Regional Medical Center of San Jose
Regional Medical Center of San Jose offers world-class healthcare to residents throughout the greater San Jose community.
408.259.5000

Protect yourself from summer stings on your Labor Day beach trip

If you’re among the many people who plan to celebrate Labor Day with a trip to the beach, the last thing you want to do is end up at the hospital in need of emergency care for a wound from an insect sting. Make you sure you get to enjoy your Labor Day on the sand with this advice.

Stinging insects
A bee or wasp sting can derail your day quickly and could even lead to a medical emergency if you are allergic to the venom. Although these insects are not as common on the beach as some places, they can be around, and it makes sense to take some precautions, such as these steps:

  • Avoid perfumed suntan lotions.
  • Keep foods and drinks covered.
  • Be careful where you walk, to avoid stepping on a stinging insect.
  • Don’t swing your arms if you see an insect. Move away slowly instead.

After a sting, carefully remove the stinger and wash the site. If you experience signs of an allergic reaction, seek emergency care.

Jellyfish
Jellyfish can cause painful stings, but fortunately, they are easy to prevent. Avoid jellyfish on the beach with this advice:

  • Stay out of the water if you see jellyfish.
  • Don’t touch any jellyfish you see on the shore.
  • Follow the recommendations of local officials if jellyfish are active in your area.
  • Wear a wet suit if you’re getting into water where jellyfish have been seen.

If you are stung, remove any tentacles and stingers left behind. Never rinse with water, which can activate the stingers again.

Stingrays
Stingrays are hard to spot in the water since they love to hide under the sand on the ocean floor. These stings are painful, but you can often avoid them by:

  • Shuffling your feet as you walk in the ocean so they get out of your way.
  • Being more aware of stingrays between 11 AM and 3 PM, when they come closer to shore.

If a stingray’s barb is left at the site of the sting, don’t remove it and go to the ER instead.

The emergency room at Regional Medical Center of San Jose is here 24 hours a day so that injuries and illnesses don’t leave you sidelined. Visit our ER in San Jose when you need emergency care, or dial (888) 762-8881 for more information.


Why are UV rays harmful?

Cancer is an infinitely complex disease, and there’s a great deal that still needs to be learned about it. One thing doctors do know with certainty is that ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause skin cancer. As doctors who live and work in the same communities as our patients, the Cancer Care team at Regional Medical Center of San Jose is committed to raising awareness about the deadly effects of unprotected sun exposure. It is possible to reduce the risk of certain cancers, including skin cancer.

UV radiation can lead to skin cancer
Melanocytes are the cells in the epidermis that produce melanin, which is a pigment. In some people, melanocytes produce more melanin than in other people.

Melanin production increases with sun exposure, which is a natural defense against damage from the sun. An increase in melanin production is also what causes people to tan. However, sometimes melanin production can’t keep up with the exposure to sunlight, and sunburn results instead.

Sunburn is an indicator that the skin cells have sustained damage to their DNA. Once this happens, it’s possible for the cells to pass on the damaged DNA to the next generation of skin cells. The cells with mutated DNA can replicate in an uncontrolled manner, which causes a cancerous growth to form.

UV radiation can kill skin cells
Of course, not all skin cells damaged by UV rays will form a cancerous tumor. Researchers have found that if the damage to the DNA of a cell is too widespread to be repaired, the cell will kill itself. This sounds alarming, but it’s actually beneficial because it stops the cell from passing along the mutations that can cause cancer to thrive.

Excessive UV exposure is preventable
UV exposure can inflict harm regardless of whether it’s hot or cold, sunny or cloudy. It can even pass through window glass and harm people who are indoors. The most effective protection against the harmful effects of UV radiation is to minimize exposure to it.

Staying indoors when the sun is strongest, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and applying sunscreen every two hours can help families stay protected from skin cancer.

Patients who have concerns about their risk of cancer can find the compassionate guidance they need at Regional Medical Center of San Jose. Our providers are committed to healthcare excellence because our San Jose community matters to us. Call a registered nurse at (888) 762-8881.


Is it safe to get vaccinated during pregnancy?

During your first prenatal care appointment, your doctor will discuss plenty of health issues you should know about, including vaccinations to receive during pregnancy. If you’ve ever switched doctors, you should bring your immunization record with you. The maternity specialists at Regional Medical Center of San Jose understand it can be overwhelming to keep track of so many health issues during pregnancy. We’re here for you. Let us know about the challenges you’re facing, and we’ll find workable solutions together.

Getting vaccinated before pregnancy
Vaccinations are an important consideration while planning a healthy pregnancy. If you’re unsure of whether you’ve had the MMR vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella, consider scheduling a preconception check-up. Rubella is particularly dangerous during pregnancy, as it can cause miscarriage and birth defects.

Your doctor can do a simple blood test to check whether you’re immune to rubella. If not, you should have the MMR shot at least one month before getting pregnant. Unlike most vaccines, it isn’t safe to get the MMR shot while you’re with child.

Getting vaccinated during pregnancy
Certain vaccines are essential for a healthy pregnancy, including the Tdap shot. This protects you and your baby from tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends that women get the Tdap shot during each of their pregnancies. It’s best given during early part of the third trimester, as this passes on some immunity to the baby. In newborns, whooping cough can be life-threatening.

Another crucial vaccine is the annual flu shot. You could get this vaccine before becoming pregnant if you’re trying to conceive during flu season. Since expecting mothers are at a higher risk of flu complications, getting the flu shot can help lower the risk of preterm birth, stillbirth and infant mortality.

Pre-register to deliver at Regional Medical Center of San Jose and gain access to our free prenatal classes. We offer childbirth classes in English and Vietnamese, child care classes in English and breastfeeding classes in English and Spanish. Call (888) 762-8881 for a physician referral and find out for yourself why our patients in San Jose love our family-centered care.


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.


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