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Cold and Flu Season is Here

With cold and flu season amost here one of the frequently asked questions from patients is, “when should I get vaccinated?” The answer is, you should get a flu vaccine before flu begins spreading in your community.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins.

CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout flu season, even into January or later.

Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.

To schedule your flu shot contact your primary care clinician. (Schedule below).

Should you get sick know that you can be treated at one of our ExpressCare locations. (Andover or Riverwalk/ Lawrence) visit https://pmaonline.com/express-care/ to schedule an appointment online and for site hours.

 

8 Ways to Treat Sunburn at Home

Home remedies for sunburn

Summer’s here, and that means it’s time to head outside and soak up the sun. However, along with the all those hours spent outdoors during the summer season, there usually comes one inevitable thing: sunburn. Fortunately, for all of us, there are plenty of household items you can use to cool the burning, itching, and peeling that come with damage from the sun.

Keep reading to learn about home remedies that can help heal and soothe your skin.

Cool water

Sunburn, basically, is inflammation of the skin. One of the easiest ways to treat inflammation is to cool down the affected area. An effective way to immediately help sunburn, even while you are still outside, is to hop in the water, whether it is an ocean, lake, or stream. Dipping in and out throughout the day can help keep sunburn from worsening. Be wary of pools, as chlorinated water can irritate the skin more. You should also avoid directly applying ice. Although it may look appealing when your skin is burning, it could actually cause even more damage to your extra-sensitive sunburned skin.

You can also try hopping in the bath to help cool and soothe your skin.

Baking soda and oatmeal

Throwing a few heaping tablespoons of baking soda into a bathtub full of cool water and soaking for about 15 to 20 minutes helps minimize sun damage. Adding a cup of oats to the bath also soothes irritation and helps the skin retain its natural moisture.

Do not scrub your skin, either in the bath or after getting out. Dab yourself dry with a towel — do not rub.

Aloe vera

If you do not have an aloe vera plant in your house, you should get one. The gel inside this succulent plant has been used for centuries for all sorts of ailments, from upset stomachs to kidney infections. It is also the sunburn relief most commonly found over the counter.

Breaking off a chunk of the plant and applying the gel directly to the skin provides immediate, soothing relief from the sting of minor sunburn. If you can’t get your hands on a plant, try a 100 percent aloe vera gel (not an aloe-based lotion or ointment). You can find these gels in most pharmacies.

Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea can be soothing to your spirit, but it can also soothe your sunburned skin. Brew the tea as you normally would and let it cool. When it is ready, soak a washcloth in it and apply it to the affected area.

If you are allergic to pollen, you should not use this treatment. It may cause an allergic reaction in your skin.

Vinegar

Opinions are mixed about using vinegar for sunburn relief. Some say adding two cups of vinegar to cool bath water can help take the sting out of burn, while others say the high acidity in vinegar only makes things worse. If you haven’t used the treatment before on smaller, lighter sunburns, it’s best not to try it for larger, more serious burns.

Wear loose clothing

As your skin is repairing itself, make sure to wear clothing that doesn’t stick to your skin. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so it’s best to give it some room to breathe as it heals from a major traumatic episode like sunburn. Natural fibers, such as cotton or bamboo, make for the best post-sunburn coverings.

Drink lots of water

As your skin is battling the damage from the sun’s rays, it needs moisture that it lost during your time out in the sun. If you aren’t already drinking your eight glasses of water a day, a nasty sunburn should be reason enough to get you to start doing so.

Don’t forget the moisturizer

After the initial treatment, you skin will still need some tender loving care. One of the most important things you can do to prevent skin from peeling — or at least keep it to a minimum — is to regularly apply moisturizer to the affected areas. Use scent- and dye-free moisturizer (marketed for “sensitive skin”) to keep skin irritation to a minimum.

Get more information

Stay hydrated, keep cool, and if the sunburn is too painful, you can take some ibuprofen. You should also make sure you stay covered up next time you go outside so your sunburn isn’t exposed to even more sun. Call your clinician or visit ExpressCare  if a sunburn causes you to have a fever or if you are showing signs of dehydration.

And remember, the easiest way to treat sunburn is to avoid it.

Cite: https://www.healthline.com/health/sunburn

 

How to Prevent Sport Injuries in Children

Sports may be fun for kids and parents, but accidents happen. Around one in three children in the US who participate in sports will miss a game this year due to a sports-related injury. How can you minimize your child’s risk of injury at the next game? Here are some ideas to keep in mind:

Continue reading “How to Prevent Sport Injuries in Children”

Worker’s Compensation with Pentucket

Why Choose ExpressCare for Your Employees?

 

Urgent Care

 It is likely that you will have employees who experience an injury or illness while at work which can negatively affect productivity, and ultimately, your bottom line.  Sending them to Pentucket ExpressCare is a quick and convenient option.   

Continue reading “Worker’s Compensation with Pentucket”

ExpressCare Goes Extra Mile For Walk-In Patient Follow Up

Since Pentucket Medical ExpressCare at RiverWalk opened five years ago, a score of walk-in treatment offices have sprung up around the area. Yet from the start, ExpressCare has provided a service that no other clinic can begin to offer: concierge referrals. 

