• Sun safety in the workplace

    The damage the sun does to the skin is cumulative. Developing sunburn just a few times can raise your lifetime risk of skin cancer. The sun also damages the eyes, raising the risk of eye cancers, cataracts and abnormal growths on the eyes. It’s common knowledge that sunscreen is an essential accessory for trips to the beach or walks in the park, but these precautions aren’t always followed in the workplace. Employees in all industries can benefit from protecting themselves from ultraviolet radiation. The healthcare providers at Southern Hills Hospital are here for you. Let us help you brainstorm solutions for living a healthier lifestyle.

    Sun safety for indoor workers
    Many people are surprised to learn that sun safety is important while indoors, as well as outdoors. Window glass does block UVB radiation well, but it’s less effective at blocking UVA radiation. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation , 50 percent or more of the UVA radiation directed at a window can pass through it and inflict damage on the skin cells of the person on the other side.

    Researchers have identified asymmetrical sun damage on the faces of people who work long hours near a window. For instance, if you’re a librarian and you sit at a reference desk with a window to your left, you’ll eventually notice more signs of sun damage on the left side of your face than the right.

    You can protect yourself by keeping some sunscreen at your workplace and reapplying it every two hours. Talk to your employer about having UV-protective film applied to the windows in your office.

    Sun safety for outdoor workers
    For people who work long hours under the hot sun, UV protection is even more important. Wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen is a must. Outdoor workers can also do the following:

    • Wear UV-protective sunglasses
    • Wear a wide-brimmed hat
    • Wear UV-protective clothing
    • Use lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher
    • Try to schedule indoor tasks when the sun is strongest

    You’ll find your partner in health at Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas. We are a healthcare community of dedicated family physicians, specialists and nurses, all of whom are committed to healthcare excellence. Call our nurse referral line at (702) 916-5023.

  • What is dog walker watch?

    New puppy parents have a lot to look forward to, including extra exercise opportunities in the form of dog walks. The National Night Out organization is asking dog walkers around the country to join their Dog Walker Watch program, which is intended to enhance public safety in the Las Vegas community and beyond. As a proud partner of the Las Vegas community, Southern Hills Hospital supports public safety and health initiatives.

    The basics of National Night Out
    Each year, National Night Out takes place on the first Tuesday in August. It’s held in cities around the country, as well as military bases around the world. Community organizers host events like block parties, cookouts, parades, festivals and safety demonstrations.

    The purpose of National Night Out is to encourage stronger relationships between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. By strengthening law enforcement/community ties, neighborhoods become safer.

    A look at Dog Walker Watch
    The National Night Out organization created Dog Walker Watch with an eye toward quicker reporting and police responses to potential crimes. At all hours, and in all kinds of weather, dog walkers are out in the neighborhood with their pets. This creates countless opportunities for dog walkers to spot signs of suspicious activity and report it.

    Dog walkers are not encouraged to confront potential criminals, as this can jeopardize their own safety.

    The precautionary steps to stay safe while walking
    Whether or not you decide to join Dog Walker Watch, you should be aware of the potential risks of walking your dog, such as the risk of traffic accidents. If you must walk your dog after dusk, keep a flashlight on and attach a small light to your dog’s collar. Brightly colored clothing or reflective jackets are recommended.

    Keep your dog on a short leash, and avoid flexi-leashes. Walk in designated pedestrian areas . If possible, ask a friend to walk with you.

    Rain or shine, the emergency care physicians and nurses at Southern Hills Hospital are here for your family. Our focus is on providing the superior, patient-centered care you need with the friendly service you deserve. Call a registered nurse at (702) 916-5023 with your general questions about our medical specialties.

  • Reducing the risk of falls around your home

    Osteoporosis is a major contributor to long-term disability among older Americans. Even among people who haven’t suffered a fracture, the fear of falling can prevent them from enjoying their retirement. Implementing safety precautions in your home can keep you safe and give you peace of mind. If you do sustain fall-related injuries in the Las Vegas area, the emergency care team at Southern Hills Hospital is available 24/7 to provide the superior care you deserve for the best possible outcome.

