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

Recognizing National Alcohol Screening Day

The issue of alcohol dependency touches people of all age groups and all walks of life. On National Alcohol Screening Day, screening centers open across the country on college campuses and military bases and in some government offices and businesses. Held on the Thursday of the first full week of April every year, National Alcohol Screening Day raises awareness about alcohol dependency and helps people take the first step towards getting the health they need. Here is a look at some of the details of this important occasion.

What is the history of National Alcohol Screening Day?

National Alcohol Screening Day was launched in 1999 by the National Institutes of Health. It is sponsored by Screening for Mental Health. Since its inception, it has grown into a nationwide, annual event held in both large and small communities. The events focus on education about alcohol use, signs of alcohol dependency, and treatment options. It is designed for all age groups who are at risk of developing dangerous drinking habits and is one of the largest community outreach programs in the country dedicated to alcohol addiction.

What is the screening test?

Participants in National Alcohol Screening Day events can take an anonymous, confidential screening test that can help to identify signs of alcohol dependency or risky drinking behaviors. The test is also available online. Resources are available to assist people who are concerned about the results of their screenings connection with physicians and rehab facilities who can help them further explore their drinking behaviors and get treatment for dependency, when necessary.

How can I get involved?

Attend a screening event in your community to get involved. You can also share events and information about the day on social media. You can also talk to your family and friends about healthy drinking habits and get them to take a screening test along with you.

Westside Regional Medical Center is committed to improving the health of our Plantation, FL community, with comprehensive services that range from women’s health and stroke care to our cardiovascular program and robotic surgery. For any of your health needs, dial (954) 370-5585 to learn more about our services and get a referral to one of our physicians.

Signs That You Aren't Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep is about more than fighting off your afternoon slump. It is an integral part of your overall well-being that protects you from everything from heart disease to depression. Many trips to the ER have lack of sleep at their core, whether it is the heart attack patient whose lack of sleep put excessive stress on their heart or the car accident victim who fell asleep behind the wheel. Are you putting your health on the line by not getting enough rest? Here are some signs that could mean that you need to find more time in your schedule for sleep.

You have consistent daytime drowsiness.

Everyone has a day in which they feel more tired than normal, but if you consistently feel fatigued during the daytime, you could be suffering from sleep deprivation. Do you find that you yawn frequently or have increased your coffee intake? Do you reach for energy drinks just to make it through work? These could all be signs of daytime drowsiness that indicates sleep loss. This kind of fatigue can be particularly dangerous because it can dull your reaction times when you’re driving or operating machinery.

You are gaining weight.

When you don’t get enough sleep, weight gain usually follows. The hormones that regulate your appetite become imbalanced, leaving you with a surplus supply of the hormone that makes you feel hungry and a deficit of the hormone that alerts you to being full. In addition to having an increased appetite, you may have cravings for high-calorie comfort foods. This kind of weight gain can increase your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

You are forgetful.

Lack of sleep can interfere with your ability to remember important information. Sleep is a very important part of memory, as your brain sorts through information as you rest. Without sleep, your brain doesn’t have time to refresh itself.

Westside Regional Medical Center provides stroke care, cardiac care, and orthopedic care in our emergency room in Plantation, FL, and throughout our hospital. Call (954) 370-5585 for more information about our services or to request a referral to a physician who can help you with your sleep issues.

What Is Involved in the Treatment Process for Sports Injuries?

You can reduce the risk of sustaining sports injuries by maintaining a reasonable training schedule, using the appropriate gear for your sport, and taking care to stretch well before working out. Unfortunately, even with these precautionary measures, sports injuries can still occur from time to time. If you’re in need of a specialist in orthopedics, you can turn to Westside Regional Medical Center.

When to Seek Medical Care
Minor muscle strain may not necessarily require a trip to the hospital. However, it’s a good idea to seek medical care promptly if you experience severe or persistent pain, disfigurement, significant swelling, or an inability to place weight on the affected body part. At the hospital, the physician may request imaging scans to check whether you have any broken bones, dislocations, or similar injuries. Your treatment plan depends on your diagnosis and may include immobilization, pain medications, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

How to Care for an Injury at Home
It’s generally best to avoid returning to exercise until your symptoms have fully resolved or your physician clears you for exercise. Trying to return to your favorite sport too quickly may worsen your injury and prolong your recovery. Your doctor may ask that you keep weight off the body part and get plenty of rest. You can reduce swelling by elevating the body part above your heart, wearing a compression wrap, and applying ice packs for 20 minutes at a time during the first 48 to 72 hours.

