Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center
Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center is committed to providing the highest quality of care while serving the communities of southwest Las Vegas.

A Look at What Causes Stroke

MRI Scan

Stroke is a life-threatening medical event that occurs when the brain’s blood supply is interrupted. Without the oxygen and nutrients supplied by adequate blood flow, brain cells suffer damage and death within 10 minutes of the event. A victim of stroke experiences sudden loss of function and cognitive difficulties.

There are two main types of these ‘brain attacks’:  ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.

  • An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot or local plaque buildup obstructs blood flow to a region of the brain. A clot can break off from another part of the brain or from anywhere else in the body and travel in the bloodstream to cause the obstruction. A clot can also form in an artery that is already very narrow. Fat, cholesterol, and other substances can form plaques that collect on the artery walls, which also can be the cause of a blockage. 

  • A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, causing blood to leak (hemorrhage) into the brain. The bleeding puts pressure on the brain and prevents cells from getting their normal blood supply.

Stroke symptoms typically develop suddenly and require immediate medical attention to minimize damage to the brain tissue. To minimize your risk for developing a stroke, consider speaking with your physician if you have any of the following risk factors:

  • High blood pressure
  • High homocysteine levels in the blood
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Cocaine, heroin, or amphetamine abuse
  • Use of birth control pills if over the age of 35
  • Long-term use of hormone replacement therapy
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Atrial fibrillation

If you or a loved one experiences the symptoms of stroke, consider calling 911 and seeking medical assistance immediately. At Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center, our Primary Stroke Center is certified by the Joint Commission as a facility with the highest quality in stroke care. Don’t become a statistic—call us today at (702) 880-2100 to learn more stroke treatment and prevention.

Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease - Causes and Symptoms

Alzheimer's Disease

Dementia is the term used to describe a group of symptoms involving cognition. To be diagnosed with dementia, a patient must have a disturbance in memory and a decline in one or more cognitive domain that includes language, praxis, executive function, or visuospatial function. Those suffering from dementia tend to have increasing trouble remembering things, such as how to do simple math, how to pay bills, and how to get to familiar locations. They may also have difficulty concentrating on tasks and experience personality changes. Dementia is usually a degenerative condition and cannot be prevented or reversed.

The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a progressive condition that slowly destroys brain cells, destroying a person’s ability to learn, remember, and function normally. The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are not yet known, but studies suggest that plaques and neurofibrillary tangles within the nerve cells are involved in the condition’s development. These factors begin by compromising the function of the hippocampus (memory center) and slowly moving throughout the brain.

While the cause of the disease remains unknown, some factors may increase your chances of developing the Alzheimer’s. These risk factors include:

  • Being 65 years old or older
  • Family history of Alzheimer’s
  • Down’s syndrome, or Down’s in a first-degree relative
  • Lower educational achievement
  • Previous serious, traumatic brain injury
  • Smoking
  • Women under 35 who give birth to a child with Down’s syndrome
  • Depression
  • Elevated levels of homocysteine
  • Heart disease

The roles of certain factors such as poor nutrition in childhood, excess metal in the blood, certain viral infections, diabetes, and high cholesterol in the development of Alzheimer’s disease are currently being evaluated.

Alzheimer’s disease begins with mild memory lapses before it progresses to a more profound loss of memory and function. The symptoms of the disease correlate with other types of dementia. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s or any known way to slow its progression. If you would like to learn more about this disease or how to support a loved one with this diagnosis, please contact Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (702) 880-2100.

Vote for Southern Hills as the BEST HOSPITAL in Las Vegas


UPDATE: The voting period for this story has ended. Link is no longer valid.

We are excited that the Review-Journal newspaper is asking the community to vote on the Best Hospital in the Las Vegas area. We think Southern Hills Hospital should win the designation as Best Hospital and we want you to cast your vote in the readers’ poll. The Best Hospital category will appear in the “Locations” section of the newspaper’s ballot. Voting for the Best Hospital will begin on Sunday, Jan. 22 and continue through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 30.

You can vote two ways: Fill out the “Best of Las Vegas” form in the Review-Journal’s special section on Sunday, Jan. 22; and/or, beginning that same day, cast your vote online at:

Thanks for your vote and tell your friends and family to vote too.

Are You at Risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Red Blood Cells

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a serious medical condition in which a blood clot (thrombus) forms in a vein deep in the arm or leg. This clot can break loose of its vein and be carried through the bloodstream, eventually reaching the lungs and blocking blood flow. This condition, called pulmonary embolism, can lead to severe damage to the lungs and even cause death.

Clots form when deposits of red blood cells and various clotting elements build up in a vein.  Factors that can contribute to clot formation include:

  • Slow blood flow, often due to sitting still or lying down for an extended period of time
  • Injury to a blood vessel
  • Clotting problems due to aging or disease
  • Pooling of blood in a vein due to immobility or various medical conditions
  • Catheters placed in a vein

A clot deep in the leg typically produces swelling, redness, warmth, inflammation, and pain below the site of the blockage in the leg. Some patients, however, may not experience any symptoms until the clot moves to their lungs and results in a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. Some people are more likely to develop deep vein thrombosis because they possess one or more of the established risk factors. The risk factors for DVT typically include:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery, especially involving bones or joints
  • Family or personal history of DVT
  • The presence of certain genetic factors
  • Medical conditions such as cancer, varicose veins, heart attack or failure, blood disorders, blood poisoning, or inflammatory bowel disease

To help prevent DVT, be sure to get up and move! If you are planning a long drive or flight, move around every once in a while to keep from remaining stationary for too long. If you are going to be staying in a hospital for a long period of time, ask your physician about preventing clots during your stay.

At Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center, we are committed to maintaining the health of our community. Utilize our DVT Risk Assessor, or contact us at (702) 880-2100 for more information.

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