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

Helpful Strategies for Bringing Your Child to the ER

Although the ER may not be the destination of choice for families, you may find peace of mind knowing that the kid-friendly Emergency Room at Westside Regional Medical Center offers top-notch care in a soothing environment. If your child does suffer a medical emergency, you may find the following tips to be helpful.

Get Organized

Since emergencies are unpredictable by nature, it’s best to be prepared for them to occur at any time. Keep your family’s medical records organized and easily accessible. Ideally, you should keep updated lists of your child’s medications and dosages, medical conditions, allergies, previous hospitalizations, and major illnesses. Keep the family pediatrician’s name and contact information readily available, along with the contact information of any specialists from whom your child may be receiving care.

Be Prepared

Not all medical emergencies occur in the home or in the presence of parents. Be prepared for your child to need medical care while with a babysitter or other caregiver. You can fill out consent-to-treat forms in advance. Along with your child’s important medical information, you can provide these forms to trusted individuals who watch over your child.

Know When to Call 911

In many cases, it’s fine to drive your child to the ER yourself. However, if you suspect that your child has a life-threatening medical emergency, you should call 911 right away. Some potentially life-threatening emergencies include severe allergic reactions, respiratory distress, seizures, and loss of consciousness.

Know What Not to Do

When you do take your child to the ER, refrain from giving him or her snacks or beverages, including water. This is because your child may require sedatives. Ask the ER physician if it’s okay to give your child something to drink or eat.

If your child requires emergency care in the Plantation, FL, area, you can turn to the pediatric ER staff at Westside Regional Medical Center. Our emergency care department includes a private ER room just for kids to help them feel more comfortable in a hospital setting. You can direct non-emergent questions to our Consult-A-Nurse line at (954) 722-9933.

Exploring the Basics of Degenerative Disc Disease

Back pain is a common problem among aging adults, because the aging process can cause damage to the structures of the spine, resulting in inflammation that puts pressure on the spinal nerves. Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common conditions that might increase back pain during the aging process. This condition affects the soft, spongy spinal discs positioned between the vertebrae that allow the spine to remain flexible and reduce damage from daily activities.

What happens to discs affected by degenerative disc disease?

With degenerative disc disease, the spinal discs become weakened through direct trauma or drying during the aging process. As a result, they may bulge outward or collapse completely, causing the vertebrae to rub together. Because the spinal discs do not have many attached blood vessels, they do not heal on their own, so any damage sustained through degenerative disc disease is permanent.

What are the symptoms of degenerative disc disease?

Sometimes degenerative disc disease will cause no symptoms, but often there will be pain that worsens lessens when lying down or bending over. Degenerative disc disease in the upper back may cause numbness or tingling in the upper extremities, while degenerative disc disease in the lumbar spine might lead to numbness in the buttocks or weakness in the lower body.

What types of treatment options are available?

In many cases, degenerative disc disease is treatable with conservative therapies, including physical therapy, heat and cold therapy, spinal decompression, and medication. If these treatment options are not effective, surgery may become necessary. Surgical treatments to treat degenerative disc disease include spinal fusion and artificial disc replacement.

If you are suffering from back pain caused by degenerative disc disease, Westside Regional Medical Center can provide care to help you get back to your daily routine. To contact our Orthopedic & Spine Institute, call (954) 722-9933 for a physician referral.

What Is a STEMI Heart Attack?

While any type of heart attack constitutes a medical emergency, it is important to know that not all heart attacks have the same symptoms or level of severity. A STEMI heart attack, or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction is the most serious form of heart attack, which often results in more damage to the patient’s heart. This article will take a closer look at how STEMI heart attacks differ from other types of myocardial infarctions and coronary artery spasms.

Understanding what happens during a heart attack

During a STEMI heart attack, a coronary artery will be completely blocked, and this will prevent blood flow to a large part of the heart muscle. Because a larger part of the heart is affected, the chances of a fatality are much higher with STEMI heart attacks.

