• 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.

  • Can you drink alcohol when you have IBS?

    A diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome can be difficult to adjust to. It’s a manageable medical condition, but there’s no cure, and so patients must commit to making permanent lifestyle changes. Patients at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center receive the full support of our multidisciplinary team, and specialized care is available at Digestive Health Institute.

    The problem with alcohol
    It’s not recommended that patients with IBS consume alcohol, as alcohol is known to exacerbate IBS symptoms. According to the National Institutes of Health , at least one research study demonstrated an increase in IBS symptoms reported the next day among patients who had consumed alcohol the previous evening. The most severe IBS symptoms followed binge drinking episodes.

    This particular study evaluated women between the ages of 18 and 48. It included study participants already diagnosed with IBS, as well as a healthy control population. The researchers identified binge drinking as consuming four or more beverages with alcohol during any given day.

    The IBS symptoms that can occur
    Alcohol is one of the possible triggers of IBS symptoms. Generally, patients experiencing a flare-up of IBS symptoms report:

    • Abdominal pain or cramps
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Gas and bloating
    • Mucus in the stool
    • Feeling of an incomplete bowel movement
    • Loose stools

    The recommended dietary changes for IBS patients
    Avoiding alcoholic beverages is just one lifestyle change to make in order to successfully manage IBS symptoms. Patients are also advised to avoid or limit caffeine. Fruit juice, especially prune juice, is recommended for IBS patients with constipation.

    Some IBS patients get good results following a low FODMAP diet. This diet limits the intake of carbohydrates that the body has trouble digesting. Consult your doctor about trying an elimination diet to determine if FODMAPs are giving your GI tract trouble.

    FODMAPs are found in many foods, including:

    • Dairy products
    • High-fructose corn syrup
    • Wheat and rye
    • Cabbage
    • Cauliflower
    • Apples
    • Pears
    • Garlic
    • Onions
    • Mushrooms

    Digestive Health Institute at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center emphasizes the role of patient education in managing chronic digestive disorders like IBS. Our board-certified, fellowship-trained physicians are committed to providing the superior, patient-centered care you deserve. Call our hospital in Las Vegas at (702) 233-5300, and request a physician referral.