Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center
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Essential health screenings you need this year

When it comes to maintaining good health, taking a proactive approach is more successful than simply reacting to problems as they emerge. With regular screening tests, your physician can help you understand your risk factors for certain diseases and diagnose health conditions in their early stages, when they are easier to treat and before they can cause complications. Here are some of the screening tests you can benefit from having.

Thyroid function tests
Thyroid function tests are performed to determine if your thyroid gland is supplying the appropriate amount of thyroid hormones to your body. If you have either too little or too much thyroid hormone, your metabolism will not function appropriately, which in turn will impact the way nearly every system in your body functions.

Your doctor can tell you if you should have a thyroid function test based on a number of different factors, including your age and any symptoms you’re experiencing, such as sudden weight fluctuations. Thyroid tests can be particular important for women, who tend to suffer from thyroid issues more often than men do.

Heart health tests
There are a number of different tests that can be used to assess your heart health. As mentioned in the video, combining these tests to look for a variety of risk factors for heart disease is most helpful. Some tests your physician may recommend include:

  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Blood glucose

Both men and women can benefit from having these tests regularly so that they have a better understanding of their heart health.

Colorectal cancer screenings
Colorectal cancers tend to grow slowly, so screening tests can be enormously effective in preventing cancer and diagnosing it in an early, treatable stage. During a colonoscopy, your physician can also remove polyps that could pose a future cancer risk.

Typically, colorectal cancer screenings should begin by age 50 for men and women. However, if you have a family history of this kind of cancer, you may need to begin screenings sooner.

At Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, we offer comprehensive inpatient and outpatient healthcare services in Thousand Oaks, including these essential screening tests. Take control of your health today and call us at (877) 888-5746 for a referral to one of our physicians.


What all women should know about cervical cancer screening

Cervical cancer screenings are an important part of women’s preventive health care. Your physician will help you decide when you need to start screening tests and how often you should have them, based on your personal health history and that of your family. Regardless of your personal risk factors for cervical cancer, here are some facts that all women should know about these kinds of screening tests.

Why are cervical cancer screening tests important?
Cervical cancer screenings allow your physician to identify abnormal cells in your cervix that could be cancerous or precancerous. Screenings help women get cervical cancer diagnoses in early stages of the disease, when it is easier to treat.

Precancerous cells in the cervix often take between three and seven years to develop into cancer. With regular screening tests, these cells can be identified before they become cancerous so that they can be removed or otherwise treated, which could help to prevent cervical cancer.

What happens during cervical cancer screening tests?
Cervical cancer screenings are performed using a Pap test. During a Pap test, cells are gently brushed away from the cervix and examined under a microscope to look for any abnormalities.

Some women also have HPV tests as part of their cervical cancer screenings. This test looks for forms of HPV that increase the risk of cervical cancer. A positive HPV test does not mean that a woman has cervical cancer but rather that she has an increased risk of the disease.

How often do I need to be screened for cervical cancer?
Usually, women between 21 and 29 need to have a Pap test every three years and do not need HPV testing. Between 30 and 65, women usually need both tests every five years, or they can opt to have Pap tests every three years.

If you have a history of gynecological cancer or if cervical cancer runs in your family, you may need more frequent testing.

The Cancer Center at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center assists with all stages of cancer care, from screening tests to comprehensive treatment plans. Contact our hospital in Thousand Oaks today at (877) 888-5746 for a referral to a women’s health physician or our cancer team.

Know when to use CPR

During a medical emergency, CPR can be life-saving. Knowing when to perform CPR may not always be easy, but there are signs you can look for that can indicate that a patient could benefit from it until they can get care in the emergency room. Here is what you need to know.

What exactly is CPR?
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It involves the use of chest compressions to keep blood pumping through the body, so that it can continue to supply organs with oxygen and nutrients when a cardiac crisis occurs.

Performing CPR essentially lets you perform the functions of the heart, until it can be restarted by a defibrillator. Typically, this will happen in an ambulance or emergency room, although some places are equipped with emergency defibrillators for public use.

When should I use CPR?
CPR is usually performed in response to cardiac arrest. During cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating suddenly. As the video mentions, there are some signs you can look for that someone is having cardiac arrest:

  • They are unresponsive.

  • They are not breathing, or their breathing is shallow.

