• The Grossman Burn Center Encourages a Burn-Safe Summer!

    Word summer with colourful letters

    Fire and burn injuries do not take a summer vacation, nor do they discriminate.  The recreational activities we all enjoy carry with them some of the summers’ hottest dangers.  If you don’t know what to watch out for, you just might get injured or burned!  Take all necessary safety measures to have a Burn Safe Summer.

    The pleasure of family reunions, picnics, traveling, sunbathing, and boating, can all come to a sudden end, unless we protect ourselves against fire and burn injuries that can happen during these special occasions.

    Fireworks and resulting fires injure more than 10,000 Americans yearly.  More than half of these injuries occur during the first week of July.

    Camping plays an important role in the lives of millions of Americans.  With warm weather comes outdoor cooking. Children under five account for almost 1/4 of the thermal grill burns.

    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.

    BBQs that use charcoal account for many burn injuries.  Many of these are due to the flammable liquid (such as gasoline) not meant for this use or a reapplication of a flammable liquid.

  • What Is Minimally Invasive Thyroid Surgery?

    Scanning with ultrasound

    Given the thyroid’s placement in the neck area, thyroid surgery can be a particularly delicate surgery. In the past, surgeons had to make sizeable incisions to reach the thyroid and remove cancerous growths or nodules. With endoscopic surgery, surgeons can use camera assistance to view the surgical site. This innovation allows doctors to make smaller incisions when operating on patients. Minimally invasive surgery also incorporates smaller surgical tools, which allow for more precision and less trauma to surrounding organs and tissues. These advantages can be exceptionally helpful when performing surgery on the thyroid, as the area affords surgeons very little room in which to maneuver. Few patients who undergo this type of surgery require overnight stays, and many experience a quick recovery.

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center provides minimally invasive thyroid surgery for eligible candidates in the greater West Hills area. To discuss your options for this procedure, call (818) 676-4000. Patients can also use our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral system to learn more about conditions that may require minimally invasive thyroid surgery.

  • How Is Skin Cancer Detected?

    Skin cancer

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center wants the greater West Hills community to become proactive in the fight against skin cancer. Skin cancer is among the more common types of cancer, and cancer care experts stress that prevention and early detection can greatly increase the chances of successful treatment. The following information details how to spot potential signs of skin cancer and when to see a doctor for additional help:

    Administering a monthly self-examination is central to finding and fighting skin cancer early in its development. When conducting a self-exam, cancer care experts recommend that you remember “ABCDE.” These five letters can help you keep in mind common skin cancer symptoms. Moles that look asymmetrical, have jagged borders, contain several colors, grow in diameter, or have otherwise evolved over time should be examined by a doctor for further consideration. You should make sure to evaluate all surface areas of skin in a mirror to avoid missing any parts of your body.

    Physician Evaluation
    If you detect an abnormal mole, consult a doctor immediately for a clinical examination. Even if you perform regular body inspections, but find no evidence of irregular moles, it’s still important to see a physician for a professional assessment of your skin health. A doctor can better determine the presence of dangerous moles on the neck, back, and other areas that are too difficult for you to view on your own.

    Laboratory Biopsy
    If your doctor finds unusual growths, he will order a biopsy of the skin. A biopsy can provide definitive confirmation that the mole contains cancerous cells. The sooner you see a physician about your skin growths, the quicker he can recommend treatment for cancer removal and recovery.

    Practicing “ABCDE” can significantly increase your chances of finding skin cancer early on. If you have abnormal moles and require an evaluation, call West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000 for an appointment . Our cancer care center provides comprehensive treatment for residents in the greater West Hills area.

  • Hear About the Latest NIH Research in Thyroid Cancer Treatment

    Studies indicate that thyroid cancer is now the fourth most prevalent type of cancer in women. This video demonstrates the efforts being made to combat this growing problem.

    Cancer care researchers have isolated a gene mutation that they believe contributes to the occurrence of thyroid cancer. To further study this mutation and test possible cures for it, these researchers are using mice models. Mice models can provide valuable information on which treatments are effective against the onset of thyroid cancer. With continued testing, more cancer care options will be made available to patients within the next 10 to 15 years.

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers comprehensive cancer care services to patients living in the West Hills community. For a consultation to discuss minimally invasive thyroid surgery, call (818) 676-4000.

  • Summer Safety Guidelines to Help Your Family Avoid Trips to the ER This Season

    Escaping the summer sun

    Southern California enjoys perennially beautiful summers, which means that soon your family will likely be heading outside to take advantage of the warm weather and beautiful sunshine. West Hills Hospital & Medical Center strongly advocates taking proper preventative measures when engaging in outdoor activities to safeguard your family’s health. To minimize your risk of injury this summer and need for emergency care , keep in mind these safety guidelines:

    Stay away from fire hazards
    Backyard barbeques are common during the summer months. While a barbeque is a great opportunity to gather friends and family, this popular pastime also presents the risk of injury from open flames, grease spills, or overheated grills. When using a grill, make sure that all children stay away from it. Also, exercise caution if you plan to set off fireworks . Never allow children to play with these explosive devices, and ignite legal fireworks only in areas clear of other people.

    Keep a close eye on children in pools
    Enrolling your children in swimming lessons can help them become comfortable in water. Lessons are not a substitute for adult supervision, however. If you are tasked with pool supervision duties, don’t allow distractions such as phone calls or text messages keep your eyes from the pool. It’s ideal for all adults on watch are trained in CPR, in case a child becomes submerged and requires immediate medical attention.

