the CVS store in the Madison Corners Shopping Center, adjacent to Little Caesar’s Pizza and ROX Fitness. FastMed is only a minute from Person High School, Person Memorial Hospital, Roxboro Nursing Center and North Elementary Head Start. FastMed is also convenient to Piedmont Community College, Northern Middle School and downtown Roxboro. Click HERE for directions!

FastMed Opening Attendees

FastMed’s President: Importance of Ambulatory Center Investment Bankers

0 Comment(s) | | by Reuel Heyden |

Importance of Ambulatory Center Investment Bankers

FastMed’s President, Kyle A. Bohannon, was featured in a M&A Advisors article published on the importance of “Investing in Investment Bankers.”

Bohannon spoke on three critical reasons ambulatory centers sellers need to seek support from an investment banker in that particular industry:

  1. Marketplace Opportunities
  2. Enhancing Revenue
  3. Investment Banker Value

“An investment banking team should possess significant industry and transaction experience coupled with advanced finance and accounting knowledge,” said Kyle Bohannon, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Development, now President at FastMed Urgent Care. “Such attributes will enable the banker to appropriately position the client among the broader universe of potential buyers and highlight unique selling points.”

For the complete April, 2014 article and an explanation of the three critical benefits of investment bankers when selling an ambulatory center, click HERE.

FastMed CEO Contributes to Ambulatory M&A Advisor

0 Comment(s) | | by Reuel Heyden |

FastMed in Roanoke Rapids, formerly Carolina Quick Care

FastMed Urgent Care CEO, Kevin Blank, was a recent contributor to The Ambulatory M&A Advisor’s 2-part series “5 Red Flags in Urgent Care Center Transactions.”

Blank provided insight into the five red flags in urgent care center transactions that stand out to buyers when considering an acquisition:

  • Unsophisticated Legal Team and Financial Advisors
  • Regulatory Action
  • Undesirable Location
  • Cultural Disconnect
  • Poor Management and Staff

Click HERE for the complete part one article.

For more information on FastMed Urgent Care’s experience on urgent care center transactions, visit FastMed News or search FastMed.com using the key word “acquisition."

Playing Sports with Exercise-Induced Asthma

0 Comment(s) |

Playing Sports with Exercise-Induced Asthma

Some shortness of breath while playing sports or exercising is normal. It just means that you’re giving it you’re all. But if it becomes difficult to breathe or is accompanied by wheezing, coughing, or tightness in your chest, you may have exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). 

Commonly known as “exercise-induced asthma,” EIB affects 80-90% of asthma sufferers. But you don’t have to have asthma to suffer from EIB. Symptoms typically start within 5 to 20 minutes after you begin to exercise. Untreated, they can last for up to 30 minutes after you’ve stopped. 

What Causes Exercise-Induced Asthma?

Most people breath through their nose during normal activities. As the air passes through your nasal passages, it is filtered, warmed, and moistened to make it easier on your lungs. During strenuous or prolonged exercise, breathing through the mouth is more common. If the air is particularly cold or dry, or if it contains pollution, chemicals, or excessive pollen, your airways may become inflamed and produce more mucus. This narrowing of airways is what causes shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness.

How Do I Know if I Have Exercise-Induced Asthma? 

If you have asthma and suffer from the symptoms discussed above while exercising, you likely have exercise-induced asthma. If you have not been diagnosed with asthma but these symptoms feel familiar to you, schedule an appointment with your doctor. By reviewing your family and personal history, discussing your symptoms, and performing a simple breathing test, your doctor will be able to determine whether you have exercise-induced asthma.

I Have Exercise-Induced Asthma. Do I Need to Stop Exercising and Playing Sports?

Luckily for you, exercise-induced asthma is a common problem and is easily managed if you take the necessary precautions. Have you ever heard of Jerome Bettis, retired Pittsburgh Steeler and Superbowl champion (or maybe you just know him as “The Bus”)? How about NBA Hall of Famer, Dominique Wilkins? Both suffer from exercise-induced asthma.

Of course, you will need to consult your doctor, but in most cases taking an asthma medication like albuterol five to 30 minutes before exercise will help control your EIB and allow you to exercise normally. Warming up before you begin exercise and cooling down when you’re finished will also help your body acclimate to the changes and prevent flare-ups. 

By understanding exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) and taking the necessary precautions, you can continue to participate in the sports and activities that you love.

Five Hidden Winter Health Risks

0 Comment(s) |

Five Hidden Winter Health Risks

With the arrival of winter come new seasonal health issues. Frostbite, colds, flu, sore throats, dry skin, asthma, and cold sores are some of the more obvious seasonal maladies, but there are others that may be flying under your radar. Here, we will consider five less familiar cold weather health issues for you to keep in mind this winter, whether you’re staying indoors or venturing out into the cold.