    Avoid loose, baggy clothing
    Installing handrails and removing loose area rugs are both good steps to take to prevent falls . But many people fail to take even simpler precautions like being mindful of what they wear.

    Pants or skirts that are too long are easy to trip on. Get your clothing hemmed if need be, so you won’t have to explain to your loved ones that you’re in the hospital because your pants were too long.

    Prevent your pets from sneaking up on you
    It’s flattering when a cat or dog follows you everywhere you go, but it’s also easy to trip over them. There’s a low-tech, low-cost solution for this: bells. Fasten a small bell to your pet’s collar to alert you when he or she might be underfoot.

    Make sure the bell is securely attached to prevent your beloved pet from accidentally swallowing it.

    Avoid alcohol consumption
    Alcohol, even small amounts of it, causes poor coordination, loss of balance and dizziness—all of which can increase the likelihood of a fall. If you’re taking certain medications that interact with alcohol, these effects can be even more noticeable.

    Discuss your medication side effects with your doctor
    Some medications can make you dizzy, even if you haven’t had any alcoholic beverages. Each time your doctor prescribes a new medication, ask whether it might increase your risk of a fall. Know the side effects to watch out for, and ask your doctor for guidance if these side effects occur.

    Here at Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas, your health and quality of life are important to us. Although our emergency care physicians and orthopedic surgeons can help you recover from a fall, we’d rather help you avoid these problems and stay safer in your home. Call a registered nurse at (702) 916-5023 to talk about the hospital services that can be helpful for you.

  • Get answers to your questions about childhood immunization

    Before vaccines were routinely given to babies and children, deadly and debilitating diseases like measles, polio, whooping cough and tetanus were much more common. In fact, immunizations have been called one of the most impactful public health achievements of the 20 th century. Getting your child immunized is an effective way to protect him or her, but you may still have some questions about vaccines. The family physicians at Southern Hills Hospital are here to help.

    Why do vaccines contain formaldehyde and other toxic substances?
    One of the main concerns parents have about vaccines is their ingredients. Aside from the substance that triggers immunity, vaccines contain small amounts of other ingredients.

    Some of these ingredients, like formaldehyde, are used during the manufacturing process. The formaldehyde is then removed, and so only a trace amount remains. This tiny amount isn’t harmful, and in fact, small amounts of formaldehyde are also present in commonly used items like mouthwash and antihistamines.

    Other ingredients, like trace amounts of aluminum, are in vaccines because they help the shots work more effectively. Vaccines can also contain mercury in very small amounts, which is comparable to the low levels of mercury found in breast milk and infant formula.

    Why is my child legally required to get vaccinated?
    State laws require children to be vaccinated before enrolling in public schools because it’s necessary to protect the health of other children , teachers and families throughout the community. Choosing not to vaccinate a child doesn’t only place that child at risk—it places the entire community at risk.

    Remember that some people cannot receive vaccines for medical reasons, such as those with cancer or HIV/AIDS. These patients rely on the “herd immunity” of the community to protect them from potentially deadly diseases.

    Can my child receive a vaccine while ill?
    Let your doctor know that your child is ill, but in the case of a mild illness, vaccination is still safe and advisable. Vaccines can’t make an existing illness worse. However, if your child has a serious illness, such as cancer, then he or she might not receive certain vaccines.

    Family care physicians are available at Southern Hills Hospital to address all of your healthcare concerns. We deliver uncompromising, superior care because your health is important to us. Call a registered nurse in Las Vegas at (702) 916-5023 to request a physician referral.

  • What happens if you don’t treat a herniated disc?

