Plantation General Hospital
Plantation General Hospital is a full-service facility that has been providing a range of healthcare services to residents of Plantation and Central Broward County for 40 years.

Creating a Healthy Sleep Schedule as a New Parent

Labor and childbirth are exhausting, but unfortunately, new parents can’t expect to rest much once they leave the hospital. Newborns have irregular sleep patterns that do not respect the normal circadian rhythm of day and night, so it can take a while before they sleep soundly through the night. At The Children’s Center at Plantation General Hospital, new parents can speak with pediatric care specialists to get some tips on promoting healthy sleep.

Recognizing Sleep Requirements

Newborns are asleep more often than they are awake. The average newborn sleeps about 16 to 17 hours in a 24-hour period, but won’t usually sleep longer than two to four hours at a time before awakening. Babies have shorter sleep cycles and they need to eat frequently to compensate for their small stomachs. This will gradually begin changing at about six to eight weeks of age. You’ll notice that your baby sleeps longer at night and for shorter periods during daytime hours. At about four to six months old, most babies can sleep through the night, although they may still awaken occasionally.

Prioritizing Sleep

For parents who are accustomed to sleeping seven to eight hours each night, waking up every couple of hours to feed a newborn can be a jarring experience. Since sleep deprivation increases the risk of health problems and accidents, it’s important to prioritize sleep. Many parents take turns waking up during the night or alternate nights of feeding duty. Mothers who are breastfeeding can store breast milk in the refrigerator so their partners can take turns feeding the baby at night. It’s also smart to take naps during the day while the baby is snoozing.

Establishing Bedtime Routines

Although babies develop at their own pace, you can encourage your baby to form healthy sleep habits that will let the whole family get some much-needed rest. Play with your baby frequently during the day and expose him or her to natural sunlight. Keep the nursery dark and quiet at night to help your baby learn that night is the right time for sleeping. Introduce your baby to a soothing nighttime ritual, such as reading a storybook and singing a lullaby. Put your baby in the crib when he or she is sleepy, but not yet asleep. This helps your baby learn to fall asleep by him-or herself.

Expecting and new parents can find comprehensive pediatric care resources at The Children’s Center in Plantation, FL. Here at Plantation General Hospital, we are committed to helping families live life well. Call a registered nurse at (954) 321-4099 to request a referral to a pediatric care specialist.

Recognize the Early Signs of Skin Cancer

Did you know that about one in five Americans will get skin cancer? In fact, it’s the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in the United States. Treating this life-threatening disease as early as possible can drastically improve outcomes, yet many people neglect to check their skin regularly for abnormal changes. Here at Plantation General Hospital, our family physicians and general surgeons encourage our neighbors to take a few minutes each month to perform a self-exam.

Knowing What to Look For

Before you check your skin, review the ABCDEs of skin cancer. This mnemonic device can help you remember the signs of skin cancer.

  • A: Asymmetrical appearance of a mole or area of hyperpigmentation.
  • B: Border of the mole looks poorly defined, irregular, or scalloped.
  • C: Color varies throughout the mole or spot. It may have areas of brown, black, tan, white, blue, or red.
  • D: Diameter. Melanomas can be quite small, but are usually larger than the diameter of a pencil eraser.
  • E: Evolving in size, shape, or color over time.

The ABCDEs of skin cancer serve as a general guide to help you know what to look for on your skin. However, you can ask your doctor about anything that seems unusual, even if it doesn’t meet these criteria. Some abnormal areas may itch or bleed.

Performing a Self-Exam

Dermatologists recommend that patients perform head-to-toe self-exams every month. You’ll need a large, mounted mirror and a hand mirror.

  • Head and neck: Examine your face, including the lips and nose. Part your hair to check your scalp, and use a hand mirror to examine the backs of your ears and neck.
  • Upper body: Stand in front of a large mirror and inspect your front. Women should raise the breasts to check the undersides. Raise your arms and check your sides, and then use a hand mirror to look at your back. Remember to examine your arms, underarms, hands, and fingers.
  • Lower body: Inspect your lower torso, genital region, legs, feet, and toes. Use a hand mirror to check your back side.

Scheduling a Skin Cancer Screening

It’s difficult to examine all areas of your own body thoroughly. Consider asking your doctor if you should schedule a skin cancer screening in addition to your monthly self-exams. Your physician may recommend a screening once per year.

Plantation General Hospital is a leading provider of preventive, diagnostic, and interventional health services, including general surgery for Plantation, FL-area residents. You can read more about sun safety on our blog. Call a registered nurse at (954) 321-4099 to request a referral to a family physician or specialist.

What Are the Risks of Premature Birth?

A premature birth is defined as a birth before the 37 th week of pregnancy. Advances in medical technology and techniques means that even when a baby is born prematurely, he or she may still survive. However, the infant will require specialized care in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). At Plantation General Hospital, our maternity care department includes a Level III NICU.

Respiratory Distress

Preterm birth can cause both short-term and long-term medical complications. During the first few weeks, premature infants may suffer from breathing problems because the respiratory system is still immature. The baby’s lungs may not have surfactant, which is crucial for proper lung expansion. On a long-term basis, preterm infants may develop chronic respiratory conditions such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia. This condition can result in lung damage, scar tissue formation, and fluid accumulation in the lungs.

