• How is Appendicitis Diagnosed?

    Although the appendix serves no known function, it can still cause serious medical problems. This small, tube-like organ is located in the large intestine. When the appendix becomes inflamed, it is referred to as appendicitis. Because an inflamed appendix can lead to life-threatening complications , it’s crucial to seek emergency care at MountainView Hospital if you think you could have appendicitis. Our emergency care team conducts thorough evaluations to develop accurate diagnoses.

    Patient History

    Watch this featured video to hear a general surgeon at MountainView Hospital explain how she evaluates patients who present with the symptoms of appendicitis. Generally, the symptoms of appendicitis include acute pain on the lower right-hand side of the abdomen that can become progressively worse. Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite are other possible symptoms. The patient can expect questions regarding the type, severity, and onset of symptoms. The emergency care physician will review the patient’s current medications and history of prior surgeries.

    Physical Exam

    After reviewing the patient’s symptoms and other medical information, the emergency care doctor will perform a physical exam. This typically involves applying light pressure on the abdominal area to evaluate the patient’s pain response. Abdominal rigidity is also considered. Sometimes, patients with possible appendicitis may undergo a digital rectal exam and/or a pelvic exam.

    Test Results

    Imaging scans and laboratory tests can be helpful to confirm a diagnosis of appendicitis. Blood tests can indicate whether an infection may be present and a urinalysis can rule out the possibility of a kidney stone or urinary tract infection. Additionally, patients might be asked to undergo a computed tomography (CT) scan or an abdominal ultrasound . The test and imaging results, physical exam, and patient information are all important factors in reaching a diagnosis of appendicitis and developing the patient’s treatment recommendations.

    The emergency care team and the entire staff here at MountainView Hospital are dedicated to helping Las Vegas-area families live life well. Our full-service hospital is a destination of choice for patients who need emergency surgery, robotic surgery, stroke care, and bariatric weight loss procedures. To request a physician referral, patients can call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 233-5300.

  • Medication Safety Tips for Households with Children

    A young child’s innate curiosity can be a joy to witness as he or she explores the world. But as every parent knows all too well, curiosity can also harm children. When it’s time to childproof your home, remember to keep all household medications out of reach of your young children. In the event that a medication poisoning does occur, parents should know where the nearest emergency care department is. Parents in Las Vegas can count on MountainView Hospital to provide timely and high-quality emergency care.

    Identify Potential Hazards

    Although many parents already know that prescription medications ought to be kept out of reach of children, many other seemingly harmless items should also be identified as potential hazards. These can include vitamins, eye drops, antifungal creams, diaper rash cream, cold remedies, and inhalers. Even cough drops can be dangerous since very young children may choke on them.

    Store Items Safely

    All potentially hazardous items should be kept out of reach of children at all times. Even if parents expect to need a particular item again in a few hours, it’s essential to store it securely in the meantime. Parents may wish to place certain items under lock and key.

    Use Medications Properly

    It’s highly advisable for parents to check with a pediatrician before giving their child any medications, including over-the-counter drugs such as cold medications. When a pediatrician does recommend administering a medication, it’s best to do so with the provided dosage device. A soup spoon will not necessarily equal a tablespoon and giving too much of a medication may be harmful.

    Prepare for Emergencies

    It’s a good idea to post the number for the poison control hotline by the home phone and on the refrigerator, and to program the number into cell phones. Parents should make sure all of the child’s caregivers know where the emergency numbers are located.

    For all of life’s medical emergencies, MountainView Hospital is here to help. Our emergency care team is available 24/7 to respond to medication overdoses, heart problems, stroke, and other serious medical conditions. Call 911 or the poison control hotline if your child requires emergency care; otherwise, you can reach a registered nurse at our facility in Las Vegas by calling (702) 233-5300.

  • What Can Cause a Severe Allergic Skin Rash?

