• 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.

  • Do you need endometriosis treatment if you aren’t trying to conceive?

    Endometrial tissue normally lines the uterus. It’s called the endometrium. Each month, women who are still menstruating shed this lining. Some women have endometrial tissue that grows outside of the uterus. This condition, known as endometriosis , can be painful and it can interfere with fertility. Not every woman with endometriosis chooses treatment. This is a personal decision you can make with the guidance of your physician at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. Our women’s care specialists pride themselves on excellent patient education.

    Deciding to get treated
    Your physician will carefully evaluate your symptoms when helping you decide whether to seek treatment. Some women might not have problematic symptoms, while others experience the following:

    • Pain
    • Bleeding between periods
    • Digestive problems
    • Infertility

    The pain is often described as severe menstrual cramps. Some women may have pain during sex, painful bowel movements or chronic pain in the lower back and pelvis.

    The digestive problems that can occur will typically worsen during periods. Diarrhea, constipation, nausea and bloating are all possible.

    If your symptoms are difficult to manage, or are interfering with your quality of life, you’ll likely want to explore your treatment options. Treating endometriosis is important for women with moderate to severe symptoms, even if they aren’t trying to have children.

    Choosing a treatment method
    Inform your physician that you are not planning on having children, as this will affect your treatment options. Usually, physicians recommend hormonal birth control as a first treatment choice for women who aren’t trying for kids. Hormonal birth control is available as a pill, injection and intrauterine device.

    Surgery is typically only recommended for women who do want to become pregnant, have severe complications or experience severe symptoms that don’t respond well to nonsurgical treatments. Your physician will help you decide whether to have a laparoscopic surgery or a hysterectomy.

    Laparoscopic endometriosis surgery is minimally invasive. It involves removing endometrial growths and managing scar tissue .

    A hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus. Sometimes, the ovaries and fallopian tubes are also removed.

    Women at all stages of life can find the compassionate care they need at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas. Our superior, patient-focused gynecological services include cutting-edge care of endometriosis. Call our nurse referral line at (702) 233-5300.

  • Answering your questions about hemophilia

    Hemophilia is one of many types of blood clotting disorders. It’s a serious, but rare disorder that can lead to excessive blood loss. However, thanks to modern medicine, hemophilia is also treatable. Patients can always find the answers to their questions about medical issues at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. Our physicians are committed to providing helpful patient education and patient-centered care.

    Who can get hemophilia?
    Hemophilia is not a contagious disease. It’s an inherited disorder that is caused by a genetic mutation.

    Hemophilia is more often diagnosed in males than females. Girls can be carriers of the genetic mutation, but not necessarily have the disorder themselves.

    What happens to patients with hemophilia?
    People with hemophilia don’t have enough blood-clotting proteins. This means that they are susceptible to excessive blood loss when they are injured.

    Hemophilia can vary in severity, depending on the amount of blood-clotting proteins, or clotting factors, that are present in the bloodstream. The lower the level, the worse the bleeding can get.

    For example, patients with mild hemophilia might not have much of a problem with small cuts and scrapes, although internal bleeding is still dangerous. Patients with severe hemophilia may suffer spontaneous bleeding.

    Patients with hemophilia may experience complications, such as chronic joint pain if bleeding occurs in the joints. If bleeding occurs in the brain, patients may suffer from seizures or paralysis. Excessive blood loss may also lead to death.

    How is hemophilia diagnosed?
    Since hemophilia is inherited, individuals will often be aware of a family history of this blood clotting disorder. Upon becoming parents, these individuals can request testing of newborns.

    It’s also possible for a child to have hemophilia caused by a new gene mutation, which isn’t found in other family members. In these cases, the symptoms of the patient will lead the physician to suspect hemophilia.

    How is hemophilia treated?
    The standard treatment for hemophilia is to give patients infusions of blood-clotting factor. Patients can self-administer these infusions when bleeding episodes occur. In some cases, the physician may recommend regular use of infusions to lower the occurrence rate of bleeding episodes.

    Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is a state-of-the-art facility serving Las Vegas. In addition to treating blood clotting disorders, our highly trained physicians provide specialized stroke care and other emergency care services. Call (702) 233-5300 any time of the day or night to speak with one of our registered nurses.

  • When would you need to see a neurosurgeon?

    Neurosurgeons are highly trained specialists who diagnose and treat conditions that affect the brain or spine, such as stroke and brain tumors . You can hear directly from a neurosurgeon when you watch the accompanying video. Neurosurgery can be quite complex and delicate, which is why patients prefer to go to a hospital with a reputation for excellence in neuroscience. Nevada Neurosciences Institute at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is the only dedicated center for neurological care in the Las Vegas region. Each of our patients receives world-class treatment and compassionate, personalized care.

    When you have suffered a stroke
    The outcome of a stroke is highly dependent upon the length of time between its onset and when the patient receives stroke care. Emergency responders will coordinate with the emergency care staff, so that the stroke care team is ready to evaluate and treat the patient immediately upon arrival.

