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

Medical misconceptions: "Dry drowning"

Patients in the digital era have greater access than ever to health information online, but unfortunately, it isn’t always accurate, and misinformation can be harmful. One example is so-called dry drowning, sometimes called secondary drowning. These terms are inaccurate, and they aren’t used by trained, licensed healthcare providers. Drowning, on the other hand, is quite real, and the emergency care physicians at Regional Medical Center of San Jose are available around the clock to aid drowning victims.

The definition of drowning
The definition of drowning is often misunderstood. The statement, “Carlos drowned yesterday,” does not necessarily mean that Carlos actually died. Rather, he suffered acute respiratory impairment caused by submersion in liquid.

But because the word “drowning” is so strongly associated with death, the term “near drowning” is often used to indicate that the victim lived.

The myth about “dry drowning”
It’s thought that “dry drowning” is a medical emergency that occurs after a child has been swimming. Some people claim that a child can drown up to a week or so after swimming. Thankfully, this isn’t true.

The well-respected, credible World Health Organization and many others, such as the Red Cross, have agreed that the terms dry, wet, passive, active, silent and secondary drowning should no longer be used. A drowning is simply referred to as a drowning.

The actual risks of swimming
Although dry drowning is a myth, swimming does carry inherent risks. It is possible for a person to inhale water into the lungs. Later, an infection like pneumonia can develop.

It’s also possible to develop pulmonary edema, which can be caused by inhaling water. Pulmonary edema causes difficulty breathing, and it requires emergency care.

When a person is still in the water, there is always a possibility of a drowning. Contrary to common belief, drownings aren’t always easy to identify. Victims usually don’t splash around and make a lot of noise, and it’s entirely possible to be standing right next to the pool and not notice a drowning occurring.

This is why it’s crucial for children to be actively supervised at all times near pools, hot tubs and natural bodies of water.

A 911 operator can provide immediate assistance in the event you experience a medical emergency in the San Jose area. The emergency care team at Regional Medical Center of San Jose coordinates closely with EMS responders to provide rapid interventions to patients with life-threatening conditions. A registered nurse, available at (888) 762-8881, is available to take your non-emergent questions about our hospital services.

Balance breastfeeding and going back to work

Breastfeeding moms face many challenges—from leaky nipples to difficulty latching. One of the most difficult aspects of breastfeeding is getting back to work after maternity leave is over. At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, we have a longstanding tradition of empowering new mothers to successfully nurse their babies. We work closely with our patients to help them find the right solutions that fit their lifestyles.

Talk to your employer about your needs
California law protects the rights of nursing mothers in the workplace. Every employer in the state is required to provide adequate facilities for breastfeeding. The law does not consider a toilet stall to be an adequate facility.

Additionally, nursing mothers are allowed appropriate break times to express breast milk. It is not lawful to engage in discriminatory acts in the workplace on the basis of lactation.

Once you’re familiar with your legal rights, approach your employer before your maternity leave expires—or, preferably, before it’s time to go on maternity leave. Discuss your needs and brainstorm solutions together, such as the possibility of flex time or split shifts.

Get familiar with your breast pump
Nursing your baby will become second nature during your maternity leave, but you should also become familiar with the use of a breast pump and the safe storage of milk. Once you’re accustomed to pumping, it should only take about 10 to 15 minutes each time.

Maintain strong breast milk production
Plan to pump at work as often as you would normally nurse your baby. You’ll need stored breast milk that your baby’s caregivers will feed to him or her while you’re at work. Plus, pumping frequently helps maintain a good supply, as does nursing your baby as much as possible when you aren’t working.

Remember to drink lots of fluids and eat nourishing meals. Breast milk production requires a lot of calories.

Family Birthing Center at Regional Medical Center of San Jose encourages couplet care for successful breastfeeding. Our maternity hospital is pleased to offer superior breastfeeding support, including breastfeeding classes in both English and Spanish, and a breast pump loan program for parents of neonatal intensive care patients. Call a registered nurse in San Jose at (888) 762-8881.

Do you need surgery for osteoarthritis?

Pain, swelling and limited range of motion of the joints are all hallmark signs of osteoarthritis. If you’ve been diagnosed with it, your doctor will likely discuss nonsurgical treatment options first. Surgery may become an appropriate option when conservative treatments aren’t working well enough. At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, our orthopedic surgeons take the time to get to know each of our patients, since providing personalized, superior care is important to us.

Deciding whether to have surgery for osteoarthritis
Surgery is a major event, and the decision to have it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your orthopedic surgeon will thoroughly review your medical information, examine you and analyze medical images to make sure you’re a good candidate for surgery. If you’re a good candidate for surgery, this means that the procedure is likely to be effective for you, and that it isn’t likely to cause serious health problems.

