May 2019

CHAPALA MED’S Monthly Health Newsletter 
May 2019 Health Newsletter 
Greetings to our patients and readers of Chapala Med’s Health Newsletter.

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
  • Depression

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.  The 2019 ASA(American Stroke Assoc.) recommendations for development of a STROKE CARE SYSTEM places an emphasis on Primordial/Primary Care and prevention. 
These recommendations focus on policies that reduce the barriers to emergency stroke care, standardize the delivery of care for stroke, and improve access to secondary prevention and rehabilitation and recovery post-stroke care resources. The policy update was published in 
The medical team at CHAPALA MED emphasizes prevention with early detection and control of risk factors such as hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias and chronic inflammatory diseases.  
By the end of this year, the
Ribera Medical Center Hospital  is set to be open and 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. 
May is also MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS month. Nearly 450 million people worldwide are currently living with a mental illness, yet nearly two thirds of people with a known mental illness never seek treatment.  Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families. Mental illness can be exacerbated by chronic diseases and chronic pain. Illness such as FIBROMYALGIA are have a high degree of correlation with mental illness the underlying mental disorder(s) often go untreated. Patients often get hostile or reclusive from family, friends and even their healthcare providers and in some circumstances vilify them which may further delay or impede proper diagnosis and treatment. Please seek help if you feel you may be in need or know of someone in need of help with mental health. Chapala Med has expert Mental Healthcare providers which can help diagnosis and correctly treat those with issues such as PTSD, depression, ADHD and schizophrenia


When I speak to patients during their initial visit with me or to groups of perspective EXPATS I like to give them a 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  4-fold increase in patients who refer asthma-like symptoms.  I do believe that the yearly blooming of JACARANDAS and the recent major fires have really affected the health of the local inhabitants this season. I am including 2 articles with links to identification and prevention of such infections. 



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’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.


 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. 


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:

  • 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!!  


– Nikki D

Dr. Santiago Hernandez will be out of the office as of May 30th and will return June 14th.

I will be taking my first “vacation” since starting his practice since I came to practice in Lake Chapala. As president of the Rotary Club of Ajijic until the end of June 2019, I will be attending the Rotary International Conference in Hamburg, Germany.  We’ll be trying to put an END TO POLIO, which unfortunately today there were 3 more cases documented in Afghanistan. 
I am proud of the work ethic that my parents have instilled in me and I am more than blessed being able to wake up and get to do what I’ve always wanted to do since I was 7 years old. I thank all of my patients and friends who have applauded my work ethic in the past. It is that work ethic which has helped me through a tough past couple of years in which I lost both of my parents.  


There have been a couple of instances where some patients have given me feedback (perhaps in not the most pleasant manner) that has made me reflect and acknowledge that sometimes the best way to take care of them, is to take care of myself.  I must be mindful that although being a physician is a VOCATION, we are still human and need time to regroup mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well as physically. Thank you for the feedback, both positive and especially the negative.  My team and I can only improve if you give us constrictive feedback.


Dr. Henry, Dr. Cherry and Dr. America, along with our support team will tend to your healthcare and service needs while I am away. I will be kept in the loop via email until I return.   


See you in a couple of weeks. 


Santiago R. Hernandez M.D. 


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” 


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