Does Your Medical Condition Really Call for a Trip to the ER?

Emergency room entrance of hospital

Whenever people are injured or feel poorly, there's an almost primal desire to rush to the emergency room. A lot of the times these are valid concerns, such as major injuries and truly debilitating diseases. But sometimes, people go to the emergency room for minor medical concerns that could occupy the time of medical professionals who could be helping someone with worse conditions. There's also the fact that emergency room bills are soaring through the roof, with a woman who only received an ice pack getting a $5,000 bill. But what other options are there for the sick and injured of the United States? Where are they to turn for their sniffles and stitches?

Urgent Attention for Urgent Needs

All over America, urgent medical care franchises are providing people with treatments for their non-life threatening injuries and diseases. There are approximately 9,000 of these facilities throughout the country. Much like an emergency room, there is no need to schedule an appointment to receive aid. Nurse practitioners usually provide the necessary patient care and they can tend to a lot of things that people usually rush to the ER for. In fact, between 13.7 to 27.1 percent of emergency room visits are treatable with the resources available at an urgent care facility. There are multiple benefits for choosing to go to one of these locations instead of the emergency room.

Because the staff of urgent medical care centers only treat conditions that aren't life-threatening, they don't attend to patients by descending order of severity. They, instead, operate on a first-come-first-served basis, massively cutting down the time a patient would otherwise wait to see an emergency medical professional. A patient in an urgent care facility would wait an average of fewer than 30 minutes before receiving treatment. Compare that to the average two-hour waiting time of an emergency room, and the appeal of these centers becomes readily apparent.

What Constitutes an ER-Worthy Condition?

man in a mobile hospital bed

As useful and practical as these facilities can be, people should still be aware of when their condition requires the expertise and treatments only available at emergency rooms.

If someone is finding it very hard to breathe, such as happens during a severe allergic reaction or an impending heart attack, it may be time to call the paramedics or head for the nearest emergency room. Speaking of heart attacks, if a person feels pain on the left side of their chest and has a history of cardiac problems, someone should definitely call the emergency room for help. The same goes for when someone starts displaying the classic signs of a stroke, such as slurred speech and the sagging of one side of the face.

Other symptoms and conditions that warrant a trip to the ER include:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Sudden loss of sensation in any extremity
  • The presence of blood when coughing
  • Wounds that won't stop bleeding
  • Seizures

If someone experiences any of these, the best way to get help is to dial 911 or rush them to an emergency room.

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Hops that You’ve Never Heard of but Are still Worth the Try

You’ve brewed with Citra, Simcoe, and Cascade. You might have even gotten hold of some Galaxy or Nelson Sauvin. Favorite hops have dominated the market and brewing circles, but there are newer and less popular hops that are still worth your attention.

Mandarina Bavaria

Germany has some of the oldest hop varieties, and most of their hop research goes towards making hardier strains with bigger yields. Only in the past decade have they began researching into newer hop varieties, and one of their most successful results is Mandarina Bavaria. This fresh hop comes courtesy of the U.S. Cascade, giving it a little more flavor than the usual German or Noble hop. It evokes tones of strawberry, gooseberry, and black currant while delivering intense flavors of lemon, lime, and tangerine. Since it is grown in Germany, the hop retains a spicy and herbal base similar to those of the noble hop varieties.

Loral

It’s not a shampoo, but it will give your brews a smooth bitterness and make them smell good. Loral is the American answer to the European noble hops. It produces strong floral, herbal, and spicy notes, but it also contains the citrusy notes that your patrons love. Loral is very aromatic, but the herbal and spicy notes are more pronounced in the aroma and less in the actual flavor. As a bittering hop, it makes excellent lagers and its high alpha acid content make it very suitable for IPAs. Loral has been getting some buzz the past two years and is worth giving a shot.

Enigma

Beer testing

Galaxy has made every other Australian hop take the backseat, but one hop you should try is Enigma. Enigma is intensely fruity with subtler floral tones and hints of raspberry. Its flavors are reminiscent of white wine, often garnering comparison with New Zealand’s Nelson Sauvin. It produces a bright hop aroma that’s strong on earthiness and floral notes. The wine-like flavors can be a bit sharp and overwhelming for regular beer-drinkers, but you can pair it with a bit of Simcoe to make a more balanced and mature brew. Production isn’t as high as Galaxy — which is pushing 1,000 tons by next year — but you should still have no problems finding Enigma on your local stores or online.

XJA2/436

With its seemingly sci-fi name, XJA2/436 is still in the experimental stage (either that or it’s a great marketing gimmick). The South African hop carries various fruity notes with a bit of lemon, gooseberries, and a strong papaya flavor. It is very aromatic, and its fruity flavors are impressive, but a lot of other fruity hops make more flavorful brews. What XJA2/436 excels at is bittering. It works great on pale ales and IPAs, adding only a hint of berry to your drinks. XJA2/436 is still in the experimental stage so stocks are limited and you might have trouble getting your hands on them.

Don’t always stick with the top hops. Widen your brewing experience by trying newer and lesser-known hops. With a little experimenting, you might create that perfect brew that you’ve always wanted.

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