• Answers to Your Questions About Breast Cancer

    Finding out that you or someone you love has breast cancer is scary. There are so many questions you may have about the disease and the future, from what causes breast cancer in the first place to what treatment options are available. Your physician and multidisciplinary team of care providers will assist you every step of the way as you make decisions for you and your family. Here are the answers to questions that many people have after a breast cancer diagnosis.

    What causes breast cancer?
    There is no single cause for breast cancer, but there are some things that physicians believe could contribute to the disease in some cases. These include:

    • A family history of breast cancer
    • Age
    • Weight
    • Dense breast tissue

    Not everyone who has these risk factors will get breast cancer, and not everyone with breast cancer has these risk factors. Often, the cause of the disease is unknown.

    What kind of treatment will I need?
    There are many different treatments available for breast cancer, so the right one for you depends on multiple factors, including the stage of the disease, age, general health history, and preferences. Some of the treatments that are used for breast cancer include:

    • Chemotherapy
    • Surgery
    • Radiation

    Your physician will review the pros and cons of each treatment plan with you and help you understand what to expect in terms of side effects and other facets of the care you are receiving. Keep in mind that there are many healthcare providers who can help with issues such as side effects, financial concerns, and emotional support during treatment.

    Can breast cancer be prevented?
    It is not possible to completely prevent breast cancer, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk. Get mammograms to screen for breast cancer on a schedule recommended by your physician, and make sure your doctor knows if you have a history of breast cancer in your family. Maintain a healthy weight and avoid smoking or drinking excessively, which both contribute to multiple kinds of cancer.

    If you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center, The Breast Center and oncology team members are here to provide cutting-edge care in a compassionate environment. For a referral to a cancer specialist in Las Vegas, call (702) 233-5300.

  • What are the lasting effects of head trauma?

    Head traumas are serious and unpredictable injuries. Getting emergency care as soon as possible after a trauma occurs is paramount. Delays in treatment could allow serious injuries to become worse. Fortunately, most people with head traumas recover within months of their injuries, but it is possible for residual effects to persist for years. Here is a look at some of the lasting impacts of head trauma.

    Headaches are common after head traumas. In most instances, headaches persist for a few days after the initial injury. It may be possible to control these symptoms with pain medications.

    If your headache becomes more intense after a head trauma, return to the emergency room to ensure that no complications have developed.

    Many people experience nausea after a head injury occurs. The nausea may be accompanied by dizziness and vomiting. As with headaches, nausea usually clears up within a few days after the injury has occurred.

    Nausea can be a symptom of a serious head trauma, even if the injury itself seemed minor. If nausea begins several days after a head trauma, seek emergency care. In some cases, symptoms can take time to develop when a head injury occurs.

    Short-term memory loss
    Short-term memory loss is one of the most frustrating complications experienced by people with head traumas. As stated in the video, but about two-thirds of people will recover from short-term memory loss within the first three of months after their injuries.

    Of the remaining group, another two-thirds will recover their memories within the next three months. The small, remaining group of people may have short-term memory loss for years to come. It is difficult to predict who will suffer from memory loss for the longest.

    If you experience head trauma, get emergency care in Las Vegas at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center. In addition to providing urgent care when you need it, our emergency department is backed by the team at our Nevada Neurosciences Institute to ensure you receive the highest caliber of care possible for a head trauma. To learn more, call (702) 233-5300.

  • Heat stroke: Know the warning signs

    Heat stroke is a medical emergency that requires urgent care. By knowing the symptoms, you can take action quickly if you or someone else is experiencing the signs. Without treatment, heat stroke can lead to long-term complications and loss of life, so don’t delay seeking emergency care if you notice these symptoms.

    Hot, red skin
    People with heat stroke typically have skin that feels hot to the touch and may look red. It usually is not sweaty but rather feels dry or only moderately damp. This is because of the extreme levels of dehydration experienced during heat stroke.

    The feeling of the skin is often a telltale sign that someone is experiencing heat stroke rather than heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion causes cool, clammy skin.

    Loss of consciousness
    Loss of consciousness is a serious symptom that occurs with heat stroke. If someone loses consciousness, after calling 911, attempt to move him or her to a cooler place, if possible.

    It can also be helpful to cool a person down using cool cloths or a cool bath. You should always avoid giving anything to drink to a person who may be suffering from heat stroke, but it’s crucial in the case of loss of consciousness. Even if the person wakes up, do not allow him or her to drink anything.

    Strong, fast pulse
    During heat stroke, blood pressure drops due to dehydration. In response, the heart beats faster and stronger in an attempt to compensate for the low blood pressure. This is particularly dangerous for people with pre-existing heart conditions.

