Greetings to our patients and readers of Chapala Med’s Health Newsletter.
MAY IS STROKE AWARENESS MONTH. May is designated as National Stroke Awareness Month in order to raise awareness to stroke and how to recognize and respond to stroke warning signs by acting F.A.S.T. Strokes often lead to serious, life-changing complications that include:
Paralysis or weakness on one side of the body
Problems with thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment and memory
Problems understanding and forming speech
Difficulty controlling or expressing emotions
Numbness or strange sensations
Pain in the hands and feet
Did you know?
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.
Stroke is the leading cause of adult long-term disability.
Up to 80% of strokes are preventable.
Making simple lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce your stroke risk.
Stroke is an emergency! It’s important to learn stroke warning signs and how to respond to them. Time is an important factor in determining treatment options for stroke.
Strokes can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. Learn how to safeguard yourself against stroke. I will be including links on stroke prevention and actions you should take if you believe a friend or loved one is having a stroke.
Next year, the Ribera Medical Center Hospital which is set to be open by this time next year, will be equipped to handle cases of patients whom are having a stroke. If you suspect somebody is having a stroke, quick action is essential. TIME IS TISSUE. Educate yourself and others. This information can and does save lives when put to use.
When I speak to patients during their initial visit with me or to groups of perspective EXPATS I like to give them an heads up in regards to the potential health risks. During the months of May, June and July there is an increased risk of Gastrointestinal infections but this past March and April I have also noted an increased number of atypical respiratory infections and pneumonias. I am including 2 articles with links to identification and prevention of such infections.
As always I’d like to relay information in this newsletter and include articles that I believe will be of great interest and value to the EXPAT population of the Lake Chapala area as well as the Guadalajara metropolitan area. May EXPATS may find themselves in a situation that may require hospitalization. Many don’t know to expect or do in the event of a hospitalization. I have included an article I wrote last year. I am also including some feedback from a nurse whom was hospitalized recently in a hospital in Guadalajara. In the past 2-3 months I’ve had 5 retired nurses from the U.S. and Canada as well as a physician hospitalized. I always appreciate their feedback and try to improve their experiences by speaking with the directors of the hospital and the medical as well as the head nurses. Please feel free to share this newsletter with anybody whom you believe may benefit from the information or articles included within it.
in closing, I’m including a link to an informational video from UCLA HEALTH about PLATELET RICH PLASMA(PRP) treatments which I am now doing at CHAPALA MED. I strongly urge you to have such MEDICAL AESTHETIC PROCEDURES done by a well trained and certified physician in the setting of a medical office. These include the application of BOTOX and DERMAL FiLLERS such as JUVEDERM and RESTYLANE . I have had more than a dozen patients come to my office now seeking help in correcting undesired effects and also seeking treatment for some severe skin infections as well as phlebitis cause by ESTHETICIANS (makeup “Artist”) doing these procedures in SPAS or HAIR SALONS . Yes, it may be cheaper but in the long run it can cost you your health.
In closing I’d like to remind our readers of our (Chapala Med & Ribera Medical Center’s) MISSION STATEMENT so that you are all aware of what we are striving to accomplish everyday and hold us to this mission. Thank you for continued support.
Santiago R. Hernandez M.D.
Stroke: It Happens In An Instant
A stroke is an emergency – it can happen to anyone, at any time, and at any age. What happens when someone experiences a stroke and what occurs on the way to and at the hospital, is the focus of this year’s
National Stroke Awareness Month
video. Save a life by having a better understanding of stroke and by knowing what signs and symptoms to look for.
Sooner or later a friend, a loved one or maybe even you may have to be hospitalized in a private hospital in Guadalajara. Are you prepared ? Here are some helpful tips I recommend as part of some of my lectures and as part of the consultations with my patients.
* Discuss your emergency and hospitalization plan with your doctor
* Inform your primary care doctor, emergency contact and friends of your choice of hospital(s) and IF YOU HAVE INSURANCE or are planning of SELF-PAY.
* Inform yourself what hospitals your insurance policy covers & things such as
Do you have a deductible to pay?
Do you have to pay a DEPOSIT if you are not admitted in an emergency basis?
Does your hospital work directly with your insurance (Mexican or international)?
Will the doctors’ honoraries be fully covered by the insurance and will you be reimbursed if you pay them directly?
