• Stroke – Risk and Prevention

    Healthy Living

    A stroke, also commonly known as a “brain attack,” occurs when an area of the brain is cut off from blood circulation. Whether this obstruction of blood flow is due to a blood clot or tear in a cerebral artery, this condition is very serious and leads to death of brain tissue within minutes. If treatment is not sought immediately, stroke victims can suffer from disability or even death. At Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose, our emergency care team is dedicated to the prevention of stroke and the expert treatment of those medical events that do occur. To avoid the complications of these deadly attacks, read on to learn more about your possible risk factors and how to manage them.

    There are many factors that can increase a person’s risk for falling victim to a stroke. These factors are commonly divided into two main categories: controllable and uncontrollable risk factors. Although controllable risk factors can be managed through simple lifestyle modifications and medical treatment, uncontrollable risk factors (such as age, sex, and family history) cannot be changed. Below are some of the most important controllable risk factors associated with stroke.

    • High blood pressure
      Also known as hypertension, chronic high blood pressure can increase a person’s risk of suffering from a hemorrhagic stroke. To manage this risk factor, speak with your doctor about changing your diet, exercise routine, and medications to lower your blood pressure.
    • Cigarette smoking
      If you smoke, quit. Smoking cigarettes harms almost every organ in your body, and quitting will improve your overall health dramatically.
    • High cholesterol
      Having high blood levels of LDL cholesterol promote the development of fatty deposits in your arteries, which can cause an ischemic stroke. Controlling your cholesterol through diet, exercise, and medication can help to prevent an ischemic stroke.
    • Diabetes
      Diabetes, when left untreated, can lead to a variety of harmful complications. Follow your doctor’s advice to keep your blood glucose levels at a healthy range.

    If you are looking for more ways to stay healthy and avoid the consequences of a stroke, let the experts at Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose be your resource. Call us today at (408) 559-2011 for more information.

  • What to Do If Your Home Pregnancy Test is Positive – 10 Tips

    Pregnancy

    Maybe you jump for joy at becoming pregnant, or perhaps you anxiously bite your nails. Whatever your emotion, an at-home pregnancy test is a quick and easy tool to use to find out if you are having a baby or not. Such tests are available over-the-counter without a prescription from your doctor. And it only takes a few minutes to do. Just urinate on the stick and wait for the result.

    An at-home pregnancy test measures the amount of a substance called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. This substance is found in your blood shortly after an egg and sperm join together, and the developing baby implants in the lining of your womb. HCG levels rise quickly in the early weeks of pregnancy.

    If you are pregnant, you may get a plus sign, a smiley face, or other symbol or word on the test stick, depending on the brand you use. Many brands say they are 99% accurate, but this isn’t true if you take the test in the first days after your missed period. You are more likely to get a correct result if you take the test at least 1 week after you were supposed to get your period.

    Have a positive pregnancy test? Here are some tips on what to do next:

    1. Call your doctor or nurse to schedule a prenatal appointment. Proper prenatal care is essential for the good health of you and your baby. Your doctor or nurse will order a blood test to confirm the pregnancy and see how far along you are. You probably will not be seen until you are 8 weeks pregnant, but that depends on your health history and symptoms.
    2. Make sure you tell your health care team about any concerns or symptoms you have, especially vaginal bleeding and cramping.
    3. Stop drinking alcohol. Drinking during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), a dangerous condition in the baby. FAS can cause birth defects, and lifelong problems with mental development. No amount of alcohol has ever been proven safe to use during pregnancy.
    4. If you smoke, quit. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk for premature birth, sudden infant death syndrome, low birth weight, and other serious complications.
    5. Ask your doctor or nurse if the medicines you take, if any, are safe to take if you are, or think you are, pregnant. This includes over-the-counter medicines, herbs, and supplements. Never stop taking any medicine without asking your doctor first.
    6. Make sure you take 600mcg of folic acid every day during pregnancy. If you are trying to get pregnant, you should take a multivitamin with at least 400mcg of folic acid. Folic acid helps prevent many birth defects.
    7. Follow a healthy diet. You are eating for two now, so it’s even more important to make healthy choices.
    8. Do not eat fish high in mercury. Nix the shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Limit amounts of tuna, shrimp, salmon, and other fish. Ask your doctor or nurse for more information.
    9. Avoid hot tubs and saunas. While the idea of a soaking in a hot tub may sound soothing, the heat can be dangerous for the developing baby.
    10. Have someone else change the cat’s litter box. Cat feces can contain a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, which can lead to miscarriage.

    At Good Samaritan Hospital , we believe every birth is a special one. That’s why we have designed our birthing center to meet the individualized needs of you and your family – and installed state-of-the-art technology to ensure a safe delivery. We encourage you to take one of our free tours of our birthing center – just give us a call today at (408) 559-BABY.

  • About Labor and Birth

    Before a baby is born, there are many physiological changes that occur in the mother’s body. All of these changes, from muscle contractions to hormonal changes, promote the safe delivery of the infant from the body. This video provides a brief visual introduction to the labor and delivery processes and the changes that occur in the woman’s body in the days before birth. If you are pregnant or considering pregnancy, watch this video to learn more about what you may be able to expect.

    Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose, California is dedicated to providing quality, compassionate healthcare to expecting families and their new babies. Contact our helpful staff by calling (408) 559-2011 today to learn more about our maternity services and comprehensive women’s and children’s healthcare.

  • Should Individuals with Serious Head Injury Be Kept Awake?

    Concussion

    Concussion is the most common form of head injury and can occur from a blow, jolt, or bump to the head. Although these injuries can sometimes be considered less severe than other forms of head trauma, they can still lead to long-term cognitive problems and should always be taken very seriously. If you have ever inquired about first aid procedures for head injuries, you may have heard that you should keep the victim from falling asleep at all costs. This is actually a misunderstanding, as it is generally safe for victims of head injury to fall asleep.

