• 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.

  • Know the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer

    Ovarian cancer is notoriously difficult to diagnose in early stages because the symptoms it causes are nonspecific and may be very mild. It is important to listen to your body and to see a physician if you experience persistent symptoms that do not respond to any efforts to manage them. Be alert to these common signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.

    Abdominal bloating is very common with ovarian cancer. You may notice that your clothing doesn’t fit as comfortably, despite maintaining your normal weight. You may also notice that your abdomen appears fuller and rounder than before.

    Although many different things can cause abdominal bloating, including indigestion and water weight gain, bloating that is persistent or that gets worse should be evaluated by a physician to determine the cause.

    Changes in appetite
    In the early stages of ovarian cancer, many patients find that they lose their appetites and become full very quickly while eating. Some people struggle to eat at all. Everyone’s appetite fluctuates from time to time, but having trouble eating for an extended period of time could indicate ovarian cancer.

    Talk to your physician if you have a persistent loss of appetite. Additionally, consider seeing your physician if you experience unexpected weight loss. This could indicate that you have been eating less, even if you aren’t aware of the changes in your appetite.

    Pelvic pain
    If a tumor is growing on your ovaries, it could put pressure on other parts of your abdominal cavity. As a result, you may feel pain and pressure in your pelvic region. You may also experience pain elsewhere in your abdomen.

    Pain associated with ovarian cancer may ache like menstrual cramps, or it may be sharp. This pain and pressure may also extend to your lower back.

    Keep in mind that Pap smears do not test for ovarian cancer, so being knowledgeable about your symptoms is your best level of defense. MountainView Hospital is pleased to offer comprehensive cancer diagnosis and care at our oncology unit in Las Vegas. For a referral to a women’s services specialist or more information about our cancer treatment program, call us at (702) 962-5021.

  • Prepare your home for your baby room by room

    When you bring your baby home from the hospital, it will be a relief to know that your house is safe. Make prepping each room of your home for your baby’s safety part of your to-do list during pregnancy . Here are some easy things you can do in each room of your home to prepare to welcome your new arrival.

    The nursery will be the center of your baby’s life, so it’s especially important to make sure this room is safe. Try these tips for improving safety in the nursery:

    • Put a no-skid running under your changing mat if you plan to use it on top of furniture.
    • Keep the baby monitor at least three feet from the crib.
    • Make sure your crib sheet is fitted and wraps securely around the mattress corners.

    Kitchen safety will become a bigger issue when your child becomes independently mobile, however, there are still things to consider when your baby is an infant, such as:

    • Don’t place portable chairs on glass table tops, loose tabletops, or on a placemat.
    • Always secure hooks from hook-on tables securely.
    • If you use a microwave to heat bottles or food, test the temperature, and keep hot items out of your baby’s reach.
    • Don’t place hook-on chairs or high chairs where your baby can reach the wall and push off of it.

    When your child is small, the bathroom can be a dangerous place. Prep your bathroom for your child’s safety with these tips:

    • Equip your toilet seats with locks.
    • Add a non-stick lining to your tub, if you don’t already have one.
    • Only use bath chairs in the bath that were specifically designed for that surface.

    At MountainView Hospital, our labor and delivery team is dedicated to making your birthing experience as comfortable and joyful as possible. Our Mommy Concierge services help you celebrate your new arrival and give you access to all of the support you need as you prepare to bring your baby home. To learn more about giving birth at our Las Vegas Hospital, please call (702) 962-5021.

  • Does your lifestyle increase your risk of prostate cancer?

    Prostate cancer has many risk factors that you can’t change. It is most common in men over 50 and men of African-American and Afro-Caribbean men. Despite these risk factors that you can’t affect, there are lifestyle factors that you can control that could also increase your chances of getting prostate cancer . Reduce your chances of being diagnosed with prostate cancer by considering how these lifestyle choices could impact your risk.

    Although doctors are not sure exactly how diet impacts prostate cancer risk , cases are more prevalent in men who make specific food choices, including:

    • Large amounts of red meat
    • High-fat dairy products
    • Low amounts of fruits and vegetables

    There may also be a potential link between calcium and prostate cancer. Men who get excessive amounts of calcium, including through dairy foods and supplements, seem to get prostate cancer more often than those who don’t. Studies that have looked into the link between calcium and prostate cancer have not found that getting an average amount of calcium increases the risk.

