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

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.

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 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 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.

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