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.

Would You Know If You Were Having a Heart Attack?

You may have seen a movie or TV show in which a character suddenly clutches his chest and dramatically falls to the ground. In reality, heart attacks affect both men and women, and they can even affect younger adults in their 20s and 30s. Heart attacks can certainly cause severe chest pain or pressure, but they can sometimes be much more difficult to recognize. Here at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, our cardiology specialists urge families to become familiar with the subtler signs of a heart attack and to seek emergency assistance promptly.

Pain and Discomfort
Chest pain can have many causes, some of which are relatively harmless. Heartburn, for instance, can feel similar to the pain of a heart attack. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible for patients to differentiate between heartburn and a heart attack without medical testing. It’s best to err on the side of caution and call 911 if the chest pain persists for longer than a few minutes, or if it resolves and then comes back. In addition to chest pain, a heart attack can cause pain or discomfort in the jaw, upper back, arms, and upper abdomen. Women are more likely than men to experience pain in areas other than the chest.

Respiratory Distress
It’s natural to become short of breath during a tough workout. But if you’re having trouble catching your breath while you’re sitting down or after only mild exertion, this could be a sign of a cardiac event. Unexplainable shortness of breath is especially alarming when it’s accompanied by other possible heart attack symptoms.

Flu-Like Symptoms
Some people go to the hospital for flu-like symptoms, only to discover that they’ve actually had a heart attack instead of a viral infection. You might experience extreme fatigue that makes it difficult to get through your daily routine. This fatigue can occur days or even weeks before the actual heart attack. Lightheadedness, fainting, cold sweats, nausea, and vomiting are other possible symptoms of a heart attack.

The cardiology specialists at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center urge our neighbors in Thousand Oaks to call 911 if they experience any possible heart attack symptoms. The sooner the ambulance brings you to our Emergency Room, the quicker we can perform evaluations and medical interventions. For non-emergent inquiries, you can reach a registered nurse at our hospital by calling (877) 888-5746.

Comparing Risk Factors for Heart Attack and Stroke

Stroke and heart attacks are both life-threatening events that may lead to long-term disabilities or complications for survivors. They also share many of the same risk factors. A risk factor is anything that increases the likelihood of developing a disease or condition. However, it’s important to note that, regardless of risk factors, a stroke or heart attack can affect virtually anyone. At Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, our Emergency Room physicians and nurses are available 24/7 to provide rapid evaluations and interventions.

Unmodifiable Risk Factors
An unmodifiable risk factor is one that cannot be changed through medical treatment or lifestyle changes. Advancing age is a risk factor for both stroke and heart attack. According to the American Heart Association, most of the patients who die of heart attacks are 65 years of age or older. More women than men are diagnosed with stroke and more women die from it. Men experience more heart attacks than women and men are more likely to suffer heart attacks at a younger age. For both stroke and heart attack, having a family history of these conditions increases one’s risk. Personal medical history can also play a role. People who have had a prior stroke are at an increased risk of another stroke. In addition, heart attack survivors are at a higher risk of suffering a stroke.

Modifiable Risk Factors
Many cases of stroke and heart attack are preventable with smart lifestyle choices. For both conditions, a poor diet, physical inactivity, obesity, and cigarette smoking are risk factors. Certain medical conditions can also increase the risk of both stroke and heart attack. These include diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Additionally, the risk of stroke increases in patients who have peripheral artery disease, atrial fibrillation, and sickle cell diseases.

Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is renowned for our nationally accredited Cardiac and Cardiology Center and for our award-winning Stroke Program. Our specialists in Thousand Oaks emphasize the value of preventive wellness and patient education for managing the risk factors of both stroke and heart attack. To request a referral to a physician at our hospital, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (877) 888-5746.

How Can EMS Make a Difference in Your Emergency Care?

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is an integrated system that is activated when someone is experiencing a medical emergency. EMS workers include paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) who arrive via ambulance to a patient’s location to take that individual to the hospital. When a patient suffers a stroke, heart attack, or other serious or life-threatening health crisis, EMS professionals can drastically improve the odds of a better outcome for the patient. Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is proud to offer the services of our on-site EMS team.

Safe Patient Transportation
When experiencing a severe medical problem, a person’s first instinct might be to try to drive him or herself to the hospital or to have a relative provide transportation. Unfortunately, this can lead to significant consequences. EMS workers can transport patients to emergency rooms and trauma centers much more quickly and more safely than the average person could. Seconds count during life-threatening medical emergencies. When a stroke occurs, for example, two million nerve cells die for every minute that blood can’t reach the brain, according to the American Heart Association.

