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.

Keeping Diabetes Complications Out of Your Life

Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires lifelong management. People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes work closely with their doctors to keep their blood glucose levels under control with medications and lifestyle modifications. By carefully management diabetes, you can reduce the risk of complications that require emergency care and that can even be life-threatening. Take these steps to manage your chances of experiencing diabetes complications.

Maintain a Healthy Weight
Keeping your weight under control is one of the best things you can do for your diabetes. Excess weight impacts the way your body uses insulin and increases your risk of other diabetes complications, like heart disease and stroke. For people with type 2 diabetes, losing weight can even reduce the need for medication. Choose lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and small amounts of high-fiber, whole grain carbs, and avoid high-fat, high-sugar food choices. Aim to get 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Even a brisk daily walk can help you manage your weight and keep your diabetes problems under control.

Follow Your Care Plan
Stick to the care plan your doctor has created for you, including taking your medications as directed and testing your blood glucose frequently. Regular blood glucose checks help you identify patterns in blood glucose levels and allow you to catch dangerous blood glucose swings that could require emergency care, such as rapidly rising blood glucose that could lead to a medical emergency called diabetic ketoacidosis.

See Your Doctor Regularly
Your doctor is your partner in managing your diabetes, and you should have regular appointments to allow him or her to monitor the success of your treatment and to make any necessary changes to give you the best possible control of your illness. Your doctor will also monitor your symptoms of complications, such as neuropathy, vision problems, kidney problems, and skin infections.

If you have diabetes, West Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers the comprehensive care you need, including emergency care in West Hills and ongoing management from our specialists. You can find out more about our services and request a physician referral by calling (818) 676-4321.

Food Safety Tips for Cookouts and Tailgates

Cookouts are a football Sunday tradition, but without attention to food safety, food poisoning and emergency care can also become recurrent features of your celebration. Don’t let foodborne illnesses put a damper on your cookouts. Keep food poisoning at bay with this advice.

Avoid Marinating Mistakes

Marinades are common in cookouts, since they give grilled meats a serious flavor boost. When not handled properly, however, marinades can be ground zero for food poisoning. Meat should always be refrigerated when it is being marinated, and marinade should be discarded after use. Even though the meat is cooking, using a marinade as a baste is dangerous because it may not be sufficiently heated before serving. If you want to use a marinade as a sauce for cooked meat, either boil it or make a separate batch specifically for serving.

Watch the Clock

Timing is everything when it comes to food safety. Don’t eat perishable foods that have been outside for more than two hours in temperatures under 90 degrees F or one hour in higher temperatures. Cook all meat long enough to kill bacteria. If you’re not sure about cooking times, invest in a meat thermometer and check out the proper temperature for the meat you’re cooking on the FDA website.

Wash Up

Rinse off fresh fruits and veggies before serving them, even if the skin or rind won’t be eaten. If the fruit or vegetable is firm, use a vegetable brush to scrub it while it is under the running water. Dry fruits and veggies thoroughly, especially if you plan to pack them up and transport them before serving them. In addition to washing produce, be sure to wash your hands before you start cooking and immediately after handling raw meat.

If a medical emergency does occur, the ER at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is here around the clock to help. Choose us when you need emergency care in West Hills, and call (818) 676-4321 for more information about our services.

A Look at the Most Common Sports Injuries

Sports are a great way to stay fit, but unfortunately, players are also prone to injuries. If you suffer a sports injury, it is important to get out of the game and get to the hospital for emergency care right away. Trying to push through your injury and keep playing can turn a minor injury into one that requires surgery and a lengthy recovery. Here is a look at some of the most common injuries experienced by athletes.

Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains are similar injuries that affect different parts of the body. Sprains occur when a ligament is stretched or torn, while strains involve stretched or torn muscles or tendons. They both can occur when they ligaments, muscles, or tendons are twisted or overextended. If you have a sprain or stained, you can expect pain, swelling, bruising, and stiffness. Rest is the best way to heal both of these injuries. Ice and compression bandages can also help with discomfort. After an initial period of healing, your doctor may recommend physical therapy to rebuild strength at the site of the injury.

Knee Injuries

The knee can suffer several different kinds of injuries during sports. ACL tears, in which the anterior cruciate ligament tears, are a one of the most common sports-related injuries. They happen when the knee twists suddenly. Broken kneecaps, meniscus tears, and posterior cruciate ligament, or PCL tears, are also common. Surgery is often necessary for knee injuries.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is located on your shoulder, where your upper arm joint inserts into the shoulder socket. The tendons in the rotator cuff are extremely vulnerable to strains and tears, especially with repetitive use, such as the motion performed to pitch a baseball. In some cases, rotator cuff injuries can heal on their own with rest, while surgery in necessary in other cases.

At West Hills Hospital & Medical Center , we provide emergency care in West Hills for your acute injury needs, while our orthopedic team will get you back on the field in no time when you need longer-term care. For a referral to a specialist or more information about our hospital, call (818) 676-4321.

Knowing When You Need to Go to the ER for Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath always has the propensity to be a medical emergency. As this West Hills Hospital & Medical Center provider explains in this video, because there are so many different potential causes of shortness of breath, getting care quickly is important. If you are experiencing shortness of breath and wondering what to do, here are some signs that you should consider emergency care.

Your shortness of breath is severe.

If you have severe shortness of breath, don’t delay seeking emergency care. Severe shortness of breath could indicate a serious health problem that requires urgent treatment. Don’t attempt to drive if you have severe shortness of breath. If no one is available to take you to the hospital, dial 911 for help.

You have chest pain.

Shortness of breath that is accompanied by chest pain could indicate a heart attack. During a heart attack, blood doesn’t flow from the lungs into the heart effectively, so oxygenated blood backs up. This causes congestion to occur in the lungs, making it harder to breathe. Chest pain and shortness of breath that happen together do not always indicate a heart attack—for instance, these symptoms can also happen during an anxiety attack—but getting an accurate diagnosis is crucial.

You have nausea.

Nausea combined with shortness of breath can also suggest a medical emergency. When these symptoms appear together, a heart attack or pulmonary embolism are possible. Getting a fast diagnosis and treatment could be life-saving. As with chest pain, nausea and shortness of breath can also be a sign of a less serious condition.

If you have symptoms that concern you, always err on the side of caution and seek emergency care in West Hills at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center. Visit our website to see our current ER wait times, or dial (818) 676-4321 for additional information about our hospital services.

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