• Summer Travel Safety Tips for National Safety Month

    car on a road in the countryside

    As you gear up to get on the road for summer vacation, you should take the time to be aware of safe driving practices that will keep you and your family safe behind the wheel. Summer is a time when more people are traveling on the road—especially teenagers who may not be as cautious when they are in the driver’s seat. Here are some safe travel reminders to follow this summer from Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center .

    Never drink and drive
    Driving under the influence highly increases the chances of being involved in a fatal collision, so it is always best to call a cab or use a designated driver when summer festivities involve alcohol. If you are the parent of a teenage driver, you might consider writing a driving contract for your teen with a clause prohibiting driving under the influence and driving at times when DUI incidents are the most likely—between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m.

    Always focus on the road
    Traveling with young members of the family can make it challenging to keep your eyes on the road. To keep distractions low so that you can maintain your focus, bring plenty of books and car-friendly games for your kids to keep them entertained during long drives.

    Use proper safety gear
    Seatbelts are essential for all passengers in the car, even on short car rides. When children are in the car, they should be seated in the backseat and have car seats or booster seats that are appropriate for their age and height. If your summer vacation includes the use of recreational vehicles, be sure to wear helmets and other safety equipment that is fitted for each rider.

    If car accident or other travel injuries do occur during your summer recreation, you can rely on the rapid care available 24/7 at the Emergency Department at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center. To stay connected with us all summer, download our iTriage app for your smart phone or tablet. You can also reach us on our website or at our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (805) 497-2727.

  • How to Keep Your Cholesterol In Check

    While cholesterol is not always bad for you, it can easily become a risk factor for heart disease when too much cholesterol is consumed on a regular basis. As this video explains, the foods that contain the most cholesterol are full-fat dairy products, fatty cuts of meat, and fried foods. If you do have high cholesterol and you are on medication to control it, you will still need to watch what you eat to keep your cholesterol levels within a healthy range.

    For a more detailed look at your heart health, including cholesterol screening, consult Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. You can visit us on the Web or call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (805) 497-2727 to find a cardiologist fit for your needs.

  • Celebrate Men’s Health

    Jogger doing stretching on a beach

    The month of June is Men’s Health Month. Therefore, this month is the perfect time to remind the special men in your life about the importance of prostate cancer prevention and screening . Below is a look at the details of prostate cancer screening so that you can spread the word to the men you love.

    Risk Factors
    A man’s risk for prostate cancer increases as he gets older, so the age of 50 is generally considered an ideal time to get a prostate cancer screening. Prostate cancer does also tend to run in families, so men with close relatives affected by prostate cancer are at a higher risk for developing this disease.

    Screening Procedures
    There are two tests most commonly used for early prostate cancer diagnoses: Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) and Prostate Specific Antigen Test (PSA). The DRE involves feeling the prostate with a gloved finger to check for the presence of abnormal lumps or growths. PSA testing measures the level of prostate specific antigen in the blood, as elevated PSA levels may indicate the presence of cancer. It is important to note, however, that PSA may be raised by other conditions such as prostate infections, so this test is generally followed by more detailed exams if results show high PSA.

    Informed Decisions
    As research progresses to develop more accurate screening tests for prostate cancer, men should be aware that there are distinct risks and benefits of screening. Speaking to the doctor is the best way to understand these factors for each individual.

    For more information about prostate cancer—including a look at modern prostate cancer treatment with da Vinci Robotically-Assisted Prostatectomy—contact Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. You can reach us through our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at 1-(805) 497-2727 to schedule medical services, find a physician, or get quick answers to your medical questions.

  • What Are the Different Types of Aphasia That Can Result from Stroke?

    Senior couple relaxing outside

    After an individual suffers a stroke, language comprehension and communication are areas that require extensive rehabilitation through specialized speech therapy. Language difficulties may be different in every stroke survivor , because they are the result of one of several types of aphasia. The type of aphasia resulting from stroke has to do with the area of the brain affected by the incident, and each of these is discussed in further detail below.

