Kick-off to Summer Kicks off Injury Season

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and as temperatures rise, so do injuries and visits to urgent care clinics and emergency rooms. Michigan Urgent Care has your guide to the most common causes of illness and injury during the summer months – food poisoning, cuts, burns, drownings, and car accidents. With attention toward prevention, many accidents can be avoided.  When accidents and illnesses do occur, urgent cares can care for you.
Food Poisoning
There are more cases of food poisoning in summer than any other season. Food poisoning is most often caused by:
  • Not washing hands prior to preparing food. Washing hands with warm soapy water is the easiest and most effective way to prevent the spread of germs – including germs that cause foodborne illness.
  • Hot food that isn’t kept hot and cold food that isn’t kept cold. Bacteria in food multiplies rapidly between 40′ F and 140’F.

Seek medical care for food poisoning with prolonged vomiting and/or diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration.

Cuts
Summer fruits like watermelon are often part of Memorial Day picnics. But large knives and a round, sometimes slippery fruit don’t cooperate. A slip of the knife or a misplace hand can result in an unexpected cut or larger laceration. If you are cut, follow these steps to clean the wound and control the bleeding.
  • Clean the wound by rinsing the area under cool water. Soap is not needed as it may irritate the cut.
  • For cuts, stop the bleeding by applying a clean cloth or bandage over the cut and applying pressure. Don’t peek! It may take upwards of 30 minutes for the bleeding to stop. Change the cloth if it becomes saturated with blood. Raising the area above heart-height may also slow the bleeding.
  • Place an antibiotic cream like Neosporin or Polysporin on the area. Cover the wound with a bandage or sterile gauze.

Seek medical attention if the cut is 1/4 inch or deeper, has jagged edges, or fat, muscle or bone is visible, or if the bleeding does not stop within 20-30 minutes of constant pressure.  

Burns
There’s nothing better on a summer day than firing up the grill. An open flame, a hot grill, and distractions are a recipe for an unexpected burn. If you find yourself burned, follow these steps to quickly treat at home:
  • Run cool water over minor burns. First degree burns (redness, swelling and pain) and second degree burns (redness, blisters, severe pain) can be treated at home by running cool water (not cold) over the affected area for at least 10 minutes, and loosely wrapping the burn in sterile gauze.
  • Take over the counter pain relievers.

Seek medical attention when minor burns are larger than three inches, or if on the face, hands, buttocks or groin. Third degree burns (black, charred skin), especially those over a large area of the body, require emergency treatment.

Drownings
Drowning is the fifth leading cause of death from unintentional accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports
that between 2005-2014 there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day.

About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.

Drowning is often depicted in movies and television as a panic swimmer actively slapping the water and waving their arms. In reality, most drownings are silent. According to Safe Bee, the most common signs of drowning are gasping, bobbing, and arms out to the side. The distressed swimmer rarely calls out for help since their head, including their nose and mouth, typically bobs in and out of the water making them gasp for air – quietly. Arms are usually out to the side pushing down on the water in an attempt to keep their nose and mouth above the water.  

The two most crucial factors to prevent unintentional drowning are:

  • Life Vests:  All children should wear life vests, especially when on a boat, regardless of their swimming ability.
  • Appoint a “Water Watcher”: Because slipping under water happens within 20-60 seconds of becoming distressed in the water, it is essential that an adult supervises the lake or pool, and do so without distraction from alcohol or cell phone use.

Swimming is an essential life skill that every child and adult should learn. There are programs for children and adults offered through YMCA/YWCA centers, Red Cross, and community education groups. Commit to swim lessons this summer for your children and, if needed, yourself.

Motor Vehicle Injury and Death
The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 409 people may be killed on the roads during this year’s Memorial Day holiday period – the highest estimate the Council has released for the Memorial Day holiday period since 2012. NSC also estimates that 47,000 Americans will be seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents during the same holiday period.

While we cannot control what other drivers do, we can control what we do behind the wheel. The NSC suggests the following steps to be as alert and prepared as possible behind the wheel.

