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.

What Are Some Common Causes of Skin Allergies?

There are a number of different triggers for skin allergies, and these vary from person-to-person. In some cases, these reactions can be easily managed at home, while in other cases, emergency care may be necessary. Here is a closer look at some common skin allergies triggers and what you should do if you experience symptoms.

Poison ivy is the plant most people think of when they think of skin rashes, but a number of plants contain oils that can cause allergic reactions in some people. Plants can cause raised and flat rashes, sores that weep, itching, and blisters. These types of rashes are often made worse when people touch them and then touch another part of the body, spreading the irritating oils. These kinds of skin rashes are often manageable at home, but if the face is affected, the rash is painful or has bumps that appear infected, or covers a large portion of the body, seek emergency care. As Dr. David Feldman of Good Samaritan Hospital explains in this video, you should get emergency care any time you are concerned about the symptoms of an allergic reaction, even if you aren’t sure how serious it is.

If you have a food allergy, exposure to the allergen could cause skin symptoms. Hives and skin rashes are most common with food allergies, and they are generally in response to eggs, milk, nuts, shellfish, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and soy. Food allergies can be especially serious, as they can lead to anaphylaxis, so seek emergency care if you experience a reaction.

Sometimes, a medication can cause a skin allergy. Topical medications are common culprits, but oral medications can also be to blame. These kinds of skin allergies can include rashes and hives. As with food allergies, the reactions can be serious and may require medical care.

Don’t suffer in silence with a skin allergy or other allergic reactions. Visit the ER at Good Samaritan Hospital for acute care or call our hospital in San Jose to get a referral to an allergy specialist for chronic conditions. You can reach out hospital by calling (888) 724-2362.

Spotlight on Dog Walking Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Walking your dog is great for your cardiovascular health, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and is fun for both you and your pooch. However, walking your dog can also end in a trip to the ER if you fall victim to any of a number of common dog walking injuries. Here is a look on some of the common ways people get injured when walking their dogs and what you can do to reduce your risk of needing emergency care.

Common Dog Walking Injuries
Many dog walking injuries are caused by the leash. Retractable leashes are particularly problematic. The cord portion of these leashes moves very fast and can cause cuts and even finger amputations. People often experience friction burns from the cords as well. For any kind of leash, the risk of getting tangled in the leash and falling is also high and can cause falls that lead to orthopedic injuries. Dogs who pull on the leash can also drag walkers down, causing lacerations, facial injuries, and broken bones. Tendon and ligament strains and tears, sprains, and shoulder dislocations are all possible when you walk your dog as well.

Ways to Reduce the Risk of Injury
You can dramatically reduce the chances of suffering from an injury and needing emergency care on a dog walk with a few simple steps. First, walk with your dog, rather than riding on a bike, skateboard, or rollerblades while holding the leash. Always go out in sturdy shoes that are appropriate for the terrain and the weather. Don’t wrap the leash around your hand multiple times, which could lead to a spiral fracture if your dog pulls too hard. Pass on retractable leashes and instead walk you dog on a shorter leash that gives you more control and is less likely to make you trip. These strategies will ensure that walking your dog is healthy for you and your pet, instead of dangerous.

If an injury does occur, you can get emergency care in San Jose any time of the day or night at Good Samaritan Hospital. You can learn more about our hospital services or request a referral to a specialist by calling (888) 724-2362.

Be Aware of the Signs of Stroke

A stroke occurs when the blood flow to part of the brain is disrupted, either because of a clogged blood vessel or a blood vessel that has burst. Emergency care is essential for someone experiencing a stroke, as brain tissue dies every second that passes without medical intervention. By being aware of the symptoms, you can act quickly if you or someone you know suffers a stroke. If you notice these signs, call 911 immediately.

Face Drooping
During a stroke, it is common for one side of the face to droop or become immobile. The face may also feel numb on one side. If you suspect someone is having a stroke, ask him or her to smile. If the smile appears lopsided, then a stroke could be to blame. Eyes may also be affected. Someone experiencing a stroke may have sudden vision difficulties or may have one eyelid that droops.

Arm Weakness
It is common for one side of the body to become weak and numb during a stroke. This symptom may affect the entire side of the body, or it may only impact the arm. An easy way to test for this symptom is to ask the person who you think is having a stroke to raise his or her arms upward. If one arm drifts downward while the other arm stays up, then a stroke is possible.