    It usually isn’t wise to delay getting treatment for a medical condition, but many people do because they’re busy with work, or because they’re worried they might need surgery. Know that no doctor would ever force you to have a medical treatment you don’t want—it’s ultimately your decision to treat a herniated disc or not. But if you don’t get the care you need, your condition may worsen. Come to Southern Hills Hospital to talk with the caring specialists in our Spine Program. We’ll explain your treatment options and address your concerns to help you find the best possible solution for your needs.

    Delaying treatment for a minor disc herniation
    A disc herniation affects the cushion-like structures between the bones of your spine. Some of the softer material on the inside migrates through the wall to the outside. This doesn’t always cause symptoms.

    If you have a herniated disc without symptoms, which is referred to as asymptomatic, then you might not need treatment right away. However, there’s always a possibility that your condition will worsen. Consider seeking nonsurgical treatment to heal the disc to prevent this possibility.

    Getting nonsurgical treatment for disc herniation
    You might be delaying medical care because you don’t want to learn that you need surgery. If so, you need to watch this featured video. It’s an interview with a doctor at Southern Hills Hospital. He explains that about 90 percent of patients with disc herniation don’t actually need surgery—they’re able to heal with conservative treatments.

    These nonsurgical treatments may include:

    • Pain medication
    • Anti-inflammatory medication
    • Physical therapy
    • Chiropractic care

    Understanding the risks of severe disc herniation
    It is possible, though uncommon, for disc herniation to cause a severe complication called cauda equina syndrome . This occurs when the nerve roots at the bottom of the spine are compressed.

    Cauda equina syndrome does require emergency medical intervention. Otherwise, there is a risk of the following:

    • Permanent paralysis
    • Loss of bladder/bowel control
    • Loss of sexual sensation

    Some patients are not able to recover full function, even with immediate treatment.

    Southern Hills Hospital is proud to offer high-quality spine care by leading specialists in their field. When you become a patient at our hospital in Las Vegas, you’ll receive uncompromising medical care, courteous attention and concierge-level services. Call a registered nurse at (702) 916-5023.

  • Challenges women face while breastfeeding

    Many expecting moms who intend to breastfeed are surprised to discover that it isn’t always easy. Becoming a breastfeeding pro takes practice and patience. While you’re getting the hang of breastfeeding, you can take advantage of the extensive lactation support services available at Southern Hills Hospital. Our maternity team is honored to help you welcome your baby into the world.

    Traveling while breastfeeding
    Before traveling out of the country with your baby, check with your doctor about the health risks associated with your destination. It’s safe for you to receive vaccines while breastfeeding, but your baby might not be able to get the vaccines just yet.

    Do increase your intake of healthy fluids, as milk production may decline because of various travel-related stressors. If you’re flying and plan to bring pumped breast milk, call the airline ahead of time and make sure your breast milk will get through security without any hassles.

    Dealing with a nursing “strike”
    If your baby suddenly refuses to breastfeed , it usually isn’t because he or she is weaning. A nursing strike may be attributed to any of the following problems:

    • Mouth pain (teething or fungal infection)
    • Ear infection
    • Dissatisfaction with breastfeeding position
    • Emotional distress (major change in routine or parental separation)
    • Stuffy nose
    • Environmental distractions or stress

    While your baby is on strike, continue to offer the breast. Express milk manually and try bottle-feeding. You can also try the following changes:

    • Try a different breastfeeding position or hold
    • Breastfeed in a calm, distraction-free area
    • Give extra cuddles and soothing touches while feeding

    Write down the number of wet diapers your baby has, and call the doctor if you’re concerned he or she isn’t getting enough to eat.

    Managing plugged milk ducts
    When a duct doesn’t drain correctly, it can become plugged. This feels like a sore lump. You can encourage the plug to resolve by:

    • Breastfeeding on that side as often as possible
    • Massaging the area
    • Applying a warm compress
    • Wearing a supportive bra that isn’t too tight

    Consults with our lactation specialist, breastfeeding classes and breastfeeding support groups are just a few of the benefits of choosing Southern Hills Hospital for your delivery. From our Level II NICU to special celebration cakes for each family, our maternity specialists go the extra mile for families in our Las Vegas community. Call a registered nurse at (702) 916-5023.

