• How Cigarette Smoking Affects Different American Communities

    It is well-known that cigarette smoking has a number of harmful effects in the human body, including being a significant contributor to heart disease, cancer, stroke, and respiratory diseases. What many people don’t realize is that cigarettes are not an equal opportunity killer; individuals from lower socioeconomic levels are more heavily targeted by tobacco companies. Therefore, community outreach should not be limited to those who are wealthier or better educated. This video takes a closer look at this issue and provides some insight on the measures that may be beneficial for the often-overlooked communities affected by cigarette-related fatalities.

    If you are a smoker and you are ready to quit for the sake of your health, contact Good Samaritan Hospital at (408) 559-2011 to explore the resources available to you. It is never too late to take charge of your health, and Good Samaritan is there to help you every step of the way. 

  • What Are the Worst Foods for Your Liver Health?


    Because your liver is responsible for filtering toxins from the body and controlling your metabolism, there are certain foods that can have a negative impact on your liver health. When you eat the right foods, you will be able to maintain optimal energy and feel great every day. Alternatively, overindulging in foods that make the liver work harder can lead to serious health concerns such as fatty liver disease.

    Foods from animal sources that are high in fat can easily be consumed to excess when you have problems with your liver health. Animal protein is harder to break down than plant-based proteins, so it should be consumed in moderation. High sodium foods and foods that are packed with sugar can also harm the liver when they are enjoyed too frequently. Alcohol is the liver’s worst enemy, accounting for toxicity of the liver, which occurs when alcohol is abused over a long period.

    For tips to help you manage your health and convenient medical care when you need it, you can trust Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose. Call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (408) 559-2011 or visit our website to get a comprehensive look at our hospital services

  • Using Everyday Technology to Improve Your Healthcare

    Young adult working on a digital tablet

    Technology is everywhere and it extends into every facet of our lives—including managing one’s health. In some ways this may be a nuisance, with patients self-diagnosing various conditions through online resources matching symptoms to serious conditions, but technology can also be a very useful tool to enhance the quality of your healthcare.

    When you visit a hospital, you will notice that computers and handheld devices have taken the place of clipboards, providing every member of the care team with convenient access to your information and medical needs. You can use the technology you use every day to enhance your care too with programs like Good Samaritan’s text for ER wait times. By texting ER to 23000, you can see which San Jose hospitals have the fastest wait times and check in with iNotify so that the hospital staff is ready to see you.

    Good Samaritan Hospital is dedicated to making healthcare more approachable on every front, so stay connected with us by saving our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare line at (408) 559-2011. You can call us 24/7 for answers to your health questions, community event registration, or physician referrals. 

  • How Is Clinical Depression Diagnosed?


    Making an accurate diagnosis of major depression can take several weeks or even months, because there are a number of conditions that can cause the same symptoms as depression, which themselves may vary. Plus, a significant number of patients suffering from depression do not seek the help they need, as they are unaware of the multitude of options available for treatment. Medication may play a role in treating depression, but there are several other effective methods that might be used as well. Keep reading to gain a better understanding of how depression is diagnosed in a clinical setting.

    Characteristic symptoms

    Physicians are typically alerted to depression in their patients by physical signs like sleep disorders including insomnia or excessive sleeping. Changes in appetite such as binge eating, uncontrolled weight gain, or loss of appetite are common with depression as well. These symptoms involving sleep and appetite may also affect other areas of an individual’s health, creating the need for a dual diagnosis.

    Behavioral warning signs

    Some family members or friends may urge individuals suffering from depression to get help due to behavioral red flags like lack of interest in social activities, negative self-image, diminishing focus and concentration, or talk of suicide or self-harm. It’s important for loved ones to take these signs seriously, as the problem tends to get worse when others neglect these cries for help.

    Clinical exams

    In order to diagnose depression, a doctor will have to first rule out other conditions that may present similar signs. These conditions may include thyroid disorders and certain viruses. Blood tests will generally reveal conditions of this nature, which will need to be treated through much different modalities than major depression.

    If you or a loved one is facing the challenges of clinical depression, explore the behavioral health services at Good Samaritan Hospital. You can get to know our expert behavioral health team by visiting our website or get a physician referral from our 24/7 Consult-A-Nurse line at (408) 559-2011.

  • Breast Cancer Stories of Hope

    After a breast cancer diagnosis, it may be helpful to hear the stories of breast cancer survivors to give a better sense of hope. This video shares the story of JoJo, who embraced the community mentality of patients and survivors involved with the American Cancer Society. With the support of others around her, she was able to take on her fight against breast cancer and serve as an inspiration for other patients.

    From prevention through treatment and survivor support, Good Samaritan Hospital is dedicated to excellence in our breast cancer care for women throughout the San Jose area. You can reach us for information about our breast care program by visiting our website or calling us at (408) 559-2011. 

