• How occupational therapy can assist in managing autism

    Occupational therapy is a versatile treatment modality that can help people of all ages with all sorts of functional limitations. Individuals with autism can often benefit from occupational therapy. Children with autism may be referred through an early intervention program. If you or a family member has autism, you can find the high-quality, individualized occupational therapy you’re looking for at Regional Medical Center of San Jose.

    Autism-related challenges
    Autism affects individuals in different ways and to different degrees. Some of the common challenges include:

    • Communication
    • Play skills
    • Social participation
    • Self-care activities
    • Transitions
    • Sensory stimulation

    In daily life, people with autism may struggle to interact with their peers, adjust to changes in their routines or have trouble doing simple care tasks, such as tasks pertaining to nutrition or oral hygiene. With intensive therapy begun early in life, children with autism can overcome many of their challenges. One component of an early intervention plan can be occupational therapy .

    Occupational therapy goals
    The primary goals of occupational therapy are to improve quality of life, enhance the individual’s functional abilities and support the family. Specific, short-term goals are dependent upon each child’s unique needs and level of functioning.

    Before planning any interventions, an occupational therapist will make extensive observations of the child, and interview the child’s family members and caregivers. The following areas are typically evaluated to inform the treatment planning process:

    • Motor skills
    • Behavioral issues
    • Interactions
    • Transition ability
    • Responses to external stimuli
    • Attention span

    Occupational therapy interventions
    Occupational therapists can use a range of strategies to help individuals with autism. Sensory-based activities can help the child moderate responses to sensory stimuli, for example.

    Occupational therapists can also guide clients through play activities designed to improve communication and social skills, developmental activities like brushing teeth and physical activities to improve motor skills and body awareness.

    Regional Medical Center of San Jose is a leading provider of rehabilitation services, including occupational therapy, pediatric occupational therapy and activities of daily living retraining. It’s our mission to provide superior care and support because the quality of life of our neighbors in San Jose is important to us. Call a registered nurse at (888) 762-8881.

  • Should you go to the ER for IBS symptoms?

    The emergency care doctors at Regional Medical Center of San Jose have made it their life’s work to care for the health of our neighbors in the community. ER doctors can provide rapid and appropriate relief to patients who are in severe pain from IBS. When you watch the accompanying video, you’ll hear one of our dedicated emergency medicine physicians discuss the abdominal symptoms that warrant a trip to the ER.

    Judging the severity of your IBS symptoms
    Patients with irritable bowel syndrome can experience flare-ups of the following symptoms:

    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Gas and bloating
    • Abdominal pain and cramping

    You have a unique pain threshold. Only you can determine when your abdominal pain is severe enough to call for a visit to the ER. In general, it may be time to go to the hospital if:

    • Your pain is severe enough to disrupt normal functioning
    • Over-the-counter medicines aren’t helping
    • Your pain grows worse instead of better
    • Your pain is accompanied by other new or severe symptoms

    Identifying the signs of dehydration
    If you have IBS with diarrhea, you may be at risk of dehydration. You’ll need emergency care if you experience dehydration that is severe enough to cause any of the following:

    • Very dark urine
    • Little to no urine
    • Dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Lightheadedness

    Preparing for a visit to the ER
    You can get the best outcome by communicating clearly with the ER physicians and nurses. They’ll need to know that you’ve already been diagnosed with IBS.

    If possible, try to get in touch with your primary care physician ahead of your ER visit. Ask your doctor to let the ER staff know that an IBS patient is headed in for emergency intervention.

    Alternatively, you can ask your primary doctor to provide a signed note indicating that you have IBS, and explaining the approved ER interventions, such as pain medications. Remember to bring a list of your medications and their dosages.

    In addition to our responsive emergency care, Regional Medical Center of San Jose offers specialized gastroenterology services for patients with complex digestive disorders, including IBS. Our highly trained physicians and nurses work closely with each patient to develop a personalized treatment plan. Call (888) 762-8881 to request a referral to a physician in San Jose.

  • Ways to get more sleep at night

    Do you find yourself tossing and turning most nights? If so, you could be suffering from sleep deprivation. When you don’t get enough sleep, a long list of health problems can follow, from obesity and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke to depression and accidents caused by drowsy driving. Don’t let sleep deprivation interfere with your health, happiness and productivity. Here are some strategies you can use to get more sleep at night.

