• 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.

  • Do Stroke Symptoms Differ for Women?

    It is known that women experience heart attacks differently than men, but does the same hold true for strokes ? Because getting emergency care quickly is essential for minimizing the loss of brain tissue during a stroke, recognizing the signs is essential. For women, the symptoms of a stroke are generally the same as they are for men, but getting women to recognize them and take action to get emergency care is the challenge. If you experience these symptoms of a stroke, this is the time to put yourself first and get the life-saving care you need.

    Drooping on One Side of the Face
    During a stroke, the part of the brain that controls muscles in the face may be affected. If this occurs, one side of the face may feel numb, and it may begin to droop. Although the drooping may be obvious simply by looking at someone, an easy way to tell for sure is to ask the person who could be having a stroke to smile. If the smile droops downward on one side, then he or she could be having a stroke.

    Weakness on One Side of the Body
    A stroke could also cause numbness and weakness on one side of the body. You may notice that someone who is experiencing a stroke looks like he or she is slumping to one side. You can also easily test this symptom by asking someone who could be having a stroke to raise their arms. If one arm drops downward while the other one is still raised, it could indicate a stroke.

    Slurred Speech
    Slurred speech is a classic stroke symptom. In addition to slurring words, some people may say things that are unintelligible, be unable to follow a conversation, or suddenly begin saying things that don’t make sense. This symptom is highly suggestive of a stroke and should be evaluated in the ER.

    The Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center provides cutting-edge stroke care to stop the destruction of brain tissue and minimize the long-term complications for patients. Contact us today at (702) 880-2700 for more information about stroke care in Las Vegas and other hospital services.

  • Exploring the Subtler Signs of Heart Attacks

    Most people envision heart attacks as unmistakable emergencies that occur with intense chest pain. In reality, a heart attack can be much more subtle, and failing to recognize the symptoms could cause some people to delay seeking necessary emergency care . Learning the subtler symptoms of a heart attack could save your life or the life of someone you love. Commit these symptoms to memory and seek emergency care if they occur.

    Extreme Fatigue
    Many people feel exhausted most of the time, but when a heart problem is developing, the fatigue can become extreme. If you experience a dramatic increase in the amount of fatigue you are feeling, then consider seeing your doctor or going to the hospital. Look for signs like feeling fatigued even when you aren’t being active and getting exhausted after doing everyday activities, like making your bed. Note that many people who experience fatigue before a heart attack may also experience sleep disturbances and struggle to rest even when they are exhausted.

    Shortness of Breath
    Shortness of breath is never normal and should always be evaluated by a doctor. In some cases, becoming short of breath, especially when you lay down, could indicate a problem with your heart. If you suddenly become short of breath without being active or notice a marked decline in your exercise tolerance, consider seeing your doctor. Before a heart attack, many people also report sweating and feeling clammy for no reason.

    Neck, Jaw, and Back Pain
    Chest pain isn’t always the first kind of pain that occurs with a heart attack. In fact, some people, especially women, have heart attacks without experiencing chest pain at all. For these people, neck, jaw, and back pain may indicate a heart problem. If you have discomfort in these areas that gets worse when you are active and eases up while you rest, consider making an appointment with your doctor.

    Any time you experience heart attack symptoms, go to Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center for emergency care. Our ER diagnoses and treats heart attacks quickly for the best possible patient outcomes. To learn more about emergency care in Las Vegas or other hospital services, please call (702) 880-2700.

  • How Menopause Increases a Woman’s Risk of Heart Disease

    Heart disease isn’t just a man’s problem. Women also face an increased risk as they age, particularly after menopause. By becoming aware of the increased chance of developing heart disease after menopause, women can take steps to remain heart-healthy. Why does menopause mark a turning point for women and their heart disease risk? Here is what you need to know.

    Heart Disease and Menopause
    Although menopause does not cause heart disease, there does appear to be a link between the onset of menopause and an increased risk. Doctors suspect that falling levels of estrogen may be to blame. Estrogen helps to keep the inner layers of blood vessel walls flexible, which assists in healthy blood flow. When estrogen levels decline during menopause, the blood vessels can become stiffer, and the risk of blood flow being disrupted increases. This may be the reason that a spike in the risk of heart attacks for women occurs about 10 years after menopause . Other changes in the body that occur after menopause also support a greater heart disease risk, including increased cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides. Women who are overweight at the time of menopause and who smoke or eat an unhealthy diet have an even greater risk of experiencing heart problems.

    Coping with the Risks
    Although the risk of heart disease increases after menopause, there are many things women can do to protect their heart health. Start by embracing a healthy lifestyle, with physical activity on most days and a diet rich in healthy fats and fiber and low in added sugars. See your doctor regularly for checkups and carefully manage conditions that can contribute to heart disease, such as diabetes. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about strategies that can help you quit.

    Get the heart care you need at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center. From our physicians to our emergency care in Las Vegas, we can help you manage heart disease and live a healthier life. For more information about our hospital or a referral to one of our physicians , please call (702) 880-2700.

  • Where Can Fibroids Grow in the Body?

    Fibroids are abnormal growths that occur in the female reproductive system. Left untreated, they can cause pain, abnormal bleeding, and fertility issues. If you suspect you have fibroids, see your women’s health specialist for a diagnosis and to find out what treatments may work for you. Here is a look at some of the areas that can be affected by fibroids.

    Uterine fibroids are the most common form of fibroids by far. Fibroids can form in many different locations in the uterus, including the lining and along the outside of the uterus. Some fibroids in the uterus are small and don’t cause any symptoms. In other instances, fibroids can grow to be very large and cause significant discomfort and heavy menstrual bleeding. Often, uterine fibroids are affected by hormone changes and grow larger in size around the time of menstruation. When fibroids develop on the outside of the uterus and grow into the uterine cavity, they can also begin to affect other parts of the body, including the kidneys, bladder, stomach, and rectum.

    Although they are less common than uterine fibroids, ovarian fibroids are also possible. Dr. Edmund Pack, an OBGYN at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center, discusses the impact that these kinds of fibroids can have on fertility in this video . Fibroids can block the Fallopian tubes, interfering with ovulation and making it difficult to achieve a pregnancy.

    Dealing with Fibroids
    Many women don’t know that they have fibroids because they don’t experience any symptoms. If your fibroids are not causing a problem for you, then you may not need treatment. If you are experiencing pain, heavy bleeding, and other symptoms, consider seeing your doctor to find out if medications, minimally invasive procedures like ablation, or surgery could help you.

    Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center is pleased to offer comprehensive health care for women, including OBGYN services and maternity care in Las Vegas . Get a referral to one of our women’s health providers today by calling (702) 880-2700.