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

Coping with Medical Emergencies During Pregnancy

No expectant mother likes to consider the possibility of facing a medical emergency during pregnancy, but complications can and do occur. Fortunately, seeking emergency care quickly makes it possible to treat most urgent complications and protect you and your baby’s wellbeing. Your obstetrician can tell you about your specific risk factors for complications, so you can tune into your symptoms and take steps to prevent them.

Know the Symptoms
Getting fast treatment is critical if a medical emergency arises, so be alert to symptoms of a problem so you can take action quickly when necessary. Pelvic pain, bleeding, extreme fatigue, and chronic nausea and vomiting can all be signs an emergency. Although ankle swelling is common during pregnancy, extreme swelling, especially on one side, can indicate an emergency. If you are concerned about any symptoms you are having, consult your doctor or seek emergency care. It is better to go to the ER and find out that you don’t have an issue than to wait and let a pregnancy complication become worse.

Avoid Self-Treatment
When you’re pregnant, over-the-counter medications you might otherwise take may not be safe. Don’t attempt to self-treat any symptoms of a complication at home. Instead, get emergency care, so that you can be confident that any medications you do receive are safe for both you and your baby. If you do decide to take an over-the-counter remedy, always consult your doctor first.

Act Fast
When it comes to dealing with any medical emergency during pregnancy, time is of the essence. The faster you get emergency care, the sooner both you and your baby can be protected. Fast treatment also helps to prevent a minor emergency from becoming a more serious one.

The ER at MountainView Hospital is open 24-hours per day to provide emergency care in Las Vegas for all of your critical medical needs. Contact us today at (702) 233-5300 for more information about our emergency services or a referral to maternity care specialist.

Understanding the Safety of Cholesterol Medication

High cholesterol is a dangerous condition that can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke. When you have high cholesterol that can’t be treated through diet and exercise, your doctor may prescribe cholesterol medications, particularly statins. Although the safety and effectiveness of cholesterol medications has been questioned in the media, doctors remain convinced that they can be an important part of lowering cholesterol and protecting people from dangerous complications. Here is what you need to know.

What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a vital substance that your body uses to create hormones, bile acids, and vitamin D. However, having too much of one form of cholesterol, called low-density lipoproteins, or LDL cholesterol, and not having enough high-density lipoproteins, or HDL cholesterol, can be dangerous. LDL cholesterol can lead to plaque build-up in your blood vessels that can cause blockages that may eventually lead to heart attack or stroke.

What causes high cholesterol?
A number of different factors contribute to high cholesterol. About 25% of the cholesterol in your blood comes from the food you eat, so a diet high in saturated fat will contribute to high cholesterol. Your liver produces about 75% of your cholesterol. Some people are genetically predisposed to excess cholesterol production. Having some medical conditions, such as diabetes, can also make you more prone to having high cholesterol.

What is the role of cholesterol medication?
Some people with high cholesterol can effectively lower their numbers through diet, exercise, and weight loss. For others, medications can help. Cholesterol medications work by slowing down the production of cholesterol by the liver, and for patients with risk factors for complications from high cholesterol, they can have a noticeable positive impact on overall health. As MountainView Hospital cardiologist Dr. Thomas Lambert details in this video, cholesterol medications have been demonstrated to be safe and effective, despite the bad reputation they get in the press.

At MountainView Hospital, our heart care team in Las Vegas provides comprehensive diagnostic and interventional care for a range of cardiac conditions. Whether you need emergency care for heart attack symptoms or long-term management of congestive heart failure, we have you covered. For a referral to one of our heart care providers, call (702) 233-5300.

How to Keep Your Healthy New Year's Resolutions

The New Year is an opportunity to get a fresh start, but many people have trouble sticking to their resolutions. To keep your resolution to improve your wellness, try not to focus on the ultimate outcome. Instead, create a plan that specifies reasonable steps to take. If you would like to consult a healthcare provider about weight loss, exercise, smoking cessation, or other health goals, consider visiting MountainView Hospital.

Avoid Multitasking
One common reason for failure is taking on too many goals at once. Make just one resolution this year. Choose a resolution that offers the most impactful benefit for your health, such as quitting smoking.

Make Small Changes
It’s hard to change ingrained habits overnight. Break down your goal into small, actionable steps. Focus on just one change at a time before moving on to the next one. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you might start by drinking water instead of soda or juice. If your goal is to quit smoking, your first step might be to designate your car as a smoke-free zone.

Track Your Progress
It’s easy to get discouraged when it takes weeks or months to reach a goal. Tracking your progress can remind you of how much you’ve already accomplished. If your goal is to exercise regularly, keep a log of your workouts. When you get discouraged, compare the first and last pages of your log to see how much your endurance and strength have improved.

