Good Samaritan Hospital
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Why Are Falls More Common in the Holidays?

For ER doctors, the holidays are synonymous with fall injuries. During the season, the risk of falling increases for a number of different reasons, which means more people need emergency care for falls during the holidays than at any other time of the year. Here is a look at why falls are so common during the holidays, and steps you can take to prevent them.

Decorating Dangers
Decorating is a major contributor to the increase in falls during the holiday season. Whether it is taking risks by climbing up an unstable ladder or combining spiked eggnog with decorating activities, creating a festive environment could leave you in need of emergency care. You can protect yourself by using your ladder on a flat, stable surface and staying off the top two rungs. Always have someone nearby when you’re on a ladder in case you need help. Wait until the decorating is done to toast your efforts instead of drinking while decorating.

Rearranged Furniture
Many people rearrange furniture during the holidays to make room for decorations, and the new layout could increase the risk of falls. It is easy to fall over items that have been placed in what was once a clear pathway. If you move furniture, make sure everyone in your home is aware of the changes you’ve made, and take care when you’re navigating the space.

Cluttered Spaces
Clutter is common during the holidays, as decorations, wrapping supplies, and luggage crowd walkways in your home. Be mindful of the fall risks that clutter creates, and keep the floor as clear as possible. Make sure there are clear paths throughout the home for your family. Even a small bag or gift box can lead to a fall that causes injuries and a trip to the ER.

If you or your loved one falls victim to a holiday fall, get the help you need at Good Samaritan Hospital. From emergency care in our ER to orthopedic inpatient and outpatient care, we can get you back to your holiday festivities fast. Contact our hospital in San Jose at (888) 724-2362 to learn more.


Create an Action Plan for Your Holiday Stress

Sometimes, the biggest surprise of the holiday season isn’t an unexpected gift but rather uninvited stress. Stress does more than make your days hectic. It can affect your body in a number of ways and is part of the reasons there is a spike in the demand for emergency care during the holidays. If you are already under cardiac care for heart disease, holiday stress can be particularly damaging. The best way to cope with holiday stress is to create an action plan for preventing it. Keep your stress levels manageable and your holidays happy this year with this advice.

Stay Active
The demands of the holiday season can make it tempting to let your usual workout plan fall by the wayside, but you need it now more than ever. Staying active will help curb stress by boosting your feel-good chemicals and giving you the chance to focus on yourself. Even if you don’t have time for your usual routine, set aside 30 minutes each day to get active. You’ll have more energy, less stress, and protect your heart.

Share the Load
Instead of trying to take charge of every part of holiday planning, share the demands with family and friends. You may be surprised how many people are willing to help but just don’t know how. Be specific about what you need, and decide in advance who will do which tasks. You can then focus on the things you need to get done and rest assured that other things you usually take on are in safe hands.

Say No
Holiday parties and other activities aren’t fun if they are obligations. Don’t say yes to every invitation that comes your way if they are creating stress. Managing your schedule so that you have ample time to do everything you want to do, including rest, allows you to truly enjoy the season instead.

If holiday stress is overwhelming you, behavioral health services at Good Samaritan Hospital can help. Our hospital also provides emergency care in Las Vegas throughout the season to keep you and your loved ones healthy. Call us today at (888) 724-2362 to request a physician referral or for more information.

When Should Your Headache Be Treated in the ER?

Headaches are so common that they may not seem like medical emergencies, but in reality, they can be. How do you know when a headache can be treated at home and when you should seek emergency care? These signs indicate that you should consider going to the hospital because of your headache symptoms.

It is the worst headache you’ve ever had.
A sudden, severe headache can indicate a serious health problem, such as an aneurysm or stroke, so it should be evaluated in emergency care as soon as possible. Although a severe headache can have many causes, it’s important to take action quickly when you have a headache that is not normal for you and that causes a significant amount of pain. If you are experiencing an aneurysm or stroke, getting emergency care could save your life.

