How to prevent and treat frostnip, frostbite, and hypothermia during a Michigan winter

How to prevent and treat frostnip, frostbite, and hypothermia during a Michigan winter

As our Michigan temperatures dip into the teens and lower, not dressing properly or staying in the cold too long can be dangerous. Here are some tips to keep yourself and your family safe during the cold weather season.

“When temperatures are in the teens or lower, be sure to cover all of your extremities,” said Dr. Haidar Al-Saadi, Lakes Urgent Care medical director. “Be aware that the parts of your body farthest away from your heart are most susceptible to frost bite: your ears, nose, fingers, and toes are especially prone to frostbite.”

Dress in layers, keep every part of your body covered and be aware of the first signs of frostbite, which is called frost nip. Frostnip occurs before bite. If you picture your extremities in layers, frostnip happens when the first few layers of tissue are frozen. For frostbite, the entire body part, most commonly fingers and toes, is frozen through and tissue begins to die.

If you suspect frostnip or bite, run the extremity under warm water for 20 minutes. Never use hot water or rub the finger or toes to increase circulation. If, after 20 minutes, there is pain or no feeling at all, it’s time to head to a certified urgent care such as Lakes Urgent Care or the emergency department of your nearest hospital.

Prolonged exposure to cold weather can also lead to hypothermia, which occurs when your body begins to lose heat faster than it’s produced. Your body gives plenty of warning to get warmed up before serious problems set in. “We see hypothermia in our more vulnerable populations such as the elderly, those who are significantly immunocompromised, those with dementia and those with mental illness,” said Dr. Al-Saadi. “Depending on their mental status, they might not know they’re cold, which can lead to hypothermia.”

Holiday Kitchen Safety Tips

Holiday Kitchen Safety Tips

Mother, daughter, and grandmother cooking together in a small kitchen.According to the American Red Cross, cooking is the number one cause of home fires. As the holiday season nears, the kitchen increasingly becomes the heart of the home, with family and friends gathering for meals and celebrations, and it’s easy to get distracted and make a mistake resulting in a cut or burn.

“For serious burns in the kitchen, a good rule of thumb is if blisters develop, it is likely a second degree burn, and you should seek medical attention right away,” said Lakes Urgent Care medical director, Dr. Haidar Al-Saadi. “For kitchen cuts, if the wound will not stop bleeding after a few minutes of applying direct pressure, it is likely that the wound will require more acute care and treatment. We can take care of minor burns and cuts easily and quickly, no appointment needed at either Lakes Urgent Care location in West Bloomfield or Livonia.”

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice, these easy holiday kitchen safety tips from Lakes Urgent Care will keep you and your family safe this season:

  1. Make the kitchen a kids-free zone during holiday gatherings: children and pets can easily get underfoot or distract you and cause accidents. Consider using pet gates or other means to create a boundary. At the very least, keep them away from the stove!
  2. Don’t wear loose clothing or sleeves that dangle while cooking – that baggy Thanksgiving sweater with the 3D sequined turkey isn’t ideal when working around open flames.
  3. You’ve got knives and open flames – maybe take it easy on the cocktails!
  4. Install a smoke alarm in or near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year if your smoke alarm requires it.
  5. Purchase a fire extinguisher and keep it in an easy-to-reach location in your kitchen.
  6. If you are cooking anything on the stove top, never leave it unattended – stay in the kitchen. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove top, or deputize a family member to keep watch for you.
  7. If there’s more than one person working the kitchen at one time, make sure to communicate clearly and be aware of your surroundings – always announce if you are walking behind someone, or if you’re carrying a hot pan or sharp knife, to avoid collisions.
  8. Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  9. Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.

If you ignore all of our advice and end up with a cooking-related injury this season, know that both of our Lakes Urgent Care locations in West Bloomfield and Livonia are open seven days a week, including holidays! We are fully capable of treating your kitchen knife cuts and minor burns quickly and professionally.

Now’s the time for your 2023 flu vaccine

Now’s the time for your 2023 flu vaccine

2023 flu shot

Let’s start with some good news: according to a recent article in Time magazine, the 2023 flu vaccine is expected to work well this year. By watching flu activity and effectiveness of this year’s vaccine in the southern part of the world, where the flu first appears each year, the World Health Organization found that the 2023 flu vaccine should be effective againstthis year’s flu virus.

“Getting a flu shot remains your best defense against serious illness and a possible trip to the hospital,” said Lakes Urgent Care medical director Dr. Haidar Al-Saadi. “There is absolutely no way that you can get the flu from getting a flu shot, And while there’s no guarantee that getting a flu shot will prevent you from getting the flu, your symptoms will likely be milder if you are vaccinated.”

