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    Taking a Closer Look at Lung Health and Enterovirus D68

    Last updated 10 hours ago

    Enterovirus D68 is an illness that has been recognized since 1962, but it is making headlines this year because of a widespread outbreak that is unlike the spread of this virus seen in previous years. Naturally, parents around the country are concerned about EV-D68, but it is important to get the facts straight before panicking about your child’s health. Below you can get a look at the symptoms of enterovirus as well as the complicating factors that may put some kids at a higher risk for hospitalization from this illness.

    Enterovirus characteristics

    EV-D68 is most common in infants, children, and teens, because they do not have the long-term exposure to this disease that many adults do. The virus causes symptoms similar to flu in most patients, but there may be wheezing or difficulty breathing in more severe cases. It is these cases that have led to widespread hospitalization resulting from the illness. EV-D68 is most active in the summer, and cases tend to peak during back-to-school season. When the weather cools off, cases of the virus tend to decline.

    Current outbreak

    There have been recorded cases of EV-D68 every year since 1987, but the number of infected individuals has spiked significantly this year. Since mid-August, a confirmed 514 cases have occurred in 43 states. Children remain the most at-risk population for the virus.

    Respiratory complications

    One reason that EV-D68 has seen so many severe cases is due to existing respiratory conditions like asthma. Many of those patients who have had symptoms like wheezing and shortness of breath already suffer from asthma, making them more susceptible to complications.

    It is still important to manage your kids’ health by encouraging smarter habits like frequent hand washing. To get more tips on helping your kids stay healthy this fall, call Southern Hills Hospital’s Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line 24/7 at (702) 880-2700 to speak with one of our highly trained registered nurses. 

    What to Expect in Depression Screening

    Last updated 2 days 8 hours ago

    Did you know that depression affects more than 16 million adults in the United States? It can affect people of all ages, races, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds, with many of its patients suffering in silence. Many patients with clinical depression are not getting the care they need, but this may change as depression becomes more widely recognized as a valid medical concern rather than a matter of will. In the near future, there may even be a standard blood test to screen for molecules distinctive to those with clinical depression, allowing patients to get help before they ever suffer through a major depressive episode. Currently, however, depression screening is limited to an assessment of symptoms and habits that characterize this common mental illness.

    Symptom evaluation

    The symptoms of depression don’t look the same on everyone, so you may need to spend significant time discussing your sleep patterns, eating habits, physical activity, and energy levels with your doctor. Depression can cause a person to slow down and feel very lethargic, or it can lead to a state of agitation and anxiety.

    Behavioral questionnaire

    In addition to symptoms, your doctor will want to know about feelings of hopelessness, guilt, low self-esteem, or self-deprecation. Typically, physicians will use a questionnaire asking about these feelings along with thoughts of self-harm or suicide, as it may be easier to put these thoughts on paper than discuss them out loud.

    Discussion of health history

    Finally your doctor will look at any family history of mental illness along with your own health history. Certain conditions or past behaviors might trigger depression later in life, so it’s important to remain open and honest as you explore your medical history with your physician.

    RISE Behavioral Health at Southern Hills Hospital is geared toward providing intensive outpatient care for patients 55 and older struggling with conditions like depression or anxiety disorders. If you or a loved one has been struggling with late-in-life depression, connect with us on our website or call (702) 880-2700. Not only do we provide care for local residents of Las Vegas, but we can serve as a resource for communities in Arizona, Southern California, and Utah. 

    A Look at Some of the Top Health Concerns Affecting Children

    Last updated 6 days ago

    As children grow, their immune systems become stronger and more capable of fighting off common illnesses. But when kids are still kids, they may have a number of health problems that can be a big source of stress for parents. While the most common illnesses among children don’t tend to be emergency situations, they can still lead to many sleepless nights and cranky kids. Here is a closer look at the leading adolescent health concerns that every parent should prepare for.