How to Rehabilitate an Injury
After the initial period of rest, you may begin rehabilitating the injured body part. Consider working with a physical therapist. A physical therapist can show you the right stretches and exercises to strengthen the area. Physical therapy may help prevent recurrent injuries.

When to Consider Surgical Intervention
Occasionally, athletes may need surgery to repair a sports injury. Orthopedic doctors consider each injury on a case-by-case basis. Your physician may recommend surgery if you have a torn ligament, compound fracture, or other serious acute injury. Some people with chronic injuries might also consider surgery if conservative therapies are insufficient.

Choose Westside Regional Medical Center for orthopedic care if you’ve been injured in Plantation, FL. At the Orthopedic & Spine Institute, you’ll find a full range of nonsurgical and surgical treatment options available to you. For a referral to a specialist in orthopedics, contact our Consult-A-Nurse line at (954) 722-9933.

Keep Your Child Out of the ER with These Essential Childproofing Tips

Many of the most common childhood injuries and other emergencies occur at home. This is because young children are often curious, inquisitive, and resourceful, finding trouble in places that parents often consider inaccessible. Understanding the risks your home poses to a young child and how you can minimize these dangers can help you prevent a trip to your Plantation ER for emergency care.

Block Unsafe Paths

Falls are a common childhood injury that can be avoided with a few simple preventive steps. Using baby gates to block off stairs or doorways to hazardous areas in your home will keep your child from accessing these areas. Baby gates should be put into place as soon as your child starts crawling on his own, and are typically recommended for use until your child reaches two years of age.

Prevent Unintended Access

Babies and toddlers love opening cabinets and drawers; however, this habit can often lead to injuries or poisoning. Childproof safety latches and locks should be placed on all cabinets and drawers to keep your child from accessing these areas; additionally, consider keeping medications or cleaning chemicals in a locked area, such as a garage, or in a wall-mounted medicine cabinet well out of reach of a young child.

Eliminate Scalding Dangers

Scalds are a commonly overlooked home hazard, but also an injury that is easily avoided. Installing anti-scald devices on all faucets and showerheads can help to regulate water temperature and prevent water that is too hot from contacting your baby’s skin. You can also opt to turn down your water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees or lower to ensure your home’s hot water doesn’t pose a scalding danger.

Westside Regional Medical Center’s kid-friendly ER and pediatric intensive care unit is available 24/7 to provide comprehensive pediatric emergency care in Plantation, FL. If you have questions about your child’s health or the best ways to childproof your home, please call our Consult-A-Nurse hotline at (954) 722-9933 for personalized advice or a physician referral. You can also take a look through our website for more details on our women’s health and pediatric care services.

What to Expect When You Check In to the ER

A visit to the ER is usually an unexpected event. However, there are a few steps you can take to prepare for an unanticipated visit to the ER at Westside Regional Medical Center. Keep your family’s medical information organized and up-to-date. The ER medical providers will need to know about underlying health conditions, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and previous history of major illnesses, surgeries, or hospitalizations. Keeping this information close at hand can help make your visit to the emergency care department proceed smoothly.

Going Through Triage

Triage plays an important role in the emergency room. Since ER patients are not seen on a “first come, first served” basis, triage allows ER physicians to quickly identify which patients are in need of rapid medical care. For example, a patient who is brought to the ER with signs of stroke will need to be evaluated and treated sooner than a patient who likely has an ankle sprain. During triage, the nurse will evaluate your vital signs, assess your overall condition, and ask you some questions about your symptoms.

Answering Basic Questions

In addition to meeting with the triage nurse, you’ll talk to a registration clerk. The registration clerk will ask you for basic information such as your current contact information, emergency contact, and health insurance carrier. If you have a non-emergent condition, you’ll likely be registered before you see a doctor. However, the registration process does not delay your evaluation or treatment.

Receiving Medical Treatment

When you are escorted into the treatment area, a healthcare provider will ask you more detailed questions about your health complaint, such as when your symptoms first developed and how severe your discomfort is. You can expect to undergo a physical exam and perhaps some diagnostic tests such as imaging scans or laboratory tests. Then, your doctor will explain your diagnosis, recommend an appropriate treatment plan, and either discharge you or admit you to the hospital for further monitoring, testing, and treatment.

The Emergency Department at Westside Regional Medical Center is committed to seeing emergent patients as quickly as possible. Our modern ER serving Plantation, FL, features a private emergency room for children to help them feel at ease with the diagnostic and treatment process. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately; otherwise, you can call a registered nurse at our hospital at (954) 722-9933.

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