Westside Regional Medical Center
954.473.6600
Founded in 1974, our facility provides comprehensive healthcare to the residents of Broward County.

What Are the Treatment Options for Atrial Fibrillation?

If you’ve been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, it means that you have an abnormal heart rhythm. This can affect the way your heart contracts. The electrical signals that control the heartbeat originate in the atria, or upper chambers of the heart. In a patient with atrial fibrillation, these signals are irregular and fast, which leads to irregular or rapid pumping of the ventricles, or the lower chambers. Because atrial fibrillation can lead to the formation of blood clots if left untreated, patients may require stroke care.

Rate Control

To reduce the risk of stroke and other complications from atrial fibrillation, cardiac specialists can develop a treatment plan to control the rate and rhythm of the heart, and to prevent blood clots. Medications such as beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and digitalis can help control the rate at which the heart beats.

Rhythm Control

Some patients can function well with rate control, while others may need treatment for rhythm control. Sometimes, patients who are beginning treatment for rhythm control will do so while being monitored in the hospital. Rhythm control may be accomplished with medications such as amiodarone, sotalol, or ibutilide. Sometimes, other treatments may be needed to control the rhythm of the heart. Some patients may be candidates for cardioversion or catheter ablation.

Blood Clot Prevention

The need for immediate stroke care is a common reason for ER visits and patients with atrial fibrillation have a higher risk of this life-threatening condition. To reduce the risk of stroke, physicians can help patients decrease the chances of forming blood clots. Patients may be prescribed blood-thinning medications such as warfarin, heparin, dabigatran, or aspirin.

The cardiac and electrophysiology specialists at Westside Regional Medical Center provide sophisticated treatment options for patients with atrial fibrillation, including medications, minimally invasive surgery, and lifestyle counseling. If you’ve been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation near Plantation, FL, you can find the personalized treatment plan you need and the compassionate care you deserve at our community hospital. Call (954) 302-7112 to speak with a registered nurse.


How Vaccinations Can Keep Your Child Out of the ER

It is often difficult for parents to watch their children suffer discomfort from a vaccination. Yet, vaccinating children according to the schedule recommended by their pediatricians is one of the most effective ways to protect them from dangerous illnesses and keep them out of the ER. Parents are encouraged to talk with their children’s pediatricians about the benefits of vaccinations and which vaccinations their children should receive.

How Vaccinations Protect Your Child

For years, childhood vaccinations have been a controversial topic. Some parents feel that vaccinations are inherently dangerous and may lead to disorders such as autism. But in fact, scientific evidence has debunked this myth. Rather than harming children, vaccinations are among the best ways to protect them. Vaccines can protect children from life-threatening illnesses such as diphtheria, measles, meningococcal, pertussis, and polio. Some of these diseases, such as polio, have been effectively eliminated in the U.S. However, there is always the possibility that an unvaccinated child can contract these diseases.

How Vaccinations Protect Others

Vaccinating your child doesn’t only keep him or her out of the ER; it also protects your entire community and beyond. Not everyone can receive certain vaccinations, such as babies and those with weakened immune systems or severe allergies. These individuals are susceptible to contracting illnesses from unvaccinated children.

How Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Can Lead to Complications

Some diseases that are preventable with vaccinations can cause death. If the child survives, he or she may suffer from severe complications that will result in ER visits. For example, severe complications of measles can include pneumonia and encephalitis. Encephalitis refers to swelling of the brain that may lead to permanent disability, including hearing loss or intellectual disability.

If your child does require emergency care in Plantation, FL, your family can rely on the highly trained physicians at the ER at Westside Regional Medical Center. Westside Forrest, our dedicated pediatric emergency room, is a comfortable setting in which children can feel at ease while receiving treatment. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911; otherwise, you can reach our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (954) 302-7112.


Taking a Closer Look at Hip Replacement Surgery

Orthopedics specialists often perform hip replacement surgeries for patients who suffer from hip pain that interferes with daily activities. This procedure involves removing a hip joint that has sustained damage from disease or trauma and replacing it with an artificial hip joint. Patients who undergo hip replacement surgery typically report improved mobility, reduced pain, and enhanced quality of life.

