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

Why you might take a trip to the ER this summer

No family’s exciting summer plans include a trip to the ER, but unfortunately, not all accidents and illnesses are preventable. While your family is out enjoying sports, camping trips or barbecues, the dedicated Emergency Room physicians and nurses at Westside Regional Medical Center are standing by to provide superior medical care and personalized attention.

Sports-related injuries
Summer is a great time to improve your fitness level, but be sure to use all the necessary safety equipment for your chosen sport. Everyone, regardless of age, should wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet while out cycling. Sturdy gloves, elbow pads and knee pads are also a smart investment in your safety.

Since kids may neglect to put on safety equipment each time they play, parents should expect to issue plenty of reminders each summer. Using the right safety equipment and ensuring adult supervision for young athletes can help prevent sports-related injuries, such as concussions, fractures and lacerations.

Childhood accidents
Young kids tend to lack a sense of their own vulnerability. Emergency Room physicians can help your child feel well again quickly if he or she:

  • Falls on the playground
  • Gets dehydrated
  • Sustains a trampoline-related injury
  • Suffers a poison ivy rash
  • Shows signs of food poisoning
  • Suffers a near-drowning

Parents might consider taking a first aid and pediatric CPR course. Remember that, in a life-threatening emergency, you should always call 911 instead of trying to drive your child to the hospital.

Venomous snake bites
Florida is home to dozens of species of snakes. Six of these snakes are venomous:

  • Coral snake
  • Cottonmouth
  • Copperhead
  • Eastern diamondback rattlesnake
  • Timber rattlesnake
  • Pigmy rattlesnake

Unless you’re a herpetologist, it’s wise to assume that any snake that bites you or a family member could be venomous. When a snake bites, follow these steps:

  • Get out of range of the snake.
  • Stay calm and do not move around more than necessary.
  • Call 911.
  • Keep the bitten area below the level of your heart.
  • Take a picture of the snake or remember its markings for identification.

Westside Regional Medical Center has two emergency care locations near Plantation, FL, so you can receive prompt, high-quality healthcare when you need it most. If you have a true medical emergency, please call 911 instead of trying to drive yourself to our ER. Otherwise, you can call a friendly member of our nursing staff at (954) 370-5585.

Swim safety tips for the whole family

It’s hard to top the perks of going to the pool or beach with your family. Swimming is an excellent way to beat the heat, stay active and enjoy some leisure time, but it’s important to take certain safety precautions to prevent near-drowning accidents. From our family to yours, the ER team at Westside Regional Medical Center wishes you a safe and fun-filled summer!

Check for lifeguards
Before jumping in the pool or splashing in the waves at the beach, always check for the presence of a lifeguard nearby. Pay attention to swimming restrictions posted at the beach, as these are in effect for your safety. Even when the area is staffed by a lifeguard, it’s best to swim with a buddy.

Maintain constant adult supervision near water
Kids and inexperienced swimmers should be under constant adult supervision around bodies of water. A drowning can happen in the blink of an eye. The adult who is in charge of supervising should avoid all potential distractions.

Take formal swimming lessons
Age-appropriate swimming lessons are one effective way to reduce the risk of drowning accidents. Consider talking to your child’s pediatrician about an appropriate age to start taking swimming lessons. Remember that formal swimming lessons are not a substitute for constant adult supervision.

Learn CPR
Parents, caregivers and adolescents can all learn to save lives with CPR courses. The Red Cross routinely holds CPR, first aid and water safety courses all over the country. Parents of young children can look for a pediatric-specific CPR course.

Know what to do if a drowning accident occurs
When a drowning accident occurs, every second counts. Immediately take the following steps:

  1. Jump into the water to bring the drowning child to safety.
  2. Grab a flotation device if one is nearby, but don’t waste time looking for one.
  3. Yell for help if someone is nearby to call 911.
  4. Lay the child on the side of the pool and check for breathing.
  5. Deliver two rescue breaths, followed by chest compressions if the child is not breathing.
  6. Call 911 when the child begins breathing again, unless someone has already called for help.

An ER visit is always necessary, even after the child begins breathing and even if the child appears well.

For superior, patient-focused emergency care in Plantation, FL or Davie, FL, your family can trust Westside Regional Medical Center. Our Emergency Room physicians, nurses and specialists are always available 24/7 to provide effective treatments that give our valued patients the best possible outcome. For general questions about our hospital services, you can speak with a registered nurse at (954) 370-5585.

Recognizing the risk of concussions in your young athlete

Brain injuries are serious health risks at every age, but young athletes are particularly vulnerable to their effects. It’s thought that the human brain doesn’t fully mature until the mid-20s, and a developing brain may be more susceptible both to sustaining concussions and to developing serious consequences. It’s always frightening for parents to see their kids sustain injuries. At Westside Regional Medical Center, our entire ER team is committed to healthcare excellence. Our providers give you the fast answers and effective solutions when you need them most.

How anatomy affects concussion risk
A child’s anatomy increases his or her risk of head trauma. Since children—particularly girls—have weaker necks, they are less able to absorb the shock of physical trauma. This is why the same force exerted on both a child and an adult would inflict greater harm on the child.

