Good Samaritan Hospital
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Healthy Holiday Recipes to Add to Your Dinner Table

Being mindful about your diet doesn’t necessarily have to mean depriving yourself during the holidays. You can still serve your family’s traditional favorites; simply lighten them up a little to reduce the total calories, fat, sugar, and sodium. If you have a health condition that necessitates following a special diet, such as diabetes, consider talking to a doctor at Good Samaritan Hospital for dietary guidance. Our community hospital is your partner in preventive wellness.

Offer Light Appetizers

For your holiday parties, offer appetizers such as a bowl of mixed nuts and a tray of fresh fruit. Create a festive vegetable platter with red and green pepper slices, jicama strips, and zucchini rounds. Place a bowl of roasted red pepper hummus in the center.

Prepare Nutritious Entrees and Sides

When choosing your holiday turkey or ham, look for reduced-sodium options. Prepare healthier gravy with reduced-sodium broth and defatted pan juices. Add just a drizzle of gravy to your plate to keep your calorie count low. Instead of serving mashed potatoes with butter, consider serving roasted sweet potatoes or sweet potato wedges. Serve other tempting vegetable side dishes, such as roasted Brussels sprouts served with lemon or sautéed carrots lightly seasoned with olive oil and herbs.

Lighten Up Your Holiday Desserts

If your family has a sweet tooth, consider preparing lighter holiday desserts. You can substitute many ingredients in baked goods recipes, such as applesauce instead of butter, whole grain flour instead of white, and dried fruit instead of chocolate chunks. Consider downsizing traditional desserts such as pies and cakes. Make them in cupcake tins instead to facilitate portion control. If you’re baking edible gifts for friends and family, wrap up the treats as soon as they cool off and deliver them right away to prevent yourself from sampling them.

For more healthy recommendations, consider speaking with a physician at Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose. Our state-of-the-art community hospital is pleased to provide exceptional cardiac care, emergency care, maternity care, and labor and delivery services. You can contact our Consult-A-Nurse line at (888) 724-2362.

What Should You Do to Treat a Child's Fever?

It can be difficult for parents to cope with a child’s illness, since no parent wants to see a child feel uncomfortable. If your child is running a temperature, there are a few things you can do to help him or her feel more comfortable. It’s also a good idea to check with a pediatrician at your local hospital regarding the signs that may indicate your child requires emergency care for an illness. If emergency care is required, the physicians at Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose are available 24/7.

Evaluating the Severity of the Illness

If your child’s forehead feels warm, take his or her temperature with a digital thermometer. If your child is three months of age or younger and has a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, call the pediatrician or bring your child to the local hospital. A fever in a child of any age should also be evaluated at the hospital if it repeatedly rises above 104 degrees or persists longer than 72 hours. Additionally, your child may need medical care if he or she displays other serious symptoms, such as the following:

  • Persistent vomiting
  • Refusal of fluids
  • Headache and stiff neck
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bluish tint to the lips or nails
  • Seizures

Keeping Your Child Comfortable

When a child’s fever doesn’t require emergency care, you can keep him or her comfortable at home by dressing him or her in light clothing. Maintain a comfortable, cool temperature in the home. You could also bathe your child in one to two inches of tepid water. Seat your child in the tub and gently sponge water over his or her body until the body temperature reaches a comfortable level. If your child begins shivering or is resistant to sponging, take him or her out of the tub.

Preventing Dehydration

Preventing dehydration during a fever is crucial. Encourage your child to frequently sip water and provide him or her with ice pops, ice chips, and broth-based soups.

Good Samaritan Hospital is widely recognized for our exceptional family centered pediatric care, including comprehensive emergency care and a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). If your child has a medical emergency in the San Jose area, please call 911 right away. Otherwise, you can reach our community hospital at (888) 724-2362 and speak with a registered nurse.

Taking a Look at the 2015-16 Flu Season

Each new influenza season brings changes. The viruses themselves change constantly. As a flu virus replicates, it changes through antigenic drift, which refers to small alterations in the genes. An immune system that has antibodies to an older virus can still recognize a new flu virus if it is similar to the old one. However, the accumulated effects of antigenic drift over time mean that the immune system will eventually be unable to recognize the new viruses. This is why healthcare experts, including the physicians at Good Samaritan Hospital, urge San Jose residents to receive an annual flu shot. Getting vaccinated annually is your best protection against the flu and its complications. However, if you do become ill, our hospital’s emergency care team is ready to help.