  • Wear a seal.t belt on every trip. About 159 lives may be saved during the holiday because people will buckle up.
  • Make sure children are restrained in safety seats that are appropriate for their height, age and weight.
  • Designate an alcohol and drug-free driver or arrange alternate transportation. Impairment begins with the first drink.
  • Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue.
  • Never use a cell phone behind the wheel, even hands-free.
Michigan Urgent Care and Occupational Health’s nine clinics located in Ann Arbor, Brighton, Canton, Dundee, Ferndale, Grosse Pointe, Livonia, Waterford, and Wyandotte are open every day of the year, including Memorial Day and all holidays. Highly experienced and licensed providers evaluate and care for cuts, burns, strains and sprains, broken bones, and other non-life threatening injuries and illness.
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The Health Hazards of Desktop Dining

It’s after noon. You still need lunch but have deadlines looming. What do you do? For the majority of Americans desktop dining is the standard for lunch in the workplace. But this practice is harming both employees’ health and the company’s bottom line. We’ve taken a bite at this issue and have suggestions for turning sedentary health hazards into healthy habits.

 

Health Hazard #1: Sitting is the new smoking.

Nearly two-thirds of professionals admit to regularly eating lunch at their desk. Researchers have linked prolonged periods of sitting (inactivity) with serious lifestyle-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Physically active individuals are not immune. Sitting increases the risk for disease in those who regularly exercise, and the risk went up for every two hours of sitting.

Health Habit: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans prescribes 150 minutes of moderately-intense exercise every week for adults. For many, the thought of 2 hours and 30 minutes of exercise each week is overwhelming, The good news is that 10 minutes at a time is fine. Taking a 10-minute brisk walk at lunch will not only help your physical health, it can improve mental clarity and problem solving.

Health Hazard #2: Fewer breaks equals less productivity.

It would seem counterintuitive that taking time away from the work day to exercise means less time to get work completed. Yet exercise many just be what the doctor ordered for higher work productivity. Neuroscience studies conducted over decades show there is “a robust link between aerobic exercise and subsequent cognitive clarity.” (ScienceOfUs.com, April 21, 2016.)

Health Habit: In other words, taking time for 30-40 minutes of aerobic activity, particularly running, can provide increased blood flow to the frontal lobe of the brain, which is responsible for planning ahead, focus, concentration, goal setting, and time management.

Health Hazard #3: Prolonged sitting leads to muscle pain.

Muscles are the healthiest and body alignment at its best when the body is put through a full range of motion every day. For a moment, just think about how much we sit. We may have a 30-minute (or longer) commute to work, work an eight-or nine-hour day, drive home, and then sit at kids’ activities or dinner. Not including sleeping (we’ll use a seven-hour night’s sleep for the sake of this example), we could be sitting upwards of 70% or more of our day. Remaining in a seated position, or being lunched over a computer or mobile device for most of the day, especially when poor posture is involved, puts strain on the hip flexors, low back, shoulders and neck.

Health Habit: Take several five- to 10 – minute breaks during the day to stretch muscles.  Try these stretching exercises from Blue Cross Blue Shield that can be incorporated into your work day.

Health Hazard #4: Inactivity and depression are linked.

The Journal of Preventive Medicine found that in the 9,000 women studied, those who sat longer and did not meet the minimum requirements for daily physical activity had higher rates of depression than those who sat less and exercised more.

Health Habit: The Mayo Clinic reports that “Regular exercise probably helps ease depression in a number of ways, which may include releasing feel-good brain chemicals that may ease depression (neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids) and reducing immune system chemicals that can worsen depression.” In addition, “regular exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits, too. It can help you gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance. Take your mind off worries. Exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.”

Health Hazard #5: Decreased workplace satisfaction and collaboration.

Workplaces are a space for innovation and collaboration which happens both in formal meetings and informal gatherings, like sharing lunch. When time with coworkers is satisfying it allows for refreshed thinking, workplace satisfaction, and, as a result, higher productivity.

Health Habit: While it may not be possible to get away every day, take time each week to push away from your desk and enjoy lunch with your colleagues.

 

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Radon: The Gas That Kills Silently

Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas found in Michigan homes that kills thousands each year.

As Punxatauney Phil and Michigan’s own Groundhog, Woody, predicted six more weeks of winter, Michigan residents retreated back into their homes to hunker down until the first signs of spring. For many residents that means exposure to an invisible, odorless, colorless gas that kills silently.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that’s produced from the natural breakdown of uranium which is found in soil, rock, and well water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Surgeon General’s Office have estimated that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused by radon each year. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, you’re at high risk for developing lung cancer.

Easy Testing for Radon Available

The good news is that radon is easily detectable with testing kits available from your county health department. There are two type of kits, short-term test and a long-term test. Because the concentration of radon can vary from season to season, homes should be tested in the winter when windows are closed and radon potentially at its highest level.

