• Why folic acid can be essential in a woman’s diet

    Folic acid is essential for everyone, but it’s particularly important for women of childbearing age. It’s a form of folate, which is a B vitamin. Folic acid plays a vital role in the production of new red blood cells. When a person doesn’t get enough folic acid, it’s possible to develop folate-deficiency anemia. Here at Good Samaritan Hospital, our doctors and nurses look forward to meeting you and answering your questions about your nutrition. Women who are pregnant can work with our maternity specialists to create a healthy nutrition plan.

    The role of folic acid in health
    Red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body. Without enough folic acid and folate, the body may not produce enough new red blood cells. As a result, it’s possible to develop anemia, which causes symptoms like chronic fatigue and weakness.

    Folic acid is perhaps best known for its role in preventing birth defects. Maternity experts strongly recommend folic acid supplements to women who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant. This B vitamin substantially reduces the risk of neural tube birth defects, including spina bifida and anencephaly.

    The women who need folic acid supplements
    Compared to men, women of childbearing age are more likely to develop folate-deficiency anemia. It’s possible to get enough folic acid through food alone, but your doctor may recommend supplementation if you’re deficient. Supplementation is also recommended for women who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant.

    Additionally, because of the risk of neural tube defects, doctors recommend folic acid to all women of childbearing age, even if they aren’t trying to conceive. Roughly half of all pregnancies are unplanned, and a fetus needs folic acid during the crucial early weeks of pregnancy—before most women realize they’re pregnant.

    The recommended amount of folic acid
    In general, women need at least 400 micrograms of folic acid each day , according to the U.S. Office on Women’s Health. Women who might be pregnant or could get pregnant need between 400 and 800 micrograms daily.

    For certain women who want to get pregnant, a doctor might recommend an unusually large dose of folic acid. This may be appropriate for some women who:

    • Have previously had a baby with a neural tube defect
    • Have a family member with spina bifida
    • Have spina bifida

    Only a healthcare provider can give you the personalized recommendations that are appropriate for you.

    Family Birthing Center at Good Samaritan Hospital brings together a team of compassionate maternity specialists who genuinely care about each of our patients and their families. If you’re expecting, we invite you to take a tour of our maternity wing, including our spacious and comfortable labor and delivery suites. Call a registered nurse at (888) 724-2362 to request a referral.

  • Reduce the risk of workplace fall accidents

    A serious fall can happen in any workplace, including offices, hospitals and construction sites. Workers and employers in high-risk industries, such as roofing, should ideally have a comprehensive fall awareness and prevention plan to minimize the risk of disabling injuries and death. Here at Good Samaritan Hospital, our emergency care team is available around the clock every day of the year to initiate life-saving interventions for injured workers in the San Jose area.

    Know how falls happen
    Unanticipated hazards can be the most dangerous. A deadly fall can occur when a worker stumbles and falls off an elevated platform or down an unguarded shaft. Falls are more likely to affect workers who are new to the job, haven’t received the proper safety training or are unfamiliar with the work area.

    Some of the most common causes of falls include the following:

    • Lack of guardrail systems
    • Lack of personal protective equipment, such as restraining systems
    • Mechanically unsound scaffolding or equipment
    • Improper employee training

    Falls from elevated positions are the most serious type.

    • Ladders
    • Scaffolding
    • Aerial lift platforms
    • Roofs and roof openings (skylights)
    • Hoist areas
    • Stairways

    Once employers have identified the hazards, they can develop written fall prevention guidelines.

    Improve surface traction
    Sometimes, deadly falls don’t happen because of a major equipment malfunction, but because of something as simple as a spilled cup of coffee. All areas of the worksite should have proper traction, which means spills must be cleaned promptly. Employers can also take the following steps:

    • Use non-slip mats at entrances
    • Use anti-skid paint or anti-skid adhesive tape
    • Display “Wet Floor” signs
    • Require employees to wear appropriate shoes

    Use appropriate safety devices
    The use of fall protection systems may be required by law, depending on the specific situation. Depending on the industry and the particular hazard, employees may need:

    • Safety line and harness
    • Safety line and belt
    • Safety nets
    • Surface opening protection (guardrails and removable covers)

    A small investment in safety equipment and training time can make the difference between life and death or disability for high-risk workers.

    Please direct all serious and life-threatening injuries to a 911 dispatcher. For non-emergent, general questions only, a registered nurse is available at (888) 724-2362 to assist you. The entire team at Good Samaritan Hospital is committed to providing superior, personalized medical care because our patients are our neighbors in San Jose.

  • Which foods are the worst offenders for food poisoning?