    Broca’s Aphasia
    Broca’s aphasia occurs when a stroke attacks the frontal region of the left side of the brain. This is the area in which words are made into logical sequences. Characteristic signs of Broca’s aphasia include trouble forming full sentences, failure to understand sentences, and mistakes following directions. Patients working through Broca’s aphasia may become frustrated, because the vocabulary is available, but it is challenging to put the words together.

    Wernicke’s Aphasia
    Patients with Wernicke’s aphasia have suffered a stroke that caused damage to the area of the brain that comprehends written and spoken language. Therefore, these patients tend to use meaningless words to describe everyday objects, have trouble understanding others, and fail to realize that they are using the wrong words. It is also common for individuals with Wernicke’s aphasia to produce sentences with proper grammatical structure using words that do not make sense in sequence.

    Global Aphasia
    The most severe and challenging form of aphasia is global aphasia, which results from stroke that has extensively damaged brain tissue in multiple regions. Language production and comprehension both suffer significantly, so it may be necessary to work with a speech-language pathologist for an extended period. It is important to remember, however, that global aphasia and other types of aphasia do not affect a person’s intelligence. Individuals with aphasia may still be able to complete puzzles or play chess, as they can still think but lack the ability to express their thoughts conventionally.

    At Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, we can provide care through our award-winning Certified Primary Stroke Center to help stroke survivors and their families overcome the challenges of aphasia and other conditions resulting from traumatic stroke. Contact us during National Aphasia Awareness Month this June by calling (805) 497-2727 or visiting our website.

  • Take the American Cancer Society’s Eat Right Challenge!

    If you are concerned about your family’s cancer risk, you can start to create a healthier lifestyle by taking the Eat Right Challenge, which has guidelines set by the American Cancer Society. In this video, you will get some tips to help you navigate the grocery store for healthy options and prepare delicious, nutritious meals at home.

    One of the easiest tips to follow is shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store where you will find the freshest options, such as fruit, vegetables, and fish. It is also helpful to have a snack before going to the supermarket, as you will be less likely to make unhealthy impulse purchases that you might regret later.

    Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center can help you find even more tips to prevent cancer and boost your health every day. You can learn more about our health education and medical services in Thousand Oaks by calling (805) 497-2727 or by visiting our website.

  • Men’s Health Update: Improving the Heart Health of the Men In Your Life


    Because heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, it is wise to make heart health a priority for the whole family. At Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center , you can find comprehensive cardiovascular care and discover heart-healthy habits that will help you care for yourself and the men in your life. Here is a look at just a few of the ways you can get started on your new heart-healthy attitude.

    Set reminders for annual checkups
    In order to be fully aware of the risk factors for heart disease, it is necessary to see the doctor for blood pressure screening, cholesterol tests, and a physical exam. These checkups should take place once each year, so you might use Men’s Health Month in June as a reminder for the men in your life to call the doctor for their annual visits.

    Prepare healthy meals at home
    A balanced diet rich in high-fiber foods, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants will play a large role in ensuring heart health. Cooking more meals at home following heart-healthy guidelines makes it easier to control the foods that you and your loved ones consume so that high-sodium, high-fat items don’t sneak into your routine. Plus, eating healthy meals at home will help train your body to crave more wholesome foods.

    Set up a weight-loss challenge
    Obesity is a significant contributor to the problem of heart disease in the United States, but it can be kept in check with some simple changes that might even be fun when you add the element of competition. You can encourage your friends and family members to live at a heart-friendly weight by creating weekly or monthly weight loss challenges with guidelines for diet and exercise that will promote healthy weight loss.

    For more healthy living guidelines to help you encourage good habits for the men in your life, contact Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center on our website or through our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (805) 497-2727. We strive to provide excellent clinical and emergency care throughout all medical specialties while offering ongoing health education in the Thousand Oaks community.