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.

Don't get hurt by hard-to-open packaging this holiday season

So-called “wrap rage” affects countless people each holiday season. Hard-to-open packaging can be frustrating, especially when a child is getting impatient to play with a new toy. As a result, some people resort to unsafe methods of opening packaging, which can cause deep lacerations that require emergency care. If you do need medical attention this holiday season, the emergency care team at Southern Hills Hospital is here to help—although we sincerely hope you won’t have need of our services.

Look for opening indicators

Some manufacturers have responded to packaging frustrations by including opening indicators. Perforated lines or labels stating “Open Here” indicate that the plastic wrap should tear open easily at that location. Always check packages for opening indicators before resorting to scissors or a knife.

Take initial steps to prevent injuries

If plastic packaging is stubbornly resisting conventional opening techniques, take the item away from other people before using anything sharp on it. Place the item on a hard, flat surface—never hold it in your lap when using a sharp implement. Next, put on protective work gloves, just in case.

Use sharp tools safely

If you use a knife, remember to cut away from your body. Don’t place your other hand in the path of the implement.

If you use scissors, choose heavy-duty utility scissors that feature a blunt tip. Avoid completely extending the scissors and using just one blade, as this requires that you place your hand on the other blade.

Open clamshell packaging with a can opener

Clamshell packaging is that tough, seemingly indestructible plastic wrap that often houses expensive electronics. It’s intended to deter theft, but it’s resulted in plenty of emergency care visits.

Try opening it with a can opener instead of a knife or scissors. Place the can opener on the bottom edge of the package, and turn it until you get to the other side of the package.

And remember to stay calm. No matter how frustrating plastic packaging can be, dealing with it calmly is preferable to spending your holidays receiving stitches.

If injuries do affect your family, the emergency care doctors at Southern Hills Hospital are available day or night, every day of the year. Serious medical problems don’t take time off for the holidays, and so we don’t, either. Call 911 for true medical emergencies, or call a registered nurse in Las Vegas at (702) 916-5023 for non-emergent inquiries only.

Know the signs of appendicitis

Appendicitis is a medical emergency that occurs when a blockage forms inside the appendix. If left untreated, the blockage can cause the appendix to burst, which can lead to a serious, potentially life-threatening infection. If you experience the symptoms of appendicitis, it’s important to seek emergency care right away to get a diagnosis. If your physician diagnoses you with appendicitis, you may need surgery to remove the appendix. Here is a look at some of the most common symptoms.

Abdominal pain
Abdominal pain is usually the first symptom of appendicitis. Typically, the pain starts near your belly button and progressively gets more intense. The pain usually radiates lower and to the right as the blockage becomes worse, usually within a few hours.

The pain associated with appendicitis can be very intense. It may happen without warning and is usually strong enough to wake you from your sleep. You may notice that the pain gets worse when you sneeze or cough.

Constipation or diarrhea
Appendicitis can cause both constipation and diarrhea. You may have the overwhelming feeling that having a bowel movement would alleviate your pain, but it does not. You may also feel like you have pressure in your abdomen from trapped gas but that you are unable to pass it.

Other intestinal problems may occur as well. Your abdomen may swell, and you may experience nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

Low-grade fever
Appendicitis causes widespread inflammation that can trigger a low-grade fever, although not everyone with appendicitis will have one. If you have a fever that spikes alongside appendicitis symptoms, it is especially important to seek emergency care. An increasing fever could indicate that infection is spreading in your body, which requires fast treatment.

Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center provides emergency care around the clock for all of your emergency medical needs, from appendicitis symptoms to accidental injuries. We also provide emergency care in Las Vegas at our ER at The Lakes facility . You can learn more about our emergency medical services by calling (702) 916-5023.

How will exercise fit into your diabetes treatment plan?

Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, exercise will play a central role in your treatment plan. Being physically active can help you avoid many of the complications that are associated with diabetes and will help to keep your weight in check. Here is a look at some of the ways you can use exercise as part of your diabetes treatment plan.

Lower your blood glucose levels

Being physically active can help to lower your blood glucose levels and help you maintain good blood glucose control. If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be able to manage your blood glucose without medication using diet and exercise, under the guidance of your physician. Anyone with diabetes can reap the benefits of better blood glucose control by exercising.

