One of the hardest things about being a parent is knowing when your baby or child needs to see a doctor. Sometimes, the symptoms are so subtle, you can’t easily tell that anything is wrong. Sometimes, you just have to rely on your intuition—when you know that something’s not quite right with your baby or child.
“It’s often one of those ‘better safe than sorry’ scenarios when you bring your child in to be seen by one of our physicians, but you don’t really know what’s wrong,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Regional Medical Director, Dr. Tariq Vora. “Often, it turns out that you were right—there was a medical condition that needed to be addressed.”
At Medco ER & Urgent Care, our board-certified physicians have years of experience in diagnosing both common and uncommon conditions in our youngest patients. With a range of diagnostic tools available in-house, we’re ready to go to work finding out just what is going on with the health of your little one.
Here are 4 steps we take in diagnostics:
1. Medical History
A careful medical history—including the child’s family health history—will be compiled upon your arrival. You will be asked about allergies, a history of chronic conditions, medications and past illnesses. It may be helpful to have a list of information and medications prepared in advance.
2. Physical Information
Your physician will careful examine your son or daughter and will note any information you relay about duration, behavior, fever, pain, sleep disruption and more. You will likely be asked several questions as the exam progresses. “Our physicians are good with kids,” said Dr. Vora. “We establish a rapport with your child and work together to get the needed information about how he or she is feeling.”
3. Rapid Results Labs
If appropriate, your physician may need to run some lab tests to aid in diagnosis. The doctor may require a strep, flu, virus, blood or urine test. Our in-house access to these labs ensures that the results will come in as quickly as possible.
4. Imaging Exams
Your physician may require an advanced diagnostic such as an x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, or EKG. These individualized diagnostic tools are also available in-house so you can have easy access to a range of quality services in one convenient location.
Now that the health concern has been pinpointed by your physician, a personalized treatment plan can be designed especially with your son or daughter in mind.
We offer specialized treatments for everything from:
- Breathing difficulty
- Lacerations or cuts
- Sprain and strain
- Flu and virus
- Unexplained fever
- Blood sugar
- Rash or skin condition
- Digestive issues
Where can I find medical help for my infant or child?
For fast medical help, Medco ER & Urgent Care is on standby, day or night. Our Plano location is easy to access and is open 24/7. Our physicians, experienced in pediatric emergency medicine, are ready to help when you need us.
Our kid-friendly exam rooms, child-sized equipment, no wait access and concierge service will help to ensure a smooth visit so your child feels comfortable and safe while receiving top quality healthcare.
- Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road.
Call us @ 469-392-4000.
The health and wellness of your children is the #1 concern for parents. When they get sick or injured, it’s only natural that you want to take them to the best quality doctors available. At Medco ER & Urgent Care, we are focused on providing the best pediatric healthcare in North Texas.
Babies and children require specialized care, and that’s exactly what we aim to provide. From the time you and your little ones enter our facility until the time you leave, rest assured that you are receiving top-quality pediatric healthcare services from a caring and engaged team of professionals.
We have focused on these top 3 pediatric care services that every parent deserves to have for their children:
1. Board-Certified Physicians
Seeing an advanced provider such as a Physician Assistant or a Nurse Practitioner may be ok at times, but when your child is sick or injured, it’s comforting to know that your doctor is a board-certified physician with years of experience in Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine. “Our physicians are fully capable of treating children with various injuries and ailments,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Regional Medical Director, Dr. Tariq Vora. “And they truly enjoy working with children.”
2. Kid-Friendly Environment
We realize that kids don’t like to wait. Truth be told, adults are not a big fan of waiting either. That is why we have perfected the little-to-no-wait & fast access to service. Within minutes of checking in, your child will be taken to a fun, space themed & kid-friendly exam room that has colorfully decorated walls and interesting things to do. Our concierge service offers a lot of welcoming opportunities and, before the kids realize it, the visit seems to be conveniently over! Now that‘s what we call quality service.
3. The right equipment and labs
Kids are not just small adults, they are unique. That’s why we make sure our face masks are the proper size and are decorated with fun designs suitable for children. We also have a stock of child-friendly equipment that makes it easy to smoothly deliver the necessary diagnostic tests and treatments.
Waiting for a medical diagnosis can be sometimes scary for both you and your children. That is why we offer rapid access to labs such as strep, flu, blood tests and even x-rays right on site. The test results are quickly available for a fast and efficient service. “We have prioritized access to rapid delivery of services to ensure that we can offer some of the best care possible to the children and their parents,” said Dr. Vora.
