• What You Can Do to Prevent Getting Ill This Cold and Flu Season

    When holiday stress is running high and the weather outside has cooled off, cases of the flu spike, so your chances of getting sick are higher. To stay healthy and keep the cold or flu from getting you down this winter, follow the guidelines below recommended by Regional Medical Center of San Jose.

    Vaccination protection influenza

    Wash your hands often

    Hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of germs and viruses that may get you sick. Any time you make contact with another person or touch a common surface, wash your hands with warm water and antibacterial soap. Remember to wash your hands before touching your face as well.

    Get plenty of sleep

    If you don’t allow yourself time to rest during the busy holiday season, your immune system will be weakened and less capable of fighting off the flu. Make sure that you are giving yourself enough time to sleep at night, and encourage deep, restful sleep by taking a bath or putting out scented oils to calm your senses before you fall asleep.

    Get a flu shot

    While a cold may only keep you out of your routine for one or two days, the flu can be much more serious and last significantly longer. Therefore, the flu shot is a powerful weapon to protect yourself from getting sick. It is important to get immunized with the flu shot every year, because the flu virus evolves quickly.

    To get your flu shot or learn more strategies for healthier living, visit Regional Medical Center of San Jose . You can also connect with us through our iTriage Symptom Checker app or by joining our H2U program featuring free classes and quarterly healthy living publications to help you stay well. Learn more about us on our website or give us a call at (408) 259-4000.

  • Prehypertension and its Impact on Blood Pressure and Likelihood of Stroke

    Prehypertension is when a person’s blood pressure is higher than ideal, but doesn’t meet the level of high blood pressure.  While it may not seem alarming in itself, prehypertension carries significant health risks.  Find out more in this video, and for further information, call Regional Medical Center of San Jose today at (408) 259-4000!

  • Visit These Websites Provided by Regional Medical Center for More Helpful Health Information

    3D elbow joint / bones

    For a look at the diagnosis and treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, see this page from the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Health .

    The National Osteoporosis Foundation describes how bone density tests help in the early detection and treatment of osteoporosis and provides scanning recommendation guidelines.

    To learn how osteoporosis can lead to broken bones, who is at greatest risk of developing the condition, and how it can be prevented, see this fact sheet from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

    Read about a research study supporting the use of bone density scans in preventing osteoporosis-related fractures at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons .

    Head to daVinciSurgery.com for the answers to some frequently asked questions about robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery.

    If you are interested in learning more about our comprehensive emergency care services, call Regional Medical Center of San Jose at (408) 259-4000. You can also learn our current ER wait times from anywhere on your mobile device by texting ‘ER’ to 23000 and replying with your zip code.

  • Do Heart Medicines Work Differently in Women Than They Do In Men?

    Proper health medication is a well-known way to keep your heart healthy.  However, do the biological differences between men and women impact the effectiveness of heart medicine?  Find out more in this video, and for more information, call Regional Medical Center of San Jose today at (408) 259-4000

  • First Thoracic Surgery in San Jose with the da Vinci Si Surgical System – Robot Used to Remove Tumor in Chest Cavity

    Dr  Sang Lee

    Regional Medical Center of San Jose is the first hospital in San Jose to use the da Vinci Si Surgical System to remove a tumor from a patient’s chest cavity.  Cancerous tumors in the compartment surrounding the heart are classified as mediastinal masses and have a high frequency of malignancy.

    Regional’s Cardiac Surgeon, Dr. Sang Lee, was the first surgeon in San Jose to remove a mass from a patient’s chest wall using the da Vinci Si Surgical System.

    “The da Vinci Si robot dramatically enhances visualization of the operative site and more precisely mimics the complex movements of the hand and wrist, allowing us to delicately access the chest cavity and remove the cancerous section,”  said Dr. Lee.

    Gaining access to masses inside the chest has traditionally involved a six to ten inch chest incision. The technique can be quite painful post-operatively because it entails cutting through muscle and spreading the ribs.

    In comparison, robotic surgery is a closed-chest procedure that is performed using the da Vinci Si™ Surgical System, a highly advanced technology that allows surgeons to resect the mass through a small incision.

    “As a result, patients undergoing the robotic procedure recover faster, experiencing less pain, blood loss and scarring than those treated by conventional means,” added Dr. Lee.  “Such advantages may also translate into better long-term outcomes.”

    The robot is routinely used by surgeons at Regional for minimally invasive general surgical procedures such as single-site gallbladder removal, as well as urological and gynecological surgeries. Surgeons at Regional now join a select group across the country using robotics to perform sophisticated thoracic operations.

