• Should teens be screened for depression?

    Depression is extremely common during adolescence, but many teens don’t display any symptoms, so their illness goes unnoticed. Sometimes, the first time that parents find out that their teens are depressed is when they need emergency care after harming themselves. For these reasons, many physicians recommend that teens be screened for depression as part of their regular preventive care checkups.

Depression symptoms in teens
Mood swings are part of life during adolescence, so parents frequently overlook the signs of depression because they assume that their teen is just being a teen. Some common symptoms of depression in teens are:

  • Prolonged periods of sadness and irritability
  • Withdrawal from normal activities
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Preoccupation with death or suicide

If you recognize these symptoms in your teen, consider making an appointment with a pediatric physician for a depression screening.

Screening basics
A depression screening consists of a conversation between your teen and their physician. The physician will ask questions about your teen’s feelings, energy levels, ability to pay attention at school, and eating habits.

The physician may ask other questions as well, depending on the answers your teen gives. During this process, it may be helpful for your teen to speak to the physician alone, so they feel comfortable giving honest answers.

Treatment Options
There are several treatments available for teens who have depression symptoms. Your teen’s physician will work with you and your teen to find a treatment plan that feels right to everyone.

Some of the treatments for depression in teens include therapy and medications, as well as testing and treatment for any underlying medical conditions that are contributing to his or symptoms.

Are you concerned about your teen’s symptoms and want to find a physician who can help? Contact Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center and request a physician referral in Las Vegas to a specialist who can help. Contact us today by calling (702) 233-5300.

  • How do you perform a breast self-exam?


    An important part of finding breast cancer is in its early stages is performing breast self-exams. Self-exams can be easily performed at home and are instrumental in getting early treatment if you have breast cancer, which can be lifesaving. Performing self-exams is easy and only take a few minutes once per month. These tips will help.

    Pick a time
    Performing your breast self-exam on the same day every month is helpful. Because your breast tissue can become swollen and sore at different times per month, if you don’t follow a schedule for self-exams, it is more difficult to notice when a change could indicate breast cancer or is just a normal part of your cycle.

    As the video discusses, about 10 days after your period is usually a good time. If you do not menstruate, simply pick the same day every month. Writing it down on a calendar will help you to keep track.

    Perform a through exam
    Start your breast self-exam by visually inspecting your breasts. Look at them in the mirror with your arms by your side, and then raise your arms over your head to inspect them again. Look for puckered or bulging skin, inflammation, or changes in shape, size, or color.

    Next, lie down and using the tips of your fingers in a circular motion, examine the entire surface of both breasts. Pay attention to signs of hard, raisin-like lumps under the skin, or any changes in your breast from the previous month.

    Lastly, using the same circular motion, examine your breasts in the shower. Look for the same symptoms of lumps and changes.

    Call your physician if you notice a change
    Report any change in your breast tissue to your physician right away, but don’t panic. In most cases, these changes are not linked to any kind of problem. However, your physician will make sure, so in the case it is breast cancer, you can begin treatment right away.

    The Breast Center at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center offers diagnostic services, including mammograms, breast cancer treatments, and other breast health needs. Get a physician referral in Las Vegas to one of our breast specialists by calling (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
    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.

    Nausea
    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.

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