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.

Do Stroke Symptoms Differ for Women?

It is known that women experience heart attacks differently than men, but does the same hold true for strokes? Because getting emergency care quickly is essential for minimizing the loss of brain tissue during a stroke, recognizing the signs is essential. For women, the symptoms of a stroke are generally the same as they are for men, but getting women to recognize them and take action to get emergency care is the challenge. If you experience these symptoms of a stroke, this is the time to put yourself first and get the life-saving care you need.

Drooping on One Side of the Face
During a stroke, the part of the brain that controls muscles in the face may be affected. If this occurs, one side of the face may feel numb, and it may begin to droop. Although the drooping may be obvious simply by looking at someone, an easy way to tell for sure is to ask the person who could be having a stroke to smile. If the smile droops downward on one side, then he or she could be having a stroke.

Weakness on One Side of the Body
A stroke could also cause numbness and weakness on one side of the body. You may notice that someone who is experiencing a stroke looks like he or she is slumping to one side. You can also easily test this symptom by asking someone who could be having a stroke to raise their arms. If one arm drops downward while the other one is still raised, it could indicate a stroke.

Slurred Speech
Slurred speech is a classic stroke symptom. In addition to slurring words, some people may say things that are unintelligible, be unable to follow a conversation, or suddenly begin saying things that don’t make sense. This symptom is highly suggestive of a stroke and should be evaluated in the ER.

The Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center provides cutting-edge stroke care to stop the destruction of brain tissue and minimize the long-term complications for patients. Contact us today at (702) 880-2700 for more information about stroke care in Las Vegas and other hospital services.

Exploring the Subtler Signs of Heart Attacks

Most people envision heart attacks as unmistakable emergencies that occur with intense chest pain. In reality, a heart attack can be much more subtle, and failing to recognize the symptoms could cause some people to delay seeking necessary emergency care. Learning the subtler symptoms of a heart attack could save your life or the life of someone you love. Commit these symptoms to memory and seek emergency care if they occur.

Extreme Fatigue
Many people feel exhausted most of the time, but when a heart problem is developing, the fatigue can become extreme. If you experience a dramatic increase in the amount of fatigue you are feeling, then consider seeing your doctor or going to the hospital. Look for signs like feeling fatigued even when you aren’t being active and getting exhausted after doing everyday activities, like making your bed. Note that many people who experience fatigue before a heart attack may also experience sleep disturbances and struggle to rest even when they are exhausted.

Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath is never normal and should always be evaluated by a doctor. In some cases, becoming short of breath, especially when you lay down, could indicate a problem with your heart. If you suddenly become short of breath without being active or notice a marked decline in your exercise tolerance, consider seeing your doctor. Before a heart attack, many people also report sweating and feeling clammy for no reason.

Neck, Jaw, and Back Pain
Chest pain isn’t always the first kind of pain that occurs with a heart attack. In fact, some people, especially women, have heart attacks without experiencing chest pain at all. For these people, neck, jaw, and back pain may indicate a heart problem. If you have discomfort in these areas that gets worse when you are active and eases up while you rest, consider making an appointment with your doctor.

Any time you experience heart attack symptoms, go to Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center for emergency care. Our ER diagnoses and treats heart attacks quickly for the best possible patient outcomes. To learn more about emergency care in Las Vegas or other hospital services, please call (702) 880-2700.

How Menopause Increases a Woman's Risk of Heart Disease

Heart disease isn’t just a man’s problem. Women also face an increased risk as they age, particularly after menopause. By becoming aware of the increased chance of developing heart disease after menopause, women can take steps to remain heart-healthy. Why does menopause mark a turning point for women and their heart disease risk? Here is what you need to know.

Heart Disease and Menopause
Although menopause does not cause heart disease, there does appear to be a link between the onset of menopause and an increased risk. Doctors suspect that falling levels of estrogen may be to blame. Estrogen helps to keep the inner layers of blood vessel walls flexible, which assists in healthy blood flow. When estrogen levels decline during menopause, the blood vessels can become stiffer, and the risk of blood flow being disrupted increases. This may be the reason that a spike in the risk of heart attacks for women occurs about 10 years after menopause. Other changes in the body that occur after menopause also support a greater heart disease risk, including increased cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides. Women who are overweight at the time of menopause and who smoke or eat an unhealthy diet have an even greater risk of experiencing heart problems.

