• 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.

  • What should you avoid when you want to get pregnant?

    Moms-to-be know how important it is to monitor everything that they put into their bodies during pregnancy, but did you know that are some things you should avoid while you’re trying to become pregnant? Preparing your body for pregnancy will help you and your baby be healthier and could even influence your baby’s health throughout his or her life. If you are planning on becoming pregnant, talk to your doctor about things you should cut out. Here are some of the things your provider may discuss with you.

    Medications
    Some forms of medication can be dangerous to your growing baby, and if you are planning a pregnancy, your physician may wish to stop them before you conceive. Many antidepressants and biologics are potentially unhealthy for babies, as mentioned in the video, as well as some cholesterol medicines.

    Women who become pregnant while taking these medicines should contact their physicians right away. If you are trying to conceive, ask your physician if you should switch to a different type of medicine or discontinue what you are taking. Be sure to keep taking your medicine as prescribed until you have had a chance to review your options with your physician.

    Fish with high mercury levels
    Your pre-pregnancy diet has an enormous impact on your baby’s well-being. Your physician will likely recommend that you avoid fish with high mercury levels—such as swordfish and tuna—when you are pregnant, because mercury can damage your baby’s developing nervous systems.

    When you are trying to become pregnant, it’s best to start avoiding these foods. The effects of mercury can be most extreme early in your pregnancy, often before you even know that you have conceived. Simply taking these foods off the menu will ensure you don’t have to worry.

    Soda
    When you want to get pregnant, it’s best to avoid reaching for any kind of soda. There are indications that most types of soda can impact your fertility, by causing inflammation and metabolic changes. The chemicals that are in soda bottles, including BPA, can also be dangerous for a developing baby.

    At MountainView Hospital, our highly trained OBGYN specialists will support you throughout your pregnancy, labor, and delivery to ensure you have the healthiest possible experience. Our newly remodeled labor and delivery unit in Las Vegas boasts private birthing suites and plenty of concierge services for new moms. Find out more about having your baby at our hospital by calling (702) 962-5021.

  • Reduce your household’s risk for electrical shock injuries

    Electrical shock injuries can have serious consequences, from severe burns that require emergency care to loss of life. Preventing these kinds of injuries is important for your entire family, but children are especially susceptible to injury from electrical shocks. Here is what you need to know about electrical shock injuries and how to prevent them.

    What are electrical shock injuries?
    Electrical shock injuries occur when someone is exposed to a live electrical current. At home, these kinds of injuries typically occur due to:

    • Exposure to electrical wiring
    • Faulty tools
    • Putting foreign objects into the electrical outlets
    • Power line arcs
    • Cutting of an electrical cord

    Young children in particular are prone to injuries cause by sticking fingers or foreign objects into electrical outlets. Children under six are the most common age group for electrical injuries.

    What kinds of injuries happen after electrical exposure?
    The type and severity of the injury that occurs after an electrical exposure depends on a number of different factors, including the type of current, the voltage and amperage, and the area of the body that was exposed. Some injuries that may occur include:

    • Burns
    • Seizures
    • Headaches
    • Cardiac arrest
    • Unconsciousness
    • Respiratory failure
    • Hearing impairment

    Burns are especially serious injuries. About 3% to 4% of people who enter burn centers for treatment were victims of electrical burns. People with serious electrical burns face a 40% chance of death.

    How can I reduce the risk of electrical injuries at home?
    Preventing is critical when it comes to electrical injuries. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make your home safer. Consider putting this advice into action:

    • Use safety covers on your outlets
    • Replace any equipment or appliance with frayed cords or that give off a shock
    • Don’t overload outlets or power strips
    • Keep hands and metal objects away from outlets

    The ER at MountainView Hospital provides emergency care in Las Vegas for all of your critical healthcare needs, from electrical injuries to strokes and heart attacks. Visit our ER any time, 365 days a year, or contact us at (702) 962-5021 for more information.

  • 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.

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