Identifying ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction

The name STEMI comes from the ST-segment elevation that will show up on an electrocardiogram when a patient is brought to the hospital with symptoms of chest pain. Damage from this type of heart attack can happen quickly, so you should never take chances with chest pain and seek medical care right away when this symptom arises.

Utilizing appropriate treatment options

Treatment for a STEMI heart attack will require the restoration of blood flow in an affected artery. This process may take place with clot-busting medication or a surgical procedure called angioplasty. Angioplasty involves the identification of a clot within the artery through a catheter, which is guided to the heart through the groin or upper arm. The catheter will have a special tip to reopen the artery and place a metal tube called a stent if needed.

At Westside Regional Medical Center, our ER is equipped with the diagnostic and treatment technologies to treat STEMI heart attacks with the highest chances of survival. If you suspect that someone is having a heart attack, call 911. To learn more about our emergency care and cardiovascular rehabilitation programs, call us at (954) 722-9933.

Small Changes to Make in Your Diet for a Big Impact on Your Health

Even if you are not actively trying to lose weight, watching what you eat can be an important step in managing your health. Good nutrition can be a building block for a lifetime of better health, so you should be thinking about what you are putting into your body during each snack and meal. You do not have to dramatically change your eating habits to see significant changes, so try out these simple steps to better eating as you work to make 2016 your healthiest year yet.

Track everything you eat

Mindless snacking is a detrimental habit, because you may not even be aware of how much fat, sugar, and salt you consume in a sitting. By simply writing down everything you eat or using a nutrition tracker app on your smartphone, you can see just how much you are consuming and recognize where it will be helpful to scale back.

Cut out junk food gradually

As you begin to identify the weak spots in your diet, you will want to start cutting down on junk food and other unhealthy choices. Going cold turkey can leave you dealing with tough cravings, so start out by eating one less candy bar each week or skipping seconds on heavy side dishes.

Eat more fresh fruits and veggies

Fruits and vegetables are staples in a healthy diet, but not all fruits and veggies are alike. If you usually enjoy juices and smoothies, swap these out for fresh, whole pieces of fruit for more fiber and longer-lasting fullness. With vegetables, avoid high-fat preparations like cream sauces and butter, and opt for lighter choices like steamed or roasted vegetables with a touch of olive oil and fresh herbs.

With the clinical care and medical resources of Westside Regional Medical Center, you can learn to live healthier in Plantation. To explore our hospital services or find an upcoming class or event that caters to your health, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (954) 722-9933.

Signs and Symptoms of a Brain or Spinal Tumor

Diagnosing a brain or spinal tumor can be challenging, because there is such a wide range of symptoms that patients may experience with these tumors. Depending on the location, size, and growth of the tumor, symptoms may arise suddenly, or they may become progressively worse through time. What’s more is that the primary symptoms of a brain or spinal cord tumor are not exclusive to these conditions. Therefore, a diagnosis may involve ruling out a number of other conditions to pinpoint a tumor as the cause. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you will want to talk to your primary physician about whether the care of a neurosurgeon is appropriate for your treatment.

Changes in vision

Tumors that grow in the cerebrum around the pituitary gland can put pressure on the optic nerve, leading to changes in vision such as blurriness. Vision problems may also be accompanied by hearing loss, lack of control over the facial muscles, or balance problems, as the tumor might also impede other cranial nerves.

Personality changes

In some cases, brain and spinal cord tumors can lead to unexplained changes in personality and behavior. Tumors that affect the various language centers in the brain may also alter a person’s ability to comprehend language or come up with certain words.

Frequent headaches

If you regularly get headaches, you should not immediately assume that you have a brain tumor. However, about half of all patients with brain tumors will have headaches that get worse over time, so this is not a symptom that should be overlooked.


For some patients, a seizure may be the first sign of a brain tumor. As many as half of all patients with brain tumors will suffer a seizure at some point, and this will be cause to visit the ER for a look at the cause of the episode.

If you are seeking neurological care in Plantation, connect with Westside Regional Medical Center to learn about our Neurosurgery Program. You can contact us for more information online or at (954) 722-9933.

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