Where can I find pediatric emergency care?
If your child is sick or injured, don’t worry! Medco ER & Urgent Care is conveniently located close to your home. Injuries and sicknesses can occur anytime, and that’s why we are open—24/7— even on weekends and holidays. We are here and ready to serve you when you need us, with the excellent pediatric care that can help your little one feel all better again.
- 3960 Legacy Drive (corner of Legacy and Coit Road), Plano, TX
Feel free to call us anytime @ 469-392-4000.
Have you ever wondered how a freestanding emergency room differs from an attached hospital ER? The answers may surprise you.
In recent years, freestanding ERs have skyrocketed in popularity in the greater Dallas Fort Worth region as people realize the landslide of advantages freestanding ERs offer over hospital ERs. Since freestanding ERs can address almost all common emergency conditions that you or your family may encounter, the benefits are worth noting.
Here are the top 7 advantages of a freestanding ER:
1. No wait time
Emergencies don’t wait and neither should you. Waiting in a crowded, possibly germ-filled waiting room is a chore that the freestanding ERs have eliminated. Within minutes upon your arrival, you can be shown to a private room. A physician will be immediately alerted to your needs. Our locations are squeaky clean and we always keep patients at safe distances from one another.
2. More face-to-face time with the doctor
Less time waiting and more time spent talking with the doctor is one of the most important benefits of going to a freestanding ER. “Our patients are our top priority. We make sure we can spend all the time you need to make sure you get some of the highest quality care available,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Regional Medical Director, Dr. Tariq Vora.
3. Board-certified physicians standing by
Unlike hospital ERs, you won’t be seen by a physician assistant (PA), medical assistant (MA) or a certified nurse practitioner (CNP). At Medco ER & Urgent Care, you have immediate access to a board-certified physician with years of experience in treating emergency conditions.
4. On-site imaging equipment and labs
Our fast-result labs are available on-site to aid in proper diagnostic and treatment. Getting the answers right away for your medical questions can help speed you on the way to recovery. Cardiac labs are available to diagnose urgent heart conditions. Imaging equipment such as X-rays, EKG and ultrasounds are in-house for fast and accurate diagnosis of your medical condition.
5. Efficient billing
We accept most insurance plans at Medco ER & Urgent Care. Our billing department understands the ins and outs of a myriad of insurance benefits and billing requirements. We will work with you to provide all the help you need to understand your bill and the next steps to take. We do not bill patients for the difference between in-network and out-of-network reimbursement, so there are no unwelcome surprises in your bill.
6. Concierge service
Our hospitality service offers complimentary beverages and snacks. The person who drove you or accompanied you will appreciate our clean waiting room stocked with refreshments. If appropriate, you may also enjoy snacks and a sports drink to unwind and rehydrate during your visit.
7. Courtesy call directly from the doctor after your ER visit
You will be pleased to receive a follow-up phone call from your doctor after you visit our emergency room. We want to track your progress and make sure you are on your way to feeling better.
Which freestanding ER should I go to?
When it comes to receiving fast, friendly and excellent medical care, it’s important to choose the freestanding ER with a stellar reputation. At Medco ER & Urgent Care, we’re proud of our top star ratings that showcase our quality healthcare services.
When you are dealing with an emergency or urgent condition, you need the freestanding ER that’s readily available. “We’re open 24/7 every day of the year to make sure you have the quality care you need at just the right time,” said Dr. Vora.
Where can I find a Medco ER & Urgent Care?
For fast medical help, Medco ER & Urgent Care is available in two convenient locations close to home and work. Visit us any time at:
- Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road. Call us @ 469-392-4000.
- Frisco: 5600 Eldorado Parkway across from McDonald’s and Costco. Call us @ 469-392-4100.
We’ve all seen the memes to combat the coronavirus scare that’s paralyzing the world: “Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands,” and there is a lot of truth to that glib comment. Social media has unending anecdotal remarks to offer in the never-ending quest to keep yourself and your children healthy during this busy flu and coronavirus season. But what do the medical experts have to say?
We’ve compiled our 5 best suggestions for staying healthy and avoiding the flu or coronavirus.
