• Reasons to Recognize the Signs of Stroke and Seek Immediate Care

    As a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S., stroke prevention should be a priority for everyone. Management of medical risk factors and healthy lifestyle choices can help reduce a patient’s risk of stroke; however, it’s also important to know how to recognize the signs of stroke to facilitate emergency stroke care. At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, our stroke care team is always available to provide life-saving interventions.

    Identifying the Importance of Rapid Intervention

    Stroke most often occurs when a blood clot obstructs the flow of oxygenated blood to an area of the brain. When deprived of oxygen, the brain tissue begins to die rapidly. Restoring blood flow to the brain as quickly as possible gives the patient the best chance of survival. However, there’s another good reason to call 911 immediately upon noticing the signs of stroke. Stroke caused by blood clots is treatable with clot-busting medications. These medications may only be administered within four-and-one-half hours of the onset of symptoms. When the medications are delivered even sooner than this, the stroke patient has a greatly reduced chance of suffering lifelong disability. According to a study highlighted by the American Heart Association (AHA), patients who suffered mild to moderate strokes displayed little to no disability three months afterward when they were given clot-busting medications within 90 minutes of experiencing symptoms.

    Understanding the Risk of Long-Term Disability

    Stroke recovery is a lifelong process. The types of disabilities a stroke survivor may depend on the area of the brain that was affected by the stroke. It is not uncommon for stroke survivors to suffer from severe communication impairments, difficulty swallowing, paralysis, memory loss, cognitive impairment, chronic pain, and emotional and behavioral changes. Calling 911 immediately when a stroke occurs may give patients the best chance of maintaining quality of life and independence.

    Regional Medical Center of San Jose is a Joint Commission-certified Comprehensive Stroke Center that is dedicated to saving lives by implementing our Rapid Medical Evaluation (RME) program to connect critical patients with the stroke care they need. San Jose residents are urged to call 911 immediately if they think they or someone else might require stroke care. For non-emergent inquiries about our stroke care, heart health services, robotic surgery, breast care, or other medical services, you can contact a registered nurse at (888) 762-8881.

  • Why Overindulging in Alcohol Is So Dangerous

    For generally healthy individuals of legal drinking age who are not pregnant, consuming an alcoholic beverage now and then isn’t generally a problem. However, consuming a great deal of alcohol in a short period of time can lead to a medical emergency known as alcohol poisoning . Alcohol poisoning requires swift treatment at a community hospital such as Regional Medical Center of San Jose. Similarly, consuming alcohol frequently over time may also lead to life-threatening health consequences. San Jose residents can safeguard their health by limiting or avoiding alcohol.

    Alcohol Poisoning

    When a person binge drinks, or drinks too much at one time, so much alcohol can accumulate in the bloodstream that the body’s basic functions are compromised . This is known as alcohol poisoning and it affects a person’s heart rate, breathing, body temperature, and gag reflex. Alcohol poisoning requires emergency care, even if the individual has lost consciousness. This is because alcohol can continue to be released into the bloodstream even while the individual is unconscious. When a person with alcohol poisoning passes out, he or she is at risk of choking on his or her own vomit. This can cause death by asphyxiation. If the individual does survive, he or she may be at risk of brain damage.

    Alcohol Use Disorder

    Alcohol use disorder or alcoholism refers to an addiction to alcohol. A person who develops alcohol use disorder places him- or herself at risk of life-threatening health problems, including cardiovascular problems. These individuals are more likely to require stroke care. They are also more likely to be rushed to a heart hospital because of cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmia, or sudden cardiac arrest. Additionally, excessive alcohol use over time can lead to certain cancers, pancreatitis, and cirrhosis of the liver.

    If you suspect someone may be suffering from alcohol poisoning or another medical emergency, please call 911 right away. Otherwise, residents of the San Jose area can contact Regional Medical Center of San Jose at (888) 762-8881 for our Consult-A-Nurse line. In addition to providing emergency care such as stroke care, our full-service medical center is pleased to offer compassionate breast care, heart health services, and robotic surgery.

  • Give Back to Your Community by Becoming a Blood Donor

    Supporting the San Jose community doesn’t necessarily involve a significant commitment of time or money. You can help save lives with just an hour of your time when you decide to become a blood donor. Human blood cannot be artificially manufactured. Regional Medical Center of San Jose and community hospitals around the country rely on blood donations from generous individuals such as you.

    Reasons to Donate

    There are virtually limitless reasons to become a blood donor . Some people donate because they overcame a medical problem thanks to a blood transfusion. Others donate because a loved one is receiving care in a heart hospital. Donating blood is a charitable act of kindness. However, blood donors also benefit from the process. When you donate blood, you’ll receive a free medical screening. You’ll also be notified if your blood donation tested positive for certain infectious diseases. Additionally, becoming a regular blood donor may lessen your risk of a heart attack because it reduces blood viscosity.

    Ways to Donate

    You can contact your local hospital to find out about upcoming blood drives. You could also schedule an appointment to give blood by contacting your local office of the American Red Cross. Most commonly, donors give whole blood. However, there are different types of blood donations, including double red cell donation. Double red cell donation takes a little longer to complete than a whole blood donation. Donors must meet higher body weight, height, and hemoglobin requirements. Another type is a platelet donation. An apheresis machine filters the platelets and plasma from the blood. Then, the donor receives the red blood cells and most of the plasma back. The plasma donation is similar; however, the donor receives the red blood cells and platelets back. Or, a donor may give both plasma and platelets.

    Regional Medical Center of San Jose would like to thank residents of the San Jose community who make the decision to give the gift of life . Our heart hospital is a full-service medical facility that provides specialized stroke care, breast care, robotic surgery, and other medical services. You can reach a registered nurse at our community hospital by calling (888) 762-8881.

  • How to Get Healthy in the New Year

    Making changes to your lifestyle takes time. An effective way to stick to your New Year’s resolutions is to make a series of small changes instead of trying to completely overhaul your lifestyle overnight. Consider which health changes are most important to you and focus on those first. For example, if you are a heart attack or stroke survivor, your priority might be to prevent another emergency visit to the heart hospital or stroke care team. The physicians of Regional Medical Center of San Jose are your partners in wellness.

    Enlist Your Family and Friends

    A little support can go a long way toward reaching your goals. When making healthy lifestyle changes, you might try to involve the whole family. Invite your significant other to visit a farmers’ market with you for fresh vegetables or ask your kids to play a game of catch.

    Kick the Cigarette Habit

    If you smoke, you probably already understand that cigarettes can kill you in many different ways. They increase your risk of suffering a heart attack, developing cancer, requiring stroke care, and developing other serious medical problems. Consider talking to your doctor about methods of kicking the habit, such as prescription medications, nicotine replacement products, counseling, and support groups. When you feel the craving for a cigarette, find a healthier way to distract yourself until the craving passes. Call a supportive friend, go outside for a walk, or brush your teeth to reduce your urge to smoke.

    Practice Healthier Responses to Stressors

    Chronic stress affects many people and over time, it may lead to health problems. Although it may not be possible to completely eliminate your stressors, you can work on changing the way you react to them. When you feel stressed out, take a deep breath, stretch to release muscle tension, and ask yourself whether the issue is truly worth worrying about.

    Families throughout San Jose are invited to take advantage of the classes and events available at Regional Medical Center of San Jose. We regularly offer exercise groups, stroke care groups, and other classes to supports the wellness of our neighbors. Call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (888) 762-8881 for general information about our hospital services, including stroke care, heart health, breast care, and robotic surgery.