Plantation General Hospital
954.587.5010
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.

Why Robotic Surgery May be the Future of Healthcare

Robotic surgery is a relatively new medical technology that is rapidly advancing and may quickly become the new standard at hospitals everywhere. Before long robotic surgery could become the new standard, so here are a few things you should know about it.

The da Vinci Surgical System is a robotic platform. It offers a state-of-the-art and minimally invasive option for major surgery. The system is a robot, but it cannot operate on its own. This type of surgery allows the surgeon to be 100% in control using a remote console.

Procedures the da Vinci Surgical System can be used for include:

  • Cardiac surgery
  • Colorectal surgery
  • General surgery
  • Gynecologic surgery
  • Head and neck surgery
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Urologic surgery
  • And more

The da Vinci Surgical System is now being used for pediatric surgeries in patients as young as five years old. The system gives both a 3D and HD view to the surgeon. The doctor operates the machine from across the room using this detailed view. The da Vinci robot mimics the surgeon’s hand movements.

One advantage it offers compared to traditional surgery is that it can make smaller movements and doesn’t need as much room to operate. Robotic surgery also allows for shorter recovery times, less pain, fewer scars, less blood loss, and lower risk of complications. This is all done by operating through a small incision rather than a more traditional “open” surgery.

Recently a new robotic surgery option, the da Vinci X System, has been approved to enter the U.S. market. This newer model will provide a lower price point; each robotic procedure is said to create a savings of about $2,000.

In addition, the da Vinci will now allow for more robotic surgery procedures including:

  • Prostatectomy
  • Partial nephrectomy
  • Benign hysterectomy
  • Sacrocolpopexy

Robotic Surgery in Florida

Plantation General Hospital is proud to utilize the da Vinci Surgical System. While robotic surgery does provide many benefits, only your doctor can decide if it’s right for you. To learn more or be referred to a da Vinci specialist, give us a call at 954-321-4099.


Preparing for Summer Health Issues

Summer is the favorite time of year for many Florida residents. Being able to enjoy the warm weather and beautiful beaches is why many people love living in the Sunshine State. Along with all the great things summer has to offer, there are also some possible health issues you should be prepared for.

Boating Accidents

Driving a boat is a lot of fun, but many operators forget to take it just as seriously as driving a car. Drinking and boating is very common, and often leads to boating accidents. This can also lead to people falling out of boats and possibly drowning. Be sure to keep life jackets on hand and don’t operate a boat if you’ve been drinking.

Dehydration

The Florida heat can get pretty intense and dehydration is a common health concern during the summer. The most severe form of dehydration is heatstroke and you don’t want to let things go that far. Heatstroke means your internal temperature reaches dangerously high levels and your body stops sweating. Fortunately staying hydrated is fairly easy. Whenever you go out into the summer sun be sure to have a bottle of water on hand.

Sunburns

Whether you’re out on a boat for the day or spending time at the beach, sunburns are a common problem. One statistic that you will want to take seriously is that if you’ve had five sunburns in your life your risk for melanoma doubles. Some simple sunburn prevention tips include:

  • Wear sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts when possible
  • A wide-brimmed hat will provide plenty of shade

Insect Issues

Summer means spending more time outdoors which means being exposed to more insects. Millions of Americans have life-threatening allergies to insect stings. Some things you can do to help avoid being stung include:

  • Avoiding heavy perfumes and other scents
  • Wearing light colored clothing without floral patterns
  • Covering food and sugary drinks
  • Keeping an epinephrine auto-injector with you in case you are stung

Swimming Concerns

Swimming at the beach or in a pool can result in some common injuries such as swimmer’s ear. You may experience symptoms including pain, itchiness, hearing loss, and a green or yellow discharge. Visit your doctor who can prescribe antibiotic eardrops.

Many drowning accidents happen while boating. If you plan on being out on the water be sure to wear a life jacket. If you don’t already know how to swim, take some lessons. It could save your life in the long run.

Summer Health Emergencies

Accidents can happen at any time, even when you’re having fun and enjoying the summer sun. The emergency room at Plantation General is prepared to handle all types of summer injuries that may occur. Our average ER wait times are posted on our website for your convenience. If you think you may be experiencing a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or 911.


Are You Prepared for Hurricane Season?

To those on the West Coast or in the Midwest, hurricane season is something that only impacts their loved ones back East. However, for those of us on the Atlantic coast of Florida, hurricanes are a startling reality.

