MountainView Hospital
MountainView Hospital is a state-of-the-art, full-service medical facility located in the heart of northwest Las Vegas.

How long do you need to wash your hands to kill germs?

The chillier months typically bring an influx of patients with respiratory infections to the hospital, but getting sick isn’t inevitable. One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs is simply to wash your hands—but it only works if you do it properly. If you do become seriously ill this season, the emergency care doctors at MountainView Hospital can help you feel well again quickly.

The length of time you should wash your hands
Rinsing your hands isn’t enough to get them clean. To get rid of disease-causing germs, you’ll need to scrub them thoroughly with soap and water.

It takes at least 20 seconds of scrubbing to get your hands clean. This is about the length of time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song.

The right way to wash your hands
Use running water and plain soap to get your hands clean. Get your hands damp, then add soap and lather up. Scrub all areas, including the following:

  • Under the fingernails
  • Between the fingers
  • On the backs of the hands
  • Around the wrists

After you’ve scrubbed all areas of your hands for at least 20 seconds, hold them under the running water and continue to scrub until the soap is all washed off.

The way soap gets rid of germs
It’s a common misconception that soap kills germs. It actually improves your ability to scrub them off your hands so they’ll end up down the drain instead of in your body. Essentially, soap reduces the ability of germs to stick to your skin, but it’s the scrubbing action that really gets rid of them.

Antibacterial soap can prevent bacteria on the skin from replicating, but most of the ingredients have been recently banned because public health experts discovered they did more harm than good. Plus, good old-fashioned soap, water and scrubbing are the best tools to get rid of germs.

MountainView Hospital is your partner in health. From our emergency care doctors to our bariatric weight loss specialists, our entire team in Las Vegas works together to provide the patient-centered care everyone deserves. A friendly member of our nursing staff is available at (702) 962-5021 to provide physician referrals.

Knowing the difference between angina and heartburn

Most people know that they need emergency care if they’re having a heart attack, but identifying the symptoms of a heart attack can be complicated. There are many medical issues that cause chest pain, including non-life-threatening problems like heartburn or acid reflux. Since only a doctor can determine if a patient needs life-saving medical intervention, the emergency care specialists at MountainView Hospital urge our neighbors in Las Vegas to get help right away if they experience chest pain. You can hear one of our talented doctors discuss this topic when you watch the accompanying video.

Overview of heartburn and angina
The stomach lining is tough enough to handle the strong stomach acid that breaks down food. Unfortunately, these acids don’t always stay put. If they backflow up to the esophagus, they can cause the painful symptoms that are characteristic of heartburn.

Many people experience occasional heartburn. If heartburn occurs frequently, it’s advisable to speak with a doctor, as stomach acid can damage the esophagus.

Angina isn’t actually a disease or medical condition—it’s a symptom. Angina refers to chest pain that develops when the heart muscle isn’t getting enough blood. Usually, angina is caused by coronary heart disease (CHD).

It’s important to diagnose and treat angina promptly. Patients with angina have a higher risk of a heart attack.

Common symptoms of heartburn
Heartburn symptoms develop after eating. They can include:

  • A burning sensation in the chest
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sour taste in the mouth
  • Persistent sore throat or hoarse voice
  • Chronic cough

Diagnosis of angina
The chest pain of heart disease often feels like squeezing or pressure, and it isn’t always severe. In the ER, doctors can quickly test the heart’s activity to determine whether the chest pain is an angina attack or a heart attack. If it’s a heart attack, some of the following symptoms are likely to accompany the chest pain.

  • Nausea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Sudden dizziness

As a widely renowned heart hospital, MountainView Hospital is an employer of choice for top cardiologists who have made it their life’s work to save patients’ lives. If you are experiencing a true medical emergency, such as a possible heart attack, please call 911 right now. Otherwise, families in Las Vegas can reach our hospital at (702) 962-5021.

Can you get a flu shot during pregnancy?

Emergency care doctors recommend the flu shot for almost every patient, except for those with severe allergies to its ingredients and children younger than six months of age. When you’re pregnant, it’s good to be concerned about safety, but pregnancy by itself does not disqualify a patient from receiving the flu vaccine. If you have any concerns, your doctor can address them. The maternity specialists at MountainView Hospital work closely with each expecting mother to give her the personalized, superior care she deserves.

Flu-related complications

Pregnancy triggers changes in the immune system, heart and lungs that make expecting moms more vulnerable to severe flu symptoms and flu-related complications. New moms who just recently gave birth are also at a higher risk. It’s possible for these women to develop complications severe enough to require hospitalization, such as pneumonia.

Flu shot benefits

The flu shot is recommended during any trimester of pregnancy because it protects expecting moms from these medical problems during a time when health is most important.