    Chemical Exposure
    Men who are exposed to certain chemicals may experience an increased risk of prostate cancer. The chemicals that are most likely to boost your chances of getting prostate cancer are:

    • Chemicals used by firefighters
    • Agent Orange, a chemical used during the Vietnam War

    These may not be the only chemicals that influence your prostate cancer risk. If you are exposed to chemicals on a regular basis at your job, be sure to let your physician know, so he or she can determine if you should have more frequent screenings.

    Prostatitis refers to inflammation of the prostate. Physicians suspect that this kind of inflammation can increase your cancer risk, but studies have delivered conflicting results. This inflammation can be caused by:

    • Nerve damage
    • Injury
    • Sexually transmitted diseases

    For patients who are diagnosed with prostate cancer, MountainView Hospital offers world-class cancer care in Las Vegas, from diagnosis to remission. For a referral to an oncology specialist or more information about our cancer team, please call (702) 962-5021.

  • Get to know the hospital care team: Hospitalists

    When you are in the hospital, many healthcare providers will be involved in your care. One team member you may encounter is a hospitalist . What exactly is a hospitalist, and what role will they play in your patient care? Here is what you need to know.

    What do hospitalists do?
    A hospitalist is a physician that strictly works on inpatient care. Unlike the physicians who provide outpatient care when you attend appointments, hospitalists only treat you when you have been admitted to the hospital. They may consult with your other physicians, however, about a long-term care plan and about the treatments they provide for you in the hospital.

    Is a hospitalist a specialist?
    As explained in the video, hospitalists are typically specialists in specific fields of medicine. For instance, if you enter the hospital because of heart disease, a cardiology hospitalist may be involved with your care. Depending on the nature of your condition, the person coordinating your hospital care may involve multiple hospitalists across different specialties to ensure that you get the right kind of treatment for each medical issue that is affecting you.

    When should I expect to see a hospitalist?
    A hospitalist can get involved in your care at any point in your hospital stay, from the emergency room to the ICU. When you begin to see a hospitalist depends on the nature of your condition and the other providers who are involved in your care. The benefit of having a hospitalist involved in your care is not only that you get his or her expertise, but you also get his or her full attention, since your hospitalist doesn’t have an outpatient clinic to manage.

    If you are admitted to MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas, you will have a multidisciplinary team of providers to ensure you get the very best care possible. To find out more about our comprehensive hospital services , from our emergency care to our robotic surgery procedures, please call (702) 962-5021.

  • Are all types of skin cancer deadly?

    About one in every five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Some types are deadlier than others, but any type of cancer should be considered life-threatening. The best possible outcome for skin cancer patients is achievable with early detection and early treatment. Here at MountainView Hospital, we focus on putting our oncology patients first to give them the individualized attention they need.

    Types of skin cancer
    Basal cell carcinoma is the most commonly diagnosed type. The growth may look like a pink patch on the skin, or it might look like a flesh-colored, pearly or waxy bump. This type of cancer isn’t often fatal, although failure to treat it can lead to the spread of cancer to other tissues.

    Squamous cell carcinoma is the second-most common type, and it’s more often fatal. Detecting and treating this cancer as early as possible is often successful. Squamous cell carcinoma might look like a recurrent sore, a scaly patch or a firm, reddish bump.

    The deadliest type of skin cancer is melanoma, which tends to develop suddenly in an existing mole or elsewhere. Since early detection is crucial for long-term survival, everyone should know the following ABCDEs of melanoma:

    • Asymmetrical appearance
    • Border of the growth is poorly defined
    • Color—multiple shades present
    • Diameter larger than a pencil eraser
    • Evolving or changing in appearance over time

    Statistics for skin cancer
    It’s common knowledge that protection from sun exposure is important, but many people still underestimate the serious threat that skin cancer poses. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, almost 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every single day in the U.S. alone. At any given time, about one million people in the U.S. are living with skin cancer.

    Oncology specialists have treated more cases of melanoma in recent years. In fact, the number of people diagnosed with melanoma has doubled from 1982 to 2011.

    When melanoma is treated before it can spread, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent. Melanomas that spread to nearby areas have a five-year survival rate of 62 percent. If melanoma is allowed to spread well beyond its point of origin, the five-year survival rate is just 18 percent.

