• Why should you participate in National Wear Red Day?

    National Wear Red Day is dedicated to raising awareness about the issue of heart disease in women . Men and women alike dramatically underestimate the risk of heart disease women face, which can lead women to make uninformed decisions about their health or fail to seek fast treatment when they are experiencing the signs of a heart attack. In 2018, National Wear Red Day falls on February 2. Here are a few reasons you should take part.

    1 in 3 women die of heart disease or stroke
    Heart disease is often thought of as a man’s problem but is not the case. National Wear Red Day helps to spread the word that women are just as likely to experience heart disease as men.

    A woman dies of heart disease or stroke every 80 seconds. By recognizing this risk, women can be proactive about taking control of their heart health, such as by learning the five numbers that have an immediate impact on their risk of heart disease:

    • Total cholesterol
    • HDL cholesterol (also called good cholesterol)
    • BMI
    • Blood pressure
    • Blood sugar

    Women delay treatment for heart attack symptoms
    Because women underestimate their risk of having heart disease, they often ignore the signs of a heart attack. Any delay in cardiac care during a heart attack can be deadly. In some cases, physicians can also be slower in treating heart attacks in women because they attribute the symptoms to something else.

    Women also tend to experience heart attacks differently than men. They may have symptoms they don’t immediately attribute to a heart attack, such as:

    • Fatigue
    • Nausea
    • Lightheadedness
    • Sweating

    Heart disease is preventable
    Doctors estimate that 80% of cardiac incidents and strokes could be prevented with awareness and actions to reduce risk factors. National Wear Red Day reminds women and their loved ones of the importance of knowing their risk factors for heart disease and taking the appropriate steps to control them.

    Good Samaritan Hospital offers comprehensive cardiac care services, from our emergency room, which is a designated STEMI receiving center, to our inpatient Cardiac and Vascular Institute . For more information about our cardiac care services or a referral to a cardiologist, call (888) 724-2362.

  • Protecting your joints while exercising

    Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly are great ways to improve joint health. But if you already have joint health problems like arthritis, exercise can be challenging. Before starting or changing your exercise routine, consider speaking with a provider at Good Samaritan Hospital. Our orthopedic specialists are second to none, and we also offer inpatient and outpatient rehabilitative care .

    Designing your exercise program
    Your doctor or physical therapist can design a safe and effective exercise program for you. A comprehensive exercise program includes these components:

    • Aerobic exercise
    • Strengthening exercise
    • Flexibility/range of motion exercise

    Patients with joint pain should avoid high-impact exercises, unless a doctor has said they’re alright to do. Some good low-impact exercises include:

    • Swimming and aquatic fitness classes
    • Walking
    • Cycling
    • Pilates
    • Yoga
    • Resistance band strength training
    • Tai chi

    Improving physical fitness gradually
    The general recommendation for physical fitness for adults is to get at least 30 minutes of exercise on at least five days per week, plus strength training sessions. However, trying to meet these recommendations right from the start is a recipe for joint pain.

    Instead, set reasonable goals with the help of your physical therapist. Depending on the severity of your joint pain and your overall health, you might start by simply walking for five minutes at a time, several times per day. Eventually, you’ll work your way up to more intense, longer workouts.

    Using a supportive brace
    Your doctor might recommend that you wear an over-the-counter brace while you exercise . The right style of brace for your particular medical needs can give your joints extra support while you work out. Braces may also help by providing mild compression and distributing physical stress more appropriately.

    Strengthening supportive muscles
    A physical therapist can show you how to safely strengthen the muscles that support your painful joints. For instance, if you have knee pain, you can strengthen your quadriceps with straight leg raises. Do single leg dips to strengthen the hamstrings in the back of the thigh.

    Good Samaritan Hospital is a leader in innovative joint health solutions—both surgical and nonsurgical. Our orthopedic specialists in San Jose provide superior care that’s focused on improving quality of life. Call our nurse referral line at (888) 724-2362.

  • What are the most common birth defects?

