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Sometimes all it takes is a little basic medical knowledge to save you a trip to the doctor. Here’s some useful information about some common injuries and conditions.
“Mom! It hurts when I swallow!” Your son is too miserable to enjoy a day home from school. He’s in pain every time he tries to talk or swallow, and his voice is hoarse. You’re doing your best to keep him comfortable, but now you think you’re getting a sore throat, too.
 
A sore throat (also known as pharyngitis) is an inflammation of the pharynx, and it can be caused by either a virus or bacteria. At-home remedies include rest, hydrating fluids like water, juice, and hot tea, gargling with warm salt water, ice pops, throat lozenges, and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). A viral sore throat should respond within a few days, but an untreated bacterial infection can develop into the back of the throat or the tonsils and may require surgery.
 
At CityMD, we can swab your throat to check for strep bacteria. You’ll have your results within five minutes, and if you have a bacterial infection you can be given antibiotics. 
 
Call us at 212-772-DOCS or walk into one of our clinics today.
You went to bed with just a little tickle in your throat, but when you wake up, you’re sneezing and coughing with achy muscles and a fever. Is it a cold--or could it be the flu?
 
Cold symptoms are typically milder than flu symptoms, starting with a sore throat that gets better after a day or two. The congestion, runny nose, cough, and slight fever may last up to a week. You’re most contagious in the first three days, and you’ll need to rest and stay hydrated. If symptoms persist past a week, you may need antibiotics to clear up a bacterial infection.
 
The flu comes on more quickly than a cold and lasts longer. Your fever may be higher, muscle aches more severe, and cough more prominent, and you may also have a headache. Most of the time you’ll feel better after three to five days, though some symptoms like persistent fatigue may last for a week or longer. The flu virus is very contagious, and frequent hand washing (especially after blowing your nose or sneezing) can help prevent its spread.
 
In the very young, the elderly, pregnant women, diabetics and people with lung problems (like COPD or emphysema) or heart problems, the flu can
lead to pneumonia. 
 
Both cold and flu can be treated with hydration, pain and fever reducers, and decongestants. In certain cases, especially in the early onset, antivirals may help reduce the intensity of symptoms. See a doctor if you have symptoms of a cold or the flu, especially if your illness is not improving. 
 
At CityMD, we provide bedside tests to can check for bacterial or viral causes of cold and flu symptoms. We can also perform a digital x-ray if pneumonia is a concern. Most test results are available within minutes. 
 
Call us at 212-772-DOCS or walk into one of our clinics today.
You’ve been to the bathroom three times in the last hour, but only a few drops are coming out. And the pain is so intense you hope that you won’t have to go again anytime soon--but you feel the urge just a short time later. You think you have a urinary tract infection.
 
A urinary tract infection (UTI) happens when bacteria from the skin of the genitalia or rectal area finds its way into the urinary tract. The bacteria multiplies in the urethra or bladder causing an infection. 
 
Symptoms of a UTI include frequent urination, burning while urinating or having the urge to urinate with only little urine coming out.  Woman may also have pain in the pelvic area. Men over the age of 50 are at increased risk for UTI because of enlarged prostate. Other risk factors include sexual activity and poor hygiene.  Seek treatment at the first sign of symptoms, as waiting could lead to complications, including a serious kidney infection called pyelonephritis.
 
At CityMD, we can quickly diagnose and treat your UTI in a single visit. Call us at 212-772-DOCS or walk into one of our clinics today.

Sinusitis is also known as sinus infection that leads to inflammation of the sinuses in the head. Sinuses are air filled spaces that are behind the forehead, nose, cheeks and eyes. If there is blockage of the sinuses by excessive mucous (due to a cold or flu) bacteria and viruses can build up leading to congestion, fevers, pressure like feeling and pain.

Acute sinusitis usually follows after a viral infection involving the upper respiratory tract but allergies can also lead to sinusitis. Due to mucous blockage and inability for sinuses to drain, bacteria and viruses easily grow and invade the lining of the sinuses. This leads to symptoms of sinusitis.

Medical attention should be sought out if symptoms such as pressure, fever, pain, is worsening or persisting especially for more than a week. Sinusitis can be treated several ways some simple things that you can do at home include steam therapy using a vaporizer or inhaling seat from a shower in the bathroom. Drinking fluids and using anti-inflammatory and pain reducing medications such as ibuprofen can also help. However your doctor may recommend decongestants such as nasal sprays that work quicker. It is important to note that decongestants should not be used for more than 3 days since they become less effective thus when stopping can lead to worsening congestion. Antibiotics may also be needed and there are several that your doctor can prescribe for worsening or persisting symptoms.

Sinusitis can also be prevented by washing your hands especially when in contact with others who have a cold or flu, obtaining influenza vaccination, staying hydrated, and avoiding allergens in the environment.

Pink eye is also known as conjunctivitis or inflammation of the conjunctiva (membrane that lines the eye). This inflammation results in engorged blood vessels causing the eye to appear red or pink.

Signs of conjunctivitis include redness, irritation, blurry vision, watering of clear liquid or yellow thick mucous material, crusting of the eye, sensitivity to light and having a gritty feeling in the eye.

