West Hills Hospital & Medical Center
West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is your community resource for better health. We have the capability and expertise to perform emergency open heart procedures, perform brain and spine surgery.
818.676.4000

What Is the Role of EMS in the Emergency Care Process?

EMS, or emergency medical services, are professional emergency care services provided by paramedics and trained police or firefighters. In most cases, EMS refers to care from paramedics and ambulance transportation to a hospital or emergency care center for treatment of a serious injury or illness. Learning more about the role of emergency medical services in the emergency care process can help you better understand how emergency care is administered and the steps you should take in an emergency situation.

Administering Onsite Care

During medical emergencies, it’s essential to receive care as quickly as possible. EMS workers play an important role in serious situations by administering onsite care as soon as they arrive. In emergency situations such as heart attacks, severe allergic reactions, and excessive bleeding, emergency medical services can provide life-saving treatment upon arrival and during the trip to the emergency room.

Moving Patients Safely

After a situation that causes a spine injury or head trauma, moving an individual or bringing them to the hospital by car can put them at risk. Emergency medical services improve patient outcomes with the knowledge and means to safely move a patient who is badly injured to avoid causing further damage before medical treatment can begin.

Alerting Emergency Care Providers

When you drive to the emergency room on your own, staff won’t know about your needs until you walk through the door. Emergency medical services are in constant contact with hospitals and emergency care centers, allowing them to call ahead and alert emergency care providers when immediate care or additional measures such as surgery may be needed. This service helps to ensure that patients begin receiving necessary care much sooner, especially in serious situations.

Do you have questions about emergency care and emergency medical services in West Hills? You can get the answers you need about emergency care for injuries, illnesses, burns, heart attacks, and more when you visit the West Hills Hospital website or call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (818) 676-4321.


Knowing What to Do When Someone Is Suffering from Heat Exhaustion

As the warm, sunny days of summer approach, it’s important to keep in mind the ways in which sun exposure can affect health and wellness. While spending time out in the sun can improve physical and mental health, overexposure to the sun and hot weather can cause heat exhaustion, a potentially dangerous condition that requires prompt first aid and emergency care. Keep reading to find out more about the symptoms of heat exhaustion and how to treat a friend or loved one who may be suffering from this condition.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion can manifest in many ways; recognizing the signs of heat exhaustion will help you to take emergency action as soon as possible to reduce the impact of this condition on short- and long-term health. The most common symptoms of heat exhaustion include changes in skin color, excessive sweating, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, headaches, nausea or vomiting, and abdominal pain or cramps. Because heat exhaustion is often linked to dehydration, individuals suffering from heat exhaustion may exhibit symptoms of dehydration as well.

Treatment for Heat Exhaustion

As soon as you notice the symptoms of heat exhaustion, it’s important to take action immediately. Stop any physical activities you may be performing and get out of the sun to reduce body temperature and prevent dehydration. External cooling measures, such as sitting in air conditioning, wetting the skin, or using cold compresses, should be used to lower body temperature. Even if you are able to take these steps, heat exhaustion is still a serious medical condition that needs prompt professional care—you should call 911 or seek transportation to your local emergency room right away.

The West Hills Hospital ER offers round-the-clock emergency care in West Hills for heat exhaustion, chest pain, stroke, and other injuries and illnesses that need immediate care and treatment. We invite you to learn more about our ER and emergency care wait times on our website or by calling our Consult-A-Nurse service at (818) 676-4321.


Exercise and Other Stress-Reducing Measures to Prevent Heart Disease

The development of heart disease and its effect on health are two of the top medical concerns for both men and women across America. Heart disease occurs in many forms and has many causes, including both inherent and lifestyle factors. When determining the best solutions to prevent heart and vascular system disease, heart care specialists often focus on the importance of exercise and other stress-relieving measures on heart health and overall physical wellness.

