• Creating an Emergency Preparedness Plan for Your Family

    Disasters and emergencies can be hard to predict, but you can stay ready with an emergency preparedness plan that you share with your whole family. One of the most important aspects of an emergency preparedness plan is communication, which will include emergency alerts and established meeting places that you and your family know. Below, you’ll see the steps in formulating an effective emergency plan for any unexpected accident or disaster.

    Explore emergency alert options

    Modern technology makes it easy for the whole family to receive emergency alerts from local officials. After setting up alerts on your family’s smartphones, you can create a plan for different types of emergencies.

    Set up a meeting place

    Different disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, and flash floods can create a wide range of conditions that may require unique meeting places for your family when your home is inaccessible. You’ll want to walk your family through each type of disaster you might face and discuss appropriate meeting places for every scenario. Safe, familiar locations are ideal meeting places, since these will be accessible for all members of the family.

    Keep I-C-E cards handy

    An I-C-E, or in case of emergency cards can be helpful in facilitating emergency care in the event of sudden accidents or illnesses. I-C-E cards should include height, weight, known allergies and medical conditions, and emergency contact information. In addition to an I-C-E card, you might have each family member carry contact information for all close relatives, including phone numbers, email addresses, schools and workplaces.

    Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center can provide you with emergency care with consistently low wait times along with trauma care in our Level II Trauma Center in Thousand Oaks. For current ER wait times and more information about emergency preparedness, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (877) 888-5746

  • Possible Causes for Your Neck Pain

    The cervical spine in the neck is a common site for back pain, because the neck is more susceptible to stress and injuries from everyday activities. Neck pain can be highly limiting for your daily routine, as pain may prevent you from moving with a full range of motion. Seeking the care of an orthopedic physician can help you identify the source of your neck pain, which may be attributed to one of the following conditions.

    Spinal stenosis

    Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal column, which can compress the nerves, causing pain along with numbness and tingling in the upper extremities. There may be many underlying causes for spinal stenosis, which may require surgical care, but can often be treated through more conservative options such as physical therapy and medication.

    Soft tissue injuries

    Whiplash is one of the most frequent neck injuries , which occurs when the head is suddenly jerked forward and then back. This motion can overstress the ligaments and tendons of the neck, which will lead to stiffness, soreness, and headaches. Whiplash and similar injuries can cause immediate symptoms, but patients often experience a later onset of pain about 24-48 hours following the initial injury.

    Disc herniation

    The spinal discs are soft, spongey cushions positioned between the vertebrae. These discs act as shock absorbers, but they can become weakened over time and protrude out from the spinal column. As the discs move outward, they might push on the spinal nerves, resulting in symptoms similar to spinal stenosis.

    If you are seeking relief from your neck pain, Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center can provide the orthopedic care you need through our spine program in Thousand Oaks. To learn more about our spine care and other orthopedic services, give us a call at (877) 888-5746 and speak with one of our registered nurses.

  • How to Prepare for Spine Surgery

    If you have been struggling with back pain that has not responded to conservative treatment options, spine surgery may be necessary to relieve your discomfort and let you get back to a more active routine. As you get ready for your spine surgery procedure , follow these steps to be sure that you have a successful recovery.

    Schedule a consultation with your family doctor

    Pre-surgical clearance from your primary physician is necessary, as your primary doctor will be able to make adjustments to your medications and address any preexisting conditions that could potentially complicate your surgery. You might also need to undergo tests such as an EKG and blood work to ensure your safety during surgery.

    Discuss your recovery with a physical therapist

    It is helpful to know what to expect after surgery before your procedure takes place. Consulting a physical therapist will allow you to walk through the process of rehabilitation and recovery. The therapist might also guide you through some exercises that can build your strength before surgery to minimize any post-operative discomfort and speed up your recovery. In addition to exercise, you might make some dietary changes to boost your immune system and promote a rapid healing process.

    Arrange post-surgical transportation

    You will be able to walk and care for yourself almost right away following surgery, but you may not be able to drive or handle household chores immediately. Therefore, you should enlist a friend or family member to be there for your hospital discharge and provide a helping hand for your transition home.

    The Spine Surgery Program at Los Robles includes spine surgery education to help you further prepare for your procedure and get on the way to a pain-free lifestyle. To learn more about our surgical services and orthopedic care, call us today at (877) 888-5746.

  • When Should You Go to the ER?

    Even with the low wait times and advanced technologies of the emergency room at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center , you will want to avoid trips to the ER when emergency care is not needed. Still, you do not want to gamble with emergency care, so you will want to get to know the signs that emergency care is necessary. Below, you will see some of the situations where you should head to the ER to play it safe with your medical care.

    You cannot treat the problem at home

    Skin injuries like burns and lacerations can range from minor scrapes to significant injuries requiring emergency trauma care. When injuries of this nature cover a large area of the body, cause uncontrollable bleeding, or penetrate the deeper layers of skin, you will want to go to the ER for care.

    You have sudden, severe symptoms

    Assessing the severity of an illness can be a challenge, because you might have relatively common symptoms like tightness in the chest, headache, or dizziness, which can indicate a wide range of conditions. If symptoms come on suddenly without warning and are severe, you should see an emergency physician to diagnose your symptoms.

    You have an acute illness that has not improved with home care

    Sometimes you may need emergency care for an acute illness that causes complications. During flu season, this is particularly common among elderly individuals and children who may have weakened immune systems. If you have a cold, flu, or other acute illness that doesn’t improve after a few days of at-home care, you may have a secondary infection that needs emergency care.

    When you need emergency care in Thousand Oaks, Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center is there for you. You can get to know more about our streamlined ER on our website or by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (877) 888-5746.