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

Get Involved in Stroke Awareness Month

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in 20 deaths in the U.S. is caused by a stroke. Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a stroke, and every four minutes someone dies from one. Stroke Awareness Month, which takes place every May, is an opportunity for everyone to remind themselves of the symptoms of a stroke, the importance of fast stroke care and prevention strategies. Here are some ways that you can get involved in this important health event.

Find out your stroke risk

Make May the time you talk to your physician about your stroke risk. By understanding your risk factors, you can take steps to prevent a stroke from happening to you. There are several things that contribute to stroke risk, and you can’t change all of them. There are risk factors that are in your control, however. According to the National Stroke Association, 80 percent of strokes are preventable. Here are some of the most common risk factors:

  • Obesity

  • Smoking

  • Sedentary lifestyle

  • Diabetes

  • High blood pressure

By taking steps to manage these factors that increase your stroke risk, you can dramatically reduce your chances of experiencing one.

Learn about stroke symptoms

Getting stroke care as soon as possible is essential for minimizing the damage to brain tissue and preventing loss of life. Stroke symptoms can be identified by remembering the acronym FAST:

  • Face: Look for drooping on one side, such as a lopsided smile.

  • Arm: After raising both arms, does one fall down to the side?

  • Speech: Look for slurred speech or difficulty repeating a phrase.

  • Time: It is time to call 911 or get immediate emergency care if you see these symptoms.

Other symptoms of stroke include balance problems, confusion, and vision problems.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle

Use Stroke Awareness Month as a time to recommit to a healthy lifestyle. Exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and managing your chronic medical conditions can all cut your risk of stroke now and in the future.

Get the urgent stroke care you or a loved one needs at Westside Regional Medical Center. From our emergency room to our Comprehensive Stroke Center in Plantation, FL, our team of physicians and providers are committed to quality, compassionate care. To learn more, call (954) 370-5585.


Early Signs of Arthritis

Arthritis can be a painful and debilitating condition. There is no cure, but the right care can help you get the relief you need to get back to living your life. Getting treatment early can help prevent or delay the progression of arthritis, which can protect your joints and help to reduce the severity of your symptoms. Symptoms of arthritis can vary slightly depending on the type, as can the decision to seek orthopedic care or treatment from another specialist, such as a rheumatologist. In early stages, however, many of the more than 100 forms of arthritis share some common symptoms. Consider seeing a physician if you experience these signs of arthritis.

Joint pain

Joint pain is the most common symptom of arthritis. Arthritis occurs because of some kind of damage to the joint that can be caused by age-related wear and tear, inflammation due to an injury or by your immune system attacking your joints.

If you have joint pain, the first step to getting relief is finding out the cause. Two of the most common forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, start with joint pain. Osteoarthritis typically begins in a large joint on one side of the body, such as the knee. Rheumatoid arthritis tends to appear in smaller joints on both sides of the body, such as the toes or fingers.


Joints that are affected by arthritis often feel stiff. The timing of the stiffness that patients experience gives physicians a clue about the kind of arthritis they may be experiencing. Osteoarthritis sufferers usually experience stiffness at the end of the day, when the affected joints are stiff after being used throughout the day. Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers are more likely to experience joint stiffness in the morning.


Swelling in the joints is another red flag that you could have arthritis. Swelling follows the same pattern as stiffness in most patients. People with osteoarthritis experience joint swelling after activity, while joint swelling that occurs in the morning is often indicative of rheumatoid arthritis.

Ignoring arthritis symptoms could allow them to get worse, so contact Westside Regional Medical Center to request a referral for orthopedic care in Plantation, FL. You can speak to one of our nurses today to learn more about arthritis and to get a referral by calling (954) 370-5585.

Create an Emergency Action Plan for Your Food Allergies

If you or someone you love has a food allergy, having a plan for what you’ll do in an emergency is essential. Food Allergy Awareness Week, held May 14-20, 2016, is the perfect time to update your own emergency care plan or create a plan for the first time. If you’re ready to give your care plan some attention, here is what you need to know.