    Wear safety gear when needed
    Biking and skateboarding are two favorite summertime activities, but a fall from either apparatus could result in serious head trauma. If you or your children go out for a family ride, provide helmets for everyone in your group. This single piece of safety gear could prevent a concussion, laceration, or other head injury.

    Would you like to learn more summertime safety tips? Call West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000 to ask a representative how you can protect your family. If you require emergency care, you can visit our website for up-to-the-minute ER wait times.

  • What to Expect from a Childbirth Education Class

    New born baby

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center wants expectant parents who visit our maternity hospital to feel ready and confident before the birth of their children. If you are getting ready for an addition to your family, consider our childbirth education class. Beginning this June, our childbirth experts can help you and your partner learn about what happens during delivery. We will explain breathing methods that can alleviate contraction discomfort and aid pushing. We will also demonstrate pushing techniques that can facilitate the birthing process. Couples can discuss any questions or concerns that they have about delivery during class. Our classes meet each Thursday for six weeks to provide participants with the peace of mind they need when preparing for their newborn.

    Would you like to learn more about our childbirth education classes? Call West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000 to speak with a representative. We also encourage participants to visit our website for more information on our maternity hospital services.

  • Give Dad the Gift of Health with These Men’s Heart Health Reminders

    Heart with heartbeat

    Father’s Day is just days away—what are you planning to do for your dad? Why not help him become proactive about his heart health? Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men in this country; but with proper preventative care, many of the factors that contribute to this condition can be successfully managed. West Hills Hospital & Medical Center has a range of cardiovascular services available for our male patients. This June, help your dad safeguard his heart health by urging him to seek proper care.

    Get him checked for high cholesterol
    Many of the foods that men eat can compromise their heart health. Processed meats, eggs, and butter all contain high amounts of cholesterol that can be harmful to the circulatory system . If your dad loves to indulge in these types of foods, urge him to have his cholesterol levels assessed; high cholesterol often shows no signs of its presence until the cardiovascular system suffers permanent damage.

    Undergo testing for elevated blood pressure
    High blood pressure is another condition that presents no detectable symptoms, but like cholesterol, it can produce dire effects on the cardiovascular system. The longer high blood pressure persists, the greater chance that a person’s arterial walls can weaken from the pressure. Many heart health experts recommend that all adult men, regardless of age, receive screenings for the detection and treatment of high blood pressure.

    Have his body mass index calculated
    Obesity can severely impact your dad’s heart health. Excessive weight makes it all the more difficult for the heart to pump blood throughout the body. Over time, this constant strain can lead to heart failure and other cardiovascular issues. To avoid these potential problems, have your dad’s body mass index, or BMI, regularly checked by a healthcare provider. If his BMI registers too high, his doctor can advise him on his options for weight loss.

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center wants each member of your family to experience optimal health. To schedule an appointment at our cardiovascular center, call (818) 676-4000. We offer cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight assessment services for West Hills residents.

  • Powerful Choices Podcast: “Tips for a Healthy Birthday”

    For cancer survivors, celebrating a birthday means celebrating another year of being cancer-free. This video offers some tips for making your next birthday a healthy one.

    Eating habits can increase your chances of developing certain types of cancer. Cancer care experts advocate that all individuals exercise healthy eating practices—even on birthdays. Most birthday cakes contain high amounts of butter and sugar, which can increase a person’s likelihood for cancer. By substituting these unhealthy dishes with foods like applesauce and dried fruits, you can enjoy a delicious and nutritious birthday cake this year.

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center wants you to enjoy a lifetime of healthy and happy birthdays. For more information on the services we provide the West Hills community, call (818) 676-4000 or visit our website .

  • Exploring the Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

    Father and his son looking at the camera

    Many types of cancer, including prostate cancer, come with controllable and uncontrollable risk factors. Key to protecting your health is knowing which factors you have the power to change and monitoring the ones you do not. West Hills Hospital & Medical Center encourages men in the greater West Hills community to become informed about their risk for this disease.

    Excessive Weight
    Being overweight can cause a host of health problems. Studies have found that excessive weight can significantly increase one’s chances of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and prostate cancer. Though many types of prostate cancer grow at a relatively slow rate, researchers have determined that obesity puts men at a higher risk for fast-growing types of prostate cancer. If you’re overweight, consult your doctor. If diet and exercise aren’t enough to combat your obesity concerns, you may be eligible for surgical weight loss.

    Family Members with Prostate Cancer
    It’s essential that men establish an open dialogue with their families to fully understand their cancer risk. Family history is an important factor when it comes to one’s likelihood of developing prostate cancer. If you don’t know your grandfather, father, or brother’s history with this disease, now is the time to ask. Knowing the occurrence of prostate cancer in your family can determine the age at which you begin getting regular prostate cancer screenings.

    Older Age
    Age is the predominant risk factor for prostate cancer, and one that cannot be changed. That’s why healthcare providers stress that men with no other risk factors start their prostate cancer screenings by their fiftieth birthday, as the majority of men with this disease are this age or older. Men with additional risk factors should speak with their physicians about getting screened at an earlier age.

    Let your family toast to your health this Father’s Day. Call West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000 to set up an appointment for a prostate cancer screening. If you need immediate assistance, we encourage you to use our iTriage Symptom Checker application.