  • Knowing the Red Flags for Heart Health

    Doctor holding heart

    When it comes to your heart health, there is a lot to know about what’s normal and what deserves medical attention. There are a number of conditions that may affect your heart, and these can present themselves with a wide range of symptoms. You may be aware of the obvious signs like chest pain and high blood pressure, but you should also remain alert to some other warning signs that aren’t so clearly associated with heart health. Here’s a look at a few of the red flags that you may not be familiar with so that you know how to respond.

    Chronic cough

    Coughing and wheezing is not always caused by respiratory trouble. A persistent cough can be traced back to heart failure, which can lead to the accumulation of fluid in the lungs. Bloody phlegm can appear while coughing, and it should be met with emergency medical treatment.

    Irregular pulse

    The occasional pulse irregularity is nothing to worry about, but frequent skipped beats or rapid pulse while resting could point to serious problems such as heart attack or arrhythmia. Your doctor will likely pick up on pulse irregularities during a regular checkup, but you shouldn’t hesitate to mention any abnormalities you notice on your own.

    Difficulty exercising

    Feeling lightheaded or extremely winded at the gym may be more than simply being out of shape. If exercise brings shortness of breath or a sensation that you are going to collapse at any moment, your heart may not be able to handle the level of activity you are trying to perform. Always make sure to monitor your heart rate while exercising and know what is normal when it comes to exhaustion following physical activity.

    Unexplained fatigue

    For women especially, sudden fatigue is a characteristic marker of a heart attack. There may be other causes for sudden fatigue, but it is worth heading to the ER when you feel nausea or dizziness accompanying this sensation.

    When was the last time you had heart health screenings to ensure that your ticker is in good shape? Good Samaritan Hospital can offer the cardiac screening and diagnostic tools you need to prevent major cardiac episodes and keep your health on track. To find a physician at our San Jose hospital, visit our website or call us at (408) 559-2011.

  • When Should You Have Your First Mammogram?

    Nurse Assisting Patient About To Have A Mammogram

    Mammograms have proven to be the most effective measure for breast cancer screening to facilitate early-stage diagnoses and reduce the number of breast cancer related deaths that occur each year. However, mammograms are not a perfect screening tool, as they do have some drawbacks such as the chance of false positives or exposure to low levels of radiation. Because of these limitations, there is some debate about when to start getting mammograms and how often to have this screening. Below you will get a closer look at the guidelines to help you make the most informed decision about your own health in the future.

    Standard age guidelines

    While some organizations promote starting mammograms at the age of 50, the American Cancer Society reports that beginning these screenings at age 40 has the most substantial benefits for women. There is no upper age limit to mammogram screening, so testing should continue for healthy women throughout their adult lives. You should discuss the benefits and limitations of mammogram screening with your doctor personally, but having the first mammogram at 40 is a good guideline to stick with for most women. 

    Health concerns

    Women who have a higher lifetime risk based on assessment tools that explore family history and gene mutation may need more than just an annual mammogram to fully assess their risk. Women with a known BCRA1 or BCRA2 gene mutation or have had radiation therapy to the chest early in life may need to have MRIs in addition to mammograms to ensure that nothing is missed during annual screenings. There may be additional testing needed for women who have had abnormal results from clinical breast exams, which should begin for women in their 20s.

    If you are ready to schedule your first mammogram or you have questions about your breast health, call Good Samaritan Hospital’s Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (408) 559-2011. Our state-of-the-art breast care center offers all of the services needed to prevent, detect, and treat breast cancer in the skilled hands of a multidisciplinary team of specialists. 

  • Celebrate Children’s Health Month with These Illness and Injury Prevention Tips

    If you are a parent, your child’s health is probably always a priority, but you might use Children’s Health Month this October to serve as a reminder of the important steps in preventing avoidable trips to the ER. Here are some essential preventative tips to remember in your household to keep your child safe and sound:

    washing hands

    Always supervise children at play

    Getting active and playing outside is highly beneficial for kids, though they should not be left alone to play. When your kids are at the park or in the backyard, make sure that they are always under your watch or the watch of another parent or babysitter. Unsupervised play can lead to some bold decisions like jumping from excessive heights or roughhousing that could result in serious injuries.

    Encourage frequent hand washing

    Seasonal illnesses like the cold and flu are hard to avoid—especially in the classroom. However, the germs that cause these illnesses can be stopped with the right hand washing habits. It takes about 20 seconds of scrubbing with soap to kill potentially harmful germs and bacteria, so you might use a song or rhyme that passes the time and makes hand washing a little more fun for your child.

    Keep medicines and household cleaners out of reach

    Accidental ingestion of medicine and household chemicals accounts for a staggering number of ER visits among children each year. To a child, brightly colored cleaning solutions or pills that highly resemble candy may be tantalizing prospects when parents aren’t watching. This means that you should keep all of these products locked away safely so they are out of the reach of curious hands.

    When your child does need emergency medical care in San Jose, Good Samaritan is there for you with our special ER just for kids. See why we have been ranked as a Family Favorite Hospital in the Bay Area Parent Hall of Fame by visiting our website or calling us at (408) 559-2011.