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.

Reduce the risk of workplace fall accidents

A serious fall can happen in any workplace, including offices, hospitals and construction sites. Workers and employers in high-risk industries, such as roofing, should ideally have a comprehensive fall awareness and prevention plan to minimize the risk of disabling injuries and death. Here at Good Samaritan Hospital, our emergency care team is available around the clock every day of the year to initiate life-saving interventions for injured workers in the San Jose area.

Know how falls happen
Unanticipated hazards can be the most dangerous. A deadly fall can occur when a worker stumbles and falls off an elevated platform or down an unguarded shaft. Falls are more likely to affect workers who are new to the job, haven’t received the proper safety training or are unfamiliar with the work area.

Some of the most common causes of falls include the following:

  • Lack of guardrail systems
  • Lack of personal protective equipment, such as restraining systems
  • Mechanically unsound scaffolding or equipment
  • Improper employee training

Falls from elevated positions are the most serious type.

  • Ladders
  • Scaffolding
  • Aerial lift platforms
  • Roofs and roof openings (skylights)
  • Hoist areas
  • Stairways

Once employers have identified the hazards, they can develop written fall prevention guidelines.

Improve surface traction
Sometimes, deadly falls don’t happen because of a major equipment malfunction, but because of something as simple as a spilled cup of coffee. All areas of the worksite should have proper traction, which means spills must be cleaned promptly. Employers can also take the following steps:

  • Use non-slip mats at entrances
  • Use anti-skid paint or anti-skid adhesive tape
  • Display “Wet Floor” signs
  • Require employees to wear appropriate shoes

Use appropriate safety devices
The use of fall protection systems may be required by law, depending on the specific situation. Depending on the industry and the particular hazard, employees may need:

  • Safety line and harness
  • Safety line and belt
  • Safety nets
  • Surface opening protection (guardrails and removable covers)

A small investment in safety equipment and training time can make the difference between life and death or disability for high-risk workers.

Please direct all serious and life-threatening injuries to a 911 dispatcher. For non-emergent, general questions only, a registered nurse is available at (888) 724-2362 to assist you. The entire team at Good Samaritan Hospital is committed to providing superior, personalized medical care because our patients are our neighbors in San Jose.

Which foods are the worst offenders for food poisoning?

Any food can potentially be contaminated and cause food poisoning—even flour. In most cases, food poisoning symptoms are unpleasant but do not require emergency care. If you have severe symptoms or possible dehydration, however, the doctors and nurses at Good Samaritan Hospital urge you to seek medical care promptly. High-risk populations should also exercise caution, including pregnant women, young children and seniors.

Contaminated vegetables and fruits
Fruits and vegetables that are eaten raw pose a risk of food poisoning. Washing these items is strongly recommended, although it’s still possible to fall ill if the item is contaminated.

It’s possible for a vegetable or fruit to become contaminated anywhere along the supply chain—from farm to supermarket to your home. Fresh manure that is used to fertilize the crops can harbor illness-causing microbes. Raw sprouts, including alfalfa sprouts, are at a particularly high risk of contamination in this manner.

At a processing plant, leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale may be washed with contaminated water or placed into unsanitary containers.

Protect yourself by using a commercial produce cleanser product, which is commonly available in supermarkets, and a vegetable scrub brush to clean your produce under running water. Wash all items, even bagged lettuce that has been previously washed by the processor. Additionally, wash foods like cantaloupe before cutting into them—otherwise, the knife can transfer germs from the rind to the interior of the melon.

Contaminated meat and fish
For your protection, you should assume that all raw or undercooked poultry, beef, pork, fish and shellfish are contaminated. It’s essential to cook animal products to the recommended internal temperature (use a meat thermometer).

One of the reasons why meat and fish are at such a high risk of contamination is the sheer vastness and complexity of the nation’s food system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just one hamburger can contain fragments of meat from hundreds of cows.

Additionally, purchasing a whole chicken isn’t necessarily any safer than purchasing a pack of chicken tenders. This is because a whole chicken carcass can be exposed to the byproducts of thousands of other birds that were processed in the same facility.

For all of life’s unpredictable medical emergencies, your family can count on the compassionate healthcare providers at Good Samaritan Hospital. Our hospital, located in San Jose, has been privileged to serve families throughout Silicon Valley since 1965. Call a caring member of our nursing staff at (888) 724-2362.

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.

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