When to Take a Child to the ER for a Fever

 

Fever pic
Fever
Image: webmd.com

Board-certified emergency physician Zachary Lutsky has served in the emergency department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose. In these departments, Dr. Zachary Lutsky dealt with a wide range of emergency situations, including frequently fevers in young children.

When a child has a fever, many parents assume the worst and immediately take the child to the emergency room. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing to do, low-grade fevers are not always a cause for concern. Most fevers can be handled at home with over-the-counter medications and pediatrician follow up.

Parents should take a baby under the age of 3 months to see a physician when its temperature reaches 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Infants should see a doctor at this low-temperature threshold because their immune systems are not fully developed and their bodies cannot properly defend against an infection. A trip to the ER may also be needed if a fever is accompanied by vomiting, difficulty breathing, a rash, or nonstop crying.

Children between 3 months and 3 years with temperatures over 102.2 degrees may be a cause for concern, as are fevers with difficulty waking or inability to keep down fluids. When children are over the age of 3, they usually can handle a fever of 102 degrees for a few days without concern. It is most important to look at the child rather than the number on the thermometer when deciding if they need to come in emergently. A child with a high fever who is running around and playing can probably wait to their pediatrician in the office.

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Recognizing Early Signs of Stroke

 

Stroke pic
Stroke
Image: livestrong.com

For more than 10 years, Dr. Zachary Lutsky served as an attending physician in the emergency department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. During that time, Dr. Zachary Lutsky saved the lives of many patients, including a stroke victim who later returned to the hospital to thank Dr. Lutsky and the rest of the emergency department.

The early signs of stroke may be remembered by the acronym “BE FAST.” The letter “B” stands for balance. Many patients who experience a stroke suddenly lose coordination or balance before the stroke occurs. This makes it difficult for them to touch their finger to their nose and affects their ability to walk in a straight line.

The “E” stands for eyes. One of the other early signs of stroke is a rapid change in vision, such as blindness in one eye or double vision.

The symptoms represented by “FAST” are more well-known signs of stroke. “F” refers to face drooping or numbness on one side, while “A” refers to arm weakness or numbness on one side of the body.

Speech difficulties are represented by “S” and usually include slurred or unclear speech. Many people experiencing a stroke will struggle with saying “The sky is blue,” so this sentence serves as a good test.

Finally, the “T” stands for “Time to call 911.” If any of the above symptoms are shown, call 911. Callers should write down the time the symptoms started and note if any symptoms have disappeared before emergency responders arrive.