Category Archives: General Health

stay safe at your summer barbecue

How to Stay Safe at Your Summer Barbecue

With the return of summer, we can once again indulge in our favorite summertime activities. For some people, summer means long days at the beach to swim or surf. For others, it means days spent boating in the Pacific, perhaps with some deep-sea fishing thrown in. Regardless, summer brings with it warmer temperatures and a chance to once again enjoy your favorite activities. For some of us, it’s time to get out the barbecue and grill, grill, grill. With that in mind, it’s a good time to review how to stay safe at your summer barbeque.

Grilling Safety Tips

Every year, thousands of Americans are injured as a result of mishaps related to barbecue grills and grilling activities. Not surprisingly, the majority of these injuries occur during the warmer, summer months. Most of these injuries can be avoided if some basic BBQ safety tips are followed by the grill master. 

Always Grill Outdoors

For starters, never use the grill indoors. Even if you are lucky enough to avoid starting a fire, using the grill will produce carbon monoxide, which when released in a closed area, like a house or garage, can be fatal. Grilling is an outdoor activity.

Grill Away from Your House

Grilling safety tips also require that you do not grill close to your house. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends you keep the grill at least 10 feet away from your house. Farther is better if possible. Before starting the grill, be sure it is clean. Old grease buildup makes a grease fire more likely. Even with a clean grill, keep a spray bottle full of water nearby to put down small flame flare-ups that frequently occur. Furthermore, be sure a fire extinguisher is not too far away. Of course, know how to use the extinguisher. Learning how to use a fire extinguisher isn’t something you want to be doing when your house is about to catch fire. 

Make Sure the Grill is Stable

BBQ safety continues with ensuring that the grill is on a stable surface before you begin grilling. Having a lit grill topple over in the middle of grilling can result in problems beyond just losing the food. If you are using a gas grill, check for gas leaks before firing up. Also, be sure the grill lid is open when you turn the gas on in preparation for lighting it. A closed lid could cause an excessive buildup of gas while you are fiddling around trying to light a match or lighter. Even a mini explosion from such a gas build up could cause significant harm to your hands or face.

Grilling Safety TipsFinally, if a fire does break out, do not hesitate to call 911 immediately. Fires spread quickly and your garden hose is not the answer. Any delay will endanger more than your house; the lives of your family and friends will be at stake. 

Get Help from UrgentMED

If you or a loved one has been injured from a barbeque mishap, the medical professionals at UrgentMED stand ready to assist you. With 17 convenient walk-in urgent care clinics throughout southern California, we offer fast professional service without a long wait. We offer weekday, weeknight and weekend hours to serve you on your terms, for your convenience. Let us assist you with all your healthcare needs. Find the location nearest to you today.


Three Things an EKG Can Tell You About Your Heart’s Health

The week leading up to Father’s Day is celebrated each year as Men’s Health Week.  Making men aware of health issues that can affect them will assist in the prevention of these conditions, positively affecting their health and lifespan while reducing medical costs associated with long term debilitating diseases. Long term health begins with obtaining a baseline of your current health status. Such an assessment begins with diagnostic testing and tests to check on heart health are good places to start. 

What is an EKG?

An EKG is short for an electrocardiogram; sometimes you may see it abbreviated as an ECG. When the heart beats, it sends out electrical waves throughout the heart. An EKG basically measures the electrical activity of the heart. The EKG machine tracks these beats and electrical impulses and can provide a lot of information regarding the functioning of the heart, revealing either normal cardiac activity or showing what areas of the heart are not functioning properly. 

Getting Tested

An EKG is a basic procedure that can be done in the doctor’s office or clinic. The procedure does not take long (perhaps 10 or 15 minutes) and involves the placing of about 10 electrodes on your body, mostly on your chest. The test is painless and does not involve any electrical shocks. The heartbeats and waves related to the electrical impulses are graphed on paper that is in the EKG machine.

ekg test The EKG test is an invaluable diagnostic tool for determining the status of the heart and can reveal many things about a person’s overall cardiac health. For starters, the EKG can detect abnormal heart rhythms. Abnormal or irregular heart rhythms can lead to many cardiac issues, including heart attacks and strokes. Many such issues can be treated with medications while more serious issues may require surgery.