    A birth defect is an abnormality present at birth. Some of them have genetic causes, while others are linked to environmental risk factors. In many cases, the cause of a birth defect is unknown. While it isn’t always possible to prevent birth defects, expecting mothers can take precautions to reduce the risk. At Good Samaritan Hospital, you’ll find compassionate maternity specialists who look forward to helping your baby have the healthiest possible start in life.

    Heart defects
    Sometimes, the heart of a fetus doesn’t develop properly before birth. For example, aortic valve stenosis occurs when a heart valve can’t function properly. Atrial septal and ventricular septal defects occur when there is a hole in the wall that divides the chambers of the heart.

    It’s possible for a baby to be diagnosed with more than one heart defect. Tetralogy of Fallot is diagnosed when all four of the following abnormalities are present:

    • There is an obstruction from the heart to the lungs
    • The heart muscle in the lower right chamber is thickened
    • There is a hole in the wall that divides the lower chambers
    • The aorta, a blood vessel, rests over the hole

    Many children born with heart defects either don’t require treatment or are successfully treated.

    Spina bifida
    Spina bifida is a neural tube defect. It occurs when the fetal backbone fails to close properly—a problem that can cause damage to the delicate spinal cord.

    The mildest form of spina bifida might not be diagnosed until later in the child’s life. The most serious form is immediately apparent at birth, as there is an opening in the baby’s back. A sac of fluid protrudes through this opening.

    Prenatal care effectively reduces the risk of spina bifida. Since neural tube defects can develop before women even realize they’re pregnant, doctors often recommend that all women of reproductive age take a folic acid supplement daily.

    Babies born with clubfoot have tendons that are too short. This causes the feet to become twisted into an atypical shape or position. Later in life, it can cause problems walking.

    Clubfoot is treatable soon after birth with specialized stretching and casting. Some babies require surgical correction.

    Birthing Center at Good Samaritan Hospital was designated a family favorite for 2017 in Bay Area Parent magazine! Take a tour of our tranquil maternity hospital in San Jose, and find out for yourself why so many expecting parents choose us for their labor and delivery. You can connect with a friendly member of our nursing staff at (888) 724-2362.

  • How donating blood can be good for your heart

    Every day, hospitals around the U.S. use thousands of pints of blood. Blood transfusions are used in emergency care wings for severely injured patients, for patients going through surgery, cancer treatments and in labor and delivery. Each time you donate a pint of blood, you could be saving the lives of up to three people. There is always a desperate need for more blood donors, as many people never donate blood, and many who try find they are ineligible to donate. During National Blood Donor Month, the team at Good Samaritan Hospital encourages our neighbors in San Jose to consider giving the gift of life .

    Blood donors are given a quick physical
    One of the top priorities in the public health field is ensuring the safety of the nation’s blood supply. This means that all potential blood donors are rigorously screened for health problems, such as infectious diseases.

    After you go through an extensive health questionnaire, you’ll be given a mini physical, including a check of your:

    • Hemoglobin levels
    • Blood pressure
    • Pulse
    • Body temperature

    Since blood pressure is a major indicator of cardiovascular health, getting yours checked can improve your understanding of your risk factors of heart disease. If the blood drive volunteer informs you that your blood pressure is higher than the ideal range, consider making an appointment with your primary care doctor.

    Blood donation might support blood vessel health
    The evidence isn’t conclusive, but some researchers think that becoming a regular blood donor might improve the flow of blood. When there is less resistance to the flow of blood, there is a reduced risk of damage to the lining of the blood vessel walls. Consequently, this might reduce the risk of arterial blockages and the heart attacks they cause.

    Blood donors may have balanced iron levels
    Another possibility regarding cardiovascular health and blood donation is the effect blood donation has on iron levels . Each time you donate a pint of blood, you lose a little iron. Some people have too much iron in their bodies, which may put cardiovascular health at risk.

    If you have concerns about donating blood, your doctor at Good Samaritan Hospital is always here to help. Your gift can make the difference between life and death for someone right here in our San Jose community. If you have any general questions about our hospital services, a registered nurse is available to take your call at (888) 724-2362.