The quickest way to test is with short-term tests. Short-term tests remain in your home for two days to 90 days, depending on the device. Because radon levels tend to vary from day to day and season to season, a short-term test is less likely than a long-term test to tell you your year-round average radon level.

Long-term tests remain in your home for more than 90 days. “Alpha track” and “electret” detectors are commonly used for this type of testing. A long-term test will give you a reading that is more likely to provide a year-round average radon level than a short-term test.

Take Action if Radon Levels are More than 4pCi/L

The amount of radon in the air is measured in “picocuries per liter of air,” or pCi/L. The EPA recommends taking action to remove or mitigate radon when levels are 4 pCi/L or higher. While it is not possible to completely eliminate radon, levels can be reduced in most homes to 2 pCi/L or below.

Radon Test Kits Available at County Health Departments

Livingston County Health Department, Environmental Health
Low cost radon test kits are available. Call 517-546-9850 for more information.

Macomb County Health Department, Environmental Health
Radon Test Kits are available free of charge to all Macomb County Residents at
Central Health Center, 43525 Elizabeth Road, Mt. Clemens, MI 48043, 586-469-5236
And
Southwest Health Center, 27690 Van Dyke, Warren, MI 48093, 586-465-8030

Monroe County Health Department, Environmental Services
Radon test kits are available. Call the main office location at 734-240-7800 or 1-888-354-5500 for more information.

Oakland County, Health Division
Purchase a radon test kit for $5 (during the month of January only) at the following locations:
North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N Telegraph, Bldg. 34 East, Pontiac, MI 48341
248-858-1312
South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Rd, Southfield, MI 48076
248-424-7190

Washtenaw County Health Department, Environmental Health
Washtenaw County Environmental Health has short-term test kits available for $10 each, which includes the cost of postage and laboratory analysis. The test kits can be purchased at the Western County Service Center, located at 705 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Test kits can also be mailed for an additional $2 to cover postage and handling. For questions or to order a test kit by mail, please call Angie Parsons at  734-222-3869.

Ypsilanti Township also sells test kits for $10 at the Tilden R. Stumbo Civic Center, inside the Ypsilanti Township Supervisor’s Office, located at 7200 S. Huron River Drive, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Please call (734) 481-0617 for office hours and questions.

To order radon kits online for $9.95, visit http://mi.radon.com. These are the same type of kits distributed at the Washtenaw County offices listed above.

Wayne County Health Department, Environmental Services
Testing is best done in the winter months, when windows and doors are kept closed. Test kits are available at no charge to Wayne County residents. (One test kit per household, please.) They can be picked up at Wayne County Health Department, Health Admin Building, 33030 Van Born Road, Wayne, MI 48184, 734-727-7000

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Cold and Flu and the Home Remedies that Help

Cold vs. Flu (source: WebMD)

The cold reality of winter has set in and so have colds and flu. The common cold and influenza, “the flu”, are both caused by viruses and share many of the same symptoms. So how can you tell the difference? We’ve got your guide to symptoms, when to seek medical care, and a list of home remedies to help.

The Common Cold
Unlike the flu, which is caused by a few viruses, more than 200 viruses can cause the common cold. Symptoms are usually all above the neck and are best treated with rest, over-the-counter cold medicines, and home remedies to lessen the symptoms.

Symptoms of the C0mmon Cold include:

  • Slower Onset of Symptoms, peaking at Day 3-4
  • Sore or Scratchy Throat
  • Runny and/or Stuffy Nose
  • Headache, Body Aches, Fatigue
  • Coughing and/or Sneezing
  • Fever is not typically present with the common cold. More severe symptoms plus a fever may mean you have the flu.

Cold symptoms are general mild and make one feel generally unwell. The common cold typically peaks after three or four days but can last as long as 10-14 days. Because it is caused a virus, it does not respond to antibiotics. In fact, taking an antibiotic for a cold can contribute to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.  Antibiotics treat only bacterial infections. Try home remedies that help alleviate symptoms and make a cold more tolerable.

For colds that worsen after the third or fourth day, cold with a fever, extreme fatigue, painful sore throat, and/or enlarged lymph nodes, seek medical care.

