Good Samaritan Hospital
Through leadership in research and adopting the latest technological and clinical practices, Good Samaritan Hospital offers excellent medical care for the people of Silicon Valley.
408.559.2011

Understanding Palliative Care in Cancer Treatment

Cancer is a complex disease that typically necessitates a multidisciplinary approach. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, you can expect to meet with specialists at your community hospital. Your healthcare team at Good Samaritan Hospital will help you understand your treatment options, including choices for curative treatment and palliative care.

Goal of Palliative Care

Curative interventions are those that attempt to cure the disease. Palliative care is different. The goal of palliative care is to help patients feel more comfortable and enjoy a better quality of life, despite the adverse effects of cancer and the side effects of treatment. Palliative care can begin as early as diagnosis and continue throughout the course of treatment. A palliative care plan can be designed to prevent and treat health challenges. It may also address the social, spiritual, and psychological needs of cancer patients.

Types of Palliative Care

Palliative care may be delivered in the hospital setting or at home. Hospitals that provide a comprehensive cancer program may have palliative care specialists on staff. These specialists and other healthcare providers can address a wide range of concerns, including the physical challenges of cancer such as fatigue, pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. To help patients cope with these problems, palliative care might involve medications, physical therapy, and nutritional counseling. Another type of palliative care that a community hospital can provide is radiation therapy or chemotherapy to shrink tumors that are causing pain or other symptoms. Palliative care might also involve fulfilling emotional and spiritual needs through counseling, support groups, and mental healthcare.

Misconceptions about Palliative Care

Palliative care is often confused with hospice care, likely because they are quite similar. However, hospice programs only provide palliative care. When a patient enters a hospice program, he or she does not pursue curative treatment options any longer, unless the patient chooses to leave the hospice program. In contrast, palliative care is administered alongside curative treatments. Palliative care can also help families cope with the transition from curative treatments to end of life care.

At Good Samaritan Hospital, it’s our mission to provide patients and their families with the utmost in cancer care. At our community hospital, you’ll find compassionate palliative care, sophisticated treatment options, clinical trials, diagnostic procedures, and extensive support services for families. Residents throughout the San Jose area can reach our hospital at (408) 559-2011.


Basic Facts About Burn Injuries

Burn injuries vary widely in their severity. Mild burns are often treatable at home with basic first aid techniques. However, more severe burns require emergency care. Given the alarming prevalence of burn injuries in the U.S., it’s advisable to learn how to identify a severe burn that requires emergency care and to take steps to reduce the risk of burns.

Statistics

According to the American Burn Association, the number of burn injuries that required treatment at a hospital was estimated at 450,000 in just one year. Of those, 40,000 required hospitalization, which includes 30,000 admittances to hospital burn centers. These burn injuries can be caused by fire, hot oil, and even hot tap water. Fireworks, caustic chemicals, tanning beds, and damaged electrical cords are other possible causes of burn injuries.

Types

First-degree burn injuries only affect the outer layer of skin. They are the mildest type of burn injury and they typically heal within three to six days. Second-degree burns, or superficial partial-thickness burns, affect the deeper tissues of the outer layer of the skin. Second-degree burns often result in blistering and may result in scarring. A more serious type of second-degree burn is a deep partial-thickness burn, which affects the outer layer of skin and the layer underneath, which is called the dermis. Third-degree burns are the most serious type. They affect all layers of the skin and can damage underlying structures, including muscle and bone.

Treatments

For minor burns, first aid at home involves immediately cooling the affected area with cool running water, and then covering it with sterile gauze. It’s important not to apply ice, butter, ointments, or other home remedies to the burn. Even a minor burn requires care at a hospital if it exhibits signs of infection, covers a large area of the body, or affects the face, hands, or genital area. More serious burns require emergency care. Hospital staff may administer oxygen, start the patient on IV fluids, apply splints, or perform a skin graft.

In addition to providing emergency care to residents of the San Jose area, Good Samaritan Hospital provides specialized wound treatment. Our Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Center takes an interdisciplinary approach to treating non-healing wounds to promote the best possible outcome for our patients. Patients can call (408) 559-2011 to ask about the other healthcare services available at our community hospital, including cardiac care and maternity services.


Steps for Preventing a Second Stroke

Did you know that suffering one stroke is a significant risk factor for suffering another one? The risk is particularly high during the first five years following the first stroke. Secondary strokes, or recurrent strokes, are more likely to result in death or disability because the brain has already suffered severe damage. Fortunately, stroke survivors can work with a healthcare team at their community hospital to reduce their risk of a recurrent stroke.

Manage Medical Conditions

After receiving emergency care for a stroke, your healthcare team will identify your risk factors of suffering a recurrent stroke. These risk factors might include medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or atrial fibrillation. To keep these conditions well controlled, the physicians at your community hospital may recommend taking medications, making lifestyle changes, or having a medical procedure.