Coping with the Risks
Although the risk of heart disease increases after menopause, there are many things women can do to protect their heart health. Start by embracing a healthy lifestyle, with physical activity on most days and a diet rich in healthy fats and fiber and low in added sugars. See your doctor regularly for checkups and carefully manage conditions that can contribute to heart disease, such as diabetes. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about strategies that can help you quit.

Get the heart care you need at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center. From our physicians to our emergency care in Las Vegas, we can help you manage heart disease and live a healthier life. For more information about our hospital or a referral to one of our physicians, please call (702) 880-2700.

Where Can Fibroids Grow in the Body?

Fibroids are abnormal growths that occur in the female reproductive system. Left untreated, they can cause pain, abnormal bleeding, and fertility issues. If you suspect you have fibroids, see your women’s health specialist for a diagnosis and to find out what treatments may work for you. Here is a look at some of the areas that can be affected by fibroids.

Uterine fibroids are the most common form of fibroids by far. Fibroids can form in many different locations in the uterus, including the lining and along the outside of the uterus. Some fibroids in the uterus are small and don’t cause any symptoms. In other instances, fibroids can grow to be very large and cause significant discomfort and heavy menstrual bleeding. Often, uterine fibroids are affected by hormone changes and grow larger in size around the time of menstruation. When fibroids develop on the outside of the uterus and grow into the uterine cavity, they can also begin to affect other parts of the body, including the kidneys, bladder, stomach, and rectum.

Although they are less common than uterine fibroids, ovarian fibroids are also possible. Dr. Edmund Pack, an OBGYN at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center, discusses the impact that these kinds of fibroids can have on fertility in this video. Fibroids can block the Fallopian tubes, interfering with ovulation and making it difficult to achieve a pregnancy.

Dealing with Fibroids
Many women don’t know that they have fibroids because they don’t experience any symptoms. If your fibroids are not causing a problem for you, then you may not need treatment. If you are experiencing pain, heavy bleeding, and other symptoms, consider seeing your doctor to find out if medications, minimally invasive procedures like ablation, or surgery could help you.

Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center is pleased to offer comprehensive health care for women, including OBGYN services and maternity care in Las Vegas . Get a referral to one of our women’s health providers today by calling (702) 880-2700.

Do You Need Antibiotics When You're Sick?

For many years, doctors prescribed antibiotics generously for a range of conditions, including very minor cases of infections. The outcome has been antibiotic overuse and the appearance of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Although antibiotics can be an important part of treatment plans for many different conditions, taking them when they are not needed could be dangerous and leave you at risk for needing emergency care for an infection that won’t respond to medications. Before you get antibiotics for an illness, here is what you need to know about some of the risks of taking these medications unnecessarily and when antibiotics may be needed.

Antibiotics increase resistant infections and cause side effects.
When you take an antibiotic for a bacterial infection, the medication will cause most of the bacteria to die. However, some of the bacteria will inevitably survive, and these survivors can multiply and cause another infection that is made up of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A resistant infection can be dangerous and extremely costly to treat. Most people with antibiotic-resistant infections have to stay in the hospital, and their treatment costs more than $40,000 more than the treatment for normal bacterial infections.

Antibiotics can cause side effects.
Antibiotics can also be accompanied by serious side effects. Because they indiscriminately kill bacteria, taking antibiotics kills the good bacteria in the body that protect your health. When taking antibiotics, many people experience diarrhea, vomiting, vaginal infections, and dangerous allergic reactions. About 14,000 people die annually from diarrhea that is caused by taking antibiotics.

Taking antibiotics only when needed reduces the risks.
Antibiotics are only effective at treating bacterial infections, so don’t take them if you have a viral infection. Many bacterial infections will improve on their own within a few days with home treatment. Reserve antibiotic use for serious infections that aren’t responding to other remedies. Aggressive use of antibiotics may also be necessary in people with weakened immune systems. Often, antibiotic ointments and drops can be more effective than oral antibiotics for skin, ear, and eye infections.

At Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center, we’re committed to providing the highest quality healthcare possible without the risk of unnecessary treatments. You can learn more about all of our hospital services, including emergency care, stroke care, and orthopedic surgery in Las Vegas, by calling (702) 880-2700.

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