    Create a sleep routine
    Don’t leave sleep to chance. Instead, create a routine to prepare yourself for sleep that you stick to each day. Over time, your routine will cue your body that is it almost time for rest, so that you’re ready to fall asleep when you get into bed. Your routine may include:

    • Dimming the lights
    • Putting away electronic devices
    • Reading a book, meditating, or another activity that relaxes you

    If you’re frequently kept awake by a racing mind, make a to-do list for the next day before you get into bed. This will help to clear your mind, so you can rest.

    Skip naps
    When you are sleep deprived , napping may seem like a logical solution. If you are chronically not sleeping enough at night, however, you have a sleep debt. Adults need a minimum of seven hours of rest per night. If you routinely sleep five hours, you add two hours to your sleep debt daily.

    Napping cannot make up sleep debts, since napping doesn’t give your body the restorative rest that nighttime sleeping does. Further, napping can interfere with your ability to sleep at night.

    See your physician
    Chronic sleep interruptions can indicate an underlying medical condition. If you are struggling to sleep, talk to your physician about sleep disorders, including:

    • Sleep apnea
    • Restless leg syndrome
    • Periodic limb movement disorder

    Don’t let chronic sleep loss lead you to heart disease, obesity, depression and other serious conditions. The physicians at Regional Medical Center of San Jose can help you find a solution to your sleepless nights. Find out more about all of the services at our hospital in San Jose, or get a referral to a physician by calling (888) 762-8881.

  • Take action on Diabetes Alert Day

    Type 2 diabetes is an epidemic in the US, yet many people with the disease don’t even know they have it. Because diabetes also increases the risk of developing other conditions, knowing whether you have a high risk of developing type 2 is critical to your health. Diabetes Alert Day, founded by the American Diabetes Association, is a reminder to educate yourself about type 2 diabetes and to assess your risk of getting it. Make Diabetes Alert Day an opportunity to take action to protect your health.

    What is type 2 diabetes?
    Type 2 diabetes is by far the most prevalent form of the disease. It occurs when the body is no longer able to effectively used insulin that is produced by the pancreas to convert glucose into energy. As a result, glucose builds up in the blood, causing a number of serious side effects, including kidney damage, neuropathy, heart disease and stroke.

    Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease that destroys the pancreas so that it no longer produces insulin, type 2 diabetes is closely associated with lifestyle factors, including poor diet, obesity, and lack of exercise.

    When is Diabetes Alert Day?
    American Diabetes Association Alert Day is an annual event that is held on the fourth Thursday of March. In 2018, March 27 is the day dedicated to increasing diabetes awareness.

    On that day, events are held in communities across the nation to increase awareness of type 2 diabetes, from the risk factors to treatment options. The American Diabetes Association also offers an online risk assessment test to help people understand more about their chances of developing the disease.

    Am I at risk?
    Unlike type 1 diabetes, many cases of type 2 diabetes are preventable, by understanding your risk factors and taking steps to overcome them. Some common risks include:

    • Being overweight
    • Not following a healthy diet
    • Not getting at least 30 minutes of exercise most days

    Regional Medical Center of San Jose can help you reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes or find treatments that work for you if you have it. Contact us today at (888) 762-8881 to learn more about diabetes care or to request a referral to a specialist at our hospital in San Jose .

  • Everything you should know about accidental poisoning

    An accidental poisoning occurs when someone exposes him or herself to a dangerous substance unintentionally. When a poisoning occurs, it is essential to get emergency care as soon as possible. Fast action can be lifesaving in the case of an accidental poisoning. Here is what you need to know.

    What substances are commonly involved in accidental poisonings?
    Any substance that is toxic or that becomes toxic in large doses can be responsible for accidental poisonings. However, some substances are more frequently to blame than others. Accidental poisonings often involve:

    • Household cleaning products
    • Pesticides
    • Medications
    • Plants

    When a poisoning occurs, bring the packaging for the toxin to the hospital, if possible. The more information ER staff has about the poisoning; the faster emergency care can begin.

    How can I reduce the risk of accidental poisonings?
    To protect yourself from accidental poisonings, never ingest a substance you can’t identify, and always carefully follow dosing instructions on medications. These steps can protect your entire household:

    • Always store medications out of reach of children.
    • Never mix cleaning chemicals without reading the labels, to avoid creating toxic fumes.
    • Avoid houseplants with toxic leaves or flowers.
    • If you use pesticides, wear protective clothing.
    • Educate kids about the dangers of ingesting household supplies and medications.

    What should I do if an accidental poisoning occurs?
    Whether you have accidentally ingested something toxic or someone in your company has, stay calm. Call 911 or go immediately to the hospital for emergency care. If there is time, gather as much information as you can about the poisoning, including the exposure amount, the substance involved and when the exposure happened. This information will help the hospital make treatment decisions.

