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

Why carving pumpkins is dangerous work

Whether it’s a couple of holes for eyes and a toothy grin, or an intricately carved Van Gogh replica, the fine art of pumpkin carving is a fun tradition for adults and kids alike. It’s also the reason why hand surgeons are busier during October and early November. A better awareness of the health hazards of pumpkin carving can help keep your family out of the ER at Regional Medical Center of San Jose. If someone does need emergency care for a hand injury, we have specialists available 24/7.

Types of pumpkin carving injuries
Most wounds caused by pumpkin carving are shallow and aren’t serious, as long as precautions are taken to prevent infection. More serious injuries can lead to lasting impairment, especially if a tendon or nerve is severed.

Some patients may need to undergo delicate hand surgery to reattach a severed tendon. The site will then heal over the next few months, and patients can expect to require physical therapy.

Causes of pumpkin carving injuries
Using the wrong tools to carve a pumpkin is one of the most common mistakes that lands people in emergency care. Very sharp kitchen knives and power tools should be avoided.

When a knife is very sharp, it easily gets stuck in the pumpkin’s tough rind. This can lead to severe lacerations as the carver attempts to push or pull the knife to dislodge it.

Knives that are too long can also contribute to hand injuries. If the pumpkin is small enough and the carver holds the back of the pumpkin, the knife can penetrate through the other side of the rind and into the hand.

Tips for avoiding pumpkin carving injuries
The number one rule to remember is to never let kids handle sharp objects. Instead, young kids can have fun painting pumpkins, or drawing faces for adults to cut out.

Use the tiny, serrated saw that comes with pumpkin carving kits. It handles intricate details better than kitchen knives, and it’s less likely to get stuck in the rind. Even if this small blade does cause an injury, it’s usually not sharp enough to inflict severe damage.

Here at Regional Medical Center of San Jose, we put our patients first because the health of our neighbors is important to us. If you or a loved one needs emergency care in San Jose, a 911 dispatcher is always available to help. Non-emergent questions about our Wound Care Center and Trauma Center may be directed to (888) 762-8881.

Celebrate Healthcare Quality Week with Regional Medical Center

At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, an enduring commitment to healthcare excellence is a defining characteristic of our mission. We are an HCA-affiliated hospital, which means we continually invest in our people and our technology in order to deliver the best possible care to our neighbors throughout San Jose. And from October 15 through 21, we’re celebrating our staffers who make that possible with Healthcare Quality Week.

About Healthcare Quality Week
The National Association for Healthcare Quality has designated the third week in October as Healthcare Quality Week. Its purpose is to recognize the important work these professionals do on behalf of patients throughout the country—work that often goes unrecognized due to the behind-the-scenes nature of the job.

Healthcare Quality Week also serves to raise awareness among these professionals about the continuing education options available to them. The gold standard of professional achievement in this field is the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality designation, which is the only accredited credential for this profession.

About healthcare quality professionals
Patients are generally well-informed about the roles of various medical specialists, such as cardiologists and emergency care doctors. But many of them aren’t familiar with the ways in which healthcare quality professionals work to improve the patient experience. The main goals of these individuals are:

  • To improve patient outcomes
  • To improve patient safety
  • To enhance the delivery of care

Healthcare quality management is a dynamic, evolving field that is necessary for all sorts of medical settings. Different hospitals and patient populations have varying challenges and needs, and healthcare quality professionals must be able to quickly adapt to a rapidly changing medical landscape. During any given day, one of these professionals might work on:

  • Connecting staff to advanced credentialing and certification opportunities
  • Evaluating patient satisfaction
  • Identifying and implementing ways of improving the patient experience
  • Improving the efficiency and rapid delivery of care in the ER
  • Advocating for investments in emerging medical technology

In all that they do, healthcare quality professionals are focused on putting patients first.

For comprehensive and compassionate care throughout all of life’s stages, your family can trust Regional Medical Center of San Jose. Our highly trained providers deliver personalized medical services because we genuinely believe in a collaborative doctor/patient relationship. A friendly member of our nursing staff is here to help at (888) 762-8881.

What types of tests screen for ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer is notoriously difficult to diagnose in early stages, because it frequently doesn’t cause any symptoms and isn’t screened for during a Pap smear. For this reason, it has the highest death rates of cancers of the reproductive organs in women. If you are having any potential symptoms of ovarian cancer—such as heaviness in the abdomen or unexplained back pain—your physician may recommend one or more screening tests. Here are some of the methods he or she may use.

