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

Stroke
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.


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.


Don't let your holidays end in stitches

No one expects holiday fun to end in a visit to emergency care, but holiday-related accidents are surprisingly common. Some of those accidents can result in minor to major lacerations and puncture wounds. At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, our emergency care specialists are available every day of the year, even on holidays, because we’re committed to protecting the lives of our neighbors. If you have a laceration that fits any of the criteria outlined in the accompanying video, you may need to visit our ER for stitches.

Wear shoes indoors
Foot lacerations can occur when someone steps on a breakable or sharp ornament. If your holiday festivities will include an indoor tree, take care to wear shoes indoors at all times.

Wearing shoes is particularly important for people with diabetes. Diabetes can result in nerve damage, which inhibits a person’s ability to perceive an injury. This chronic disease also inhibits blood circulation, which can lead to delayed wound healing.

Exercise caution on the roadways
Millions of people travel for the holidays. Regardless of how far you have to travel, be careful behind the wheel. The extra traffic—and the stress of getting to a relative’s house on time—increase the risk of accidents.

Being a defensive driver is a good idea throughout the holiday season, not just on the day itself. Holiday shoppers are often stressed about getting everything on their to-do list done, and this can lead them to drive more recklessly. Keep a close eye on the traffic patterns on all sides of your own vehicle.

Know how to carve a turkey safely
Turkey carving injuries are more common than you might think. A carving-related accident often involves severe hand and finger injuries, and these may require specialized emergency care. Protect your hands with these safe knife handling tips:

  • Sharpen the carving knife beforehand

  • Use an electric knife, if available

  • Cut away from your body and hands

  • Avoid placing a hand underneath the blade to catch the turkey slice

  • Ensure that your knife handle is dry

Regional Medical Center of San Jose is here to help around the clock because the health and safety of our patients are our top priorities. Our emergency care physicians and nurses offer rapid pain management and comprehensive wound treatment. If you have a non-emergent medical need and would like to request a physician referral, you can call a registered nurse in San Jose at (888) 762-8881.


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