Learning more about osteoarthritis surgery
Before making your decision, learn as much as you can about the surgery. Watch this featured video to hear from an orthopedic surgeon at Regional Medical Center of San Jose. He explains the basics of joint replacement, and how it can relieve joint pain.

Joint replacement is a commonly performed surgery for patients with osteoarthritis. Typically, surgeons replace a knee or hip joint. These joints are more likely to be affected by osteoarthritis, as they are weight-bearing joints.

Preparing for surgery for osteoarthritis
If you do decide to have the surgery, your doctor will give you all the information you need to prepare for it. Since joint replacement can require a lengthy recovery period, you may need to make some simple modifications to your home.

You’ll also need someone to be available to assist you during your recovery. If no one is available, you can make arrangements to stay in a long-term care facility until you’ve healed enough to get around by yourself.

Regional Medical Center of San Jose operates a state-of-the-art orthopedics program that is designed to improve quality of life for our neighbors in San Jose. Our multidisciplinary team of specialists treats osteoarthritis patients frequently, which gives us a keen understanding of their unique needs. Call (888) 762-8881 to request a referral.

When is a cut bad enough to need stitches?

Lacerations, or cuts, happen every day, and they’re usually not severe enough to require emergency care. But since it’s possible for anyone to unexpectedly sustain a significant injury, it’s important to know what to do and where to go. The emergency care physicians and nurses at Regional Medical Center of San Jose have made it their life’s work to provide compassionate medical care to our neighbors.

When the wound won’t stop bleeding
All bleeding wounds should be covered with a clean bandage or cloth. Apply direct pressure to the cloth, and elevate the injured body part above the level of the heart to help the bleeding stop. If you would describe the bleeding as “profuse” or “gushing,” then get medical help right away.

Otherwise, continue to apply direct pressure. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after about 10 minutes, it’s time to seek emergency care.

If the laceration is very deep
Some cuts are so deep that they damage the underlying tissues, including muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. It’s possible for severe lacerations to involve a bone. Go to the ER if you suspect that any underlying tissues might be injured.

If you have injuries in addition to the laceration
Lacerations don’t always happen by themselves. When you watch the accompanying video, you’ll hear an emergency medicine physician at Regional Medical Center of San Jose explain why you should go to the ER after a major incident like a car accident. It’s possible to have internal trauma in addition to the laceration.

When there’s a risk of infection
Any wound has the potential to get infected, but some are more high risk than others. A doctor should examine your injury if it’s a dog bite, or if it was caused by a dirty or rusty object.

Responsive, patient-centered emergency care is available 24/7 at Regional Medical Center of San Jose . We understand how distressing a severely bleeding wound can be, and we’ll make every effort to relieve your pain as quickly as possible. Call 911 if you have a true medical emergency, such as a heart attack, or call (888) 762-8881 for general questions about our medical services in San Jose.

Dispelling myths about cancer

Part of the reason why there are so many misconceptions about cancer is perhaps that the disease is so intensely feared. It’s understandable for a person to resort to non-evidence-based options when his or her life is on the line. But unfortunately, believing in cancer-related myths can cause far more harm than good.

A cancer patient’s best source of reliable, evidence-based medical information is the oncology team. Regional Medical Center of San Jose brings together highly skilled cancer care professionals who work together for the best possible outcome for our patients.

Myth: Starving cancer can kill it
When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear a doctor at Regional Medical Center of San Jose discuss a couple of the cancer-related myths she encounters. One of the most harmful is the myth that starving oneself can weaken and kill cancer cells.

This simply doesn’t work. It only weakens the patient, and makes him or her less capable of tolerating cancer treatments like chemotherapy.

Myth: Staying positive will improve the odds of surviving cancer
Cancer patients often hear well-intentioned individuals instructing them to stay positive because it improves the chances of beating the disease. There is no clinical evidence that suggests this could be true.

That being said, other benefits can be derived from embracing a positive attitude. Cancer patients who actively cultivate positivity may be more resilient to the emotional consequences of their diagnosis. A positive attitude can also encourage cancer patients to make healthy decisions regarding their diet, activity level and treatment compliance.

Myth: Undergoing a biopsy can cause cancer to spread
A biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure in which a very small sample of cells is extracted for examination in a lab. Some people think that undergoing a biopsy or an interventional surgery for cancer might cause the abnormal cells to spread. This is extremely unlikely.

Doctors who must perform biopsies or surgeries on more than one area of the body use different medical instruments for each site. This eliminates the possibility that cancerous cells could hitch a ride on a surgical tool and be deposited in another part of the body.

Cancer Care at Regional Medical Center of San Jose is a carefully designed program that provides positive, encouraging support to patients and their families. We believe that our neighbors in San Jose deserve superior, personalized care when it’s necessary to fight cancer. You can request a referral to our Cancer Care team by calling (888) 762-8881.

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