Influenza
Influenza, or “the flu”, is also caused by a virus. But unlike the common cold, the flu can be prevented – or symptoms greatly reduced – with an annual flu vaccine. Of course, the effectiveness of the vaccine is dependent on several factors including how well the vaccine is matched with the actual flu going around, age and health of the person receiving the vaccine, and when the vaccine is given – the sooner in the flu season, the better. It takes up to two weeks after the flu vaccine is administered for full immunity to take effect.

Symptoms of the flu include:

  • Sudden Onset of Symptoms
  • Chills and/or Fever, usually 100 degrees F or higher
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Severe Body Aches
  • Dry Cough
  • Sore Throat

Also unlike the common cold, influenza can be treated with antivirals. Most widely known by the brand name Tamiflu, influenza antivirals are now available in a generic form. Tamiflu, and its generic equivalent, works best when given within 48-72 hours of the onset of flu symptoms, and can shorten the flu by one to two days. The flu typically lasts five to seven days.

Home Remedies that Help
Regardless if you have the flu or a common cold, these home remedies reduce the severity of cold symptoms and can help make you feel better faster.

  • Use a steamy shower, saline rinse or neti pot to clear a stuffy head.
  • Increase intake of non-caffeinated liquids, especially water.
  • Gargle with warm salt water as needed to ease sore throat. Use 1 teaspoon of table salt dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water. Gargle for a few seconds, spit, and repeat with remaining salt water.
  • Increase sleep. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Eat chicken soup and drink warm liquids.
  • Refrain from smoking and stay away from those that do.

Michigan Urgent Care and Occupational Health and its clinics throughout Southeast Michigan are open every day, even on holidays. Our experienced providers and in-house testing lab can provide rapid testing for influenza, strep throat, mono, urinary track infections, and more. Stop in today – no appointment is needed.

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Rock Solid New Year’s Resolution

 

 

 

 

 

New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, and eat better have been declared! The energy of a fresh start can be felt everywhere, the wave of change is strong, and this time it will be different. We’re certain of it! But, according to the Marist Poll, 32% of American who make new year resolutions will not succeed. Typically, the resolve to stick to our this-time-it’s-for-real resolutions fade by the third week in January. Put your resolution up to our five-point checklist to be sure you’ve made a rock solid resolution.

1. Focus on the steps to the goal, not the goal itself. If you’ve resolved to lose weight – congratulations! Losing as little as 10% of your current weight can help prevent or reverse diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, which are risk factors for heart disease and stroke. But the numbers on the scale are the last thing you should be looking at. Concentrate on the steps to help loose weight – eating healthy and exercise. By putting more emphasis on those actions, weight loss should follow.

2. Have a weekly plan. Consider a weekly plan your own personal GPS. You can’t get where you’re going if you don’t map out how you are going to get there. Pick a day each week to look at the week ahead. Plan out your home exercise, trips to the gym, and meal planning including eating out. This can help anticipate busier days and plan accordingly.

3. Prep on Sundays. “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell.

Most people don’t get healthier by accident. Preparation is the key to healthier habits, and a meal prep day for the coming week is essential to prepare to succeed at weight loss.

Create a section of the refrigerator for grab-and-go breakfasts, snacks, and lunches. Ideas include single serving Greek yogurt with a piece of fruit or individual vegetable quiche cups for breakfast. Wash, cut, and store vegetables and fruits in single serving containers or bags and pair with a individual serving of hummus and/or a hard-boiled egg for a snack, and portion out soups and salads for lunch. When time is tight in the morning, all you need to do is grab and go to keep your new year’s resolutions on track.

4. Keep a journal. A study from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research, one of the largest and longest weight-loss maintenance trials ever conducted, found those who kept food records for at least 6 days each week lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records. It didn’t matter how the record was kept, paper and pen or electronic, but that is was consistently used.

5. Forgive yourself for slip-ups. There will always be moments when too many slices of pizza were eaten or too many workouts skipped. The key to get back on track is to forgive yourself, forget, and start again.

The physicians and staff of Michigan Urgent Care and Occupational Health wish you much success for all your New Year’s resolutions. Our clinics are open 365 days a year, including holidays. We have digital X-ray and experienced providers to care for exercise- and sports-related injuries, and can care for colds and flu to get you back to focusing on your 2017 goals.

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Illness and Injury Don’t Take Holidays

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Accidents, illness, and death from certain conditions actually increase during the holidays. With Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve just around the corner, many families are preparing to entertain guests of all ages. As celebrations are being prepared, make safety and health a part of your plans.

