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    Could You Be at Risk for Kidney Disease?

    Last updated 2 days 2 hours ago

    Your kidneys are organs that are located close to the middle of your back. These fist-sized organs contain millions of nephrons, which are structures that filter blood. The nephrons remove excess water and waste products from the blood for removal from the body as urine. In a person with kidney disease, the function of the nephrons becomes compromised. Eventually, chronic kidney disease can progress to end-stage kidney failure, which is a fatal condition if not treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant. You can talk to a physician at your local hospital about your risk factors of kidney disease. The team at your hospital can also help you learn how to prevent this disease.

    Family History

    Having a family history of chronic kidney disease can increase your risk of developing it. Additionally, it is possible to inherit polycystic kidney disease. This involves the formation of cysts inside these organs, which can lead to chronic kidney disease.


    Most individuals living with chronic kidney disease develop the condition because of diabetes. Poorly managed blood glucose levels can inflict damage throughout the body, including damage to the kidneys. Physicians recommend that patients with diabetes undergo regular screening tests for kidney disease. Additionally, by working with a diabetes educator at a local hospital, patients with diabetes can learn how to better manage their condition and reduce their risk of kidney disease.


    High blood pressure is another medical condition that can contribute to chronic kidney disease. In fact, after diabetes, hypertension is the second most prevalent cause of this disease. Like diabetes, uncontrolled blood pressure levels can gradually inflict damage on the kidneys. If you have high blood pressure, consider talking to your doctor about medications and lifestyle changes that can improve your health.

    If you’re concerned about your risk of kidney disease, a physician at West Hills Hospital will be happy to examine you and answer all of your questions. Our hospital in West Hills provides a full spectrum of healthcare services, including maternity services, emergency care, and cancer care. To learn more, call our community hospital at (818) 676-4000 and speak with a registered nurse.

    The Dos and Don'ts of Burn Treatment

    Last updated 12 days ago

    Individuals of all ages may suffer from burn injuries which is why it is important for individuals of all ages to learn about ways of preventing burn injuries. It’s also a good idea to learn what you should and shouldn’t do if you do suffer a burn and to know where the local burn center is.

    Do Use First Aid

    You can usually treat first-degree burns at home without having to go to a burn center. These minor burns appear red and perhaps a little swollen. First, soak the area in cool water for five minutes. Then, apply antibiotic ointment and a dry gauze bandage. A second-degree burn is more painful and swollen than a first-degree burn, and it typically produces blisters. Second-degree burns should be soaked in cool water for 15 minutes.

    Don’t Delay Seeing a Doctor

    If you suffer from a third-degree burn, you’ll need to seek emergency care right away. Third-degree burns look charred or white, and they do not typically cause much pain because of damage to the nerves. You should also consider seeing a doctor for a first-degree or second-degree burn if the area is larger than a couple of inches in diameter or if it is located on your face, genitals, hands, feet, or a major joint.

    Do Follow Your Doctor’s Discharge Instructions

    Following your doctor’s instructions will facilitate the healing process. For instance, you may be instructed to change the dressing daily, including gently washing the area and applying more antibiotic ointment.

    Don’t Cause Further Damage

    It’s essential to avoid putting ice or ice water directly on a burned area, regardless of how severe the burn is. You should also avoid scratching the area, which may break blisters and inflict further damage. Never put butter or oil on burn injuries. Additionally, for third-degree burns, avoid soaking the area in cool water, applying any ointment, or removing any clothing that touches the area.

    The specialists at the Grossman Burn Center of West Hills Hospital are leaders in their field. The Grossman Burn Center provides comprehensive burn treatment, including acute care, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and psychological counseling. If you live in the West Hills area, we encourage you to learn more about the healthcare services available at our community hospital by calling our Consult-A-Nurse line at (818) 676-4000.

    Walking to Get Fit

    Last updated 13 days ago

    Physical activity is an excellent way to safeguard your health and lower your risk of many chronic diseases. However, many people are reluctant to join a gym or they may be nervous about starting an exercise program. Walking is an excellent introduction to physical fitness. By walking most days of the week for at least 30 minutes per day, you’ll likely find that you have more energy and that it’s easier to maintain a healthy weight.

    Hear more helpful tips on starting a walking program by watching this video, narrated by a physician with the National Institutes of Health. This doctor explains some other benefits of walking and offers practical advice for fitting exercise into a busy schedule.

    If you would like more information about the benefits of exercise, you can contact the Consult-A-Nurse referral line for West Hills Hospital at (818) 676-4000. For 50 years, West Hills residents have turned to our community hospital for exceptional emergency care, maternity services, and much more.

    Insight on Treatment for Severe Asthma

    Last updated 19 days ago

    About five percent of people who have asthma, a chronic inflammatory disease, suffer from severe asthma. This refers to symptoms that persist despite treatment. Individuals with severe asthma typically do not respond well to standard asthma treatments, and the main treatment for severe asthma, prednisone, can give rise to significant side effects. This is why researchers are busy trying to find new treatment options to manage severe asthma.

    You can learn more about cutting-edge asthma research by watching this interview with a physician. He discusses some of the risk factors that are associated with severe asthma and explains the future goals of research in this area. He also discusses an ongoing clinical trial involving a new treatment option.

    Families throughout the West Hills area can turn to West Hills Hospital for emergency care of asthma attacks. You can call our community hospital at (818) 676-4000 or visit our website to learn more about us.

    What Are the Benefits of Robotically Assisted Surgery?

    Last updated 21 days ago

    Minimally invasive surgery has long been touted as a better alternative to traditional open surgery for many patients. In recent years, another advance in this field has made minimally invasive surgery even more appealing to both doctors and patients. Community hospitals are beginning to offer robot-assisted surgery, which has unique benefits. A skilled surgeon will remain in full control of the technology at all times; the surgery is never directed by a robot.

    Superior Imaging

    Although minimally invasive surgery is ideal for patients, it does have a drawback: It limits the field of view for the surgeon. Since a series of small incisions are used, surgeons must rely on a tiny camera that is inserted into an incision. The robot-assisted surgery system relies on a 3D high-definition vision system. The surgeon can magnify any image up to 10 times, allowing a very close view of the surgical site.

    Precise Movement

    Surgeons control the movements of the robotic arm with their own hand movements. However, the robot-assisted system translates these hand movements into even more precise movements that minimize any hand tremors from the surgeon. Additionally, this surgical system features mechanical “wrists” that are capable of bending and rotating to a degree that greatly exceeds human capabilities.

    Safer Procedure

    To date, surgeons have used robot-assisted technology for more than one million procedures worldwide. Since it became available, the technology has been credited with making surgeries safer for patients. There may be a reduced risk of surgical complications, for example. Additionally, patients may require less narcotic pain medicine after the procedure.

    Accelerated Recovery

    Another benefit of robot-assisted surgery is that patients can generally enjoy a faster recovery. They’re more likely to shorten their hospitalizations and to recover faster at home.

    West Hills Hospital is pleased to offer minimally invasive surgery to our patients in the West Hills area. Our community hospital also provides superior cancer care, emergency care, maternity services, and spine procedures. If you have a question about your upcoming surgery at our hospital, call (818) 676-4000 to speak with a registered nurse.

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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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