As many as half of patients need to follow up with another physician or diagnostic resource after being seen at ExpressCare. It might be anything from a consult with their primary care doctor, seeing an orthopedist for a broken bone, care from a neurologist or ear nose & throat doc – the list goes on and on.  Before leaving ExpressCare, these patients receive a seamless handoff to whatever specialty medical help or test they require.  Continue reading “ExpressCare Goes Extra Mile For Walk-In Patient Follow Up”

ExpressCare Receives a Partners in Excellence award in Quality Treatment & Service.

We are very pleased to share that the Pentucket Medical ExpressCare Staff have received a 2015 Partners in Excellence award in Quality Treatment and Service.

A congratulatory letter from Dr. Torchiana was sent to the homes of the team leaders this week:

“As we celebrate the 20th annual Partners in Excellence awards program, we are especially proud to present this highly esteemed award to individuals and teams for their exemplary performance and for contributions “above and beyond the call of duty” to Partners HealthCare and our member institutions.”

Congratulations to Dr. Bomba and the entire Pentucket Medical ExpressCare staff for their recognition and hard work!

‘If it hadn’t been for them, I wouldn’t be here today’

pma-1
Happy Reunion: Patient Andrea Wheaton (third from left) with ExpressCare team members Ana Miranda, MA, Jenny Evans, PA, and George Summerlin, MA.

Waking on the morning of May 19th, out of breath and heart racing, Andrea Wheaton knew she needed medical attention. Looking back on it now, the 62-year-old Registered Nurse sheepishly admits that she should have called an ambulance, but ExpressCare was just down the street from her North Andover home. She drove. 

“The receptionist took one look at me,” she says. “I guess my color was terrible. Someone came immediately out of the clinic and took me in, I was never even checked in.”

Front-line staff are watchful for potentially life-threatening situations, says Garrett Bomba, MD, Medical Director of ExpressCare. 

“Any patient is brought immediately back to the doctor,” he says, “if they present with signs of distress, or tell us that they have any symptoms that suggest a more serious condition.”

It’s a policy that Andrea credits with saving her life. 

Medical Assistant George Summerlin brought Andrea into Room 12, took her vitals and triaged her, immediately alerting Physician Assistant Jenny Evans. 

“I found Andrea short of breath and sweaty,” Jenny recalls, “…and her vitals were abnormal – we were concerned she had lung or heart problem that needed to be emergently addressed. Because her vitals were abnormal we did an EKG, which wasn’t normal either. We gave her some aspirin just in case she was having a heart event. Her oxygen was low so I was thinking pneumonia, but her lungs were clear. She’d had recent surgery we were worried about a lung clot, having no idea that the clot was as big as it turned out to be.”

“She agreed to go to the hospital,” Jenny continues, “and that was the last we heard of her until she came to see me. She came in after she was discharged, before an appointment with Dr. Goldman. She told me what had happened and thanked me.” 

“When I got to Lawrence General,” Andrea says, “The back pressure from the lung was so bad, they thought I was having a heart attack.  They called Dr. (Seth) Bilazarian, who did a D Dimer – a test for blood clots then they sent me to for a CT scan. My right lung completely occluded by blood clots, and the left was down to 25 percent clear.” 

“As a nurse,“ Andrea says, “I’ve seen people die from just one blood clot. The clotting I had was massive. I realized how serious this was when the hospital had my daughter come in to co-sign a living will, DNR and health care proxy.”

Andrea stopped in at ExpressCare recently to say hello and have her photo taken with some of the staff who helped her back in May. She said she was returning to work the next day. 

“I just can’t say enough about the way I was cared for at ExpressCare,” says Andrea. “Right from the front staff… I never felt like they were interested in money, just making sure I’d be OK… all the way to Jenny – if had not been for them, I wouldn’t be here today.” 

How to Treat Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds can be caused by many things such as physical trauma, allergies, or underlying diseases that affect the blood. While nosebleeds are usually minor, it is still important to properly treat them otherwise they can cause major issues.

1. Do NOT Tilt Your Head Back

A big misconception and initial reaction when you have a nosebleed is to tilt your head back. This will only cause you to swallow blood, which can have worse effects than the nosebleed itself. You should sit down in a chair and actually lean your head slightly forward.

2. Apply Pressure

Next you need to pinch the soft part of your nose with your fingers. The pressure helps the nosebleed to slow down and prevents blood from escaping from your nose.

3. Apply Ice

Applying an ice pack against your nose and cheeks will help to constrict the blood vessels and slow down the nosebleed. It also numbs any pain you may be experiencing. 

4. Take Preventative Measures

Once the nosebleed has stopped, you may want to consider putting a very small amount of ointment, such as Vaseline, in and around your nostrils since dryness and abrasion add to nosebleeds. You’ll want to prevent anything that will instigate another nosebleed such as blowing, wiping, picking or rubbing your nose. 

5. Speak with your doctor

Even though nosebleeds are common for many people, it’s important to check in with a physician especially if:

The bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 minutes of treatment
A nosebleed occurs more than 4 times in a single week
Nosebleeds get more severe/painful
You are on blood-thinning medicine and are getting nosebleeds
You have any conditions that affect blood-clotting, such as liver disease

Call your physician and make an appointment if you have any questions or concerns about your nosebleeds. If you feel you need to see a doctor immediately you can be seen right away at either of our ExpressCare locations.