• What to do in a mental health emergency

    Emergency care physicians and nurses are trained to respond appropriately to patients experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental health disorders require emergency care when the patients are at risk of harming themselves or other people. A common example is suicide attempts or talking about committing suicide. If your loved one exhibits signs of a possible mental health crisis, you can rest assured that the emergency care providers at MountainView Hospital are available 24/7 to provide compassionate, sensitive care.

    Recognizing mental health crises
    Attempted suicide isn’t the only mental health crisis that requires emergency care. Individuals experiencing psychosis also require immediate help. Some indications of a mental health crisis include:

    • Paranoia
    • Delusions
    • Hallucinations
    • Extreme agitation or aggression
    • Threats of homicidal intentions

    Going to the ER
    When a person is in the midst of a mental health crisis, it isn’t always possible to convince him or her to get in a car and go to the ER. And in some cases, attempting to get a person to the ER may place the bystander at risk of harm.

    But if it is possible to safely drive a patient to the ER, it’s the best place for him or her to go during a crisis event. Patients themselves will likely be too distressed to drive themselves, even when they’re willing to get emergency care.

    Calling 911
    If there are any doubts about someone’s immediate safety, or if it’s impossible to get the patient to the ER, it’s time to call 911. The dispatcher can give you some guidance on steps you can take while awaiting emergency responders.

    For example, you may be asked to consider whether the patient could have access to substances of abuse, firearms, knives and any other potential tools for self-harm. If it’s safe for you to do so, you can eliminate the patient’s access to these items.

    The safety and well-being of our patients are our highest priorities here at MountainView Hospital . Our highly trained emergency care providers are committed to providing top-quality care to families throughout our Las Vegas community. Please direct medical emergencies to a 911 dispatcher, but non-emergent questions can be directed to a registered nurse at (702) 962-5021.

  • Protecting your children from allergens this Halloween

    Daily life can be complicated when a child has food allergies. Even after you’re accustomed to scrutinizing food labels and preventing cross-contamination in the kitchen, holidays can derail your routine. Kids with food allergies can still enjoy Halloween—it just takes a few extra precautionary steps. If an adverse reaction does occur, the emergency care doctors at MountainView Hospital are available 24/7.

    Safe trick-or-treating tips
    Kids with food allergies should go trick-or-treating with an adult who carries an epinephrine autoinjector, and knows how to use it. Help coach your children on how to politely decline homemade treats and packaged candy that contains allergens .

    Check the labels of each candy carefully before letting your child enjoy it. Be wary of “fun size” treats, as these may have different ingredients to their full size counterparts.

    Alternative Halloween activities
    Kids with food allergies are less likely to feel left out of the fun if you plan activities that don’t involve food. If you’ll be hosting a Halloween party, you could hold a costume contest, and hand out small toys to the winners instead of candy. Pumpkin carving—or painting, for younger kids—is another fun way to celebrate the fall season.

    Teal pumpkins
    The Teal Pumpkin Project was created as a way to connect kids with allergies to houses that offer allergy-free Halloween treats. Although the practice might not necessarily be widespread in your neighborhood, you could look for houses that display teal pumpkins. Take your child trick-or-treating at these houses to minimize potential exposure to food allergies.

    You could also raise awareness about the Teal Pumpkin Project by participating. Paint your own pumpkin teal, and print out a sign that explains its significance. Set out a basket of non-food items and allergy-free treats for trick-or-treaters.

    At MountainView Hospital, it’s our mission to empower families living with medical conditions. A physician at our state-of-the-art medical center in Las Vegas can help you learn how to keep your child safe from allergens. A registered nurse is available at (702) 962-5021 to answer your general healthcare questions.

  • How much does your family history matter for your heart health?

    Your family medical history can influence your risk of certain medical conditions, including heart disease . But it’s important to remember that having an elevated risk of heart disease does not mean that you’re guaranteed to develop it. Watch the accompanying video to hear from a cardiologist at MountainView Hospital—a well-known heart hospital serving Las Vegas. He talks about mitigating other risk factors when a patient’s family medical history is a concern.

    Discovering your family medical history
    You might have already heard about a grandparent’s battle with cancer or an aunt’s heart attack, but don’t assume that you have all the facts—many people prefer not to share details about their health with their relatives. As tactfully as possible, broach this subject with your family.

    Start by telling your parents and siblings that you’re compiling family history information for your records. Ask whether they can recall anyone in the family being diagnosed with any types of heart disease, including the following:

    • Heart attack
    • Coronary artery disease
    • High blood pressure
    • Heart valve problems

    Diabetes is another concern, as it increases the risk of heart disease.

    After talking to your immediate family members, get in touch with grandparents, if they’re still living, and aunts, uncles and cousins. Reassure them that you’ll keep their sensitive medical information confidential. After compiling your family medical history, bring your findings to your next doctor’s appointment.

    Learning about other risk factors of heart disease
    Family history can indeed influence health risks , but there are plenty of other risk factors you can manage. Talk to your doctor about any of the following risk factors that may affect you:

    • Alcohol consumption
    • Tobacco use
    • Overweight and obesity
    • Sedentary lifestyle
    • Poor nutrition
    • Elevated blood sugar
    • High blood pressure
    • Abnormal cholesterol levels

    It’s tough to change your lifestyle, but your doctor can help you learn how to make small changes gradually, which can make a big difference for your heart health.

    Heart Center at MountainView Hospital provides patient-centered heart care with the help of cutting-edge medical technology and highly trained specialists. We are committed to giving families in Las Vegas the reliable medical information they need to make informed healthcare decisions. To request a referral, call a registered nurse at (702) 962-5021.