As an urgent and primary care provider, I see a lot of patients with coughs, colds and season viruses. Our location, being just steps from a college campus, means that a lot of these cases could be prevented with some basic, healthy habits. Following are five simple tips that I hope my own children will need when they head off to school in a few years.
Sleep (just not through class)
It’s back to school season, which means getting plenty of sleep. It is your best defense against illness. Yes, you can go out and have a good time, but don’t forget to get some rest so your body can restore itself and keep you going. Lack of sleep lowers your resistance, making you more prone to coughs, colds and seasonal flu. Kick your noisy roommate out for a bit and take a nap if you need to.
Choose food that fuels your mind
Pizza and breadsticks at 3am alone will not cut it. Choose foods that fuel your mind. Fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins are essential to keeping your body strong. Bonus, they also help prevent unwanted weight gain that many experience in college. While mom’s home cooking may be miles away, the grocery store is a short walk. Don’t live on pizza delivery alone. Eating healthy will help keep you in school and away from your medicine cabinet.
Fluids are your friend
Drink plenty of water and other non-carbonated, non-caffeinated beverages each day. Staying hydrated is essential to keeping our body healthy. It also flushes out any toxins you may have consumed the night before. Need an extra boost? Innovative Express Care, located just off the DePaul campus, offers IV fluids for hangovers which will get you back on your feet in no time.
Get your flu shot
Think you don’t need your flu shot? Think again. The flu likes college living just as much as you do. Your best protection against the flu is to get the vaccine. We have walk-in appointments available daily and will have you in and out in no time.
If you get sick, call us (and your mom)
Did you get sick despite your best attempts to stay healthy? Call us. We offer same-day appointments and even walk-in appointments, which means you can just Uber on over to Innovative Express Care. Oh and call your mom, too. She’ll want to know. She may even make you some chicken soup.
While warm weather may still be upon us, flu season is fast approaching. In fact, we’ve already seen our first flu case of the season at Innovative Express Care. Your best defense against influenza is to get your flu vaccine, which will offer you and your family protection all season. Still unsure? Read on to learn more about the importance of flu vaccines.
How does the flu shot work?
The flu vaccine significantly lowers your risk of catching influenza, and if you do happen to get the flu, it lessens the severity of the symptoms and duration of the virus. The flu shot works by injecting inactive influenza viruses into your body. This allows your body to create antibodies that fight the virus. The viruses targeted in the flu shot are modified each season based on flu predictions, and typically include Inflenza A, H1N1, H3N2, and Influenza B. Learn more about the Influenza viruses here.
Why vaccinate for the flu?
We all have a friend that claims the flu shot makes you sick. This is absolutely false. The flu vaccine is your best protection against the flu. It takes about two weeks for your body to build up antibodies, so it’s best to receive your flu shot early in the season. Complications from the flu have the potential to be life-threatening, especially for high-risk individuals, which include infants, children, pregnant women and the elderly, as well as those with underlying health conditions. In the 2018-2019 flu season, there were approximately 550,000 hospitalizations and 50,000 deaths from flu viruses.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
Everyone over the age of six months (with the exception of those who are allergic to vaccine ingredients), should receive their flu vaccine. Innovative Express Care has the flu shot available now, and we will be offering flu vaccines all season long. We do accept insurance and self-pay is only $30.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, visit our website or call 773-270-5600.
Every February it’s always the same: people going on and on about their schmoopies and the five pounds of rose petals forming a pathway to the bedroom and how the Mother of the Year baked individual heart-shaped cakes for all 27 kids in the kindergarten class and made sure every harried work-outside-the-home parent knew about it.
This Valentine’s Day, show yourself a little love with a visit to Innovative MedSpa! That’s right, no roses, no chocolate-covered strawberries, no Hallmark cards that cost how much? This year treat yo’ self to wrinkle-free skin and a relaxed look.
What is Botox, you might ask. It’s pretty much a miracle in a bottle, erasing fine lines with minimal discomfort. Sure, there’s a needle disarmingly close to your face, but once you see the results, you’ll forget all about that small detail.
BOTOX Cosmetic is a short and minimally invasive treatment that requires no downtime. During treatment, very low doses of BOTOX Cosmetic are administered by way of small injections directly into the muscles that cause frown lines between the brows and above the brows as well as the crow’s feet around the eyes. It can also reduce some lines on the lower lids, the bunny lines on the nose and the downward pull of the angles of the mouth.