The medical providers at Michigan Urgent Care and Occupational Health offer these four tips to keep you safe, healthy, and happy during the holiday season.

Tip #1: Create a Kid-Safe Zone

Entertaining mixed ages can be a challenge for adults to catch up with one another while keeping an eye on children. Often children are given more free range and less supervision. To prevent injury and accidents, designate separate adult-only and kid-friendly spaces. These boundaries should be clearly communicated to all who gather.

Alcoholic beverages, sharp knives, burning candles, and other hazards for children should be kept in adult-only designated spaces read here.

Kids enjoy being able to assert their independence and forge relationships with friends and family they may only see during the holidays. Create a safe, fun zone especially for them. Set up the special area with coloring books, crafts, and child-appropriate movies playing. Allow them to graze on healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese and whole grain crackers, and water. With kids having fun in their area, parents are sure to relax and enjoy their time a bit more.

Tip #2: Have a First Aid Kit Handy

Cuts, burns, and falls are common accidents during the holiday season. Keeping a well-stocked first aid kit close by will improve the response time to an at-home injury, and will ensure the right products are available.  A well equipped first aid kit should include:
  • Tweezers
  • Sterile Gauze Pads
  • Roller Bandage
  • Scissors
  • Hydrocortisone Ointment
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Nonlatex Gloves
  • Instant Cold Compress
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Adhesive Cloth Tape
  • Adhesive Bandages  – assorted sizes
  • Absorbent Compression Dressing

For at-home first-aid of cuts and burns, see our “Recipe for a Safe Thanksgiving” blog post.

Tip #3: Know the Difference between Heartburn or Heart Attack

Researchers have been intrigued by a perplexing problem over the holiday season – a spike in death rates from heart attacks. Reasons as to why this phenomenon exists may include:
  • Physical exertion in cold weather. Cold whether is hard on the heart. Blood vessels constrict which increases blood pressure. Shoveling heavy snow can burden the heart further. Yet, an increase in holiday heart attacks is also seen in warmer climates.
  • Emotional stress, overeating, and consuming higher amount of alcohol typically occur over the holidays and can stress the heart.
  • There’s a delay in seeking care. For some, the disruption of a holiday celebration is worse then seeking medical attention. Symptoms of heartburn and heart attack such as pain and burning in the center of the chest are symptoms of both. Even if symptoms subside after a while, it is important to call your doctor or seek medical care if there’s an unexplained episode of chest pain, even if it went away after a while. A developing heart attack may not cause constant pain.

Typical heart attack signs and symptoms include:

  • Pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back
  • Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness

The most common symptom of heart attack for both men and women is chest pain or discomfort. But women are more likely than men to experience some of the other symptoms, such as jaw or back pain, shortness of breath, and nausea or vomiting. (Source: Mayo Clinic)

Tip #4: Designate a Driver

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that the holidays in December are especially dangerous for motorists. NHTSA found that 41 percent of the fatalities occurred on New Year’s and 38 percent on Christmas, and more than 40 percent of these fatalities involved alcohol.

In the state of Michigan, a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher is considered legally drunk. BAC is affected by gender, body weight, the number of drinks consumed over a specific period of time, and other factors. One drink is equivalent to 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor (40% alcohol), 12 ounces of beer (4.5% alcohol), or 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol).

For a 160 pound male, three to four alcoholic drinks in one hour will result in being legally intoxicated. For a 140-pound female, two to three alcoholic drinks in one hour will result in legal intoxication.

For the safety of all on the road, be sure to always designate a sober driver, or use ride services such as cabs or Uber.

From the Michigan Urgent Care and Occupational Health family to yours, we wish you a very happy, healthy and safe holiday season.

Michigan Urgent Care and Occupational Health’s nine clinics throughout Southeast Michigan are open every day of the year. Our Brighton, Canton, Dundee, Ferndale, Waterford, and Wyandotte clinic are open 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. every day including holidays. Our Grosse Pointe Woods, Livonia, and Ann Arbor (Washtenaw) clinics are open 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. every day including holidays.

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New Urgent Care’s Prescription: Convenience and Accessibility

Wyandotte Urgent Care to host open house and ribbon cutting May 20, 5-8 p.m.