Measurements of EKG activity can also reveal a condition known as cardiomegaly, an abnormally enlarged heart. Discovering this on an EKG can alert the physician to look further to detect a potentially serious underlying condition. Abnormal high blood pressure or some level of heart failure can lead to enlarging of the heart. Thirdly, an EKG can show if the heart is getting enough oxygen to function properly. Without sufficient oxygen, the heart will become damaged, resulting in heart failure, perhaps death. Blockages in coronary arteries can cause a reduced flow of oxygen to the heart and can be corrected with procedures or surgery.

What is an EKGVisit UrgentMED For a Heart Check-Up

At UrgentMED, our skilled, compassionate, and professional staff understands men’s health issues and stand ready to assist with your care needs. With 17 convenient walk-in urgent care clinics throughout southern California, we offer fast and professional service. We offer weekday, weeknight and weekend hours to serve you on your terms, for your convenience. Whether it’s an EKG or a routine physical, let us assist you with all your clinical needs.

importance of vaccinations

The Importance of Vaccinations

The recent measles outbreaks in Southern California and across the United States are alarming. Health officials blame parents who refuse to vaccinate their children for various reasons. Vaccinations prevent the spread of contagious and often deadly diseases worldwide. Unfortunately, confusion and misunderstanding have arisen in recent years surrounding the safety of immunizations. Let’s review the facts related to vaccinations and see why medical professionals worldwide recommend vaccines for almost everyone.

The Purpose of a Vaccination

What is a vaccination? Basically, it’s an injection given to a person to build up the body’s natural immunity to a disease. By building up the body’s immunity, it will be able to resist catching the disease if the person is ever exposed to it. Being able to resist the disease means the person is immune to it.

How effective can they be? Smallpox killed approximately 500 million people worldwide during the 20th century. The first vaccination (also called immunization) was used against smallpox. Due to massive immunization efforts initiated by the WHO, this massive virus was declared completely eradicated from the world in 1979. The world is now smallpox free and there is no need for smallpox vaccinations. 

vaccinationsMMR Vaccine

Thanks to vaccinations, many common and very serious diseases, including polio, measles, mumps and Hepatitis B, can be prevented. Vaccination is the only way to prevent contracting these diseases and avoiding all the complications that can accompany them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the measles vaccine, referred to as MMR, provides protection to the recipient from three contagious diseases: measles, mumps, and Rubella (sometimes called the German measles). As noted above, some confusion surrounding the safety of this and other vaccines has arisen in recent years.

This misinformation is not based upon science and its spread has been assisted by the nature of the internet. A much longer article would be needed to address the many misconceptions being thrown around regarding vaccinations. One involves Autism. No medical study has found a link between getting a vaccine and developing Autism. Recent research shows children are born with Autism before any immunizations are given to them. Another myth says that a vaccine, usually a flu shot, can cause the disease it is intended to prevent. Most flu shots contain dead viruses which do not come back to life and cannot cause a live flu infection in the recipient.

Do not let misunderstandings or urban legends prevent you from keeping yourself or your family safe from the flu and other diseases. There is no better way to avoid contracting the measles, mumps, or Rubella than by receiving the MMR vaccine and sticking to your vaccination schedule.

Vaccination scheduleFollowing Your Vaccination Schedule

People of all ages who can be vaccinated against diseases should do so. Medical professional develop Immunization schedules and they are widely accepted throughout the world. At UrgentMED, our skilled and compassionate professional staff is ready to assist with your vaccination needs. We pride ourselves on our convenience, efficiency, and cost. 

With 17 convenient walk-in urgent care clinics throughout Southern California, we offer fast, professional service without the long wait. We offer weekday, weeknight, and weekend hours to help you on your terms, for your convenience. Let us assist you with all your vaccination and other clinical needs. Contact us at the location closest to you today.

summer sports physical

Need a Summer Sports Physical? Stop by UrgentMED Today!

Temperatures are warming up and summer is almost here. The arrival of summer and another school year wrapping school up means the start of summer sports for young athletes. For others, it’s time to get a physical before heading to college. If you need a physical for summer sports, summer camp or college, look no further than UrgentMED.  Now with 17 convenient locations throughout southern California, we offer fast, professional service without a long wait.

Participating in Sports

About 45 million children and adolescents participate in organized sports each year. Whether your summer sports activities revolve around swimming, baseball, or another team activity, participating in sports during the summer likely requires the need for a summer sports physical. The walk-in clinics that make up the UrgentMED Network can provide your child or teen with a complete exam to clear them for participation. Best of all, you do not need an appointment to see a doctor at one of our southern California locations.