    Asthma and allergies

    With a decrease in the amount of physical activity children participate in and an increase in airborne pollutants, asthma is increasingly common in kids. This condition, which causes inflammation of the airways, is the leading reason children chronically miss school in the United States. Allergies are another growing problem, with more children suffering from severe food allergies with triggers like peanuts or shellfish.

    Respiratory infections

    The most common acute illnesses in children tend to affect the respiratory system with conditions like strep throat, bronchitis, influenza, and the common cold. Many of these are easily treated with the right medication, but it is important to see a physician to determine if the cause is viral or bacterial.

    Ear infections

    Children get ear infections much more often than adults—especially as toddlers. Some ear infections will clear up on their own, but they remain a leading cause of visits to the pediatrician.

    Skin rashes

    Skin rashes are another common concern that tends to be worse in young patients. Eczema, psoriasis, and scabies all seem to appear more often in children, most likely due to their more sensitive skin and weaker immune systems.

    When you are facing a pediatric emergency, you can rely on Southern Hills Hospital for quick, kid-friendly care through Pediatrics Express. We provide dedicated pediatric emergency services with access to Sunrise Children’s Hospital when specialized care is needed. You can reach us on our website or at (702) 880-2700. 

    Knowing the Myths and Facts of Breast Cancer

    Last updated 8 days ago

    In the digital age of instant information and unverified news stories appearing everywhere, it can be difficult to distinguish myth from reality when it comes to important subjects like breast cancer. To celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October and learn what really matters in terms of screening and breast cancer prevention, read through these popular breast cancer myths and schedule your annual mammogram with Southern Hills Hospital.

    Myth: Women cannot control their breast cancer risk

    There are hereditary cases of breast cancer in which the cancer is the direct result of inherited gene mutations, but these cases only account for about 5-10% of breast cancer diagnoses. This means that factors such as weight control, alcohol consumption, and physical activity are much more important when gauging a person’s risk for breast cancer. Even if an individual has a family history of breast cancer, steps can be taken to minimize her risk with early screening and positive lifestyle changes.

    Myth: Deodorant and antiperspirants cause breast cancer

    While some people believe that breast cancer risk is purely based on heredity, others have a much broader, but equally inaccurate perspective. There are many rumors about cancer being caused by antiperspirants and deodorant applied to the underarms, but medical research has shown no connection. Keeping your cell phone in your bra is another habit that has not had any proven association with breast cancer.

    Myth: Only older women get breast cancer

    It is true that the majority of breast cancer diagnoses occur in women over 40, which is why mammogram screenings are generally limited to this age group. However, it is possible for women to develop breast cancer at earlier ages, making self-breast exams an integral part of breast cancer risk management. Men can also get breast cancer, though it is much less likely.

    Throughout the month of October, Southern Hills Hospital will be providing $75 mammograms with no physician referral to make this screening easier and more convenient for patients in the greater Las Vegas area. You can learn if it is time for your first mammogram screening by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line 24/7 at (702) 880-2700 or visiting our website. 

    Where Is Salt Sneaking Into Your Diet?

    Last updated 22 days ago

    If you choose to eat potato chips and French fries, chances are you already know you’re eating a hefty dose of salt. But there are plenty of surprising ways that salt can sneak into your diet. In fact, most of the sodium Americans consume comes from processed foods and restaurant meals, rather than from the salt shaker. For example, just one four-ounce slice of cheese pizza can cost you up to 760 milligrams of salt! Other surprising sources of sodium include bread, deli meats, cheese, and pasta sauce.

    Watch this video for a lighthearted approach to depicting the ways salt can surprise you. Although this video uses a whimsical approach, there is nothing funny about a diet high in sodium. Too much sodium can increase your risk of landing in urgent care because of serious health concerns.

    Families throughout the greater Las Vegas area can learn effective strategies of safeguarding their health with help from the friendly physicians at Southern Hills Hospital. For general healthcare questions, call the Consult-A-Nurse referral line for our hospital at (702) 880-2700.

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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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