• Taking a Look at Common Medication Mistakes

    Whether you are taking over-the-counter or prescription medication , it is essential to understand the proper use of the medicine and the appropriate dosage to give to yourself or your child. Medication is a key component of healthcare, and its effectiveness is largely determined by the patient, because you will ultimately be responsible for following instructions for using the medication and remembering to take the right dosage each day for a given period. This article will provide an overview of some of the most common medication mistakes that you will want to avoid when your doctor has prescribed you a new medication.

    Medication Overdose

    Overdose is one of the most likely mishaps with both OTC and prescription medications, and it is more common than you might think. In many cases, overdose is not intentional, but it arises from a failure to read instructions for determining the correct dose or taking a second dose within a day before the appropriate timeframe. Older adults are also susceptible to drug overdose, because they may forget that they have taken their medication and compensate with another dose. Using a medication dispenser or having a caretaker administer medication can help to prevent this issue.

    Improper Medication Storage

    The medicine cabinet in the bathroom is actually one of the worst places to store medication, because it is hot and humid, so medication may actually lose potency in this environment. A cool, dark space will be best for storing medication. You should also be sure to use bottles with child-proof caps or keep any medication out of reach of children to steer clear of accidental ingestion.

    For more helpful tips on proper medication use, call the Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas at (702) 880-2700. Our hospital provides a wide range of services, including emergency care, primary care , diagnostic imaging, women’s services, and da Vinci Robotic Surgery.

  • What Should You Do If You Are Bitten by a Dog?

    Dog bites can be scary experiences, especially for small children, who are the most at-risk group for this type of injury. If you or your child is bitten by a dog, your first priority should be to seek medical care. Dog bites can lead to severe injuries, including damaged tendons and nerves, infections, and significantly sized wounds that may leave behind substantial scars. While prevention is the best way to manage dog bites, it is also important to know what to do if a dog does attack. Below, you will see the critical steps to take in dog bite first aid for yourself or your child.

    Control Bleeding

    When a dog bite punctures the skin, the most important thing is to gently clean the wound and use a clean towel or gauze to apply light pressure, which will help stop any bleeding. After tending to any wounds, you should also notify animal control of the incident.

    Go to the ER

    Some dog bites may be treatable exclusively with first aid, but you should always go to the ER for any bite that came from an animal with unknown vaccination status, bites that cause bleeding that doesn’t stop after 15 minutes, suspicion of injuries such as broken bones or nerve damage, and possible signs of infection. In the hospital, you may need a tetanus booster if you have not had a shot within the past five years.

    Talk to the Dog’s Owner

    Most often, dog bites occur with dogs that are known to the victim. Therefore, it is probably easy to acquire vaccination records to determine the need for a rabies shot. Rabies is very uncommon in domesticated dogs, but there is still a possibility of transmitting this disease through a bite without proper vaccination.

    With Southern Hills Hospital, you will always have reliable emergency care available close to home to handle any unexpected injuries or illnesses. To learn more about our ER and other hospital services, connect to our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 880-2700.

  • When Is a Skin Rash a Medical Emergency?

    Most often, a skin rash will be nothing more than a minor irritation that will clear up with the right first aid and soothing skincare products. There are, however, some types of rashes that are much more serious and should be treated in the hospital right away. Below, you will see some of the signs that might indicate that your rash could be much more serious than hives or contact dermatitis. If you notice any of these symptoms, head to the ER immediately to get the care you need for your skin.

    The rash is a reaction to medication.

    A rash that develops after taking a new medication can be a medical emergency, because adverse reactions to certain drugs may cause very serious complications without immediate medical intervention. Some of the medications most likely to trigger a rash and allergic reaction include penicillin, gout medications, NSAIDS, and anticonvulsants.

    The rash is accompanied by other symptoms.

    If you have an unexplained rash that is accompanied by swelling of the throat, bleeding or bruises beneath the rash, joint pain, headache, red streaks, or fever, you should not hesitate to go to the emergency room. In children under five, there is a risk for staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome, which will be characterized by widespread blistering that causes the skin to appear as if it has been scalded by hot water.

    The rash has caused a secondary infection of the skin.

    Any time a rash leads to blisters, pus, or open wounds, an infection that could cause much more extensive damage is likely. Visiting the ER will help to manage infections and reduce the threat of permanent damage to the skin and muscle tissue.

    When you are in doubt of where you should turn for medical care, the nurses of Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center can provide help anytime. To speak with one of our Las Vegas nurses about your medical care , dial (702) 880-2700.

  • Getting to Know the Facts of Brain Injuries

    Brain injuries are often underdiagnosed and have the potential to lead to a wide range of chronic issues down the road. That’s why it is important to understand the signs of brain injuries along with their common causes. When you are able to recognize an acquired or traumatic brain injury, you will be more likely to seek the appropriate care in the emergency room . Below, you can see some quick facts about brain injuries that will help you take the right steps in caring for these types of injuries.

    Brain injuries have many unlikely symptoms.

    Traumatic brain injuries sustained through significant external force are easy to identify, but less severe brain injuries may have a wide range of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms that you may not immediately associate with a blow to the head. Symptoms of a brain injury may include: short attention span, difficulty focusing, memory loss, balance issues, headaches, muscle spasms, depression, anxiety, and frequent mood swings.

    You may need several weeks to heal from a brain injury.

    With a brain injury, it is important not to return to regular activities too quickly. You may need to take some time off work or school, avoid driving or operating heavy machinery, and get plenty of rest to allow enough time for a complete recovery. Follow-up visits with your primary physician or a neurological specialist will also be important for monitoring the outcome of the injury.

    Anyone may suffer from a brain injury.

    While injuries like concussions are often associated with athletes, it is important to remember that there are all different causes of brain injuries, making most people susceptible to brain injuries of some type. Oxygen deprivation, electric shock, seizures, stroke, substance abuse, and toxic exposure are all possible causes of brain injuries that do not involve physical force directly to the head.

    If you suffer any type of brain injury, the emergency room at Southern Hills Hospital is there for you with advanced imaging technologies and some of the lowest wait times in the Las Vegas region. We also provide dedicated neurological care with our advanced neurosciences services , which you can learn more about online or by calling (702) 880-2700.