• Overcoming low vision with assistive devices

    Several million Americans have low vision , which is not the same as nearsightedness or farsightedness. Ophthalmologists define low vision as visual impairment that can’t be overcome by the usual vision restoration approaches. In other words, eyeglasses, contact lenses and eye surgery aren’t enough to restore vision. Unfortunately, it isn’t yet possible to reverse low vision. You may receive a physician referral to a specialist at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, who can help you adapt to your impairment.

    Using assistive devices
    An occupational therapist can help you learn how to use assistive devices that will allow you to overcome visual impairment. There is a range of battery-powered, illuminated magnifiers available in various sizes and strengths.

    Another option is a self-focusing telescope. This device is worn much like eyeglasses are. Your occupational therapist may recommend an optical reader, which projects a magnified image of a document onto a screen.

    Making lifestyle modifications
    There are many low-tech changes you can make to your daily life to make tasks easier. For entertainment, consider the following:

    • TV remote control with oversized buttons
    • Large-print books
    • Audiobooks
    • TV screen magnifiers

    You can also use ordinary objects found around a typical home to help you handle daily tasks. Use brightly colored craft paint to help you find the 425 degree setting on your oven. Wrap skillet and pot handles with brightly colored tape.

    If you take two different medications, put a rubber band around one of the pill bottles. This will let you distinguish between them. You can also ask your pharmacist about pill bottle labels with large print.

    Use contrasting colors to help you see everyday objects more clearly. Use white coffee mugs, for instance, to contrast with the dark color of the coffee. Add a vivid tablecloth to your coffee table to stop yourself from bumping into it.

    Every patient with low vision has unique challenges, and they can be frustrating at times. Let your vision rehabilitation specialist or occupational therapist know what’s problematic for you. They’ll help you find effective solutions for your visual challenges .

    Here at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, your health, safety and quality of life are our highest priorities. Our team of specialists, which includes occupational therapists , will do everything possible to help you live life well. Call a registered nurse at our hospital in Las Vegas at (702) 233-5300.

  • How a congenital heart defect will affect your child’s life

    A congenital defect is one that is present at birth. Congenital heart defects , of which there are many types, may affect the heart’s valves or interior walls, or the blood vessels near the heart. Although these are the most common type of birth defect, most of them are, fortunately, minor and require little to no treatment. Even if a child is born with a serious defect, there is specialized care available at heart hospitals like Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

    Symptoms in heart defect patients
    Children with minor, asymptomatic heart defects may be diagnosed during a routine exam. If the heart defect is severe, it may be diagnosed shortly after birth or within the first few months of life.

    Some heart defects may cause these signs and symptoms:

    • Feeding problems

    • Poor weight gain

    • Breathing problems

    • Very low blood pressure

    Potential complications of heart defects
    Severe heart defects may result in additional health problems that may require medical management . Some possible complications include:

    • Heart failure

    • Heart rhythm problems

    • Delayed growth

    • Delayed development

    • Heart tissue infection

    • Heart valve problems

    Doctors typically recommend that patients with congenital heart defects be examined by a cardiologist on a routine basis for their lifetime.

    Physical activity for heart defect patients
    In most cases, children born with heart defects can safely enjoy mild to moderate exercise. In fact, regular exercise is usually recommended to support cardiovascular health and overall health. But just in case, it’s always advisable for parents to consult a cardiologist about whether their children must follow any activity restrictions.

    Cardiologists may recommend avoiding strenuous activities, such as weightlifting, if the child has an enlarged aorta. Enlarged aortas can occur in patients with Marfan syndrome, Turner syndrome or a bicuspid aortic valve.

    The most sophisticated, comprehensive heart care program in Southern Nevada is available at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center . Our heart hospital in Las Vegas is home to numerous specialized programs and operating suites because we believe our patients deserve the best possible outcome. Call (702) 233-5300 for general information about our hospital services.

  • What tests can you expect to have in the emergency room?

    Emergency care doctors and nurses evaluate patients based on their signs and symptoms, health history and vital signs. They often use diagnostic tests as well, such as blood and urine tests. Watch the accompanying video to hear from an emergency care physician at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center . He explains some of the most common tests that he and his colleagues use.

    Blood tests
    A blood test measures the different components in your blood, including your red and white blood cells. This test provides a broad look at overall health. An emergency care doctor might request a blood test if you are:

    • Showing possible signs of an infection
    • Atypically tired or weak
    • Showing signs of inflammation or bruising

    A blood test can also be useful when a patient shows signs of diabetes, a heart attack, kidney complications or blood thinning.

    Kidney and liver function
    A comprehensive metabolic panel is a special type of blood test that can check for several problems, including problems with kidney and liver function. An emergency care physician might suspect a liver problem because of these signs and symptoms:

    • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes
    • Abdominal swelling
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Pain in the upper right abdominal area

    A kidney problem might be indicated by these symptoms:

    • Nausea
    • Fatigue
    • Confusion
    • Swelling of the lower extremities
    • Decreased urine output
    • Shortness of breath

    Urine test
    A urinalysis is a common test performed in the ER. Urine tests may reveal the presence of any of the following:

    • Kidney problems
    • Pregnancy
    • High blood sugar
    • Bacterial infection
    • Drugs

    Radiologic exams
    Imaging scans are used in the ER to quickly diagnose patients who might have internal injuries, such as a broken bone, or other problems like lung infections. An ER doctor may request any of the following:

    • Chest x-ray
    • X-rays of the extremities
    • CT scan of the abdomen, head or chest

    Individuals in Las Vegas who are suffering signs of a true medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke, should call 911 immediately. Patient-focused emergency care is available 24/7 at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. For non-emergent inquiries only, you can call our registered nurse at (702) 233-5300.