  • They appear to be having seizures, which sometimes occur with cardiac arrest.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to check for a pulse if you see these symptoms. Doing so could take too much time, so it is best to start compressions right away.

What steps should I take if I need to perform CPR?
Start by ensuring the scene is safe for you. Ideally, have someone else call 911 when you start compressions. It can also be helpful to have someone else look for a defibrillator, if possible. If no one else is around, call 911 yourself before or while you start compressions, so that help is on the way.

The American Heart Association recommends hands-only CPR, which only involves doing chest compressions only and not attempting to breathe into someone’s mouth. The 911 operator can help you through the process.

The emergency room at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center is ready around the clock to provide lifesaving care when cardiac arrests, strokes, and other crises occur. We even have a special emergency room in Thousand Oaks just for kids. Get answers to your questions about our emergency services by calling (877) 888-5746.


Don't make these mistakes when you wash your hands

Washing your hands may seem simple, but really getting them clean requires some special attention. It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re washing, and doing so can have some serious consequences, including the flu. Don’t let hand washing errors turn into an illness for you. Avoid these mistakes to get the maximum benefits from washing your hands and to reduce the chances of needing a trip to the hospital.

Mistake: Not washing your hands at the right times.
If you’re only washing your hands a few times per day, you may be doing it wrong. There are actually a multitude of occasions that call for clean hands. Here is when you should head for the sink to wash up:

  • After using the restroom
  • After changing a diaper
  • After you take out the trash
  • After you blow your nose
  • After sneezing or coughing into your hands
  • Before and after taking care of someone who is ill
  • Before and after preparing food
  • Before you eat
  • Before and after you clean a wound

As a rule of thumb, wash your hands after you come into contact with potential germs and before you do anything that would allow you to transfer germs to others.

Mistake: Rushing through the washing process
Dipping your hands under some water is not the same thing as really washing your hands. The scrubbing alone should take at least 20 seconds—long enough to sing Happy Birthday twice. These are the steps that should be involved in washing your hands:

  • Wet your hands.
  • Lather them all over with soap.
  • Scrub for 20 seconds.
  • Rinse them thoroughly.
  • Dry them with a clean towel. Air drying is also fine.

Mistake: Avoiding hand sanitizer when you can’t wash
When a sink is not available, don’t skip cleaning your hands. Instead, use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer is not as effective as washing your hands, but it is a good stopgap measure.

The hand sanitizer you use should be at least 60% alcohol to effectively kill germs. Apply it to your hands and rub it into your skin until it is dry.

Washing your hands can help you avoid illness and the need to visit the emergency room or your physician for care. If you do get sick, Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks is here to help. You can get a referral to one of our doctors by calling (877) 888-5746.


Preventing electric shock injuries this holiday season

Electric shock injuries can be very serious for kids, and the risk skyrockets during the holiday season. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to reduce the chances that your holidays will involve a visit to the pediatric emergency room for electric shock injuries. Here are some steps that parents can take to keep themselves and their kids safe this season.

Never leave young children unattended
Many electric shock injuries happen when unattended young children start exploring. Biting down on an electrical wire or sticking metal items into a plug socket can lead to significant burn injuries, so keep an eye on your child until he or she is old enough to know to stay away.

Seasonal lighting creates a unique risk for kids. Flashing and colorful lights can be irresistible to children, so even toddlers who know to keep away from cords and outlets may be too tempted to stay away. Make sure that you’re supervising kids who are playing in areas near holiday light displays.

Use protective measures
With unused plugs, adding a plug cover can resolve the danger. There are other things you can do to protect your child from electric shock injuries, such as:

  • Getting rid of wires that are frayed or not insulated
  • Replace any bulbs that are have burned out on holiday lighting
  • Put extension cords and wires out of kids’ reach
  • Clean up any water spills around electrical items right away

These simple steps can reduce the chances that your child will be exposed to anything that can cause a shock injury.

Get emergency care if a shock occurs
If your child suffers an electric shock injury, take him or her to the emergency room, even if the injury does not seem serious. Don’t touch your child if the current is still active. Instead, disconnect the power supply.

The pediatric emergency room and PICU are open at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center throughout the holidays, to ensure your kids stay safe and healthy this season. You can learn more about all of our pediatric services by calling (877) 888-5746.


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