Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center
Sunrise Hospital and Sunrise Children’s Hospital are committed to providing a healthier environment for members of our community, employees, physicians, patients, families, and visitors.

Are there side effects from the seasonal flu shot?

Some people hesitate to get vaccinated against seasonal influenza, because they worry the flu shot isn’t safe, or they’re concerned that it’s ineffective. Fortunately, neither is true. Each year, research scientists spend long hours identifying the most threatening flu strains for the upcoming season, and producing vaccines to protect the population from outbreaks. Before any vaccine is made available to patients, it is exhaustively tested for safety and effectiveness. If you still have concerns about getting vaccinated, you can put your trust in the compassionate physicians and nurses at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

Minor side effects
Most people who receive the flu shot don’t experience any problems, and they enjoy protection from potentially serious flu viruses all season long. When side effects do occur, they are almost always mild, and they resolve quickly. These side effects can include:

  • Minor soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • Low-grade fever
  • Nausea
  • Aches

Rare, but serious side effects
It’s possible, although rare, for a patient to experience a more serious side effect after getting a flu shot. These uncommon side effects can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High-grade fever
  • Hives
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty breathing

Patients are advised to seek emergency care if any of these problems develop.

High-risk patients
Certain people might not be able to get vaccinated, due to medical reasons. Talk to your doctor about whether the flu shot is safe for you if any of the following apply:

  • Life-threatening allergy to chicken eggs
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Current, severe illness with a fever
  • Past severe reaction to the flu shot

If the nasal spray is being offered during a flu season, certain people are advised to get the shot instead. These include children who are 24 months of age or younger. Children with asthma or a history of wheezing should also receive the injection instead of the nasal mist.

Your doctor will likely advise you to get the injection instead of the spray if you:

  • Have a suppressed immune system
  • Have received any other vaccines in the past month
  • Are pregnant
  • Are aged 50 or older
  • Have a chronic medical condition
  • Frequently come into contact with people with weakened immune systems

The doctors and nurses at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center are your partners in health. We always welcome questions from our patients in Las Vegas about vaccinations, because preventive care matters to us. For general healthcare information, or to request a physician referral, call a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300.

What toys and gifts aren't safe for babies?

A baby’s delight in all aspects of life is refreshing to see, and playing with young kids allows the adult members of the family to feel young again. During the holiday season, the emergency care team at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center would like to urge caution when selecting gifts for babies, as many of them aren’t safe. Consider talking to your pediatrician about how you can choose safe toys for your child.

Inappropriate age range

The first indicator that a toy might not be appropriate for your child is if the item is recommended for older children. Always check the warning labels and age indications on any gift your child receives. If the toy is intended for older children, you can store it out of reach until your child is old enough to play with it.

Small toy components

Babies love to explore objects with their hands and mouth. Some toys aren’t safe for babies, because they have small parts that can cause a baby to choke. Before letting your baby play with a new toy, check the following:

  • All batteries should be housed in a compartment only accessible via a screwdriver
  • Small parts should be securely attached to the toy
  • All toy parts should be larger than the child’s mouth

To figure out if one part of the toy is too small for your child, try to fit it inside a toilet paper roll. If one part of the toy fits, it’s too small. Use this quick test until your child is at least three years old.

Secondhand toys

Secondhand baby items can help parents stay on budget, but they aren’t always safe. Check that all toys are in good condition, and that all components are securely attached. Additionally, avoid very old toys that might have lead-based paint.

The emergency care team at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center can rely on the pediatric expertise of Sunrise Children’s Hospital when a child with complex injuries arrives at our ER. Call 911 if your family is affected by a true medical emergency. A registered nurse is available at (702) 233-5300 to answer non-emergent questions from our neighbors in Las Vegas.

When do you need to go to the ER for a stomachache?

Constipation, food poisoning, viral infections and even emotional stress are all common causes of stomachaches. Usually, stomachaches are minor, and don’t require emergency care. There are a few less common conditions that do need prompt medical attention, however, which you can find at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. Our emergency care team is committed to maintaining ER wait times that are consistently below the national average.

When it might be appendicitis
Your appendix is a little pouch that doesn’t appear to have any function in the body. Appendicitis refers to inflammation of the appendix, which can be caused by a blockage that results in an infection.

Appendicitis is one of the more serious causes of sudden-onset abdominal pain. Usually, emergency care doctors recommend an appendectomy to remove the appendix before it can cause major complications, like a rupture or an abscess.

When you watch this featured video, you’ll learn that appendicitis usually causes pain in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen. It may also cause:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low-grade fever
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Pain that worsens with coughing

When it might be a gallbladder problem
The gallbladder is located just underneath the liver. It’s responsible for storing and releasing bile, which is used in the digestion of fats. The most common problem to affect this organ is gallstones, which can be diagnosed by an emergency care physician.

Some of the possible indicators of gallstones are:

  • Sudden onset of pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen
  • Rapidly worsening pain in the center of the abdomen
  • Pain between the shoulder blades
  • Pain in the right shoulder
  • Nausea and vomiting

When it might be an ectopic pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy is one that implants outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. It is not medically possible for an ectopic pregnancy to survive, and women will usually require emergency care for this problem.

