Flu Season Is Here — Get Vaccinated!

Flu season is upon us.

The seasonal flu is an extremely contagious virus that puts senior citizens, young children and people with existing medical conditions at risk for serious complications. It’s a debilitating illness for everyone who experiences it. 


Fortunately, you can protect yourself. Getting vaccinated is an easy way to prevent sickness this flu season, and the Charles County Department of Health will be hosting several free flu immunization clinics through October and November. Click here to see the full list of 2015 immunization clinics.

If you do get sick with the flu this year, UM Charles Regional Urgent Care is now open and is here to help. It features extended hours with no appointment necessary, so you can start feeling better sooner. Learn more about the new urgent care center on the official website.

The flu can spread from person-to-person even before any symptoms are present, and it remains contagious for several days after symptoms have started.

Here are the primary symptoms that an infected individual will usually experience:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Dry Cough
  • Muscle Aches
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Sore Throat
  • Headache
  • Nasal Congestion

While these are less common symptoms, an infected individual may also experience the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The best way to avoid any of these symptoms, especially if you’re among those most at risk, is to get immunized today. Take charge of your health and stay flu-free this season!


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Feeling Better is Closer: UM Charles Regional Urgent Care is Now Open

We’ve just opened the doors our brand new urgent care facility, right here in La Plata!

Developed as an alternative to the emergency room for patients with non-life-threatening conditions, University of Maryland Charles Regional Urgent Care is less than a mile from the hospital and offers extended hours, seven days a week, to ensure that patients can receive care when they need it. No appointment is needed.


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Located at 500 Charles Street, our staff of health care professionals treat a variety of ailments, including:

  • Cold and flu symptoms
  • Allergic reactions
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains and strains
  • Cuts requiring stitches
  • Mild fevers
  • Minor burns
  • Animal or insect bites

Patients with more serious or life threatening illnesses or injuries should call 911 or go to the emergency room at the hospital.

Want to learn more about the brand new UM Charles Regional Urgent Care? Visit our new website or call 301.609.4699.

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Illness and Injury are Never Convenient. UM Charles Regional Urgent Care will be.

Flexible health care for your hectic schedule is a lot harder to find than it should be. Fortunately for Charles County, University of Maryland Charles Regional Urgent Care is ready to come through for you when your primary care doctor just can’t squeeze you in.


With the new UM Charles Regional Urgent Care facility opening its doors this September, you’ll have a place to turn when you don’t need an emergency room, but you do need a doctor.

Located right across the street from the hospital, our new facility will be open early and open late to accommodate your busy schedule. Most importantly, when that schedule is disrupted by an illness or an injury, you can be sure that you will be provided with skilled and compassionate care from the moment you walk through the door.

Get ready for flexible, convenient health care in Charles County by visiting us online to learn about our staff, services, hours and more.

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Quick Response Can Save Lives When Stroke Symptoms Appear

Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in our country. The faster you recognize it, the better your chances of survival.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month and the perfect time to learn about the warning signs. Among them:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness, often on one side of the body
  • Confusion and trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Blurred vision or dizziness

If you or someone with you experiences any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.


UM Charles Regional Medical Center has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center. Our medical staff stands ready to stabilize and treat acute stroke patients.  We’re proud of our record in treating stroke patients and honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association with their Get With the Guidelines Gold Plus Achievement Award and the Target: Stroke Honor Roll.

Hospitals receiving a Get With the Guidelines Gold Plus Achievement Award have reached an aggressive goal of treating stroke patients to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Each year, approximately 700,000 Americans will experience a new or recurrent stroke. That’s one person every 45 seconds. Every three minutes, a person dies from stroke.

We’re working every day to provide the best care, fast. Do your part by understanding the symptoms and helping spread awareness.

For more information on UM Charles Regional’s stroke program, visit our website.

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Take Precautions Against The Flu and Know When To Visit The ER

It’s flu season. Take precautions against spreading influenza by reducing your risk. If you do become ill, it is important to know when you or your child should come in to the ER to be treated for your illness.12396_CRMC_Jan8_Flu-Season_BLOG_CM_i1

Influenza is a viral infection of the lungs and airways that is spread from person to person through the air by coughing and sneezing.  It is also spread by direct contact with infected people or contaminated objects like door handles or computer keyboards.  We ask all visitors to utilize the alcohol-based hand sanitizers that are widely available around the medical center.

Influenza and the common cold both have symptoms that affect the throat and nose, but influenza symptoms are usually more severe than cold symptoms. These symptoms include a high fever (over 100°F) stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, and cough. Other symptoms of influenza include headache, tiredness, body aches and chills.

If you think you or someone in your family has influenza, get plenty of rest at home; drink fluids like juice, water or hot tea; and take an over-the-counter pain reliever for muscle aches and fever.