Wyandotte and Downriver residents and businesses now have a new option for health care services. Michigan Urgent Care and Occupational Health has opened the only urgent care clinic in the city of Wyandotte at 375 Eureka Road, Suite B, Wyandotte, Michigan 48192, and is open 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. every day of the year including holidays. The clinic is hosting an open house on Friday, May 20, 5 – 8 p.m. with a ribbon cutting at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The Wyandotte clinic is the tenth clinic for the Livonia-based Michigan Urgent Care and Occupational Health, and is led by President and Medical Director Mohammed Arsiwala, MD, board certified internal medicine.

The Wyandotte clinic’s 2,000 square feet occupies a portion of the renovated former Johnny Mac’s location. The clinic offers four exam rooms, one trauma rooms, one procedure room, a dedicated occupational medicine procedure room, and digital X-ray. Compared to emergency rooms, urgent cares offer more convenience, shorter average wait times and lower copays making the Wyandotte clinic a quality alternative for illnesses and injuries that require immediate attention.

“Urgent care clinics are an essential bridge between patients and needed health care when primary care providers are not available and an emergency room visit is not required,” says Arsiwala. “Wyandotte Urgent Care improves health care accessibility and convenience within Wyandotte.”

Health care services are provided by board certified and licensed providers with extensive urgent care experience. The clinic treats children and adults with illnesses and injuries that require immediate care but are not life-threatening emergencies. The urgent care is equipped with digital monitoring and diagnostic technology, and an electronic medical record system for efficient communication back to patients’ primary providers or specialists.

The Wyandotte clinic also offers occupational health services for businesses and manufacturers including Department of Transportation (DOT) certified exams, industry-specific screenings and testing including HazMat, fire, police, pre-hire and return-to-work physical examinations. Drug and alcohol testing, vision and hearing testing, and workplace injury treatment are services also offered.

“As Michigan’s economy continues to flourish, manufacturers and other business are hiring. As such, the demand for accessible care and quality pre-hire and injury services are increasing,” says Arsiwala. “We are pleased to provide a new and more convenient option for Wyandotte and Downriver businesses, manufacturers and municipalities.”

For more information about the new Wyandotte clinic and Michigan Urgent Care and Occupational Health’s other locations, visit www.MichiganUrgentCare.com or call 734-225-9300 to reach the Wyandotte clinic.

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Dr. Arsiwala, of Ferndale Urgent Care & Occupational Health: “A Passion to Serve Others.”

An article from Ferndale Friends, April/May 2016

By Jennifer Goeddeke

In late February of this year, I was fortunate to meet with Dr. Mohammed Arsiwala at the Ferndale location of Michigan Urgent Care & Occupational Health, a company he founded in 1998. Dr. Arsiwala is well-dressed, articulate, intelligent and yet also remarkably humble about his obvious career success. Notably, he is currently the Vice-Chairman for the State of Michigan Board of Medicine. Having completed his WSU Residency between the years 1995-1998, he then worked at Providence Hospital for one year, in urgent care medicine. When that clinic closed, Dr. Arsiwala quickly embarked on his own career-building journey.

ff_arsiwala Originally, he built up an exclusively urgent care practice, but gradually shifted to more more occupational medicine. Dr. Arsiwala firmly believes in, “evidence-based medicine…I do not push antibiotics or narcotics…” He emphatically described some more of his humanitarian oriented, medical philosophy: “Care should be equitable…when a community is sick, then the outcomes are sick! Basic care and preventative vaccines are as basic as having clean air and water…these should be a basic human right!”

Now with 10 urgent care clinics open in five different Michigan counties, his company is definitely growing in leaps and bounds. On March 14, his newest location in Wyandotte opened, the first clinic of its kind in that area. Dr. Arsiwala anticipates opening another 15-20 clinics within the next three or four years. All of his clinics have long hours (8:00 A.M-10:00 P.M., seven days a week, 365 days a year including holidays.) All main insurances are accepted at his clinics.

 

You may wonder: What is the benefit of an urgent care visit as opposed to a trip to the emergency room? Typically, much shorter wait times and lower co-pays too. The overall focus is on high quality clinical care, with compassion, for all adult and pediatric accidents, injuries and illnesses.

 

ff_arsiwala_2 The Ferndale locale (at 641 West 9 Mile Rd.) is completely clean and modern; a 3,000 square foot facility, boasting nine treatment rooms in total, plus digital X-ray equipment and an on-site laboratory. The staff includes board certified doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, X-ray technicians and administrators. In the occupational health section, which is DOT Certified, various physical exams and testing can be conducted, along with workplace injury treatment (Dr. James Blessman is now President of the Occupational Health division). With an estimated 65-70 per cent adult patients, and 30-35 percent pediatric patients, the clinic is certainly very family-oriented.