    In the face of a medical crisis, seek emergency care at Regional Hospital of San Jose, 24 hours per day, seven days per week. We’re here around the clock to provide access to cutting-edge diagnostics and specialty care, including our Level II Trauma Center . For more information about emergency care in San Jose, call (888) 762-8881.

  • Assessing the safety of clinical trials

    Clinical trials play a central role in the development of lifesaving treatments and medications. To achieve these treatment goals, it is necessary to have patients volunteer to participate in the trials. If your physician has recommended that you consider participating in a clinical trial, you may be concerned about safety. Here is what you need to know about the safety of clinical trial participation.

    What is a clinical trial?
    A clinical trial is a closely monitored, scientific study used to determine the efficacy of a new treatment. During a trial, participants are divided into two groups: one group that receives the new treatment and one that does not. Their responses are carefully tracked throughout the trial to determine if the treatment is more effective than those that are currently being used.

    Clinical trials are an important part of the process of introducing a new drug or treatment technology to the market. As such, they are crucial for advancing and improving patient treatment outcomes for a wide variety of conditions.

    How is safety monitored?
    When a clinical trial involving patients is introduced, a lengthy period of safety testing has already been conducted. Clinical trials are never performed to see if a new drug or treatment is safe. Drugs and treatments that are dangerous to people don’t reach the stage of development at which a clinical trial is necessary.

    As explained in the video, people involved in clinical trials are very closely monitored throughout the experience. In fact, during a clinical trial, patients tend to receive more medical care and evaluation than normal.

    Will I get sicker during a clinical trial?
    Patients who have a chronic medical condition that requires medical treatment, such as cancer or diabetes, are never without the medications or treatments they need during a clinical trial. Placebos are only used in clinical trials in cases in which not receiving a medication will not harm the patient’s health.

    Your physician at Regional Medical Center of San Jose will be happy to explain the benefits and risks of clinical trials if you are considering participating in one. Learn more about the clinical studies performed at hospital in San Jose by calling at (888) 762-8881.

  • Do you recognize the signs of an eating disorder?

    There are several types of eating disorders, and each can show different signs that indicate that an individual needs help. One thing all eating disorders have in common, however, is the danger of health problems ranging from gum disease to heart failure. That’s why it’s essential to recognize the signs in friends and loved ones and seek help through your trusted community hospital, Regional Medical Center of San Jose. We can assist you in exploring the best avenues of treatment for your loved one when you recognize the following warning signs.

    Following a highly restrictive diet
    Someone with an eating disorder may follow a very restrictive diet, avoiding whole food groups or sticking to a strict calorie count. In addition, the individual may have many rules about how he or she eats—no foods may be touching on a plate, for example, or there must be certain types of condiments present with every meal. People of all body types and backgrounds may develop eating disorders, so do not assume that being in a normal weight range disqualifies someone from having an eating disorder.

    It’s also common for a person with an eating disorder to want to eat in private or have anxiety about attending public events where food is served.

    Frequent health problems
    It does not take long for an eating disorder to manifest health problems, because the body may be deprived of the nutrients it needs to function properly. You may notice the person getting sick more frequently, always appearing tired, fainting or feeling dizzy, or being much more frail and weak.

    Defensive attitude toward comments about eating habits or appearance
    You may notice that it’s difficult to broach a conversation about dieting or health with the individual. The person may be defensive when you ask if he or she has lost weight, or he or she might be hesitant to talk about dietary habits or personal health.

    When you are in need of compassionate, reliable medical care in San Jose , you can count on Regional Medical Center of San Jose to provide the services you need from emergency care to behavioral health screenings. To connect with a member of our nursing staff for your questions and concerns, call (888) 762-8881 .

  • Separating myths from facts on sexual health

    It may not always be comfortable to talk about sex, but having an open, honest discussion with your partner—and discussing your sexual health with your physician —is the best way to cultivate an honest, fulfilling intimate relationship while protecting your health. Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions when it comes to sexual health, even among educated adults. These mistruths can be harmful to your health, so continue reading for a look at some of the most common.

    Myth: It’s obvious when someone has an STI
    Though sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be serious health conditions, their symptoms aren’t always obvious . The only way to know for sure if you or someone else has an STI is to get tested. If someone says that they know they do not have any STIs or STDs, ask when the last time they got tested was. Some infections can take months to show up on screening tests, and others may have a delayed onset of any noticeable symptoms.