  • What are the risk factors for stroke in young adults?

    The risk factors of stroke in older adults include high cholesterol levels and hypertension. Younger adults can also have these risk factors, but they’re more likely to require stroke care for other reasons. You can hear about these reasons when you watch this featured interview with a stroke care specialist at Southern Hills Hospital.

    Drug use and stroke risk
    One of the things stroke care teams consider is the possibility of illicit drug use. Drugs like cocaine and amphetamines are a well-known cause of stroke.

    Amphetamines: Amphetamines can cause stroke even among new users, either during or after their use. Amphetamines result in rapid changes in heart functioning and blood pressure. Long-term amphetamine use increases stroke risk by affecting the blood vessels in the brain.

    Cocaine: Long-term use can cause cerebrovascular disease, which raises the risk of stroke even in younger adults without other risk factors. Short-term use can also cause stroke by causing bleeding on the brain.

    Blood vessel malformations and stroke risk
    Arteriovenous malformation is an abnormality that affects the blood vessels in or on the brain. Over time, the weakened blood vessels can rupture and bleed on the brain, causing stroke.

    Some people with abnormal blood vessels experience warning signs that there is a problem, such as seizures, localized head pain and functional impairments like vision or speech problems.

    Holes in the heart and stroke risk
    It’s possible to have a hole in the heart. One example is a patent foramen ovale, which is a hole between the two upper chambers of the heart. A hole in the heart adversely affects the circulation of blood, and it raises the risk of a blood clot traveling to the brain—causing stroke.

    Southern Hills Hospital is a certified Primary Stroke Center. Our stroke care team coordinates with EMS personnel, so we are ready to diagnose and treat the patient as soon as he or she arrives at our hospital in Las Vegas. Call 911 for emergency care for a stroke, or, for non-emergent questions only, call a registered nurse at (702) 916-5023.

  • What your doctor wants you to know about your heart health

    Your heart is one of the hardest working organs in your body, and it’s time to get better acquainted with it because heart health is crucial at every age. The next time you see your doctor, ask about your risk of heart problems. Many people think that the main risk factors of heart disease aren’t modifiable, such as your family medical history. However, the cardiologist featured in this video wants his patients at Southern Hills Hospital to know that there are plenty of controllable risk factors of heart disease. Becoming more familiar with your heart and your risk factors puts you in control of your health.

    Hearts can grow larger
    Telling someone, “You have a big heart,” is high praise. But when a cardiologist says it, it spells trouble.

    A heart can enlarge in response to the following problems:

    • High blood pressure
    • Heart valve disease
    • Pulmonary hypertension
    • Pericardial effusion
    • Anemia
    • Coronary artery disease
    • Damage from a heart attack

    The enlargement of a heart is an attempt by your body to pump more blood. But enlarged hearts are problematic because the following complications can develop:

    • Heart failure
    • Heart murmur
    • Blood clots
    • Cardiac arrest and sudden death

    A woman’s risk of heart problems is different from a man’s risk
    The same risk factors of heart disease can affect a woman or a man, but in some cases, they can have a greater impact on the woman. According to the National Institutes of Health, women with diabetes are three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease compared to men with diabetes.

    Heart attacks can affect young patients
    Even if you haven’t noticed any gray hairs yet, there is a possibility that a heart attack could occur. Heart attacks have been reported in patients in their 30s and even in their 20s.

    This can be particularly problematic because younger patients might assume they can’t possibly be having a heart attack, and so consequently, they fail to seek emergency care. Know your risk factors and the signs of a heart attack, and don’t delay getting to the ER.

    Southern Hills Hospital is an accredited Chest Pain Center—a designation that reflects our commitment to providing superior care for the best possible outcomes. Call 911 now if you need emergency care in the Las Vegas area. A registered nurse, available at (702) 916-5023, welcomes your general questions about our hospital services.