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.
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What to Expect Just After You Give Birth

Maternity hospitals encourage soon-to-be parents to become informed about the labor and delivery process, along with what to expect immediately after childbirth. Knowing what will happen, which interventions may become necessary, and which choices are available can empower women to proactively make decisions for their wellness. Watch this featured video to hear an obstetrician at West Hills Hospital dispel some of the common misconceptions about labor and childbirth.

Baby Care

After your baby is born, the doctor will administer Apgar assessments, place antibiotic drops in his or her eyes, and collect a sample of cord blood. Your baby will be thoroughly and gently rubbed dry. The nurse will give an injection of vitamin K. Later on, more screenings and assessments may be performed. Once your baby’s temperature is stabilized, your baby can be bathed and given a full pediatric exam.

Maternal Care

Following childbirth, it’s time to deliver the placenta. You may be asked to try to urinate since a full bladder interferes with the contraction of the uterus. A maternity provider will massage the uterus several times to encourage its contraction. You may require stitches and you may have the epidural catheter removed. After a vaginal birth, most women stay in the maternity hospital for about two days.

Lactation Support

Did you know that August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month? Consider learning about the benefits of breastfeeding for mother and baby. If you choose to try to breastfeed, you’ll receive extensive lactation support while in the maternity hospital. As soon as possible after the birth, healthy, full-term infants are typically placed skin-to-skin on their mothers. Most babies who have the opportunity to do so will try to breastfeed within the first hour. The first milk that is produced is colostrum. It will take a few days for the regular breast milk to come in.

West Hills Hospital is a leading maternity hospital that provides specialized care for newborns and their parents. The New Beginnings Maternal and Newborn Care team in West Hills offers nurturing support within our pleasant and spacious labor and delivery suites. Expectant mothers can reach our maternity hospital at (818) 676-4321 or visit us online for current information about childbirth and newborn care classes.


Understanding How Hot Your Parked Car Can Get

Every year, dozens of children die because they were left in hot cars. Children are unable to regulate their body temperatures as well as adults and young children are unable to remove themselves from cars when temperatures become unbearable. The result of a parent’s forgetfulness can be the tragic loss of life. The emergency care team at West Hills Hospital encourages parents to become informed of the dangers of leaving kids in parked cars.

How Hot Your Car Can Get

When a child develops heatstroke, he or she can die within minutes. Death from heat stroke occurs when a child’s temperature reaches 107 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it doesn’t have to be extremely hot outdoors for the temperature within a car to reach deadly heights. Temperatures in the 60s and 70s can pose a risk of fatal accidents. When the temperature outdoors is in the low 80s, the temperature inside the car can become deadly within 10 minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Parking the car in the shade or leaving the windows cracked open will not keep a child from dying from heatstroke.

Why Hot Car Deaths Occur

Hot car deaths are completely preventable, but they still affect dozens of families per year. These families are from all walks of life and all levels of education. Most hot car deaths occur not because parents think that it’s alright to leave a child alone in a car, but because the parents simply forget that their kids are there. Exhaustion and breaks from one’s usual routine can increase the risk.

How You Can Protect Kids

Some high-tech devices are currently available to serve as a warning system to parents. In addition to these devices, it’s recommended that all parents get into the habit of checking the backseat before walking away from the car. Leaving a purse, briefcase, or another important item in the backseat for every car trip can also serve as a reminder.

The emergency care team at West Hills Hospital is available 24/7 to administer life-saving interventions to children with heatstroke. If you see a child in a parked car, please do not hesitate to call 911; your actions could save a life. For general questions about the hospital services available in West Hills, including burn care, emergency care, and cancer care, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (818) 676-4321.


Knowing the Dangers of Distracted Driving

Driving while distracted can be just as deadly as driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Yet, despite public awareness campaigns and strict legislation, far too many people still lose their lives in car accidents caused by distracted drivers. Here at West Hills Hospital, our emergency care team stresses the importance of prevention and wishes our neighbors in the West Hills area a safe summer.

Prevalence

Distracted driving is broadly defined as engaging in any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the task of driving. Anyone is at risk of distracted driving, but young drivers have the highest rates of engaging in distracted driving. Quite often, distracted driving takes the form of using cellphones and other electronic devices while behind the wheel. According to the official U.S. government website for distracted driving, at any given moment, about 660,000 drivers around the U.S. are using electronic devices while driving. This shocking statistic has held steady for six years. During 2014, distracted driving killed 3,179 people and injured 431,000 others.