1. Wash your hands the right way
Yes, everyone knows we need to wash our hands frequently during flu season, but it might be a surprise to hear that very few adults do it correctly. Begin with warm water and plenty of soap. Make sure to wash the backs of the hands and the fingernails as well. Wash for 20 seconds, or two rounds of “Happy Birthday.” Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and to open the door.
Take time to remind and reteach your children how to wash the right way and quiz them on opportunities they have at school to wash and to use hand sanitizer. “Hand washing is the #1 way to get rid of coronavirus germs,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Regional Medical Director, Dr. Tariq Vora.
2. Cover up
When you sneeze or cough, use a tissue or cover your mouth with your elbow to block microscopic particles from becoming airborne. Wash or sanitize after sneezing. Some people have opted to wear medical masks in public to reduce the risk of exposure.
3. Avoid contact
Avoid touching your face – eyes, nose, mouth – to reduce the risk of receiving or transmitting germs. If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others. Don’t share eating utensils or glasses. Use your own towels, bedding and clothes and keep them clean. If you know someone who is sick, avoid that person until he or she has been fever-free for at least 24 hours.
4. Build up your immune system
Diets high in refined sugars and starches can weaken immune systems. Limit the amount of sugars and empty carbs you and your children are consuming and opt instead for extra vegetables and fruits at mealtimes and as snacks.
Consider adding foods rich in:
- Vitamin C – kiwis, lemons, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, oranges
- Zinc – dairy, eggs, meat, whole grains, legumes, nuts
5. Develop clever ways to protect your hands from germs
Think through your day. Do you have to touch elevator buttons to get to work? Do you ride an escalator or travel a lot of stairs? Does your store or ATM have a touch screen? Do you share a keyboard with others? How many public doors do you have to open as you go about a typical work day? Do you look at a menu at the restaurant? Begin strategizing how to get through your day with less contact with public surfaces. Do the same for your child.
Gloves, tissues, paper towels, a pencil and other devices can provide a layer of protection as you navigate. A natural antibacterial spray for the air, such as tea tree oil and water, can help cut down airborne germs. And, of course, don’t forget the hand sanitizer for times you have to touch a public surface and don’t have a chance to wash.
When should I go to the ER?
A common variety of flu can be treated with rest, fluids and staying home. Over-the-counter fever reducers, cough suppressants and decongestants may provide some relief. However, secondary infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia can crop up and they require prompt medical attention. As a general rule, if you are still feeling bad after 3 days, seek medical help. If you are having difficulty breathing or have become too dehydrated, go to the nearest emergency room (ER) immediately.
With the coronavirus, symptoms can manifest anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure. If you think you or your child may have contracted this virus, go to the nearest ER immediately. “Because the coronavirus requires containment and medical supervision, it is important that you tell your doctor right away if you think you have contracted the virus,” said Dr. Vora. “Include any information about recent travels and any exposure you may have had.”
Warning signs of coronavirus / COVID-19 include:
- Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
Where can I find help for the flu or virus?
For fast medical help, Medco ER & Urgent Care is available in two convenient locations. We’re always open, day and night, even on holidays. Within minutes of arriving, you will be ushered into a private room and will receive prompt care from a board-certified physician.
- Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road. Call us @ 469-392-4000.
- Frisco: 5600 Eldorado Parkway across from McDonald’s and Costco. Call us @ 469-392-4100.
For those who suffer from common seasonal allergies, the onset of spring—often seen in the first flowers on a sunny day—can bring a chill to their hearts. Pollen, dust, grass, trees, mold and grain are common culprits that can cause an onset of sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, runny noses, sore throats, coughs and congestion. Seasonal allergies can be a bothersome condition, but in some cases, they can become serious very quickly.
“For many people, a proper course of treatment for allergies can be very
straightforward,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Regional Medical Director, Dr. Tariq
Vora. “But for others, an allergy flare-up can unexpectedly get out of hand as the body
overreacts to the allergen and breathing difficulties can be the result. These people
need fast medical intervention.”
The 3 most common courses of treatment can include:
1. Over-the-counter allergy medications
Though they may be hard to find in stock in the spring, antihistamines, decongestants
and nasal sprays are fine once in a while, but can become addictive if used frequently.
Side effects of confusion and anxiety are also possibilities with these medications.
Over-the-counter allergy medications, such as Claritin ® or Zyrtec ® , are designed to be
used frequently, even daily during allergy season. “Check with your doctor if you are
using a lot of antihistamines, nasal sprays, decongestants or allergy pills this spring
since there could be drug interactions or other concerns,” said Dr. Vora.
