Tag Archives: emergency medicine

It’s A Bad Flu Season

We’re in the middle of a tough flu season. In fact, Lexington Medical Center doctors say it may be the worst flu season in South Carolina since 2010.

In October, the Lexington Medical Center Emergency department saw 15 flu cases; in November, 80; in December, 550. And, in just the first week of January – 300 flu cases.

“The flu is a very serious illness,” said Daniel L. Avosso, MD, MBA, FACEP, FACHE, medical director of the Emergency department at Lexington Medical Center. “It causes hospitalization and death. And its symptoms last longer than other illnesses.”

Unoftunately, Dr. Avosso says this year’s flu vaccine may not be as effective as we had hoped.

“Each year, we have to predict what vaccine to make. Some years, we get it right. Others, we don’t,” he said. The accuracy of the vaccine determines the severity of the flu season.”

However, Dr. Avosso advises that patients should still get a flu shot. That’s because if you’re exposed to the flu after having the vaccine, your symptoms may not be as severe.

It’s especially important for people with underlying conditions to have a flu vaccine. That includes people with asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, congestive heart failure, neurological issues and who are bed bound. It also includes the very young, pregnant women and the elderly population. That’s because these groups are most likely to be hospitalized with flu complications.

The flu is spread through small microscopic droplets. You can contract the flu from someone who is as many as six feet away from you. You can also catch it from touching the same door knob as someone with the flu. It’s important to be especially careful in crowds.

Daniel Avosso, MD

The flu tends to peak this time of year because people are stuck inside in cold weather spreading germs from one person to another as opposed to the warmer weather months where people enjoy the outdoors.

If you’re exposed to the flu, you’re likely to develop flu symptoms between one and four days later. If you have the flu, you were contagious the day before your symptoms appeared and up to a week later.

Tamiflu is a medicine that can help shorten the duration of the flu and help with symptoms. But you need to begin taking it between one and two days after symptoms appear. And because it can cause side effects, some doctors recommend it only for a select group of patients.

The flu is a virus – so antibiotics won’t help. In addition to Tamiflu, it’s important to stay hydrated, rest and treat your symptoms with over-the-counter medication. With proper care, the flu will eventually run its course.

Know When to Call 911

Calling 911 can be vital when someone is suffering a heart attack or cardiac arrest. That’s because paramedics have the ability to begin caring for a patient on the way to the hospital. They can also communicate with doctors at the hospital while en route so that the patient receives the most timely treatment possible. Calling 911 is an important factor in achieving the best possible outcomes.

In this WIS-TV interview with Judi Gatson, Lexington Medical Center ER doctor Wesley Frierson and Lexington County paramedic Micah Norman talk more about the importance of calling 911 and demonstrate the tools EMS crews use in ambulances, using a life-like mannequin called “Hal.”


Lexington Medical Center wants you to “Just Say Know” to heart disease. Learn more about this campaign and take a heart health quiz at LexMed.com/Know.

What’s in the Water?

In the aftermath of this week’s historic flooding in South Carolina, parts of the Midlands are still crippled by floodwater. Floodwater can contain harmful bacteria and chemicals. Lexington Medical Center Emergency Medicine physician Todd Crump talked about keeping yourself healthy around floodwater in the below interview on WIS-TV with Dawndy Mercer-Plank. While staying out of floodwater may be impossible in some cases, clinicians are encouraging community members not to wade into the water unless it’s absolutely necessary.


A few takeaways from the interview:
~Floodwater can contain raw sewage, bacteria, parasites, gasoline, animal feces and viruses.
~Hand sanitizer can help to clean a wound if you do not have clean water.
~You cannot see what’s under the water, leading to cuts and wounds when walking through.
~Wounds can become infected. Women could also suffer a pelvic infection after being in floodwater.