Injuries

Burn Care 101: Basic First Aid Vs When to Seek Emergency Treatment

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Burns are some of the most common household injuries, so it’s important to become familiar with basic burn first aid and recognize when to seek emergency treatment. The good news is that most burns are minor and can be treated at home, but severe burns pose serious risks and complications. Educate yourself now so you can act appropriately in the future.

An Introduction to Burns

Burns are categorized as being first, second, or third degree. Everything from scalding liquids and fires to excessive sun exposure can cause burns on the skin.

  • First degree burns: affect the top layer of skin with redness, minor swelling and pain

  • Second degree burns: damage extends beyond top layer of skin, causes skin to blister and become very sore

  • Third degree burns: most severe burns that affect every layer of skin and turn skin a waxy, white color (more...)

Enjoy the Fourth of July but be careful around fireworks !!!

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Injuries from fireworks are on the rise. Please remember to be careful if you plan to create your own fireworks show !
Following are some safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission :

1. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
2. Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
3. Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
4. Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
5. Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
6. Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
7. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
8. Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
9. Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
10. After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Did you know sparklers can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit ? Yet we often allow our young kids to hold these. They can easily cause burns.

Summer Sports and Injuries

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Part I
Now that the kids are out of school and families are taking vacations we are all more prone to common musculoskeletal injuries from sports and just plain "horsing around" and playing in the yard.
One of the most common injuries we are seeing at this time of year is an ankle strain :

An ankle strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon in the ankle. An ankle strain is a common injury that occurs when the ankle muscle is stretched or torn. A strain is caused by twisting or pulling of the muscle or tendon and may be caused by playing sports, lifting heavy objects or an injury that causes the foot and ankle to twist inward.

Symptoms of an ankle strain may include pain, muscle spasms, swelling and bruising. The affected ankle is often difficult to move, making it difficult to walk and put pressure on the foot. An ankle strain may be diagnosed through a physical examination and X-rays may be performed to rule out the possibility of a fracture or dislocation. Most ankle strains can be treated through conservative methods such as:

Resting the ankle
Applying ice
Using compression bandages
Elevating the ankle
Taking anti-inflammatory medication
Going to physical therapy
Ankle strains usually heal within 2 to 6 weeks, and most individuals can resume physical activity at this time. Surgery is not usually required to treat an ankle strain. Taping or bracing can help protect the ankle after injury and also helps prevent future injuries from occurring. It is important to take extra precautions after an ankle injury, as some patients may be susceptible to recurring injuries.

Whenever there is doubt consider having a physician evaluate your injury and possibly obtain x-rays to rule out a fracture of the ankle.

Don't forget your sunscreen !

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Sun damage can affect any area of the skin as a result of long-term exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Sun damage most commonly occurs on the face, hands and arms, and may lead to sun spots, age spots, rough skin and wrinkles. Years of sun exposure can also lead to premature aging and skin cancer. Because of the damaging effects of the sun, adequate protection is essential in maintaining the long-term health of the skin, especially in the summer months.

In addition to avoiding the sun during peak hours and wearing protective clothing, sunscreen is one of the best defenses against the harmful rays of the sun. Sunscreen protects the skin against harmful UV rays and should be applied to the skin before engaging in any kind of outdoor activity.

It is important to choose a sunscreen that provides protection from all UV rays of the sun. UVA rays can prematurely age the skin, causing wrinkles and age spots and UVB rays can burn the skin. Too much exposure to UVA or UVB rays can cause skin cancer. The best sunscreen offers protection from all UV light. Sunscreens that provide protection from all types of UV rays are often advertised as broad-spectrum coverage. It is also important to choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, which refers to the amount of time it takes the skin to react to the sun as opposed to unprotected skin.

To ensure that sunscreen provides the best protection from the sun, is beneficial to remember the following:

Apply generous amounts of sunscreen to the skin
Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to going outdoors
Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours
Reapply sunscreen after swimming or heavy perspiration
Apply sunscreen even when it is cloudy
With regular sunscreen use, people can reduce their risk of skin cancer, age spots, burns, premature aging and other forms of sun damage.

Ankle and Knee Injuries in Sports

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Schools are back in session and that means kids athletics are here again as well. Unfortunately, what also comes along with sports are injuries. We have experience evaluating both kids and adults for sports injuries involving both the upper and lower extremities.

In football season we see a significant number of ankle and knee injuries as well as foot injuries.

It is always best when you are concerned that your child has pain in the knee, ankle or foot after a sports injury to have it evaluated. If they have swelling of the area and difficulty putting weight on the leg this could signify a broken bone. Kids also have growth plates, areas in the bone where growth is occurring. These are very susceptible to injury and damage if injuries go undiagnosed. The outcome can be abnormal growth of this bone following an injury.