Exercise as a Heart Health Booster

Numerous studies have been performed on the interaction between exercise and the cardiovascular system. These studies have found that exercise is associated with improved circulation, blood vessel dilation, and increased muscle tone and performance in the heart itself. All of these factors work together to improve general heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as mitigate the effects of heart disease in patients who have been diagnosed with one or more cardiovascular condition. Cardiologists often view exercise as both a preventive and a treatment-based solution that can be prescribed just like medication to improve the health and performance of the heart and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Stress Relief and Heart Health

When you experience stress, your body releases stress hormones that impact the function and long-term health of the heart and cardiovascular system, especially when your stress levels remain high for extended periods of time. Exercise and other stress management solutions, including meditating, spending time with pets, taking up a creative hobby, and scheduling naps and breaks throughout your day, can play a significant role in relieving stress and reducing the release of stress hormones—thereby helping to protect your heart and your cardiovascular system throughout your life.

At West Hills Hospital, we are dedicated to helping you enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle. Our Center for Fitness and Rehabilitation in West Hills can help you maintain a healthy heart and a healthy body for life. You can learn more about our comprehensive healthcare services, including heart care, spine care, and emergency care, on our website or at (818) 676-4321.


Spotlight on Public Health at the Beach

The beach is a popular summertime destination for individuals, couples, and families alike. However, beach environments can carry certain general health risks, including water-borne illnesses and infections. Taking steps to protect yourself and your family when you visit the beach this summer will reduce your risk of a serious illness that could prompt a hospital visit in West Hills.

Understanding Health Concerns Associated with the Beach

Spending a day at the beach is a great way to enjoy healthy physical activity and time spent with family or friends. However, beach water can carry several microorganisms associated with infections and illnesses in humans, including gastroenteritis, skin irritation and rashes, respiratory illnesses, and infections of the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and throat. Although most water does not carry harmful microorganisms, water that is contaminated by sewage or other waste and runoff is associated with a higher risk of illness. Additionally, individuals with compromised or still-developing immune systems may be at higher risk for illness following exposure to beach water.

Enjoying Good Health at the Beach

There are several ways to ensure your family enjoys good health at the beach. Before planning your trip, take some time to research your local beaches and the quality of their water to find a beach that isn’t located near sources of contamination or noted as having a high public health risk. Never visit a beach that has been closed for any reason, and follow any posted advisories, including avoiding areas that are noted as off-limits. Make sure to schedule regular bathroom breaks for children and ensure family members wash and dry their hands and face completely before eating or drinking any refreshments you may have brought.

Are you ready to enjoy a healthy summer full of fun? At West Hills Hospital, our medical care team and emergency care center are dedicated to helping you and your family achieve greater wellness and a healthy lifestyle. You can get more health tips on our online health library or H2U resource page, or by calling (818) 676-4321.


Safety Guidelines for Prescription Painkillers

Painkillers are often prescribed following surgical care to help patients manage pain and discomfort. There are many different types of prescription painkillers; your physician will determine the best product for your needs based on your condition and the length of time you will need medication. Because some prescription painkillers can cause side effects that affect your daily functions or may be associated with a risk of chemical dependence, it’s important to follow the safety guidelines laid out by your physician.

Follow Dosing Instructions

Regardless of the type of painkiller you receive, your physician will provide dosing instructions with your medication. It’s important to follow these instructions and use any included measuring device to ensure you receive the correct amount of medication; you should also follow the dosing schedule provided by your doctor or pharmacist. Never try to change your dosage or your medication schedule without consulting your physician first.

Heed Warnings and Recommendations

If your medication was packaged with a warning label, make sure to read it fully to ensure you understand any recommendations that apply, such as avoiding alcohol or driving while on your medication. Additionally, if your medication recommends taking pills with a meal, it’s best to follow these instructions to reduce stomach and bowel irritation.

Dispose of Leftover Medication

Once your course of treatment is complete or you no longer require painkillers to manage discomfort, dispose of any extra medication promptly. Never save medication for later or give your medication to others, as the dosage that is correct for you could be harmful to someone else.

If you have questions about your medication or your health, your physician at West Hills Hospital is here to help. You can reach our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (818) 676-4321, or visit our website for additional information about general care, emergency care, maternity care, and cancer care in West Hills.


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