• Knowing What to Expect Under the Care of EMS Personnel

    When you call 911 with a medical emergency, it is likely that you will be met by EMS personnel at your location. For emergent and critical conditions, it is not recommended that you attempt to drive yourself to the ER, because you will not receive the rapid intervention of EMS professionals, including emergency medical responders, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians. These individuals are trained to provide the first response in a medical emergency while working in cooperation with hospital staff in the ER to provide a complete continuum of care when it is needed most. Keep reading to learn more about how the system of EMS services ensures lifesaving care before you even arrive at the hospital.

    Immediate response

    EMS responders are the first to arrive on the scene of an emergency, and they will use their expertise to quickly assess the situation and understand the type of care needed. A 911 dispatcher might provide information about the emergency to EMS personnel, though more details might be needed from witnesses on the scene. In other cases, EMS professionals will be stationed at large public gatherings where injuries are likely, such as concerts or festivals.

    Stabilizing care

    Emergency medical responders and paramedics are trained in a variety of psychomotor skills that can stabilize a patient in critical condition. These skills include pharmacological intervention with the use of an auto-injector, bleeding control, manual stabilization of the cervical spine and extremities, and respiratory intervention to clear airways and restore breathing.

    Emergency transportation

    Most people will recognize EMS personnel as the individuals who operate emergency vehicles, including ambulances and medical helicopters. EMS professionals offer much more than a ride to the hospital, however, since they are responsible for stabilizing and safely transporting patients to improve outcomes in the ER.

    The emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital is operating around-the-clock every day to provide San Jose residents with a higher level of care in critical situations. To learn more about our hospital services or get a physician referral for your non-emergency care, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (888) 724-2362.

  • What to Do When Someone Has Alcohol Poisoning

    Alcohol poisoning is a very serious condition that can arise quickly, especially in young adults who are unfamiliar with the effects of heavy drinking. If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning, you should recognize that this is a medical emergency that should be handled immediately. Common signs of alcohol poisoning include mental confusion, gasping for air, unconsciousness or unresponsiveness, vomiting, paleness, and hypothermia. If you notice any of these signs in another individual, follow these steps to ensure that the right care is received to avoid fatal consequences.

    Call 911 or poison control

    When a person with suspected alcohol poisoning is unconscious, having trouble breathing, or vomiting uncontrollably, you should call 911 right away. Alcohol will continue to be released into the bloodstream even after a person has stopped drinking, so you should not wait to see if the condition improves. If the individual is conscious and responsive, you may call a poison control center by dialing 1-800-222-1222. With the help of a poison control specialist, you can determine whether a trip to the hospital is necessary.

    Do not leave the person unattended

    You should never leave a person with alcohol poisoning alone whether he or she is awake or unconscious. Individuals who are vomiting are at risk for choking, and those who are unconscious will not simply sleep off alcohol poisoning. Blood alcohol levels can continue to climb to dangerous levels, which is why immediate medical attention is so important.

    In the face of any medical emergency, you can count on Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose to provide exceptional care at all hours of the day. If you are not sure whether you are dealing with an emergency, you can speak directly to one of our nurses anytime, 24/7 at (888) 724-2362. When you visit our ER, you can expect low wait times with consistently high-quality care.

  • Stroke Awareness: Learning to Recognize the Signs of Stroke

    When it comes to stroke treatment, time is a critical factor. For ischemic stroke, clot-busting medication will be the most effective method of treatment, but this medication can only be administered within a few hours of the onset of symptoms. Therefore, it is essential to recognize the signs of stroke and respond by seeking emergency care at the initial onset of these signs. Below, you can see the classic symptoms of stroke along with some not-so-common signs that might occur as well.

    Classic stroke symptoms

    The most iconic signs of stroke include numbness or weakness in one side of the face or body, sudden confusion, trouble walking, severe headache, and sudden blurriness in vision. A person suffering from a stroke may be unable to repeat simple sentences or answer basic questions. He or she may also be noticeably disoriented and have difficulty remaining balanced while walking or standing.

    Hiccups

    While it is not necessary to go to the ER every time you have hiccups, some stroke patients will experience hiccups in addition to the more common stroke symptoms above.

    Chest pain

    Chest pain is a symptom that should not ever be overlooked since it may be associated with stroke, heart attack, and a number of other serious condition. During a stroke, chest pain may be characterized as a heavy pressure in the chest or persistent, throbbing pain.

    Fatigue

    Women are more likely to experience a more subtle signs of stroke, such as sudden fatigue. Just like heart attacks, stroke is often underdiagnosed in women, and this typically leads to a higher rate of fatalities and disabilities.

    If you suspect that someone is having a stroke, call 911 right away and ask to be taken to Good Samaritan Hospital. We are a Comprehensive Stroke Center , meaning that we are equipped with the skills and technology to treat both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke at all hours of the day. To learn more about our stroke care and other hospital services, give us a call at (888) 724-2362 and speak with one of our registered nurses.

  • Taking a Look at the Different Types of Blood Donations

    January is National Blood Donor Month, which may have you thinking about giving a lifesaving blood donation to do some good in the start of the New Year . Almost anyone can be a blood donor, and there are a few different ways to give. This article will offer a closer look at the types of blood donation you might choose from when you choose to save lives in your community as a donor.

    Whole blood donation

    If you attend a community blood drive at a church, school, or hospital, you will probably give a whole blood donation. This is the most common type of donation, and it will take about one pint of whole blood, which is later separated into transfusable components. Because the blood is separated into red cells, plasma, and platelets, one donation can save up to three lives. A whole blood donation is relatively simple and easy, though you will want to rest and relax while drinking plenty of water for about 24 hours after your donation. Whole blood donations can be given about once every two months.

    Platelet donation

    Platelet apheresis is a special kind of donation that may occur more frequently, since platelets are filtered out of the blood using an apheresis machine, and most of the red blood cells and plasma are returned to the donor. The donation does take a longer period of time—about two and a half hours—but it will provide a vital component of cancer care and organ transplant surgeries.

    Double red donation

    If you have type O blood or an Rh-negative blood type, you might consider a double red cell donation, which will use an apheresis machine to return platelets and plasma back into the blood stream. Double red blood cell donations are crucial in maintaining an adequate blood supply, and they only take about 30 minutes longer than a whole blood donation.

    Regardless of how you choose to give, you will become a lifesaving asset in your community as a blood donor. To get more information about donor eligibility and blood drives in the San Jose area, connect with Good Samaritan Hospital at (888) 724-2362.