• Do You Need to Go to The ER for a Headache?

    Nearly everyone experiences a headache on occasion, but how do you know when your headache is actually a medical emergency ? There are times when you should seek emergency care for a headache instead of simply trying to treat it at home. Consider going to the ER if you experience any of these symptoms.

    Your Headache Started Suddenly

    Most headaches start slowly and gradually increase in pain. However, if you have a sudden headache that comes on intensely with no warning, consider seeking emergency care. This is especially true if you are over the age of 50. A sudden headache can be a warning sign of an aneurysm or stroke, and early intervention is critical for treating these conditions. For a sudden headache, don’t try to wait out your symptoms at home to see if they improve. Emergency care can rule out any serious causes of your headache or provide crucial treatment if needed.

    You Have New Symptoms

    If headaches are normal for you, even severe headaches like migraines, then you may not be concerned when one develops. However, if you experience new symptoms along with your headache, it could be time to consider emergency care. Be alert to changes like balance issues, speech problems, and impaired vision, which could indicate that your headache is actually a stroke. Fast stroke care saves lives and prevents loss of brain tissue, so act quickly if your symptoms don’t seem like a typical headache.

    You Have a Stiff Neck

    Neck stiffness along with a headache, with or without a fever, can be the sign of a serious spinal infection called meningitis. Although some forms of meningitis go away on their own, others, like bacterial meningitis, can be life-threatening if treatment is not started early. Doctors in the ER can diagnose and begin urgent treatment for meningitis, if necessary.

    The ER at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas is available around the clock to diagnose and treat a range of urgent medical conditions. Learn more about our high standard of ER care by calling (702) 880-2700.

  • Which Medical Conditions Worsen Your Flu Risk?

    The flu puts almost everyone on bed rest, but when does it lead to the need for emergency care ? Some populations are more vulnerable to both flu infections and severe flu symptoms than others, based on factors like age and existing medical conditions. If you have one of the chronic medical conditions listed below, consider talking to your doctor about extra precautions you can take to lessen your risk of contracting the flu and experiencing complications if you do become infected.


    People with asthma do not have a higher risk of getting the flu, but if they do contract the virus, they are more likely to suffer from severe complications. This is true for patients with mild, controlled asthma as well as uncontrolled or severe types of the disease. During the flu, people of all ages with asthma are vulnerable to developing pneumonia and other acute respiratory diseases that require emergency care.


    Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes make people more likely to catch the flu, no matter how well their disease is managed. Diabetes interferes with the immune system’s ability to fight off infections, plus, having the flu can make blood sugar levels swing wildly. If you have diabetes, part of your management plan is likely to include sick day rules for insulin and blood sugar targets, so stick to those if you develop the flu. If your blood sugar levels are out of control or you are having difficulty eating, consider seeking emergency care.

    Heart Disease

    Heart disease, including congestive heart failure and congenital heart defects, is a major risk factor for flu complications. During the 2014-2015 flu season alone, 50 percent of patients hospitalized for flu-related complications had some form of heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . In addition to getting a flu shot, talk to your cardiologist about precautions you should take to avoid the flu and when to seek emergency care if you get it.

    Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center provides crucial emergency care for flu-related complications, as well as a range of other conditions. Call our Las Vegas hospital at (702) 880-2700 for more information about emergency care or a referral to a physician .

  • Learn to Manage Your Stress This Holiday Season

    Stress seems to be an unfortunate holiday tradition for most people. Unfortunately, the stress of the holidays can lead to unhealthy habits like overindulging in food and drink and even an increased risk of heart attack and the need for emergency care . The good news is that you can reclaim the happiness of the holiday season by learning ways to manage your stress so that it doesn’t overtake the festivities. When holiday stress is threatening your season, try these strategies to keep it under control.

    Don’t Try to Control What You Can’t

    It may be stressful that your flights to see family are delayed or that your brother let his kids bring friends to your holiday dinner, but these things are out of your control. Letting things that you can’t change cause you stress is futile. Focus on the things that are within your control and adopt an attitude of shrugging off the inevitable bumps in the road that occur along the way.

    Practice Saying No

    If you ever wonder why some people seem so relaxed during the holidays when you feel harried, it is because they have mastered the art of saying no. Setting limits for yourself is crucial if you want to enjoy the time you have with your family and friends during the season. Refuse invitations you can’t fit in, and if you can’t help out with cooking a meal or running an errand, say so. When you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

    Develop a Relaxing Routine

    You can’t be there for others if you aren’t there for yourself first. Carve out time each day in which you can relax. Exercise, listen to music, watch a favorite show, or read a book. This break will help you get perspective and ease the pressure on your shoulders.

    When a health emergency strikes during the holidays, let Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center take the stress out of getting quality care. From emergency care to stroke care, orthopedic surgery, and geriatric psych, we have the comprehensive treatments you need. For more information, call our Las Vegas hospital at (702) 880-2700.

  • Understanding the Fire Dangers of Holiday Lights

    Glowing lights are an intrinsic part of the holiday season, but, unfortunately, they are also the trigger for home fires and injuries that lead to the need for emergency care . The good news is that by recognizing the potential dangers of lights and taking steps to minimize your risk, you can enjoy your seasonal decorations while avoiding a mishap. Here is what you need to know about holiday light safety.

    How Dangerous Are Holiday Lights?

    When used properly, holiday lights can be enjoyed safely. However, each year, a significant number of fires and related injuries occur as the result of faults or misuse. According to the National Fire Protection Association , between the years 2009 and 2013, Christmas trees alone caused an average of 210 fires per year, plus seven fire deaths, 19 fire injuries, and $17.5 million in property damage. Electrical malfunctions with lighting were to blame for two-thirds of lighting-related fires. Fires involving Christmas trees also appeared to be more deadly than other home fires. One in 33 Christmas tree fires leads to loss of life while the average for other home fires is one death per 144 fires.

    How Can I Make Holiday Lighting Safer?

    There are several steps you can take to reduce your chances of a fire during the holiday season. Choose LED bulbs for tree lights and other decorations. Because they are cool to the touch, unlike incandescent bulbs, they are less likely to cause burns. Further, LED lights are made from durable epoxy lenses instead of glass. Avoid putting anything over a light bulb or lampshade. Battery-operated candles are a good alternative to traditional candles. If you do light candles, don’t leave them unattended and keep them away from trees and combustible materials. If there is an emergency or injury, call for help or seek urgent care right away.

    Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center provides comprehensive emergency care in Las Vegas in every season, including stroke care, orthopedics, and geriatric psych care. For answers to your questions about our services, please call (702) 880-2700.