Speech Difficulty
Because a stroke may impact the part of the brain that is responsible for speech, someone experiencing a stroke may have trouble speaking and may slur his or her words. If you think someone could be having a stroke, ask him or her to repeat a simple sentence. Slurring or uttering a nonsensical response when repeating the sentence back to you can indicate a stroke.

Good Samaritan Hospital was one of the first Joint Commission-certified Comprehensive Stroke Centers in the nation, and we treat one of the highest volumes of stroke patients in the country each year. From emergency care in San Jose to inpatient treatment by our multidisciplinary stroke team, we provide the critical treatment patients need when every second counts. Call us today at (888) 724-2362 for more information.

How Are Arrhythmias Treated?

If you are diagnosed with an arrhythmia, one of the first decisions you will make with your cardiac care specialist is whether to treat it. Many arrhythmias are not dangerous and may not require any treatment beyond monitoring. However, if your arrhythmia is causing symptoms or could put you at risk for further health problems, your cardiac care doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan. Here are some of the strategies that can be used for managing arrhythmias.

A number of different medications can be used to treat arrhythmias, including calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, and anticoagulants. If you have a cardiac emergency, these drugs can be administered intravenously, or you may take them orally indefinitely to manage your condition. To determine if your medications are working, your doctor may monitor your heart using an electrocardiogram or a 24-hour Holter monitor. Although medications can be effective, they also carry the risk of side effects, including the emergence of new arrhythmias.

Radiofrequency Ablation
Radiofrequency ablation involves the use of radio waves to destroy tissue. As Good Samaritan Hospital cardiologist Dr. Matt Levy discusses in this video, ablation can be used to remove tissue in the heart that is triggering an arrhythmia. Once the tissue is gone, the arrhythmia should be permanently resolved.

Implantable Devices
Both pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) can be used to treat arrhythmias. These devices are implanted in the body and constantly monitor the electrical activity in the heart. If an arrhythmia is detected, the device can automatically deliver a signal that corrects and normalizes the heartbeat. The device can also store information about corrections it makes, so your cardiac care specialists can see how your heart is functioning over the course of your treatment.

At Good Samaritan Hospital, we offer comprehensive cardiac care in San Jose for patients with a range of diagnostic and treatment needs. To find out more about our cardiac care program or to request a referral to one of our specialists, please call (888) 724-2362.

Pregnancy Care for Women with Congenital Heart Disease

If you have congenital heart disease, it doesn’t mean that a healthy pregnancy is out of your reach. With proper cardiac care and support from your maternity hospital, you can have a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Read on to find out how to have a healthy pregnancy when you have congenital heart disease.

Consult with Your Doctors Early and Often
Ideally, women with congenital heart disease should not have unplanned pregnancies. If you are considering starting a family, talk to your cardiac care specialist, OBGYN, and primary care doctor to determine if you are healthy enough to start trying to become pregnant now or if there are specific goals you should try to achieve before your pregnancy. It may be necessary to make adjustments to your medications, for instance, before you can safely conceive. After you become pregnant, see your doctors regularly for prenatal care and for monitoring of your heart condition. Your doctors will decide how often you need appointments based on your overall health and the severity of your heart condition.

Be Aware of the Risks
The specific health risks you could face during pregnancy depend on the nature of your condition. It’s common for blood pressure to increase during pregnancy, which can take a toll on your heart. Some women have an increased risk of arrhythmias and heart failure. Be aware that some of the effects of pregnancy can mimic symptoms of a heart problem, such as fatigue and shortness of breath. Ask your cardiac care specialist to tell you what symptoms you should look out for, and don’t hesitate to call your doctors if you are concerned.

Make a Delivery Plan
As any expectant mother would, you should make a plan for labor and delivery with your maternity hospital. Most women with heart disease can have a vaginal delivery, so you should be sure to discuss your pain management options. You should also understand what extra steps could need to be taken during labor and delivery to keep your heart safe.

The Birthing Center at Good Samaritan Hospital uses the latest technology to ensure that all of our mothers-to-be have the safest possible labor and delivery. For renowned maternity care in San Jose, contact us at (888) 724-2362 to request a referral to a maternity specialist or to schedule a tour of our Birthing Center.

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