• 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.

  • What should you do if your child can’t have a flu shot?

    The flu shot not only protects people from the misery of getting the flu, but it can also protect them from the life-threatening complications that can come with the virus. However, not everyone is eligible to get a flu shot, and the guidelines may leave some children without any vaccination to protect them when flu seasons begins. Here is what you need to know about who can and can’t get the flu shot and what to do to protect your child’s health .

    Who can’t get the flu shot?

    Your child’s pediatrician can provide you with specific information about whether the flu shot is safe for your child. Generally, the shot is not recommended for these patients:

    • Babies less than six months old
    • Anyone who has had previous allergic reactions to flu shots
    • Anyone who is allergic to any ingredients in the flu shot
    • Anyone with a fever of over 101 degrees or who is seriously ill at the time of the vaccination

    If your child is sick when he or she was scheduled to have the flu shot, he or she may be able to get it after the illness subsides. In other cases, your child may never be able to get the flu shot.

    What can I do to protect my child?

    If your child can’t get the flu shot, there are several things you can do to reduce the chances he or she will contract the virus. Try these strategies to keep your child healthy during flu season:

    • Teach your child to wash his or her hands frequently. He or she should wash before eating, after using the restroom, and upon returning home from being in a public space. Consider sending your child to school with hand sanitizer to use when he or she is unable to wash.
    • Tell your child not to touch his or her face. This habit can bring germs, including the flu virus, into your child’s nose and mouth.
    • Keep your child away from anyone who has a known respiratory infection that could be caused by the flu virus.

    At Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, our pediatric specialists can help you make the right choice about the flu shot for your child and provide treatment if your child does become ill. Our pediatric emergency room in Thousand Oaks is also available to treat flu-related complications. For a referral to one of our specialists, please call (877) 888-5746.