Flu Activity this Season

Although the flu season is unpredictable, outbreaks of the flu can begin as early as October. The flu virus may still be going around as late as May 2016. Usually, flu activity peaks from December through February.

Vaccines Available this Season

If you haven’t yet received a flu shot this year, you could receive one at any time. Although it’s never too late to become vaccinated during flu season, it’s recommended that people become vaccinated by October. The vaccine supply is limited. For the 2015-16 season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that the seasonal vaccines guard against these three types of flu viruses:

  • A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus

You can receive protection from all three strains with just one vaccine, known as a trivalent vaccine. Another vaccine available for this flu season is a quadrivalent vaccine, which guards against an additional B virus strain known as the B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus. The seasonal vaccines are developed based on the most likely virus strains to circulate during any particular year. Although the flu shot is highly effective for preventing the flu, it is still possible to become ill with a different strain of flu.

If you have questions about vaccinating your family against influenza, the physicians at Good Samaritan Hospital are happy to help. Our community hospital in San Jose offers a range of preventive wellness services, along with our cardiac care, emergency care, and maternity services. You can speak with a registered nurse at our hospital by calling (888) 724-2362.

Halloween Safety Tips to Keep Your Child Out of the ER

Holidays always present special health and safety risks for families, and Halloween is no exception. To avoid the common accidents and injuries that can arise on Halloween night, read through the tips below and follow these guidelines as you help your child prepare for an evening of trick-or-treating.

Add lights and reflective surfaces to your child’s costume

Your child may want to be sneaky dressed as a ghoul or goblin, but you will want to make sure that he or she is seen on the road while trick-or-treating. LED lights and reflective tape can increase visibility and ensure that your child is safe on the road. You should also avoid costumes made from flammable or synthetic materials that may melt or catch fire, causing severe burn injuries.

Inspect candy before eating

Not only should you make a habit of inspecting candy to look for signs of tampering, but a candy inspection can also help you limit how much candy your child eats to avoid a stomach ache later on. You might supplement candy with more wholesome treats like fruit, whole wheat crackers, and yogurt to encourage healthier eating habits.

Play it safe with fire

Instead of lighting candles in your jack-o-lanterns, you might play it safe with battery-powered lights that will not pose a significant fire risk. Other fire hazards to look out for include dangling décor—spider webs and streamers—as well as decorative lights that can ignite if they overheat.

If you do have holiday emergencies in San Jose, you can rely on the Emergency Department at Good Samaritan Hospital for immediate care with low wait times. You can hear our current wait times or get more Halloween preparedness tips for a safe holiday by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (888) 724-2362.

Breast Cancer Treatment Options: 5-Day Brachytherapy

In early stage breast cancers, it is not uncommon for oncologists to recommend lumpectomy procedures that will remove the abnormal mass and preserve the surrounding breast tissue. Following the lumpectomy surgery, radiation therapy is usually performed to fully eradicate any cancerous cells that may be left behind. While radiation therapy can be an extensive 6-week process, there are options that can shorten your treatment time and minimize the risks of your treatment. 5-day brachytherapy is an ideal choice for patients with early stage cancers that have not spread to the lymph nodes. This article will take a closer look at this procedure to help you prepare for your breast cancer treatment in San Jose.

Lumpectomy surgery

In lumpectomy surgeries, the surgeon will only remove the cancerous tumor, leaving the whole breast intact. This is often a favorable option for patients, because it does not involve the removal of the whole breast like the lumpectomy procedure.

Customized catheter placement

Before surgery is completed, a special catheter will be placed in the lumpectomy cavity to deliver radiation to a localized area while sparing healthy surrounding tissues. With external radiation, there may be a higher risk of exposure in the heart, lungs, and other vital structures in the chest. The use of an internal device creates a higher level of control to minimize risks.

5-day radiation delivery

Unlike conventional radiation procedures, 5-day brachytherapy can be completed in the span of one week rather than six. Studies have shown that 5-day brachytherapy is as effective as conventional radiation, but it can significantly reduce the stress of treatment for women facing breast cancer diagnoses.

Whether you are seeking screening, treatment, or survivor support in San Jose, Good Samaritan Hospital is there for you. You can connect with us for more information about our services online or at (888) 724-2362.

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