    In some cases, the medical professional evaluating the head injury may recommend that the victim be awakened at regular intervals to make sure that their condition has not worsened, as sleep can mask symptoms that arise long after the injury. For the most part, however, sleeping is completely safe and may even assist in the natural healing process. If you do witness a person suffering from a head injury, it is most important to monitor their symptoms closely for the following dangerous signs:

    • Severe or progressively worsening headache
    • Abnormal changes in behavior, including lethargy or irritability
    • Pupils of different sizes
    • Seizures or convulsions
    • Difficulty arousing from sleep
    • Persistent nausea and vomiting
    • Weakness, tingling, or numbness in the legs or arms
    • Bleeding from the ears or nose

    When any of the above symptoms occur, consider contacting your local emergency medical services immediately. From that point, the physician will provide you with advice for monitoring the patient at home. If you or a loved one is ever in need of emergency medical care, consider seeking treatment at Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose. Our emergency room is open all hours of the day and night to provide care for any medical emergency. Learn more about our emergency and general healthcare services by contacting us at (408) 559-2011.

  • Benefits of Breastfeeding

    Breastfeeding

    For many women, having a baby can be one of the most exciting and joyful experiences in their life. A new baby, however, can bring many questions about providing excellent home care. To keep your baby as healthy as possible as he or she grows, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the maternity hospital at Good Samaritan strongly recommend that new mothers breastfeed their babies for at least six weeks after birth and that, ideally, breastfeeding continues for twelve months. This natural practice can benefit both you and your developing baby in the following ways:

    • It contains more nutrients than formula
      Human breast milk contains many vitamins and nutrients that cannot be found in store-bought formulas. When breastfeeding, the baby ingests essential growth factors that promote healthy growth, as well as immunoglobulins that fight off viral and bacterial infections.
    • It is easier for the baby to digest
      Formulas can be difficult for a growing child’s gastrointestinal system to digest and may lead to stomach upset. Human breast milk contains a specific balance of easy-to-digest proteins that are less likely to result in digestive problems.
    • It is always available
      If you are breastfeeding, you have food for your baby always available to you. There is no need to visit the store for more formula or spend time preparing it before your hungry child can drink.
    • It is good for your health
      Breastfeeding is not just good for your child’s health—it also improves your health and wellness. As a child is breastfeeding, hormones are released that promote mothering behavior and improve mother-child bonding. These hormones also help to reduce the uterus to its normal size more rapidly. Breastfeeding may also help to prevent breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

    The Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose offers a variety of programs to help new mothers with the breastfeeding process. Our trained lactation consultants can answer any questions that you may have about providing the best possible care to your child—simply call (408) 559-2011 today for more information.

  • Visit These Websites Provided By Good Samaritan Hospital to Find Out More Helpful Medical Information

    Healthcare Resources

    Do you still have questions about the signs of labor or how to respond in a medical emergency? These articles provide more information about these topics and the others discussed in our recent blogs. For more health information, contact Good Samaritan Hospital at (408) 559-2011 today.

    • Eating a nutritious and balanced diet is critical for maintaining overall health. Find some great recipes for healthy meals on HealthyWomen.org .
    • You can find out more about the history of National Women’s Health Week on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website.
    • Do you know your risk factors for heart attack ? Find out on the American Heart Association website.
    • Knowing the symptoms of a stroke can help you to seek treatment faster and reduce your risk of permanent disability. Find the symptoms of a stroke on the National Stroke Association website.
    • Depression and stress during pregnancy can affect the health of the mother and her developing child. Read more about how to cope with stress during pregnancy on the American Pregnancy Association website.
    • Check out this article to learn more about the signs of labor and when you should consider contacting your obstetrician or midwife.
    • Find out how to prepare your home and family for an emergency by reading this article found on the American Red Cross website.
    • Summer is just around the corner—learn some helpful water safety tips on Safe Kids USA.
    • Cardiac arrest is not a heart attack. This article from the American Heart Association provides more information about the difference.
    • You can also learn more about the causes, risk factors, and treatments associated with cardiac arrest on the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website.

  • Emergency Care and ER Wait Times at Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose

    Emergency Room

    At Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose, we understand the importance of prompt, quality care in emergency situations. That is why our expert emergency care specialists are available at all times, day or night, to approach urgent medical situations with the most advanced tools and knowledge available.

    The Good Samaritan Emergency Room (ER) has streamlined its operations to ensure that each of our patients sees a physician as soon as possible. Each of our emergency physicians has access to Good Sam’s full range of on-site diagnostic and treatment services, including online EKG, surgery suites, blood bank, laboratory, diagnostic imaging, and much more. We also offer our patients the following specialty services:

    • Accredited Chest Pain Center:
      Our chest pain center is accredited by the Society of Chest Pain Centers for continuing to provide the highest quality of care for patients suffering from a cardiac episode.
    • High-Risk Maternity Care:
      Good Sam is staffed with high-risk birth specialists who are able to help expecting mothers who may be experiencing complications with their pregnancy. We are also proud to offer a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to provide new and expecting parents with an increased sense of security during the birthing process.
    • Stroke Care:
      Our highly trained “Brain Attack” team is always ready to respond in the event of a stroke .

    Our emergency department also offers the San Jose community a free Text ER service to check our ER wait times before they arrive. Simply text “ER” to 23000 and respond with your zip code—you will receive our ER wait times shortly thereafter. With this information, you can choose the emergency room that can get your loved ones treated faster. At Good Sam, we are dedicated to keeping our wait times below the CDC’s national average.

    The emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week—we are always here when you need us. For more information about our comprehensive medical care services, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line today at (408) 559-2011.