2. Allergy shots
A regimen of allergy shots, overseen by a general practitioner, can provide long-term
relief from seasonal allergies, but at a much slower pace. These series of shots, that
desensitize the body to specific allergens, are spread out over one to five years and can
take as many as two years to see an improvement in the patient’s condition.
3. Prescription medications
There are several prescription medications that can treat the symptoms of severe
allergies that should be supervised by a physician. Anticholinergic nasal sprays,
corticosteroids, mast cell stabilizers and leukotriene inhibitors are some of the types of
medication available with a prescription.
When should I go to the ER with my allergies?
“Some people may be hesitant to go to the ER for something like allergies, but if they
are experiencing a severe reaction to allergens, they need to come in immediately,” said
Dr. Vora. “It’s one of those things where you should come in right away when breathing
becomes strained rather than waiting too long in the hopes that it will go away.”
The risk of anaphylaxis is present whenever a patient has serious seasonal allergies. It
can be a sudden-onset condition that can be life threatening. If you or someone you
love are experiencing any of these warning signs, go to the nearest emergency room
Warning signs include:
- Tightness in chest
- Difficulty breathing or straining to breathe
- Sudden weakness
- Rapid, weak pulse
- Dizziness or fainting
Where can I find help for seasonal allergies?
If your seasonal allergies require medical attention, Medco ER & Urgent Care is open
24/7 to help you. Our board-certified physicians and attentive staff are waiting to provide
the fast, quality medical services you need, right when you need it the most.
Our two locations are easy to find:
Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road.
Call us @ 469-392-4000.
Frisco: 5600 Eldorado Parkway across from McDonald’s and Costco.
Call us @ 469-392-4100.
A rapidly evolving health story broke out in late December 2019, when a novel illness originating in Wuhan City, China made the news. Reports of the number of infected people (with now called 2019 Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV) swiftly rose, and isolated cases of this new virus have appeared in several countries, including the United States due to international travel. As of today, it has caused over 17,000 cases of confirmed cases and 362 deaths. Eleven cases and no deaths have been reported in the US. Fortunately, public health officials in many countries, including the US, have put measures in place to help prevent further spread of the virus.
With information changing so quickly and every news report about the virus seeming to raise the stakes, you may be wondering how likely it is that you or a loved one will become ill.
It’s convenient to turn to the internet for various links to information online. But there’s a lot of misinformation out there as well. The purpose of this writing is to provide you with some useful information on what we should know about this virus and what it may mean for you.
What is a Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a common cause of colds and other upper respiratory tract infections. These viruses infect certain animals and spread from one animal to another. However, they can also spread to humans, particularly if the virus mutates and becomes wide spread. Chinese authorities reported some cases of viral Pneumonia to the World Health Organization (WHO) in December 2019. Many of the ill people had come in contact with a seafood and animal market in Wuhan, a large city in eastern China. Since then, it has become clear that the virus can spread from person to person.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
Coronavirus can cause flu- like symptoms, including cough, fever and shortness of breath. There are some early reports of non-respiratory symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Many people recover within a few days. However, some people, especially the very young, elderly, or people with weak immune system may develop a more serious infection, such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
How is it treated?
Scientists are working hard to understand the virus, and Chinese health authorities have posted its full genome in international database. Currently, there are no approved antivirals or vaccines for this particular Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Treatment is only limited to symptom relief and prevention of secondary infection at this time.
Should you worry about catching this virus?
Unless you have been in close contact with an infected person, meaning a traveler from Wuhan City, China who actually has the Coronavirus, you are likely to be safe.
How to prevent this infection?
While we don’t understand the complete particulars of how this virus spreads, Coronavirus can spread through respiratory droplets caused by cough and sneeze from an infected person. Basic infectious disease principles are key to curbing the spread of this virus. Wash your hands regularly, and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow. Stay home from school or work if you have a fever. Avoid close contact with people who have signs of a respiratory infection, such as runny nose, coughing, sneezing or shortness of breath.
In the US, the average person is at extremely low risk of catching this virus at this time. In fact, we are much more likely to get the Flu than any other virus this winter. Approximately one in 10 people suffer from Influenza each flu season. According to the CDC, there have already been around 15 million cases of flu in the US this year, leading to numerous hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. And this flu season has not been particularly severe yet, unlike the past few years. Therefore, it’s still not too late to get a flu shot, an easy and highly recommended step (by CDC) toward avoiding the flu. Even if you do get the flu despite having gotten the vaccine, studies show that severe illness, hospitalization, ICU admission, and death are less likely to occur.
