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

How Is the Severity of a Stroke Determined?

When a stroke occurs, getting emergency care is of the utmost importance. The sooner a patient receives stroke care, the better his or her chances of survival and favorable long-term outcomes. As soon as a stroke patient arrives at Regional Medical Center of San Jose, our stroke care team rapidly assesses him or her using established guidelines.

Consciousness
The first set of assessment criteria involves the patient’s level of consciousness. The clinician scores the patient from zero to three, with zero indicating full alertness and responsiveness, and three indicating complete unresponsiveness to stimuli. If the patient is conscious, the clinician asks for the patient’s age and what month it is. A score of zero indicates both answers are correct, one means that one answer is correct, and two means that neither answer is correct. The last level of consciousness assessment tests how well the patient can follow simple commands. The patient is asked to open and close the eyes, and then to grip and release the unaffected hand.

Gaze
The clinician evaluates the patient’s horizontal eye movements, such as by making eye contact with the patient and then encouraging eye movement by physically moving from one side of the patient’s visual field to the other. Zero indicates a normal gaze, one indicates partial gaze palsy, and two indicates total gaze palsy.

Visual Fields
The clinician then checks the patient’s visual field. He or she holds up a finger and moves it across the upper and lower quadrants of the visual field. This assessment of possible vision loss is crucial, because stroke may result in blindness.

Facial Palsy
Since stroke can cause weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, the clinician asks the patient to smile or raise the eyebrows to check for symmetry. If the patient is poorly responsive, the clinician may use stimuli to trigger a grimace response instead.

Motor Function
The last set of assessment criteria involves lifting each arm and leg in turn. The patient is asked to keep the limb in the elevated position. The clinician scores the patient based on whether the limb stays up, drifts downward, or falls immediately.

Protocols-driven stroke care is available from Regional Medical Center of San Jose. Our stroke care team coordinates with EMS personnel to prepare for a patient’s arrival to facilitate immediate evaluations and interventions. We urge residents of San Jose to call 911 for emergency care if stroke signs develop; general questions of a non-emergent nature can be directed to our hospital at (888) 762-8881.


What All Women Can Do to Lower Their Risk of Heart Disease

Your health is a long-term investment that requires active management. When you take action today to support your heart health, you’ll reap the rewards later in life. There are many simple ways that all women can reduce their risk of heart disease, from smart shopping at the grocery store to limiting alcohol consumption. At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, our heart care specialists are always available to help women learn how to manage their risk of heart disease.

Smoking
If you currently smoke, you probably already know about the many diseases it causes. Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but the rewards of being a non-smoker are well worth your efforts. Consider talking to your doctor about your smoking cessation options. Many people have had good results with smoking cessation medications, nicotine replacement products, psychological counseling, and support groups.

Alcohol Consumption
Men and women process alcohol differently. Because of this, the recommended daily limit on alcohol is lower for women (one drink) than it is for men (two drinks). Abiding by this daily limit is one effective way to curb your risk of heart disease.

Nutrition
When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear a registered nurse at Regional Medical Center of San Jose explain the importance of nutrition for heart health. She recommends that women choose primarily plant-based foods. It isn’t necessary to become a vegetarian or vegan, although you certainly may do so if you wish. Still, the bulk of your diet should ideally be comprised of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and healthy sources of protein like nuts, seeds, soy, and low-fat dairy.

Exercise
Exercise is another cornerstone of heart health and, unfortunately, many women don’t get the recommended amount. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that adult women get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week. This is equivalent to a 30-minute workout five days per week. The CDC further recommends that adults engage in strength training exercises on at least two days per week. Ideally, these activities should engage all the major muscle groups.

Regional Medical Center of San Jose is your partner in wellness. We are a leading provider of emergency care, heart health services, breast care, and other medical specialties for families throughout the greater San Jose area. Call (888) 762-8881 to request a referral to a physician.


Key Facts About Falls

Just a few seconds is all it takes to go from enjoying independence in one’s golden years to struggling with long-term disabilities. Seniors are at a high risk of life-changing injuries caused by falls, but there are ways to be proactive about this serious health issue. Here at Regional Medical Center of San Jose, our emergency care physicians encourage families to learn more about the risk of falls.

Know the Risks
Many factors can contribute to a senior’s increased risk of bone fractures, head trauma, and other fall-related injuries. With age, a person is more likely to suffer from impaired coordination and balance. Impaired eyesight can inhibit a person’s ability to detect hazardous conditions. Additionally, many medications can cause drowsiness and dizziness—both of which increase the likelihood of a fall.