Work with your physician

The first step in building an emergency care plan for food allergies is to work with the physician who manages your allergy care. This could be a pediatric care specialist for kids with food allergies or an allergist for adult patients. With the physician, identify all of the allergens that could potentially trigger a life-threatening reaction and whether you should take epinephrine in the case of a likely allergen exposure or only when one definitely has occurred. Your physician can also explain the difference between mild and severe reactions and the signs that immediate emergency care is necessary.

Complete a care plan worksheet

Your physician may provide you with a care plan worksheet, or you can download one. The care plan should include the information you discussed with your physician, such as when to administer epinephrine. It should also include detailed instructions for giving injections, your medications and your emergency contact information.

Decide who should receive copies

An emergency care plan is helpful for the person who is suffering from food allergies, but it is most useful to other people who need to provide assistance in an emergency. For children, the school should have a copy, as should any regular caregivers. For adults, it can be helpful for the workplace and close friends to have copies. Keeping a copy in a purse or wallet is also useful.

Whenever a critical health need arises, the ER in Plantation, FL, at Westside Regional Medical Center is ready to provide the care you or your loved ones need. You can get more information about all of our emergency services by dialing (954) 370-5585.

Could You Have IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a surprisingly common condition. It affects up to 15% of the population, but most people are unaware that they have it. To increase understanding of the condition, April is designated as IBS Awareness Month. This health awareness occasion is dedicated to both increasing knowledge about IBS in people who don’t have the disease and helping people with IBS learn more about their disease and lobby for the kind of support they need. Should you speak to your doctor about IBS? Here are the facts you need to know.

IBS 101

IBS is a chronic condition that can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Typically, sufferers experience different symptoms at different times, and not all sufferers will experience the same symptoms. It affects people in all age groups and is more common in women than in men. There is no specific diagnostic test for IBS. Your doctor can make a diagnosis based on your symptoms and by ruling out other conditions that can have similar symptoms.


The classic symptoms of IBS are constipation, diarrhea, and pain. These symptoms can vary significantly in severity, and they may come and go in different combinations without warning. Many people experience periods without any complications followed by periods of flare-ups. Along with these symptoms, many people with IBS have bloating, sleep disturbances, and changes in sexual functioning.

When to See a Doctor

Any time you experience IBS symptoms, consult with a doctor. Although these symptoms can indicate a number of different conditions, and getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step towards managing your discomfort. Because IBS is not curable and lasts for life, the earlier you are diagnosed and get treatment to manage the condition, the better.

If you are concerned about your gastrointestinal symptoms and think you could have IBS, call Westside Regional Medical Center today and ask for a referral to one of our specialists. Our nurses can also answer your questions about our other hospital services, such as our ER, orthopedics, robotic surgery, and cancer program in Plantation, FL.

Understanding the Dangers of Distracted Driving

The convenience of technology has had an unintended side effect: distracted driving. Distracted driving is a danger to you, your passengers, and the other drivers on the road and is the source of many accident injuries that need emergency care in the ER. Is distracted driving putting you in danger on the roads? Here is what you need to know.

What is distracted driving?

Distracted driving refers to doing other activities while driving instead of giving your full attention to the road. Cell phones are the most obvious modern-day distraction, but there are many other things that can also divert your attention from driving, including eating, grooming, adjusting your in-car sound systems, using your navigation system, and even talking to your passengers. Things that demand your visual attention, manual manipulation, and cognitive skills—such as texting or using in-dash radio and navigation systems—are generally the most dangerous, but any activity that reduces your focus on driving could lead to an accident.

How serious is distracted driving?

Approximately 660,000 cars are being driven by someone using a handheld device at any given time during daylight hours. Now consider that sending a text message causes drivers to take their eyes off the road for approximately five seconds. If your car is going 55 miles per hour, it will travel the length of a football field in the five seconds in which your eyes were off the road. Young drivers are the most at risk from distracted driving. In cases of drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 who were killed in car accidents, 10% were distracted at the time of the accident. Although people in their 20s only represent 23% of fatal crashes, 27% of that group were driving distracted at the time of their crashes. Despite these numbers, experts suspect that the actual numbers are even higher, since cell phone use is underreported in accidents.

Choose Westside Regional Medical Center when you or someone you love needs emergency care in Plantation, FL, after an accident or another traumatic incident. We also have a dedicated pediatric ER and freestanding emergency room in Davie. Call (954) 370-5585 to learn more about our emergency services.


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