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.

Preventing Gynecological Cancers with the HPV Vaccine

Gynecological cancers, including cervical cancer, claim the lives of many women every year. Some risk factors of cancer are modifiable through lifestyle improvements and medical management, while other risk factors are not. Thanks to a certain vaccine, it is possible to reduce the risk of certain cancers that may be caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Consider talking to a doctor at your local hospital about the HPV vaccine.

What It Is

A vaccine is an injection that triggers the body to produce defenses against a particular disease. In this case, the HPV vaccine guards against the human papilloma virus. HPV is a very common disease; millions of people in the U.S. have it. HPV is actually an umbrella term for a group of more than 150 viruses. HPV is transmitted through any type of sexual contact, which is why the vaccine is recommended for children who are not yet sexually active. Different types of HPV can cause different health problems. Some types can cause genital warts and gynecological cancers, including cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancer. HPV can also cause cancer in men, including penile cancer. Both men and women may develop anal cancer and oropharynx cancer from HPV.

How Safe It Is

Watch this featured video to hear a gynecologist at Good Samaritan Hospital discuss the safety of the HPV vaccine. She explains that to date, no serious adverse events have been reported because of the vaccine. All vaccines undergo extensive testing and review before they are made available to patients at hospitals in the U.S.

Who Should Get It

Consider visiting your local hospital to discuss whether the HPV vaccine might be right for you or your child. It is generally recommended for boys and girls at age 11 or 12. However, males can receive the vaccine through age 21 or through age 26 if they have a compromised immune system or if they have sex with male partners. Women can receive the vaccine through age 26 if they did not get it when they were younger.

Good Samaritan Hospital provides a full suite of preventive and therapeutic health services to families throughout the greater San Jose area. Our community hospital can meet your child’s every need-from labor and delivery to vaccinations to emergency care. If you have general questions about vaccinations, you can call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (888) 724-2362.

Why Food Allergies Should Be Taken Seriously

Eating is usually an enjoyable experience. But after being diagnosed with a food allergy, you may start to see food differently. When a food has the potential to result in serious health consequences that require emergency care and hospitalization, it’s necessary to be very careful about what you eat. Here at Good Samaritan Hospital, our emergency care team encourages patients with food allergies to understand their emergency action plan.

What You Should Know

After receiving a diagnosis of a food allergy, consider asking your doctor for recommended resources to learn more about your condition and how to manage it properly. You can also watch this video, which features an emergency care physician at Good Samaritan Hospital. He explains that allergic reactions can range from mild skin reactions to severe, life-threatening reactions. On the severe end of the spectrum, an allergic reaction is referred to as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis affects multiple organs and it may be life-threatening. It may cause difficulty breathing, chest tightness, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of consciousness, swelling of the facial region, or lightheadedness.

What You Can Do

Even if you have only experienced mild allergic reactions in the past, you should know that you’re at risk of severe, even life-threatening reactions in the future. Consider talking to your physician about ways of managing your food allergy properly. In addition to avoiding your allergen, your doctor will likely recommend that you have an auto-injector of epinephrine with you at all times. This is an emergency medicine that should be administered immediately when a serious allergic reaction occurs. You’ll still need to call 911 after administering the injection. You might also consider wearing a medical identification bracelet, which alerts emergency care responders to your condition. This way, if you have lost consciousness, the emergency responders can identify your health crisis and quickly initiate life-saving treatments.

Despite taking precautions, patients with food allergies may require emergency care from time to time. In San Jose, patients can trust Good Samaritan Hospital to provide high-quality, responsive emergency care around the clock. Please direct medical emergencies to a 911 dispatcher; non-emergent inquiries about our community hospital may be directed to a registered nurse at (888) 724-2362.

Your Guide to Prostate Cancer Screening

Prostate cancer develops when abnormal cells in the prostate gland grow in an uncontrollable manner. It’s one of the most common types of cancer found in men, particularly older men. Men in the San Jose area have the option of visiting Good Samaritan Hospital to discuss undergoing a prostate cancer screening. At our community hospital, you and your physician can consider whether screening might be appropriate for you.

Screening Tests

Screenings are tests or exams that are performed to check for a disease or condition despite the absence of symptoms. Generally, screenings are considered to be a routine and important component of preventive health care. However, prostate cancer screening tests are somewhat controversial because it is thought that the risks could outweigh the benefits. Prostate cancer screening tests include the digital rectal exam (DRE), which involves physically palpating the prostate via the rectum to check for the presence of lumps or other abnormalities. The other main screening test for prostate cancer is the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. This measures the level of PSA in a man’s bloodstream. It’s normal for men to have some PSA. A high PSA can sometimes indicate prostate cancer or another health problem.