Since babies younger than six months cannot receive the flu shot, getting the vaccine during pregnancy passes along some protection to these infants. The expecting mom’s body manufactures antibodies in response to the flu shot. These antibodies are passed along to the baby, which offers protection during the few months of life.

Flu shot safety

The flu vaccine has a long track record of safety, having been given to millions of expecting moms over the years. Scientific evidence supports the safety of vaccinating pregnant women, although there isn’t quite as much evidence regarding flu shots given during the first trimester. The CDC and the FDA continue to conduct ongoing studies on vaccines to ensure that they are safe.

Flu shot contraindications

Women who have egg allergies should talk to their doctors before receiving the flu shot. Mild egg allergies won’t necessarily disqualify an expecting mom from getting vaccinated. However, those with life-threatening egg allergies shouldn’t be vaccinated.

MountainView Hospital is the leading choice for expecting parents in Las Vegas. With our family-centered care, exceptional midwifery services and private birthing suites, our remodeled Labor and Delivery Unit has everything new parents need to welcome their new arrivals. A registered nurse, available at (702) 962-5021, can answer any questions you have about our maternity and childbirth services.

How does diabetes relate to your bone health?

Diabetes affects your body in countless ways, and its impact on your bones is no exception. In particular, diabetes can increase the risk of osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become thin and brittle. Fortunately, by working carefully with your physician to manage your diabetes, you can mitigate some of its effects on your bone health. Here is what you need to know.

Types of diabetes
There are two types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the pancreas. The pancreas will cease to produce insulin. As a result, people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin via injections or an insulin pump to replace what the body is not producing.

  • Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to using the insulin the pancreas has produced to regulate blood glucose levels. The pancreas also starts to produce inadequate amounts of insulin. Some people with type 2 diabetes take insulin and other medications, while others manage their condition with diet and exercise.

Both forms of diabetes can affect your bone health and increase your risk of osteoporosis, but they are thought to do so in different ways.

Type 1 diabetes and osteoporosis
Low bone density is common with people in type 1 diabetes, but doctors are unsure why the connection exists. It is possible that insulin helps to protect bone health, and when the body does not produce any, bones lose their mass.

People who get type 1 diabetes when they are young, when their bones are still developing, may be especially prone to osteoporosis. Also, substances produced by different cells called cytokines that are common in people with type 1 diabetes are also linked to the development of osteoporosis.

Type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis
Many people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, which can actually have a protective effect on bones. However, many people with type 2 diabetes also have a sedentary lifestyle, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis.

Although the link between type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis is looser, doctors believe that the disease does negatively impact the bones.

Being proactive about managing diabetes and bone health will reduce your risk of complications. Let the specialists at MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas help you develop an effective treatment plan for your diabetes and monitor the health of your bones. Find out more about all of our services at our hospital or ask for a referral to one of our specialists by calling (702) 962-5021.

Why young people should be concerned about heart disease

Heart disease most often affects the older population, but that doesn’t mean that young people aren’t at risk. In reality, heart disease can happen at any age, so knowing the risks and making heart-healthy choices matters at every stage of your life. Here is what you need to know about reducing your risk of heart disease for life.

Surprising statistics

Thanks to ever-increasing rates of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, risk factors for heart disease and heart disease itself is being seen in younger patients. Consider some of these statistics about young people and cardiovascular health, reported in 2013 by the American Heart Association:

  • Approximately 7.8% of teens between the ages of 12 and 19 have cholesterol of over 200 mg/dL.

  • 23.9 million kids between the ages of 2 and 19 are overweight or obese.

According to the Women’s Heart Foundation, 35,000 women under 55 have heart attacks each year. The Center for Disease Control states that heart disease becomes the leading cause of death in men by age 45.

Risk factors

Young people have the same risk factors for heart disease as older people, such as:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diabetes

Young people also experience a heightened risk of heart disease thanks to two conditions:

  • Kawasaki disease – A childhood condition in which the blood vessels become inflamed. When the disease affects the coronary arteries, it can lead to heart disease.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – An inherited condition that leads to enlarged cardiac muscles. The thickened muscles can impede blood flow.

Preventing heart disease

Young people can drastically reduce their risks of developing heart disease with a few simple steps, such as the following:

  • See your physician annual for a checkup that includes screenings for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet, rich in whole grain carbohydrates, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

  • Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days.

  • Don’t smoke, and talk to your physician about stopping, if you do.

MountainView Hospital’s Heart Center of Las Vegas treats patients of all ages who are suffering from cardiovascular health problems, while our ER provides emergency care for heart health crises. Whether you need more information about our heart health programs or a referral to a cardiologist, call us today at (702) 962-5021.

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