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The basics of strokes

By: Anteneh M. Belay, MD, ABEM

The basics of strokes

As we discussed in a previous blog post, a stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Without blood, brain functions get disrupted and blood cells start dying. The death of brain cells can result in eventual death, lasting disability, memory loss, numbness of one side of the body and confusion. There are two core types of strokes namely Ischemic stroke and Hemorrhagic stroke. Details of these strokes are listed below: read more

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When is a sore throat strep throat?

By: Sumeet Bhatt, MD, ACLS, ATLS, PALS, ABEM

Patient with strep at Lonestar 24 HR ER.
Strep throat in a Lonestar pediatric patient in New Braunfels, TX.

Sore throat is usually caused by two types of germs: virus and bacteria. One type of well-known bacterial infection is commonly called “strep throat”.

It is hard to tell the difference between viral and bacterial throat infections, but there are some clues to look for.  People who have a sore throat caused by a virus usually have other symptoms, such as runny nose, chest congestion, red eyes, cough, a hoarse voice, and/or body aches.  People who have strep throat usually do not have all those symptoms above. They usually have severe throat pain, fever higher than 100.4°F, and swollen neck glands. read more

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How to identify shingles


Shingles, also known as Herpes Zoster, is a painful rash that is shaped like a band or a belt. It usually only affects one side of the body and does not cross the midline, in the vast majority of cases.

It is caused by the Varicella Zoster Virus, which is the same virus that causes Chickenpox. When someone first becomes infected with this virus, they get Chickenpox. The virus then “hides” or “sleeps” in your body and becomes reactivated later in life, causing shingles. read more

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What is a stroke?

Stroke Symptoms
Board-certified physicians are of utmost importance in your care if you think you are having a stroke.


You have heard of people having strokes and may know someone who has had one, but are you at risk? How can you determine this and what are the symptoms?

A stroke, otherwise called a cerebrovascular accident, is when an individual experiences a sudden loss of blood supply to the brain.  This loss is typically caused by a blockage of blood to the brain but it can also be caused by an injury to a blood vessel or even bleeding within the brain.  Symptoms from a stroke can improve over time or they can be permanent leading to long-term disability. read more

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Why did I get the flu if I got the shot?

pediatric care for the flu
The flu virus is most dangerous to children and the elderly. If you think your child has the flu, Lonestar 24 HR ER is here to help.

By: Dylan Easley MD, ABEM

Flu activity typically runs from May to March.  There are multiple variations of the influenza virus.  The flu vaccine provides protection for 3-4 specific influenza viruses.  There are many flu viruses that circulate every year.  The vaccine includes the flu viruses that research suggests will be most common each year.

The flu shot takes about 2 weeks before it offers its maximum protection.  If you get exposed to the flu less than 2 weeks after receiving the vaccine you may still get the flu because your body’s immune response is not yet ramped up. read more

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Dry drowning: Separating myth from fiction

Comal River Sunset
Sunset over the Comal River from Prince Solms Park, New Braunfels, TX

By: Anteneh M. Belay, MD, ABEM

What are the symptoms of dry drowning?

Because dry drowning is not an accepted medical term, it’s difficult to easily describe because different sources give differing explanations.

Dry drowning used to describe the lungs of drowning victims devoid of water at autopsy. This happens in a relatively small percentage (up to 20%) of drowning cases, and may be due to vocal cord spasm. However, we know that very little water actually enters the lungs during most drownings and thus, parents need to remember: in drowning situations, the main medical problem is lack of oxygen to the brain. read more

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Emergency Room or Urgent Care?

Emergency Room or Urgent Care?

Illnesses or injuries often appear out of the blue: Your child spikes a high fever in the middle of the night. You’re rearranging your living room over the weekend and sprain or break your ankle. You wake up in the middle of the night with intense abdominal or chest pain.

When these situations occur, we’re often faced with the decision of where to go – when your primary care physician’s office is closed, do you turn to an urgent care or an emergency room? The answer isn’t always simple, but knowing the differences between an urgent care and an emergency room can help. read more

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FAQs About Lonestar 24 HR ER

FAQs About Lonestar 24 HR ER

1) What is a freestanding emergency room?

A freestanding emergency room is a facility which provides emergency medical care in a structure that is separate and distinct from a traditional hospital. Lonestar 24 HR ER is a freestanding emergency room that is staffed with physicians who are Board Certified in emergency medicine. Our facility is equipped with state-of-the-art technology that can be found in a traditional hospital; some of this technology includes CT scans, ultrasound, digital x-rays, EKG, and CLIA and COLA certified labs.

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