The Bottom Line:
Amid the current spread and the complexity of international travel, the number of cases and deaths attributed to Coronavirus will likely continue to climb. However, there is no need to panic. As more information becomes available, public health organizations like CDC and WHO will be sharing key information and strategies to deal with this threat.
While gathering information online may be the easiest initial option, contact your health care provider if you have symptoms of infection such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. Please be skeptical of any fake news, conspiracy theories and unfounded claims on the social media about Coronavirus. Addressing the concerns surrounding 2019-nCoV requires accessible, reliable and updated information from the experts whose mission is to protect public health.
Dr. Tariq M. Vora
Regional Medical Director
Medco ER, Plano & Frisco, Texas
Airplanes have been grounded, flights canceled, travel bans are commonplace and whole cities have come to a standstill. This is the reality for much of China today, due to the widespread outbreak of the novel coronavirus. This virus, labeled a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” by the World Health Organization (WHO), has infected 20,000 people and has caused over 400 deaths, according to latest estimates reported by CNN1.
“The coronavirus has raised a lot of concern internationally,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Regional Medical Director, Dr. Tariq Vora. “Thanks to the fast response of healthcare workers, it has been quickly identified and risks have been reduced. However, it is good to educate ourselves and to take preventative measures to retain our health during this outbreak.”
A cousin to well-known animal-borne viruses, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the novel coronavirus has medical researchers around the world scrambling to develop an effective treatment. Most agree that the best treatment at this point is prevention.
What is coronavirus?
First discovered in a group of people with pneumonia symptoms in the city of Wuhan in central China, the coronavirus quickly spread to other people. Patients with this virus can develop a respiratory symptoms similar to pneumonia or bronchitis, which can deteriorate to the point of death. However, the percentage of people affected with the coronavirus resulting in death is very low—approximately 3%—according to current data from WHO2.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms include respiratory concerns such as shortness of breath or breathing difficulties. A fever and cough are also common symptoms of the virus. “In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death,” according to the World Health Organization2.
Who is at risk?
Since the coronavirus was identified by health officials in Wuhan and the genetic makeup was shared internationally, the spread has been reasonably contained. Healthcare workers have the ability to identify which strain of coronavirus or other virus is affecting a patient, which has also helped contain the spread. However, each person should consider his or her own risk factors to determine how to best protect themselves.
The highest risk factor includes travel to China. International travel to any of the 20 other countries reporting cases of coronavirus can also be a risk factor.
How does it spread?
The coronavirus originally came from animals and spread to humans. After that, it has spread from people to people who were in close proximity to each other. Individuals can be exposed to the virus by being near an infected person.
To contain the spread, China has quarantined the city of Wuhan and other cities and has issued a travel ban. The U.S. has been screening arriving international passengers for symptoms at major points of entry. At this time, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) considers the United States at low risk3.
What can I do to protect myself?
Continue using safe public health practices such as washing your hands frequently and sanitizing them. Avoid touching door handles and handrails, if possible. Sneeze into your elbow. Use a tissue and throw it away immediately.
If you’re sick, stay home. If you have a cough, congestion or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention. Any difficulty breathing should receive immediate medical care.
“Just pay attention to how often you are washing your hands and increase that number,” said Dr. Vora. “But most importantly, any time you are having breathing difficulties, come to Medco ER & Urgent Care right away. Don’t wait.”
Finally, since the coronavirus originated from animals, WHO is advising people to thoroughly cook meat and eggs before eating.
What are the treatments?
As suggested by the name, the coronavirus is a virus, so antibiotics aren’t effective in treating it. Currently, research is being conducted worldwide to discover an effective treatment. However, if a patient with coronavirus develops a secondary infection, such as a respiratory infection, that may be able to be treated with antibiotics or other medications.
What should I do if I think I may have the virus?
If you suspect you have a virus or are not feeling well, or if you are suffering from breathing difficulties, come immediately to Medco ER & Urgent Care. As you do, try to limit your exposure to other people. Wear a medical mask if possible and keep your hands washed.
Medco ER & Urgent Care has two facilities where our qualified physicians are ready 24/7 to take excellent care of you.
