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.

Are you prepared to act fast in the event of stroke symptoms?

Stroke is deadly and debilitating, but survival is possible if the patient reaches the Emergency Room quickly. As soon as you recognize that someone is experiencing stroke symptoms, call 911. The sooner the patient reaches Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, the better the outcome will be. This is because the treatment for stroke is time-dependent, according to the neurologist featured in the accompanying video.

Recognize the signs of stroke
The symptoms of a stroke develop rapidly. Since no one expects their loved one to suddenly suffer a stroke, it can be difficult to recognize what the symptoms mean. That’s why doctors recommend learning the F.A.S.T. acronym:

  • F: Face. The person’s smile droops on one side.
  • A: Arms. One arm involuntarily drifts downward when both are raised up.
  • S: Speech. The person suddenly starts talking strangely or has slurred speech.
  • T: Time. As soon as these symptoms occur, it’s time to call 911.

Of course, stroke can cause other signs and symptoms. These include:

  • Sudden vision impairment
  • Confusion or inattentiveness
  • Sudden, excruciating headache with no apparent cause
  • Weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Trouble walking
  • Loss of consciousness

Act quickly when stroke occurs
Calling 911 is the first thing you should do when there’s even a slight chance that someone is having a stroke. Then, take the following steps:

  • Write down the time symptoms first appeared
  • Help the patient lie down on a couch or the floor
  • Gather the patient’s medications—look in the medicine cabinet and nightstand

If the patient doesn’t have a pulse, then your priority after calling 911 is to perform CPR. The 911 dispatcher can walk you through the steps.

Know what to avoid when stroke occurs
Avoiding these common mistakes could save a life:

  • Don’t give the person aspirin or other medicines
  • Don’t give the patient food or drink
  • Don’t try to drive the patient to the ER instead of waiting for an ambulance
  • Don’t leave the individual alone

Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is a recognized leader in stroke care. We are a Comprehensive Stroke Center that also features a specialized Neurovascular Program. A registered nurse in Thousand Oaks welcomes your general healthcare questions at (877) 888-5746, but please do call 911 immediately if you or someone else might be having a stroke.

Communicating with your pediatrician when your child goes to the ER

Taking your child to the emergency room can be an anxious experience, and you may wonder what role his or her pediatrician should play in your decision to get emergency care. How and when you communicate with your child’s pediatrician when you go to the ER depends on several different factors, including how urgent his or her symptoms are. Here is what you need to know.

Don’t delay care

Although there can be advantages to checking in with your child’s pediatrician before going to the emergency room, you should never delay care to do so. As mentioned in the featured video, if your child is having symptoms that require immediate treatment, calling 911 or getting to the emergency room right away is the priority.

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, go to the ER before calling his or her pediatrician:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion/changes in mental status
  • Severe bleeding
  • Traumatic injury

If you are unable to call your child’s pediatrician before going to the ER, the hospital will provide his or her doctor will a record of the visit to review.

Communicate if you can

If it won’t jeopardize your child’s health, it can be helpful to call his or her pediatrician before going to the emergency room, especially if you are going to the hospital for treatment for a problem for which your child has previously seen the doctor.

For example, if your child receives regular care for a chronic condition, such as asthma or diabetes, and he or she is going to the hospital for a problem related to that condition, you may wish to call the pediatrician. The same is true for an acute condition for which your child has already seen his or her doctor, such as a bout of the flu or a chest infection.

Your child’s pediatrician can provide health records to the hospital before you arrive that can speed up the emergency care he or she receives.

At Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, our emergency room is available around the clock to provide immediate care to your entire family, including comprehensive follow-ups to coordinate continued care with your primary physician. To find out more about all of the services at our hospital in Thousand Oaks, please call (877) 888-5746.

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.

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