Initially, an ectopic pregnancy may only cause the initial symptoms that are typical of any pregnancy, including nausea, breast tenderness and a missed period. Abdominal and pelvic pain, and light vaginal bleeding are usually the first warning signs that something is wrong. Emergency care is needed for these symptoms:

  • Fainting
  • Extreme lightheadedness
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Shoulder pain
The emergency care physicians and nurses at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center respond quickly to relieve the pain of patients in distress. If you’re experiencing a true medical emergency in the Las Vegas area, please call 911 right away instead of trying to drive yourself to our ER. A registered nurse, available at (702) 233-5300, is happy to answer general healthcare questions and provide physician referrals.

Make Thanksgiving a healthier holiday for your family

For most American families, Thanksgiving is all about the food. Even if you have diabetes, heart disease or obesity, you can still eat, drink and be merry—in moderation. It’s hard to make major changes to a traditional menu, but there are some small changes you can make to improve its nutritional value for the whole family. If you’d like to consult a diabetes educator or a registered dietitian, the experts at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center are always available to provide personalized, patient-centered guidance.

Start the day with healthy choices

Some people like to skip breakfast and lunch so they can fill up on the Thanksgiving dinner. This isn’t healthy, especially for diabetics.

Instead, eat a small, fiber-rich breakfast like oatmeal flavored with a little nut butter for protein. Choose a salad for lunch, topped with tuna.

Ask your family members to join you in some pre-feast exercise. Go for a family bicycle ride or take a stroll along a parade route, if your area is hosting one. Some areas, including Las Vegas, routinely host Turkey Trot fun runs.

Ditch the cheese platter

Cheese platters may be traditional for many families, but they also make it too easy to load up on fat-laden cheese and crackers. Instead, serve an array of fresh veggies with a bowl of hummus.

Serve a healthier Thanksgiving feast

In recent years, the deep-fried turkey trend has gained traction. Do your heart a favor and roast your bird instead. Remember to use an internal thermometer to ensure that it is fully cooked.

Serve healthier starting courses for Thanksgiving, like curried butternut squash soup. Cook sweet potato dishes with pineapple and spices, instead of brown sugar and butter. Other healthy choices are:

  • Sautéed green beans with garlic

  • Roasted Brussels sprouts with red onion wedges

  • Mushroom and barley stuffing

Enjoy sensible desserts

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without pie. Consider making crustless pumpkin pie with artificial sweeteners. Or, serve ginger pumpkin mousse in individual ramekins to aid with portion control.

As an HCA-affiliated hospital, Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is committed to healthcare excellence. From our emergency care doctors to our diabetes educators , we offer the specialized medical services Las Vegas families need to live well. Contact a registered nurse at our hospital at (702) 233-5300.

4 steps to take toward lung cancer prevention

In the U.S., more men and women die from lung cancer than from any other type of cancer. One of the reasons why lung cancer is so deadly is because it’s often not diagnosed until it’s already in the later stages. At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, we’re working to change that by connecting patients to the health education and resources they need, including lung cancer screenings. Not every risk factor is changeable—like past exposure to Agent Orange—but many of them are. Your physician can help you learn about preventive steps to take.

Ask your doctor about getting screened
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that some adults have lung cancer screenings. This is done with low-dose computed tomography technology. Your doctor can determine whether lung cancer screening is appropriate for you.

Annual screening is usually recommended for adults who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Aged 55 to 80 years
  • Current smokers or have quit within the past 15 years
  • People with a 30 pack-year history of smoking

One pack-year is the equivalent of smoking one pack per day for one year. This means it’s possible to accrue 30 pack-years in just 15 actual years, if you habitually smoke two packs per day.

Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
If you haven’t already, quit smoking now. Each cigarette you smoke reduces your life expectancy a little bit more. It’s never easy to overcome an addiction, but it’s far easier to quit than to endure lung cancer and its treatments.

Your doctor can help you put together a smoking cessation action plan, which might include:

  • Nicotine replacement products
  • Medications
  • Mental health counseling
  • Support groups

If you don’t smoke, don’t start, and avoid secondhand and thirdhand smoke. Don’t allow anyone to smoke in or near your home or car.

Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits
A good diet isn’t a substitute for quitting smoking, but eating lots of vegetables and fruits may offer some protection. Getting vitamins and minerals from food sources is preferable to taking supplements, especially for smokers. There is some evidence to suggest that taking large doses of vitamins in pill form may actually increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers.

Test your home for radon
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that you can’t detect with your eyes or nose. Your home could have high levels of radon, which increases the risk of lung cancer. You can purchase a home testing kit to find out if your family is at risk.

You’ll find the advanced medical services you need with the compassionate care you deserve at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. We connect Las Vegas-area residents to cutting-edge cancer care and diagnostic imaging tests. You can request a referral to a physician by calling (702) 233-5300.

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