Regional Medical Center of San Jose
Regional Medical Center of San Jose offers world-class healthcare to residents throughout the greater San Jose community.

Assessing the safety of clinical trials

Clinical trials play a central role in the development of lifesaving treatments and medications. To achieve these treatment goals, it is necessary to have patients volunteer to participate in the trials. If your physician has recommended that you consider participating in a clinical trial, you may be concerned about safety. Here is what you need to know about the safety of clinical trial participation.

What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a closely monitored, scientific study used to determine the efficacy of a new treatment. During a trial, participants are divided into two groups: one group that receives the new treatment and one that does not. Their responses are carefully tracked throughout the trial to determine if the treatment is more effective than those that are currently being used.

Clinical trials are an important part of the process of introducing a new drug or treatment technology to the market. As such, they are crucial for advancing and improving patient treatment outcomes for a wide variety of conditions.

How is safety monitored?
When a clinical trial involving patients is introduced, a lengthy period of safety testing has already been conducted. Clinical trials are never performed to see if a new drug or treatment is safe. Drugs and treatments that are dangerous to people don’t reach the stage of development at which a clinical trial is necessary.

As explained in the video, people involved in clinical trials are very closely monitored throughout the experience. In fact, during a clinical trial, patients tend to receive more medical care and evaluation than normal.

Will I get sicker during a clinical trial?
Patients who have a chronic medical condition that requires medical treatment, such as cancer or diabetes, are never without the medications or treatments they need during a clinical trial. Placebos are only used in clinical trials in cases in which not receiving a medication will not harm the patient’s health.

Your physician at Regional Medical Center of San Jose will be happy to explain the benefits and risks of clinical trials if you are considering participating in one. Learn more about the clinical studies performed at hospital in San Jose by calling at (888) 762-8881.

Do you recognize the signs of an eating disorder?

There are several types of eating disorders, and each can show different signs that indicate that an individual needs help. One thing all eating disorders have in common, however, is the danger of health problems ranging from gum disease to heart failure. That’s why it’s essential to recognize the signs in friends and loved ones and seek help through your trusted community hospital, Regional Medical Center of San Jose. We can assist you in exploring the best avenues of treatment for your loved one when you recognize the following warning signs.

Following a highly restrictive diet
Someone with an eating disorder may follow a very restrictive diet, avoiding whole food groups or sticking to a strict calorie count. In addition, the individual may have many rules about how he or she eats—no foods may be touching on a plate, for example, or there must be certain types of condiments present with every meal. People of all body types and backgrounds may develop eating disorders, so do not assume that being in a normal weight range disqualifies someone from having an eating disorder.

It’s also common for a person with an eating disorder to want to eat in private or have anxiety about attending public events where food is served.

Frequent health problems
It does not take long for an eating disorder to manifest health problems, because the body may be deprived of the nutrients it needs to function properly. You may notice the person getting sick more frequently, always appearing tired, fainting or feeling dizzy, or being much more frail and weak.

Defensive attitude toward comments about eating habits or appearance
You may notice that it’s difficult to broach a conversation about dieting or health with the individual. The person may be defensive when you ask if he or she has lost weight, or he or she might be hesitant to talk about dietary habits or personal health.

When you are in need of compassionate, reliable medical care in San Jose , you can count on Regional Medical Center of San Jose to provide the services you need from emergency care to behavioral health screenings. To connect with a member of our nursing staff for your questions and concerns, call (888) 762-8881 .

Separating myths from facts on sexual health

It may not always be comfortable to talk about sex, but having an open, honest discussion with your partner—and discussing your sexual health with your physician—is the best way to cultivate an honest, fulfilling intimate relationship while protecting your health. Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions when it comes to sexual health, even among educated adults. These mistruths can be harmful to your health, so continue reading for a look at some of the most common.

Myth: It’s obvious when someone has an STI
Though sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be serious health conditions, their symptoms aren’t always obvious. The only way to know for sure if you or someone else has an STI is to get tested. If someone says that they know they do not have any STIs or STDs, ask when the last time they got tested was. Some infections can take months to show up on screening tests, and others may have a delayed onset of any noticeable symptoms.

It’s also important to recognize that using a condom is not a fool-proof way of preventing the spread of STIs and STDs. Some infections are spread by skin to skin contact in the genital area, and some are spread when condoms are not used correctly—in combination with an oil-based lubricant, for example.