Be sure to check your blood glucose before you exercise to prevent hypoglycemia. If you have type 1 diabetes and are experiencing high blood glucose with ketones, don’t exercise unless your physician says it is okay. Exercising when ketones are present in the blood can make blood glucose spike even higher in type 1 diabetics.

Maintain a healthy weight

With both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight is important. Excess weight impacts your body’s ability to use insulin effectively, which exacerbates the symptoms of type 2 diabetes and forces type 1 diabetics to have to take increasing insulin doses to maintain their blood glucose levels.

Although people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin for life, people with type 2 diabetes are sometimes able to stop or reduce their medications if they lose weight.

Boost your circulation

Diabetes can cause damage to your blood vessels that interfere with blood flow. By exercising, you can make your blood flow more efficiently. Healthy blood flow will reduce the risk of many diabetes complications, including heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and kidney damage.

Before you start a new exercise regimen, schedule an appointment with your physician at Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center to make sure it is safe for you. Do you need a physician in Las Vegas to help you improve your diabetes management? Contact our hospital today at (702) 916-5023.

How far can quitting smoking go for your health?

Are you ready to take one of the biggest steps you can take for better health? If so, it’s time to give up smoking. Smoking impacts every part of your body, and giving it up has the same kind of far-reaching effects. Every minute that you are not smoking decreases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and much more. Here is a closer look at how quitting smoking can impact your health.

Healthier lungs
As mentioned in the video, some forms of lung damage are not curable, but giving up smoking still improves your lung health. When you stop smoking, you can prevent further scarring of your lungs, your cilia grow back and being to function normally, and you may be able to prevent COPD.

If you already have lung disease, giving up your cigarettes can slow its progression and make your symptoms less severe. You may notice that you actually cough more right after you give up cigarettes—that is a sign of your lungs healing.

Healthier heart
No other risk factor is responsible for more heart disease and more heart attacks than smoking. When you quit, your risk of having a heart attack will decrease within 24 hours, and it will keep getting lower the longer you go without smoking. Quitting improves your heart health in a number of ways, including:

  • Thinner blood that moves through your blood vessels easier—this reduces the amount of stress on your heart and cuts your chances of heart attacks and strokes
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure

Healthier body
Giving up smoking causes dramatic changes throughout your body. Here are just a few of the impacts you can expect:

  • Better hearing
  • Reduced belly fat—which means a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Normal estrogen levels
  • Fewer episodes of erectile dysfunction
  • Clearer skin
  • Stronger bones
  • Lower risk of cancer

Quitting is hard, but your doctor can help. Contact Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas and request a referral to one of our physicians. We can help you kick the habit for good and enjoy a healthier life. Call us today at (702) 916-5023 for more information.

Breathe cleaner air at home for better lung health

When you think of lung health and the impact of air pollution, there is a good chance that you picture things like car exhaust and smoke stacks. In reality, the air in your home may be much more polluted than the air outdoors, and it could be impacting your health. If already have lung health issues, such as asthma or COPD, then your air at home could be responsible for triggering acute crises that require emergency care. How clean is your indoor air at home, and what can you do to improve it? Here is what you need to know.

Common indoor air pollutants
Indoor air pollutants can come from a variety of places. Some common pollutants founds in the air in people’s homes include:

  • Dust and dust mites
  • Animal dander
  • Pollen
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Emissions from volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as those found in some forms of paint

Signs of contaminated air
You may suspect that the air in your home is polluted based on the symptoms you experience. These symptoms may be worse in young children, seniors, and people with chronic medical conditions. Here are some of the symptoms associated with poor interior air quality:

  • Recurring respiratory infections
  • Chronic coughing, sneezing, and wheezing
  • Frequent asthma attacks, in people with the condition
  • Skin rashes and irritation
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

In addition to physical symptoms, you may notice signs of polluted air around your home. For example, you may notice that you have to dust more frequently than you used to or that it is difficult to keep plants alive.

Improving indoor air quality
There are many things you can do to improve the quality of your indoor air. Take these steps to make your air cleaner at home:

  • Open windows to air out your home.
  • Change your air filters regularly
  • Choose high-quality air filters that trap more pollutants
  • Choose low VOC paints

If air quality is a persistent issue, have your HVAC system inspected. Cleaning out your HVAC ducts can help.

Don’t let respiratory infections and other lung health issues prevent you from doing the things you love. The physicians of Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center can help you achieve and maintain good health. Get a referral to a physician in Las Vegas today by calling (702) 916-5023.

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