Lakes Urgent Care makes it easy for you and everyone in your family to get a flu shot, no appointment needed at our West Bloomfield or Livonia locations.

In addition to the standard dose (appropriate for everyone six months and older), Lakes Urgent Care also offers a “high dose” version which is recommended for adults over the age of 65. This vaccine is comprised of 3 types of flu strains in the formulation (known as trivalent).

Current medical recommendations indicate that it’s best to get your flu shot sometime after October 1st.

In particular, patients over the age of 65 may be negatively impacted by getting the flu vaccine too early in the season. The vaccine stimulates our immune systems to create antibodies to fight against influenza. However, those antibodies may have a limited period of effectiveness.  If the vaccine is provided too early in the season, it may lose some of this effectiveness if we experience a late flu season. The flu season typically begins around November or December, with peak activity in January and February. Should there be a slight delay in that pattern, it’s possible that the vaccine’s effectiveness may not be as good as it could have been if provided too early in the season, say in August or September.

A rapid RSV test is available at Lakes Urgent Care – Should you be tested?

A rapid RSV test is available at Lakes Urgent Care – Should you be tested?

Doctor examining babyA rapid RSV test that delivers results in ten minutes is now available at Lakes Urgent Care in West Bloomfield and Livonia. RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) is a very contagious infection that affects the respiratory tract. In addition to being very contagious, RSV is also very common. Usually, RSV symptoms are mild and feel like a common cold.

“For most of us, RSV testing is not needed,” said Lakes Urgent Care medical director Dr. Haidar Al-Saadi. “Just like a cold, your symptoms will be gone in a few days. But if you have an infant at home who seems to be having a hard time breathing, is not eating, or is not moving normally, these may be symptoms of RSV and we recommend having your child tested.”

RSV can also lead to serious breathing problems for adults older than 65, those with heart or lung disease, or those with a compromised immune system. “If you fit any of these categories and you are experiencing severe breathing issues, wheezing, and/or have a fever, you should get tested,” said Dr. Al-Saadi.

Our rapid RSV test will provide results within 10 minutes. “If the test is positive, says Dr. Al-Saadi,  “we will make a determination if hospitalization is needed. There is no medication that needs to be taken, but if you don’t need hospitalization, we will provide advice on how to manage through it at home.”

Summer Safety Tips from Lakes Urgent Care

At Lakes Urgent Care, our mission is to provide excellent medical care when your only other option is an expensive trip to a hospital’s emergency department. We are on call until 6pm on Tuesday, July 4th should you need us. Otherwise, both Lakes Urgent Care locations in West Bloomfield and Livonia are open until 10pm every weekday and until 8pm on weekends. Should your summer fun lead to an accident, we are here for you.

Here are some tips to help you and your family stay safe and enjoy another great Michigan Summer:

Protect yourself from the sun: While choosing the best sunscreen is important, even more crucial is using it correctly — something a lot of us don’t do. Sunscreen is best applied before going outdoors and before planned activity. Once outdoors, it is best to reapply sunscreen again following swimming or participating in an activity where you may sweat. Although some sunscreen products claim they remain effective after swimming, it is always best to reapply sunscreen after drying off. The FDA defines water-resistant sunscreen as meaning that the SPF level stays effective after 40 minutes in the water. Sunscreens are in no way waterproof, so you’ll need to reapply them regularly after you take a dip.

Wearing a hat and sunglasses with UV-A and UV-B type filtering and some sun protection clothing is always recommended which is more effective than just sunscreen alone.

Hydrate: Most of us don’t drink enough water every day and there are plenty of benefits to making sure you are well-hydrated. Eight glasses of water a day is the right amount for some people, but depending on your weight and age, you may need more. The medical research center at the Mayo Clinic devised a formula to help you to come up with your own optimal daily water consumption amount: divide your weight by 2.2. Multiply that number by your age. Finally, divide that sum by 28.3. For example, if you weigh 170 pounds and are 50 years old, you should consume 136 ounces of water each day which equals 17 eight ounce cups. This may seem like a lot of water, but remember that coffee, juice, and the water in fruits and vegetables also count towards this amount. Coffee does not cause dehydration, but drinking alcohol will dehydrate your body.

Keep the mosquitos away: At best, mosquitoes are incredibly annoying and make us itchy. At worst, they can spread disease. To keep them away, start by making sure that there is no standing water on your property our near where you gather outdoors.

One simple and inexpensive solution is something called a “mosquito dunk.” They have pros and cons, so read this article about mosquito dunks first before you decide if they are right for your property.

A more expensive, but well-rated mosquito deterrent is the Thermacell. This unit works well for keeping mosquitos away when relaxing at night on an outdoor patio or deck.

