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

What You Need to Know about Lung Cancer

Did you know that lung cancer causes more deaths in the U.S. than any other form of cancer? In fact, more people die of lung cancer each year than of colon, breast, and pancreatic cancers combined. Researchers estimate that there will be 221,200 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in the U.S. in 2015, and the disease affects both men and women. A persistent cough that doesn’t improve or gets worse can be a sign of lung cancer, as can recurring incidences of bronchitis or pneumonia. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health, as it has negative effects on your lungs, cardiac system, and much more. Check out this infographic from one of the top hospitals in San Jose to learn more about lung cancer.


What to Remember When an Elderly Loved One Needs Emergency Care

If you’re caring for an elderly loved one, you’re likely juggling plenty of responsibilities, including helping your loved one stay as healthy as possible. Although it can be challenging to care for an aging family member, you may find some peace of mind knowing that emergency care is never more than a phone call away. To make your visit to the ER at Good Samaritan Hospital as efficient as possible, make sure you bring your loved one’s medical information.

Medical Information

The emergency care physicians will need to know about your loved one’s medical history. Since it may be difficult to remember all the details during an ER visit, it can be helpful to have a medical history form on hand. Write down all of your loved one’s diagnosed medical conditions, along with the names and dosages of all medications and supplements he or she is taking. Remember to list any allergies your loved one may have, along with prior surgeries, recent illnesses, and treatments. Additionally, keep a list of the names and contact information of doctors who treat your loved one.

Clear Communication

It is not uncommon for a senior to experience communication difficulties at the emergency care department. Some seniors may try to minimize their symptoms, for example, while others may suffer from dementia-related communication impairments. While you’re waiting to see an emergency care physician, jot down some notes about your loved one’s current health problem. Make a note of the types of symptoms, when they developed, and whether they might have been a reaction to something such as a new medication.

Hospital Admittance

Depending on the nature of your loved one’s visit to the emergency care department, he or she may be admitted to the hospital for further monitoring and treatment. It can be helpful to pack a few personal items in a bag, such as a change of clothes and toiletries. However, if your loved one needs help right away, don’t delay calling 911.

When your loved one needs medical attention, the emergency care physicians at Good Samaritan Hospital are here to help. Our emergency care services are available to San Jose families on a 24/7 basis. And if you’re unsure of whether you should bring your loved one to the ER at our hospital for a particular health concern, you can call (408) 559-2011 to speak with a registered nurse.


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.


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