In addition to expanding his scope of Clinics in Michigan, Dr. Arsiwala is also involved with impressive medical mission projects around the world! In 2005, he established The H.E.L.P. Global Foundation (an acronym for Help, Education, Life and Progress). Also, there is a sister-organization run by volunteers: Malayka International. The reach of his foundation is significantly impacting India, Afghanistan, Haiti and Uganda.

Dr. Arsiwala’s goal is basically to “…create healthy communities and good economic outcomes…” For example, in India, the medical mission is combined with educational goals: providing 25 laptops and 25 teachers to teach children in rural areas. A further example of the HELP Global Foundation in action is the building of a 100-bed hospital in Afghanistan for trauma victims. A dental clinic has also been set up in Haiti. Providing further support for these projects is Dr. Arsiwala’s partner- Tara Coughlin, an educated attorney. Seven years ago she started a program to help injured soldiers on bases in Afghanistan (she also opened a clinic in Haiti). Jointly, they are in the process of building a 100- bed hospital in Afghanistan for trauma victims.

ff_arsiwala_3 In Uganda, Dr. Arsiwala began the “Ssezibwa Demonstration Farm Project” because farmers there are borrowing money, and not getting ahead at all. So, he formed a contract and created a special Farmers’ Co-op. The infrastructure for efficient production (equipment) was provided, along with assistance with seeds and water. Dr. Arsiwala also set up a grain mill, and hopes to sell their organic certified grain in various Whole Foods Chains. The ultimate goal is to, “…reduce poverty, increase dignity…” and have the children attend school instead of working the land. Additionally, the HELP Global Foundation is purchasing 50-60 acres to form a Regional Medical Center for Trauma patients in East Uganda.

Providing further support for these projects is Dr. Arsiwala’s partner, Tara Coughlin, an educated attorney. Seven years ago she started defending injured Ugandan soldiers, that worked as contracted employees in Afghanistan and Iraq (on US Military bases). Her organization is called Malayka International.

I had to ask Dr. Arsiwala: where do you find the time for all of these projects? He replied succinctly and without pause, “time finds you!” He added, “…and the only limits on your life are those that you set for yourself!”

The Ferndale Urgent Care and Occupational Health Clinic is located at:
641 West 9 Mile Rd. (SE Corner of 9 Mile and Livernois).
www.michiganurgentcare.com
248.206.1600.

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American Heart Month

February marks American Heart Month, which provides an opportunity for awareness and education on the number one killer of both men and women in the United States.  In fact, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease, and every year our urgent care clinics see transfers to the emergency departments for individuals experiencing heart attacks who have sought care from us thinking it was something else.  

Last year alone, 610,000 Americans died from heart disease. In the past, this number was made up primarily of people over the age of 60, but that has changed. People of all ages are at risk, and a growing number of younger people are now dealing with medical conditions involving the heart.

With heart disease becoming a growing problem in the United States, it’s imperative to be informed on the risks, symptoms, and preventative opportunities. Help make a difference in your community and at home by spreading awareness of heart health this month and beyond.

There are various risk factors for heart disease that everyone should be aware of. Simple lifestyle changes can make a big impact on lowering risk for heart disease, stroke, and metabolic syndrome, which is a group of factors that greatly increase risk for developing cardiovascular disease, including stroke and diabetes. Some factors that increase risk for heart disease include are smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, being overweight or obese, and lack of physical activity.

Using a professional risk calculator, an evaluation of risk of having a heart attack or dying from coronary heart disease in the next ten years is estimated. The calculator can also identify risks for metabolic syndrome.

The professional risk calculator can be used by anyone 20 years of age or older, and by age 40 everyone should know their risk score by using the tool. It’s also vital to consider family history. If family members have died from heart disease before the age of 65 for a woman, or 55 for a man, then it’s even more imperative to be screened for heart disease risks by 20 years of age.

Heart disease awareness doesn’t end with the month of February. There are many impactful ways to continue to spread heart health information throughout the year. .

  • Encourage friends and family to make small changes in their diets. For example, using other spices to season food rather than salt.
  • Parent can help their children embrace the value of physical activity by scheduling family activity time on most or all days of the week..
  • For teachers or administrators, physical activity can be incorporated into daily lessons and classroom time.
  • For businesses, include information about American Heart month in your company’s monthly newsletter and break room, and host a 20-minute group walk around your office at lunch time, and make it a weekly routine!
  • Following the American Heart Month on social media.

