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.

When do leg cramps signal a bigger problem?

Nearly everyone experiences leg cramps now and then, so how do you know when yours are the sign of a serious medical issue? Although most leg cramps are innocuous, some can indicate an underlying problem, such as vascular disease, that requires treatment. If you’re experiencing leg cramps, consider calling your physician if you have any of these symptoms.

Your leg cramps can be reproduced at fixed distances.
When you visit your physician for leg cramps, he or she will ask about the pattern you have observed with your symptoms. As the video discussed, if your leg cramps can be reproduced by traveling a fixed distance, vascular disease could be to blame.

When physicians refer to reproducing cramps at a fixed distance, they want to know when your cramps occur. For instance, if your cramp occurs every time you travel the fixed distance of one block, it is an indicator of an underlying vascular problem.

Your leg cramps appeared when you started a new medicine.
Sometimes, people note that they experience an increase in leg cramps when they start a new medication. This can indicate that the blood flow to the legs is being disrupted in some way by the medication and that your muscles are being affected.

This kind of reaction to medication is not common, but it is one that should be discussed with your physician as soon as possible if you experience it.

Your leg cramps are persistent.
Generally, leg cramps that are frequent and persistent are signs of an underlying medical condition that should be addressed. Chronic dehydration, kidney failure, and uncontrolled diabetes are just some issues that can cause blood chemical imbalances that trigger leg cramps.

If you’re having persistent cramps, see your physician to find the cause. Often, identifying and treating the underlying issue will resolve the cramps.

Whatever the cause of your cramps, you can find the care you need at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas. Talk to one of our nurses about your symptoms or simply call us to request a referral to a physician by dialing (702) 916-5023.

Sun safety in the workplace

The damage the sun does to the skin is cumulative. Developing sunburn just a few times can raise your lifetime risk of skin cancer. The sun also damages the eyes, raising the risk of eye cancers, cataracts and abnormal growths on the eyes. It’s common knowledge that sunscreen is an essential accessory for trips to the beach or walks in the park, but these precautions aren’t always followed in the workplace. Employees in all industries can benefit from protecting themselves from ultraviolet radiation. The healthcare providers at Southern Hills Hospital are here for you. Let us help you brainstorm solutions for living a healthier lifestyle.

Sun safety for indoor workers
Many people are surprised to learn that sun safety is important while indoors, as well as outdoors. Window glass does block UVB radiation well, but it’s less effective at blocking UVA radiation. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 50 percent or more of the UVA radiation directed at a window can pass through it and inflict damage on the skin cells of the person on the other side.

Researchers have identified asymmetrical sun damage on the faces of people who work long hours near a window. For instance, if you’re a librarian and you sit at a reference desk with a window to your left, you’ll eventually notice more signs of sun damage on the left side of your face than the right.

You can protect yourself by keeping some sunscreen at your workplace and reapplying it every two hours. Talk to your employer about having UV-protective film applied to the windows in your office.

Sun safety for outdoor workers
For people who work long hours under the hot sun, UV protection is even more important. Wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen is a must. Outdoor workers can also do the following:

  • Wear UV-protective sunglasses
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat
  • Wear UV-protective clothing
  • Use lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher
  • Try to schedule indoor tasks when the sun is strongest

You’ll find your partner in health at Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas. We are a healthcare community of dedicated family physicians, specialists and nurses, all of whom are committed to healthcare excellence. Call our nurse referral line at (702) 916-5023.

What is dog walker watch?

New puppy parents have a lot to look forward to, including extra exercise opportunities in the form of dog walks. The National Night Out organization is asking dog walkers around the country to join their Dog Walker Watch program, which is intended to enhance public safety in the Las Vegas community and beyond. As a proud partner of the Las Vegas community, Southern Hills Hospital supports public safety and health initiatives.

The basics of National Night Out
Each year, National Night Out takes place on the first Tuesday in August. It’s held in cities around the country, as well as military bases around the world. Community organizers host events like block parties, cookouts, parades, festivals and safety demonstrations.

The purpose of National Night Out is to encourage stronger relationships between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. By strengthening law enforcement/community ties, neighborhoods become safer.

A look at Dog Walker Watch
The National Night Out organization created Dog Walker Watch with an eye toward quicker reporting and police responses to potential crimes. At all hours, and in all kinds of weather, dog walkers are out in the neighborhood with their pets. This creates countless opportunities for dog walkers to spot signs of suspicious activity and report it.

Dog walkers are not encouraged to confront potential criminals, as this can jeopardize their own safety.

