• Could Your Headache Be a Sign of Something Serious?

    In many cases, headaches are not cause for alarm. People can experience headaches caused by eye strain, jaw clenching, stress, and even the overuse of over-the-counter headache medications. However, it is possible for a headache to signal a serious, perhaps even life-threatening medical condition. In these cases, it’s advisable for patients to get to the emergency room at the local hospital right away. To determine whether you may need emergency care at Regional Medical Center of San Jose , consider any co-occurring symptoms you may have.

    Identifying Serious Causes of Headaches

    One of the most serious causes of severe headaches is stroke, which requires rapid evaluation and intervention at the hospital. Stroke can occur when a blood clot obstructs circulation to the brain, causing the death of brain cells. It may also occur due to a ruptured aneurysm. Another possible cause of a severe headache is meningitis, which refers to the inflammation of the meninges. The meninges are the membranes around the spinal cord and brain. Meningitis is most often caused by a viral infection. If left untreated, meningitis can lead to severe complications and death. Other serious causes of headaches include elevated blood pressure, giant cell arteritis, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

    Evaluating Co-Occurring Symptoms

    When a headache is caused by a serious underlying condition, patients may experience co-occurring symptoms. For example, stroke can cause weakness and numbness on one side of the body, along with confusion, dizziness, vision loss, and speech problems. The hallmark symptoms of meningitis are a high fever and a stiff neck, in addition to a headache. In some cases, a headache has an immediately identifiable cause, such as blunt force trauma or a penetrating injury to the head. Along with headache, a TBI can result in loss of consciousness and confusion.

    Assessing the Onset of Symptoms

    Generally, patients are advised to seek emergency care if they experience sudden, severe symptoms. For example, headaches associated with stroke develop rapidly and are often described as the worst headache a person has ever experienced.

    For 24/7 emergency care in the San Jose area, you can rely on Regional Medical Center of San Jose. Our hospital is a certified Comprehensive Stroke Center that provides life-saving stroke care, including neuro-interventional radiology procedures. If you think you or a loved one might require stroke care , call 911 now. Otherwise, contact our hospital at (888) 762-8881.

  • Caring for Your Child with the Flu

    Influenza is particularly dangerous for young children since they are at a higher risk of complications. The most effective way to protect your child from the flu is with an annual flu shot. The healthcare providers at your local hospital recommend flu vaccines for children ages six months and older. If your child does contract the flu, the team at Regional Medical Center of San Jose can help him or her feel better.

    Reducing Fever

    Your child will feel more comfortable if his or her fever goes down. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature and avoid piling extra blankets on your child, even if he or she has the chills. You could also give your child a lukewarm sponge bath. You can check with your child’s doctor to find out if it’s safe for you to give him or her ibuprofen or acetaminophen. If so, choose a product formulated for use in children and follow the instructions carefully. Never give a child aspirin unless the pediatrician instructs you to do so.

    Feeding Your Child

    It’s important that children with the flu sip fluids frequently to prevent dehydration . Give your child popsicles, gelatin, water, fruit juices, and broth-based soups. Do not force your child to eat, but do offer bland foods such as crackers, oatmeal, and cream of wheat.

    Knowing When to Seek Emergency Care

    Know when you should bring your child to the hospital for flu symptoms or complications. If in doubt, you can always call your child’s pediatrician or the local hospital for guidance. In general, parents are advised to take their kids to the hospital if they cannot keep fluids down, may be dehydrated, appear confused or lethargic, do not respond normally, or display rapid or difficult breathing. A trip to the hospital is also advisable if a child does not feel better when the fever goes down, or if the child’s symptoms go away and then return.

    For family-centered care, Regional Medical Center of San Jose staffs our Pediatric Unit with highly trained, compassionate registered nurses and pediatricians. The Emergency Room at our hospital in San Jose is always available for families affected by severe flu symptoms or complications of the flu. If you would like to speak with a registered nurse at our state-of-the-art hospital, call (888) 762-8881.

  • Healthy Habits to Cut Down Your Stress

    Mental health is closely connected to physical health. A person who is under severe or chronic stress may be more likely to make unhealthy lifestyle decisions and to experience the physical symptoms of anxiety or depression, such as gastrointestinal upset and insomnia. This is just one reason why it’s a good idea to practice healthy stress management , especially during the holiday season when tensions may run high. If you think you may be experiencing an anxiety disorder or depression, you might consider seeing a family physician at your local hospital.

    Identify Your Stressors

    There are some stressors that are uncontrollable, such as living with a chronic illness. Fortunately, many other stressors are indeed manageable. First, write a list of everything that causes stress for you. Consider carrying a small notebook around for a week to track your stress and how you responded to stressful situations. Look for ways to change your response to stressors.

    Set Priorities

    For many people, being overscheduled is a stressor. It can be frustrating to feel as though there is never enough time to get everything done. Try setting priorities to reduce your stress. Decide what’s most important to accomplish during the day and try to avoid becoming preoccupied with lesser important tasks.

    Care for Your Physical Health

    Improving your overall wellness may help ease your worries and enhance your mood. Exercise is a natural stress-reducer because it promotes the release of endorphins. Try to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days of the week. If you have a medical condition, consider talking to your doctor before starting an exercise program. Fuel your body with nutritious foods, which can also improve your mood. It’s advisable to avoid using alcohol or cigarettes to cope with stress.

    Regional Medical Center of San Jose provides diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic care for people of all ages in San Jose and throughout Santa Clara County. If you would like a referral to a physician at our community hospital, you can call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (888) 762-8881. Be sure to browse our website, which offers information on our specialty services such as stroke care, heart health, breast care, and robotic surgery.

  • Common Injuries During the Holiday Season

    The holidays are a time to enjoy the company of family and friends. Unfortunately, the peacefulness of the season is often disrupted by holiday-related injuries. People may suffer traumatic injuries while decorating or burns caused by flames or electrical currents . Being aware of these types of injuries can help you keep your family safe this holiday season. From our family to yours, the hospital staff at Regional Medical Center of San Jose would like to wish our neighbors a safe and joyous season.

    Injuries from Candles

    Candles can set fire to tablecloths, drapes, and evergreens, and they can cause serious burn injuries. Keep lit candles on a stable surface away from flammable objects and out of reach of children. Ensure that all candles are extinguished when they can no longer be supervised. Families who have young children might consider using flameless LED candles.

    Injuries Caused by Holiday Decorating

    Each holiday season, far too many people wind up in the hospital because of injuries sustained while decorating their homes. If you must use a ladder to decorate the exterior of your home, ensure that it is set up properly on a stable surface. Falling from a ladder is a common cause of holiday-related injuries such as sprains and strains, fractures, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Additionally, be aware of the dangers of electrical burns from holiday lights. Check each extension cord and set of lights for signs of frayed wires, loose connections, and broken sockets. Be sure to keep cords out of reach of young children to prevent electrical burns.

    Injuries Caused by Gifts

    Gift-related injuries are surprisingly common. Young children may choke on the small parts of toys, while older children may rush out to try a new pair of rollerblades without wearing a helmet. Recipients of food gifts may suffer from allergic reactions or food poisoning. Be mindful of safety issues when giving and receiving gifts this holiday season.

    The recently renovated and expanded Emergency Room at Regional Medical Center of San Jose is always available to provide rapid care to those who sustain injuries this holiday season. Our state-of-the-art hospital is also pleased to serve residents of the San Jose area with exceptional stroke care, heart health services, breast care, and robotic surgery. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 right away; otherwise, contact a registered nurse at our hospital by calling (888) 762-8881.