• Helpful Tips for Safe Winter Travel

    Since Californians may not have as much experience with wintry weather as their northeastern counterparts, it’s a good idea to brush up on basic safety precautions before departing on a holiday trip. Whether you’re traveling by air, rail, or road this holiday season, being prepared for inclement weather can help keep your family safe. From our family to yours, Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose would like to wish our neighbors a safe and joyous holiday season.

    By Air

    When traveling by air during the winter, there is the possibility that flights will be canceled due to inclement weather. To reduce your risk of getting stranded at the airport, try to schedule a direct flight whenever possible. Monitor the weather at your destination for a few days prior to your flight. You might also consider researching hotels near the airport. Some people like to reserve a hotel room just in case they get stranded, provided the hotel has a generous cancellation policy. During your flight, drink plenty of non-alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated, walk around periodically to prevent blood clots, and avoid touching your face to prevent the transmission of germs.

    By Road

    Traveling on the highways can be particularly hazardous during the busy holiday season. Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need to reach your destination. Plan to take frequent breaks to rotate drivers; driver fatigue is a common cause of highway accidents. Research the weather conditions before you leave; if a major winter storm is expected to strike an area you’ll drive through, consider changing your plans.

    By Rail

    If you’re following a special diet, it’s a good idea to check with the rail line ahead of time to find out if they can accommodate you. Some rail lines may offer reduced-cholesterol and reduced-sodium selections. You can reduce your risk of illness by consuming bottled water only. Bring along some hand sanitizer. You may also want to bring sanitizing wipes, especially if you’ll be in a sleeper.

    If you find yourself in need of emergency care in the San Jose area, you can count on Good Samaritan Hospital. Our community hospital provides comprehensive medical services, including cardiac care and maternity health services. Residents and visitors of the San Jose area are welcome to contact us at (888) 724-2362.

  • Healthy Holiday Recipes to Add to Your Dinner Table

    Being mindful about your diet doesn’t necessarily have to mean depriving yourself during the holidays. You can still serve your family’s traditional favorites; simply lighten them up a little to reduce the total calories, fat, sugar, and sodium. If you have a health condition that necessitates following a special diet, such as diabetes, consider talking to a doctor at Good Samaritan Hospital for dietary guidance . Our community hospital is your partner in preventive wellness.

    Offer Light Appetizers

    For your holiday parties, offer appetizers such as a bowl of mixed nuts and a tray of fresh fruit. Create a festive vegetable platter with red and green pepper slices, jicama strips, and zucchini rounds. Place a bowl of roasted red pepper hummus in the center.

    Prepare Nutritious Entrees and Sides

    When choosing your holiday turkey or ham, look for reduced-sodium options. Prepare healthier gravy with reduced-sodium broth and defatted pan juices. Add just a drizzle of gravy to your plate to keep your calorie count low. Instead of serving mashed potatoes with butter, consider serving roasted sweet potatoes or sweet potato wedges. Serve other tempting vegetable side dishes, such as roasted Brussels sprouts served with lemon or sautéed carrots lightly seasoned with olive oil and herbs.

    Lighten Up Your Holiday Desserts

    If your family has a sweet tooth, consider preparing lighter holiday desserts. You can substitute many ingredients in baked goods recipes, such as applesauce instead of butter, whole grain flour instead of white, and dried fruit instead of chocolate chunks. Consider downsizing traditional desserts such as pies and cakes. Make them in cupcake tins instead to facilitate portion control. If you’re baking edible gifts for friends and family, wrap up the treats as soon as they cool off and deliver them right away to prevent yourself from sampling them.

    For more healthy recommendations, consider speaking with a physician at Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose. Our state-of-the-art community hospital is pleased to provide exceptional cardiac care, emergency care, maternity care, and labor and delivery services. You can contact our Consult-A-Nurse line at (888) 724-2362.

  • What Should You Do to Treat a Child’s Fever?

    It can be difficult for parents to cope with a child’s illness , since no parent wants to see a child feel uncomfortable. If your child is running a temperature, there are a few things you can do to help him or her feel more comfortable. It’s also a good idea to check with a pediatrician at your local hospital regarding the signs that may indicate your child requires emergency care for an illness. If emergency care is required, the physicians at Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose are available 24/7.

    Evaluating the Severity of the Illness

    If your child’s forehead feels warm, take his or her temperature with a digital thermometer. If your child is three months of age or younger and has a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, call the pediatrician or bring your child to the local hospital. A fever in a child of any age should also be evaluated at the hospital if it repeatedly rises above 104 degrees or persists longer than 72 hours. Additionally, your child may need medical care if he or she displays other serious symptoms, such as the following:

    • Persistent vomiting
    • Refusal of fluids
    • Headache and stiff neck
    • Lethargy
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Bluish tint to the lips or nails
    • Seizures

    Keeping Your Child Comfortable

    When a child’s fever doesn’t require emergency care, you can keep him or her comfortable at home by dressing him or her in light clothing. Maintain a comfortable, cool temperature in the home. You could also bathe your child in one to two inches of tepid water. Seat your child in the tub and gently sponge water over his or her body until the body temperature reaches a comfortable level. If your child begins shivering or is resistant to sponging, take him or her out of the tub.

    Preventing Dehydration

    Preventing dehydration during a fever is crucial . Encourage your child to frequently sip water and provide him or her with ice pops, ice chips, and broth-based soups.

    Good Samaritan Hospital is widely recognized for our exceptional family centered pediatric care, including comprehensive emergency care and a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). If your child has a medical emergency in the San Jose area, please call 911 right away. Otherwise, you can reach our community hospital at (888) 724-2362 and speak with a registered nurse.

  • Taking a Look at the 2015-16 Flu Season

    Each new influenza season brings changes. The viruses themselves change constantly. As a flu virus replicates, it changes through antigenic drift, which refers to small alterations in the genes. An immune system that has antibodies to an older virus can still recognize a new flu virus if it is similar to the old one. However, the accumulated effects of antigenic drift over time mean that the immune system will eventually be unable to recognize the new viruses. This is why healthcare experts, including the physicians at Good Samaritan Hospital , urge San Jose residents to receive an annual flu shot. Getting vaccinated annually is your best protection against the flu and its complications. However, if you do become ill, our hospital’s emergency care team is ready to help.

    Flu Activity this Season

    Although the flu season is unpredictable, outbreaks of the flu can begin as early as October. The flu virus may still be going around as late as May 2016. Usually, flu activity peaks from December through February.

    Vaccines Available this Season

    If you haven’t yet received a flu shot this year, you could receive one at any time. Although it’s never too late to become vaccinated during flu season, it’s recommended that people become vaccinated by October. The vaccine supply is limited. For the 2015-16 season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that the seasonal vaccines guard against these three types of flu viruses:

    • A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
    • A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus
    • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus

    You can receive protection from all three strains with just one vaccine, known as a trivalent vaccine. Another vaccine available for this flu season is a quadrivalent vaccine, which guards against an additional B virus strain known as the B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus. The seasonal vaccines are developed based on the most likely virus strains to circulate during any particular year. Although the flu shot is highly effective for preventing the flu, it is still possible to become ill with a different strain of flu.

    If you have questions about vaccinating your family against influenza, the physicians at Good Samaritan Hospital are happy to help. Our community hospital in San Jose offers a range of preventive wellness services, along with our cardiac care, emergency care, and maternity services. You can speak with a registered nurse at our hospital by calling (888) 724-2362.