2017 Hurricane Season Information

Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30 which is half of the year. The majority of hurricanes (85%) occur during the three-month period from August to October. Experts are predicting that the 2017 hurricane season may be more active than usual. Predictions indicate that there will be 14 named storms, six hurricanes, and two major hurricanes. There is also about a 60% chance that El Nino will make an appearance this hurricane season.

Naming Names

You might be wondering how hurricanes get those strange names? They are actually named from a list that is recycled every six years. Hurricane names can be retired if a storm is deemed too deadly or destructive.

For all you Irene’s out there, the good news is that your name has been retired and replaced by Irma! Irene claimed nearly 50 lives and caused more than $15 billion in damages. Names starting with the letter “I” have been retired a record 10 times.

Hurricane Arlene got an early start in 2017. It happened back in April, months before the official start of hurricane season. Some of the names joining Arlene and Irma this year include Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Ophelia, Phillippe, and Whitney (but hopefully we won’t get that far).

Hurricane Preparedness in Plantation

Hurricanes are often devastating, but there are some things you can do ahead of time to be prepared.

  • Make sure your building is up to code
  • Know your proper evacuation routes
  • Keep a first aid kid including batteries and flashlights on hand
  • Always have plenty of water and non-perishable food

Plantation General Hospital is well prepared for hurricanes. We have plans in place including emergency food supplies, generators, and security. Pregnant women considered high-risk or two weeks from their due date may stay at the hospital if it becomes evident that a hurricane is on the way. Learn more about our hurricane preparedness or give us a call at 954-321-4099.


Practicing Effective Fireworks Safety

Every year in the U.S., ER doctors treat thousands of injuries caused by fireworks, and fire departments across the country respond to thousands of structural fires, also caused by fireworks. Fireworks displays may be beautiful, but they’re also incredibly dangerous. That’s why many ER physicians recommend leaving fireworks to the professionals. If you do decide to use your own fireworks, be sure to check your local laws and follow strict safety precautions. From our family to yours, the team at Plantation General Hospital hopes you have a safe and fun-filled summer!

Prevent noise-induced hearing loss
Noise-induced hearing loss is irreversible, and infants are particularly susceptible to it. Your pediatrician is likely to recommend that you keep newborns and infants at home, well away from fireworks displays. You can protect toddlers, older children and adolescents with earplugs.

Read the warnings and directions on the fireworks device
If you do decide to use fireworks at home, always read the product label thoroughly. Don’t skip over the cautionary warnings on the label. If your fireworks devices do not have a label, they are illegal fireworks and should never be used, as they pose a significant safety risk.

Keep kids away from home fireworks
Kids should never handle fireworks or be near these devices. Only responsible adults should light fireworks. After you purchase fireworks, keep them under lock and key until you’re ready to use them.

Reduce the risk of fireworks-related injuries
It’s impossible to completely eliminate the risk that fireworks present, but you can reduce the risk by only lighting fireworks while sober and by wearing protective eyewear. Keep a charged hose nearby, along with a bucket of water.

Do not point the device in the direction of any person, animal, car or building. Never place them inside or point them at a metal or glass container. As soon as you light a firework, get away from it very quickly.

Do not attempt to relight a firework that didn’t go off. Instead, wait 20 minutes before handling it, and then soak it in a bucket of water.

Similarly, thoroughly soak used fireworks before placing them in an empty, metal trash can for disposal. Keep the trash can away from buildings and do not place any combustible materials in the can with the fireworks.

If a loved one sustains a serious injury, please call 911 without delay. Non-emergent questions about our superior, patient-focused care may be directed to a friendly nurse at (954) 321-4099. Here at Plantation General Hospital, we pride ourselves on delivering top quality emergency care in Plantation, FL, including pediatric emergency care.


What parents should know about teen suicide

The new Netflix original series “13 Reasons Why,” which tackles the tough topic of teen suicide, has sparked much discussion about the issue.

The tragedy of a young person dying because of overwhelming hopelessness or frustration is devastating to family, friends and community. Parents, siblings, classmates, coaches and neighbors might be left wondering if they could have done something to prevent that young person from turning to suicide.

Learning more about what might lead a teen to suicide may help prevent further tragedies. Even though it's not always preventable, it's always a good idea to be informed and take action to help a troubled teenager.

Which teens are at risk for suicide?
It can be hard to remember how it felt to be a teen, caught in that gray area between childhood and adulthood. Sure, it's a time of tremendous possibility, but it also can be a period of stress and worry. There's pressure to fit in socially, to perform academically and to act responsibly.