    “Robotic technology takes the potential of less invasive surgery for thoracic surgery to a whole new level, opening this option up to a much broader segment of our patients,” said Mike Johnson, CEO.  “Regional expects to treat a growing number of patients with this advanced procedure.”

    About Regional Medical Center of San Jose
    Regional Medical Center of San Jose is a major Trauma Center.  The hospital provides a host of technologically-advanced services including Cardiovascular, Orthopedic and General Surgery, along with multi-organ Cancer Care, and services for Women and Children.  Regional Medical Center of San Jose holds Joint Commission advanced certification as a Primary Stroke Center and a Get with the Guidelines- Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. It is a certified Chest Pain Center, and county-designated STEMI (heart attack) receiving center. Regional is recognized by the Joint Commission as a 2011 Top Performing Hospital on Key Quality Measures™ . It is a nationally recognized Robotic Surgery Training Center. For more information, visit: www.regionalmedicalsanjose.com

  • Preventing Heart Disease with Healthy Habits

    At the Regional Medical Center of San Jose, we not only treat patients—we try to encourage everyone to live a healthier life. The following actions can not only lower your risk of heart disease , but will also contribute to better overall health:

    Middle-aged man suffering from heart attack

    Exercising Daily

    According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services , exercising 20-45 minutes per day can help a person receive significant health benefits, including a reduction in blood pressure, cholesterol, and the protein responsible for abnormal blood clots. Best of all, exercise does not have to mean running laps or using gym equipment—it can be any activity that increases your heart rate and gets you moving, such as roller-skating, playing Frisbee, or dancing!

    Choosing Fiber-Rich Foods

    While foods high in saturated and trans fats can increase your risk of heart disease by contributing to arterial blockages, certain other items counteract this effect. These include vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains—so try to eat at least two servings of produce with every meal, and substitute beans or whole-wheat bread for half of your daily carbohydrates.

    Managing Chronic Health Conditions

    High cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels have a detrimental effect on heart health, and should therefore be closely monitored by your physician. Diabetes can also impact the functioning of coronary arteries, one of many reasons to get the condition under control.

    Quitting Smoking

    Cigarettes not only greatly increase a person’s risk of lung cancer—they also promote abnormal clotting and reduce blood oxygen levels. As the Heart & Stroke Foundation explains, it takes just one year of being smoke-free to halve your risk of heart disease, so consider taking steps to quit now.

    On November 15, the American Cancer Society is holding a Great American Smokeout event to encourage the cessation of smoking. You can find support to join this movement, as well as advice on other ways to promote heart health , by calling the Regional Medical Center of San Jose at (408) 259-4000.

  • The Importance of Knowing Heart Attack Signs in Women

    Many women feel that they are too young or too healthy to worry about having a heart attack, but heart disease can occur at any age. This entertaining video starring Elizabeth Banks showcases the importance of listening to your body’s signals and being able to identify the symptoms that indicate a heart attack .

    For women, cardiovascular distress can manifest in a number of subtle ways, including nausea; shortness of breath; muscle aches; pain in the arm, neck, jaw, or shoulder; and a feeling of pressure or squeezing on the chest. The faster a person with these symptoms receives medical attention, the better chance she or he has of making a full recovery.

    If you would like to learn more about the signs of heart attack in women and how you can prevent cardiovascular disease, call the Regional Medical Center of San Jose’s Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (408) 259-4000.

  • Heart Disease Prevention Tips

    heart and stethoscope

    Heart disease is the leading cause of the death in the U.S. In addition, it is also a major cause of disability. Your risk of heart disease increases with age. You have a greater risk if you are a man over age 45 or a woman over age 55. You also are at heightened risk if you have a close family member who had heart disease at an early age.

    After that eye-opening news you might wonder, “well then what can I do to beat the odds?”   Fortunately there are many steps you can take to decrease your risk of developing heart disease.

    It’s best to start with prevention. Here are seven top strategies:

    1. Know your blood pressure and keep it under control. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for hardening of the arteries, heart attack, congestive heart failure and stroke.
       
    2. Exercise regularly. Studies show just 30 minutes most days of the week can reduce your risk of heart disease.
       
    3. Don’t smoke. Chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels.
       
    4. Get tested for diabetes and if you have it, keep it under control.
       
    5. Know your cholesterol and triglyceride levels and keep them under control.
       
    6. Eat a heart healthy diet . The DASH diet is highly recommended to help protect your heart.  It includes lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, along with some fish, poultry and legumes. Red meat, sweets and fats are allowed in small amounts.  DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
       
    7. Maintain a healthy weight.  Tipping the scale in the wrong direction can lead to other medical conditions that contribute to the development of heart disease, including high blood pressure and diabetes.