If you are out and about when mosquitoes are most active, consider wearing light fabric clothing that covers your arms and legs and/or applying a good mosquito repellent. Studies have shown that mosquitoes are more attracted to dark colored clothing. “Mosquitoes really like dark, black colors,” Jeff Riffell, Ph.D., a biology professor at the University of Washington and one of the study’s authors. “What that might indicate is that they are really sensitive to desiccation or losing water, and so they want to find dark, shady areas to rest.” You can learn more about mosquitos and how to keep them at bay in this article from VERIFY.

 

Your guide to the 2023 spring allergy season

Your guide to the 2023 spring allergy season

According to recent articles in the Washington Post, Forbes and many other national media publications, the 2023 spring allergy season is starting earlier than ever due to the effects of climate change, which is changing the pattern of when trees, plants, and grass spring to life.

If you suffer from spring allergies, you’ll want to start taking your medication sooner than you might have in the past. Taking your medication before symptoms appear helps your body to keep the misery from getting out of hand. Check here for today’s pollen count in our area courtesy of Map My Air.

“We perform an assessment of your symptoms, prescribe a custom treatment plan, and are available for follow up care, said Lakes Urgent Care medical director Dr. Haidar Al-Saadi. “At Lakes Urgent Care, we can also make sure your symptoms are caused by allergies and not something else, like a deviated septum or sinus infection.”

Instead of guessing which over the counter medication is best for your unique symptoms, plan an annual visit with your primary care physician to review what you did the year before, what worked, and what didn’t. And you can always consult with us at Lakes Urgent Care any time, no appointment needed. If we saw you last year for allergy care, we can also review how things went and adjust your medication plan as needed for the 2023 spring allergy season.

“If spring allergies give you asthma symptoms, sustained use of bronchodilators such as albuterol have been widely proven to be both safe and effective.” said Dr. Al-Saadi.

Spring allergies are less severe in Detroit

Here’s some good news. If you suffer from spring allergy symptoms,  you’ll be much less miserable here in metro Detroit than just about anywhere else in the country. According to a new study done by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, out of 100 cities tested nationwide, metro Detroit was the sixth-best city for fewest allergens in the air, patient medication use, and patient access to an allergy specialist.

There are a few proactive things you can always do to minimize your spring allergy symptoms. In your home, keep windows closed and rely on your home’s heating and cooling system along with good quality air filters and dehumidifiers to reduce symptoms while indoors or sleeping. When coming in from any outdoor activity, showering and changing your clothes can help reduce your exposure to allergens. If you can determine the specific allergens that trigger your symptoms, this can help you reduce or potentially eliminate exposure to the elements that cause you grief.

The Pros and Cons of Telemedicine

The Pros and Cons of Telemedicine

Telemedicine at Lakes Urgent CareRemote work, Zoom meetings, and telemedicine are all here to stay. Here’s how to know when a telemedicine call with your health care provider is appropriate and when it’s not.

The COVID pandemic changed the way we work and communicate. And telemedicine, or telehealth, which enables video or phone appointments between a patient and their health care provider, is now an accepted and safe way for you to communicate with your doctor. A telemedicine visit can minimize the spread of infectious diseases by allowing the patient and provider to communicate remotely. But as described in an article from Harvard Health, it does have its limitations.

“Telemedicine can be a great tool, but only under very specific circumstances,” said Lakes Urgent Care medical director, Dr. Haidar Al-Saadi. “Because of the services we provide and the treatments we offer at Lakes Urgent care, we’re almost always going to want to see you in the office.” If you’d like to set up a remote call with Lakes Urgent Care, contact us first to discuss your health concerns, and one of our providers will be able to determine if a call is appropriate.”

Lakes Urgent Care now provides telemedicine appointments, but the best application of a this type of  appointment is as a follow-up to a previous in-person visit. It’s also a great way to discuss a new concern with your primary care physician, who is already familiar with your health history.

Click here for more information about scheduling a telemedicine visit with a Lakes Urgent Care provider.

Does Light Therapy Effectively Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Does Light Therapy Effectively Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Woman using light therapy to treat seasonal depressionSeasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is a type of depression that occurs during the cloudy fall and winter months.  If you think you might be suffering from SAD, Light therapy is a treatment option that might be right for you. This treatment involves exposure to bright, full-spectrum light, usually from a specialized light box, for a certain amount of time each day. The goal is to mimic the effects of natural sunlight and regulate your body’s circadian rhythm.

The use of light therapy for SAD was first proposed in the 1980s, and since then, numerous studies have evaluated its effectiveness. The results have been promising, with many patients reporting improvement in their symptoms after just a few weeks of treatment. In fact, light therapy is now considered to be a first-line treatment for SAD by the American Psychiatric Association.