    This is another way in which heat stroke differs from heat exhaustion. The heart rate is fast but the pulse is weak with heat exhaustion.

    When temperatures spike, Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center provides emergency care in Las Vegas around the clock for you and your family. To learn more about our emergency services or to request a physician referral , dial (702) 233-5300.

  • What’s a healthy weight for women?

    A woman’s weight can influence her risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even breast cancer. It can also influence her quality of life and her socio-emotional health. But weight is just one number, and it can mean different things for different women. At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, our physicians are genuinely caring individuals who will work closely with you to help you achieve your health goals. Your plan for success may include a consultation with one of our highly trained bariatric surgeons.

    Figuring out your body mass index

    When you watch the accompanying video, you’ll hear from a bariatric surgeon at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center as he explains the criteria for determining whether someone is a good candidate for weight loss surgery.

    The bariatric doctor will first determine your body mass index. Your BMI is a calculation that compares your height to your weight. You can also use an online BMI calculator to figure out your number.

    Evaluating your body mass index

    You can compare your BMI to the ranges below.

    • Below 18.5: Underweight
    • 18.5 to 24.9: Normal weight
    • 25 to 29.9: Overweight
    • 30 and above: Obese

    If your BMI indicates that you have obesity, you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery, assuming that you’ve already tried multiple times to lose weight through diet and exercise. If your BMI indicates that you are overweight, consider speaking with your doctor about your lifestyle choices and medical conditions.

    Understanding the limitations of the BMI chart

    It’s important to keep in mind that your BMI is just one number. Your physician will take a “big picture” approach to your health by evaluating all of your vital statistics and your full health history. If you’re a muscle-bound athlete, then you could have a high BMI without being considered overweight or obese.

    Identifying your health risks

    Based on your BMI and other health numbers, your doctor can identify your health risks. If you are overweight or obese, and especially if you have other risk factors like a family history of certain diseases, then there may be an elevated risk of:

    • High cholesterol
    • High blood pressure
    • Heart disease
    • Stroke
    • Diabetes

    Knowing your numbers is one way you can become an informed and empowered patient. Self-knowledge can help you make proactive choices that improve your overall health and quality of life.

    Partner with a physician at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center to work toward your health goals. Our modern medical facility in Las Vegas offers family medicine and specialty services, like bariatrics. You can request a physician referral by calling (702) 233-5300.

  • Answers to your questions about hepatitis

    Your liver is a large, solid organ that produces bile for digestion, supports metabolism and filters toxins out of the bloodstream. One of the diseases that can affect the liver is viral hepatitis . Some patients develop mild hepatitis, but it’s also possible for this disease to lead to life-threatening complications. The U.S. recognizes May as Hepatitis Awareness Month. Consider talking to a doctor at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center about whether you should get tested for hepatitis.

    What are the types of hepatitis?
    Hepatitis is caused by a group of viruses, known as the hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses.

    • Hepatitis A: Usually spread by exposure to infected fecal matter or by anal sex with an infected partner. This type is usually mild and often resolves by itself within two months.
    • Hepatitis B: Spread by exposure to infected bodily fluids, including saliva, semen and vaginal fluids. It can also be spread during childbirth, while sharing needles or while sharing contaminated personal hygiene items.
    • Hepatitis C: Usually spread by contact with infected blood. It may require treatment to prevent complications.
    • Hepatitis D: Only develops in people with hepatitis B. It spreads through exposure to infected blood and via unprotected sex.
    • Hepatitis E: Not usually found in the U.S., but may affect international travelers. It spreads through contact with infected fecal matter.

    Can hepatitis lead to other complications?
    It’s possible for viral hepatitis to lead to long-term complications, but this depends on the specific virus. Hepatitis A doesn’t lead to chronic liver disease, but B and C might. Some patients may develop the following:

    • Liver fibrosis (scarring)
    • Liver cirrhosis (serious scarring)
    • Liver cancer

    Should I get tested for hepatitis?
    Only your doctor can determine if hepatitis testing is right for you . In general, screenings are recommended for:

    • Expecting mothers
    • Childcare workers
    • People in close contact with infected patients
    • People with multiple sexual partners
    • Those who use injected drugs
    • People with tattoos
    • Those with jobs that require close contact with bodily fluids
    • Certain international travelers

    At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center , we’ve built a tradition of caring for our patients as if they were our own family. Residents of Las Vegas receive world-class care at our Digestive Health Institute and its Centers for Liver, Pancreas and Bile Duct. Call (702) 233-5300, and a friendly member of our nursing staff can provide a physician referral.

