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Grilling Tips to Keep You Safe This Summer

Few activities epitomize summer as much as grilling. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to wind up in the emergency care department because of burn injuries caused by grilling. You may already know that it’s important to keep kids and pets away from a hot grill and that you should never add flammable fluids to a fire. But do you know why grease can be hazardous or why you should marinate before instead of during grilling? Read on to learn everything you need to know to have a safe summer cookout with your backyard grill.

Setting Up Your Workstation

Even if you set up your grill in the same spot every year, you’ll need to take a look around before igniting the charcoal. Check whether any tree branches have encroached over the space; if so, you’ll need to move your grill or get out your pruning shears. Position your grill on a level, firm surface away from the house, deck railings, or other structures. If you have a propane grill, check the connectors and tighten them if need be. Remember to open the lid of a gas grill before igniting it. Additionally, keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.

Preventing Burn Injuries

Before igniting your grill, make sure it’s free of grease and other buildups. This applies to the tray beneath the grill, too. Accumulations of grease or fat can increase your risk of burn injuries. Remember to keep kids and pets far away from your cooking area. While you’re grilling, it’s best not to wear long sleeves or loose clothing that might catch on fire.

Grilling for Good Health

There is no definitive proof that grilling fatty meats can increase your risk of cancer, but it is known that heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are produced when meats are cooked at high temperatures. It is thought that these compounds may be carcinogenic, but the evidence is lacking. Still, it is healthier to grill plant-based foods or to trim the fat from meats when you grill. You can also marinate before—rather than during—grilling to minimize HCA formation.

For more helpful tips on healthy grilling this summer, browse the food safety articles available on the website of Southern Hills Hospital. Our community hospital provides advanced medical services for Las Vegas-area families, including maternity care, stroke care, emergency care, and orthopedic surgery. Please call 911 or visit our ER if you sustain serious burn injuries while grilling; non-emergent inquiries may be directed to a registered nurse at (702) 880-2700.


Raising Your Awareness of the Myths and Facts of Stroke

Stroke is a major cause of death and disability, which is why stroke awareness is crucial for everyone. For this reason, the American Stroke Association seeks to spread actionable information about the signs of stroke and the appropriate responses during May, which is American Stroke Month. Here at Southern Hills Hospital, our emergency care team urges our neighbors throughout Las Vegas to become better informed about what to do in the event of a possible stroke. If stroke does affect you or a family member, our hospital is a Joint Commission-Certified Primary Stroke Center that can provide specialized stroke care.

Myth: Stroke Primarily Affects Seniors

It is true that as you grow older, your risk of stroke may increase. However, younger patients can also suffer from a stroke. According to the National Stroke Association, about a quarter of all strokes occur in patients younger than 65 years of age. One in every 10 strokes affects patients ages 45 and younger.

Myth: Stroke Always Eliminates All Functional Abilities

It’s common knowledge that stroke survivors can suffer from a significant functional impairment. But did you know that the type and degree of impairment can vary considerably? Not all stroke survivors are completely dependent on others for care for the rest of their lives. With rapid stroke care and intensive rehabilitation services, patients can often regain some of their independence.

Myth: All Cases of Stroke Are Basically the Same

You probably already know that stroke affects the brain. But did you know that there are different types of stroke? Any type of stroke requires emergency care. When a stroke patient arrives at the emergency care department, the stroke team will assess the type of stroke. Stroke is commonly categorized according to whether it is ischemic, hemorrhagic, or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). But it may also be categorized according to which specific area it affects, such as brainstem, cerebellar, right-side, or left-side stroke.

When every second counts, you can trust Southern Hills Hospital to deliver specialized care. Our emergency care team is available around the clock to respond immediately to possible stroke patients. If you think you could be having a stroke, call 911 now. Otherwise, you can call a registered nurse at our hospital in Las Vegas at (702) 880-2700 to get more information about stroke care.


Exploring the Most Effective Strategies for Getting Healthier Sleep

If you’ve been struggling for weeks or even months to get a good night’s sleep, you’ve probably already heard the standard advice. Sleeping in a dark, moderately cool room, adhering to a regular sleep schedule, and cutting down on caffeine are all good tips. But for some people, these strategies may not be enough. Some individuals in Las Vegas may have special health concerns and require extra sleep guidance, such as pregnant moms and shift workers. Whatever your concerns may be, a physician at Southern Hills Hospital can help you find a sleep solution.

Pregnancy

The first trimester is marked by high levels of progesterone, which can make pregnant moms feel frequently sleepy. Although you may be sleeping more, you may not necessarily be sleeping better. Progesterone can disrupt normal sleep cycles and pregnancy itself can lead to frequent urination and problems getting comfortable. If you’re a stomach sleeper, this can be particularly problematic. Try sleeping on your left side throughout your pregnancy. Doing so reduces the pressure on your liver, reduces swelling, inhibits heartburn, and improves blood flow to your developing baby. Remember to avoid sleep aids during pregnancy, including herbal remedies.

