• What does brain time mean?

    Neurologists often say that “time is brain.” It refers to the rapid die-off rate of neurons when the blood supply to the brain is obstructed. In other words, the longer a stroke is left untreated, the worse the outcome is going to be. As soon as you or someone else displays possible signs of stroke, call 911 without delay and request an ambulance. The emergency care team at Good Samaritan Hospital coordinates closely with emergency responders, so that possible stroke patients can be evaluated and treated immediately upon arrival.

    Here’s what happens during a stroke
    There are different types of stroke, and these types can happen in different ways. The majority of strokes are ischemic. These occur when the blood supply to the brain is cut off by an obstruction in a blood vessel.

    A blood clot can form within that blood vessel, or it may form elsewhere and then travel toward the brain. As it travels, the blood vessels narrow. Eventually, the blood clot will lodge in place, obstructing blood flow.

    Once blood flow is cut off, the brain begins to sustain damage. According to the medical journal Stroke , a forebrain of a typical human contains about 22 billion neurons. For every minute that the brain is deprived of blood, it can lose:

    • 1.9 million neurons
    • 14 billion synapses
    • 7.5 miles of myelinated fibers

    For every hour that the brain is deprived of blood, it can lose:

    • 120 million neurons
    • 830 billion synapses
    • 447 miles of myelinated fibers

    These statistics underscore the importance of rushing stroke patients to emergency care as quickly as possible.

    Here’s how emergency care doctors treat ischemic stroke
    When you watch the accompanying video, you’ll hear a neurologist explain how stroke specialists can treat ischemic stroke patients. If the patient arrives at the hospital within 4.5 hours of the onset of the stroke, he or she can be given a potent clot-busting drug that rapidly clears the obstruction and restores blood flow to the brain.

    Good Samaritan Hospital is a certified Comprehensive Stroke Center —a designation that reflects our stroke specialists’ enduring commitment to healthcare excellence. Our Stroke Team in San Jose has extensive experience working together to give our patients the best possible outcome. For non-emergent, general healthcare questions only, you can reach a friendly member of our nursing staff at (888) 724-2362.

  • Know these poisoning first aid steps that could save a life

    Household poisonings can affect a person of any age, although young children are a high-risk group. These medical emergencies involve toxic levels of exposure to a harmful substance that may be inhaled, swallowed or touched. Time is of the essence when a loved one is suffering from a poisoning. The emergency care doctors at Good Samaritan Hospital encourage our neighbors to learn how to respond, just in case it happens in their homes.

    Remove the person from immediate danger
    If you suspect that an individual is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, you should move him or her outdoors quickly. If you’re unable to move the individual, open up all of the windows and exterior doors, and turn off the source of the carbon monoxide leak.

    Someone who has ingested a toxic substance might still have some of that substance in his or her mouth. If so, try to gently remove it.

    Call 911
    You can call the regional poison control center if the individual is conscious and isn’t displaying symptoms, but may have come into contact with a toxic substance.

    Call 911 without delay if your loved one appears to be in medical distress. After giving your location and the nature of the emergency, stay on the phone with the emergency dispatcher. You’ll be asked some more questions about the suspected poison, and you’ll be given first aid instructions.

    Perform first aid
    If the individual isn’t breathing, the emergency dispatcher can guide you through the steps of CPR and rescue breathing.

    Some poisons cause toxicity through contact with the skin. Remove contaminated clothing and pour water on the skin to flush away the poison.

    A poisoning may result in vomiting. You’ll need to keep the airway clear. Wrap some cloth around your fingers, and use the covered fingers to clear the mouth and throat of vomit.

    Never attempt to induce vomiting, unless the emergency dispatcher instructs you to do so. Don’t give an unconscious person anything by mouth, and avoid administering any antidotes or home remedies unless instructed to do so.

    Call 911 immediately if someone needs emergency care in the San Jose area. For general questions about our healthcare services, you can contact a registered nurse at (888) 724-2362. Good Samaritan Hospital has emergency care providers at our hospital around the clock, every day of the year.

