Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center
Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life. We strive to deliver high quality, cost effective healthcare in the communities we serve.
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Identifying Heart Attack Symptoms in Younger Women

When you read the phrase “heart attack victim,” the image that may come to your mind is likely that of an older man. Yet, heart disease is the leading killer of women. Heart attacks are a major public health problem that is compounded by the difficulty of recognizing the subtler symptoms, particularly when they occur in younger women. Cardiology specialists encourage patients to err on the side of caution and go to the emergency room if suspected heart attack symptoms develop, even if they do not seem serious. Thousand Oaks residents will find prompt cardiology evaluation and medical intervention at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center.

Respiratory Problems

Shortness of breath can have many causes, including physical exertion, asthma, and panic attacks. However, when a younger woman suffers a heart attack, she may experience atypical shortness of breath despite the absence of physical exertion or similar factors. Shortness of breath may occur when the patient performs physical tasks that do not normally result in respiratory distress.

Flu-Like Symptoms

Women, particularly younger women, are more likely than men to experience flu-like symptoms when suffering from myocardial infarction. Women may become nauseated, feel lightheaded or dizzy, break out into a cold sweat, and develop clammy skin. They may also experience significant, generalized weakness. When these symptoms occur in the absence of an infection or fever, they may indicate a serious cardiovascular problem.

General Discomfort

It is indeed possible for younger women to experience pain, tightness, burning, or squeezing in the chest during a heart attack. However, they are more likely to report pain or discomfort in other areas of the body. These include the upper back and abdomen, one or both arms, neck, and jaw.

The cardiology specialists at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks have made it their mission to save the lives of heart attack victims. When a suspected heart attack victim arrives at the emergency room of our heart hospital, our highly trained providers immediately initiate protocols to confirm the diagnosis and begin life-saving interventions. Please call 911 now for emergency medical assistance or contact our Consult-A-Nurse line at (877) 888-5746 for general health information.


Heart Attack Prevention Through Better Sleep

You may already know that you can reduce your risk of suffering a heart attack by exercising regularly, making healthy dietary choices, and avoiding smoking. But did you know that the amount of sleep you get each night can also affect your heart health? Cardiology research suggests that people who experience sleep deprivation have an increased risk of dying from heart disease and stroke. Sleep apnea, a serious type of sleep disorder, is also a significant risk factor of cardiovascular disease. To manage your cardiology risk factors, you can consider Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center to be your partner in wellness.

Understanding the Link Between Sleep and Heart Health

The connection between poor sleep duration and an increased risk of heart attack is complex and multifaceted. Chronic sleep deprivation is associated with an increased risk of obesity due to hormonal imbalances. In turn, obesity can contribute to the conditions that set the stage for a heart attack. Additionally, individuals with insomnia may not get the long stretches of deep sleep that the body needs to lower blood pressure and heart rate. This places excess stress on the heart. Furthermore, some people have sleep apnea. This sleep disorder causes the patient to cease breathing while asleep. The brain senses the lack of oxygen and rouses the individual from sleep. A person with sleep apnea may cycle through periods of waking and sleeping dozens of times each night. As a result, sleep apnea increases the risk of high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and other heart problems.

Improving Your Quality and Duration of Sleep

If you suspect you may have a sleep disorder, you might consider talking to your physician about your treatment options. For some people, lifestyle changes are sufficient to get a good night’s sleep. Others may need medical intervention. To increase your chances of getting enough restful sleep, consider limiting caffeine, establishing a regular sleep/wake schedule, and setting a comfortable temperature in your bedroom.

Prevention is always preferable, but if you do suffer a heart attack, the cardiology team at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center will make every effort to improve your outcome. From exceptional emergency room services to preventive and interventional cardiology, you’ll find comprehensive medical care at our hospital in Thousand Oaks. If you would like to speak with a registered nurse, you can call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (877) 888-5746.


What Is EMS and How Does It Work with the ER?

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is a network of public and private organizations dedicated to saving lives by connecting critical patients to emergency room care. Although the need for emergency room care is ageless, the modern EMS system was developed relatively recently. In 1973, Congress authorized the Emergency Medical Services Systems Act. Since that time, EMS has played a pivotal and evolving role in the hospital and out-of-hospital settings. At Los Robles Hospital, trauma patients arriving by ambulance or helicopter receive immediate treatment by the trauma team and the on-site EMS team.

EMS Functions

EMS is perhaps best known for the ambulances that bring patients to the emergency room. However, EMS is actually a highly intricate network of public and private agencies, communication networks, trauma systems, community hospitals, transportation networks, and skilled medical professionals. EMS provides integrated care to support public health and safety. Although the primary focus of EMS systems is to respond to medical emergencies, by necessity, EMS personnel may work closely with law enforcement officers and firefighters when responding to various hazards and emergencies.