The reason why light therapy works is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to the regulation of melatonin, a hormone that plays a role in regulating your body’s sleep-wake cycle. In SAD patients, melatonin levels are often elevated during the day, leading to feelings of fatigue and depression. By exposing SAD patients to bright light, the therapy may help to reduce melatonin levels and improve mood.

Light therapy is typically administered using a light box, which is a device that emits bright light. The patient sits or works near the light box for a certain period of time each day, usually in the morning. The duration of treatment and the intensity of the light varies based on the severity of symptoms.

Light therapy should not be used as a substitute for other treatments such as counseling or medication. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any treatment, especially if you have a history of bipolar disorder or other psychiatric conditions. Side effects are generally mild, but can include headaches, eye strain, and nausea.

If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) Light therapy can be an effective treatment option. Talk to your healthcare professional, or visit us at Lakes Urgent Care in West Bloomfield or Livonia, to see if it’s right for you.

Feeling stuffed up? Try a neti pot.

Feeling stuffed up? Try a neti pot.

A neti pot can bring you relief from nasal congestionDo cold, sinus, or allergy symptoms have you all stuffed up? A neti pot could bring you relief. Neti pots have been around for a long time, and they are easy to use. According to a recent article in the New York Times, a substantial amount of medical research confirms that, when administered correctly, using a neti pot is both safe and effective.

Your nose does a great job of trapping and filtering much of the bad stuff we all inhale each day, such as viruses, bacteria, and pollutants. But if you are congested, rinsing the sinus cavities with a warm saline solution will wash it all away, and can help you feel better without the use of drugs or medications.

You can pick up a neti pot online or at any local drugstore. Fill it with a saline solution made with distilled water, tilt your head, and pour the spot through one nostril and it flushes out the mucous and other irritants that are causing discomfort and difficulty breathing out the other.

“It’s important to always use distilled water when using a neti pot,” said Lakes Urgent Care medical director Dr. Haidar Al-Saadi. “There have been many instances of infections caused by using regular tap water, but if you always use distilled water you are safe. You can also boil tap water for three to five minutes and let it cool before using.” Before using a neti pot for the first time, here’s a step by step guide from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for making the saline solution with the distilled water.

If you have chronic sinus or congestion issues, regular and consistent use of a neti pot can help you feel better. If you still need help, the staff at Lakes Urgent Care in West Bloomfield or Livonia can offer additional treatment options.

RSV cases are on the rise in the Detroit area. Here’s what you need to know.

RSV cases are on the rise in the Detroit area. Here’s what you need to know.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Here in metro Detroit, and across the country, cases of RSV are showing up earlier and with more frequency than usual this year. RSV is nothing new. It stands for Respiratory Syncytial Virus, and it’s a common cause of typical cold-like symptoms. People who get infected with RSV get a runny nose, cough, and fever, and are contagious for three to eight days.

We are hearing about RSV in the news right now because the virus is showing up in our population earlier this year, there are more cases than usual, and some have produced more severe patient reactions, according to a recent article in AOL News. A November 3, 2022 story in Patch reports that they are seeing a “sharp increase in RSV cases within the last month.”

“This surge of RSV is the worst that we’ve seen in 25 years,” said Dr. Matthew Denenberg, chief and chair of Beaumont Children’s at Corewell Health East (formerly Beaumont Health system) as reported in recently in Crain’s Detroit. Crain’s went on to report that Corewell East’s eight hospitals have 90 pediatric beds and 12 intensive-care unit beds. All are full.

“If your child is having difficulty breathing, immediately go to your primary care physician’s office or local emergency department right away. In severe cases, the patient will receive oxygen, breathing treatments, and steroids,” said Lakes Urgent Care medical director, Dr. Al-Saadi. “For most children and adults, a case of RSV will result in nothing more than typical cold symptoms,” said Dr. Al-Saadi. We offer an RSV test at our offices in West Bloomfield and Livonia. We can also provide a treatment plan to lessen the symptoms.”

Respiratory Syncytial Virus is most dangerous with infants, older adults, and anyone who is prone to a severe lung infection. Babies and small children, who are most vulnerable to RSV were sheltered from virus during pandemic lockdowns and safety precautions are encountering RSV for the first time.

The best defense against RSV is to do all the things that always help you from getting sick. Wash your hands. Cough/sneeze into your shoulder. If you are feeling sick, stay home and avoid contact with small children. If you must be around others or small children, mask up. If you are the parent of a small child, pay extra attention to their surrounds and avoid putting them in contact with others who may be sick.