• Why men should be concerned about heart disease


    All adults should be concerned about heart disease, as it is a leading cause of death in the U.S. Heart disease kills about one in every four men. Furthermore, men who have heart disease often don’t realize it. It’s not uncommon for men to experience sudden death due to heart disease, despite not reporting any symptoms beforehand. Although these facts are frightening, effective cardiac care can help men live long, healthy lives. At Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, our cardiac care specialists are firmly committed to improving the quality of life of our patients.

    Heart disease risk factors are common

    Millions of American men have at least one risk factor for heart disease—and many men have multiple risk factors. Three of the most common risk factors among men are tobacco use, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Other risk factors include:

    • Physically inactive lifestyle
    • Excessive alcohol consumption
    • Poor nutrition
    • Diabetes
    • Overweight and obesity
    • Family history of heart disease

    Although countless men have heart disease or are at an elevated risk of it, many of these factors are modifiable. Consider talking to a physician about your unique cardiac care needs. Some risk factors are controllable with smart lifestyle changes, while others may require medical management and lifestyle modifications.

    Heart disease affects millions of men

    It’s important to not underestimate the risk of heart disease in men. According to a statistical fact sheet released by the American Heart Association in 2013, about 8.8 million men in the U.S . have coronary heart disease, and five million of those have a history of suffering a heart attack.

    Coronary heart disease is just one type of heart disease. The American Heart Association also notes that at least 2.7 million men are living with heart failure, and about 350,000 more men are diagnosed with it every year.

    The prevalence of heart disease and its risk factors, and the life-threatening nature of these diseases, are why all men should be concerned about heart disease.

    Cardiac and Vascular Institute at Good Samaritan Hospital brings together leading cardiac care specialists and cutting-edge medical technology to give our patients the superior care they deserve. Here, cardiac care patients of all ages receive a continuum of care—from stabilization and diagnostics to interventions and rehabilitation. Call 911 for emergency care in San Jose or call (888) 724-2362 for non-emergent healthcare information.

  • What to do if you’re bitten by a snake

    More than two dozen species of snakes make their home in California. Several of the snakes you might see in the San Jose area are venomous, including the Western diamondback rattlesnake and Mojave Desert sidewinder. A bite from a snake that might be venomous is a serious problem that requires emergency care. In San Jose, the emergency care team at Good Samaritan Hospital is fully equipped to handle all medical emergencies, including snake bites .

    Remain calm

    As frightening as a snake bite can be, it’s important to stay calm. After getting away from the snake, remain as still as possible. Excessive movement can encourage the spread of venom through your body .

    Take a picture of the snake

    When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear from an emergency care physician at Good Samaritan Hospital. He explains that it’s a good idea to take a picture of the snake, but warns against putting yourself in further danger. If you can’t safely take a picture, skip this step and instead try to remember what the snake looks like.

    Seek emergency care

    If you aren’t sure whether the snake is venomous, it’s best to err on the side of caution and seek emergency care. Call 911 instead of trying to drive to the hospital. Snake venom can compromise your ability to drive safely, such as by causing the following symptoms:

    • Dizziness

    • Vision disturbances

    • Numbness

    • Vomiting

    • Breathing problems

    Initiate first aid for the snake bite

    While you’re waiting for the ambulance, you can sit or lie down. However, it’s important to keep the bitten body part below the level of your heart. If you have a clean, dry cloth or bandage, you can cover the bite.

    Know what not to do after a snake bite

    Knowing what not to do for a snake bite is just as important as knowing what to do. Do not do any of the following:

    • Don’t apply a tourniquet

    • Don’t suck out the venom

    • Don’t apply ice

    • Don’t soak the wound in water

    • Don’t consume alcohol or caffeinated beverages

    If you have any doubts about what you should or shouldn’t do, the 911 dispatcher can help you.

  • Managing ongoing chest pain symptoms

    Chest pain is a well-known sign of a heart attack, but there are dozens of other problems that could be causing it. These range from panic attacks and heartburn to ulcers and infections. Your family physician or cardiac care specialist can recommend treatment options for managing ongoing or chronic chest pain. Of course, patients should always seek emergency care if they suddenly develop chest pain, just in case it really is a heart attack. At Good Samaritan Hospital , a modern cardiac care hospital, our emergency care physicians are available 24/7 to help you.