Heart Attacks

The risk of heart attacks climbs exponentially during the cold weather months – a 53 percent increase over the summer months. This could be due in part to the number of people who have to shovel snow to clear sidewalks and driveways in the North, but the increase is consistent across warmer climates where there isn’t much frozen precipitation. Arteries constrict in response to cold, cutting down blood flow and forcing your heart to work harder. The American Heart Association notes that people who suffer from heart disease also tend to see an increase in the chest pain and discomfort of angina during the winter. All in all, your heart has to work much harder to keep your body heat up when it's colder.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Winter isn’t known for sunny days – in some parts of the country the sun may not make an appearance for months at a time. Vitamin D is absorbed through the skin, and sunlight is its primary source. This means that you are more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency during the gray winter months. If you have lower levels of the sunshine vitamin, you are at higher risk of experiencing a heart attack or developing heart disease, osteoporosis, Parkinson's disease, and dementia. More than one study has indicated that if you have decreased levels of vitamin D you’re two times as likely to suffer stroke or heart attack as someone with higher levels. If you can’t find a way to get 15 minutes of sun daily, you may want to talk to your doctor about increasing your vitamin D level with supplements.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

You may know them as the winter blues, but another issue related to the weather and sunshine is Seasonal Affective Disorder, appropriately called SAD. Up to one in five Americans experience the onset of depressive symptoms associated with SAD during the fall and winter months which may include sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, irritability, fatigue, guilt, a lack of energy, and thoughts of suicide. Not everyone affected by SAD has the same symptoms, and there are variations in the number of people who experience the condition depending on geographic location. The causes of SAD are still unknown, but some experts link the condition to an imbalance in serotonin and melatonin, the chemicals in the brain that regulate sleep, mood, and energy levels. Fortunately for those suffering from SAD, increased exposure to artificial light seems to alleviate some of the symptoms. The disorder also tends to subside as the sunnier summer months approach.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

As the temperature drops and the thermostat rises, heating costs skyrocket. Many of us try to offset this by lighting a fire in the fireplace, firing up wood and gas stoves, or plugging in kerosene or electric heaters. These heating methods have the potential to produce carbon monoxide, a deadly, invisible odorless gas. Over 400 Americans die annually from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning. For fireplace users, have your chimney and flue inspected annually and cleaned as necessary. If you haven’t already, install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Be cautious when using space heaters, keeping them at least three feet away from anything flammable. Kerosene stove users should crack a window open to be on the safe side, and never use a gas stove, charcoal grill, or any other device that wasn’t designed specifically for indoor home heating. Finally, keep and maintain a functioning fire extinguisher that can be used to put out a variety of different types of fires.

Hypothermia

When you are out in the cold for long periods of time, your body temperature can to drop to dangerously low levels. If it dips below 95 degrees, you may experience hypothermia, which can affect your ability to move or to think clearly. Older adults are more susceptible to hypothermia because they tend to produce less body heat than younger people (the same is true for infants). People who consume alcohol outdoors may also have difficulty discerning when the temperature becomes too low. As the effects of hypothermia kick in, you may feel disoriented, tired, and confused, leading to uncontrollable shivering. The best way to recover during these milder early stages is to warm up again using blankets. If untreated, people experiencing hypothermia eventually stop shivering or feeling cold, developing dilated pupils and blue skin and, finally, losing consciousness. In these late stages, direct medical treatment involving warm fluids administered intravenously, blankets, and warming lights is required.

Staying safe and warm during the long, cold winter months doesn’t have to be difficult, especially not when you have your local FastMed Urgent Care facility to help. Play it safe and keep our number handy – you’ll be glad you did!

 

Signs Your Cold Has Turned into a Sinus Infection [INFOGRAPHIC]

0 Comment(s) |

Winter means the return of one of the oldest enemies known to humanity: the common cold. This ever-present pest can take all the fun out of the winter months, but it is definitely preferable to its cousin, sinusitis, better known simply as a sinus infection. Sinus infection follows on the heels of the common cold, and it can cause a lot more misery than its predecessor. But how can you tell when a cold has transitioned into a sinus infection? Use our simple guide to catch the warning signs.

Signs Your Cold Has Turned into a Sinus Infection

Only a Cold

There are several symptoms that colds and sinus infections have in common. They both present with coughing, persistent headaches, and sneezing. These symptoms are often accompanied by a stuffy nose, sore throat, fever, and an overall sense of fatigue.

Sinus Infection

When colds transition into sinusitis, you get to keep all of the symptoms you were already enduring, then toss some new ones into the mix. That headache is only going to get worse, but now you will experience a sense of pressure from behind your eyes and a sense of dizziness when you move around. Your fever will kick it up a notch, and your sinuses will begin to generate thick, yellow-green mucus. This will lead to postnasal drip, which will further aggravate your sore throat.

If you think you may be developing a sinus infection, you don’t need to wait until you start to display these transitional symptoms. It’s not too soon to visit your local FastMed Urgent Care to get on top of your sinus infection before it gets the best of you.

Open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

0 Comment(s) | | by Reuel Heyden |

FastMed Urgent Care clinics are here for you!
We are open 365 days a year including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.*

Please click HERE to contact your nearest FastMed for hours!