Shift Work

Las Vegas is infamous for its nighttime entertainment. If you’re a shift worker, it can be difficult to fall asleep when most people are waking up. You may need to wear an eye mask to block out sunlight, perhaps in addition to using room-darkening curtains. Wear earplugs or run a fan for white noise, especially if you share your home with others who are awake during the day.

Anxiety

Do you lie awake running through a list of mistakes you’ve made, problems that might occur, or things you have to do the next day? You might consider talking to your doctor about whether you may have an anxiety disorder or other mental health issue. Experiencing occasional worry is nothing abnormal, but if your anxiety is severe enough to disrupt your sleep and reduce your quality of life, it may be time to ask for help. Many people with anxiety benefit from medications and psychotherapy, both of which may help facilitate a good night’s sleep.

Southern Hills Hospital provides compassionate care for Las Vegas residents at every stage of life. Our community hospital features exceptional neuroscience specialists, orthopedic surgeons, maternity health providers, geriatric psychiatric specialists, and many others. Call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 880-2700 to request a referral to a specialist in Las Vegas.


Spine Injury Prevention for Summer Activities

In sunny Las Vegas, outdoor activities are popular year-round. But if you’re planning a staycation from work or looking forward to summer break from school, you may find yourself heading outdoors more than usual. Sports are a great way to connect with friends, stay fit, and even cool off if you head for the pool. By taking a few precautions, you can reduce the risk of being rushed to the ER at Southern Hills Hospital because of spine injuries. Orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons alike would likely recommend following the basic safety guidelines for your chosen sport, such as using the right protective gear.

How Swimming May Affect the Spine

Did you know that most spinal injuries occur in the cervical and lumbar regions? That’s according to the neurosurgeon interviewed for this featured video. Low-impact exercises like swimming are generally ideal for your spinal joints because of the low risk of wear and tear damage. However, reckless choices near a pool can lead to serious spinal injuries. Diving into the shallow end of a pool can cause spinal injuries, for instance. While responsible adults may be less likely to dive into a shallow pool, judgment can be impaired by the presence of alcohol. It’s highly advisable to avoid consuming alcohol near pools.

What to Consider When Choosing CrossFit

When getting in shape for swimsuit season, many people turn to CrossFit. CrossFit is a popular approach to exercise that involves pushing yourself to the limits. Although CrossFit is known to be a great way to burn calories, it does place demands on the spine because it can involve heavy weightlifting activities, such as the dead lift. If you intend on joining a CrossFit group this summer, consider getting clearance from your doctor first and gradually increase the amount of weight you lift to let your body adjust.

Southern Hills Hospital is a leading provider of orthopedic care and neuroscience services in Southwest Las Vegas. Visit our website for an online Spine Class presentation or to learn about our other lines of services, which include maternity health, stroke care, and geriatric psychology. To request a referral to an orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon, call a registered nurse at (702) 880-2700.


What Can Men Do to Prevent Testicular Cancer?

The risk of many types of cancers, such as prostate cancer, increases with age. Testicular cancer is different. Although it’s fairly uncommon, it most often strikes younger men. And unfortunately, not much is known about lifestyle modifications or medical management that may reduce a man’s risk of testicular cancer. However, if you do have concerns about your reproductive health, you might consider talking to a family physician at Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas. If need be, your family doctor may refer you to a specialist at our community hospital.

Correct Cryptorchidism

Cryptorchidism is also known as undescended testicles. Usually, this condition only affects one testicle. Cryptorchidism is more commonly diagnosed in babies who have been born prematurely since the testicle hasn’t had enough time to move into the scrotum yet. Males who were diagnosed with cryptorchidism at birth may be more likely to develop testicular cancer later. In some cases, an undescended testicle may correct itself within the first few months of the child’s life. If it does not, then surgery may be needed. Correcting cryptorchidism surgically may possibly reduce the patient’s risk of testicular cancer.

Know Your Risks

Aside from correcting undescended testicles, there is little that men can do to reduce their risk. If you do have a high risk of testicular cancer, however, you could monitor yourself for abnormal changes and discuss these with your doctor. You could also ask your doctor if you should be screened regularly for testicular cancer. The other risk factors of this type of cancer include having a family history of the disease, being between the ages of 20 and 35, and being Caucasian. Other conditions that affect the testicles may also increase the risk of testicular cancer, such as atrophic testicle and mumps orchitic.

Know What to Look For

The signs and symptoms of testicular cancer may include the development of a painless lump in a testicle, enlargement or swelling, and pain of the testicle, scrotum, lower back, and groin. Men who notice abnormal changes might consider speaking with a physician.

Bring your health concerns to a family care practitioner at Southern Hills Hospital, a state-of-the-art medical center that proudly serves the greater Las Vegas area. Our community hospital is pleased to offer a number of specialty medical services, including stroke care, orthopedic care, maternity health, and geriatric psychology. Call us at (702) 880-2700.


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