    The majority of strokes are ischemic, which means that they are caused by an obstruction that interferes with blood flow to the brain. If the patient gets to the hospital quickly enough, the doctors can use powerful clot-busting drugs to restore blood flow. In some cases, a neurosurgery team must perform interventional surgery to manually remove the obstruction.

    When you have a br

    ain tumor
    The uncontrolled growth of cells can result in the formation of a tumor. A neurosurgeon can treat tumors that arise in the brain. These tumors may be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

    Even noncancerous brain tumors may need to be treated to relieve symptoms and complications. Tumor treatment is particularly complex, and each treatment plan is tailored to the needs of the individual patient. A neurosurgeon may recommend stereotactic radiosurgery, which uses a precise, powerful beam of radiation to shrink the tumor.

    When you ha
    e a spinal disorder

    Spinal disorders tend to be more common than brain disorders. Your primary care physician may refer you to a neurosurgeon if you have a spinal disorder such as the following:

    • Spinal stenosis

    • Herniated disc

    • Congenital defects

    • Siatica

    • Spinal trauma

    Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center attracts top neurosurgeons with impeccable credentials because of our reputation for putting our patients first. Our neurosurgery team treats complex brain and spine disorders, taking a collaborative approach to give our patients the best possible outcomes. To request a physician referral, call a registered nurse in Las Vegas at (702) 233-5300.

  • What to expect after you’ve broken your hip

    The hip is a ball and socket joint, and most hip fractures occur just below the ball. Hip fractures are most often diagnosed among older adults with osteoporosis, but significant physical trauma can cause a broken hip in younger patients. When you arrive at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center with a suspected hip fracture, the emergency care team will evaluate you right away and explain what to expect next.

    Deciding to perform orthopedic surgery
    The majority of patients with a broken hip have surgery, as it typically offers the most favorable outcome. If your fracture is minor, or your overall health is too poor to withstand the rigors of surgery, you may be asked to undergo a period of strict bed rest instead. Your doctor may recommend that you recover in a long-term care facility, as close medical monitoring is needed due to the risk of complications from prolonged bed rest.

    Patients who are expecting to have surgery may be asked to have the following in preparation for the procedure:

    • Blood tests
    • Electrocardiogram
    • Chest X-rays
    • Urine tests

    Undergoing hip surgery
    An orthopedic surgeon will determine the most appropriate surgical technique , based on the specifics of your fracture. You may have surgical plates and screws inserted to keep the bones aligned properly as they heal. Or, your surgeon may recommend a hip replacement procedure.

    Recovering from a hip fracture and surgery
    You can expect to remain in the hospital for a while during your initial recovery. Fairly soon, you’ll get started on physical and occupational therapy. You’ll learn how to move with assistive devices, like a walker or crutches, and you’ll learn how to do simple self-care tasks without straining the joint.

    If you lack sufficient support at home, you may move from the hospital to a long-term care facility until you can adequately care for yourself. Throughout your recovery, you’ll work closely with rehabilitation specialists to regain your strength, balance and range of motion. It’s important to follow your rehab team’s exercise recommendations closely, as this is crucial for your full recovery.

    At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center , you’ll find the region’s only CARF-accredited inpatient rehabilitation facility. Our orthopedic specialists encourage patients to take advantage of our multidisciplinary team of rehab experts to support a good outcome for joint surgery. Residents of the Las Vegas area can get in touch with a trusted member of our nursing staff at (702) 233-5300.

  • How do you know which hospital to go to in an emergency?

    Some health problems can’t wait for a regular appointment with your doctor. If you think you need emergency care , don’t delay going to the hospital. But which one should you go to? Watch the accompanying video to hear from an emergency care expert at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. He explains that not all hospitals have the same resources. At Sunrise, patients have access to a full range of specialty services.

    How to know when to drive to the ER
    Some examples of medical emergencies that aren’t life-threatening include:

    • Broken leg
    • Sprained ankle
    • Respiratory infection
    • Food poisoning
    • Moderate lacerations
    • Moderate burn injuries

    How to know which hospital to choose
    In many cases, patients simply prefer to go to the closest emergency care center. However, a little research can make a big difference. For instance, HCA-affiliated hospitals are famous for having very short waiting times.

    Additionally, you can check the hospital’s website for a list of their specialty medical services. If you’re a cancer patient and you’re experiencing potential complications of your disease or treatment, you would want to go to a hospital with an oncology unit. If you’re a diabetic with a potentially infected wound, you would want a hospital with a wound care program.

    How to know when to call 911
    Any injury or condition that you suspect might be life-threatening warrants a prompt call to 911. Some examples include:

    • Heart attack
    • Stroke
    • Seizure
    • Traumatic injury
    • Ectopic pregnancy
    • Pulmonary embolism

    The emergency responders will coordinate your care for you. They may take you to the nearest emergency room, or they may take you straight to a hospital that offers specialty programs like cardiac care.

    Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center provides superior emergency care to Las Vegas residents 24/7, every day of the year. Our team of specialists and nurses is dedicated to saving lives because we live and work in the same community as our patients. For non-emergent questions only, or for a physician referral, you can call a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300.

  • 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.