There are several causes of conjunctivitis such as irritation from chemicals, infection from virus, bacteria, fungus, allergies or overuse of contact lens. One of the most common cause of pink eye is a viral infection and commonly occurs in children. Viral conjunctivitis can be associated with upper respiratory track infections such as flu or common cold or sore throats. There is usually a watery discharge without much pain. The infection usually starts in one eye and can spread to another. There are no specific treatment for viral conjunctivitis except for symptomatic relief from cold compresses and artificial tears. As always hand washing is very important to prevent from infection the other eye and others around you.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is due to bacteria leading to yellowish drainage or pus. This thicker drainage can cause more crusting and sticking of the eyelids shut especially after sleep. Sometimes the infection could involve the skin around the eye as well and definitely requires a physician to evaluate this since this can lead to other dangerous complications and extension of infection to even behind the eye. Even though bacterial conjunctivitis may resolve by itself in about three days, antibiotic eye drops or ointment may be needed after that.

Chemical conjunctivitis can be due to acids or bases (alkali) substances that get in the eye and the amount of injury and irritation depends on, concentration, type, length of time and amount of material that entered the eye. The first thing that must be done is to flush the eye with running water. These injuries usually require urgent medical attention.

If you have pink eye be sure to practice good hand hygine, take out your contact lens right away and seek medical attention. At CityMD urgent medical care the physicians can provide prompt evaluation for pink eye from newborns to adults. There is no appointment needed and you can walk in during the extended hours 365 days a year.

This article will review what you should do if you think you have a sprain or a strain. But first lets start off by differentiating between a sprain and a strain. Your body has many muscles, ligaments and tendons that hold joints together and allow you to move. A ligament holds two bones together such as ligaments in your knee or ankle. Tendons connect muscle to bone and allow for movement to occur.

A sprain is injury to a ligament due to stretching and or tearing. A strain is injury to of a muscle or a tendon (easy to remember since the word “strain” has a “T” in it to remind you of tendon). Sprains and strains are very common injuries in all age groups that can occur from falling, twisting, lifting, getting hit or being involved in car accidents.

Signs of sprains and strains can include any of the following either alone or in combination: pain, swelling, bruising, muscle spasm, inflammation or cramping. Some sprains or strains can be severe enough to actually cause ripping of the ligament, muscle or tendon and thus urgent medical care should be sought.

Treatment for sprains and strains should start with basic rest, ice, compression (such as an ACE bandage) and elevation if there is swelling. However since the ligaments, tendons and muscles are damaged in such injuries, severe cases can also lead to fractures and others may even require surgery. Thus, urgent X-rays may be needed as initial tests in certain cases. The doctor may also wrap joints with an ACE bandage or even apply a splint to keep the joint stable for healing to occur. Usually anti-inflammatory medications are helpful in such conditions and some cases may benefit from muscle relaxants as well. A physician can also determine whether further tests such as MRI may be needed or a referral to a specialist.

If you live in New York City (NYC) or in the NYC area, and need urgent medical care for a sprain or strain or many other conditions - City MD Urgent Care is there for you. You do not need an appointment, and at City MD the goal is to treat you immediately on a no-waiting basis. We have X-ray on premise and can refer you locally for further testing or specialists in a prompt manner.

A fracture is the same as a broken bone. There can be numerous reasons why a bone would break and most are due to some type of injury or trauma. Very commonly people end up with fractures from slips and falls or while playing sports. There are some risk factors that may increase one’s chances of getting a fracture such as advanced age, certain types of cancers and osteoporosis. The extent of a fracture can widely vary as well from a minor fracture which may be difficult to even pick up on an x-ray to an “open fracture” where the bone is totally broken and protrudes out of the skin (a surgical emergency that needs hospitalization and operation).

This article will review minor fractures. To a person with a fracture, no fracture is minor, however a “minor” fracture is defined here as one that usually does not require an operation.

A fracture should be suspected after an injury if there is deep pain down in the bone that gets worse when you push on that part. Besides the obvious pain, other signs include swelling, bruising, decreased ability to move the joint and inability to walk if it pertains to an injury in the leg or ankle. More worrisome signs that a physician can determine requiring hospitalization would include decreased pulse, cool or pale extremity below or further from the injured site, numbness and tingling.

X-ray is commonly used to diagnose a fracture, however not all fractures show up on an x-ray especially a “minor fracture” or a hairline fracture. An example of this is a rib fracture which may not show up on x-ray however due to the severity of pain it creates may exist. The good news about majority of minor fractures is that they need only a few simple treatments that can be provided quickly.

The way a fracture is treated totally depends on the location. These include splitting, casting or doing nothing else but applying cold packs and taking pain medications. Frequently a simple splint (which is a removable cast with a ACE wrap on top) is used to treat a minor fracture. This allows the part that is broken to be stabilized and limits movement, allowing quicker healing and less pain. Splints are commonly used in hand and arm fractures. Small splints are also available for finger fractures! Usually fractures of the leg or ankle also need crutches. Rib fractures usually need nothing else but pain medications.