Discomfort is minimal and brief and initial redness may occur near the injection sites. However, patients may return to their normal activities immediately following the treatment. Although individual results may vary, you can expect to see results just days after the treatment and the appearance of the area between your brows may continue to improve for up to one week. In fact, 89 percent of patients judged the appearance of their frown lines as improved one month after treatment. The effect of each treatment may last up to four months. After this time, repeat treatment may be necessary.
This morning Dr. Khare was interviewed by Tony Serabia of the Morning Shift on WBEZ. You can listen to the entire interview here.
“A deadly shooting at Chicago’s Mercy Hospital on Monday has once again brought into sharp focus the country’s ongoing epidemic of gun violence.
A 32-year-old man fatally shot an emergency room physician in a domestic dispute outside the hospital, Chicago police said. He then entered the hospital and killed a Chicago police officer, who was responding to the call, and a pharmacy resident, who was stepping off an elevator.
The gunman also died in the shooting. It’s not yet clear whether he died of self-inflicted wounds or from police gunfire.
“Every shooting in America is a tragedy,” a Mercy Hospital spokesman said in a news conference. “And it is especially senseless when a shooting occurs in the healing space of a hospital.”
Dr. Alison Tothy, a pediatric ER doctor at the University of Chicago, and Dr. Rahul Khare, who worked in the emergency room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for a decade, joined Morning Shift host Tony Sarabia to reflect on the role that ER doctors play in addressing gun violence.”
Lincoln Park clinic known for marrying technology and healthcare to enhance the patient experience puts health data on iPhone for one-touch access to lab results, health history
Chicago – Innovative Express Care is now connected to Apple Health Records, allowing patients access to their personal health data via their iPhone. The primary and urgent care clinic located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, is among the early adopters using the new feature within Apple’s Health application, and is one of only a few clinics in the Chicagoland area on Apple Health Records to date.
Bringing technology and modern conveniences together to improve the health care experience has been a cornerstone of Innovative Express Care’s mission since the clinic opened in 2015. “Our goal is to make access to quality healthcare more convenient,” said Rahul Khare, MD, president and founder of Innovative Express Care. “From online scheduling, to virtual telemedicine appointments that save patients a trip to the clinic for a routine follow up or minor illness, we use technology in our everyday practice to enhance our patient experience. Connecting our electronic health record with the Health Records feature on iPhone was a natural fit for our practice.”
Patients who sign in to Apple Health, which comes installed on all iPhones and was updated with IOS 11.3, can easily retrieve their electronic health record, allowing them to see lab results, immunizations, medications, procedures and more. As more practices join Apple Health Records, patients will have the ability to organize and access health information, across many providers, in one convenient location. Aggregating health data helps patients effectively manage their health and may support better reporting of health history, thereby improving continuity of care.
“Being able to retrieve health data from your iPhone has many conveniences and is especially helpful for patients who come to us for urgent care needs and wish to share test results or a diagnosis with their primary care physician,” said Khare. “It is also great for college students who turn to us for health needs during the school year, but may see another provider in their hometown during the summer months.”
Innovative Express Care offers walk-in urgent care, primary care and telemedicine appointments. For more information on services provided, please visit https://innovativeexpresscare.com.
People buy tickets to Chicago’s internationally recognized music festivals months in advance, but many people forget to plan for their health. This is the ultimate musical festival guide! Residents of the “Windy City” are lucky to host music festivals, like Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, and the Spring Awakening, which offer a variety of music, including alternative, folk, blues, hip hop, electronic, and more. The events attract thousands of people from around the world each year and they give residents and visitors the opportunity to come together and experience great music.
Chicago’s many great music festivals are definitely something to be excited about, but not planning for your heath when you will be in crowded places, dancing and drinking in the sun for days, is not a good idea. Medical professionals must treat hundreds of festival-goers each year, and the effects of music, alcohol, drugs, late nights, unprotected sex, and sun exposure require thousands more people to seek treatment from their primary care physicians once the festivals are done.
Don’t ruin your summer festival season by not taking care of yourself. We made this guide to help you plan for your health before, during, and after any of Chicago’s great music festivals.
