• Tips for Making Safety a Priority This Halloween

    Halloween is just around the corner, and many children are anticipating carving pumpkins, choosing their costumes, and of course, trick-or-treating. While Halloween is a time for fun and excitement, it is also a time to consider special safety measures . The following tips can help parents make sure that this festive holiday is full of fun instead of fear.


    Candy Corn 1

    Never allow children to use sharp knives when cutting pumpkins.

    Pumpkin carving can be one of the best parts of Halloween . However, to avoid the risk of puncture wounds, refrain from letting your children handle household knives when carving pumpkins, no matter how insistent they may be. Instead, let them use child-friendly pumpkin carving kits that contain tools too blunt to cut skin.

    Choose a Halloween costume that allows unobstructed vision and movement.

    While many Halloween costumes are safe for children, some may come with masks or other details that can compromise eyesight and range of motion. Before agreeing on a costume for your child, be sure that he can see clearly. Opt for face paint instead of masks, and thoroughly inspect the costume for any pointy or rough edges that may injure your child. Also, have your child walk around in his costume to make sure that he can move freely, as confining outfits may increase the risk of tripping or falling.

    Do not let your children leave your eyesight while trick-or-treating.

    Many children go trick-or-treating after the sun goes down, which is why parents must pay attention to where their kids are at all times. Children can become particularly excitable at the prospect of getting candy. As a result, they may scamper ahead of parents and cross the street without looking. To avert such a situation, sit down with your child before heading out and make sure he has a clear understanding that he is not to leave your sight while trick-or-treating.

    West Hills Hospital and Medical Center offers comprehensive emergency care for patients in the greater West Hills, California area. Call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line today at (818) 676-4000 to find out more about our many healthcare services.

  • Determining the Severity of a Burn

    Bandaged Hand

    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 our Burn Clinic at  (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. 

  • Get Moving for Your Health

    You want to get in shape, but how do you begin? As this video discusses, the key to beginning a long-lasting physical fitness routine is starting slowly and choosing an activity you enjoy.

    In today’s busy world, people have many excuses for why they aren’t exercising. Yet, even exercising for 20 minutes a few days a week can put you on the road to maintaining your physical fitness. To better ensure that you will continue exercising, do something that you enjoy. If possible, start exercising with friends, family, or coworkers. Use them as your support network. For further motivation, write down your physical fitness goals in a personal journal and document your efforts toward them. Once you begin exercising, you’ll soon enjoy its many benefits, such as greater energy, lower weight, and higher self-esteem.

    West Hills Hospital and Medical Center’s Fitness and Rehabilitation Center can help patients begin their physical fitness journey. To learn more about our many healthcare services , please call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (818) 676-4000.

  • Get In Touch With Your Health By Reading These Recommended Articles

    West Hills Hospital and Medical Center offers comprehensive healthcare options for a range of medical concerns, including cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. We also provide preventative healthcare services so that patients can become proactive for their own wellbeing.  Call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (818) 676-4000 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.


    – West Hills offers breastfeeding classes and certified lactation consultants. WomensHealth.gov explains the many benefits of breastfeeding .

    Arthritis is a common term that describes joint inflammation. The U.S. National Library of Medicine describes the many causes of and treatments for this disease.

    – Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic brain disease that deteriorates cognitive function. The Alzheimer’s Association lists the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease .

    Heart attack symptoms in women offer differ from those in men. The American Heart Association describes these common signs of danger.

    – Do you know the FAST signs for stroke? The National Stroke Association breaks down stroke symptoms .

  • The Role of Mammograms in Breast Cancer Prevention and Treatment

    Early detection is often the key to successful breast cancer treatment. To give women the greatest opportunity for effective cancer care , breast cancer specialists recommend three practices: continual breast self-awareness, annual clinical exams, and annual mammograms. By adhering to these practices, women can become proactive in maintaining and safeguarding their own breast health.

    Breast Cancer Awareness Concept

    What is a mammogram?

    A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast, which allows cancer care specialists to evaluate the breast tissue and determine if any evidence of cancerous cells is present. A traditional mammogram displays the X-ray as a black and white film image. A digital mammogram, however, reveals the X-ray as a computer image, which typically allows healthcare professionals to manipulate the picture for a more thorough analysis. Women may undergo either a screening mammogram or diagnostic mammogram. Though the procedure itself frequently remains the same, a screening mammogram is administered when no signs of breast cancer are present. In contrast, a diagnostic mammogram is given when other preventative practices indicate the presence of cancerous cells.

    Why are mammograms vital to breast cancer prevention?

    Breast self-awareness and clinical exams can aid in early breast cancer detection. However, they alone cannot always discover the presence of breast cancer. Mammograms are crucial to successful cancer care because mammograms can screen for breast cancer when cancerous cells are few or still contained in the breast tissue.

    Who should get a mammogram?

    Most cancer care specialists recommend that women begin getting annual mammograms once they turn 40. However, certain circumstances may necessitate earlier mammogram screenings. If you have a family history of breast cancer, or you have been found to have one of several mutated genes linked to breast cancer, you may want to consult with your healthcare provider about getting screening mammograms before your 40th birthday.

