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    Knowing the Red Flags for Heart Health

    Last updated 9 hours ago

    When it comes to your heart health, there is a lot to know about what’s normal and what deserves medical attention. There are a number of conditions that may affect your heart, and these can present themselves with a wide range of symptoms. You may be aware of the obvious signs like chest pain and high blood pressure, but you should also remain alert to some other warning signs that aren’t so clearly associated with heart health. Here’s a look at a few of the red flags that you may not be familiar with so that you know how to respond.

    Chronic cough

    Coughing and wheezing is not always caused by respiratory trouble. A persistent cough can be traced back to heart failure, which can lead to the accumulation of fluid in the lungs. Bloody phlegm can appear while coughing, and it should be met with emergency medical treatment.

    Irregular pulse

    The occasional pulse irregularity is nothing to worry about, but frequent skipped beats or rapid pulse while resting could point to serious problems such as heart attack or arrhythmia. Your doctor will likely pick up on pulse irregularities during a regular checkup, but you shouldn’t hesitate to mention any abnormalities you notice on your own.

    Difficulty exercising

    Feeling lightheaded or extremely winded at the gym may be more than simply being out of shape. If exercise brings shortness of breath or a sensation that you are going to collapse at any moment, your heart may not be able to handle the level of activity you are trying to perform. Always make sure to monitor your heart rate while exercising and know what is normal when it comes to exhaustion following physical activity.

    Unexplained fatigue

    For women especially, sudden fatigue is a characteristic marker of a heart attack. There may be other causes for sudden fatigue, but it is worth heading to the ER when you feel nausea or dizziness accompanying this sensation.

    When was the last time you had heart health screenings to ensure that your ticker is in good shape? Good Samaritan Hospital can offer the cardiac screening and diagnostic tools you need to prevent major cardiac episodes and keep your health on track. To find a physician at our San Jose hospital, visit our website or call us at (888) 724-2362. 

    When Should You Have Your First Mammogram?

    Last updated 4 days ago

    Mammograms have proven to be the most effective measure for breast cancer screening to facilitate early-stage diagnoses and reduce the number of breast cancer related deaths that occur each year. However, mammograms are not a perfect screening tool, as they do have some drawbacks such as the chance of false positives or exposure to low levels of radiation. Because of these limitations, there is some debate about when to start getting mammograms and how often to have this screening. Below you will get a closer look at the guidelines to help you make the most informed decision about your own health in the future.

    Standard age guidelines

    While some organizations promote starting mammograms at the age of 50, the American Cancer Society reports that beginning these screenings at age 40 has the most substantial benefits for women. There is no upper age limit to mammogram screening, so testing should continue for healthy women throughout their adult lives. You should discuss the benefits and limitations of mammogram screening with your doctor personally, but having the first mammogram at 40 is a good guideline to stick with for most women. 

    Health concerns

    Women who have a higher lifetime risk based on assessment tools that explore family history and gene mutation may need more than just an annual mammogram to fully assess their risk. Women with a known BCRA1 or BCRA2 gene mutation or have had radiation therapy to the chest early in life may need to have MRIs in addition to mammograms to ensure that nothing is missed during annual screenings. There may be additional testing needed for women who have had abnormal results from clinical breast exams, which should begin for women in their 20s.

    If you are ready to schedule your first mammogram or you have questions about your breast health, call Good Samaritan Hospital’s Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (888) 724-2362. Our state-of-the-art breast care center offers all of the services needed to prevent, detect, and treat breast cancer in the skilled hands of a multidisciplinary team of specialists. 

    Celebrate Children's Health Month with These Illness and Injury Prevention Tips

    Last updated 6 days ago

    If you are a parent, your child’s health is probably always a priority, but you might use Children’s Health Month this October to serve as a reminder of the important steps in preventing avoidable trips to the ER. Here are some essential preventative tips to remember in your household to keep your child safe and sound:

    Always supervise children at play

    Getting active and playing outside is highly beneficial for kids, though they should not be left alone to play. When your kids are at the park or in the backyard, make sure that they are always under your watch or the watch of another parent or babysitter. Unsupervised play can lead to some bold decisions like jumping from excessive heights or roughhousing that could result in serious injuries.

    Encourage frequent hand washing

    Seasonal illnesses like the cold and flu are hard to avoid—especially in the classroom. However, the germs that cause these illnesses can be stopped with the right hand washing habits. It takes about 20 seconds of scrubbing with soap to kill potentially harmful germs and bacteria, so you might use a song or rhyme that passes the time and makes hand washing a little more fun for your child.

    Keep medicines and household cleaners out of reach

    Accidental ingestion of medicine and household chemicals accounts for a staggering number of ER visits among children each year. To a child, brightly colored cleaning solutions or pills that highly resemble candy may be tantalizing prospects when parents aren’t watching. This means that you should keep all of these products locked away safely so they are out of the reach of curious hands.

    When your child does need emergency medical care in San Jose, Good Samaritan is there for you with our special ER just for kids. See why we have been ranked as a Family Favorite Hospital in the Bay Area Parent Hall of Fame by visiting our website or calling us at (888) 724-2362. 

    Which Vaccinations Does Your Baby Need to Stay Healthy?

    Last updated 20 days ago

    Introducing your baby to the world is exciting, but when you take your baby out into the world, you’re also introducing them to germs and diseases. The best way to protect your baby isn’t to keep them at home; it’s to get them vaccinated on schedule.

    Watch this video to learn the importance of vaccination for your baby. By the time he or she is two, your child’s pediatrician will have administered vaccines that protect your child from 14 communicable diseases. Keeping up with the vaccination schedule prescribed by your pediatrician is essential, because diseases that are risky for adults are even more dangerous for babies.

    Do you have questions about your baby’s vaccination schedule? Call the Consult-A-Nurse line at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose. Our nurses can answer your questions and refer to you to a pediatrician. Get more information about our hospital, including maternity care by calling (888) 724-2362.  

    Don't Let Food Poisoning Make an Appearance at Your Fall Tailgates

    Last updated 25 days ago

    Football tailgate parties are one of the best parts of fall, but ignoring food safety can put you out of the game fast. With the right preparation, it’s easy to make sure that your tailgating party isn’t a recipe for disaster. Watch this video to learn more.

    One of the most important rules to keep in mind at your tailgating party is to keep foods separated. Don’t use the same plates or cutting surfaces for raw and cooked meats, and make sure veggies get their own plates. Use a food thermometer to make sure meats are cooked to safe temperatures before serving.

    When food poisoning does strike, emergency care is available at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose. For more health advice, call our hospital at (888) 724-2362 to talk to one of nurses or to ask for a physician referral. 

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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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