Blood tests
Blood tests can’t typically diagnose ovarian cancer alone, but they can indicate that ovarian cancer may be present, so that your physician can decide if more testing is needed. Depending on your symptoms or the type of tumor that your physician suspects you may have, he or she may order one or more of these types of blood tests:

  • CBC - complete blood count, to check your red and white blood cell and platelet levels
  • Liver function
  • Kidney function
  • CA-125 - high levels can indicate gynecological cancer
  • HCG/AFP/LDH - tumor markers that can be caused by germ cell ovarian tumors
  • Estrogen/testosterone/inhibin - high levels of these hormones can indicate an ovarian stromal tumor

Medical imaging
Medical imaging tests allow your physician to see your ovaries and look for signs of abnormal cells or tumor growth. These tests can also help your physician determine the size of any tumor that is present and if the cancer has metastasized. Different imaging tests provide your physician with different information. Some of the tests he or she may order include:

  • Ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • PET scan

If your physician notes a specific area of concern on your ovaries but isn’t sure if it is cancerous or not, he or she may request a biopsy. During a biopsy, the suspected tumor or a small section of tissue will be removed, usually through a minimally invasive procedure.

When the issue is removed, it will be sent to a pathology lab, where it will be examined. The lab will tell your physician if the cells indicate cancer.

Getting a cancer diagnosis is scary, but the Women and Children’s Services team at Regional Medical Center of San Jose is ready to support you through all stages of the process, from diagnosis to treatment. Contact us today at (888) 762-8881 for a referral to an experienced women’s health physician in San Jose.

Handle food safely from the store to your stomach

Your kitchen is on the front lines of the battle for good health, in both the foods you choose to eat and the way you prepare them. Food safety is an essential component of staying healthy and avoiding foodborne illnesses that can be potentially life-threatening. By taking some safety precautions in the kitchen, you can significantly reduce the risk of you or your loved ones needing emergency care for a foodborne illness. Following these protocols will help.

Store foods at the right temperatures
Keeping foods at the appropriate temperatures will drastically reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. To prevent temperature issues from compromising the safety of your food, remember these rules:

  • Don’t let perishable foods sit at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • If you’re not eating right away, keep hot foods at 140 degrees F or warmer and cold foods at 40 degrees F or colder.
  • Keep the refrigerator at 40 degrees F or colder.
  • Keep the freezer at 0 degrees F or colder.

Separate foods for storage
It’s important to ensure that foods can’t infect each other when they are being stored. This means being especially careful about how and where you store perishable foods, particularly meat. Reduce the risk of contamination with this advice:

  • Wrap meat and poultry before storing them so that their juices can’t spill onto other foods.
  • Store vegetables, fruits, and other foods that won’t be cooked away from raw meat and poultry.
  • When marinating meat, make sure it is in a leak-proof bag or tightly covered dish and is stored away from other perishable goods.

Pay attention to preparation
Cross-contamination can easily happen during the food preparation process. Keep dangerous bacteria off your food by taking these precautions:

  • Wash your hands before you start cooking and after handling raw meat or poultry.
  • Don’t use the same chopping boards and utensils for raw and cooked foods.
  • Clean counters thoroughly after working with raw meat or poultry.

If a foodborne illness does strike, get the emergency care you need at Regional Medical Center of San Jose. We’re here around the clock to provide the care you need for all of your medical emergencies, from foodborne illnesses to heart attack and stroke symptoms. Get more information about the services at our hospital in San Jose by calling (888) 762-8881.

Know the signs of a diabetic emergency

Although both high and low blood sugar levels can lead to medical crises, the diabetic condition that requires the most urgent care is diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. DKA occurs as the result of very high blood sugar levels that cause the blood to become acidic, which in turn can lead to a range of dangerous symptoms, including coma and even loss of life. DKA requires emergency care, so be aware of these symptoms and go to the ER if you experience them.

Increased thirst
As explained in the video, one of the earliest signs of DKA is often increased thirst. Typically, this is coupled with increased urination. The body tries to flush the excessive glucose out through the urine. As a result, people with DKA will experience increased thirst that can seem impossible to quench.

Dehydration can exacerbate your symptoms. If you’re unable to drink enough fluids, you may need to go to the ER for fluid replacement as well as insulin therapy for DKA.

As DKA advances, nausea and vomiting are common. These symptoms can become worse the more dehydrated you become, and you may find it difficult to keep any fluids down. Vomiting will make it even more difficult to control your blood sugar, so seek treatment as soon as possible.

During DKA, many people also experience abdominal pain in addition to nausea and vomiting.

DKA can cause intense fatigue and lethargy. You may also feel weak and short of breath, and you may experience dizziness or confusion. Loss of consciousness and coma are also possible.

DKA can advance very quickly, so prevent loss of consciousness by seeking emergency care.

Although DKA is serious, emergency care providers can help you regain blood glucose control and balance your blood acidity. If you’re experiencing any signs of DKA, visit the ER at Regional Medical Center of San Jose for immediate care. You can learn more about our services or get a referral to a specialist in San Jose who can help you with diabetes management by calling (888) 762-8881.

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