Make Home Safer
The risk of falling does not automatically mean that a senior should consider moving to a long-term care facility. Many seniors prefer to preserve their independence for as long as possible. Making some simple modifications to the home can help. These include the following:

  • Installation of sturdy handrails
  • Placement of grab bars in the tub and by the toilet
  • Improved lighting in all interior and exterior areas
  • Removal of clutter, loose rugs, and loose cables from the floor

In addition, seniors can reduce the risk of a fall by having their vision checked annually. Limiting or avoiding alcohol, informing a doctor about side effects of medications, and rising slowly from a seated position are all smart steps to take. Doctors often recommend that seniors stay physically active as well. Physical therapy, tai chi, and similar exercises can improve balance, coordination, and strength. Wearing non-slip footwear and using a cane or a walker can help seniors move around with confidence.

Seek Treatment Promptly
If a fall does occur, it’s a good idea to inform the doctor promptly, even if serious injuries aren’t evident. Many seniors neglect to let their doctors know about falls, which means that compression fractures, concussions, and similar injuries may go undetected.

Emergency care is just one of the many high-quality medical services you’ll find at Regional Medical Center of San Jose. Our community hospital is a leading provider of orthopedic procedures, rehabilitative support, stroke care, and robotic surgery. If you live in the San Jose area and would like a referral to a physician at our community hospital, you can call a registered nurse at (888) 762-8881.


Keep Medication Out of Your Children's Reach

Every responsible parent spends considerable time childproofing the home before bringing the new arrival home from the hospital. But effective childproofing is actually an ongoing task. Long after your child begins walking and climbing, you’ll need to be vigilant about keeping hazardous items like medications away from his or her reach. It only takes a few seconds for serious poisoning to occur. At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, our emergency care services can help kids from San Jose recover after an accident.

Identify the Hazards
Prescription medications are a common hazard for children, even when the medication is prescribed to them. But there are many other hazardous products that children might be tempted to investigate, including vitamins, herbal supplements, and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Cough syrup, inhalers, eye drops, and even diaper rash creams are all potential hazards.

Keep Containers Sealed
The first step in preventing a visit to the emergency care department is to keep all containers tightly sealed. Turn the cap on a pill bottle until it locks into place. Screw on lids of vitamin supplement containers tightly.

Place Items Out of Reach
After ensuring that each hazardous item is tightly sealed, place these items in a place where your child cannot access them. Children are naturally curious and will often climb on top of toilet seats and counters to investigate cabinets. The safest way to store medications is to keep them under lock and key. Return each item to the secured location promptly after each use.

Communicate with Caregivers
If a caregiver must give your child medicine, you should print out detailed instructions regarding when to administer which medication and how much of it to administer. Emphasize the importance of storing medications safely and immediately after each use. Similarly, if a caregiver or house guest brings their own medications into your home, ask them to store the items safely during their stay. Leave a list of emergency numbers for caregivers, including numbers to the local hospital and Poison Control Center.

If your child does access medications or other hazardous products, please call 911 for emergency care. Regional Medical Center of San Jose is available 24/7 to treat pediatric health emergencies. For non-emergent inquiries about our hospital services in San Jose, you can call a registered nurse at (888) 762-8881.


What to Do When a Patient Refuses to Go to the ER

Emergency care services can save the lives of patients who suffer serious medical problems, but what happens when a patient refuses to go to the hospital? Some patients refuse emergency care simply because they don’t want to be a burden to others, while others may feel that the medical emergency will go away by itself. As a concerned family member, friend, or bystander, there are a few steps you can take to encourage the patient to go to the emergency care department at Regional Medical Center of San Jose.

Explain Your Reasoning
Use a calm tone of voice and non-judgmental language to explain to the patient why you feel he or she should be seen at a hospital. You might point out some of the symptoms you’ve noticed, such as impaired movement or slurred speech. You could also try asking the patient why he or she doesn’t want to go to the hospital. Then, offer your assistance in resolving these obstacles.

Contact Family Members
If you aren’t related to the patient, it may be helpful to contact the patient’s immediate family members. Their efforts to convince the patient to seek care may get better results. You could also offer to call the patient’s primary care physician.

Call 911
In most cases, it’s preferable to simply call 911 and request Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Watch this featured video to hear an emergency care physician at Regional Medical Center of San Jose explain the role of the EMS team. EMS personnel are trained to handle these types of situations. They can evaluate the patient’s medical condition and try to convince him or her to get medical help. Ultimately, however, the patient does have the right to refuse care. If the EMS team is successful in their efforts to convince the patient, the patient can be brought to the ER right away. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to stay with the patient in case his or her condition worsens.

The emergency care and trauma care teams at Regional Medical Center of San Jose closely coordinate with local EMS personnel to facilitate optimal outcomes for our patients. If you or someone else is experiencing a medical emergency in the San Jose area, please call 911 without delay. General questions about our hospital services are handled by our registered nurses at (888) 762-8881.


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