• Keeping Your Food Safe When You Host a Cookout

    Hosting a family cookout is a fun way to celebrate holidays and birthdays. However, it’s important to be mindful of food safety, especially if you will be traveling to a park or other site away from home. Following a few simple tips can keep your family healthy and out of the emergency care department. In the event that food poisoning does occur, the emergency care team at Good Samaritan Hospital is always available to help patients feel well again.

    Food Preparation

    Always wash your hands with soap and running water before and after handling food. If you need to defrost meat, place it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight; do not place it at room temperature. If you intend to save some of the marinade to serve with the meat, you should set it aside in a separate container before placing the rest of the marinade with the meat. Do not reuse marinade that has come into contact with raw meat. Cook all animal products to the recommended internal temperature . For example, ground meats should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Food Transportation

    Hosting a family cookout at home allows easy access to refrigeration. When traveling to another location, special precautions should be taken. Pack perishable food in an insulated cooler with plenty of ice. The food should remain at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook or serve perishable food promptly upon arriving at your destination.

    Food Storage and Serving

    When hosting a cookout at your own home, keep meats and other perishable items in the refrigerator until just before you place them on the grill or stove. Once the food is fully cooked, place it on a clean platter for serving; do not reuse platters that were used to hold raw meats because this can cause food poisoning through cross-contamination.

    When your family needs emergency care in the San Jose area, you can put your trust in the team at Good Samaritan Hospital . Our community hospital is also a leading provider of cardiac care and maternity health services. You can direct non-emergent inquiries about our hospital services to a registered nurse at (888) 724-2362.

  • Preventing Gynecological Cancers with the HPV Vaccine

    Gynecological cancers, including cervical cancer, claim the lives of many women every year. Some risk factors of cancer are modifiable through lifestyle improvements and medical management, while other risk factors are not. Thanks to a certain vaccine, it is possible to reduce the risk of certain cancers that may be caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Consider talking to a doctor at your local hospital about the HPV vaccine .

    What It Is

    A vaccine is an injection that triggers the body to produce defenses against a particular disease. In this case, the HPV vaccine guards against the human papilloma virus. HPV is a very common disease; millions of people in the U.S. have it. HPV is actually an umbrella term for a group of more than 150 viruses. HPV is transmitted through any type of sexual contact, which is why the vaccine is recommended for children who are not yet sexually active. Different types of HPV can cause different health problems. Some types can cause genital warts and gynecological cancers, including cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancer. HPV can also cause cancer in men, including penile cancer. Both men and women may develop anal cancer and oropharynx cancer from HPV.

    How Safe It Is

    Watch this featured video to hear a gynecologist at Good Samaritan Hospital discuss the safety of the HPV vaccine. She explains that to date, no serious adverse events have been reported because of the vaccine. All vaccines undergo extensive testing and review before they are made available to patients at hospitals in the U.S.

    Who Should Get It

    Consider visiting your local hospital to discuss whether the HPV vaccine might be right for you or your child. It is generally recommended for boys and girls at age 11 or 12. However, males can receive the vaccine through age 21 or through age 26 if they have a compromised immune system or if they have sex with male partners. Women can receive the vaccine through age 26 if they did not get it when they were younger.

    Good Samaritan Hospital provides a full suite of preventive and therapeutic health services to families throughout the greater San Jose area. Our community hospital can meet your child’s every need-from labor and delivery to vaccinations to emergency care. If you have general questions about vaccinations, you can call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (888) 724-2362.

  • Why Food Allergies Should Be Taken Seriously

    Eating is usually an enjoyable experience. But after being diagnosed with a food allergy , you may start to see food differently. When a food has the potential to result in serious health consequences that require emergency care and hospitalization, it’s necessary to be very careful about what you eat. Here at Good Samaritan Hospital, our emergency care team encourages patients with food allergies to understand their emergency action plan.

    What You Should Know

    After receiving a diagnosis of a food allergy, consider asking your doctor for recommended resources to learn more about your condition and how to manage it properly. You can also watch this video, which features an emergency care physician at Good Samaritan Hospital. He explains that allergic reactions can range from mild skin reactions to severe, life-threatening reactions. On the severe end of the spectrum, an allergic reaction is referred to as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis affects multiple organs and it may be life-threatening. It may cause difficulty breathing, chest tightness, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of consciousness, swelling of the facial region, or lightheadedness.

    What You Can Do

    Even if you have only experienced mild allergic reactions in the past, you should know that you’re at risk of severe, even life-threatening reactions in the future. Consider talking to your physician about ways of managing your food allergy properly. In addition to avoiding your allergen, your doctor will likely recommend that you have an auto-injector of epinephrine with you at all times. This is an emergency medicine that should be administered immediately when a serious allergic reaction occurs . You’ll still need to call 911 after administering the injection. You might also consider wearing a medical identification bracelet, which alerts emergency care responders to your condition. This way, if you have lost consciousness, the emergency responders can identify your health crisis and quickly initiate life-saving treatments.

    Despite taking precautions, patients with food allergies may require emergency care from time to time. In San Jose, patients can trust Good Samaritan Hospital to provide high-quality, responsive emergency care around the clock. Please direct medical emergencies to a 911 dispatcher; non-emergent inquiries about our community hospital may be directed to a registered nurse at (888) 724-2362.

  • Your Guide to Prostate Cancer Screening

    Prostate cancer develops when abnormal cells in the prostate gland grow in an uncontrollable manner. It’s one of the most common types of cancer found in men, particularly older men. Men in the San Jose area have the option of visiting Good Samaritan Hospital to discuss undergoing a prostate cancer screening . At our community hospital, you and your physician can consider whether screening might be appropriate for you.

    Screening Tests

    Screenings are tests or exams that are performed to check for a disease or condition despite the absence of symptoms. Generally, screenings are considered to be a routine and important component of preventive health care. However, prostate cancer screening tests are somewhat controversial because it is thought that the risks could outweigh the benefits . Prostate cancer screening tests include the digital rectal exam (DRE), which involves physically palpating the prostate via the rectum to check for the presence of lumps or other abnormalities. The other main screening test for prostate cancer is the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. This measures the level of PSA in a man’s bloodstream. It’s normal for men to have some PSA. A high PSA can sometimes indicate prostate cancer or another health problem.

    Potential Risks

    Before deciding whether to have a prostate cancer screening test, men are encouraged to learn about the potential risks. It is possible for the test to result in a false-negative, which means that the test indicates that no cancer is present even when cancer is indeed present. This can discourage men from seeking treatment despite the development of symptoms. Or, the test may result in a false-positive, which leads to riskier, invasive testing. Additionally, in the case of prostate cancer, it is possible that detecting and treating the cancer may not necessarily improve a man’s health or help him live longer.

    Current Recommendations

    Currently, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) do not recommend the use of PSA tests to screen for prostate cancer in men of any age. Other health care organizations recommend that men make this decision after discussing the potential risks and benefits with their physicians. You can obtain personalized guidance by consulting a doctor at your community hospital.

    The award-winning Cancer Care Program at Good Samaritan Hospital has been nationally recognized for its dedication to healthcare excellence. Our community hospital in San Jose provides a continuum of care from screenings and diagnosis to medical oncology and clinical trials. Call our hospital at (888) 724-2362 if you would like to speak with a registered nurse.