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.
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Why are spine injuries so common?

Your spine has a big job to do. It protects the delicate spinal cord, maintains the upright position of the body and allows the flexibility necessary for movement. The spine is subject to considerable stress every day, which can lead to damage from wear and tear over time. The delicate structures of the back can also sustain injuries from traumatic events, such as car accidents and sports collisions. If your spine injury lands you in the Emergency Room at Southern Hills Hospital, you can count on our sophisticated Orthopedic and Spine Program to give you the superior care you deserve.

Spine injuries caused by wear and tear

One of the reasons why spine injuries are so common is that they can occur from the cumulative effects of years of micro-damage. Most often, degeneration of the spinal structures affect the top of the spine, known as the cervical region, and the bottom region of the spine, which is the lumbar region.

Watch this featured video to hear a neurosurgeon at Southern Hills Hospital discuss spine injuries in these areas. He notes that most of the mobility of the spine stems from these two regions, which subjects them to more strain. The following are some of the most common risk factors of spine injuries caused by wear and tear:

  • Poor posture
  • Being overweight/obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Aging
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Job-related hazards

If mild to moderate back pain doesn’t go away in a few days, consider making a visit to the hospital.

Spine injuries caused by sudden trauma

When it appears that the spine has sustained sudden, severe trauma, emergency care is required. The emergency care doctor will consider the possibility that the spinal cord has been injured, which could cause permanent paralysis. Some of the possible causes of spinal cord injuries include:

  • Falling from an elevated position
  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Sports collision
  • Diving accident
  • Act of violence

It’s important not to move someone who might have injured the neck or back. Let the emergency responders handle this task.

Southern Hills Hospital has earned a reputation for unparalleled dedication to our patients in Las Vegas, which is one reason why our hospital attracts top orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons. Patients receive a continuum of care at our Orthopedic and Spine Program—from accurate diagnostics to minimally invasive spine surgery. Call 911 for emergency care or call a nurse at (702) 916-5023 to request a referral.


What to Do When Waiting on EMS

When you dial 911 for emergency care, the actions you take while you are waiting can have a significant impact on whether the condition progresses as well as the kind of care that will be necessary when EMS arrives. As you wait for an ambulance to take you to the hospital, keep these strategies in mind.

Follow the 911 Operator’s Instructions

Depending on the nature of the emergency, the 911 operator may give you important instructions to follow, such as applying pressure to a wound that is bleeding heavily or attempting CPR on someone who is not breathing. Do not disconnect from 911 unless the operator tells you to do so. While you are on the phone, provide as much information as possible about the emergency, so it can be relayed by the operator to the EMS team. If you believe someone is having a stroke or heart attack, use those words so that your call is prioritized appropriately. Don’t provide any kind of care for the patient unless the 911 operator instructs you to do so or tells you it is OK. This includes giving aspirin to someone you think is having a heart attack or giving the patients anything to eat or drink.

Make It Easy for the EMS Team

Before the ambulance arrives, turn on an outside light if it is nighttime, and move any furniture that could obstruct their way in and out of the house. Have someone stand outside to guide them to the address, if possible. However, do not leave the patient alone to do this. If you are the only one with the patient, wait for the EMS team arrives to do anything that takes you away from the patient.

Stay Calm and Comforting

Having a medical emergency is scary. Although you may also be worried about the patient’s health, stay calm during the crisis and offer your comfort. If you panic, the patient may also panic, which could make his or her condition worse.

EMS teams and 911 operators are integral parts of our emergency care team at Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center, and your actions in supporting them makes providing high-quality emergency treatments possible. To learn more about our hospital in Las Vegas and our emergency services, call (702) 880-2700.


Tips for Identifying Skin Rashes

Skin rashes are usually thought of as an annoyance rather than a serious medical condition, but in some cases, they could indicate a problem that requires emergency care. Although the only way to know the severity of your rash is to have it examined by a doctor, there are things you can do at home to identify the type of rash you have. Try these tips for identifying your skin rash. Keep in mind that if you have any concerns that your rash could be serious, you should get emergency care right away.

Determine if the Rash Is Raised or Flat

One of the factors that separate different types of rashes is whether they consist of red bumps and blisters or if the rash is flat. Raised rashes can indicate a number of different issues, including shingles and poison ivy. A flat rash, which may or may not be scaly, can include eczema, psoriasis, heat rash, and some types of fungal infections. It is also possible for rashes to have a combination of flat and raised spots. These rashes are less common and should be evaluated by a doctor.