    Managing angina

    Angina is the symptom of pain or pressure in the chest . Most often, it’s the result of coronary artery disease. The chest pain occurs when the blood flow to the heart decreases. A cardiac care specialist can recommend an appropriate treatment plan for angina, which usually includes medications. Lifestyle changes to prevent coronary artery disease can also help you prevent angina. When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear an emergency care physician explain some of the most effective habits to prevent chest pain. They include:

    • Quit smoking
    • Exercise safely
    • Eat a nutritious, balanced diet
    • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Manage underlying conditions like high blood pressure

    Controlling heartburn

    The pain of heartburn can be intense. It’s often mistaken for a heart attack. If you experience frequent heartburn, consider talking to your doctor. If left untreated, more serious medical problems can develop. To prevent episodes of heartburn, try the following:

    • Eat smaller meals
    • Avoid lying down after eating
    • Avoid spicy and fatty foods
    • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Sleep on an incline
    • Avoid alcohol
    • Reduce or avoid caffeine

    Coping with panic attacks

    Panic disorder is a mental health issue that can cause episodes of severe physical symptoms. These can mimic a heart attack. You may experience:

    • Chest pain
    • Dizziness
    • Sweating
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Nausea
    • Rapid heart rate

    These symptoms can be frightening. It’s a good idea to seek emergency care to rule out a potential heart attack. If you are diagnosed with panic disorder, there are effective treatments available, including medications and psychotherapy. You might also try the following:

    • Reduce caffeine
    • Get enough sleep
    • Exercise regularly
    • Practice stress management
    • Join a support group

    The health and quality of life of our patients are our highest priorities here at Good Samaritan Hospital. As an accredited Chest Pain Center, our state-of-the-art hospital in San Jose provides specialized cardiac care for patients of all ages. Call 911 for emergency care or call (888) 724-2362 to speak with a registered nurse at our hospital.

  • How Are Eye Injuries Treated in the ER?

    Eye injuries always have the potential to be serious, so you should seek emergency care when one occurs, even if it seems minor. If you delay treatment, you run the risk of damaging the eye further and causing long-term complications. Here is a look at some common eye emergencies and how they are treated in the ER.

    Corneal Abrasion
    Corneal abrasions occur when the cornea is scratched by a foreign object in the eye, poorly fitting contacts, chemical exposure, or excessive rubbing. When an abrasion occurs, you may experience pain, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and a persistent feeling that you have something stuck in your eye. In the ER, the doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointments to prevent infection. You may also need eye drops to ease the pain, and if you are having problems with light sensitivity, your doctor may tape your eye. As your eye heals, avoid wearing contacts and rubbing your eyes.

    Orbital Blowout Fracture
    An orbital blowout fracture occurs when one or more of the bones of the obit that protects the eye and holds it in position are broken. Typically, this kind of fracture occurs when something hits the eye with force. Blowout fractures can be serious and need immediate emergency care. If you are not experiencing any vision problems and the fracture is minor, the doctor may prescribe decongestants to reduce the backup of blood and other fluids in the sinuses and steroids to reduce swelling. If the fracture is severe or if you are having any vision difficulties, you will need surgery to repair the injury.

    Iritis refers to inflammation of the iris. It can occur as the result of an injury, such as a poke in the eye, or because of an underlying medical condition. If you have iritis, you may experience significant pain, blurry vision, and headaches. Iritis is typically treated with medicated eyedrops that reduce inflammation and reduce muscle spasm so that the iris can heal. Treating any underlying condition that is contributing to the iritis can also help.

    When you need emergency care in San Jose, choose Good Samaritan Hospital . We provide emergency care for patients of all ages around the clock with access to the full scope of our hospital services. To learn more, please call (888) 724-2362.

  • What to Remember When an Elderly Loved One Needs Emergency Care

    If you’re caring for an elderly loved one, you’re likely juggling plenty of responsibilities, including helping your loved one stay as healthy as possible. Although it can be challenging to care for an aging family member, you may find some peace of mind knowing that emergency care is never more than a phone call away. To make your visit to the ER at Good Samaritan Hospital as efficient as possible, make sure you bring your loved one’s medical information.

    Medical Information

    The emergency care physicians will need to know about your loved one’s medical history. Since it may be difficult to remember all the details during an ER visit, it can be helpful to have a medical history form on hand. Write down all of your loved one’s diagnosed medical conditions, along with the names and dosages of all medications and supplements he or she is taking. Remember to list any allergies your loved one may have, along with prior surgeries, recent illnesses, and treatments. Additionally, keep a list of the names and contact information of doctors who treat your loved one.

    Clear Communication

    It is not uncommon for a senior to experience communication difficulties at the emergency care department. Some seniors may try to minimize their symptoms, for example, while others may suffer from dementia-related communication impairments. While you’re waiting to see an emergency care physician, jot down some notes about your loved one’s current health problem. Make a note of the types of symptoms, when they developed, and whether they might have been a reaction to something such as a new medication.

    Hospital Admittance

    Depending on the nature of your loved one’s visit to the emergency care department, he or she may be admitted to the hospital for further monitoring and treatment. It can be helpful to pack a few personal items in a bag, such as a change of clothes and toiletries. However, if your loved one needs help right away, don’t delay calling 911.

    When your loved one needs medical attention, the emergency care physicians at Good Samaritan Hospital are here to help. Our emergency care services are available to San Jose families on a 24/7 basis. And if you’re unsure of whether you should bring your loved one to the ER at our hospital for a particular health concern, you can call (408) 559-2011 to speak with a registered nurse.