  • Is pregnancy possible for stroke survivors?

    Stroke care teams primarily treat older adults who suffer this life-threatening condition. However, stroke can also affect younger individuals in their 20s and 30s. At any age, stroke can cause long-term health complications, such as muscle weakness and paralysis. It can also affect the health of an expecting mother and her unborn child. Pregnancy is indeed possible for stroke survivors, but there are risks women should be aware of. For patient-centered health guidance, couples in the Las Vegas area can turn to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

    Understanding the risks of post-stroke pregnancy
    Stroke survivors are cautioned to closely follow a doctor-developed rehabilitation program to reduce the risk of a recurrent stroke. This is because stroke survivors are at a higher risk of suffering another one of these life-threatening events. For women who are pregnant, the risk increases further due to pregnancy-related complications, such as:

    • Gestational hypertension
    • Gestational diabetes
    • Bleeding after childbirth

    In addition, survivors of stroke may be more likely to suffer a miscarriage.

    Planning for a healthy pregnancy
    Despite the risks, it’s still possible to have a healthy pregnancy . Women who desire pregnancy are strongly encouraged to speak with a physician about their health history during a preconception exam. The obstetrician may recommend consulting a neurologist and possibly a cardiologist, depending on the cause of the stroke.

    Prior to trying for pregnancy, the patient’s lifestyle habits will be evaluated. All stroke survivors, especially women who desire children, are encouraged to make healthy lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy. These may include following a low-sodium diet and maintaining a healthy weight.

    Exercise is also important for stroke survivors and women who wish to become pregnant. However, a physician should be consulted to make sure it’s safe for the patient to exercise. It’s possible that the expecting mother will need to go on modified bed rest at some point during the pregnancy to manage troubling conditions.

    For superior care at all of life’s stages, your family can trust Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center . Our hospital in Las Vegas attracts highly trained physicians for our maternity and stroke care teams. Call our 24/7 nurse referral line at (702) 233-5300.

  • Why is asthma so common in Las Vegas children?

    Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that commonly affects children. Parents in Las Vegas should be on the lookout for potential signs of asthma in their kids, as Nevada’s asthma rates are higher than the national average. Children suspected of having an asthma attack can be brought to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center for compassionate emergency care.

    Tobacco usage
    Arsenic, formaldehyde and cyanide are just a few of the poisons found in tobacco smoke. These poisons are toxic to the smoker, the smoker’s family and everyone else who is exposed to secondhand and thirdhand smoke (residue). Physicians know that children of smokers are more likely to cough and wheeze more frequently than children of non-smokers.

    Nevada is home to a disproportionately large number of smokers, which is thought to be one reason why children in the Las Vegas area are so severely affected by asthma. There is insufficient scientific evidence to prove that smoking causes asthma.

    However, scientific evidence does indicate that asthmatic children who are exposed to secondhand smoke have more frequent and more severe asthma attacks. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America , more than 40 percent of all children who require emergency care for asthma attacks have a parent or other household member who smokes.

    Environmental factors
    In addition to tobacco smoke, some environmental factors can increase the risk of an asthma attack.

    Children in Nevada live in a very dry, dusty region. Nevada is also known for its extremely strong winds, which blow around pollen and other particulate matter. Those who have asthma have a more difficult time coping with these climate conditions, and can be more likely to suffer frequent asthma attacks.

    Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center and our partner, Sunrise Children’s Hospital, are committed to providing families in Las Vegas superior medical services with a personalized, compassionate approach. We provide 24/7 emergency care , along with chronic disease management. Call 911 if your child is having a medical emergency, or call a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300 for general information about our healthcare services.

  • Important reasons to become an organ donor

    This April, hospitals, transplant centers and organ recipients across the U.S. are celebrating National Donate Life Month. This designation is intended to raise awareness about the critical and never-ending need for individuals to register as organ donors . The physicians and nurses at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center would like to extend our sincere thanks to members of our Las Vegas community who have registered as organ donors.

    Organ donors give back to their communities
    Life is precious, and most people agree that it’s important to care for others in the community by doing things like donating blood and registering as an organ donor. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services , 95 percent of American adults support organ donation—yet just 54 percent are registered as organ donors.

    One organ donor can save up to eight lives
    It’s possible for just one organ donor to give up to eight people the gift of life. If an organ donor dies in a way that allows for organ donation to occur, that person can donate:

    • Heart
    • Two lungs
    • Liver
    • Pancreas
    • Two kidneys
    • Intestines

    Most organ donations come from deceased, registered donors, rather than living donors. But only three in every 1,000 registered organ donors die in a manner that allows organ collection and transplantation to occur.