Considering Alternatives to Surgery

Orthopedics specialists generally recommend trying non-surgical treatments before considering surgery. Patients who suffer from hip pain without inflammation might take acetaminophen, while those with inflammation may be advised to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Topical analgesics and corticosteroids may also be helpful. In addition to medications, patients might try physical therapy, regular exercise, and assistive devices such as a cane.

Predicting the Success of the Surgery

Hip replacement surgery is known to be an effective method of restoring mobility. However, as with all medical treatments, the outcome can vary from patient to patient. Joint replacement surgeries were previously recommended primarily for older individuals. However, orthopedics specialists now know that the patient’s activity level and overall health are stronger predictors of a successful surgery.

Understanding the Procedure

To remove the hip joint, the orthopedic surgeon makes an incision over the hip, through which he or she can remove diseased or damaged bone. Healthy components of the joint are left in place. The upper end of the thighbone, or femur, and the socket in the pelvis are replaced with artificial components.

Identifying Hip Prosthesis Options

An orthopedic specialist can help patients understand their hip prosthesis options. Cemented artificial components are joined to the healthy bone tissue with special cement. Uncemented artificial components feature a porous surface. The healthy bone can fuse onto this surface to hold the components in place. Additionally, artificial hip devices are made with various materials, such as ceramic.

Westside Regional Medical Center offers advanced care to patients with joint problems. At our Orthopedic & Spine Institute in Plantation, FL, we provide a continuum of care, including diagnosis, non-surgical treatment, surgical treatment, and follow-up care. If you have questions about the services available at our Orthopedic & Spine Institute, call (954) 302-7112 and speak with a registered nurse.


Understanding Lymphedema

Research

Lymphedema, also called edema, is often a symptom of an existing medical condition. Edema can be quite evident in some cases, as it causes the accumulation of bodily fluids. The extremities tend to be impacted most frequently by edema, but this problem can occur elsewhere in the body as well. Edema happens when the lymph system, which typically transports white blood cells to sites of compromised immunity, experiences an obstruction. That is why infection is a common cause of edema. It can happen as well when lymph nodes are removed as part of a cancer care treatment plan. Massaging built up fluids is one way to better distribute them throughout the body, thereby alleviating edema. Physical activity can also ease this condition.

Westside Regional Medical Center offers comprehensive medical care that addresses both the causes of disease and their complications. Call (954) 473-6600 to discuss your health needs with a Consult-A-Nurse in Plantation, FL. You can also go to our website for information about our complete healthcare options.


The Patient's Guide to Gallstones

Medical X-Ray Scan - Gallbladder Pancreas

The gallbladder is an organ that assists in the digestive process. Though a small structure, the gallbladder can cause major health problems when afflicted with gallstones. Westside Regional Medical Center provides gallstone treatment for individuals in the greater Plantation, FL region.

What are the warning signs of gallstones?

Gallstones often prevent the flow of bile from the gallbladder, and as a result, it can cause substantial pain. Because of the gallbladder’s role in digestion, the presence of gallstones can also lead to gastric distress. Some people may feel sick to their stomachs or even suffer from vomiting when they have gallstones. This condition can also result in abnormal bowel movements that take on a light tan or gray color.

Why do gallstones form?

Gallstones are normally made from bilirubin or cholesterol in the gallbladder. Many times, stones are too small for sufferers to even detect. When present in high amounts, though, these substances can form large, hard stones that obstruct normal gallbladder function.

How can doctors treat gallstones?

When gallstones produce pain, doctors can address them with several treatment options. The type of gallstone treatment typically depends on the severity of the condition. Under some circumstances, a physician might recommend oral medication. This strategy can effectively break down the gallstones, though it might be an extended period of time before the gallbladder is completely free of them. However, medication can be useful if gallstones are found before they cause significant discomfort and other unwanted side effects. When gallstones produce acute pain, though, more aggressive measures might be necessary. The surgical removal of the gallbladder, which is not vital to survival, may be an option. Advanced surgical techniques can take out this organ without necessitating a lengthy recovery period. The use of shock waves to break down the stones may also be considered for some patients.

If you have been diagnosed with gallstones, talk to the healthcare professionals at Westside Regional Medical Center. Call our Plantation, FL hospital at (954) 473-6600 to find out about our gallbladder treatment services. We offer gallbladder care for individuals with gallbladder cancer, biliary pain, duct stones, and gallbladder stones.


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