    It’s also important to recognize that using a condom is not a fool-proof way of preventing the spread of STIs and STDs. Some infections are spread by skin to skin contact in the genital area, and some are spread when condoms are not used correctly—in combination with an oil-based lubricant, for example.

    Myth: You can’t get pregnant while you’re on your period
    Pregnancy can occur during any time in a woman’s menstrual cycle. Though it is most likely to occur when she’s ovulating, a woman can get pregnant at any time, even when she’s on her period.

    Myth: Senior citizens don’t get STDs
    It’s not just young people who must worry about sexual health and safety. Senior citizens can also contract STDs, and they in fact have a higher risk in some cases, because many older adults do not realize they need to get tested.

    When you need to get the answers to essential questions about your health or schedule the preventive exams and screenings that will keep you safe, call (888) 762-8881 to reach Regional Medical Center of San Jose. One of our registered nurses will be available to take your call 24/7, so don’t hesitate to reach out when you need us most. In the event of an emergency, however, call 911 or head to our San Jose emergency room right away.

  • Types of heart rhythm problems and their treatment

    Your heart is an involuntary muscle, which means it is always contracting and relaxing without you thinking about it. The rhythm of your heart is caused by electrical activity, and should be steady and even despite your heart’s pace changing from activity or inactivity. As this video explains, there are many different types of heart rhythm problems, or arrhythmias , that may throw off your heart’s natural rhythm and present more significant health problems later, such as stroke or heart failure.

    Dr. Chow explains in the video that there are many different arrhythmias that exist and the important of narrowing down a patient’s diagnosis to select the right course of treatment and resolve symptoms—as well as mitigate future health risks. Here you can learn about some of the more common arrhythmias and get an idea of what treatments are used to correct them at Regional Medical Center of San Jose.

    Atrial fibrillation (aFib)
    Perhaps the most common type of arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that originates in the atria, or upper chambers of the heart .

    Atrial flutter
    Atrial flutter also originates in the atria, but it has a much different pattern. Where the heartbeat is highly irregular with aFib, it is steadier with atrial flutter, though there is a faster rate and the occasional added or skipped beat.

    Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT)
    PSVT is another type of arrhythmia in which the heart beats too fast, but this condition originates in the ventricles, or lower chambers of the heart.

    Treatment options
    There are certain conditions that can cause arrhythmias, so it’s important to work with your cardiologist for an accurate and thorough diagnosis. Once any underlying conditions are managed, your doctor may recommend drug therapy with prescription drugs to regulate the heartbeat. Should this conservative approach fail, you might consider electrical cardioversion—a treatment in which an electrical shock is sent to the heart to restart its normal rhythm—a pacemaker, or another type of implantable device designed to regulate the heartbeat through electrical stimulation.

    For exceptional cardiovascular care in your neighborhood, connect with Regional Medical Center of San Jose. Our accredited Chest Pain Center and cardiovascular surgery services are regionally recognized, and we remain invested in the most advanced treatment options to ensure your heart health. To learn more about us or request a physician referral, call (888) 762-8881.

  • Is it safe to drive yourself to the ER?

    One of the most important steps in dealing with a medical emergency is recognizing that an emergency is taking place. In some cases, it’s clear when to call 911, such as after a serious car accident or when someone is showing the symptoms of a stroke . Other times, you may recognize that you or someone else needs to see a doctor right away, but you might think that it’s better to drive to the hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

    In general, it is better to go on the side of caution and call 911 even if you think it is safe to drive to the ER. As Dr. Justin Wang from Regional Medical Center explains in this video, you may not drive as carefully as you should, because you are trying to get to the hospital quickly or are driving recklessly due to the urgency of the situation. In addition, your symptoms may worsen when you are on the way to the hospital, putting you at risk for an accident.

    When you should call 911
    If someone is facing a life-threatening emergency, such as a heart attack or traumatic injury, you should absolutely call 911. When an ambulance arrives on the scene, lifesaving interventions can begin to take place immediately. In addition, EMS services can connect with local hospitals to help their emergency rooms prepare for a patient’s arrival and see to it that a doctor or surgeon is ready to tend to the individual upon arrival.

    Why it may be better to call an ambulance
    Along with life-saving interventions that can be offered by EMTs in the ambulance, you can access more appropriate care by calling 911. Dr. Wang provides the example of a stroke patient being taken to a regional stroke center that may be just a little further away than the closest hospital.

    When you need emergency care , never hesitate to call 911 to be taken to Regional Medical Center of San Jose. For non-emergent medical inquiries, stay in touch with us by calling (888) 762-8881.

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