Plan for Setbacks
It’s perfectly normal to experience some setbacks along the way, but don’t let them derail your progress altogether. Acknowledge that you overindulged, neglected to get to the gym, or snuck in a cigarette, and then move on without berating yourself. If need be, adjust your plan or ask for help. Your family and friends can support you along the way. Your family physician can offer guidance and connect you to health resources such as smoking cessation support groups.

If your New Year’s resolutions involve improving your health, the specialists at MountainView Hospital can help. We provide preventive wellness services, along with bariatric weight loss and heart health care. Call (702) 233-5300 to request a referral to a physician in Las Vegas.

Do You Need to Go to the ER for a Headache?

In most cases, headaches are not red flags of a serious medical condition, although they can certainly be bothersome. When a headache does require emergency care, it’s because of the possibility that a serious or life-threatening medical condition is causing the headache. Stroke, meningitis, brain aneurysm, and carbon monoxide poisoning are all examples of problems that can cause headaches and require emergency care. Families in the greater Las Vegas area can turn to MountainView Hospital—a Certified Primary Stroke Center—for all sorts of medical emergencies.

Sudden Symptoms
The abrupt onset of severe symptoms is one reason to call 911. When symptoms develop rapidly, emergency medicine physicians must consider the possibility that the patient is suffering a ruptured brain aneurysm or stroke. When these life-threatening problems are the cause of a headache, the pain is often described as being “the worst headache of one’s life.” Other warning signs of stroke include slurred speech, confusion, one-sided weakness, and difficulty walking. A ruptured brain aneurysm can cause confusion, stiff neck, blurry vision, seizure, and loss of consciousness.

Accompanying Symptoms
Aside from a ruptured brain aneurysm and stroke, there are other medical conditions that can cause a headache and other accompanying symptoms. For example, malignant hypertension refers to the rapid onset of extremely high blood pressure. Along with a headache, this can cause changes in mental status, blurry vision, shortness of breath, chest pain, and weakness. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, fainting, and nausea. Meningitis can cause headaches, light sensitivity, fever, stiff neck, confusion, and lethargy.

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Even when a severe headache is not accompanied by other warning signs, an ER visit may be called for in certain people. Those who have pre-existing medical conditions such as HIV infection, other infections that compromise the immune system, or liver, heart, or kidney disease may want to err on the side of caution and see a doctor right away. Women who are pregnant are also advised to exercise caution when unusual headaches develop, as are those who have recently suffered a head injury.

For all of your emergency medical care needs, you can count on MountainView Hospital. We are the leading providers of exceptional emergency medicine in Las Vegas, including stroke care. If you might have a life-threatening medical problem, please call 911 without delay; otherwise, you can reach a registered nurse at our community hospital by calling (702) 233-5300.

Avoid the Holiday Blues This Season

The holiday season may be a time of cheer and goodwill, but not everyone shares the holiday spirit. If you tend to experience severe stress or perhaps even clinical depression during this time of year, you’re not alone. Although several studies have debunked the idea that the holiday season coincides with a dramatic rise in depression and suicides, some people can certainly experience increased stress and feelings of sadness during this time of year. If you do struggle to get through the holiday season, consider visiting your local hospital to have a chat with your family doctor. MountainView Hospital is pleased to meet the healthcare needs of patients at every stage of life.

Limit Your Obligations
If you’re feeling down and out because of your chaotic holiday schedule, consider limiting your commitments. It isn’t necessary to attend every holiday party, nor should you feel obligated to host a large event yourself. If financial limitations are stressing you out, consider asking your relatives to participate in a Yankee Swap or Secret Santa exchange to limit the gift-giving.

Volunteer Your Time
Although limiting your holiday activities is beneficial, you might wish to make some time for volunteering. Giving back to those in need is a wonderful way to lift your own spirits. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities in Las Vegas—from serving meals at community kitchens to volunteering in the hospital.

Consider Attending a Support Group
You might be experiencing the holiday blues because of a chronic illness in the family. Caregiver stress, in particular, can become difficult to cope with in light of the increase in obligations during the holiday season. Consider looking for a support group for people who share your own chronic medical condition or a group for caregivers. During this time of year, many support groups focus on sharing strategies to cope with the holidays.

If you are interested in joining a support group for patients or caregivers, consider exploring the opportunities available in Las Vegas at MountainView Hospital. Our state-of-the-art hospital offers extensive community resources, including health classes, seminars and other events, and volunteer opportunities for those who wish to serve others. Call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 233-5300 to request general information about our hospital services.

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