Rhody Health: Express Care Can Take the Sting Out of Summer

In partnership with South County Health


Wellness in coastal communities takes on a unique flavor, especially during the vibrant summer months. It’s a time when the sun invites us to embrace outdoor activities, but it also calls for a mindful approach to healthcare. From sunburns to jellyfish stings and more, Robert Gianfrocco, DO, Medical Director, Express Care, South County Health, dives into the significance of addressing summer health needs and how Express Care facilities play a vital role in ensuring the well-being of local residents and visitors alike.

What are some typical summertime health concerns?

Dr. Gianfrocco: Summer brings its own set of health considerations, particularly with activities like swimming, beach sports, and outdoor dining. From sunburns to dehydration and even water-related accidents, the season requires a proactive approach to healthcare. Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, such as Babesiosis and Anaplasmosis, pose a significant concern during the summer. Ticks thrive in wooded and grassy areas, making outdoor activities like hiking and camping potential hotspots for exposure. It’s crucial for individuals to take preventive measures such as wearing long sleeves and pants, using insect repellent containing DEET, and performing thorough tick checks after spending time outdoors. In the unfortunate event of a tick bite, Express Care facilities can provide timely evaluation and treatment, including proper tick removal techniques and, if necessary, initiating appropriate antibiotic therapy to prevent Lyme disease and other complications.

What advice do you have for all the sun-worshippers out there?

Dr. Gianfrocco: Practicing sun safety helps maintain skin health and prevent sunburns, premature aging, and skin cancer. I recommend applying sunscreen with a high SPF regularly, seeking shade during peak sun hours, and wearing protective clothing and hats. Despite precautions, sunburns can still occur, leading to discomfort and potential complications. Sunburns can be relieved through topical treatments, pain medications, and recommendations for proper skin care. It’s important to seek treatment for severe sunburns. Providers can offer guidance on identifying signs of sun-related complications, such as heat exhaustion or heatstroke, and when further medical attention may be necessary.

What advice would you offer to visitors who may encounter health issues during the summer but lack immediate access to primary care?

Dr. Gianfrocco: For individuals facing health concerns during the summer, Express Care serves as a reliable resource for prompt medical attention. Whether treating jellyfish stings, heat exhaustion, or minor fractures from beach volleyball, Express Care providers offer efficient, on-the-spot care, ensuring that individuals can get back to enjoying their summer activities as soon as possible. And of course, in the case of severe or life-threatening conditions, call 911 or visit an Emergency Department.

When is it best to head to the Emergency Department over Express Care?

Dr. Gianfrocco: Symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, severe allergic reactions, or signs of stroke or heart attack warrant urgent evaluation in an emergency setting. Additionally, traumatic injuries like major fractures, severe burns, or deep lacerations may necessitate specialized care available at an Emergency Department. If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms or injuries, it’s crucial to seek emergency medical care promptly to ensure the best possible outcome. Express Care facilities are equipped to handle a wide range of non-life-threatening conditions, but for emergencies, always prioritize immediate access to comprehensive emergency medical services.


Meet the Doctor

Robert Gianfrocco, DO

Medical Director, Express Care, South County Health

South County Health

100 Kenyon Avenue, Wakefield





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