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Best of North Central News Winner

For the third year in a row, New England Urgent Care wins the North Central News Readers Poll in the “Best Walk-in Medical” category.

“We are honored to be recognized with this award for the third straight year. New England Urgent Care is dedicated to offering ER-quality, walk-in medical care for every age — including infants and the elderly,” said Medical Director and co-founder, Dr. Michael Gutman, MD, PhD, FACEP. “Our patients wait less, pay less, and receive high-quality treatment from our caring staff. And, we do it every day of the year.”

North Central News Readers’ Poll is taken each the summer. Winners are announced in the August edition.

New England Urgent Care is the only Emergency-trained walk-in and the first “Certified” urgent care practice in Hartford County. Its offices are located in Bristol, Enfield, Manchester, and West Hartford.

Gutman added, “New England Urgent Care has three unique capabilities, which set us apart from the rest. First, we are the only urgent care in Connecticut staffed with Emergency Medicine-experienced RN/Provider teams. Second, where other clinics turn away patients with complex, non-life threatening health issues, our staff is capable of treating them with the same or better outcomes as an ER but in a shorter time and at much less expense. And third, if needed, we are the only urgent care that can direct-admit patients to many local area hospitals.”

New England Urgent Care received its certification from the Urgent Care Association of America. This certification ensures it has the training and on-site equipment — including x-rays, blood lab, EKG, respiratory and pharmacy — to treat patients for a broader range of illnesses and injuries than walk-ins that are not certified. New England Urgent Care also performs physical exams for camp, school, sport, and work, and offers comprehensive, cost-saving occupational health services.

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Tick Bites and Lyme DiseaseLyme Disease is the most common tick-borne infection in North America and Europe. It is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted by the bite of a black-legged tick (deer tick) and western black-legged tick.

There is good news: Not all tick species transmit Lyme Disease such as the lone star tick and the dog tick. And, the majority of people who get tick bites do not contract Lyme Disease. That’s because not all deer ticks are infected with the bacterium. However, the risk for contracting Lyme Disease increases the longer the tick is attached to your body.

Your best defense against Lyme Disease and other tick-borne infections is to mimize your exposure to ticks especially when they are most active, which is April to September.

Tips to to help reduce exposure:

  • Use repellent on exposed skin for protection that lasts several hours. Ideally use products containing 20 percent or more DEET, picaridin, or IR3535. Parents should apply this product to their children. Be careful to avoid hands, eyes, and mouth.
  • You can also use products that contain 0.5 percent permethrin on clothing. Treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks, and tents. It remains protective through several washings. Pre-treated clothing is available and may protect for longer periods. Check the clothing maufactuerer’s tag for information.

If you find ticks on your body, remove immediately and

  • Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within 2 hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.
  • Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body including under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in the hair. Parents should check children thoroughly.
  • Ticks can hitch a ride into your home on clothing, gear, and pets, then attach to a person later. So. it’s important to carefully examine pets, clothing, and day packs after speding time outdoors.
  • To kill ticks, tumble dry your dry clothing in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes after you come indoors.
    • If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed.

Let’s assume you’ve done everything you can to reduce exposure. So what if you have a tick bite?

 

Early signs and symptoms of can appear 3 to 30 days after a tick bite, and on average, in about 7 days. Most symptoms often involve the skin, joints, nervous system, and heart.

Watch for fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes, and flu-like symptoms.

There may also be a bulls-eye rash (Erythema migrans/EM rash), which occurs in approximately 70 to 80 percent of infected persons. And, it may appear on any area of the body.

The rash may expand gradually over a period of days reaching up to 12 inches or more across. It may feel warm to the touch, but is rarely itchy or painful. Sometimes it clears as it enlarges, resulting in a target or “bull’s-eye” appearance.

Lyme Disease Bulls Eye Rash

“Classic” bulls-eye rash from a tick bite. However, not all people experience this sign of a tick bite.

Later signs and symptoms can occur days to months after a tick bite, including…

  • Severe headaches and neck stiffness
  • Additional EM rashes on other areas of the body
  • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints.
  • Facial palsy, which is loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face
  • Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
  • Heart palpitations or an irregular heart beat (called Lyme carditis)
  • Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
  • Nerve pain
  • Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet, and
  • Problems with short-term memory

 

Be aware: ticks can spread other organisms that may cause a different type of rash.

Untreated, Lyme disease can produce a wide range of symptoms, depending on the stage of infection. These include fever, rash, facial paralysis, and arthritis.

