• Drowning – What Should You Do?

    Drowning

    Summer is here—and with the hot weather, more men, women, and families will be venturing outside to enjoy swimming in local pools. When you are going out to swim this season, be sure that you are practicing excellent pool safety and that you know what to do when an emergency occurs. Read on to learn what you should do in the event of a drowning accident. 

    Drowning or near drowning is caused by the lack of oxygen that results from suffocating underwater. Although anyone can suffer from these dangerous medical emergencies, toddlers and teenagers are at the highest risk. If someone you know is a victim of drowning, follow the following steps:

    • Evaluate the scene for danger
      Do not place yourself in danger and do not go into the water unless you believe that it is completely safe to do so. Contact your local emergency health professionals for assistance.
       
    • Remove the victim from the water
      Using a tree branch, pole, or buoyant object, help the victim to pull themselves out of the water and onto dry land.
       
    • Begin rescue breathing
      If the drowning victim has stopped breathing, start breathing for them as soon as you can. In some cases, you may even want to begin rescue breaths when the victim is still in the water.
       
    • Begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
      If the situation calls for it and if you are trained, begin CPR.
       
    • Provide first aid for any other injuries
      If the victim is suffering from a wound or other serious injury, do your best to provide first aid. Try to keep the victim calm if they are anxious. If the person is unconscious or has been diving, assume that there may be injuries to the spine and keep their head and neck as stabilized as possible.

    Are you interested in learning more ways to stay well this summer? Consider contacting the healthcare experts at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center . Our staff is available at any time of the day or night at (818) 676-4000.

     

  • Drowning – What Should You Do?

    Drowning

    Summer is here—and with the hot weather, more men, women, and families will be venturing outside to enjoy swimming in local pools. When you are going out to swim this season, be sure that you are practicing excellent pool safety and that you know what to do when an emergency occurs. Read on to learn what you should do in the event of a drowning accident. 

    Drowning or near drowning is caused by the lack of oxygen that results from suffocating underwater. Although anyone can suffer from these dangerous medical emergencies, toddlers and teenagers are at the highest risk. If someone you know is a victim of drowning, follow the following steps:

    • Evaluate the scene for danger
      Do not place yourself in danger and do not go into the water unless you believe that it is completely safe to do so. Contact your local emergency health professionals for assistance.
       
    • Remove the victim from the water
      Using a tree branch, pole, or buoyant object, help the victim to pull themselves out of the water and onto dry land.
       
    • Begin rescue breathing
      If the drowning victim has stopped breathing, start breathing for them as soon as you can. In some cases, you may even want to begin rescue breaths when the victim is still in the water.
       
    • Begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
      If the situation calls for it and if you are trained, begin CPR.
       
    • Provide first aid for any other injuries
      If the victim is suffering from a wound or other serious injury, do your best to provide first aid. Try to keep the victim calm if they are anxious. If the person is unconscious or has been diving, assume that there may be injuries to the spine and keep their head and neck as stabilized as possible.

    Are you interested in learning more ways to stay well this summer? Consider contacting the healthcare experts at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center . Our staff is available at any time of the day or night at (818) 676-4000.

     

  • A New, Less-Invasive Surgery for Gall Bladder Removal

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center’s own David Schreier, MD, FACS, is performing specialized surgery for gallbladder removal that is less invasive than utilizing current emerging robotic technology. The surgery is a single-site laparoscopic procedure, one that Dr. Schreier and his partner, Frank Candela, MD, FACS, have now performed on more than 35 cases since receiving the necessary equipment in November 2011.

    Laparo-Endoscopic Single-Site surgery (LESS) is a relatively new procedure that provides several benefits to patients, including:

    • A smaller incision—1/2 an inch compared to traditional operations that require a 3-4 inch incision
    • Decreased risk of wound infection
    • Less or no visible scarring
    • Less pain
    • Less risk of hernia

    The LESS procedure also costs less and doesn’t demand such long operation times, requiring only the surgeon’s skill and the Olympus Endoeye FLEX 5 video laparoscope for the surgeon’s visibility.

    “The Endoeye allows us to look inside the abdomen and can flex up to 100 degrees in four directions, so we get tremendous exposure through a single port,” Dr. Schreier says. “It really is a more efficient way to perform the operation, and more beneficial for the patient.”

    Dr. Schreier is also optimistic about LESS technology’s ability to be used for colon surgery in the near future, and has been used for hysterectomies at West Hills Hospital. Dr. Schreier joined with Dr. Frank Candela in 1999 and has been a member of the medical staff at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center since then, recently completing two consecutive two-year terms as Chief of Surgery for West Hills Hospital. Dr. Schreier is a Diplomat of the American Board of Surgery, and is a Fellow of American College Surgeons. He completed an oncology fellowship at Los Angeles County – USC Medical Center, where he also completed his residency.

    Look for more innovative surgical solutions and treatments at West Hills Hospital in the near future!