Check the weather before you head out. Proper preparation can protect you from everything from weather-related discomfort to life-threatening injury. Important items to bring with you include:
Electrolyte drink (1 per day)
A personal first aid kit, including bandages in various sizes and shapes, gauze, antibiotic ointment, alcohol wipes, and sting relief
Any medications you take regularly
Hand sanitizer/baby wipes
During cold or rainy weather, add:
Comfortable closed-toed shoes
In the days leading up to the event, drink plenty of water, and eat a well-balanced diet. This will help your body get plenty of essential nutrients to help you feel great while you party the night away.
Also, be sure to get plenty of rest in the weeks before your epic music festival experience. Heat, long days drinking in the sun, and late nights partying can wear you down. You do not want to burn out in the middle of the festival. Extra rest will energize you and help you make the most out of the experience.
Pack items like condoms even if you don’t think you will need them. You just never know if you will meet someone special, and you don’t want your romantic experience to end in a trip to the doctor. Likewise, you should pack and use sunscreen even if the weather is dreary. People still experience sunburns during overcast weather because the sun reflects off the clouds.
Preparing for your festival and packing essential health items will help you have the most fun possible.
Additionally, should any of this preparation fail to protect you, it is important for you take note of where you can seek medical attention.
Drink an electrolyte drink and plenty of water each day during the festival, especially if you are dancing and/or walking around for extended periods of time. Dehydration can lead to serious health problems. Do not mix alcohol and drugs, as doing so can lead to potentially fatal reactions within your body.
Use baby wipes or antibacterial wipes to keep yourself clean during the event. Music festivals are fun, but long days in the sun and limited resources for festival goers can lead to fungal infections like jock itch and athlete’s foot. Being mindful of your hygiene and wearing clean dry socks and underwear is essential to your health.
Wear shoes in which you can walk long distances comfortably. Address small injuries like blisters, sun burns and/or small cuts as soon as possible. This will prevent small injuries from becoming worse and threatening the longevity of your music festival experience.
Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors and again every 2 hours. This will help prevent burns and diminish the likelihood of sun poisoning. If necessary, set alarm on your phone so you don’t forget to reapply. If you get a sunburn on the first or second day treat yourself with the following:
Drink extra water
Apply aloe or sunburn care treatment
Take a cool shower (not cold)
Avoid further exposure to the sun by covering burns and wearing sunscreen
Rainy weather also carries its own set of challenges. Use ponchos or rain coats to keep your clothes dry. Keep your feet dry and warm with good socks and closed-toe shoes. And even if you can’t see the sun, continue using sunscreen. According to the Center for Disease Control, you can get a sunburn, “even on cloudy days.”
After the festivities, you will have amazing memories of good times with old and new friends, but you may also be questioning your judgement if you did not plan for your health. Recovering from the marathon of music, dancing, alcohol, potential drug use, walking, and socializing, may take some time. The following tips may help you recover faster.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep, eat a well-balanced diet, and drink lots of water. Dehydration makes recovery more difficult and lowers your body’s immune system, which can cause serious health concerns in the days following a festival.
If you have a sunburn take ibuprofen and use topical sunburn relief with aloe to help the healing process. If the sunburn starts to make you feel sick, consult a doctor as soon as possible, as this may be a sign of sun poisoning.
Some additional post-festival health issues you should look out for include:
Cold / Flu
If your festival experience leaves you needing medical attention, the friendly professional staff at Innovative Express Care in Lincoln Park, can help. With the highest urgent care provider review rating in the Chicagoland area and helpful features like free parking, telemedicine (video conferencing), online booking, and accessible online medical records, we are here for your urgent care needs. Walk-ins are welcome and wait times average less than 15 minutes. We hope you enjoy your event and if you need medical assistance, come experience “healthcare evolved” at Innovative Express Care.
We’ve all been there. You’re cutting up an apple to make a smoothie. As you throw a slice into the blender, you slice your hand up as well. It’s bleeding heavily. Maybe not like that Julia Child skit on Saturday Night Live, but you think you may need stitches. What now? Should you handle it yourself? Should you go to the emergency room? This guide will help.
If the laceration, or cut, doesn’t stop bleeding after 5 to 10 minutes of pressure, seek treatment. If it’s on your face, genitals, across a joint, on hands, feet or chest, or if there is exposed fat, muscle tendon, or bone, go to emergency care.
