Good Samaritan Hospital
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What you need to know about aneurysms

Your blood vessels carry oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to all parts of your body, and return depleted blood back to the heart and lungs. Conditions that affect your arteries, such as aneurysms, can lead to serious consequences. An aneurysm is a weakened area of the arterial wall. It can affect an artery anywhere in your body, but is most common in the arteries that affect the brain and heart. Cardiovascular problems can be frightening, but the world-class cardiac care specialists at Good Samaritan Hospital are committed to giving you the best possible outcome.

Basics of aneurysms
When an area of the arterial wall becomes weaker than usual, it bulges or balloons. Most aneurysms are small, but they can become larger and riskier.

Large aneurysms are more likely to burst or rupture. These ruptured aneurysms require emergency care, as they can lead to life-threatening complications.

Types of aneurysms
Doctors categorize aneurysms according to where they occur in the body.

  • Cerebral aneurysm: Affects the brain
  • Aortic aneurysm: Affects the aorta, which carries blood from the heart
  • Popliteal artery aneurysm: Affects the leg
  • Mesenteric artery aneurysm: Affects the intestine
  • Splenic artery aneurysm: Affects the spleen

Signs and symptoms of aneurysms
Often, the only way a person will know if he or she has an aneurysm is if it ruptures. Intact aneurysms don’t tend to cause problems, but they may be detected on imaging scans. When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear a neurosurgeon explain the differences among MRIs, CT scans and cerebral angiograms for diagnosing aneurysms.

When symptoms do develop, they depend on the size and location of the aneurysm. Brain aneurysms can cause the following:

  • One-sided numbness and weakness
  • Pain behind the eye
  • Vision changes
  • Speech impairment
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Stiff neck
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures

Stroke results from a ruptured brain aneurysm.

If an aortic aneurysm bursts, it can cause the following symptoms:

  • Fainting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest or upper back pain
  • Clammy skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate

Treatments for aneurysms
It’s vastly preferable to diagnose an aneurysm before it ruptures. Patients can receive ongoing monitoring to check for changes of the aneurysm. In some cases, they may undergo surgery intended to prevent rupturing.

Ruptured aneurysms always require emergency care. The cardiovascular team will determine which surgical approach is best suited to the patient’s particular condition. Surgical clipping, endovascular coiling and bypass procedures are some examples.

Our reputation for healthcare excellence in emergency care, cardiac care and neurosciences is why our patients choose Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose. At our hospital, you’re never just another patient—you’re an important member of our community who deserves superior, patient-focused care. Speak with a registered nurse at our hospital by calling (888) 724-2362.


Beat the heat when you exercise outside

When the weather is pleasant, it’s hard to resist skipping the gym to exercise outdoors instead. Do take a few precautions when the temperatures rise, however. Try to schedule your workout for the early morning or evening hours, and look for jogging or cycling routes that offer plenty of shade. The emergency care team at Good Samaritan Hospital hopes we won’t see you in our ER this summer, but we’re always here to help when you need us most.

Know your physical limitations
Exercising safely outdoors during the hot summer months requires a little preparation. If you have an underlying medical condition, such as heart disease or kidney disease, check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you to work out in hot temperatures.

Look up the weather forecast before you head out. If it’s particularly hot or humid, consider going to the pool to swim some laps or working out in an air conditioned gym instead.

Wear appropriate workout clothes
Choose lightly colored clothing to reflect the sunlight. Look for clothes made from materials that wick sweat away from your body. Some outdoor enthusiasts take the extra step of wearing workout clothes labeled to reduce UV exposure.

Wear sunglasses with broad-spectrum protection against UV rays, as sunlight can increase the risk of cataracts. Don’t forget your sunscreen, either. Look for sweat-resistant sunscreen and reapply it every two hours.

Prevent dehydration
Bring enough water with you to work out safely outdoors. If you’re planning a particularly long or intense workout, a sports beverage may be more appropriate, as it will replace your lost electrolytes. Serious athletes may wish to invest in a hydration backpack.

Stay hydrated before and after your workout, too. Drink non-caffeinated fluids throughout the day, and munch on water-rich foods like cucumbers and watermelon.

Good Samaritan Hospital can help families in San Jose get and stay active for better quality of life. We offer comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation for injured athletes who need to get back on their feet. Call our hospital at (888) 724-2362 to request a referral.


What happens when you're kept in the ER for observation

There are countless medical terms that patients may be unfamiliar with, such as “observation stay.” Don’t hesitate to ask a doctor or nurse for clarification if you aren’t sure what something means. At Good Samaritan Hospital, our emergency care providers are here to serve you, and that includes providing excellent patient education. If you need to be placed under observation, we’ll clearly explain why and discuss what you can expect.

Definition of observation care
If you need emergency care for a life-threatening problem, such as a heart attack, then you can expect to be admitted to the hospital. Anyone who is admitted to a hospital becomes an inpatient. This is also known as receiving inpatient care or services.