Cardiovascular Problems

Preterm infants are at risk of low blood pressure or hypotension. Infants with hypotension may be treated with medications, intravenous fluids, and perhaps blood transfusions. Another fairly common cardiac problem among these infants is patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), which occurs when there is an abnormal opening between the two main blood vessels that lead to the heart. When the opening fails to close, the baby may suffer from heart failure or breathing problems.

Cognitive Impairment

Babies who are born too soon can have a higher risk of being diagnosed with learning disabilities later in life. They may display significant delays across multiple measurements of development. It’s also possible for preterm infants to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which can be associated with learning disabilities, among other impairments.

Vision Loss

Visual impairment is another possibility when a preterm infant is diagnosed with retinopathy of prematurity. This disease is characterized by the swelling of the blood vessels at the retina. It’s possible for these abnormal blood vessels to scar the retina and cause retinal detachment.

Plantation General Hospital invites expectant parents to tour The Maternity Center in Plantation, FL. Our maternity services feature a blend of high-tech medical equipment and compassionate, highly trained staff members who are proud to maintain premature baby survival rates that exceed the national average. To request a referral to a maternity care specialist, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (954) 321-4099.

What to Do When Your Child Has Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is usually caused by food contaminated by bacteria. The onset of the symptoms is fairly rapid, including signs of gastrointestinal distress such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Some people may also experience fever, headache, and generalized weakness. If your child becomes suddenly ill after consuming food, he or she might only require home care to feel better again. If severe symptoms do develop, the ER at Plantation General Hospital is always open.

Limit Food Intake

Pediatricians typically advise parents to limit their children’s food intake for a few hours to avoid worsening the diarrhea and vomiting. Infants can generally do fine without feeding for three to four hours, while older children may tolerate six to eight hours of limited intake. As the child begins to feel better, he or she can eat bland, low-fat meals with small portions.

Prevent Dehydration

Diarrhea and vomiting can cause children to become dehydrated. Infants and young children are at a particularly high risk. Encourage your child to take small, frequent sips of non-caffeinated, non-dairy liquid. Water and electrolyte rehydrating solutions are best.

Avoid OTC Medicines

Over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medicines can actually make the symptoms of food poisoning persist longer than they normally would. It’s advisable to consult a pediatrician before administering any medications to a child with food poisoning.

Call the Pediatrician

If your child is still experiencing diarrhea and vomiting after limiting food intake for the recommended time, it’s advisable to call the pediatrician. A doctor should also be notified right away if the child is experiencing severe or unusual symptoms.

Go to the ER

In severe cases, children with food poisoning require emergency care. Take your child to the ER if he or she shows signs of dehydration, cannot keep liquids down, has bloody diarrhea, or has diarrhea that alternates with constipation. Possible mushroom poisoning also warrants emergency care, as does the sudden onset of dizziness, confusion, respiratory distress, weakness, a tingling feeling, blurry vision, or hallucinations.

When your little one isn’t feeling well, the pediatric emergency care team at Plantation General Hospital can help. Our ER staff can quickly assess your child’s health status and provide appropriate medical interventions and supportive care. Our ER in Plantation, FL is available 24/7 and our Consult-A-Nurse line is available at (954) 321-4099.

How Robotic Surgery Has Changed Women's Healthcare

Surgery isn’t typically the first course of treatment for a patient. Generally, medical providers prefer that patients try conservative treatments initially, followed by surgical treatment if need be. When surgery is required, it’s understandable that patients would want to receive the most advanced procedures available. At Plantation General Hospital, robotic surgery is truly changing women’s healthcare by connecting all types of gynecologic patients to sophisticated procedures.


Robot-assisted surgery is one method of performing minimally invasive surgery. With this approach, the surgeon makes a series of very small incisions instead of one large incision. Conventional minimally invasive surgery, performed without the aid of robotic medical equipment, does have some limitations. Because of the size of the incisions, only tiny instruments can be inserted. The small camera that is used may not provide a full view of the surgical field. Maneuvering the instruments can also prove difficult. With robotic surgery, the surgeon sits at the console near the patient. The surgeon uses controls every movement of the tiny, wristed instruments with guidance from the high-definition, 3D images on the display screen.


The unmatched precision of the surgeon-controlled, robot-assisted instrumentation offers numerous benefits for patients. Although every surgery carries inherent risks and robotic surgery is no different, it is generally expected that these surgeries reduce the risk of complications for women. Women may also experience a faster recovery time with a shorter hospital stay, allowing them to get back to their busy schedules more quickly.


Robot-assisted surgical platforms are versatile; the technology can be used for many types of procedures. Women may choose robotic surgery for minimally invasive hysterectomies or to treat conditions like uterine fibroids, pelvic floor disorders, endometriosis, pelvic pain, ovarian cysts, and even infertility. Robot-assisted surgery may be appropriate for some women who have been diagnosed with cervical, uterine, or ovarian cancer. The technology can also be applied to urologic conditions in women, including pelvic organ prolapse. Not every woman with gynecologic conditions is a good candidate for minimally invasive surgery; this is a decision that is made on an individual basis.

Plantation General Hospital is pleased to offer the latest medical innovations to our patients, including robotic surgery. Our robotic surgery providers in Plantation, FL, routinely perform sophisticated gynecological, oncologic, and urological gynecology procedures. You can call a registered nurse at (954) 321-4099 to request information about our robotic surgery or general surgery programs.

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