Myth: You can’t get pregnant while you’re on your period
Pregnancy can occur during any time in a woman’s menstrual cycle. Though it is most likely to occur when she’s ovulating, a woman can get pregnant at any time, even when she’s on her period.

Myth: Senior citizens don’t get STDs
It’s not just young people who must worry about sexual health and safety. Senior citizens can also contract STDs, and they in fact have a higher risk in some cases, because many older adults do not realize they need to get tested.

When you need to get the answers to essential questions about your health or schedule the preventive exams and screenings that will keep you safe, call (888) 762-8881 to reach Regional Medical Center of San Jose. One of our registered nurses will be available to take your call 24/7, so don’t hesitate to reach out when you need us most. In the event of an emergency, however, call 911 or head to our San Jose emergency room right away.

Types of heart rhythm problems and their treatment

Your heart is an involuntary muscle, which means it is always contracting and relaxing without you thinking about it. The rhythm of your heart is caused by electrical activity, and should be steady and even despite your heart’s pace changing from activity or inactivity. As this video explains, there are many different types of heart rhythm problems, or arrhythmias, that may throw off your heart’s natural rhythm and present more significant health problems later, such as stroke or heart failure.

Dr. Chow explains in the video that there are many different arrhythmias that exist and the important of narrowing down a patient’s diagnosis to select the right course of treatment and resolve symptoms—as well as mitigate future health risks. Here you can learn about some of the more common arrhythmias and get an idea of what treatments are used to correct them at Regional Medical Center of San Jose.

Atrial fibrillation (aFib)
Perhaps the most common type of arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that originates in the atria, or upper chambers of the heart .

Atrial flutter
Atrial flutter also originates in the atria, but it has a much different pattern. Where the heartbeat is highly irregular with aFib, it is steadier with atrial flutter, though there is a faster rate and the occasional added or skipped beat.

Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT)
PSVT is another type of arrhythmia in which the heart beats too fast, but this condition originates in the ventricles, or lower chambers of the heart.

Treatment options
There are certain conditions that can cause arrhythmias, so it’s important to work with your cardiologist for an accurate and thorough diagnosis. Once any underlying conditions are managed, your doctor may recommend drug therapy with prescription drugs to regulate the heartbeat. Should this conservative approach fail, you might consider electrical cardioversion—a treatment in which an electrical shock is sent to the heart to restart its normal rhythm—a pacemaker, or another type of implantable device designed to regulate the heartbeat through electrical stimulation.

For exceptional cardiovascular care in your neighborhood, connect with Regional Medical Center of San Jose. Our accredited Chest Pain Center and cardiovascular surgery services are regionally recognized, and we remain invested in the most advanced treatment options to ensure your heart health. To learn more about us or request a physician referral, call (888) 762-8881.

Is it safe to drive yourself to the ER?

One of the most important steps in dealing with a medical emergency is recognizing that an emergency is taking place. In some cases, it’s clear when to call 911, such as after a serious car accident or when someone is showing the symptoms of a stroke. Other times, you may recognize that you or someone else needs to see a doctor right away, but you might think that it’s better to drive to the hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

In general, it is better to go on the side of caution and call 911 even if you think it is safe to drive to the ER. As Dr. Justin Wang from Regional Medical Center explains in this video, you may not drive as carefully as you should, because you are trying to get to the hospital quickly or are driving recklessly due to the urgency of the situation. In addition, your symptoms may worsen when you are on the way to the hospital, putting you at risk for an accident.

When you should call 911
If someone is facing a life-threatening emergency, such as a heart attack or traumatic injury, you should absolutely call 911. When an ambulance arrives on the scene, lifesaving interventions can begin to take place immediately. In addition, EMS services can connect with local hospitals to help their emergency rooms prepare for a patient’s arrival and see to it that a doctor or surgeon is ready to tend to the individual upon arrival.

Why it may be better to call an ambulance
Along with life-saving interventions that can be offered by EMTs in the ambulance, you can access more appropriate care by calling 911. Dr. Wang provides the example of a stroke patient being taken to a regional stroke center that may be just a little further away than the closest hospital.

When you need emergency care, never hesitate to call 911 to be taken to Regional Medical Center of San Jose. For non-emergent medical inquiries, stay in touch with us by calling (888) 762-8881.

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