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.

How Do Emergency Medical Services Go Hand-in-Hand with Your Local ER?

Whenever anyone dials 911, the first people on the scene are the emergency medical services, or EMS, team. EMS providers give emergency care before you even get to your local hospital, and they work closely with the staff of the ER to ensure that you get the highest level of care as quickly as possible in an emergency situation. If you or someone you love has ever been taken to the hospital by ambulance, then you know how important EMS teams are to medical care. Here is a closer look how the EMS team and ER providers work together.

First-Response Care
When EMS teams arrive on the scene of a medical emergency, they are the first ones to assess the patient and provide care. The interventions performed by the EMS team can often be life-saving and may allow the patient to make it to the hospital to receive further emergency care. During the time the EMS team is giving care on the scene and in the ambulance, they can communicate with the ER physicians as needed to make decisions about the kinds of treatments they should provide.

Advance Notice
EMS staff can give the ER providers information about the condition of the patient they are transporting to the hospital, so that they can get set up to give care right away. In instances in which providing emergency care as soon as possible is critical, such as during a heart attack or stroke, this advance notice can save valuable time that would otherwise be spent setting up and making arrangements for tests and medications when the patient is already on site, further delaying his or her care.

Vital Signs Information
In the ambulance, EMS providers can monitor the vital signs of patients and give that information to the ER physicians to help them make care decisions. They can also place IV lines that can be used to deliver medication quickly. These time-saving measures can also improve emergency care outcomes.

The ER staff at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center works closely with our local EMS providers to ensure that our patients get the best possible emergency care in Las Vegas. To find out more about our hospital or to request a referral to one of our physicians, please call (702) 880-2700.

Preventing Complications After Spine Surgery

Before you have spine surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will review your recovery plan with you. The aim of the recovery plan will be to assist you in getting back to your normal activities as soon as possible and help you avoid complications. During your spinal surgery recovery, keep these tips in mind to reduce the risk of post-surgical complications that could harm your health and delay your recovery.

Get Moving
Many people are surprised by how soon their orthopedic surgeon wants them to get out of bed and walk, but moving around has a number of benefits during your spinal surgery recovery. When you walk, you build up strength in muscles that may have gotten weaker because of the pain you were experiencing before surgery. It also helps to get your blood pumping, which not only speeds healing nutrients to the surgical site but also reduces the risk of blood clots. Blood clots, including dangerous deep vein thrombosis clots, are a significant risk after surgery when many people spend an extended period of time immobile.

Look to Your Lungs
Respiratory infections are another risk after spine surgery. General anesthesia and pain medications can interfere with your ability to breathe normally, which can starve your blood of oxygen and interfere with your recovery. After surgery, your orthopedic surgeon may give you a spirometer to measure how you are breathing and help you monitor if your breathing is improving. The recovery team may also ask you to perform certain exercises, and they may prescribe medications if you have an infection.

Know When to Call
Be alert to the signs of post-surgical complications so you can call your orthopedic surgeon if you see them. As PA Carey Seip explains in this video, call your doctor if your wound becomes red, hot, swollen, or develops drainage. You should also call if you experience a fever, have trouble breathing, or have chest pain. Catching an infection in its early stages after surgery is important to avoiding worse complications.

Your orthopedic surgeon in Las Vegas at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center will help you prepare for spine surgery and will supervise your recovery to ensure that your procedure is a success. For a referral to one of our surgeons , please call (702) 880-2700.

2017 Flu Season May Be Worst on Record

Although it is never possible for experts to predict exactly what flu season will look like in any given year, the numbers so far indicate that the 2017 season may be the worst one on record. The number of people seeking emergency care for flu symptoms is high, which means it is more important than ever to get a flu shot.

What exactly is flu season?
The flu virus circulates throughout the year, but flu season is the period of time in which the U.S. experiences epidemic levels of flu infections. Typically, the peak period of flu season is between December and March, but it can start in October and may continue until May. It’s not possible to predict exactly when flu season will begin, because it depends on so many different factors, from the weather to the types of flu viruses that are circulating. Getting your flu vaccination early in the usual flu season is the best way to ensure you are protected when the viruses begin to circulate.