In contrast, outpatients include anyone who visits the hospital for care, but does not stay there after receiving an evaluation and treatment. Most patients who receive emergency care are outpatients.

Observation stays fall into a gray area between inpatients and outpatients. A patient under observation isn’t actually admitted to the hospital, and so he or she isn’t an inpatient. For medical coding purposes, this patient is considered an outpatient, even though he or she might stay at the hospital overnight.

Reasons for observation stays
Observation stays are necessary because they allow healthcare providers to continually monitor patients who may be at risk of developing complications.

For example, if you go to the ER with chest pain, an EKG might not indicate a heart attack. You can then be placed under observation because of the possibility that a heart attack will occur. You might also require some more tests before you leave the hospital, or you may be admitted as an inpatient if your condition worsens.

Length of observation care
The length of time you might be under observation depends on your specific medical condition and how quickly you recover. Patients under observation are usually discharged within 24 hours. It’s not common for a patient to be kept under observation for longer than 48 hours.

Good Samaritan Hospital is committed to providing the best possible emergency care for families throughout San Jose. We’re pleased to announce that we’ve begun a major ER expansion project to reduce wait times even further and give our patients the specialized, superior care they deserve. Call 911 for emergency medical services or, for non-emergent questions only, call a registered nurse at (888) 724-2362.


Strive for better health with family-oriented goals

Sharing life’s special moments with your children is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a parent. Seize the opportunity this summer to grow closer as a family, while working toward better health. The habits your children learn now will benefit them throughout their lives. At Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, we believe in putting our patients first. Come talk to us if you have any concerns about your family’s health.

Sharing meals together
It’s easy to put family meals on the back burner when you’re constantly rushing around. However, sitting down together as a family to share a homemade meal really does have concrete benefits. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, family meals are associated with the following:

  • 12% reduced risk of overweight kids
  • 20% decline in unhealthy food choices
  • 35% reduced risk of pediatric eating disorders

Beyond the statistics, family meals are known to help children:

  • Develop empathy
  • Improve self-regulating behaviors
  • Form positive peer relationships
  • Be resilient to the effects of bullying

Let the kids help you with menu planning, grocery shopping and meal preparation.

Embracing positivity
Children are amazingly perceptive of their parents’ stress, and it negatively affects their development. Set a good example for living life with a positive attitude, and your children will follow in your footsteps.

Plus, embracing positivity is a great approach toward adopting other healthy habits. Instead of saying, “I have to eat a salad for lunch because of that ice cream last night,” say, “These veggies look delicious! I love the way eating healthy foods makes me feel good.”

Limiting TV time
Use a positive approach to encourage your kids to get outdoors and play instead of watching TV or playing video games. Try not to emphasize time limits on TV time. Instead, get your family together to enjoy physical activities as a group.

Go for a family bicycle ride, take a walk after dinner or play basketball in the driveway. Kids love exercise when it seems more like play.

As your family’s partner in health, Good Samaritan Hospital maintains an enduring commitment to superior care that fits your family’s lifestyle. Our doctors cultivate long-term patient relationships to get a genuine sense of each patient’s healthcare needs. Call our nurse referral line at (888) 724-2362 to request a referral to a doctor at our hospital in San Jose.


Why you should not delay your child's vaccines



Vaccine delays and vaccine avoidance are issues that researchers have been carefully evaluating in recent years, as they are linked to multiple outbreaks of serious diseases in the U.S. It might seem harmless to delay your child’s vaccines, but researchers have consistently found that there is no benefit to doing so—and many reasons not to. Good Samaritan Hospital is renowned for our uncompromising maternity and children’s services. Our doctors welcome your questions about your child’s vaccine schedule.

Vaccine misinformation
Basing healthcare decisions on misinformation can be costly, especially when it concerns a child’s health. Unfortunately, there is plenty of inaccurate and needlessly frightening information available online about the safety of vaccines. One of the most prominent misconceptions is the theory that vaccines cause autism—which is simply untrue.

Vaccines are exhaustively researched, carefully formulated and tested before they are ever allowed to be used in humans. Don’t let misinformation dissuade you from giving your kids the shots that can protect them from deadly diseases. Talk to a pediatrician about your concerns first.

Vaccine-preventable diseases
As the number of parents who decide not to vaccinate their kids increases, outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles also go on an upward trend. Measles, mumps, chickenpox and whooping cough are all preventable diseases that have been making a comeback in the U.S.

It’s often thought that if a disease isn’t frequently seen in the U.S., kids don’t need to be vaccinated for it. But diseases don’t respect geographical boundaries, and it only takes one infected person to cause a major outbreak.

Vaccine delay risks
The serious nature of vaccine-preventable diseases should be sufficient to convince parents that all kids need their shots. However, researchers have identified another reason to be wary of delaying: The risk of febrile seizures. Fever-induced seizures are more common in children who receive vaccines past their recommended ages.

Family-centered care is our specialty here at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose. Our dedicated pediatric specialists are highly trained and experienced with the unique needs of their young patients. Call (888) 724-2362 to request a referral.


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