Potential Risks

Before deciding whether to have a prostate cancer screening test, men are encouraged to learn about the potential risks. It is possible for the test to result in a false-negative, which means that the test indicates that no cancer is present even when cancer is indeed present. This can discourage men from seeking treatment despite the development of symptoms. Or, the test may result in a false-positive, which leads to riskier, invasive testing. Additionally, in the case of prostate cancer, it is possible that detecting and treating the cancer may not necessarily improve a man’s health or help him live longer.

Current Recommendations

Currently, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) do not recommend the use of PSA tests to screen for prostate cancer in men of any age. Other health care organizations recommend that men make this decision after discussing the potential risks and benefits with their physicians. You can obtain personalized guidance by consulting a doctor at your community hospital.

The award-winning Cancer Care Program at Good Samaritan Hospital has been nationally recognized for its dedication to healthcare excellence. Our community hospital in San Jose provides a continuum of care from screenings and diagnosis to medical oncology and clinical trials. Call our hospital at (888) 724-2362 if you would like to speak with a registered nurse.

A Look at the Path to Recovery Following a Concussion

A concussion is an injury to the brain that can range from mild to severe. Moderate to severe concussions typically requires emergency care, followed by a lengthy period of recovery. Every patient’s recovery is unique. At Good Samaritan Hospital, our emergency care team, neurologists, and rehabilitation therapists are dedicated to getting you back on your feet again.

Getting Plenty of Rest

There is no way to accelerate the course of healing. Instead, it’s necessary to get plenty of rest and wait for the symptoms to dissipate. Trying to ignore your symptoms and carrying out daily tasks despite them might even make concussion symptoms worse. The emergency care doctor will likely advise you to avoid physically demanding activities, sports activities, driving and doing “close” work such as reading. It’s also essential to avoid screen time, including your computer, TV, cellphone, and any other electronic gadgets.

Following Your Doctor’s Instructions

Your doctor will provide additional instructions during your recovery. It may be a good idea to have someone else read these discharge instructions and help you follow them since a concussion can cause problems with your memory. Your doctor might recommend that you avoid alcohol, take or avoid certain medications, and consume nutritious meals during your recovery.

Resuming Normal Activities

Your doctor will let you know when you can resume normal activities such as driving, working, and reading. Generally, a gradual return to activity is advised. If any symptoms recur, you can contact your doctor for additional guidance. To hear about returning to sports activities, watch this video. It features an emergency care doctor at Good Samaritan Hospital. He explains that it’s crucial to wait for the full resolution of your symptoms before returning to sports.

In addition to our exceptional emergency care services, Good Samaritan Hospital is pleased to offer comprehensive rehabilitation support for our patients in San Jose. Our skilled rehabilitation therapists provide unique services for patients suffering from impairments caused by a head injury. If you have questions, you can reach a registered nurse at our hospital by calling (888) 724-2362.

There Is No Safe Way to Text and Drive Safely

Becoming distracted while behind the wheel is never a good idea, yet thousands of people still die every year or are sent to the emergency care department because of distracted drivers. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that it only takes a few seconds of distraction to cause a life-changing car accident. Texting is one of the biggest culprits of car crashes. Here at Good Samaritan Hospital, our emergency care team encourages drivers of all ages to put down the phone and pay attention to the road when driving around San Jose.

Understanding the Facts

Distracted driving is a problem across the country, including right here in Silicon Valley. According to the official U.S. government website for distracted driving, 3,179 people lost their lives and 431,000 were injured because of distracted driving in 2014 alone. Many of those accidents were caused by people who were sending or reading text messages while behind the wheel. In fact, at any given time during the day in the U.S., about 660,000 drivers will be using cellphones or another electronic device while behind the wheel. Some people might not fully understand the potential consequences of their actions. The average text takes about five seconds to read. If the car is traveling at 55 miles per hour (mph), five seconds is long enough to drive the length of a football field. Plenty of problems can arise during that time to cause a car wreck when a driver isn’t paying attention to the road.

Identifying the Consequences of Distracted Driving

Sending or reading a text while driving can change your life forever. If the car accident claims someone else’s life, you’ll have to live with the guilt of having caused it. You’ll also likely be spending some time in jail for vehicular manslaughter. Even when a car crash isn’t fatal, it can cause traumatic injuries that may result in permanent disabilities and disfigurement despite the best efforts of emergency care doctors. Whatever your text message is about, it isn’t nearly as important as paying attention to the road.

When a car crash does occur in the San Jose area, the emergency care physicians and nurses at Good Samaritan Hospital are available 24/7 to provide life-saving medical care. If you’re involved in a car crash, you should call 911 right away. General questions about our hospital services may be directed to our Consult-A-Nurse line at (888) 724-2362.

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