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

Don't Let Your Dog Leash Cause You Injuries

When you walk your dog, you’re probably thinking of getting exercise for your pup and yourself. One thing that is not likely to be on your mind is the dangers of your dog’s leash. In fact, leash injuries are very common and often require emergency care. In some instances, leashes cause orthopedic injuries that can cause prolonged periods of pain. Avoid becoming a leash injury statistic with this advice.

Avoid Retractable Leashes

Retractable leashes are associated with a wide range of injuries, from eye injuries and severe lacerations to finger amputations. The speed with which these leashes pull out of the handle and snap back is the root of the problem. In addition to being a danger for you, they can also make it more difficult to control your dog. If you choose to use a retractable leash, read and follow the instructions very carefully, and think about the environment in which you’re walking your dog when using one. It may be more practical to use retractable leashes in open spaces where your dog will have lots of freedom to roam instead of on your usual evening walk around the neighborhood.

Commit to Dog Training

Invest time in training your dog early and often. An unruly dog is more likely to wrap you up in the leash, causing you to trip, or to pull hard enough to drag you down. Your dog should be responsive to basic commands, so that you can stop him easily on a walk when necessary. Consider attending a dog training class or hiring a dog trainer so you can learn safe leash walking techniques.

Get Smart About Your Shoes

Don’t walk your dogs while wearing shoes that are not supportive or appropriate for the terrain. Skip flip-flops, high heels, and sandals in favor of tennis shoes, boots, and other sturdy shoes that protect your feet and make it more difficult to trip if your dog tugs on the leash.

It’s not possible to avoid every injury, so if your dog makes you take a tumble, Regional Medical Center of San Jose is here to help. Visit us for emergency care any time of the day or night, or call (888) 762-8881 for a referral to a specialist.

You've Had Your Baby, Now What?

Most new parents are so focused on what to expect during labor and delivery that they scarcely think about what comes next. No matter how prepared you are, recovering from delivery and transitioning to life as parents is a process that takes time. At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, we provide extensive tools to new parents to ensure that they feel supported during this time. Here is a look at what you can expect in the days following your delivery.

Physical and Emotional Symptoms
For moms, hormone fluctuations begin almost immediately. As your body reverts back to its pre-pregnancy hormone levels, you may experience sore breasts, hot and cold flashes, and mood swings. Some mothers experience a more severe form of emotional change called postpartum depression. Postpartum depression usually persists for months after the birth and can lead to significant feelings of anxiety, sadness, and guilt. Help is available, so talk to your doctor if you are concerned about persistent depression. In addition to hormone-related changes, you will experience physical effects from the delivery itself, including vaginal discharge, constipation, and episodes of pain.

In the hospital, your care team will provide extensive information about everything from breastfeeding to safe sleeping positions for your baby. This patient education is especially valuable for new parents and can help you cope with the anxiety of bringing your baby home for the first time.

Newborn Mom Channel
At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, our Newborn Mom Channel is a resource that all new mothers can use at when they need answers about their own care and caring for their baby. As DeLynn Peltz, RN describes in this video, new moms use the channel to find information they may have forgotten after leaving the hospital.

At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, new families always have the support they need. We offer family-centered care in which mom and baby stay together throughout their stay and a multilingual staff to serve our community. You can request a referral to the Family Birthing Center in San Jose by calling (888) 762-8881.

Heart Attack Signs Specific to Younger Women

Heart attacks, or myocardial infarctions, aren’t just a problem for older men. Many younger women suffer heart attacks and not all of them seek emergency care, because they fail to recognize the symptoms. This is because heart disease affects men and women differently. To learn more about your own heart health and how to support it, consider speaking with a heart care specialist at Regional Medical Center of San Jose.

Onset of Symptoms
One reason why younger women might not seek emergency care for heart attack symptoms is that it’s commonly thought that a heart attack is always characterized by the sudden onset of pain. Chest pain can indeed develop seemingly out of the blue, but some women experience heart attack symptoms for days prior to the heart attack. Emergency care doctors report that some female patients suffered from severe, unexplainable fatigue, for example. When a heart attack does occur and cause pain, this symptom may linger for longer than few minutes. In some cases, the pain may dissipate, but then recur later on.

Types of Symptoms
It’s often more challenging for younger women to recognize the signs of a heart attack. While chest pain is still the most common symptom for both men and women, younger women are more likely to experience subtler indicators such as fatigue, nausea, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath. Some women report loss of appetite, the feeling of heartburn, heart palpitations or fluttering, and cold sweats. They may also experience pain, numbness, or discomfort of the jaw, upper back, arms, and upper abdomen.

Diagnosis of Heart Attacks
The process of diagnosing a heart attack can be particularly challenging in younger women for several reasons. First, younger women are less likely to seek emergency care promptly when symptoms develop. In fact, they might not realize they’ve had a heart attack until days or weeks afterward. Additionally, younger women are more likely to suffer from spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD)—a type of heart attack caused by a tear in an artery. This means that testing can reveal relatively healthy, unclogged arteries. Despite these challenges, seeking emergency care when abnormal symptoms develop is always the best course of action.

When a patient of any age arrives at Regional Medical Center of San Jose with a possible heart attack, our emergency care staff immediately gets to work evaluating and stabilizing that patient. Our accredited Chest Pain Center is fully staffed with cardiologists, radiologists, and other skilled professionals who are committed to saving the lives of our neighbors in San Jose. If you have a general healthcare question, call (888) 762-8881. For emergency care, call 911.

How Natural Disasters Can Influence Heart Attack Risk

Effective heart attack prevention plans require a multifaceted approach. Patients can be proactive by managing underlying medical conditions, eating nutritional and well-balanced meals, and exercising on most days of the week. Although this is generally common knowledge, the role of stress in adverse cardiac events is often underestimated, and chronic stress isn’t the only type to influence a person’s heart health. Sudden, severe episodes of stress, such as those caused by natural disasters, may cause some people to seek emergency care at a heart hospital, such as Regional Medical Center of San Jose.

Understanding the Role of Stress
Watch this featured video to find out how natural disasters can give rise to heart attacks. This physician explains that when a person sustains injuries or experiences a natural disaster, multiple bodily systems are activated in response. Among these is the release of certain hormones that instruct the body to increase its oxygen consumption, heart rate, and similar functions. These responses cause the heart to work harder. Since other tissues have increased oxygen consumption, the heart cannot get enough oxygen for itself. The doctor featured in this video explains that this effect can trigger a heart attack.

Knowing What to Do
The periods during and after a natural disaster are typically chaotic. Families may be searching for loved ones, checking on their homes, seeking medical care, and looking for much-needed supplies. Yet, despite the flurry of activity that follows a natural disaster, it’s important to remain aware of what your body is trying to tell you. Seek emergency care if abnormal changes develop. These often include chest pain, but might involve subtler symptoms like jaw pain, dizziness, cold sweats, and fatigue. Getting emergency care could save your life.

Regional Medical Center of San Jose is an accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI-a designation that reflects the dedication of our heart hospital to upholding the highest standards of patient care and safety. Families in San Jose are urged to call 911 if any signs of a possible heart attack develop. If you have a non-emergent question about our heart hospital services, you can call a registered nurse at (888) 762-8881.

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.

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.

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.

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