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

Understand the relationship between high blood pressure and stroke

Although stroke is a major cause of death and disability in the U.S., it’s not an inevitable part of growing older. In fact, the majority of all strokes can be prevented with the right medical management and healthy lifestyle choices. You can discuss your risk factors of stroke with a physician at Regional Medical Center of San Jose. As a leading provider of exceptional stroke care in the area, our providers know all too well the irreversible damage stroke can cause. We encourage our neighbors to get proactive about managing risk factors like high blood pressure.

Understanding high blood pressure
Blood pressure is a measurement of the force the blood exerts on the walls of the arteries as it flows through. The next time you see a healthcare provider, ask for your blood pressure numbers, which will be expressed as one number over the other.

The top number is your systolic blood pressure, which is the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats. The bottom number, diastolic blood pressure, reflects the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats when the heart relaxes. A normal blood pressure is anything less than 120 over less than 80.

Knowing the risks of high blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure, your arteries are under excessive stress. The high pressure within the blood vessels gradually damages and weakens them. Hypertension increases the risk of atherosclerosis, which involves the hardening, narrowing and clogging of the arteries.

Consequently, atherosclerosis increases the risk of blood clot formation, which can cause a stroke. People with high blood pressure are also more likely to have atrial fibrillation, a type of heart arrhythmia. Atrial fibrillation causes the heart to have problems pumping out blood, and the resulting accumulation of blood can trigger blood clot formation.

Most cases of stroke occur when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to part of the brain. The brain cells need a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood. Without it, these cells begin dying within a matter of minutes, causing irreversible damage and potentially resulting in death.

Regional Medical Center of San Jose is a certified Comprehensive Stroke Center—a designation that reflects our enduring commitment to superior care, immediate medical interventions, and state-of-the-art medical equipment. Every second matters when a stroke occurs, so please call 911 right away if you think you’re having a stroke. For general questions about our stroke care in San Jose, you can speak with a registered nurse at (888) 762-8881.

What happens if you go into labor prematurely?

Most mothers go into labor between 38 to 42 weeks. When labor occurs between the 20 th and 37 th week of pregnancy, it’s a preterm or premature labor. Preterm labor increases the risk of health problems for the baby. This means the baby will need specialized medical care in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, such as the Level II NICU at Regional Medical Center of San Jose.

Understand the risks of premature delivery
Not all women who go into premature labor will deliver prematurely, since it’s can be possible to stop contractions. And even when a baby is born too soon, he or she might not have serious medical problems. However, expecting mothers may wish to know about the risks to the baby’s health, such as the following:

  • Breathing problems
  • Developmental delay
  • Learning disability
  • Digestive problems
  • Brain/neurological complications

If you’re at a higher risk of premature labor, it’s particularly important to receive prenatal care from an experienced obstetrician who has admitting privileges at an NICU hospital.

Know the warning signs of premature labor
Women who go into premature labor may notice any of the following:

  • Backache
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Abdominal cramps, with or without diarrhea
  • Menstrual-like cramping
  • Fluid leakage from the vagina
  • Uterine contractions

Know what to do when premature contractions start
If you suspect you’re going into preterm labor, call your doctor right away. Your doctor will either instruct you to go to the hospital or to try the following steps:

  • Urinate
  • Lie down on your left side (not on your back)
  • Drink lots of water
  • Keep track of your contractions for an hour

If the symptoms become worse or still linger after an hour, it’s time to go to the hospital. The doctor may give you medications to slow or halt the contractions and prevent premature delivery. Some women are also given corticosteroids, which are drugs that help the baby’s lungs and brain reach maturity faster.

Family Birthing Center at Regional Medical Center of San Jose features a Level II NICU for all of your little miracle’s extra medical needs. Our multilingual obstetrics staff is committed to improving outcomes for preterm births, and each family can expect exceptional amenities and supportive care. Call (888) 762-8881 to request a referral to an obstetrics specialist in our hospital in San Jose.

What is a thyroid storm and why does it require emergency care?

Your thyroid gland is found at the base of the neck. It produces hormones that regulate many of the body’s basic functions, including metabolism and body temperature. Some people have thyroid diseases like hyperthyroidism where the gland produces too much thyroid hormone. If hyperthyroidism isn’t well-controlled it can lead to thyroid storm. This is a life-threatening crisis, but the emergency care team at Regional Medical Center of San Jose is here 24/7 to save lives.

How thyroid storm occurs
A thyroid storm isn’t common. The underlying cause is the failure to treat or failure to adequately control hyperthyroidism.