Animal bite? You need treatment. Human bite? You need treatment. And possibly garlic. (If bitten by your 3-year-old, you have other problems as well.)
Go to the emergency room if the cut is gaping or jagged or may result in a large amount of scarring. If the object that caused the cut was dirty or rusty, or the cut has something embedded in it, go see a physician. Don’t try to pull the object out. It may cause more bleeding or damage.
Head for treatment if the injury looks infected. Signs of infection include redness spreading from the wound, swelling, green or yellow discharge, or warm and tender skin.
A wound on the bottom of the foot, such as a nail through the shoe, should also receive treatment from a professional.
Before your clinic visit
Keep applying pressure if the bleeding continues and hold the injury above your heart, if possible. Probably don’t try this, however, if you have a nail in your foot.
Do not apply any kind of tourniquet. Do not use peroxide, iodine, or rubbing alcohol. They may damage the tissue.
If the bleeding stops, run warm water over the cut and gently wash with mild soap. Rinse again. Apply antibiotic cream and cover the injury with gauze to prevent infection.
If bleeding resumes and the gauze gets soaked, add more pads until the bleeding ceases. Don’t remove the pads. If a bandage is used, do not remove it. If neither are available, use a clean cloth, plastic bags, or even a clean hand.
Try to remember when you had your last tetanus shot. This is a head-scratcher for many people. But do not take the time to rummage through your old papers for your shot records. You will most likely be asked, but you can estimate.
Move quickly. Don’t take time to let out the cat or bring in the dog. Don’t lower the heat or water the plants. Just go.
What to expect at the clinic
The way the laceration is treated will depend on its size, severity, and location. Repair will most likely be done using one of these methods:
Dermabond: This is a type of glue which is made to hold the edges of the wound together. It is used on the face, torso, arms, legs, but not on lips, joints, deep wounds, and hand or foot injuries. Don’t try this at home with Elmer’s or Gorilla Glue! They won’t work.
Steristrips: For shallow cuts that are clean and even.
Stitches: These are used for deeper cuts that have jagged edges, or exposed fat and muscle tissue.
Staples: Used for injuries on the scalp, neck, torso, buttocks, arms, and legs.
Innovative Express Care is the place to go, not only for urgent care for injuries and illness, but also for primary care. IEC has state-of-the-art technology, telemedicine, online appointment arrangements, innovative ideas, and transparency. IEC is the best-rated urgent care facility in the Chicago area.
There is a dull ache in your right ear and you cannot seem to shake it. Did you catch an ear infection from your toddler? Or did some water from the community pool get stuck in there? Either way, it needs to go. Earaches and ear infections can drive you crazy and turn a bomb into a whisper. What’d you say, Sonny?
Causes of ear pain
So what exactly causes that pain in your ear? Ear pain can be caused by a variety of issues from trauma to an infection. Determining the cause of the ear pain will aid in kicking it to the curb.
Earache due to cold
Earaches often stem from lingering colds. Cold viruses can sometimes cause inflammation in the sinuses and ear canals, causing ear pain. This type of earache typically presents with a mild and more gradual pain, and it usually subsides along with the cold. Taking an over the counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen will help decrease the inflammation and ease the pain. The best course of action is to wait out the cold and treat the symptoms as they occur.
Earache due to infection
Ear pain due to an infection can often be quite severe. Ear infections are caused most commonly by bacteria infecting the middle ear causing a build up of pus and pressure. Symptoms of an ear infection often include diminished hearing, intense pain, and fever. Ear infections are typically treated with a course of antibiotics.
Ear injuries such as a ruptured ear drums can occur from any number of traumas or rough play. Ruptured ear drums and damage to the middle and inner ear can also happen by inserting items such as cotton swabs into the ears incorrectly. These injuries can cause severe pain, bleeding, and dizziness. Ear injuries are common among children and athletes who participate in contact sports. If you incur such an injury, seek immediate medical attention.
Swimmer’s ear occurs when there is an increase in moisture in the outer ear. Activities such as swimming, showering, and bathing can contribute to the issue. The increase in moisture provides a breeding ground for bacteria that already inhabit the ear canal naturally. The increase in bacterial growth then causes an ear infection. As with other types of ear infections, a course of antibiotics should clear up a case of swimmer’s ear.