    MountainView Hospital is committed to healthcare excellence across all of our service lines, including our inpatient Oncology Unit. Our team of cancer specialists in Las Vegas provides superior, patient-focused care within a supportive setting. Call (702) 962-5021 to request a physician referral.

  • Is it possible to prevent a high-risk pregnancy?

    When an expecting mother is said to have a high-risk pregnancy , it means that she or her baby have certain risk factors that may increase the likelihood of complications of pregnancy or childbirth. This does not mean that complications are bound to happen, and many women with high-risk pregnancies are able to give birth to healthy children without experiencing complications. Watch this featured video to hear an Ob/Gyn from MountainView Hospital explain why she prefers to avoid thinking of pregnancies in terms of high or low risk. Instead, she prefers a patient-centered approach that helps all expecting mothers minimize their risks.

    The unmodifiable risk factors of high-risk pregnancies
    Although making healthy choices will support a complication-free pregnancy, certain risk factors aren’t changeable. These factors include the following:

    • Advanced maternal age (35 and older)
    • Family history of genetic conditions
    • Personal history of miscarriage or stillbirth
    • Prior pregnancy complications (preterm, low birth weight or C-section)
    • Pregnancy with multiples

    The manageable medical risk factors of high-risk pregnancies
    Some risk factors may be manageable with a doctor’s care, although they can’t be completely reversed. These include medical conditions of the mother , such as these:

    • Anemia
    • Epilepsy
    • Diabetes
    • Lupus
    • Thyroid disease
    • Blood disorders
    • HIV/AIDS

    This list of medical conditions is not comprehensive. Women who have any medical conditions or take any medications may consider scheduling a preconception health check-up with their doctors before trying to become pregnant.

    The lifestyle risk factors of high-risk pregnancies
    The everyday choices women make before and during pregnancy can influence their baby’s health. Women can reduce their risk of pregnancy-related complications by taking the following steps:

    • Exercising regularly
    • Eating a balanced, nutritious diet
    • Maintaining a healthy weight
    • Managing stress
    • Taking prenatal vitamins
    • Avoiding smoke and secondhand smoke
    • Avoiding illicit substances
    • Avoiding alcohol
    • Getting prenatal care
    • Practicing food safety to prevent foodborne illnesses

    Expecting mothers will find the state-of-the-art medical services they need and the compassionate care they deserve at MountainView Hospital . Tour our birthing center in Las Vegas and ask us about our extensive parent education courses, family-centered amenities and Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). A registered nurse is available around the clock at (702) 962-5021 to answer your questions.

  • Should you have vaccinations during pregnancy?

    Vaccines cause your immune system to produce antibodies, which can identify and fight off these diseases the next time they are encountered. During pregnancy, what enters your body can also affect your growing baby. This applies to the nutrients you consume, medications you take and vaccines you receive. In other words, when your immune system produces antibodies to protect you from illnesses, your baby also receives this protection. At MountainView Hospital, our Ob/Gyns strongly recommend that expecting moms get vaccinated, as this can save the lives of their precious babies.

    Vaccines to receive before pregnancy
    If you would like to become pregnant but aren’t actively trying just yet, you can schedule a preconception visit with your doctor to discuss your immunization record. Some vaccines are only safe to receive before pregnancy, rather than during it.

    Depending on your immunization record, your doctor may recommend that you have the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at least one month before you try to become pregnant. The varicella or chickenpox vaccine can also be administered at this time.

    Vaccines to receive during pregnancy
    Watch this featured video to hear an Ob/Gyn at MountainView Hospital explain the two vaccines that she recommends to every expecting mother. The first is the annual flu shot, which can be administered from October through May each year.

    After your child is born, it’s important to continue getting an annual flu shot to protect your baby . Other people in your household, caregivers and grandparents should also receive an annual flu shot, and be up-to-date on other vaccinations.

    The second vaccine all women should have during pregnancy provides protection from tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. By getting this vaccine at the start of the third trimester, your body automatically passes on the immune benefits to your baby. This protects your baby from these serious illnesses before he or she is old enough to get the vaccine.

    It’s our mission to support healthy babies and healthy parents here at MountainView Hospital . Our friendly and knowledgeable team of obstetrics specialists welcomes your questions about vaccinations for you and your baby. Call (702) 962-5021 to speak with a registered nurse at our state-of-the-art hospital in Las Vegas.