You have a head injury.
Anytime you have a head injury, you could have a concussion that could cause long-term consequences if it is not treated. You cannot always tell the severity of a concussion by the immediate symptoms that occur after an injury, so even if you have a minor headache, the brain injury could be severe. You may need emergency care after any kind of head injury, whether you experience a headache or not, to prevent future complications. As Dr. David Feldman of Good Samaritan Hospital explains in this video, untreated concussions can be very dangerous.

You have other symptoms.
Headaches that are accompanied by symptoms like confusion, vision problems, changes in speech, or weakness on one side of the body can indicate a stroke. A headache accompanied by nausea and neck pain can signal meningitis. Emergency care can be lifesaving in these circumstances, so don’t delay seeking treatment.

Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose offers emergency care 24-hours daily for headaches, cardiac emergencies, and everything in between. Visit our ER when you’re concerned about your symptoms, or call our hospital today at (888) 724-2362 to learn more about our hospital services.


Should You Go to the ER for Your Fever?


Fevers are common with a long list of illnesses that can often be treated at home with bed rest or a visit to your primary care physician, but some cases, a fever can be a sign of an illness that needs emergency care. Children, in particular, can be vulnerable to the dangers of fevers, so consider going to the ER if you or your children experience these signs.

High Fever
Sometimes the severity of the fever is enough of a reason to go to the ER. For adults, that means getting emergency care when a fever is over 103 degrees F, and for kids, when it is over 104 degrees F. Having a fever this high doesn’t necessarily mean that you or your child has a serious medical condition, but it should be evaluated by a doctor.

Neck Stiffness
A fever that is accompanied by a stiff neck could a sign of meningitis, a serious infection that affects the brain and spine. Meningitis also frequently causes a severe headache, drowsiness, and sensitivity to light and sound. Some people also experience vomiting and are extremely sluggish and unaware of their surroundings. Although meningitis goes away on its own for some people, in other cases, it can be life-threatening without emergency care, so don’t delay seeking treatment at the ER.

Dehydration
Fever can lead to dehydration in both kids and adults, which can turn dangerous without treatment. Look for signs like infrequent urination, difficulty urinating, and extreme thirst. The risk of dehydration is especially significant when fever occurs with vomiting and diarrhea. Because dehydration can cause electrolyte imbalances that endanger the heart and cause damage to the kidneys, seek emergency care.

At Good Samaritan Hospital, we have a full-service ER and pediatric ER to provide quality emergency care in San Jose to the whole community. To learn more about all of the services at our hospital or request a referral to a physician, please call (888) 724-2362.


How Does Your Sexual Health Relate to Your Cancer Risk?


Prevention is a key part of cancer research, and one area that is frequently examined is the link between certain kinds of cancers and sexual health. So far, researchers do not understand the full picture of the relationship between your sexual health and cancer, but they have uncovered some links that are important to men and women alike. Here is what you need to know.

STDs and Cancer
There is an established link between one sexually transmitted disease, or STD, called human papillomavirus, or HPV, and cancer. Certain strains of HPV are linked to cervical, penile, anal, and throat cancers. A vaccine now exists to protect young people from HPV, which is an extremely common STD that many people do not that they have. However, the vaccine does not provide protection for people who are already sexually active. Although this direct link between and an STD and cancer is one of the most definitive findings doctors have, it may not be the only one. Some researchers suspect that contracting other STDs could increase the risk of some forms of cancer because they cause inflammation that in turn makes the body more susceptible to cancer development. If this is true, then being sexually active with multiple partners could be a risk factor for cancer, since it increases the odds of contracting an STD.

Protective Effects of Sexual Activity
In at least one case, sexual activity may have a protective effect. A National Cancer Institute study into prostate cancer found that men who ejaculated more often had a reduced chance of prostate cancer. In the study group, men who reported ejaculating an average of more than 21 times per month cut their prostate cancer risk by two-thirds when compared to men who ejaculated an average of four to seven times per month. More research is needed to understand the reason for these potentially protective effects.

At Good Samaritan Hospital, we offer comprehensive cancer care in San Jose, from diagnosis to remission. For a referral to a cancer specialist, please call (888) 724-2362. You can also call to get answers to your questions about maternity care, emergency care, and our cardiac care programs.


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