Furthermore, an immature brain is characterized by rapidly growing neurons and emerging brain connections. This means that the developing brain may be more susceptible to injury compared to an adult’s mature brain.

Why it’s more difficult to detect brain injuries in kids
There are two primary reasons why it’s often more difficult to detect concussions in children. The first is that the vulnerability of a child’s brain is often underestimated. Many people incorrectly assume that a loss of consciousness has to occur with a brain injury, when in fact, kids who retain consciousness could be suffering from a concussion.

The second reason why detection can be challenging is that kids might not clearly articulate their symptoms. Young athletes might not realize that the following signs and symptoms could indicate a concussion:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Balance problems
  • Memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Sluggishness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sleeping problems
  • Mood changes
  • Blurry vision

It’s important for parents and coaches to be on the lookout for signs that a child needs to go to the ER.

At the dedicated Emergency Room for kids in Westside Regional Medical Center, your child will be given superior, compassionate medical care within a comforting setting. Our community hospital offers two state-of-the-art ER locations near Plantation, FL to serve the needs of our community. Please direct medical emergencies to a 911 dispatcher or call a registered nurse at (954) 370-5585 for non-emergent questions.

How can you protect your skin from the harsh summer sun?

It’s commonly known that excessive exposure to the summer sun increases the risk of life-threatening skin cancers. However, sun protection is actually important year-round, as temperature and weather don’t diminish the damage that UV rays can cause. If you have concerns about protecting your family from skin cancer, you can always count on the caring physicians at Westside Regional Medical Center to offer sound medical guidance.

Know which sunscreen to use
Select broad-spectrum sunscreen that guards against UVA and UVB rays. The product should offer an SPF of at least 15, although SPF 30 is preferable. Water-resistant sunscreen products are available, but you’ll still need to reapply sunscreen after swimming or sweating excessively.

Know how to use sunscreen properly
It’s a common mistake to neglect to use enough sunscreen. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends coating your body with one ounce, or two tablespoons, of sunscreen. Apply it 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply it every two hours.

Avoid tanning activities
Tanning beds and UV tanning lights are just as harmful as getting a tan at the beach. If you want a golden summer glow, consider using bronzing lotions instead.

Wear protective clothing and accessories
Sunscreen is one of the most effective ways to protect your skin from the damaging UV rays, but it can’t do all of the work by itself. Cover up much of your skin with clothing, preferably clothing that features an SPF rating.

Wear a wide-brimmed hat while outdoors. Unlike baseball caps, wide-brimmed hats offer protection for the back of your neck.

Choose sunglasses that protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays. The consistent use of sunglasses while outdoors may help reduce your risk of cataracts. Additionally, consider carrying some lip balm with an SPF rating.

Check your skin regularly
Many doctors recommend doing a skin self-exam once each month and having a skin cancer screening annually. Your doctor can help you learn how to do a self-exam properly. Be sure to check every inch of your skin, including your scalp, ears and back.

For cutting-edge preventive and therapeutic medical care, your family can turn to Westside Regional Medical Center. As an HCA-affiliated hospital, our commitment to quality, patient-centered care is unparalleled. Call our nurse referral line at (954) 370-5585 to request a referral to a physician at our community hospital.

Spotlight on Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a serious health risk for men and women over the age of 50. During National Osteoporosis Month in May, the National Osteoporosis Foundation focuses on educating the public about this condition and how they can prevent it. If you haven’t been screened for osteoporosis in the past, May is a good time to see your physician or an orthopedic specialist to learn more about how this disease could affect you. Here is a closer look at what you need to know about osteoporosis.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis literally means porous bone. It is a condition in which bone loss occurs, creating bones that are not as dense as normal and that look like honeycomb under a microscope. When this kind of bone loss occurs, the risk of experiencing a fracture increases significantly. In some patients with severe osteoporosis, even sneezing can lead to a fracture.

Many orthopedic specialists refer to osteoporosis as a silent disease, because it usually doesn’t cause any symptoms until a fracture occurs. This is one of the reasons that screening for osteoporosis is so important.

What causes osteoporosis?

A long list of factors can contribute to osteoporosis. Your physician can tell you if you have an elevated risk. Some of the most common conditions that are linked to osteoporosis are:

  • Autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus

  • Endocrine disorders, including diabetes and hyperthyroidism

  • Cancers, including leukemia and breast cancer

  • Digestive disorders, including irritable bowel disease and celiac disease

Certain surgical procedures, such as weight loss surgery and organ transplant, can also contribute to osteoporosis, as can weight loss, depression and eating disorders.

How is osteoporosis diagnosed and treated?

A DEXA bone scan is used to detect bone loss and diagnose osteoporosis. Scans can be ordered if your physician thinks you have an increased risk of osteoporosis or after a fracture that could have been related to bone loss. Osteoporosis can’t be cured, but it can be slowed by medications, including calcium supplements and hormone therapy.

Are you concerned about your bone health? Make an appointment with an orthopedic physician in Plantation, FL, at Westside Regional Medical Center. For more information about orthopedic care, the Orthopedic and Spine Institute, and all of our hospital services, please call (954) 370-5585.

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