    Any food can potentially be contaminated and cause food poisoning —even flour. In most cases, food poisoning symptoms are unpleasant but do not require emergency care. If you have severe symptoms or possible dehydration, however, the doctors and nurses at Good Samaritan Hospital urge you to seek medical care promptly. High-risk populations should also exercise caution, including pregnant women, young children and seniors.

    Contaminated vegetables and fruits
    Fruits and vegetables that are eaten raw pose a risk of food poisoning. Washing these items is strongly recommended, although it’s still possible to fall ill if the item is contaminated.

    It’s possible for a vegetable or fruit to become contaminated anywhere along the supply chain—from farm to supermarket to your home. Fresh manure that is used to fertilize the crops can harbor illness-causing microbes. Raw sprouts, including alfalfa sprouts, are at a particularly high risk of contamination in this manner.

    At a processing plant, leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale may be washed with contaminated water or placed into unsanitary containers.

    Protect yourself by using a commercial produce cleanser product, which is commonly available in supermarkets, and a vegetable scrub brush to clean your produce under running water. Wash all items, even bagged lettuce that has been previously washed by the processor. Additionally, wash foods like cantaloupe before cutting into them—otherwise, the knife can transfer germs from the rind to the interior of the melon.

    Contaminated meat and fish
    For your protection, you should assume that all raw or undercooked poultry, beef, pork, fish and shellfish are contaminated. It’s essential to cook animal products to the recommended internal temperature (use a meat thermometer).

    One of the reasons why meat and fish are at such a high risk of contamination is the sheer vastness and complexity of the nation’s food system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , just one hamburger can contain fragments of meat from hundreds of cows.

    Additionally, purchasing a whole chicken isn’t necessarily any safer than purchasing a pack of chicken tenders. This is because a whole chicken carcass can be exposed to the byproducts of thousands of other birds that were processed in the same facility.

    For all of life’s unpredictable medical emergencies, your family can count on the compassionate healthcare providers at Good Samaritan Hospital . Our hospital, located in San Jose, has been privileged to serve families throughout Silicon Valley since 1965. Call a caring member of our nursing staff at (888) 724-2362.

  • What you need to know about aneurysms

    Your blood vessels carry oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to all parts of your body, and return depleted blood back to the heart and lungs. Conditions that affect your arteries, such as aneurysms, can lead to serious consequences. An aneurysm is a weakened area of the arterial wall. It can affect an artery anywhere in your body, but is most common in the arteries that affect the brain and heart. Cardiovascular problems can be frightening, but the world-class cardiac care specialists at Good Samaritan Hospital are committed to giving you the best possible outcome.

    Basics of aneurysms
    When an area of the arterial wall becomes weaker than usual, it bulges or balloons. Most aneurysms are small, but they can become larger and riskier.

    Large aneurysms are more likely to burst or rupture. These ruptured aneurysms require emergency care, as they can lead to life-threatening complications.

    Types of aneurysms
    Doctors categorize aneurysms according to where they occur in the body.

    • Cerebral aneurysm: Affects the brain
    • Aortic aneurysm: Affects the aorta, which carries blood from the heart
    • Popliteal artery aneurysm: Affects the leg
    • Mesenteric artery aneurysm: Affects the intestine
    • Splenic artery aneurysm: Affects the spleen

    Signs and symptoms of aneurysms
    Often, the only way a person will know if he or she has an aneurysm is if it ruptures. Intact aneurysms don’t tend to cause problems, but they may be detected on imaging scans. When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear a neurosurgeon explain the differences among MRIs, CT scans and cerebral angiograms for diagnosing aneurysms.

    When symptoms do develop, they depend on the size and location of the aneurysm. Brain aneurysms can cause the following:

    • One-sided numbness and weakness
    • Pain behind the eye
    • Vision changes
    • Speech impairment
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Confusion
    • Stiff neck
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Seizures

    Stroke results from a ruptured brain aneurysm.

    If an aortic aneurysm bursts, it can cause the following symptoms:

    • Fainting
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Chest or upper back pain
    • Clammy skin
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Rapid heart rate

    Treatments for aneurysms
    It’s vastly preferable to diagnose an aneurysm before it ruptures . Patients can receive ongoing monitoring to check for changes of the aneurysm. In some cases, they may undergo surgery intended to prevent rupturing.

    Ruptured aneurysms always require emergency care. The cardiovascular team will determine which surgical approach is best suited to the patient’s particular condition. Surgical clipping, endovascular coiling and bypass procedures are some examples.

    Our reputation for healthcare excellence in emergency care, cardiac care and neurosciences is why our patients choose Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose. At our hospital, you’re never just another patient—you’re an important member of our community who deserves superior, patient-focused care. Speak with a registered nurse at our hospital by calling (888) 724-2362.