Adolescence is also a time of discovering sexual identity, relationships and a need for independence that often conflicts with the rules and expectations set by others.

Young people with mental health problems — such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or insomnia — are at higher risk for suicidal thoughts. Teens going through major life changes (parents' divorce, moving, a parent leaving home due to military service or parental separation, financial changes) and those who are victims of bullying are at greater risk of suicidal thoughts.

Factors that increase the risk of suicide among teens include:

  • a psychological disorder, especially depression, bipolar disorder, and alcohol and drug use (in fact, about 95 percent of people who die by suicide have a psychological disorder at the time of death)
  • feelings of distress, irritability or agitation
  • feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness that often accompany depression
  • a previous suicide attempt
  • a family history of depression or suicide
  • emotional, physical or sexual abuse
  • lack of a support network, poor relationships with parents or peers and feelings of social isolation
  • dealing with bisexuality or homosexuality in an unsupportive family or community or hostile school environment

Warning signs
Suicide among teens often happens after a stressful life event, such as problems at school, a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend, the death of a loved one, a divorce or a major family conflict.

Teens who are thinking about suicide might:

  • talk about suicide or death in general
  • give hints that they might not be around anymore
  • talk about feeling hopeless or feeling guilty
  • pull away from friends or family
  • write songs, poems or letters about death, separation and loss
  • start giving away treasured possessions to siblings or friends
  • lose the desire to take part in favorite things or activities
  • have trouble concentrating or thinking clearly
  • experience changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • engage in risk-taking behaviors
  • lose interest in school or sports

What can parents do?
Many teens who commit or attempt suicide have given some type of warning to loved ones ahead of time. So it's important for parents to know the warning signs so teens who might be suicidal can get the help they need.

Some adults feel that kids who say they are going to hurt or kill themselves are "just doing it for attention." It's important to realize that if teens are ignored when seeking attention, it may increase the chance of them harming themselves (or worse).

Getting attention in the form of ER visits, doctor's appointments and residential treatment generally is not something teens want — unless they're seriously depressed and thinking about suicide or at least wishing they were dead. It's important to see warning signs as serious, not as "attention-seeking" to be ignored.

Watch and listen
Keep a close eye on a teen who is depressed and withdrawn. Understanding depression in teens is very important since it can look different from commonly held beliefs about depression. For example, it may take the form of problems with friends, grades, sleep or being cranky and irritable rather than chronic sadness or crying.

It's important to try to keep the lines of communication open and express your concern, support and love. If your teen confides in you, show that you take those concerns seriously. A fight with a friend might not seem like a big deal to you in the larger scheme of things, but for a teen it can feel immense and consuming. It's important not to minimize or discount what your teen is going through, as this can increase his or her sense of hopelessness.

If your teen doesn't feel comfortable talking with you, suggest a more neutral person, such as another relative, a clergy member, a coach, a school counselor or your child's doctor.

Ask questions
Some parents are reluctant to ask teens if they have been thinking about suicide or hurting themselves. Some fear that by asking, they will plant the idea of suicide in their teen's head.

It's always a good idea to ask, even though doing so can be difficult. Sometimes it helps to explain why you're asking. For instance, you might say: "I've noticed that you've been talking a lot about wanting to be dead. Have you been having thoughts about trying to kill yourself?"

Get help
If you learn that your child is thinking about suicide, get help immediately. Your doctor can refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist, or your local hospital's department of psychiatry can provide a list of doctors in your area. Your local mental health association or county medical society can also provide references. In an emergency, you can call (800) SUICIDE.

If you've scheduled an appointment with a mental health professional, make sure to keep the appointment, even if your teen says he or she is feeling better or doesn't want to go. Suicidal thoughts do tend to come and go; however, it is important that your teen get help developing the skills needed to decrease the likelihood that suicidal thoughts and behaviors will emerge again if a crisis arises.

If your teen refuses to go to the appointment, discuss this with the mental health professional — and consider attending the session and working with the clinician to make sure your teen has access to the help needed. The clinician also might be able to help you devise strategies so that your teen will want to get help.

Remember that ongoing conflicts between a parent and child can fuel the fire for a teen who is feeling isolated, misunderstood, devalued or suicidal. Get help to air family problems and resolve them in a constructive way. Also let the mental health professional know if there is a history of depression, substance abuse, family violence, or other stresses at home, such as an ongoing environment of criticism.

If your teen is ever in a crisis situation, bring them to the nearest emergency room or call (800) SUICIDE for help.


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