The precautionary steps to stay safe while walking
Whether or not you decide to join Dog Walker Watch, you should be aware of the potential risks of walking your dog, such as the risk of traffic accidents. If you must walk your dog after dusk, keep a flashlight on and attach a small light to your dog’s collar. Brightly colored clothing or reflective jackets are recommended.

Keep your dog on a short leash, and avoid flexi-leashes. Walk in designated pedestrian areas. If possible, ask a friend to walk with you.

Rain or shine, the emergency care physicians and nurses at Southern Hills Hospital are here for your family. Our focus is on providing the superior, patient-centered care you need with the friendly service you deserve. Call a registered nurse at (702) 916-5023 with your general questions about our medical specialties.

Reducing the risk of falls around your home

Osteoporosis is a major contributor to long-term disability among older Americans. Even among people who haven’t suffered a fracture, the fear of falling can prevent them from enjoying their retirement. Implementing safety precautions in your home can keep you safe and give you peace of mind. If you do sustain fall-related injuries in the Las Vegas area, the emergency care team at Southern Hills Hospital is available 24/7 to provide the superior care you deserve for the best possible outcome.

Avoid loose, baggy clothing
Installing handrails and removing loose area rugs are both good steps to take to prevent falls. But many people fail to take even simpler precautions like being mindful of what they wear.

Pants or skirts that are too long are easy to trip on. Get your clothing hemmed if need be, so you won’t have to explain to your loved ones that you’re in the hospital because your pants were too long.

Prevent your pets from sneaking up on you
It’s flattering when a cat or dog follows you everywhere you go, but it’s also easy to trip over them. There’s a low-tech, low-cost solution for this: bells. Fasten a small bell to your pet’s collar to alert you when he or she might be underfoot.

Make sure the bell is securely attached to prevent your beloved pet from accidentally swallowing it.

Avoid alcohol consumption
Alcohol, even small amounts of it, causes poor coordination, loss of balance and dizziness—all of which can increase the likelihood of a fall. If you’re taking certain medications that interact with alcohol, these effects can be even more noticeable.

Discuss your medication side effects with your doctor
Some medications can make you dizzy, even if you haven’t had any alcoholic beverages. Each time your doctor prescribes a new medication, ask whether it might increase your risk of a fall. Know the side effects to watch out for, and ask your doctor for guidance if these side effects occur.

Here at Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas, your health and quality of life are important to us. Although our emergency care physicians and orthopedic surgeons can help you recover from a fall, we’d rather help you avoid these problems and stay safer in your home. Call a registered nurse at (702) 916-5023 to talk about the hospital services that can be helpful for you.

Get answers to your questions about childhood immunization

Before vaccines were routinely given to babies and children, deadly and debilitating diseases like measles, polio, whooping cough and tetanus were much more common. In fact, immunizations have been called one of the most impactful public health achievements of the 20 th century. Getting your child immunized is an effective way to protect him or her, but you may still have some questions about vaccines. The family physicians at Southern Hills Hospital are here to help.

Why do vaccines contain formaldehyde and other toxic substances?
One of the main concerns parents have about vaccines is their ingredients. Aside from the substance that triggers immunity, vaccines contain small amounts of other ingredients.

Some of these ingredients, like formaldehyde, are used during the manufacturing process. The formaldehyde is then removed, and so only a trace amount remains. This tiny amount isn’t harmful, and in fact, small amounts of formaldehyde are also present in commonly used items like mouthwash and antihistamines.

Other ingredients, like trace amounts of aluminum, are in vaccines because they help the shots work more effectively. Vaccines can also contain mercury in very small amounts, which is comparable to the low levels of mercury found in breast milk and infant formula.

Why is my child legally required to get vaccinated?
State laws require children to be vaccinated before enrolling in public schools because it’s necessary to protect the health of other children, teachers and families throughout the community. Choosing not to vaccinate a child doesn’t only place that child at risk—it places the entire community at risk.

Remember that some people cannot receive vaccines for medical reasons, such as those with cancer or HIV/AIDS. These patients rely on the “herd immunity” of the community to protect them from potentially deadly diseases.

Can my child receive a vaccine while ill?
Let your doctor know that your child is ill, but in the case of a mild illness, vaccination is still safe and advisable. Vaccines can’t make an existing illness worse. However, if your child has a serious illness, such as cancer, then he or she might not receive certain vaccines.

Family care physicians are available at Southern Hills Hospital to address all of your healthcare concerns. We deliver uncompromising, superior care because your health is important to us. Call a registered nurse in Las Vegas at (702) 916-5023 to request a physician referral.

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