  • Tips for sleeping well during pregnancy

    Pregnancy is a special time in life, but it’s certainly not without its share of discomforts. Sleep, for example, can prove elusive. This is due to a number of factors, including the growing size of the abdomen, shortness of breath, heartburn and back pain. Hormonal changes can also disrupt your sleep. For compassionate guidance on all sorts of health issues during pregnancy, you can turn to the maternity specialists at Good Samaritan Hospital.

    Plan your meals and fluid intake
    Your growing baby exerts pressure against your bladder, which is why you may experience frequent urges to urinate at night. It’s important to drink lots of water during the day, but do reduce your intake in the evening. Restrict your intake of caffeine.

    Heartburn is a common problem for expecting mothers. Your maternity specialist can give you a list of foods that may trigger your symptoms. Try to avoid these, and try not to go to bed right after eating.

    Avoid certain sleep positions
    Women who are typically back sleepers or stomach sleepers often have the most trouble adjusting to sleep-related changes during pregnancy. For instance, once you’re starting to show, it will be uncomfortable to sleep on your stomach.

    As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll need to avoid sleeping on your back . It can contribute to low blood pressure and reduced blood circulation to your baby. Back sleeping can also increase the risk of:

    • Digestive system discomfort
    • Backaches
    • Trouble breathing
    • Hemorrhoids

    Sleep on your side
    Maternity experts strongly recommend that expecting moms sleep on their left side. The left side is preferable to the right because it encourages a stronger flow of blood and nutrients to your baby. Plus, you’ll find that side sleeping is more comfortable with a growing belly.

    Pregnancy is a good time to pamper yourself, so invest in some excellent pillows. Use a small pillow between your legs to keep your back aligned. You can also place a small pillow under the side of your abdomen for better support as you sleep.

    Bay Area Parent magazine has voted Good Samaritan Hospital as one of the “Best Places to Have a Baby” in the San Jose area. It’s all thanks to our talented, genuinely caring providers, comfortable suites, midwifery program and exceptional parent support services. You can request a referral to an obstetrics specialist by calling our maternity hospital at (888) 724-2362.

  • Taking a look at Duchenne muscular dystrophy

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy —also called DMD—is one of the nine forms of muscular dystrophy. It typically is diagnosed in early childhood, between the ages of three and five, and is much more common in boys than girls. Advances in the treatment of DMD have led to an increase in life expectancy for people diagnosed with this serious genetic condition. Here are the facts you need to know.

    What causes DMD?
    People with DMD do not have a protein called dystrophin in their bodies. This protein is responsible for keeping muscle cells together. It is a genetic condition that occurs as the result of a mutated gene on the X chromosome.

    The gene mutation that causes DMD is passed on by mothers. Women are typically carriers of the mutation but seldom experience signs of DMD themselves. In women who are DMD carriers, there is one normal X chromosome and one with the mutated gene.

    What are the symptoms?
    Muscle weakness is usually the first sign of DMD. It usually appears in the hips, thighs, pelvic region, and shoulders first, before progressing to other parts of the body. People with DMD often have larger-than-normal calves as well. These symptoms can appear as soon as age three.

    Involuntary muscles, including the heart and lungs, are usually affected by the early teen years. Some children with DMD also exhibit the signs of learning disabilities.

    What treatments are available?
    DMD is a progressive condition that is not curable, but many symptoms can be managed. The treatment plan depends on which symptoms are most problematic and may include:

    • Braces and wheelchairs
    • Cardiac care
    • Respiratory care
    • Medications

    Life expectancy for people with DMD has increased significantly in recent years. It is now common for people to live into their 30s, and some people live well beyond that time.

    Good Samaritan Hospital provides comprehensive pediatric care to young patients with a wide range of medical conditions. If you are concerned about your child’s health or need a referral to a pediatric specialist , we’re here to help. Contact our hospital in San Jose today by calling (888) 724-2362.