When the gland produces far too much thyroid hormone, a person may be more likely to develop thyroid storm after experiencing a major source of physical stress, such as the following:

  • Infection
  • Heart attack
  • Major trauma
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Stroke

What thyroid storm feels like
Unfortunately, not all patients suffering from thyroid storm seek emergency care because the signs and symptoms are similar to regular hyperthyroidism. However, the symptoms of a thyroid storm are more severe and sudden. They can include:

  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Diarrhea
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Pounding heartbeat
  • Increased body temperature
  • Changes in mental state

What happens if thyroid storm isn’t treated
The prognosis for untreated thyroid storm is grim. The condition can be fatal as complications develop. These complications can include heart failure, pulmonary edema and irregular heart rhythms.

Emergency care doctors can treat thyroid storm with medications to decrease the amount of thyroid hormone in the body. Supportive therapies may be administered, such as the following:

  • Supplemental oxygen and fluids
  • Cooling blankets
  • Vitamins and glucose
  • Fluid monitoring

After being stabilized, patients may be referred to an endocrinologist. Endocrinologists are specialists in hormones, and they can help people with hyperthyroidism manage the condition appropriately.

At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, you’ll find emergency care physicians and nurses who continually strive for higher standards of healthcare excellence. Our compassionate providers have made it their mission in life to provide life-saving medical interventions when they’re needed most. Call 911 if you need emergency care in San Jose, or call a registered nurse at (888) 762-8881 for general information about our hospital.

Take a look at the dangers of blood clots

The ability of the blood to clot is an essential first step in wound healing. But sometimes, a person’s blood may have an overactive tendency to form clots, and this may become life-threatening. When you watch the accompanying video, you’ll hear an interventional radiologist explain some of the problems that blood clots can cause. He also talks about an innovative treatment option with the advanced medical technology available at Regional Medical Center of San Jose—a widely recognized heart hospital.

Pulmonary embolism
Patients who have a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the leg, have deep vein thrombosis. A blood clot in the vein can break off and travel to the lungs, which obstructs blood flow in this essential part of the body. This medical condition, known as pulmonary embolism, is a potentially fatal event that requires emergency care.

Some patients are at a higher risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, including people affected by the following:

  • Impaired mobility
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Obesity
  • Elevated estrogen
  • Heart or lung disease

To reduce the risk of these medical problems, patients can try the following:

  • Getting up and walking around every hour or two
  • Contracting the leg muscles frequently while sitting
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

Heart attack
Blood clots that originally formed in the deep veins do not cause heart attacks, but clots that formed in the arteries can. This is called arterial thrombosis. This type of clot may travel to a blood vessel near the heart, interfering with blood flow there.

Call 911 right away if you or someone else has any signs of a possible heart attack, such as the following:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Pain that extends to the jaw, shoulders, back, arm or upper abdomen
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath

Most cases of stroke are ischemic, which means they are caused by a blood clot that deprives a region of the brain of oxygenated blood. Like the blood clots that cause heart attacks, these clots form in an artery. Emergency care is essential when the symptoms of a stroke develop.

  • One-sided muscle weakness, numbness or paralysis
  • Drooping of one side of a smile
  • Excruciating headache
  • Trouble walking
  • Problems speaking or understanding speech

The emergency care and cardiovascular services available at Regional Medical Center of San Jose are second to none. The entire team at our heart hospital in San Jose is focused on healthcare excellence through our patient-centered approach and sophisticated medical technology. Call 911 for medical emergencies, or call a registered nurse at (888) 762-8881 for general information.

When are toys potentially dangerous?

Parents often assume that if a toy is sold in the U.S., it has automatically met certain safety standards. But unfortunately, emergency care physicians across the U.S. treat about a quarter of a million kids for toy-related injuries in an average year. The emergency care team at Regional Medical Center of San Jose urges parents in our community to evaluate every toy for potential safety hazards before letting their little ones play.

When the toy isn’t recommended for a child’s age
Always check the packaging for the recommended age range. If your child is too young for a particular toy, you should keep it out of reach for the time being.

This can be tricky in households with children of different ages. If an older child has toys that a younger sibling shouldn’t play with, these toys should be restricted to one room in the home. The older child can store them on a shelf that the younger sibling can’t reach.

When they have sharp points or edges
Emergency care physicians see toy-related eye injuries all too often. Never let a young child play with a toy that has a sharp or rigid point. Additionally, make sure the toy won’t easily break into small or sharp components.

When they feature projectiles
Other types of toys that can cause eye injuries and vision loss include any that shoot projectiles. Keep your child out of emergency care by preventing him or her from playing with any of the following toys:

  • Slingshots
  • Darts
  • Bow and arrows
  • Toy guns

When toys present a risk of choking
Use the toilet tube test to find out if a toy has parts that are small enough to present a choking hazard. If any part of the toy can fit through a toilet paper tube, it’s too small for a young child. Additionally, consider whether any part of the toy could break off and then cause a choking incident.

It’s distressing to see a child in pain, which is why the healthcare providers at Regional Medical Center of San Jose work tirelessly to keep our ER wait times consistently below the national average. Please call 911 right away if your child has sustained a severe injury. For general information about our medical specialties available in San Jose, call our nurse referral line at (888) 762-8881.

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