Lead an Active Lifestyle

Leading an active lifestyle promotes good health in many different ways, including lowering your risk of a recurrent stroke. It’s advisable for stroke survivors to consult a physician before beginning an exercise program. Gradually, you could try to increase your cardiovascular workouts to 150 minutes each week. Additionally, try to incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine, such as inviting a friend out for a stroll instead of sitting down to chat.

Quit Smoking

According to the National Stroke Association, smokers are twice as likely to suffer a stroke as nonsmokers. Smoking contributes to the development of atherosclerosis and encourages the blood to clot. It can be very difficult to quit smoking; however, doing so may help save your life. If you’ve made the decision to quit smoking, your doctor can help you explore smoking cessation methods available at your local hospital.

If you think you could be experiencing a stroke, it’s imperative to call 911 right away to receive emergency care. Good Samaritan Hospital is a Comprehensive Stroke Center certified by The Joint Commission. Call our hospital at (408) 559-2011 to ask about our stroke support groups or our other healthcare services, including maternity care and cardiac care.


Understanding the Branches of Neurological Care

Neurology is a rapidly evolving area of medicine, which treats any disorder of the brain or spine. Within the neurosciences and neurological fields, there are many subspecialties that address specific conditions with consistently updated technologies. Below, you can get a look at some of the branches of neurology offered in San Jose at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Neurovascular Surgery

Neurovascular disorders such as carotid artery stenosis, intracerebral aneurysm, and stroke are all related to the restriction of blood flow in the brain, which may require surgical treatment to repair. Neurovascular surgery focuses on these conditions with many minimally invasive procedures that can restore blood circulation for improved patient outcomes.

Epilepsy Treatment

Epilepsy is a complex condition in which patients experience episodes of seizures, so it requires highly specialized care. Epilepsy treatment may include conventional therapies such as medication or innovative alternative treatments in a clinical trial setting.

Spine Surgery

Spine surgery is a branch of neurology that deals with disorders of the spine that may lead to back pain, immobility, and numbness of the extremities. Patients might consult spine surgeons after exhausting other treatment options or to compare surgery to other more conservative therapies. Minimally invasive surgical techniques have greatly advanced spine surgery and allowed more patients to see success from surgical treatment.

Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation is a common treatment for essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease in which electrodes produce electrical pulses in the brain to regular abnormalities in the electrical signals that power the nervous system. In order to have deep brain stimulation, patients need to have electrodes implanted in certain parts of the brain.

Neuro-Interventional Surgery

Procedures used in the field of neuro-interventional surgery are minimally invasive, meaning that they require incisions no larger than a nickel. Neuro-interventional surgery addresses a wide range of conditions in the brain and spinal cord that may otherwise require open surgery.

If you have been diagnosed with any neurological condition, call Good Samaritan Hospital at (888) 724-2362 for a physician referral. Our San Jose facilities feature state-of-the-art technologies with anemerging neurosciences unit to provide patients with the most advanced care available.


Celebrating Good Samaritan Hospital's 50th Anniversary!

Since 1965, Good Samaritan Hospital has been serving the San Jose community while continuing to grow with the surrounding city and stay on the cutting edge of treatment technologies fit for the Silicon Valley region. This year, the hospital celebrates its 50th anniversary, which you might participate in through classes, events, and volunteer opportunities. Here’s a look back at the history of Good Samaritan Hospital and 50 years in San Jose.

50 Years of Community Care

Good Samaritan Hospital was founded with the mission of providing excellent medical care to treat the whole person—mind, body, and soul—while also growing to meet the needs of a rising population. The hospital’s doors opened in 1965, and the facilities had doubled in size over the next nine years thanks to additional fundraising and strategic planning. The 1980s saw even more growth of the hospital as programs developed in comprehensive cancer care, family-centered labor and delivery services, and surgery, and cardiovascular care. Upon the purchase of the nearby Mission Oaks Hospital, Good Samaritan was able to expand rehabilitation and behavioral health services as the main hospital campus became a regional leader in stroke care, high-risk pregnancies, and neonatal intensive care.

Awards and Accreditations

As a Certified Chest Pain Center, Good Samaritan Hospital is a county-designated STEMI receiving center. The hospital was also the first in the county to become a Stroke Certified Hospital. Bay Area Parent magazine has recognized Good Samaritan as the “Bay Area’s Best Place to Have a Baby” and “Family Friendly Hospital” for more than 10 years running as a result of providing the most advanced obstetric care with a focus on family-centered services.

To discover everything that Good Samaritan Hospital has to offer for the care of you and your family, visit our website or call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (888) 724-2362.


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