You only have one heart. Join the heart health movement, and start spreading awareness and knowledge about heart disease.

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Lead: The heavy metal not being taken lightly in Michigan

Tap-with-running-water

The Flint Water Crisis has been and continues to be the main story in Michigan and across the United States. Lead, and its heavy metal counterparts mercury, cadmium, and arsenic, appears on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) list of 10 chemicals of major public health concerns.

While Michigan Urgent Care clinics do not test for blood lead poisoning, we feel it important to share information about lead, its health effects, and what you can do to prevent lead poisoning and educate others.

What is lead?

Lead is a naturally occurring element found in small amounts in the earth’s crust. While it has some beneficial uses, it can be toxic to humans and animals causing negative health effects.

Lead can be found in the air, such as in workplaces that use or manufacturer lead-based products, soil, which could contaminate food, and drinking water.  It is important to note that lead rarely occurs naturally in water; it usually gets into the water from the delivery system. Lead pipes and/or lead solder are the main contributors to high lead levels in tap water.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) have set standards for the maximum acceptable lead levels that can be found in water, food, workplace air, and household paint.

What is lead poisoning?

Lead poisoning occurs when someone absorbs too much lead by breathing or swallowing a substance that contains the element.

How does lead get in the body?

There are three ways that lead can enter the body–inhalation, ingestion, or absorption.

Inhalation of lead occurs when someone breathes in lead particles. This usually happens when working in an environment where lead dust or fumes are present. Once the lead enters your lungs, it is absorbed into your bloodstream.

Lead entering the body through ingestion is absorbed into the body about 6 times faster than inhalation. Consumption of lead usually occurs when someone does not properly wash their hands after handling lead or substances containing lead, and then puts their hands in their mouth. Up until 1978, lead was used in paint, which led to many children to be lead poisoned through ingesting paint chips. Some older homes or toys still have lead paint. Other items that contain lead are bullets, curtain weights, fishing sinkers, and pipes (which can contaminate water).

For water, the E.P.A. does not require action until levels reach 15 parts per billion, but public health scientists say there is no safe level for lead in water (New York Times, “Events that led to Flint’s Water Crisis”.)

Lastly, lead can enter the body through absorption. Although, the rate of this is much slower than inhalation or ingestion. Lead absorption takes place when lead dust rests on skin, and then enters the pores. When someone sweats, then the lead can enter the body through the pores. The bigger concern is when the pore reopens on the surface of the skin and then is picked up or ingested by family and friends.

What does lead do inside the body?

Lead causes different symptoms among children and adults. Exposure to lead in children can result in lower IQ levels, smaller size compared to other children the same age, behavior and learning deficits, lack of energy, and decreased appetite. In adults lead causes changes in behavior, memory loss, trouble thinking clearly, weakness, muscle problems, and headaches.

Can lead be removed from the body?

Once a person is diagnosed with lead poisoning through a blood test, the source of the lead should be removed by a professional. This means checking old paint and other areas of the home or workplace, and then removing it. From there, the diagnosed person should practice good nutrition that contains high levels of iron and other vitamins/minerals that are known to reduce lead levels. If removing the lead source and practicing good nutrition fails to work then chelation therapy may be recommended. However, damage caused by lead poisoning is not reversible.

What can I do?

Know your home’s age! If you live in an older home (pre-1978), the paint should be tested, and then hire professionals to remove any lead-based paint found. Also, avoid older toys and household items that may be painted with lead-based paint.

Test drinking water supply. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has answers to frequently asked questions about testing drinking water for homeowners. As mentioned previously in this article, lead rarely occurs naturally in water. Lead contamination in water most often occurs from the element leaching from water lines into the water supply.

Homeowners should contact their Local Health Department for a recommendation of what to have their water tested for.  EPA recommends that private wells be tested for coliforms (bacteria) and nitrate/nitrite at a minimum. Arsenic, a heavy metal found in groundwater that can cause irreversible health conditions, may also be recommended for testing by local health departments. Homeowners with older home built before the 1990s should also consider testing their water for lead since lead solder may have been used to join pipes together.

Most importantly, if you believe you or your children have been exposed to lead see a health care professional immediately! The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services also has information about blood lead testing.

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