Rapid Medical Intervention
An ambulance is a mobile medical unit equipped with medications and instruments. When an EMS team arrives on the scene, the paramedics immediately assess the patient’s condition. Depending on their findings, they may administer certain medical interventions immediately to stabilize the patient. Often, beginning medical interventions right away can make the difference between a favorable and a poor outcome for the patient.

Coordinated Response
The coordinated response of the EMS team and the hospital is another way that EMS helps save lives. The EMS team contacts the hospital while transporting the patient. Receiving essential information about the incoming patient allows the hospital to assemble the appropriate medical providers and medical equipment. Once the patient arrives, medical interventions can be initiated immediately.

Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center features a robust community of emergency care specialists, including highly trained trauma teams that work closely with our on-site EMS team. At our hospital in Thousand Oaks, you’ll find East Ventura County’s only Level II Trauma Center. If you or a loved one needs to be seen at the emergency room, please call 911 immediately. Otherwise, call our hospital at (877) 888-5746.

Safety Guidelines for Medicating Your Child

Due to the unique medical needs of children, special care is required when administering medications. It’s always a good idea to call the hospital or the family pediatrician before giving an over-the-counter medicine to a young child. If your child is prescribed a medication, the pediatric specialists at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center will ensure that you have all the information you need to administer the medicine properly.

Ask Questions
When your child is prescribed a new medication, ask plenty of questions about it before leaving the hospital. Ask about the potential side effects and ask which side effects may need emergency care. Ask about the proper dosage, method of administration, and frequency of administration. The doctor should be fully informed of your child’s medical history, including other medications or medical conditions that may apply. Reminding the doctor of your child’s medical history can help prevent negative drug interactions.

Read the Label
Read the drug label and any prescription information that the pharmacist provides. The pharmacist can also answer follow-up questions. For example, a drug label may instruct you to administer the medicine every six hours. You might ask if this means you should give a maximum of three doses per day. Additionally, check whether the label indicates that the medicine should be given with food or whether there are any other special instructions.

Check the Packaging
If you’re giving your child an over-the-counter medicine, you should inspect the packaging carefully before administering it. Avoid using products that appear damaged or that have broken seals.

Store the Drug Safely
Even if your child requires multiple doses in a day, it’s crucial to safely store the medicine immediately after each dose. Secure the lid and store the product where your child can’t reach it. Ideally, all medicines should be kept under lock and key when the household includes a young child.

Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is a leading provider of compassionate, high-quality pediatric care for families in the Thousand Oaks area. Our hospital is known for our specialized expertise in pediatric emergency care. If your child requires emergency care, please call 911 immediately; non-emergent questions may be directed to a registered nurse at our hospital at (877) 888-5746.

A Look at ACL Injury Prevention

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are quite common in athletes. Watch this featured video to hear from the Director of Orthopedics and Neuroscience at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. She explains that the patients who arrive at our hospital with ACL injuries are typically soccer, basketball, and football players, although any activity that involves a sudden pivoting motion can lead to an ACL tear.

Understanding ACL Injuries
The ACL is a tough band of tissue that connects the thigh bone to the lower leg bone. It’s located in the middle of the knee. The ligament can become overstretched, partially torn, or completely torn. This can occur when a person suddenly stops, rapidly changes direction, incorrectly lands from a jump, or receives a direct collision. This is why ACL injuries are particularly common among athletes who play certain sports such as basketball.

Identifying Your Risk Factors
Any athlete who plays sports that involves these sudden moves could sustain an ACL injury. However, this injury could also occur in non-athletes. ACL tears are more common in women, those who have previously had an ACL injury, and those with a muscle strength imbalance in that part of the body.

Preventing ACL Injuries
If you’re at risk for an ACL tear, one of the most effective ways to prevent this injury is to always use the proper form and technique for your particular sport. Be particularly cautious when turning, jumping, and landing. Throughout these movements, keep your knees and hips bent, rather than straight. You might also consider working with a physical therapist at your community hospital. Physical therapists usually work with patients who are rehabilitating from injuries or coping with medical conditions, but they can also show athletes how to strengthen specific muscle groups. Strengthening the hamstrings and quadriceps is particularly helpful for preventing ACL injuries.

After a sports injury, the staff at the Rehabilitation Department at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center can help you get started on the road to recovery. Our orthopedics program is supported by both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services. You can request a referral to a physician at our hospital in Thousand Oaks by calling a registered nurse at (877) 888-5746.

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