    Following these guidelines can also help minimize your risk:

    Have your cholesterol checked
    Your healthcare provider should test your cholesterol levels at least once every five years. Talk with your doctor about this simple blood test.

    Monitor your blood pressure
    High blood pressure has no symptoms, so be sure to have it checked on a regular basis.

    Manage your diabetes
    If you have diabetes, closely monitor your blood sugar levels. Talk with your healthcare provider about treatment options.

    Take your medicine
    If you’re taking medication to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you don’t understand something.

    Talk with your healthcare provider
    You and your doctor can work together to prevent or treat the medical conditions that lead to heart disease. Discuss your treatment plan regularly and bring a list of questions to your appointments.

    The Regional Medical Center of San Jose has a full array of heart diagnostic testing tools including the very latest imaging devices that help doctors diagnose a patient’s condition and determine the severity of any heart problem.

    Regional Medical Center of San Jose is home to a Nationally Accredited Level III  Chest Pain Center , a Certified full-service Interventional  Stroke Center  and participates in the “Act in Time to Heart Attack Signs” program.

    So what are the common warning signs for a heart attack?

    Chest Discomfort
    Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.

    Discomfort in Other Areas of the Upper Body
    This may be felt in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

    Shortness of Breath
    May often occur with or before chest discomfort.

    Other Signs
    May include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

    For more information on the Cardiac Services available at  Regional Medical Center of San Jose   or to find a physician specializing in heart and vascular conditions, please call our Consult-A-Nurse line at 1-(408) 259-4000.

  • Why Bone Density Scanning Is Important for Women During and After Menopause

    Medical imaging technology has become highly advanced in recent years, making screening scans an important part of preventative care. Keep reading to learn why Regional Medical Center of San Jose offers bone density scans and when you should consider receiving one:

    Feet bones anatyomy with toes lateral view

    Purpose of Bone Density Scanning

    A bone density, or DEXA, scan is a low-dose X-ray used to screen specific areas of bone for osteoporosis—a condition where the skeleton becomes brittle and more likely to fracture under stress. Identifying osteoporosis before it becomes advanced is important, as medical intervention can help to strengthen bones and prevent serious injury. A patient who is found to have low bone density may also take measures to avoid falling at home, such as installing grab bars in the shower, removing rugs from smooth surfaces, and providing ample lighting for areas that contain obstacles or uneven flooring, such as stairways.

    How Menopause Influences Bone Density

    Women are much more likely than men to suffer from osteoporosis, a difference that is largely due to the effect of the hormone estrogen on skeletal tissue. Estrogen inhibits the production of the types of cells responsible for breaking down bone tissue, allowing their opposites—the cells that use calcium in the bloodstream to fortify the skeleton—to work more effectively. Unfortunately, once a woman begins to undergo menopause, the life stage in which egg production ceases, her estrogen levels drop. For this reason, the National Osteoporosis Foundation suggests that women who have reached menopause but are under age 65 receive a bone density scan if they meet certain risk criteria, such as low body mass index, poor nutritional intake of vitamin D and calcium, and sedentary lifestyle. Otherwise, a woman should obtain her first DEXA scan at age 65 and, if signs of bone density loss are apparent, repeat the scan every one to two years.

    For help determining your personal risk of osteoporosis and evaluating your need for a bone density scan, call Regional Medical Center of San Jose’s Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (408) 259-4000. Our nurses can also provide information about our bone-strengthening Pilates mat classes.

  • Know How To Stay On Top Of Your Health

    Stethoscope

    If you are interested in learning more about preventing heart disease, detecting osteoporosis, or receiving surgery through the da Vinci Robotic Surgery System, visit the following links or call Regional Medical Center of San Jose at (408) 259-4000:

    Find out more about the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout on November 15 by visiting Cancer.org.

    The Heart & Stroke Foundation provides some interesting statistics detailing the importance of quitting smoking and offers tips for doing so.

    For a guide to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ most recent physical activity recommendations , head to Health.gov.

    GoRedForWomen.org explains why you should know your cholesterol, blood pressure, triglyceride, and fasting glucose levels and how you can keep these numbers within a healthy range.

    Find nutritional guidelines that cover how many servings of each type of food you should have every day at Heart.org.

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