  • Determining the Severity of a Burn

    Burn Victim

    Your skin is more complex than it appears. It actually contains multiple layers of tissue, with a layer of fat beneath. An important measure of the severity of a burn is how deeply into your skin it penetrates:

    • A first-degree burn is the mildest type of burn. These tend to be painful and cause redness and swelling, but the outermost layer of skin remains in tact. If you press your fingertip to the burn, the affected skin may briefly turn pale. After a few days, the skin may begin to peel.
       
    • A second-degree burn is more serious. These burns affect both the epidermis (first layer of skin) and the dermis (second layer).  The skin may be even more painful and red, or it may have a blotchy appearance. Second-degree burns usually cause fluid-filled blisters to appear.  They can be minor or major depending on their size and location.
       
    • A third-degree burn is a serious injury that requires emergency medical care. This burn penetrates the entire thickness of your skin. The surface of the skin may appear charred or waxy white. However, the burn may not hurt because the nerves in the skin that detect pain may be destroyed. Third-degree burns damage tissue, but may also affect fat, muscle and bone.  In the most severe cases, these burns impair the skin’s ability to maintain fluid, heat and block infection. The doctors, nurses, and other providers who work in the emergency room are trained and equipped to handle serious burns.

    Other factors can make some burns more of a threat to your health, such as:

    • Size
      A bigger burn is more of a concern than a small burn.
       
    • Location
      Burns on sensitive tissues – like your face or genitals – or on a large, very mobile joint such as your knee are more serious.
       
    • Cause
      Electrical burns require medical attention because the shock may cause internal damage, even if the burn doesn’t look worrisome.  When smoke inhalation accompanies a burn, difficult breathing may occur.

    The highly trained medical staff at the world-renowned Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is equipped to provide the very best care possible after a burn injury. The Center is proud to offer state-of-the-art services including an Intensive Care Unit equipped to handle the most severe burn cases, as well as a Dedicated Intermediate Care Unit for patients with less severe burns. For more information about the Grossman Burn Center, please call (888) 676-2876.

    The West Hills Hospital & Medical Center Emergency Services department also offers advanced and comprehensive emergency care services for burn patients.  Find out more by calling (818) 676-4000 today.

  • Cervical Cancer – Reducing Your Risk

    Cervical Cancer

    Cancer is a general term that encompasses dozens of diseases that all begin the same way—when healthy cells mutate and begin growing out of control. Cancer can develop in almost any cell in the body, including the reproductive tract. In some women, the disease can begin in the cervix, or the lower, narrow end of the uterus (womb). This cancer is often asymptomatic until it reaches an advanced stage, making it especially important that women evaluate their risk factors and get screened often. 

    Are you at risk for cervical cancer? Below are listed some of the most important risk factors associated with this form of cancer.

    • Human papillomavirus infection
      Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of over 100 viruses, some of which can lead to the development of genital warts. In most cases, the body can clear the infection on its own; but in other cases, the infection can become chronic. It is this type of chronic HPV infection that is the leading cause of cervical cancer.
       
    • Tobacco use
      Tobacco use increases a person’s risk of developing many forms of cancer, including cancer of the cervix. According to the American Cancer Society, cigarette smokers are twice as likely to develop cervical cancers as those who do not.
       
    • Oral contraceptives use
      Studies have suggested that long-term use of oral contraceptives increases a woman’s risk of developing cervical cancer. Fortunately, risk appears to return to normal after pills have been stopped.
       
    • Chlamydia infection
      Chlamydia is a bacterial infection and a common sexually transmitted disease.Women with past or current chlamydia infection appear to be at a higher risk for cervical cancer.

    If you possess any of the above risk factors, there are steps that you can take to reduce your risk. If you are sexually active, be sure that you use a condom and practice safe sex to avoid HPV, HIV, or chlamydia infections. If you smoke, quit. Finally, do your best to get a Pap smear regularly to detect the early signs of cervical cancer before the disease becomes too serious. 

    For more information about staying healthy and preventing disease, contact the healthcare experts of West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000.

  • Cervical Cancer – Reducing Your Risk

    Cervical Cancer

    Cancer is a general term that encompasses dozens of diseases that all begin the same way—when healthy cells mutate and begin growing out of control. Cancer can develop in almost any cell in the body, including the reproductive tract. In some women, the disease can begin in the cervix, or the lower, narrow end of the uterus (womb). This cancer is often asymptomatic until it reaches an advanced stage, making it especially important that women evaluate their risk factors and get screened often. 

    Are you at risk for cervical cancer? Below are listed some of the most important risk factors associated with this form of cancer.

    • Human papillomavirus infection
      Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of over 100 viruses, some of which can lead to the development of genital warts. In most cases, the body can clear the infection on its own; but in other cases, the infection can become chronic. It is this type of chronic HPV infection that is the leading cause of cervical cancer.
       
    • Tobacco use
      Tobacco use increases a person’s risk of developing many forms of cancer, including cancer of the cervix. According to the American Cancer Society, cigarette smokers are twice as likely to develop cervical cancers as those who do not.
       