If you are wondering if you need to visit the Emergency Department, look for warning signs that require urgent medical attention before coming to the hospital:

In children:

  • High or prolonged fever
  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids (dehydration)
  • 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, diabetes)

In adults:

  • 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
  • Worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions (for example, heart or lung disease, diabetes)

For more information about the flu, visit:



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Mass Casualty Drill to Test Emergency Response at Maryland Hospitals

On Thursday, April 26th, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Civista
Medical Center
along with 13 Maryland hospitals will participate in the Sisyphus
Field Training Exercise, conducted by the 11th Air Wing, Joint Base Andrews. This
is a full-scale (realistic) exercise to test the region’s ability to respond to a mass
casualty incident and coordinate with multiple federal, state and local agencies.
Hospitals in Montgomery, Prince George’s, Calvert and Charles counties, will be
testing their ability to transport and treat a large number of patients. They will also
be testing technology that keeps track of patients, their conditions and hospital bed
space in case of an actual disaster.

The public should take note that the Sisyphus Field Training Exercise will simulate
the movement and treatment of mock victims to area hospitals. Residents should
anticipate additional helicopter traffic in the area. This exercise will not impact the
ability to be promptly seen at local hospitals, but people should be aware that they
will likely see mock victims dressed up to look like they have been severely injured,
hospital staff in personal protective equipment simulating the decontamination
process and hazmat vehicles. Please do not be alarmed; this is a planned
exercise to test the region’s capability to respond to a mass casualty scenario.

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Restrictions on Visiting Hours during Flu Season

The spread of seasonal and H1N1 influenza in our community has prompted Civista Medical Center and other healthcare providers across the country to take special measures to protect patients, staff and visitors.  It is difficult to determine who may be infected with influenza as people can be contagious before they start showing the symptoms of flu, which include fever and a cough.  For this reason, Civista Medical Center has decided to limit visiting hours beginning October 15, 2009 and continuing throughout the flu season.  Thank you for your cooperation in helping to protect the safety of our patients, staff and visitors.

Regular inpatient units:

  • There will be two blocks of visiting hours – one from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and one from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Visitors with any symptoms of influenza-like illness will be restricted.
  • Visitors (including siblings) under the age of 18 should be restricted.
  • Only two people may visit a patient at a time.
  • Spouses/significant others, parents or direct caregivers (son, daughter or other immediate family member responsible for care) may be exempt from limits to visiting hours, at the discretion of the Patient Care Manager.

Visitors may be issued masks or other protective clothing for use when visiting. Visitors who do not wear this protective clothing in accordance with instructions will be asked to leave.

In addition to these general rules, we have further limitations to protect patients who are most at risk from influenza:

Intensive Care Unit:

  • Visitors will be limited to spouses/significant others, parents or direct caregivers (son, daughter, or other immediate family member responsible for care) only.

Women’s and Children’s Units (to include Pediatrics, Nursery):

  • Visitors will be limited to parents (in the case of infants and children) and spouse/significant other/support person (of women) only.
  • Parents and spouses/significant others will be exempt from limits to visiting hours.

Emergency Department:

  • Limited to one visitor at a time with the exception of parents.
  • In order to limit exposure to the flu, Emergency Department patients are encouraged to only bring one visitor with them when they come.

Note: There may be exceptions to this policy in certain, very limited circumstances.  In cases where exceptions are made, it will be at the discretion of the physician, nursing and hospital leadership.

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Civista Announces New Emergency Department Director


Civista is proud to announce that Dr. Richard Ferraro, MD, FACEP, has been named Civista’s new Medical Director of the Emergency Department. The brand-new Civista Emergency Department is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and technicians.

Civista offers private treatment rooms with real walls instead of simple curtains, as well as waiting areas with child-friendly activities, free internet access computer stations, flat-screen TVs, and varied reading material.

And, we are proud to offer a dedicated ‘fast track’ system with extended hours for less urgent cases. There are now separate waiting areas for acute and fast track patients, as well as dedicated treatment rooms for children and specialized care.

Civista is proud to welcome Dr. Richard Ferraro to the community.

Click here to read more about the Civista Emergency Department.

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Learn More about Swine Flu (H1N1 Flu)

Civista Medical Center’s emergency department is prepared in the event that swine flu (H1N1 Flu) shows up in Charles County.  Officials are reviewing the pandemic flu plan, inventorying supplies that might be needed if an outbreak occurs, and checking several times a day with the CDC and the state to monitor any new reports of the virus.

The Charles County Department of Health has established a swine flu hotline to help residents better understand the swine flu virus and how to react if they believe they have been infected.  Call 301-609-6900, ext. 6025.  Information is also available at www.charlescountyhealth.org.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has information about swine flu at www.dhmh.state.md.us and at www.swineflu.maryland.gov.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information about swine flu at www.cdc.gov.

Health officials advise people to fight the spread of swine flu.  Anyone who is experiencing flu-like symptoms should follow a few simple precautions, such as washing hands often, especially after sneezing, coughing or wiping and blowing the nose, covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing, and using paper tissues when wiping or blowing your nose. People should also stay away from crowded living and sleeping spaces if possible and stay home if feeling ill to avoid contact with other people to protect them from catching the virus.

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