Early and accurate diagnosis and treatment is the most effective way to combat Lyme Disease. Laboratory blood tests are helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. The CDC currently recommends a two-step process when testing blood for evidence of antibodies against the Lyme disease bacteria. Both steps can be done using the same blood sample and done together. The CDC does not recommend doing only the second test, skipping the first, which will increase the frequency of false-positive results and may lead to misdiagnosis and improper treatment.

Keep in mind, lab tests are NOT recommended for patients who do not have symptoms typical of Lyme disease. Just as it is important to correctly diagnose Lyme disease when a patient has it, it is important to avoid misdiagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease when the true cause of the illness is something else.

Patients treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover rapidly and completely. Patients with certain neurological or cardiac forms of illness may require intravenous treatment.

In a small percentage of cases, these symptoms can last for more than 6 months. Although sometimes called “chronic Lyme disease,” this condition is properly known as “Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome” (PTLDS).

If you have had a tick bite or show symptoms of Lyme disease, I invite you to stop in any of our five clinics. New England Urgent Care staff is trained to diagnose your condition and equipped to test and treat you without the long wait or high expense of a hospital emergency room, or when you primary care physician is unavailable.

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Meet some of the New England Urgent Care team… (L-R) Liz, Dr. Gutman, Jackie, Paula, Yahel, Luci, Carlos and Liz. (seated)New England Urgent Care celebrated its first anniversary in Manchester on May 2nd with an open house at its 370 Middle Turnpike West medical clinic. It is one of four clinics in the New England Urgent Care network.

New England Urgent Care patient Christine Joyner helps us celebrate our first year in Manchester!

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce members, patients and local leaders were in attendance. Refreshments, giveaways, site tours and complementary blood pressure and glucose screenings were provided throughout the day.

“New England Urgent Care is unique because of three critical factors. First, we are the only urgent care in Connecticut staffed with RN/Provider teams experienced in Emergency Medicine capable of treating patients of all ages. Second, where other clinics turn away patients with complex, non-life threatening health issues, our staff is capable of treating them with the same or better outcomes as an ER but in a shorter time and at much less expense. And third, if needed, we are the only urgent care that can direct admit patients to many local area hospitals. These capabilities set us apart from the rest. So, if you haven’t been to New England Urgent Care, I invite you to check us out,” said Medical Director and co-founder Michael Gutman, MD, PhD, FACEP.

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In January of 2018, New England Urgent Care opened a family medical practice for ongoing patient care and is taking new patients. New England Primary Care will be located next to its Enfield urgent care center at 55 Hazard Avenue.

New England Primary Care is a patient-centered, family practice for every age — from newborns to the elderly. With extended weekday and weekend hours, we provide continuing, coordinated care so patients can conveniently manage their healthcare on a schedule that fits their lifestyle.

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 On November 19th, 2017, New England Urgent Care relocated from 30 Dorset Crossing in Simsbury to 55 Hazard Avenue in Enfield. In January of 2018, New England Primary Care  opened its doors — a patient-centered family medicine practice.

Michael Gutman, MD, PhD, FACEP, Medical Director and New England Urgent Care Co-founder explains, “Now that flu season has begun, more patients are seeking cost-effective and quality walk-in care for acute medical needs. With this move from Simsbury to Enfield, we will be able to increase staffing at our other locations during the busiest periods. Patients will have an even shorter wait time than ever before and pay much less than if they went to their local hospital Emergency Department.”

“Many of our patients have been especially pleased with the high level of skillful and compassionate care from our ER-trained medical personnel. So much so, they often ask us to be their primary care provider. So, we listened,” added New England Urgent Care Co-founder Yahel Gutman, RN, BSN, CYI, Clinical Director, and Certified Yoga Instructor (YTT-200H).

New England Primary Care will be accepting new patients and is expected to open in January of 2018. Highly experienced family medicine practitioners will treat acute and chronic illnesses for all ages — from newborns to the elderly — and promote patient wellness. They will also be able to administer vaccinations and immunizations, physical exams for DOT, work, school, and sports, and coordinate all levels of care for a patient’s health.

Gutman commented, “New England Primary Care is ideal for busy families. It will offer extended weekend and weekday hours, accept most insurance (including Anthem), and offer low self-pay rates. Patients will have the added convenience of next-door access to lab work, x-rays, and CT scans. At New England Urgent Care, patients will continue to receive the same caring and ER-experienced immediate medical treatment they have come to expect from us. And, with New England Primary Care opening next door in Enfield, they can also get comprehensive family medicine to fit any hectic lifestyle.”

Click here for more information about New England Primary Care