Decide if the Rash Is Painful

If a rash is painful, it could indicate a serious condition that requires treatment, such as shingles. In other cases, a painful rash can mean that the bumps have become infected. If you have a rash that consist of one or a cluster of red, large bumps that are painful, you could have an abscess. Because infections can lead to serious complications, consider getting emergency care so that your rash can be accurately diagnosed and treated.

Consider How the Rash Started

If your rash came on suddenly, you could have hives or another type of rash that is caused by an allergic reaction to medication, food, or something that has come into contact with your skin. Rashes that develop slowly are more likely to be tied to a fungal infection or chronic skin condition like eczema or psoriasis.

Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers emergency care around the clock for everything from skin rashes to stroke care in Las Vegas. Dial (702) 880-2700 to find out more about our hospital or to get a specialist referral.


Learn to Be Safer Around Dogs

Dogs are a big part of life for many families, and even people who don’t share their home with a dog still love to interact with them. Although dogs are generally loving companions, if you don’t know how to behave with them, it could lead to serious injuries that require emergency care. Increase your safety around dogs with this advice.

Train Your Dog

If you have a dog, training is an important responsibility. A well-trained dog is safer for your family at home and for the public when you take your dog out for a walk or to the park. Start training when your dog is very young by attending training classes, hiring a trainer, or even reading books or watching videos about training. If you don’t go to a training class, be sure to take your dog out to the dog park and other public places so that he or she becomes accustomed to interacting with other dogs and humans. Work on training exercises every day so that you stay in control of your dog.

Don’t Approach Strange Dogs

Never approach a loose dog or a dog you don’t know, even if the dog is on a leash with its owner. If you see an unknown, loose dog, stand still and avoid eye contact so you don’t appear to be challenging the dog. If you meet a new dog with his or her owner, ask for permission before approaching the dog, and let the dog sniff the back of your hand before you begin to pet it. If the dog seems anxious or aggressive, don’t try to pet him or her anyway. Instead, slowly and calmly back away.

Avoid Encroaching on a Dog’s Space

When you see a dog in a car or behind a fence, it can be tempting to try to interact with the dog. For some dogs, however, reaching into those areas can seem like a sign of aggression, and he or she may react to protect his or her space. Keep your hands to yourself to avoid the risk of being bitten.

If a dog injures you, the ER at Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center has the treatments you need, from stitches to antibiotics. You can learn more about our hospital in Las Vegas by calling (702) 880-2700.


What Surgeries Can Be Performed Robotically?

Robotic surgery has a number of different applications across multiple disciplines. In each instance, it makes surgery less invasive and recovery times shorter, thanks to less blood loss and tissue disruption. With robotic surgery, surgeons can be more precise than ever before, since the robotic system eliminates even the most minute human hand quivering. Here is a look at some of the procedures that can be performed using robotic surgery.

Gallbladder Removal
Gallbladder stones and inflammation usually require the gallbladder to be removed. As Dr. Kevin Rayls, a general surgeon at Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center, explains in this video, laparoscopic gallbladder means creating multiple incisions to remove the organ, while robotic gallbladder removal only requires one cut. As a result, patients have a lower risk of infection and experience less blood loss during surgery. They also have less post-operative pain because only a small amount of tissue was disrupted during the procedure.

Colorectal Surgeries
Multiple colorectal procedures can be performed with robotic surgery. Polyps and tumors can be removed robotically. It is also possible to remove all or part of the colon and rectum using robotic surgery. Robotic colorectal surgery can dramatically reduce the recovery time for these procedures compared to traditional, open surgery. Patient comfort is also improved when colorectal procedures are performed robotically.

Hernia Repair
If you have a hernia, your surgeon may recommend a robotic procedure to repair it. Studies into robotic hernia repair show that patients have shorter hospital stays, less pain, and a reduced risk of the hernia returning. Surgeons using a robotic system have to switch to open surgery less often than when performing a non-robotic, laparoscopic procedure.

Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center is pleased to offer cutting-edge robotic surgery as an option for patients for a wide range of procedures. To find out if you are a candidate for robotic surgery in Las Vegas, call (702) 880-2700 for a referral to one of our surgeons.


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