- In Frisco, come to 5600 Eldorado Parkway across from McDonald’s and Costco. Call us @ 469-392-4100.
- In Plano, visit us at 3960 Legacy Drive on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road. Call us @ 469-392-4000.
It’s that time of year. If the flu or a cold hasn’t gotten to you yet, seasonal allergies likely have. But what do you do when that cough you developed from the sniffles just won’t go away? It’s possible that your illness or allergies could have developed into bronchitis.
What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis occurs when the respiratory tract is triggered either by an irritant or preexisting condition, causing your bronchial tubes to become inflamed. Because your bronchial tubes carry air to your lungs, those with bronchitis often suffer from a cough that brings up mucus, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and even a low-grade fever. If you experience this condition over an extended length of time or the condition recurs, you might be suffering from chronic bronchitis, a type of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
What are the symptoms?
Those who are suffering from bronchitis can have symptoms varying in severity over a varied amount of time. Those who experience symptoms for at least three months or more and experience recurring bouts are typically diagnosed with chronic, rather than acute, bronchitis.
Symptoms of Acute Bronchitis:
- Chest Congestion or tightness
- Cough that brings up thick, hard to break up, clear, yellow or green mucus
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Body aches
Those suffering from acute bronchitis will often present symptoms similar to a cold or the flu at first before developing a cough. Most acute bronchitis symptoms last less than ten days, but the cough might linger for several weeks.
Symptoms of Chronic Bronchitis:
- Cough that brings up thick, hard to break up, clear, yellow or green mucus
- Cough that lasts longer than three months
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty Breathing
- Chest tightness
- Body aches
You may have chronic bronchitis if your acute bronchitis symptoms worsen and your cough persists for longer than three months. If left untreated, chronic bronchitis can develop into much more severe conditions like pneumonia and peripheral edema.
What causes bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis can be caused by a virus, bacteria or an airborne irritant. The most common cause of acute bronchitis is a contagious virus such as a cold or the flu. Still, the condition can be triggered by environmental factors such as pollution, allergens, smoke, fumes, dust and vapors. The most common cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking, but not everyone who suffers from chronic bronchitis is a smoker. Other factors such as asthma, allergies, air quality, genetics, a history of respiratory disease, or a history of gastroesophageal reflux disease, may make you more likely to develop acute or chronic bronchitis.
When should I get help?
If you think you may be experiencing chronic bronchitis, you must seek treatment as prolonged irritation can cause lung and airway tissue damage and even develop into pneumonia or other conditions such as emphysema. Because chronic bronchitis restricts airflow to the lungs when left untreated, the condition causes low oxygen levels in the blood leading to complications such as peripheral edema.
If you are experiencing the following symptoms, you should seek emergency medical help immediately.
- Extreme changes in body temperature dipping below 95°F or rising above 104°F
- Rapid heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Nails and lips begin turning grey or blue
- Difficulty breathing
- Dizziness or Confusion
- Coughing up blood or blood in your mucus
- Inability to swallow
- Chest pain
- Swelling of the feet or hands (peripheral edema)
If you think you might have bronchitis of any severity or you think you might be experiencing a complication related to your bronchitis, come to a Medco ER & Urgent Care for treatment. Our advanced technology, board-certified physicians, and highly trained nurses make Medco ER & Urgent Care the best place to treat anything from acute to chronic bronchitis and even breathing emergencies. Our locations in Plano and Frisco are open 24 hours a day seven days a week for all urgent care and emergency services. With little to no wait time and no appointment needed, you won’t have to wait to start feeling better. If you have any questions, please contact us or visit one of our locations in Plano or Frisco.
Allergies and allergic reactions are very common, often drastically ranging in symptoms and severity based on the allergen, genetics and your body’s natural response. When you are exposed to an allergen that your immune system sees as a threat, your body will react to protect you from what it thinks is harming you, causing allergic reaction symptoms. These allergens could be pollen, pets, foods, chemicals, or even medications. Knowing the signs of an allergic reaction and when it’s time to seek medical help is very important and could potentially save your life or that of someone you love. If you are unsure if you might be allergic to a substance, consider making an appointment with a local allergist who can help you identify your triggers safely and provide you with treatment options.
What are the different types of allergic reactions?
Depending on the substance the individual has been exposed to, allergic reaction symptoms can develop in many forms and affect different areas of the body. In severe cases, allergens can trigger a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.