It is important to look into if a fracture exists or not and treat it in cases where there is a suspicion for one since besides bones there can be injury to ligaments and tendons around the bone as well. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, follow up may be needed with a bone specialist or an orthopedic doctor to further assess or treat these other injuries and take care of the fracture.

Preliminary assessment as well as diagnosis with an X-ray and treatments can be quickly made in urgent care facilities such as CityMD . There is no appointment needed and the urgent care is staffed by physicians well experienced physicians who are capable of taking care of your minor fracture.

What to do if you have cuts requiring stitches

Your skin can get cut in many ways, from working in the kitchen making dinner to working with tools to playing sports or falling in a playground. The first thing that you should do if you cut yourself is to clean the cut with cold running water. If there is bleeding, apply compression to the cut using a clean cloth. If the cut is in an extremity bleeding can also be controlled by elevating that extremity.

The first question that many people have after they cut themselves is if they should go see a doctor. If the cut is deep, meaning more than a simple abrasion or scrape, it may need stitches and a doctor should look at it to determine if it does. It is important to see a doctor sooner than later since many cuts do not qualify for sutures or stitches to be placed after 12 hours since there is a greater chance of an infection occurring.

Most cuts that require stitches can easily be taken care of in urgent care or walk-in clinics that offer such services. Depending on the depth, location and type of cut a doctor in a walk-in urgent care can wash it further, give you a local anesthetic similar to what dentists use to numb the cut. This way when stitches or sutures are placed, you will not feel the needle. The wound then may need to be wrapped to keep it clean.

Some cuts may not require stitches but may be a candidate to be closed by a medical glue that closes the skin together. The doctor at the urgent care or walk in clinic can determine which cuts can be closed using this method. Furthermore most cuts on the head (scalp not the face) are usually fixed with staples also after a local anesthetic is placed.

Whether you end up getting stitches, medical glue or staples it is important to understand that some amount of scar should be expected. Once skin is cut, it loses its strength and elasticity, the body tries to heal this loss of tissue by forming new connective tissue which in essence is a scar. So scar formation is the body’s normal way to heal cuts even if you have stitches.

At home the sutures should be kept dry for the first 24 hours. You many need to apply an antibiotic ointment as well. Your doctor will inform you when you should return for the stitches or staples to be removed. Sometimes cuts can get infected. Everyone has bacteria on their skin, anytime there is a cut the bacteria can go inside and cause an infection. This usually does not occur however even after cleaning cuts well and under the best medical management 5 percent of cuts can get infected. Signs to watch out for at home for infected cut include redness, swelling, more pain, pus, fevers or red streaking. If you see any of these signs you must return to the doctor right away.

If you live in New York City (NYC) or in the NYC area, and need urgent medical care for a cut or many other conditions - City MD Urgent Care is there for you. You do not need an appointment, and at City MD the goal is to treat you immediately on a no-waiting basis. 

An skin abscess is a local infection that results in pus being accumulated under the skin. Anyone can get an abscess since everyone’s skin normally has bacteria on it, if the bacteria gets below the skin, there is a chance for a collection of pus or abscess to form. However certain practices can increase the chance of an abscess to be formed such as shaving or waxing. Other causes include bug bites, scrapes or getting a foreign body under the skin. There are certain parts of the body that are also more likely to have an abscess formed especially areas where there are more sweat glands than other areas such as armpits, groin, rectal and external vaginal area. 

You should be concerned of an abscess developing if you have pain and localized redness in the skin. Sometimes, prior to pus being accumulating, these are the only symptoms that you have. You should seek medical care early if this is the case, since the doctor may evaluate the infection and recommend some simple treatments for it such as soaking it in warm water before pus accumulates. However if there is swelling and warmth in addition to pain and redness or you see pus coming out, urgent medical treatment is needed. Most abscess do not get better on their own and require urgent incision and drainage. Medical attention should be sought sooner if you have fevers or certain medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney problems and on dialysis, chemotherapy or steroids. 

Not all abscess will open up and drain by itself, some require a physician to take out the collection of pus that accumulates below the skin. The doctor will numb the area on the abscess and inside using a local anesthetic similar to what dentists use. The abscess is then cut with a surgical knife and pus is drained. Sometimes, especially in larger abscess, there are several collection of pus pockets underneath the skin, similar to a beehive. Since there are "walls" between these separate pus pockets (or loculations) they have to be broken up with minor surgical instruments so the pus can be drained. Once pus is drained a packing (sterile gauze in a string) is placed inside to keep the walls open so that pus does not reform and that any pus left drains out.

Once he pus is drained and the packing is placed, it is usually necessary to return to the doctor in two days so that the wound can be evaluated again. The doctor during the second visit will see if pus is still draining or has stopped. By looking at the wound again, the packing may be removed and wound be allowed to close by itself or the wound may need to be packed again. At times, although uncommon pus pockets may form again and they may have to be opened again for more drainage. These are all evaluations that a doctor can perform at your local emergency department or urgent care medical practice.

The doctors in CityMD in NYC are board certified Emergency Medicine specialists that can take care of skin infections and abscess that require incision and drainage right in their office. They will provide personalized compassionate urgent medical care without having you wait for hours.