    • Oral contraceptives use
      Studies have suggested that long-term use of oral contraceptives increases a woman’s risk of developing cervical cancer. Fortunately, risk appears to return to normal after pills have been stopped.
       
    • Chlamydia infection
      Chlamydia is a bacterial infection and a common sexually transmitted disease.Women with past or current chlamydia infection appear to be at a higher risk for cervical cancer.

    If you possess any of the above risk factors, there are steps that you can take to reduce your risk. If you are sexually active, be sure that you use a condom and practice safe sex to avoid HPV, HIV, or chlamydia infections. If you smoke, quit. Finally, do your best to get a Pap smear regularly to detect the early signs of cervical cancer before the disease becomes too serious. 

    For more information about staying healthy and preventing disease, contact the healthcare experts of West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000.

  • Why Should You Get Tested for Colorectal Cancer?

    Colorectal cancer is a common form of cancer that originates in the colon or rectum, at the end of the gastrointestinal tract. Like many other forms of this deadly disease, colorectal cancer may not cause symptoms until it is at a more advanced stage. For this reason, it is extremely important for all men and women to get screened at their physician’s recommendation.

    This video from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more information about the importance of colorectal cancer screening. By watching, you can learn more about the common misconceptions associated with this disease and why many people avoid or delay their screening.

    Getting screened for cancer can help to detect the disease at its earliest, most treatable stages. To find out more about your recommended screening schedule, contact the experts at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000. 

  • The Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital

    Burn Injury Aid

    At West Hills Hospital & Medical Center, we understand that burn injuries can be stressful and frightening experiences. For this reason, the expert physicians, nurses, and support staff at our Grossman Burn Center work hard to provide the highest possible quality of care to the men and women in need of burn treatment. From reconstruction to rehabilitation, our team is always ready to provide personalized, compassionate medical care. 

    Since 1969, the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital has earned an international reputation in the evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of burn injuries. Some of the services our center offers as a part of its comprehensive treatment program include: 

    • An Intensive Care Unit (ICU) staffed with highly-trained medical specialists and equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment that is always ready to treat even the most severe burn injuries
       
    • An Intermediate Care Unit that is dedicated to patients with less severe burns who have reached a certain point in the healing process
       
    • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy to promote faster, more effective healing of burn injuries
       
    • Psychological support to help burn victims heal physically, emotionally, and psychologically

    Our burn care experts also offer a variety of educational programs to professionals, adults, and youth to promote burn safety and prevent burn injuries. We are proud to partner with the Children’s Burn Foundation and the Circle of Care Foundation to reach out to the children and older adults at risk for burns in our community. The Grossman Burn Center also provides burn survivors the opportunity to speak with others who have shared similar experiences through dedicated support groups.

    If you are interested in learning more about the services offered at the Grossman Burn Center or at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center , contact our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (818) 676-4000. Our nurses are always available to answer your medical questions or to help you find a physician in your area.

  • Summer Burn Safety Tips from the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital

    The recreational activities we all enjoy carry with them some of the summers’ hottest dangers. These injuries do not discriminate. Summer activities can all come to a sudden end, unless we protect ourselves against fire and burn injuries that can happen during these special occasions.

    Gas grills are involved in an average of 7,000 home fires per year. Most gas grill fires and explosions were caused by gas leaks, blocked tubes, and overfilled propane tanks. About 1/3 of the gas grill injuries were burns incurred while lighting the grill. Maintain gas grills for injury free cooking.

  • Click Through These Links for More Helpful Information About Your Health

    Medical Information

    Taking better care of your health begins with education about making good lifestyle choices. The following resources contain more information about UV protection, the benefits of physical activity, and much more. If you have any remaining questions about staying healthy, simply call West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000.

    • Improving your cardiovascular fitness provides many benefits in addition to decreasing your risk of heart disease. Learn more on the American Heart Association website.
    • Visit FitnessHealth101.com to find out more about how your cardiovascular system works and why it is so important to exercise it.
    • Are you looking to start an exercise routine ? Find a helpful guide for physical activity on the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website.
    • There are many different types of skin cancers —learn more about them on the American Cancer Society website.
    • This article from SkinCancerNet provides some helpful tips for protecting against the sun’s harmful rays and preventing skin cancer.
    • Did you know that UV rays can also damage your eyes? Prevent Blindness America discusses how on their website.
    • Burn injuries are unfortunately very common in the home. Visit KidsHealth.org to read more about burns and how to prevent them in your home.
    • Lupus is an autoimmune disease that has the ability to damage any part of the body. This comprehensive overview from the Lupus Foundation answers many frequently asked questions about this common disease.
    • You can also read more about the causes, incidence, and symptoms of lupus on the PubMed Health online medical reference.
    • Staying healthy can help to prevent cancer and will improve your ability to fight the disease if you are diagnosed. Check out these articles for more ways to stay healthy.