Visiting your physician.
It is important to avoid excess moisture and overcleaning your ears. If an earache persists, you may need to seek the care of a physician. Physicians will be able to test, diagnose and treat your ear pain accordingly.
Having an earache of any sort can be upsetting and uncomfortable, but at Innovative Express Care, we utilize telemedicine and the latest technology to bring you top notch care. Our staff will provide a great experience and have your ears feeling better in no time.
You deadlifted 680 pounds and won first place at the powerlifting meet yesterday. Congratulations! To celebrate the win, you enjoy dinner with your family. Then, as if you did not exercise your lifting abilities enough, you let the kids take turns getting piggy back rides in and out of the restaurant. To top it all off, your wife got in on the action and took a piggy back ride for herself. But then, the next morning, you can’t even get out of bed.
What Could Be Wrong With Your Back?
There is no question that your back has taken on a lot. It is achy and stiff. You need relief. It is understandable to be worried as you have always been able-bodied and strong. You need to be sure that your pain is not the result of an injury. Back injuries do frequently happen during sports and exercise.
Injuries that result from sports and exercise tend to impact the spine, soft tissue, and fascia (the tissue that encases your muscles and other organs). About 20 percent of all back injuries occur in the lower back. Sports like running or weightlifting usually cause injuries to the lower back because of the steady repetitive motion and impact. The upper back has a decreased chance for injury because it is not as mobile and has increased muscle and bone support. However, weight training can be a contributor to upper back injuries as well. Common injuries to the upper back are muscle strains and rib fractures.
Test and Diagnosis
Your doctor may run one or more of the following tests to determine the underlying cause of your back pain:
• Range of motion tests
• Blood and urine lab tests to ensure the pain is not caused by an infection
• MRI scans to analyze soft tissue (Doctors generally use imaging to diagnose chronic back pain.)
Even seemingly minor injuries can lead to debilitating back pain. Don’t let it continue to limit your ability to be your family’s superhero. With speedy patient care, a compassionate expert staff, and a wide range of medical treatments, Innovative Express Care will have you feeling better quickly, efficiently, and affordably. And even if you throw out your back on a Sunday morning, you’re in luck. We are open seven days a week. Our well-trained and professional team of caregivers will have you feeling like a superhero again in no time!
Urgent care is where you go when you have a non-life threatening illness or injury that you can’t fix at home, and you want fast treatment. You don’t want to sit in that germ-filled emergency room for hours and then get depersonalized care. You might go because your regular doctor is off on a fishing trip or tied up in court.
Urgent care treats people of all ages with all sorts of conditions, both acute and chronic. If the problem is severe, you may be referred to the emergency room or a hospital. But in most cases, urgent care is convenient, efficient, and cheaper than other alternatives.
What Gets Treated
Here is a partial list of conditions appropriate for urgent care:
Head injury from stepping on a rake
Cuts and bruises
Colds, upper respiratory infections
Injuries from fire ant attacks
And what doesn’t get treated
Here is a partial list of conditions which should send someone to the emergency room in an ambulance (call 911):
Heart attack symptoms – chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, pain in left arm, and more
Stroke symptoms – Weakness on one side of face and/or body, difficulty speaking. Face droops on on side, dizziness, confusion, and more
Severe allergic reaction – trouble breathing, swollen tongue, hives, vomiting, wheezing, and more
Severe injuries with profuse bleeding, loss of consciousness, fractures, anything that appears life-threatening
More pluses for going to urgent care
Many people like to receive all of their medical care in one place. They want convenience, quick service, high-tech communications, reasonable prices, extended hours, and as many services as possible all together. People would love to have medications, x-rays, lab services, walk-in treatment, convenient appointments, and state-of-the-art everything at their disposal.
They would also like to bring their children and grandmas and grandpas in for acute and chronic care. An urgent care team has a broad range of knowledge in many fields and will refer you to a specialist if needed.
The best of urgent care can be found in the Chicago area
You don’t need an appointment and the wait time is never more than 30 minutes. And you can schedule a visit online or by fax or phone. If you can’t make it in person or you can’t drag yourself away from the soaps, you can use our telemedicine service. And yes, IEC has a well-stocked pharmacy, a lab, X-ray machines, and state-of-the-art everything.