*NOTE: Individual FastMed clinics’ treatment hours vary by location. Please check your local FastMed clinic website page or call the clinic prior to your visit.

Rockingham, NC Residents Welcome New FastMed Urgent Care

0 Comment(s) | | by Reuel Heyden |

FastMed in Rockingham

New, Convenient Care
Just before the close of 2014, residents of Rockingham, North Carolina have a new, convenient urgent care clinic. FastMed, North Carolina’s largest urgent care network, has opened its 51st full service, state-of-the-art urgent care clinic in Rockingham, North Carolina December 30. FastMed has 86 clinics nationally.

FastMed welcomes local residents to stop by the clinic, meet the providers and medical staff, take a tour of the clinic, and receive their seasonal flu shot free (while vaccine supplies last) as FastMed’s special grand opening promotion.

FastMed will be located in East Rockingham off of East Broad Street (74 Bus.) and less than a mile from First Health Richmond Memorial Hospital. Visit FastMed Urgent Care Rockingham’s webpage HERE for contact information, hours, directions and clinic details.


Access to Urgent Medical Treatment
FastMed will provide greater access to care in Rockingham and work closely with First Health Richmond Memorial Hospital as well as other local family doctors and medical specialists in Rockingham to serve the urgent medical needs of Rockingham’s residents.


Treatment Options
FastMed Urgent Care is open 365 days a year offering treatment of urgent illnesses and injuries including:

  • The Flu, Colds and Viral Illnesses
  • Bronchitis, Pneumonia and Respiratory Illness
  • Asthma, Allergic Reactions and Dermatologic / Acne evaluations
  • Sprains and Strains
  • Fracture Evaluation (Digital X-ray)
  • Cuts, Scrapes and Burns
  • Stitches and Minor Surgery
  • School, Sports and Camp Physicals
  • Immunizations and Vaccinations (including flu shots)
  • Labs and Rapid Testing for Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), Strep Throat, Pregnancy, and the Flu
  • EKGs and IV treatment

In Network and Accepting Direct-pay Patients
FastMed is in network and accepts all major insurance plans and also offers direct-pay patients the option of a Discount Program. For more information on the insurances accepted click HERE or on FastMed’s Discount Program click HERE.


Commitment to Quality Patient Care
FastMed Urgent Care is committed to the health and safety of patients through FastMed’s compliance with and accreditation through The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization and the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

FastMed Urgent Care has been 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. This means FastMed patients can expect high quality care through adherence to The Joint Commission’s standards.

These standards of care include:

  • Clinical Systems
  • Billing and Adjudication
  • Electronic Medical Records
  • Health Screening Procedures
  • Immunization Processes
  • Patient Discharge
  • Customer Service

For more information on Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in ambulatory health care click HERE.

FastMed Exam Room Rockingham

Foodborne Pathogens and the Illnesses They Cause

0 Comment(s) |

Foodborne Pathogens and the Illnesses They Cause

Foodborne illnesses are one of the most common public health issues. They’re also one of the most preventable. Every year, one in six Americans becomes ill by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. The source of contamination are disease-causing microbes known as pathogens. Let’s look at four of the most common foodborne illnesses (there are more than 250!), along with their symptoms, their gestation period, and how long you can expect to experience symptoms.

Novoviruses

These viruses are highly contagious and can be communicated via anyone who is infected or even by touching a contaminated surface. It can also be transmitted through contaminated water or foods like raw produce or shellfish. Your stomach, intestines, or both become inflamed, leading to cramps, nausea, diarrhea, fever, headache, and vomiting. This can be especially serious for young children and older adults. Novovirus symptoms take a 12 to 48 hours to present, and have usually run their course within 12 to 60 hours.

E. coli

Escherichia coli bacteria, better-known as E. coli, are usually harmless. We have them in our intestinal tracts to keep us healthy. But some E. coli are pathogenic, and these are the bacteria that cause illness when they’re outside of the intestinal tract. E. coli can be transmitted can be transmitted through contaminated water or foods (like undercooked beef or unpasteurized dairy) or through contact with people or animals. Symptoms include severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea, which is often bloody. E. coli takes up to 10 days to incubate and can last from five to 10 days, although you’ll probably feel better within six to eight days.

Salmonella

Salmonella bacteria cause an infection called Salmonellosis. These bacteria can be transmitted via raw poultry, eggs, unpasteurized dairy, and some raw produce. Symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and fever that begin to present 12 to 72 hours after exposure. The bug usually lasts for four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. In serious cases, however, diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration and may require hospitalization.

Campylobacter

Campylobacteriosis is caused by Campylobacter bacteria that is transmitted through raw or undercooked poultry or unpasteurized milk. It causes fever, abdominal pain, cramping, and diarrhea which may be bloody. Symptoms begin two to five days after exposure, and the illness typically lasts for about a week.

Call or visit your local FastMed Urgent Care at the first sign of any foodborne illness symptoms. Our staff is always ready to help you get on the speediest road to recovery. We’re open 365 days a year, 7 days a week!