Types

Experts recognize three main types of distraction. Visual distraction involves taking one’s eyes off the road and manual distraction involves taking one’s hands off the wheel. Cognitive distraction involves taking one’s mind off the task at hand. Within these categories, there are many activities that can cause distracted driving and many of these can cause more than one type of distraction. In addition to using cellphones and other electronic devices, distracted driving occurs when a driver engages in conversation with passengers, stares at billboards or other sights, eats or drinks, or allows his or her mind to wander.

Prevention

Legislation that bans the use of cellphones while driving may help to curb some of this behavior. However, it’s still very important for parents to emphasize the dangers of distracted driving to their teens. Parents can also set a good example for their children by never engaging in distracted driving themselves.

When car accidents occur in the West Hills area, exceptional emergency care is available at West Hills Hospital. In addition to emergency care, our community hospital is a leading provider of compassionate cancer care and burn care. You can speak with a registered nurse at (818) 676-4321 to request general information.


How to Keep Your Family Safe on a Trampoline

Trampolines are a fun way for kids to burn off their extra energy and get some fresh air at the same time, but they can also be incredibly dangerous. In fact, over a 10-year period in the U.S., there were more than one million reported visits to emergency care facilities because of trampoline injuries. Most of the injured patients were children and most of the injuries were bone fractures, especially of the upper extremities. Spinal injuries and lower extremity injuries were also common. Because of the serious risks associated with trampoline use, the emergency care physicians at West Hills Hospital encourage families throughout our West Hills community to take precautions with this activity.

Equipment

At regular intervals throughout the year, parents are advised to closely inspect the parts of the trampoline and to replace any that are worn or not working properly. Thick padding should completely cover the springs and frame. Protective padding is also required on the supporting bars, strings, and the landing surfaces all around the trampoline. It is commonly thought that safety net enclosures can help keep kids safer while using trampolines, but actually, many experts feel that these devices may do more harm than good because they can provide a false sense of security. Emergency care is most often required for trampoline injuries that occur on the surface of the device.

Supervision

Children should be supervised at all times by a responsible adult. Athletes who are training on trampolines should also be supervised. If athletes are attempting jumps or other stunts, spotters should be on hand. High-risk maneuvers require additional safety equipment such as harnesses.

Usage

It is not recommended that children under six years of age use trampolines, even with supervision. Parents should strictly enforce rules regarding trampoline usage, which should include a prohibition on more than one child jumping at a time. Children should not attempt stunts like flips and somersaults.

If a family member does sustain an injury from a trampoline this summer, the emergency care physicians at West Hills Hospital are always available to help. Call 911 if you or a loved one requires rapid transportation to the emergency care department. Otherwise, non-emergent inquiries may be directed to a registered nurse at our hospital in West Hills by calling (818) 676-4321.


Summer Safety Tips for More Fun in the Sun

Summertime is all about being outdoors and enjoying good times in the sunshine. However, for many people, it also ends up being about getting emergency care. ER visits skyrocket in the summer when more people are outside and taking part in new activities. You can reduce the need to add an ER trip to your summer schedule with these tips.

Use Sunscreen

Being outside for even a short period of time in the summer sun puts you at risk for a serious sunburn. Before you take part in outdoor activities, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, and reapply it every two hours or after swimming or sweating heavily. You can further reduce your risk of sunburn by avoiding being outdoors during the peak heat of the day and by wearing a hat to protect your face. If you have a sunburn that blisters, or if you have symptoms of nausea or fever with your burn, consider seeking emergency care.

Avoid Bug Bites and Stings

For many people, bug bites are an annoyance, but for others, they can cause severe reactions. Wear mosquito repellant and use citronella candles to discourage mosquitos when sitting outdoors. Be aware of wasp nests and avoid walking barefoot so you don’t step on a stinging insect. As Dr. Natalie Shum of West Hills Hospital explains in this video, you may need emergency care for a bite or sting if the inflammation appears to be spreading or if the swelling from the bite increases. Always get emergency care if a sting or bite causes symptoms of anaphylaxis shock.

Practice Food Safety

When you’re eating outdoors, don’t forget that food safety rules still apply. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold, and don’t eat anything perishable that has been sitting outdoors for more than two hours. Also be alert to cross-contamination and keep cooked and raw food separate.

West Hills Hospital is here around the clock and throughout the year whenever an emergency strikes. Get more information about emergency care in West Hills or find out more about burn center and maternity hospital by calling (818) 676-4321.


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