    Have you been recently diagnosed with breast cancer? If so, West Hills Hospital and Medical Center can help. Our Cancer Care Center offers comprehensive treatment options for women in all stages of this disease. To speak with a West Hills representative about our Women’s Diagnostic Center or Cancer Care Center, or to find out more about our National Breast Cancer Awareness Month events, please call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (818) 676-4000.

  • The Dangers of Indoor Tanning

    Indoor tanning has become a very popular way to keep your tan all year long.  But those tanning booths also carry serious health risks.  Find out more about those risks in this video.  For more information, contact West Hills Hospital at (818) 676-4000!

  • A Closer Look at Mammography

    Cancer care experts recommend annual mammograms as a fundamental component of early breast cancer detection and successful treatment. As this video explains, mammography has been highly effective in decreasing the occurrence of breast cancer-related deaths over the last 20 years.

    Healthcare providers stress the importance of getting an annual mammogram at age 40, as well as receiving an annual clinical exam and remaining aware of your own breast tendencies. With advancements in breast cancer detection methods and treatments, cancer care specialists have witnessed a 30 percent drop in breast cancer fatalities since 1990. While mammography combined with good treatment can often eliminate breast cancer, there are still limitations of which women should be aware. This is why the continued support of breast cancer research is crucial toward finding better and more comprehensive techniques to fight this disease.

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. West Hills Hospital and Medical Center in West Hills, California provides quality cancer care for breast cancer patients. To find out more about our services, please call (818) 676-4000.

  • What is Cancer?

    Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon

    Cancer is a very common disease, striking more than 1.5 million Americans each year. The term cancer actually encompasses many different diseases.

    Cancer develops when cells in your body no longer act like they should. Your body is made of trillions of cells. Different kinds of cells make different organs and tissues: your skin, lungs, bones, blood, and so forth. Cells eventually wear out or become damaged and need to be replaced by fresh cells. DNA in cells guides this process.

    Sometimes the DNA in cells develops mutations. As a result, the cells may refuse to die according to schedule. These abnormal cells can develop into cancerous tumors in tissues and organs. (Your body can also develop noncancerous growths that are called benign tumors, which don’t typically pose as serious a threat to your health). Cancer can also involve cells in your blood, such as the type of cancer called leukemia.

    The growing cancer can prevent the tissue or organ from working properly. Cancer also poses a concern beyond the original growth. Cancerous cells can invade other parts of your body, both near and far, through your bloodstream or your lymphatic system. The new growths that develop in other organs can cause more health problems. However, even after cancer has spread to other body parts, it’s still named after the body part where it began, such as prostate cancer.

    Doctors detect cancer in people at different stages of development. In some cases, your doctor may even find and remove abnormal cells before they become cancerous (such as the polyps that can turn into colon cancer, or cells that can become cervical cancer).  Cancers are classified by how large they’ve grown or how far they’ve spread. In many cases, doctors define cancer by its stage, from stage zero to four, with higher numbers referring to more advanced cancers.

    Staging the cancer helps your doctor determine the best way to treat the disease and predict the outcome of your case. Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are often used to treat cancer, but experts are continually discovering new drugs and high-tech devices that may further improve your chances of surviving – and thriving – after cancer.   

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers the latest advances in state-of-the-art cancer treatment . Our highly trained physicians and other providers diagnose and treat cancer in a caring, convenient setting. To learn more about our cancer treatment services, call (818) 676-4000. 

  • What Are the Benefits of Breastfeeding Your Newborn

    Breastfeeding is convenient, costs nothing, and most importantly, provides both mother and child numerous health benefits. If you are currently expecting and trying to decide if breastfeeding is the right option for you, the following facts can give insight into the many advantages that this natural and healthy practice offers. Should you have further questions, consult with your maternity hospital about your breastfeeding options.

    Breastfeeding provides vital nutrients and antibodies for your newborn’s health.

    Breast milk is the perfect sustenance for newborns. Both early breast milk, also known as colostrum, and mature breast milk have the exact amounts of antibodies, fat, sugar, water, protein, and other nutrients that babies need to grow and build their immune systems. Moreover, breast milk is typically easier than formula for newborns to digest.

    mother breastfeeding baby

    Breastfeeding offers protection for mothers against disease and depression.

    Breastfeeding can be just as beneficial for the mother. Studies have shown that women who breastfeed have a lower occurrence of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, and postpartum depression than mothers who do not breastfeed. Breastfeeding also offers mothers much needed bonding time with their newborns. In addition, it saves valuable time and money that would otherwise be needed to buy and prepare formula.

    Breastfeeding reduces your child’s risk for future illnesses.

    While breastfeeding gives growing babies the nutrients they need now, it can also safeguard them from becoming sick in the future. In comparison to breastfed newborns, formula-fed children have been found to suffer more frequently from respiratory infections, asthma, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Other studies have further shown that breastfed children typically have a lower occurrence of type 1 diabetes and childhood leukemia. Though breastfeeding may not always be an option for all women, new mothers should consider the many benefits of breastfeeding whenever it is possible.

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center provides maternal and child healthcare for patients in the greater West Hills, California region. If you are an expectant or new mother, call us today at (818) 676-4000 to learn more about our certified lactation consultants and breastfeeding classes .