• How to Build a Home Medical Kit

    If a family member has a medical problem that requires urgent care or emergency medical attention, it’s best to go to a local hospital or to call 911. However, many minor health issues can be addressed at home with a first aid kit. It’s always a good idea to keep a fully stocked medical kit at home, especially if your family has young children.

    Preparing Your Kit

    You may have seen commercial first aid kits in a drugstore or supermarket. You could purchase a commercial kit; however, it’s typically more cost-effective to create your own. Purchase a plastic bin about the size of a shoebox. A healthcare worker at your local hospital may recommend using a clear plastic bin, which allows you to quickly identify when it’s time to restock your first aid supplies. With a permanent marker, write “First Aid” in large letters on the bin. Tape an index card to the bin, on which you should write “911,” followed by the local Poison Control number, followed by the cellphone numbers for the heads of the household.

    Assembling First Aid Supplies

    Go shopping for some basic first aid supplies. Purchase a box of Band-Aids, sterile gauze pads, and medical tape. Look for a small bottle of hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone cream, and tweezers. You should also obtain an elastic bandage to use as a compression wrap and you may wish to include some over-the-counter medications in your kit. Remember that all medications should be kept out of reach of young children. Other items that may be helpful include an instant cold compress, oral thermometer, and absorbent compress dressings, along with a small flashlight and extra batteries in case of power outages. After you’ve assembled your home medical kit, make sure that each family member and your children’s caregivers, if applicable, knows where to find the kit.

    Regional Medical Center of San Jose provides 24/7 emergency care to families throughout the San Jose area. Our specialists are highly trained in areas such as robotic surgery, stroke care, breast care, and heart health. If you have a medical emergency in the San Jose area, please call 911 immediately; otherwise, you can contact our Consult-A-Nurse line at (888) 762-8881.

  • A Look at How Mammograms Work

    Mammography is an important screening and diagnostic tool that healthcare providers can use to detect abnormalities of the breast, some of which may be cancerous. Your healthcare provider may advise you to undergo routine screening mammograms as part of your breast care recommendations. This depends on your age and your risk factors of breast cancer. When you do begin having mammograms, the breast care team at Regional Medical Center of San Jose will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

    What Patients Can Expect

    Before your appointment, avoid applying any deodorant, powders, lotions, or other personal care products to your underarms or chest. When you arrive at the hospital for your mammogram, you’ll be given privacy while you undress from the waist up and put on a hospital gown. Be sure to let the breast care technician know if you have breast implants, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding. You’ll stand in front of the mammography machine and one breast at a time will be placed on a platform. The breast is compressed slightly while the images are taken. This may feel uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful.

    How Mammogram Technology Works

    Mammography uses X-rays to produce images of the breasts. The mammography equipment emits low doses of radiation, which travel through the breast to a detector. The detector is either a photographic film plate, which allows for the creation of film X-rays, or it is a solid-state detector. Solid-state detectors send the information to a computer to produce digital images.

    Why Hospitals Offer Digital Mammography

    Increasingly, breast care departments at hospitals across the country offer digital mammography. Digital mammography is believed to be superior because it allows the technician to adjust the image contrast, which may improve the accuracy of the results. Digital mammography also allows images to be easily transmitted to specialists.

    The Breast Care Center of Regional Medical Center of San Jose is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR). Our breast care services include digital mammography , breast ultrasound, and stereotactic breast biopsy. Women throughout the San Jose area who have general questions about our breast care services can call (888) 762-8881 and speak with one of our registered nurses.

  • Non-Cancerous Breast Conditions That May Show Up on Your Mammogram

    When you visit the Breast Care Center at Regional Medical Center of San Jose, a highly skilled radiologist will examine your mammogram for abnormalities. The radiologist looks for areas that appear whiter than the surrounding tissue, which indicates that the area is comprised of dense tissue. Sometimes, these abnormalities may indicate cancerous tumors. However, there are many non-cancerous conditions that can also show up on a mammogram. A breast care specialist can explain your results to you.

    Fibrosis and Simple Cysts

    Fibrosis and simple cysts are often referred to as fibrocystic changes. These are common non-cancerous conditions that can affect the breasts. Fibrosis occurs when fibrous tissue develops. Cysts are small sacs filled with fluid. Fibrocystic changes can cause the breasts to feel lumpy, tender, or painful. Most often, women will notice these symptoms just before menstruation.


    Mastitis is another common non-cancerous breast condition. On a mammogram, bacterial mastitis may be indicated by areas of increased density with poorly defined boundaries. Mastitis is an inflammatory condition, typically caused by an infection. Although women who are breastfeeding are most susceptible to mastitis, any woman may develop it. Mastitis may cause symptoms such as fever and a headache, along with painful, swollen, reddened areas on the breast.

    Fat Necrosis and Oil Cysts

    The breast contains fatty tissue, which may sometimes sustain damage. This can lead to fat necrosis and oil cysts. When the body responds to the damage by repairing the tissues, can scar tissue develop in place of the fatty tissue. Or, the cells of the fatty tissue can die, which is known as necrosis. When the contents of these cells are released, oil cysts can form. Fat necrosis and oil cyst development can result in breast lumps. After detecting this abnormality on a mammogram, a breast care specialist may request a biopsy to make sure the lump isn’t cancerous .

    At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, you’ll find compassionate breast care services within a peaceful, discreet setting. Our breast care team is dedicated to making sure our patients get their results quickly. To learn more about our Breast Care Center in San Jose, visit our website or call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (888) 762-8881.

  • Tips for Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning at Home

    Although you can’t see it or smell it, carbon monoxide can be deadly. Carbon monoxide is produced when fuel is burned. In an enclosed area such as your home, carbon monoxide can accumulate and lead to symptoms such as headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and irregular breathing. If proper blood oxygen levels aren’t restored, carbon monoxide poisoning is deadly. If you suspect that you might have carbon monoxide poisoning, exit the home immediately and call for emergency transportation to your local hospital. At Regional Medical Center of San Jose , our emergency care team provides life-saving interventions.

    Use Caution with Heat Sources

    Cases of carbon monoxide poisoning often occur because outdoor heat sources were brought indoors. Avoid bringing any heat source indoors unless it is clearly labeled for indoor use and it is properly vented. Some examples of heat sources that are inappropriate for indoor use include charcoal grills, flameless chemical heaters, camp stoves, and generators.

    Avoid Leaving Your Vehicles Idling

    Another source of carbon monoxide is your vehicle. If your home features a garage, you should never leave your vehicle running inside it. If you need to leave your vehicle idling, park it outside the garage. You can also have a mechanic check the vehicle’s exhaust system annually.

    Install Alarms

    Every home should feature multiple smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every floor. Test each alarm every month to make sure the device is still working. Even if the batteries aren’t yet dead, you should replace them every six months.

    Have Home Systems and Appliances Serviced

    Every year, have a qualified technician service your home heating system and your water heater. If you have a fireplace or wood stove, have a professional service them and clean the flues each year.

    The emergency care staff of Regional Medical Center of San Jose would like to urge our neighbors to improve home safety by checking smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly. The San Jose community can rely on our state-of-the-art hospital for exceptional emergency care, stroke care, breast care, robotic surgery, and heart health services. You can speak with a registered nurse at our community hospital by calling (888) 762-8881.