Do not wait for pain in an extremity to go away if your child has difficulty putting weight on it. Come to us and let one of our physicians examine the joint and decide whether an x-ray is necessary. We have digital x-ray on site and our physicians have extensive experience reading these x-rays. If there is a fracture or concern about a broken bone we will place the patient in a splint to keep the injury safely immobilized until further specialist evaluation can be obtained.

With locations in Spring Hill and New Port Richey we have you covered.

Does my cut need stitches ?

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Wound repair is one of the procedures we perform frequently at Suncoast Urgent Care. When our skin is "cut" there is a risk of infection and there is always scar formation, that is the only way for skin to heal.

What is important is that a professional determine whether the cut needs to have stitches placed to help close the wound. If the wound is very small, or if it does not penetrate the skin too deeply stitches or skin adhesive can be avoided. Cleaning the wound thoroughly is the highest priority to minimize any chance of infection. Secondly, if the wound penetrates the skin completely the structures beneath the skin must be explored to ensure there is no injury to blood vessels, ligaments , tendons or muscles. After exploration and thorough washing of the wound it is closed with sterile stitches.

Closing wounds minimizes the risk of infection and results in smaller scars as it assists the body in going through the stages of wound healing that always follow an injury. By closing the wound the body has less work to do to heal itself by creating a line of scar tissue.

When there is any doubt about a cut it is always best to have it evaluated. We will also make sure your tetanus vaccination status is up to date.

Prior to wound preparation a cut is anesthetized (numbed) with lidocaine to ensure there is no discomfort while we clean and close it.

Some wounds can be closed with skin adhesive. This is a glue which can be applied over the wound. Your provider will discuss the pros and cons of glue versus stitches if they are both options.

A Warning to the "Weekend Warrior"

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Are you a Weekend Warrior?  A Weekend Warrior is an individual who participates in sports at a level for which they are not in proper shape or physically conditioned.  A Weekend Warrior injury is what we call the injury that occurs as a result.

These injuries most commonly occur when adults who do not exercise regularly go out after work or on the weekends to play sports thinking “I’ve got this covered.”  Unfortunately, when we are working full-time and when we do not exercise regularly our muscles, tendons and ligaments lose strength.  Weekend Warrior injuries can occur when any part of our body that has not been exercised regularly is strained by the force of movement:  Shoulders, backs, and calves....no where is immune.

A common Weekend Warrior injury is a strain, pull or rupture of the Achilles tendon. That lay up that used to come so easily can pull the Achille’s tendon with such extreme power that an injury occurs; the pivoting and changing direction when playing basketball or tennis happens so rapidly that it may cause a rupture of the Achille’s tendon or strain elsewhere.

Studies have shown that the force put on the achilles tendon can be up to 10 times your body weight when performing extreme changes in direction. An achilles tendon that is "conditioned" can endure this force, but one which is not can quite easily rupture.

As the summer starts we want to remind all those Weekend Warriors out there to be careful as you head out to play with your children or friends.  It is  important to condition and strengthen before heading out to the courts, fields and beaches and to remember to start slowly and build endurance week by week.

So, be careful and smart as you head off to play.  Remember to start slowly and build up strength.  But, if you get hurt....Suncoast Urgent Care is here when you need us!

 

What is a Growth Plate Injury ?

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

When it is suspected that a child has broken a bone it is important to determine whether or not the growth plate has been injured.  But what is a growth plate?  And what does it mean if the growth plate is injured?

Growth plates are special areas along the bone that allow for growth. These areas along the bone are actually cartilage that generates new cells which, in time, form bone as children grow. These areas are fragile and are easily injured. When a growth plate is injured continued growth at that site may become impaired which is the reason it is important to follow any injury to a growth plate carefully.

Growth plates are cartilage and they are seen as black lines on an x-ray. It is often not possible to see growth plate injuries on an x-ray unless the injury  also involves bone.

If a child has an injury and it is suspected that there may be a break or a sprain, it is important to have an initial x-ray and examination to determine whether or not stabilization of the injured area is appropriate.  If the area is very painful and there is swelling, it is often difficult to determine at the time of injury whether the growth plate has been affected.  As a result, when a child has pain around a growth plate after a traumatic injury it is standard practice to assume there is a growth plate injury and treat it as such.

At Suncoast Urgent Care it is our practice to schedule a follow up examination in 7-10 days after the initial visit. During this time much of the pain and swelling from the injury (e.g.: ankle sprain) subsides. When the patient returns for a repeat examination it is often much easier for the examining physician to determine whether the pain is coming from the bone, growth plate or ligament.

Allowing time for recovery allows us the opportunity for a clearer, and thus more accurate exam. If appropriate, a follow-up x-ray may be indicated to help determine which type of injury has occurred.

 

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