Let’s Get Physical

At UrgentMED, we can provide any of your sports physical needs, whether it’s related to a summer camp program or participation in a school-related sports activity coming up in the fall. Sports physicals are usually required prior to your child’s participation in team sports activities. This is intended to rule out any pre-existing injuries that could be worsened and should be done prior to the start of a sports season.

sports physicalYour College Physical

If a college physical is in your future, we’ve got you covered at one of our 17 walk-in clinic locations. Whether it’s for a sports physical or just a routine physical exam required prior to admission, our friendly and experienced general practitioners are typically available 7 days a week to provide for your medical needs. We also provide general school physicals for younger children of all ages. California law requires children entering the public school system to have a school physical. These examinations help assure that required immunizations have been provided to the child. 

Preparing for Summer Camp Sports Season

In addition to our sports and school physical services, we offer a plethora of other diagnostic services, including lab work, imaging services, and some non-emergency medical problems. We also provide pre-employment drug screening services in addition to normal services you would expect from any walk-in clinic. Other services also include various surgical and non-surgical procedures. 

At UrgentMED, our well-skilled and professional staffs are compassionate and understanding. Whether it’s preparing for the regular sports season or for participation in a summer camp, we pride ourselves on our convenience, efficiency, and cost. We maintain a clean, professional, and friendly environment.

summer physicalWith 17 convenient walk-in urgent care clinics throughout southern California, you can visit UrgentMED for a physical exam without a long wait. You don’t need an appointment. Whether it’s a weekday, weeknight, or weekend hours, you can find clinics ready to accommodate your schedule. Other services include various immunizations and vaccinations. Find the location nearest to you today.

uti symptoms

Urinary Tract Infection: How to Tell If Your UTI is Minor or Severe

Urinary Tract Infection: How to Tell If Your UTI is Minor or Severe

urinary tract infectionUrinary tract infections (UTIs) are common, especially in women. For some people, it is a recurrent issue. While UTIs are painful, they are typically not life-threatening, especially when diagnosed and treated early. Here is some important information about UTIs so you know what to do when you have one.

What is a UTI?

For starters, what is a UTI? A urinary tract infection is an infection in any part of the urinary tract including the kidney, ureters, bladder, and urethra. A physician can determine if you or your child has a UTI and what treatment is needed.

Causes of UTIs

UTIs are caused by bacteria that enter the body via the urethra and then proceed to multiply in the bladder. When too many of these bacteria begin to thrive, an infection is born. Due to a much shorter distance between the urethra and the bladder, women suffer from UTIs much more frequently than men. If you fear that you may be suffering from a urinary tract infection, getting your urine tested is as easy as a visit to the nearest UrgentMED walk-in clinic.

UTI Symptoms

uti care

Now that we have reviewed the causes of UTIs, let’s look at what symptoms you can expected when an infection strikes. The most common symptom usually experienced is that of pain, especially burning, when urinating. Other UTI symptoms include:

  • Frequent Urination
  • Feeling pain even when not urinating
  • Fever
  • Dark or cloudy urine
  • Urine that appears red or bright pink
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Pain in the back or side
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pelvic pain
  • Strong sense of urgency to urinate

Each type of infection may result in specific signs and symptoms, depending on which part of the urinary tract is infected. UTIs may be mistaken for other conditions in older adults.

Diagnosing UTIs

See a doctor if you experience signs and symptoms of a UTI. Your healthcare provider will review your medical history and perform a physical examination. You may also be asked to provide a urine sample.

Treating a Urinary Tract Infection

If you suspect you may have a urinary tract infection, don’t delay in getting evaluated. At UrgentMED, we pride ourselves on our convenience, efficiency, and cost. We offer a plethora of other diagnostic services, including lab work, and if your urinalysis tests positive for a UTI, we can provide quick treatment to resolve the infection before it worsens. The common treatment for a UTI is an antibiotic.

For you convenience, many of the medications commonly-prescirbed by our medical team (including antibiotics) are available on-site. Your physician will also discuss preventative measures to help reduce the chances of getting UTIs.

With 17 walk-in clinics throughout southern California, we offer fast, professional service without a long wait. Our clinics have extended weekday, weeknight and weekend hours. Let us assist you with all your diagnostic testing and other clinical needs. Visit us at the location nearest to you today.