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Month: August 2019

Will I Need Stitches? A Guide

will I need stitches An injury is never convenient, and for a child it can be downright scary. When a patient presents with an open wound, often one of the first questions he or she asks is, “Will I need stitches?”

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The decision to suture may depend on the site of the injury in question, patient medical history, and other factors. However, knowing the basics of suturing and when it’s indicated can help ease anxiety about the process.

When Might Stitches Be Indicated?

For shallow wounds, cleaning and covering are sufficient for optimal healing. For larger wounds, stitching may be necessary to prevent infection and speed the healing process. Sutures may be indicated when:

  • The cut is deeper than one quarter of an inch
  • The cut involved a dirty or rusty object
  • The cut still bleeds after 15 minutes of applied pressure
  • The cut is in an area of cosmetic concern (i.e., the face)
  • Fat, muscle, bone, or other structures are visible

What Kind of Closure Might My Provider Use?

Your provider may use one of several different methods to close a wound:

  • Steri-Strips, or butterfly “stitches,” are essentially pieces of tape that adhere better to the surface of the skin. They are better suited to treat superficial wounds, rather than deep ones. Your provider may tell you to wait until the Steri-Strips fall off naturally, or advise you to take them off after a certain number of days.
  • Liquid stitches, or skin glue, can be a good choice for children because one can avoid the anxiety of needles. They are best for superficial, straight wounds that are under low-tension like the forehead or chin. It is not good for deep or jagged wounds or wounds overlying high-tension areas like knees and elbows. Be sure to tell your provider if you have a medical condition that causes slow wound healing, such as diabetes.
  • Traditional sutures may be absorbable or permanent. Absorbable sutures dissolve over a period of weeks. They are best for areas such as the lining of the mouth, lower layers of skin, and muscles and connective tissue. Permanent sutures, made of nylon or silk, will require follow-up with your provider for removal.

No matter what kind of closure a wound needs, the providers at Premier Urgent Care will treat your condition with compassion and care.

Skip the wait of the emergency room and walk in to our clinic for immediate assistance. Read our blog post Walk-In Clinic or ER to determine where you should go for medical care or visit our Urgent Care Services page for more information.

Better Providers. Better Care.

Learn why patients have come to trust Premier Urgent Care. Visit https://premierucchicago.com.

No appointment needed.
Call (773) 891-2890.
Insurance accepted.

Walk-In Clinic or ER: The Basics for When to Go Where

walk-in clinicAn injury or illness is never convenient. You or someone you love may fall ill on an evening, holiday, or weekend, when you cannot reach your primary care provider for advice. When an injury or illness occurs, knowing when you can go to a walk-in clinic – or when you should report directly in an emergency room – can save you time and additional expense.

When to Use a Walk-In Clinic

A walk-in clinic or urgent care is best for situations where you would normally see your primary care provider, but they are not available. Urgent cares play a vital role in filling the gaps between the family physician and emergency room. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that among patients who visited the ER but were not admitted, nearly half went because their doctor’s office wasn’t open.

Some people use the emergency room as an after-hour clinic but will face long waits for care due to the hospital triage system. A walk-in clinic provides middle ground by addressing patient needs that require prompt care but do not constitute a true medical emergency.

Symptoms appropriate for evaluation and treatment at a walk-in clinic or urgent care include:

●        Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

●        Abdominal pain

●        Dehydration

●        Fever without the presence of a rash

●        Strains, sprains, or minor occupational injuries

●        Flu-like symptoms

●        Small lacerations that require stitching

In general, urgent cares serve as a back-up to your primary care provider. If you have familiar symptoms of a recurring illness – such as an ear infection or UTI – an urgent care can help when your primary care physician is not available.

RELATED ARTICLE: 4 Ways to Speed Up You Urgent Care Visit

When Should I Go to the Emergency Room?

The emergency room is best reserved for medical conditions that present a true threat to patient health or safety. Symptoms that require evaluation and treatment in an emergency room include:

●        Chest pain, especially when accompanied by shortness of breath

●        Slurred speech or loss of balance

●        One-sided weakness or numbness

●        Serious or large surface area burns

●        Injuries to the head or eyes

●        Concussion

●        Fever accompanied by a rash

●        Seizures

●        Altered mental status

●        Large broken bones (hands, fingers, feet and toes are fine for an urgent care)

●        Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy

●        Severe flu-like symptoms

Knowing when to go to an emergency room and when to utilize a walk-in clinic can save you time, money, and frustration.

In general, many people use an emergency room because they are unaware a better option is available. When using an emergency room for a minor illness, you could be responsible for expensive co-pays.

A walk-in clinic can fill the gap between your primary care provider and serves as an excellent choice for minor illnesses and injuries. Visit out Urgent Care Services page for more information.

Better Providers. Better Care.

Learn why patients have come to trust Premier Urgent Care. Visit https://premierucchicago.com.

No appointment needed.
Call (773) 891-2890.
Insurance accepted.

How to Tell If You Have the Flu

how to tell if you have the fluMany viruses can make people feel miserable, but influenza strains can be particularly dangerous. Every year, Americans have plenty of options when it comes to low-cost shots, but everyone should know the warning signs and telltale symptoms of the flu so they can seek medical treatment right away. The flu is potentially deadly to some people, especially very young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems or immune system disorders.

Similarities to Other Viruses

The influenza virus causes many symptoms similar to other viral infections like the common cold, such as coughing, headaches, and a fever. While the common cold usually causes sneezing, sore throat, and congestion, the flu often causes intense body aches, fatigue, and a high fever lasting several days. A cold can build up symptoms gradually over several days while flu symptoms generally have a rapid onset.

The common cold may only result in minor complications whereas the flu virus can lead to potentially life-threatening conditions like pneumonia. Medical researchers have identified more than 100 types of cold viruses, and the influenza virus mutates on a regular basis, requiring the medical treatment community to develop new vaccines every year. Antibiotics do not work on viruses, so most people who develop the flu simply let the sickness run its course while treating the symptoms. However, some antiviral medications such as Tamiflu can help symptoms and shorten recovery time for some patients.

Flu Treatment with Tamiflu

Oseltamivir, commonly sold under the brand name Tamiflu, is an oral antiviral medication that can reduce symptoms like stuffy nose, sore throat, fever, chills, muscle aches, and coughing and shorten recovery time by one to two days. Tamiflu works best when taken as soon as symptoms appear, or even as soon as an individual confirms exposure to the flu. To treat the flu, prescribing doctors generally advise two tablets each day for five days. To prevent flu symptoms after exposure, one tablet every day for ten days is the usual prescription.

Premier Urgent Care in Chicago can provide Tamiflu prescriptions to patients who test positive for influenza. Flu symptoms can develop very quickly after exposure, so prompt treatment is necessary if you want to avoid a week or longer in bed with awful symptoms. Tamiflu is a low-risk medication with minimal side effects, but it may not be appropriate for patients taking certain kidney medications or blood pressure medications. Our healthcare providers can discuss with you if you are an appropriate candidate for the medication.

If a family member or coworker recently developed the flu, it’s a wise idea to get tested for exposure, especially is you or your child is in a high-risk population, and begin treatment with Tamiflu before symptoms appear and disrupt your life. Premier Urgent Care offers several options for flu prevention and treatment, so consider a flu test if you believe you’ve recently been exposed to influenza.

For more information on the influenza and other injuries and illnesses visit our urgent care services page or https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.

Better Providers. Better Care.

Learn why patients have come to trust Premier Urgent Care. Visit https://premierucchicago.com.

No appointment needed.
Call (773) 891-2890.
Insurance accepted.