What you should bring with you to the hospital (if you can)
Hospitalization order(s) from your doctor
Cellular phone and emergency contact numbers
Family member, friend or companion to help sign you in and help you with personal tasks such as bathing
Companion to stay with you overnight
YOUR MEDICATIONS or LIST OF MEDICATIONS
Recent medical records and or tests and imaging
Laptop computer or tablet
Change of clothing
Before being discharged
If you are paying out of pocket ask for a daily detail of your billing thus far. It will help avoid unpleasant surprises and ask your doctor to review it to make sure you’re not being charged for anything you shouldn’t be charged for.
If you’re being covered by insurance make sure your hospital or the third party payee has the letter of GUARANTEE OF PAYMENT issued so you can be discharged without any long waits or hassles.
Ask your doctor(s) for any discharge orders and the follow up plan as well as prescriptions for any medications you may be needing.
Remember, a hospital cannot keep you against your will if you cannot pay your bill but you may be asked to sign a promissory note or find another manner to guarantee payment for their services.
Let your doctor know AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you think there may be a problem with you paying your bill. I often have found creative solutions that will alleviate all stress and anxiety that is already related to being hospitalized.
Don’t forget to make arrangements for getting a safe ride home.
In next month’s newsletter, I’ll publish tips for being hospitalized in the PUBLIC MEXICAN Hospitals such as IMSS & SEGURO POPULAR hospitals.
A U.S. nurse hospitalized in Guadalajara Mexico, shares her experience
Here are some of the things that I noticed were different from being hospitalized in the US:
EMERGENCY ROOM VISIT:
We are used to registering at ER and sitting and waiting to be triaged depending on our presenting symptoms. I think ex-pats would love to hear that their physician will meet them and care for them without a wait.
Having the ability to consult with specialists immediately is so efficient. Sending images to the radiologist right away is amazing. Speeds up diagnosis process.
Meals are 9-2-7 which is later than Americans are used to eating. Also, no menus are given to fill out to choose what you would like to eat.
Welcome Pack is excellent. Provides items needed, especially if someone is not expecting to be hospitalized and has nothing with them. Would have been nice to have been told about it. Didn’t notice it sitting on a table.
Lots of meds given IV instead of orally.
Nurses don’t come into the room unless changing or hanging IV’s. Wonderful for getting a night’s sleep. Use call bell if something is needed.
Nurses do not normally help with bathing or going to the bathroom. Bring your support people and one who speaks Spanish.
Things that I felt could be improved:
Nurses do no assessment (take scheduled vitals and labs). Conditions change and with nurses hardly ever coming in the room and not doing any assessment, feels like this is risky. IV sites were seldom checked. This was scary to me. If the patient isn’t savvy about IV sites or is too sick or out of it, the site could infiltrate in the many hours that no one comes in the room. Or a phlebitis could develop.
Other than the above, I feel I received excellent care and am grateful!!
MAY is also National Physical Fitness & Sports Month
How do you like to get in your daily exercise? Do you wear a Fit Bit while running your daily errands, use your Apple Watch to track activity, go to a Zumba class, go to Tango dance classes, are you in the Kayak Club or Hiking club? Whichever your physical exercise of choice, we salute you! That’s right, according to
Working in that daily physical activity will improve or at least maintain your current state of health. Does this mean that daily exercise will prevent getting older? Perhaps!
According to the ab ove article, daily physical exercise could help blood flow to the brain after having a heart attack. It appears exercise improves the lining of the blood vessels and all of the surrounding circulation. So get out there and walk, play tennis, walk your adorable dog and enjoy these beautiful weather we have here Lakeside. Your blood pressure will come down, you may lose a few pounds, your blood glucose and lipids will improve and you’ll be all smiles at your next doctor’s visit.
So, get out there, put on your walking shoes and let’s get going!
CHAPALA MED is now certified to offer
STEM CELL THERAPY & Anti-Aging Medicine
UCLA head and neck surgeon Vishad Nabili, MD, shares the latest about PRP therapy for facial plastic surgery and reviews evidence showing its benefits for facial rejuvenation and stimulating hair growth.
Why You Can’t Shake That Cold:
Tips on Walking PneumoniaIt’s easy to catch and easy to pass along. Please see your doctor if you’ve had symptoms of a respiratory infection that hasn’t gotten better in weeks. It may cause you sever health complications.
The Healthcare providers & Staff at Chapala Med pledge
“We pledge to preserve our humility, integrity, and all the values which brought us to the practice of medicine. We will engage in ho . nest self-reflection, striving for excellence but acknowledging our limitations, and caring for ourselves as we care for others. We will seek to heal the whole person, rather than merely treat disease, committing to a partnership with our patients that empowers them and demonstrates empathy and respect. We will cure sometimes, treat often, and comfort always”