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Got Stung By the Flu Bug?

High fevers, aching bones, cold sweats, diarrhea, severe headaches and vomiting are all signs of the flu that can have you stuck in bed for days. But when these ailing symptoms worsen, it can be difficult to know how to treat them. Silver Cross Hospital offers tips to know when to seek medical attention when your flu bug sting takes a turn for the worse.

Most healthy people recover quickly from the flu without complications. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are some "emergency warning signs" that require urgent medical attention.

In children, some emergency warning signs include:

  • High or prolonged fever
  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Pale or bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Changes in mental status, such as not waking up or not interacting; being so irritable that the child does not want to be held; or seizures
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions (for example, heart or lung disease)

 

In adults, some additional emergency warning signs include:

  • High or prolonged fever
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Near-fainting or fainting
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

 

“To avoid serious health complications, people need to seek medical care immediately, either by calling their doctor or going to an emergency room if their symptoms worsen,” said Daniel Checco, D.O., Medical Director for the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen.

For your convenience, Silver Cross Hospital’s Emergency Department in Joliet and the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen have begun offering InstyMeds, a fully automated ATM-style machine that dispenses prescription medications directly to patients immediately before leaving the Emergency Department. The system, the first of its kind in Illinois, offers a safe, convenient way for patients to receive their prescription medications.

“This new system eliminates the need for patients to have to wait for their prescription at a nearby pharmacy when they’re not feeling well. They can now have those prescriptions filled in our Emergency Department,” says Theresa Quinn, Administrative Director for Ambulatory Services at Silver Cross Hospital. “InstyMeds helps them get back on the road to recovery as soon as possible.”

The InstyMeds system automates the entire process from the prescriber issuing the prescription, to the patient obtaining their medications, and payment collection. The patient can obtain their medications and be on their way in about the same time it takes them to use their bank ATM.

“The added convenience will help to ensure that patients fill and take their prescribed medications leading to faster recovery,” says Dr. Checco. “We continue to support our local pharmacies for the more complex medications; however for those patients who want the added convenience, the immediate service provided by the InstyMeds system can’t be beat.”

How it works. The medical provider enters a prescription electronically and gives patients a voucher with a unique security code. Using the touch-screen of the InstyMeds dispenser, the patient enters the unique security code and their date of birth. The patient then swipes a debit or credit card to pay for the prescription. After the machine performs a triple bar code safety check, the pre-packaged, labeled product is dispensed from the machine to the patient. The entire process typically takes a couple of minutes.

Patient Compliance: Studies show that between 20 and 30 percent of prescriptions that doctors write go unfilled. The added convenience of the InstyMeds system increases the likelihood that the patient will fill their prescription and undergo the medication treatment plan.

About InstyMeds
InstyMeds provides the only fully automated, ATM-style dispensing system for outpatient acute prescription medication services. InstyMeds mission is to make patients better, quicker, by providing immediate access to acute prescription medications.  InstyMeds has safely dispensed over one million prescriptions to patients.  For more information, call 1-866-467-8963 or visit www.instymeds.com.

About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for the last six consecutive years and as one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 2,500 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 304-bed acute care hospital and 10 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Construction has begun to build a state-of-the-art replacement hospital opening in 2012 in New Lenox. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

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