EMS Providers

There are different types of EMS providers, each with a different level of training and certification. In Thousand Oaks and throughout California, EMS providers maintain licensure through the California Emergency Medical Services Authority. Certified EMS providers must obtain training through authorized agencies. Paramedics are capable of providing a high level of care in an out-of-hospital setting. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are often the first medical responders dispatched to an emergency. They can provide basic life support services. An Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) is certified to provide limited advanced life support services. In certain areas in California, local EMS systems may certify Mobile Intensive Care Nurses (MICNs). Other EMS providers include public safety personnel such as peace officers, lifeguards, and firefighters.

Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is dedicated to saving lives by having highly trained providers available at our Emergency Room and Level II Trauma Center during every hour of every day. On average, patients brought to our Emergency Room in Thousand Oaks are seen in fewer than 15 minutes. If you do not have a medical emergency, but wish to contact a registered nurse at our community hospital, you can call (877) 888-5746.


Raising Stroke Awareness: Key Facts to Know

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. Since a stroke can affect anyone at any time, improving stroke awareness is crucial for saving lives. If you suspect that you or a loved one could be suffering a stroke, every second counts. By calling 911 right away, Thousand Oaks residents can reach the Emergency Room at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center quickly enough to improve their chances of survival.

Facts and Figures

A stroke occurs when an area of the brain is deprived of blood. Without oxygenated blood, brain tissue begins to die. This results in irreversible brain damage and functional impairment. Although it is possible to fully recover from a stroke, more than two-thirds of stroke survivors suffer from a lifelong disability. The sooner a person reaches an emergency room, the better the outcome is likely to be. According to the National Stroke Association, a stroke affects someone in the U.S. every 40 seconds and every four minutes, a person dies from a stroke. Although these statistics are grim, up to 80% of all strokes may be prevented through proper medical management and lifestyle modifications.

Risk Factors

Some risk factors of stroke are not modifiable, including one’s age, gender, and family history. However, there are many risk factors of stroke that are controllable. These include certain medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, high cholesterol, and circulation problems. Consider talking to your doctor about your medical conditions and how you can manage them properly. Lifestyle risk factors of stroke include leading a physically inactive lifestyle, eating an unhealthy diet, consuming alcohol, and smoking. By making simple changes to these behaviors and habits, a person can lower his or her risk of life-threatening stroke.

When patients who are suspected of suffering a stroke arrive at the Emergency Room of Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, a multidisciplinary team immediately performs rapid evaluations and initiates life-saving treatments. Our community hospital in Thousand Oaks is the only hospital in Ventura County to feature a Neuroendovascular Program for the sophisticated treatment of complex brain conditions. Potential stroke patients are advised to call 911 immediately to obtain medical help. Non-emergent inquiries may be directed to our Consult-A-Nurse line at (877) 888-5746.


Knowing What Happens After You Donate Blood

Blood donations are always needed in every community, including the Thousand Oaks area. Patients who come into the emergency room or trauma center may require multiple units of donated blood. However, there is also an ongoing need for donated blood for patients who are undergoing non-emergent surgery, cancer treatments, blood disorder treatments, and other medical procedures. The providers at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center would like to extend our thanks to first-time and regular blood donors.

Collecting

When you go to the hospital or blood drive location to donate, you’ll first undergo a medical screening designed to support your health and safety, and to ensure that every blood recipient only receives safe, usable blood. During flu season and throughout the year, it’s important for blood donors to be alert to the signs of a possible infection and to reschedule the appointment to donate blood if they are feeling unwell.

Processing

After you give blood, the technician scans the blood unit into a computer database. Then, the donated blood is processed in a centrifuge, which separates the various components of the blood. These primary components, which are plasma, red blood cells, and platelets, may undergo further processing. For example, the plasma may be processed into cryoprecipitate. This is a frozen blood product that may be used for certain patients, including those with hemophilia or excessive anticoagulation.

Testing

Every blood donation undergoes rigorous testing. The laboratory performs about a dozen tests on each test tube of donated blood to check for infectious diseases and to determine the blood type. In the event that a test for the disease is positive, the donated blood is discarded and the blood donor is made aware of the test results.

Storing

The blood that passes the testing process is labeled. Red blood cells are stored in refrigeration units for a maximum of 42 days. Platelets can be stored for five days at room temperature. Plasma and cryoprecipitate may be frozen for up to one year.

Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center encourages our neighbors in the Thousand Oaks area to help save lives by becoming blood donors. There is always a critical need for donated blood in our Emergency Room, cardiology department, and throughout our community hospital. For general information about donating blood, you can contact our hospital at (877) 888-5746 and speak with a registered nurse.


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