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.

Is owning a pet good for your heart?

If you want better heart health, the answer might have four legs. Pets have been shown to have a positive impact on heart health—and overall health—for many people, and they could be a key part of helping you embrace a heart-healthy lifestyle. With Take Your Dog to Work Day approaching on June 23, here is a look at the ways pets can improve your heart health.

More exercise means better heart health

Dog owners, in particular, reap one reward of pet ownership: more activity. Walking your dog helps you fit in more activity each day, which can have several heart-healthy benefits, such as:

  • Weight loss/weight management
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Lower triglycerides
  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes

Regular physical activity can also play a role in managing chronic health conditions you already have, including those that increase your risk of heart problems.

Companionship can mean less stress

When you have a pet, you also have companionship. The unconditional love and attention of a pet can stave off loneliness, which can itself be a risk factor for heart disease. For seniors who suffer from isolation, a pet can be an important companion when friends and family cannot be around.

The companionship of a pet can also help to reduce stress. Some studies show that simply petting a dog can lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Because stress can have a significantly detrimental impact on your heart health and increase inflammation in the body, having a pet to reduce stress can help to cut your risk of heart disease.

The impact of pets on mental health has led to a spike in demand for therapy dogs, which are trained to visit people in hospitals, nursing homes, and other situations that could be high stress.

Are you concerned about your heart health? The cardiovascular team at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is nationally recognized for our patient outcomes. We provide comprehensive diagnostics and treatment options for patients with heart issues. For more information or a referral to one of our cardiac specialists in Thousand Oaks, please call (877) 888-5746.

Why do women live longer than men?

June is Men’s Health Month, which is the perfect opportunity to consider why women tend to outlive men, and what men can do about it. There are a number of different factors that contribute to this statistic, from delays in preventative care to behaviors that increase the risk of heart disease. Here is a look at some of the factors that contribute to men dying before women.

Lifestyle factors

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but it is more common in men. There are many different things that can lead to the increased risk for heart disease, including many lifestyle factors:

  • Obesity
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Smoking
  • Lack of physical activity

Although women also engage in these same behaviors that are risky for heart health, men tend to embrace them in higher numbers. Because these lifestyle choices increase the risk of heart disease, men have a greater risk of dying from heart disease because of them.

Delayed care

Men often delay seeking medical care for longer than women. This includes both preventative care and emergency care.

Delaying preventative care means that serious medical conditions are often not caught in their early stages. As a result, a disease that is often treatable in early stages, such as colon cancer or prostate cancer, may advance to an untreatable stage before it is diagnosed. High blood pressure and high cholesterol, which both contribute to heart disease, may also not be discovered until damage is done to the cardiovascular system.

When emergency care is delayed, a heart attack or stroke that may have been survivable with early intervention could turn deadly.

Emotional health

Stress, depression, anxiety, and other emotional health issues can shorten your lifespan, and men are generally hesitant to speak up and ask for help with these problems. Men frequently see asking for help when they are overwhelmed or showing their feelings as being un-masculine, so they allow emotional health problems to fester. Without treatment, these health problems can increase the risk of everything from heart disease to suicide.

You don’t have to become a statistic. Take control of your health today by contacting Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks and requesting a referral to a physician who can you on the road to better health. Dial (877) 888-5746 to get a physician referral or find out more about our hospital services.

Surprising health benefits of donating blood

!<--Giving blood is a great way to help others, but there are also health benefits for those who donate such as a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.-->

Most people know that donating blood saves lives, but they are often less aware of the health benefits of blood donation for themselves. However, in addition to ensuring the emergency rooms and surgical suites have the blood supplies they need to help patients who need urgent care, donating blood can have a profound effect on your own well-being, beyond the knowledge that you are saving someone else’s life. If you’re trying to decide if donating blood is right for you, consider these health benefits.

Reduced heart disease risk

If you donate blood on a regular basis, it could help to reduce your risk of heart disease. Blood donations reduce the risk of iron in your body, which is beneficial for people with high levels, as excessive iron in your blood can lead to oxidative damage to your internal organs.

Oxidative damage is linked to heart disease because it often affects blood vessels and the heart itself. This damage can lead to both heart attacks and strokes. Men are particularly at risk for oxidative damage, which regular blood donations can help to manage.

Reduced cancer risk

Oxidative damage doesn’t just increase the risk of heart disease. There is also evidence that it is linked with some kinds of cancer. As donating blood reduces the amount of iron in your body, it could also decrease your cancer risk. Research is ongoing to explore this link.

One thing doctors do know for sure is that donating blood does not increase your risk of cancer, which is a myth that has persisted about blood donation in the past.