What flu shots are available this year?
For the 2016-2017 flu season, the vaccine is only available via injection. The nasal mist is not considered to be effective. The vaccine for this season protects against the viruses H1N1, H3N2, B/Yamagata lineage, and B/Victoria lineage. Experts believe that these strains of the virus will be most prevalent. Keep in mind that the flu virus may change and adapt over the course of the season, so although getting a flu shot drastically reduces your risk, you aren’t completely protected from contracting the flu.

What should I do if I think I have the flu?
Your physician can perform a flu test to make a definitive diagnosis. For most patients, simply waiting for the virus to pass is the best treatment. If you have a chronic medical condition that could be made worse by the flu, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication to reduce the severity of the infection. If you experience symptoms such as chest pain or breathing difficulties, seek emergency care immediately.

Our physicians and emergency care providers at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center are ready to help your family get through flu season, whether you need a flu shot or ER care for a crisis. You can find out more about our hospital services by calling (702) 880-2700.

Make a New Year's Resolution to Drive Safer This Year

When most people think about New Year’s resolutions, they think about things like losing weight and exercising more. One important, if often overlooked, resolution that can also have a big impact on your health is driving safer. Safe driving reduces the chances you’ll need emergency care and orthopedic surgery for serious injuries. Commit to being safer on the roads this year with these tips.

Learn Child Seat Safety
In the past, there was one type of car seat that kids used for a few years before they graduated directly to sitting in a regular seat. Now, there are a number of age-appropriate car seats that change as your child grows to give him or her the best possible protection as they grow. Infants and children up to two years of age need a rear-facing car seat, while kids over two can sit in a forward-facing car seat until they are five or have reached the weight limit for the seat. After that, children should sit in a booster seat until the seatbelt fits them correctly.

Talk to Teens About Safe Driving
Teens face tremendous responsibility when they are behind the wheel, and they might not always be ready for the challenge. Talk to your teen about your expectations for safe driving, and set the ground rules for using your car. Limiting the radio and the number of friends in the car can make a big difference in your teen’s ability to focus on the road.

Stay Calm Behind the Wheel
Stress and traffic are a bad combination. When you’re driving, decide to remain alert and level-headed instead of aggressive and frustrated. Not only does aggressive driving and road rage put you at risk of a dangerous confrontation with another driver, but it also makes you drive recklessly and increases your chances of being in an accident.

Whatever healthy living items are on your New Year’s to-do list, Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center is here to help. Our primary care network of physicians work hand-in-hand with our specialists in emergency care, stroke care, and orthopedics in Las Vegas. Learn more about the scope of our care and get a referral to a physician by calling (702) 880-2700.

How Does Stress Hurt Your Body?

Short-term stress, such as that you may be feeling right before a big presentation, can cause helpful changes in your body that make it possible to complete your task. However, when stress persists for an extended period of time, the effects on your body can be severe. Prolonged periods of stress can lead to depression, weight gain, poor disease management, and many problems that require emergency care, including heart attacks and stroke. Here are just a few of the ways that stress can impact your body.

Heart Disease
When stress occurs, your heart pumps harder than normal, and your blood vessels dilate, which causes increased blood pressure. These effects aren’t dangerous for most people during an acute bout of stress and are part of the body’s natural flight-or-fight response. When they happen for a prolonged period, the excess burden on your heart and vascular system can have devastating impacts, including heart attack and stroke. If you have existing heart disease or are at risk of heart disease, these impacts can be even more damaging.

Type 2 Diabetes
Stress causes your body to release cortisol, a hormone that causes your liver to produce glucose to give you the energy to fight back against your stressor. High levels of cortisol for extended periods upsets your blood glucose levels and can cause an increase in hunger that can lead to obesity. Excess weight coupled with the excess blood glucose can lead to type 2 diabetes. Research indicates that reducing stress can reduce blood glucose levels almost as much as medications for some people.

Digestive Problems
Stress can cause you to overeat comfort foods, which are typically high in fat and sugar and can lead to gastrointestinal upset. It can also impact the rate at which food moves through your digestive system and cause constipation or diarrhea. The butterflies you feel in your stomach during short periods of stress can turn into ulcers and pain when stress becomes chronic.

Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers extensive resources for stress management, from emergency care and stroke care in Las Vegas in times of crisis to behavioral health services and primary care doctors to manage your symptoms. Request a referral to a doctor today by calling (702) 880-2700.

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