    Many skin rashes involve only temporary discomfort and are not usually cause for alarm. However, some patients may develop severe skin rashes in response to allergens. If a skin rash is accompanied by symptoms such as difficulty breathing, joint pain, fever, or streaks of red, patients are advised to seek emergency care. At MountainView Hospital, our emergency care team is always ready to care for families throughout the Las Vegas area.

    Hives

    Hives, or urticaria, typically causes mild to severe itchiness. The affected areas of skin develop red or skin-colored welts. When the center of a red hive is pressed, it may turn white. Hives can be caused by a wide range of triggers, ranging from medications to pet dander. Insect stings or bites, certain foods, blood transfusions, viral or bacterial infections, pollen, and some plants may cause hives. Unless the hives are accompanied by swelling of the throat and difficulty breathing, they are not typically life-threatening.

    Angioedema

    Some people who believe they are suffering from hives may actually have angioedema. Angioedema is a possible complication of an allergic reaction. Its appearance is similar to that of hives; however, the swelling is located under the skin instead of on top of it. Angioedema may involve swelling of the mouth, eyes, hands, feet, and throat, along with stomach cramps and difficulty breathing.

    Latex Allergies

    When a person with a latex allergy comes into direct contact with a latex product , he or she can rapidly develop itchiness, redness, and swelling of the skin. Other possible symptoms can include chest tightness, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and a runny or stuffy nose. These allergic reactions can be serious. In very severe cases, anaphylaxis can occur. This is an allergic reaction that may be life-threatening. Although many hospitals have switched to latex-free gloves, it’s still important for patients with latex allergies to promptly inform all attending healthcare providers of their allergy.

    Highly trained ER physician specialists and emergency care nurses are available 24/7 at the Emergency Room of MountainView Hospital. For true medical emergencies in the Las Vegas area, please call 911 immediately. Otherwise, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 233-5300 or browse our website for more about our lines of service, including stroke care, robotic surgery, and bariatric weight loss.

  • A Look at the Danger Signs of a Concussion

    When playing contact sports such as football or hockey, individuals may have a higher risk of sustaining a concussion. However, concussions may also be caused by motor vehicle crashes, falls, and acts of violence. Some concussions are mild; however, because a concussion involves an injury to the delicate brain tissue, it’s advisable to seek emergency care even if the symptoms do not appear to be life-threatening. At MountainView Hospital , patients who arrive at our emergency care department with brain injuries have 24/7 access to our in-hospital neurologists.

    Physical Signs and Symptoms

    After sustaining trauma of the head, a person might complain of neck pain, headache, ringing in the ears, and blurry vision. Nausea or vomiting may occur and the patient may appear unusually fatigued or sleepy. Concussions may cause loss of coordination and balance, increased sensitivity to lights, sounds, and distractions, and unusual changes in sleeping patterns. Seizures and lightheadedness or dizziness are also possible. When any of these symptoms develop after a head injury, patients are advised to seek emergency care.

    Mental and Emotional Changes

    Some concussions may result in the loss of consciousness. The individual may have trouble remembering what happened. As time passes, he or she might have difficulty processing information, which may be indicated by problems with memory retention, concentration, attention span, decision making, problem solving, and organization. Patients with concussions may display confusion and sometimes hallucinations can occur. It’s not unusual to experience mood swings or unusual emotions, such as irritation or anger without just cause, anxiousness, listlessness, and sadness. Concussions can cause people to feel unmotivated and to display slowness when acting, thinking, speaking, or reading.

    Pediatric Signs and Symptoms

    Detecting a concussion in a child can be particularly difficult because he or she may be unable to clearly communicate his or her symptoms. Young children should be seen by a doctor promptly when head trauma occurs. Parents can be alert to the signs of a possible concussion, such as abnormal listlessness, crankiness, irritability, unsteady walking, and changes in behavior, eating, or sleeping.

    Exceptional emergency care is just one of the many healthcare services you’ll find at MountainView Hospital. Our entire staff is proud to serve residents of the greater Las Vegas area with sophisticated stroke care, robotic surgery, bariatric weight loss, and heart hospital services. You can speak with a registered nurse at our hospital by calling (702) 233-5300.

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