Free health check-up

You have to be in good physical health to donate blood, so every time you make a donation, you get a mini health checkup for free. Your temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and hemoglobin levels will all be checked, which could alert you to a potential health issue you should review with your physician.

Donated blood plays a critical role in the care we provide at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center. Consider talking to your physician about whether you are healthy enough to donate blood, or call our hospital in Thousand Oaks at (877) 888-5746 to learn more about blood donation in our community.

Know what to do if your child is drowning

Parenthood is incredibly rewarding, yet it can also be downright scary. Medical emergencies like near-drownings leave little time to think before acting, so it’s important to be prepared beforehand. Knowing what to do just might save your child’s life. When medical emergencies arise in the Thousand Oaks area, parents trust the Emergency Room doctors at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center.

Take your child out of the water

Every second counts in a drowning emergency. As soon as you notice a child in distress in the water, jump in and get him or her out by any means necessary.

If there are other people in the vicinity, you should yell for help while going in the water. If there is a flotation device within easy reach, grab it and take it with you. You can use it to help keep your child’s head above the water while you get him or her to safety.

Check for breathing

Lay your child on the side of the pool or on the shore. Check him or her for breathing.

Begin CPR

If your child isn’t breathing, begin CPR immediately. It’s a good idea for all parents and caregivers to take a pediatric CPR course, just in case this sort of emergency happens. Pediatric CPR begins with delivering two rescue breaths in the following manner.

  1. Lay your child on the back and tilt the head back slightly. Raise the chin slightly.

  2. Pinch the child’s nose closed.

  3. Make a complete seal with your mouth over the child’s mouth.

  4. Deliver two breaths into the child’s mouth.

If your child does not respond to the rescue breaths, begin chest compressions.

  1. Position the heel of one hand on the center of the chest.

  2. Put the heel of the second hand on top of the first. Lace the fingers together.

  3. Do 30 rapid compressions, pressing down about two inches into the child’s chest.

  4. Give two more rescue breaths.

  5. Continue to alternate compressions and rescue breaths until your child breathes or an emergency responder arrives.

Call 911

It’s ideal if someone else is available to call 911 while you’re performing CPR. If you’re the only person there, continue to perform CPR until your child begins breathing again. Then, call 911.

Do not try to drive your child to the Emergency Room yourself. Emergency responders can continue medical interventions while on route to the Emergency Room.

Our Emergency Room is fully staffed and equipped around the clock, although we sincerely hope your child will never need it. Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks is committed to providing the family-centered, compassionate care that each of our patients deserves. Call 911 immediately for transportation to the Emergency Room or call a registered nurse at (877) 888-5746 for general healthcare inquiries.

Bike safety reminders for adults

Bicycling is fun for all ages, and it’s also a great way to stay in shape. If you’re looking for ways of incorporating more physical activity into your daily routine, join the countless Americans who choose to bike to work. May 19, 2017 is Bike to Work Day, which gives you and your co-workers the perfect opportunity to embrace eco-friendly transportation in Thousand Oaks. The Emergency Room staff at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center encourages our neighbors to brush up on their bicycling safety knowledge before heading out this May.

Wear a properly fitted helmet

One of the most effective ways to protect yourself while bicycling is to always wear your helmet. Getting into this habit just might save your life or perhaps keep you out of the Emergency Room altogether.

Select a helmet that features the label of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. This indicates that it has met high safety standards.

Follow traffic laws

Bicyclists should always know the state and local traffic laws that apply to them. Since bicycles are legally considered to be vehicles, bicyclists must:

  • Ride in the direction of traffic

  • Obey lane markings, traffic signs and traffic lights

  • Use hand signals in advance of turning

  • Yield to traffic and pedestrians when appropriate

Avoid cycling while distracted

It’s well-known that driving while distracted is one of the top causes of auto accidents. Bicycling while distracted is also a major safety risk.

Avoid wearing headphones while bicycling. Riding on sparsely populated country roads gives you an opportunity to enjoy the scenery. However, you should always maintain keen alertness while riding in town.

Increase your visibility

It’s always a smart idea to boost your visibility on the road, as bicycles are considerably smaller than motor vehicles. Add front and rear reflectors to your bike. Consider installing a flashing red light for even better visibility.

It’s advisable to avoid riding a bicycle near dusk and after dark. If you do ride when visibility is particularly low, you should wear bright, neon colors and have lights on both ends of your bike.

The Emergency Room at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center features East Ventura County’s only Level II Trauma Center. When a patient arrives at our hospital, our Emergency Room team immediately gets to work initiating life-saving interventions. For non-emergency questions only, you can contact a registered nurse in Thousand Oaks by calling (877) 888-5746.

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