    This means that every year, the waiting list for an organ grows at a rate that is faster than the number of donors. Every day, about 20 people die while waiting for a donated organ.

    It’s easy and free to become a registered organ donor
    It takes very little effort to become a registered organ donor. Each state maintains a registry.

    You can visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles, either online or in-person, and sign up in just a few minutes. You’ll need your driver’s license or photo ID number.

    The emergency care team at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center encourage members of our Las Vegas community to become registered organ donors. If you do, you may be able to give new life to waiting patients and new hope to families. If you have general healthcare questions, you can reach a registered nurse at our hospital by calling (702) 233-5300.

  • Knowing what a personal health record is and how to use it

    In the U.S., patients have many legal rights mandated by federal law. You have the right to make your own healthcare decisions, the right to access your medical information and the right to manage access to your medical records by other parties. If you ever have questions or concerns about your official medical record or your personal health record, a staff member at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas will be happy to assist you.

    Defining PHRs
    Your personal health record is any electronic application that you can use to store and manage your medical information. PHRs keep your private information confidential in a secure location. Your PHR may contain a wide range of health information, including:

    • Your list of diagnosed conditions
    • Your allergies
    • Your immunization history
    • Your medication names and dosages
    • Your family medical history
    • Your history of major illnesses and operations
    • Lab reports and medical images
    • Consent and authorization forms
    • Physicians’ orders

    Your own PHR may have information that differs from this list.

    Understanding PHRs, EHRs and EMRs
    Personal health records are often confused as being the same as electronic health records and electronic medical records. The purpose of an EHR is to allow various hospitals, clinics and imaging centers to share information with each other. Only authorized clinicians have access to a patient’s EHR.

    EMRs are like the paper charts that doctor’s offices used to rely on. They are a digital version of the information and doctor’s notes for the office.

    PHRs are different because they’re intended to be managed and used solely by the patient. PHRs can also include a broader variety of health information , depending on the patient’s individual needs.

    Using your PHR
    You may have a tethered or connected PHR, which is linked to your health insurer’s or healthcare provider’s electronic health record. Or, you may decide to create your own, standalone PHR on your personal computer.

    Using your PHR is simple. Each time there is a change in your medical history, you can add the information to your records. You can also make notes about your progress regarding managing conditions, and you can choose to share this information with your healthcare providers in order to better inform your treatment plan.

    Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is your partner in health. Our state-of-the-art hospital in Las Vegas offers a full range of medical services, including emergency care, stroke care and heart health services. If you’d like to request a physician referral, you can get in touch with a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300.

  • What are the most common causes of trauma?

    Emergency care and trauma care are similar, but they aren’t the same. Patients can go to the ER for anything ranging from a respiratory infection to a heart attack. In contrast, patients are brought to Trauma Centers for suddenly acquired, life-threatening injuries that require immediate medical intervention. Trauma Centers, such as the Level II Trauma Center at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, treat the most critically injured patients. There are many possible causes of severe physical trauma. When you watch the accompanying video, you’ll hear a surgeon discuss some of the most common causes.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , older adults in the U.S. suffer falls at a rate that is equivalent to one fall for every second of each day.

    Some falls are relatively minor, causing little more than a stubbed toe or sprained ankle. These injuries don’t require specialized trauma care, although an emergency care physician should do a medical evaluation. Other falls are life-threatening, causing severe injuries like brain injuries and spinal cord trauma.

    It isn’t just seniors who are at risk of traumatic injuries from falls. Children and people of all ages can sustain life-threatening trauma from a fall, either from a normal elevation or from height.

    Motor vehicle crashes
    Major motor vehicle crashes, including big rig, motorcycle and pedestrian accidents, can inflict a wide range of traumatic injuries. These may include:

    • Traumatic amputations
    • Brain injuries
    • Spinal cord injuries
    • Organ damage
    • Internal bleeding
    • Crush injuries
    • Burn injuries

    Acts of violence
    Unfortunately, some of the life-threatening injuries that trauma specialists treat are intentionally inflicted. Acts of violence, including gunshot wounds and stabbings, require immediate medical help. Depending on the situation, these patients can have penetrating head injuries, in which a bullet or blade enters the head.

    Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is a Level II Trauma Center. Our multidisciplinary Trauma Team is available 24/7 to respond immediately to patients with life-threatening injuries. Calls for emergency care should be directed to a 911 dispatcher, but if you have a general healthcare question, you can call (702) 233-5300 and speak with a nurse at our hospital in Las Vegas.

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