What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a rare, life-threatening reaction to an allergen to which the body has become hypersensitive. Most allergic reactions don’t result in anaphylaxis, but it’s important to know the signs, as this condition can be fatal. An anaphylactic reaction can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to something to which an individual is highly allergic. When anaphylaxis begins, the brain releases a flood of chemicals that start to shut down the body’s natural processes and can cause the sufferer to go into shock very rapidly.
Because anaphylaxis is rapid and life-threatening, an injection of epinephrine is essential to relax the constricted muscles around the airways and in the lungs. This injection prevents the airway from closing for a short time until the individual can be transported to an emergency room for further care. It is important to seek emergency medical care after receiving the injection because it’s possible for the recipient to have a second severe allergic reaction after the medication has worn off. If you do not have an emergency epinephrine injection, seek emergency medical help or call 911 immediately.
Symptoms of Anaphylaxis include:
- Skin reactions, including hives, itching and flushing or pale skin
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Constriction of airways
- A weak and rapid pulse
- Wheezing and trouble breathing caused by a swollen tongue or throat
- Severe shortness of breath
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Dizziness or fainting
- Loss of consciousness
If you think you or someone you know is experiencing anaphylaxis administer an epinephrine injection and seek emergency medical help immediately.
Often referred to as seasonal allergies or Hay Fever, allergic rhinitis occurs when the immune system overacts to allergens in the air, such as dust, pollen, dander and mold. This allergic reaction is widespread and affects more than 50 million Americans each year.
Symptoms of Hay Fever include:
- Itchy nose, eyes, or roof of the mouth
- Runny, stuffy nose
- Watery, red or swollen eyes (conjunctivitis)
Hay Fever can typically be treated with over-the-counter allergy medications, but if your symptoms become more severe, or if you have a child suffering from Hay Fever, you should see your doctor about additional or alternative treatment options.
Food allergies are caused by the overreaction of the immune system to certain foods it identifies as a threat. While triggers, symptoms and the severity of the reaction can vary from person to person, allergic reactions can sometimes be triggered by exposure to only a small amount of the food allergen. While some may experience mild or uncomfortable symptoms, others may have an allergic reaction that is far more frightening, painful and even life-threatening.
Common symptoms of a Food Allergy include:
- Tingling or itching in the mouth
- Hives, itching or eczema
- Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body
- Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
Some mild food reactions can be treated with an over-the-counter antihistamine. If the symptoms are more moderate than mild, avoid exposure to the food that triggered the response and make an appointment with your doctor. If your symptoms begin to worsen or become severe, try to stay calm and seek medical help immediately.
Insect Sting Allergy:
While it’s normal for the body to react to insect stings, there is a distinct difference between a normal insect sting reaction and an allergic insect sting reaction. The most common insect stings in the United States come from wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, honeybees and in the southern US, red and black fire ants. A typical reaction will result in pain, swelling, redness and itching confined to the sting site while an allergic reaction will cause symptoms outside of or include an extensive area around or near the sting site. A typical insect sting on the arm should not produce severe pain and swelling of the whole limb.
Common symptoms of an insect sting allergy include:
- Swelling (in are of sting and sometimes beyond)
Although many insect sting allergic reaction symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter topical and oral medications, it’s vital that you seek medical help if you are experiencing any severe symptoms or believe you may be experiencing anaphylaxis.
Any medication, including over-the-counter, prescription, oral, topical or herbal is capable of triggering a drug allergy. A drug allergy is not the same as a drug side effect or drug toxicity. Drug side effects are known possible reactions and can be found listed on the drug label; an overdose of the medication causes drug toxicity; and a drug allergy is the body’s immune system overacting to the medication.
Common symptoms of a drug allergy include:
- Skin Rash
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
If you think you may be having an allergic reaction to a medication, stop taking the medication immediately and call your doctor. If your symptoms worsen or become severe, seek emergency medical help immediately.
Allergic reactions of any severity can happen at any time. Medco ER & Urgent Care is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and patients can usually be seen by a physician within minutes. With facilities in Plano and Frisco, you can rest assured that help is right around the corner should an allergic reaction occur. Our board-certified physicians and highly-trained nurses are prepared to help you in any situation at any time. If you think you may be having an allergic reaction, please call our Frisco location at 469.392.4100, our Plano location at 469.392.4000, or walk-in at any time.
One of the most common illnesses we treat at Medco ER & Urgent Care is influenza (the flu). While it’s possible to contract the flu year-round, it’s more common to see an increase in those infected with the illness during the fall and winter. As we head into flu season, we believe it’s essential to be knowledgeable about the virus, its symptoms, and how to protect yourself from contracting and spreading the flu. These are the most frequently asked questions we often see regarding influenza.
What are the symptoms?
- Fever of over 100.4° F (38° C)
- Aching muscles
- Chills and sweats
- Dry, persistent cough
- Fatigue and weakness
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
How do I know if I have a cold or the flu?
While the symptoms of influenza and the common cold are very similar, those with a cold are less likely to experience a fever, chills, and headaches. Those suffering from a cold are more likely to experience gradual symptoms rather than the abrupt, more severe symptoms of the flu. If you think that you may have the flu, its important that you promptly see a doctor to help prevent the spread of the virus. After a physical, assessing your symptoms and performing tests, your doctor will be able to more accurately tell if you are suffering from a common cold or the flu and treat your condition properly.
How long will I be contagious?
After exposure to the influenza virus, it may take between 1 and 4 days for you to develop symptoms. If a healthy adult has contracted the virus, they will be the most contagious in the first three or four days of developing symptoms but can be contagious 1 day before the appearance of symptoms and up to 7 of being sick. Children and those with a compromised immune system may be contagious for longer than 7 days.
Can the flu be treated at home?
If you are only experiencing minor flu-like symptoms, it is possible to treat and soothe flu symptoms at home with over the counter medication. However, a physician has the ability to more accurately diagnose your condition and prescribe the appropriate antiviral or related prescription medication.
When should I see a doctor for the flu?
If you think that you are experiencing severe flu-like symptoms or are in a high-risk group such as children under the age of 12, those over the age of 65, and individuals with chronic illness or a compromised immune system, it is essential you are seen by a physician. High-risk groups are more likely to develop complications related to the flu, such as pneumonia, sinus infections, bronchitis, and in some rare cases, hospitalization or death. Even in healthy adults, flu-like symptoms are shared by many other, often life-threatening conditions that may require immediate attention, such as a heart attack.
When should I go to the ER for flu-like symptoms?
You should go to the nearest emergency room or seek emergency medical help if you are in a high-risk group or are experiencing:
- A fever of 103° F or higher
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath while at rest
- Pain or pressure in the chest
- Abdominal pain or pressure
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe vomiting
You should take your child to the emergency room or seek emergency medical help if they are experiencing:
- Any of the above symptoms
- Difficulty breathing or breathing fast
- A bluish tone to the skin
- A fever with a rash
- Limited liquid intake
What can I do to prevent the flu?
The best way to prevent contraction of the flu is to get a flu vaccination each year. Visit Medco ER & Urgent Care in Plano or Frisco, at any time 24/7 to have you and your family vaccinated before flu season begins.
Wash your hands:
To help protect yourself from getting sick or spread of the virus, regularly wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
Cover your mouth:
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid those who are sick:
Avoid exposure to the virus by limiting close contact with those who are sick. If you are caring for someone who has the flu, its best to limit the number of people who have contact with the sick individual, keep surfaces around the home disinfected, and make sure that all who are in the home are following the flu prevention measures listed above.
If you’re sick stay home:
While sometimes the contraction of influenza is unavoidable, it is imperative to stay home if you to become sick. Unless you are going to see your doctor, it’s recommended that those who are infected with the flu avoid public spaces to reduce the spread of the virus.
Why do I need to get a flu shot every year?
The first line of defense against the flu is getting vaccinated, but unlike other illnesses, there are many different strains of the influenza virus. This constant change in the virus, coupled with the body’s natural decline in immunity over time, makes it essential to get a new flu vaccination each year before the flu season starts.
Can I contract the flu from a flu shot?
This is a common misconception. You cannot contract influenza from the flu vaccine. However, the flu vaccine does not work right away. It takes about two weeks for your body to develop the proper antibodies to protect against the flu. Therefore the CDC recommends vaccination before the flu begins to spread through your community.
If you think you or a loved one might have the flu come to see us at one of our locations in Plano or Frisco. Each Medco ER & Urgent Care facility is equipped to diagnose, test, and treat minor to severe flu-like symptoms and related conditions under one roof, 24 hours a day 7 days a week.