Mercy Hospital
Mercy Hospital is a 488-bed acute care U.S. hospital located in Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida. It is Miami-Dade County’s only Catholic hospital and is a recipient of the MAGNET award.

Knowing What to Do If Your Child Has the Flu

Infants and children have a high risk of contracting influenza because their immune systems aren’t as well developed as that of a typical adult. Young children are also more likely to require emergency care because of flu-related complications. If your child has flu-like symptoms, the pediatricians and emergency care team at Mercy Hospital are standing by to help.

Getting Emergency Care

Certain signs and symptoms indicate that your child should be seen at an ER. He or she needs emergency care if he or she has a bluish color, is having trouble breathing, is breathing very rapidly, or cannot wake up or interact. Irritability, failure to consume enough fluids, and persistent or severe vomiting are other indicators of a serious health problem. You might also notice that your child’s flu-like symptoms resolve, but then recur and become worse. In addition to these symptoms, infants may be unable to eat, produce no tears while crying, and have an abnormally low number of wet diapers.

Contacting the Doctor

Even if your child does not display any indicators of having a medical emergency, it’s a good idea to contact the doctor. Your child may need to be examined if he or she is younger than five years of age or if there are any chronic health conditions. In these cases, the emergency care physician might prescribe antiviral medications.

Comforting Your Child

Consult the doctor before giving your child any over-the-counter drugs or remedies. You can comfort your child by encouraging him or her to sip fluids frequently and to rest. Use a suction bulb to clear away mucus in children younger than two. A cool-mist humidifier may also help with breathing. You can also help your child feel better by distracting him or her from the symptoms. Read aloud a favorite story or turn on some cartoons.

For complete children’s services in Miami, you can place your trust in the compassionate providers of Mercy Hospital. Our pediatrics team is dedicated to helping your little one feel well again. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 for prompt transportation to a pediatric ER. Otherwise, you can reach a registered nurse by calling (305) 854-4400.

Getting the Right Amount of Exercise to Reduce Your Risk of Stroke

Although it’s a leading cause of death and disability among Americans, stroke is often preventable. Making healthy lifestyle choices every day and working with your doctor to control your medical conditions can help reduce your risk of stroke. If you’ve already received emergency care at Mercy Hospital because of stroke, our rehabilitation specialists can help you recover and reduce your risk of recurrent stroke.

Types of Exercise

Enjoying a combination of different types of exercises can help improve your overall wellness and keep you out of the stroke center. A physical therapist can develop a personalized exercise program that includes aerobic exercises and resistance training. Try to participate in both types of exercise every week and to do a variety of exercises that work your whole body. If you’re unable to use all of your muscles because of a post-stroke disability, your physical therapist can help you learn how to overcome this obstacle. For example, you could do one-sided exercises while sitting safely in a chair.

Frequency of Exercise

Healthcare providers generally recommend getting at least 30 to 45 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days of the week and doing resistance training on at least two non-consecutive days per week. However, it’s quite likely that you won’t reach these quotas right away. Start slowly, particularly if you’re recovering from a medical problem. You can break up your workout into small segments and do them throughout the day.

Technology to Promote Physical Activity

Some physical therapists are turning to new technology to support patients’ exercise efforts. Visual reality devices, including Nintendo Wii systems, can help individuals with disabilities get moving again. Not only are these games fun to play, healthcare providers find that patients who use this technology tend to exercise longer.

Mercy Hospital has been certified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, which reflects our commitment to providing exceptional care for those who have suffered stroke in Miami. In addition to stroke care, our community hospital provides maternity services and pediatrics. If you think you might be having a stroke, please call 911 immediately. Otherwise, contact our hospital at (305) 854-4400.

Healthy Eating Guidelines That Any Woman Can Follow

For many women, taking care of their own health takes a backseat to all of their other responsibilities. However, neglecting your own care means you can never be at your best. The good news is that women’s care doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply making smart food choices is a major step in the right direction in building a healthier lifestyle. Here are some guidelines that will help you put together healthy meals to support your overall well-being.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables form the foundation of a healthy diet. They are high in nutrients and low in calories, which means you can dine on sizeable portions without sabotaging your efforts to maintain a healthy weight. When you’re serving up a meal, reserve half of your plate for fruits and vegetables, and consider working them in as snacks throughout the day as well.

Limit Sodium and Added Sugars

Sodium and sugars in your food can increase your chances of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Most people should limit themselves to 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day, but your own needs may be more or less, so ask your doctor for advice. You can limit sodium by reducing your intake of processed foods and seasoning with herbs instead of salt. Eating more potassium-rich foods, like bananas and sweet potatoes, can also mitigate the effects of sodium. To cut your intake of added sugars, eliminate sugary beverages and limit baked goods and candies to occasional treats.

Choose More Seafood

Replace red meat in your diet with seafood. The best choices are salmon, trout, mackerel, and other oily fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that protect your heart and vascular health. Lean fish, including cod and haddock, have less omega-3 acids, but they are healthy, lower-calorie protein choices that make good additions to most diets.

At Mercy Hospital, our women’s services in Miami can support your lifestyle with diagnostic imaging, maternity care, and much more. If you need a referral to a women’s care specialist or more information about the health resources available at our hospital, please call (305) 854-4400.

How Quitting Smoking Improves Your Heart and Lung Health Over Time

It is no secret that smoking is a major risk to your heart and vascular health as well as your lungs. It is the leading cause of lung cancer and is one of the top causes of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and more. Quitting gives your body a chance to repair itself so you can avoid cardiac and respiratory complications. Here is a closer look at what happens to your heart and lung health when you give up smoking.

In the First Three Months

The health benefits of being a non-smoker kick in 20 minutes after you smoke your last cigarette, when your heart rate and blood pressure both drop. Within the first 12 hours, the previously high carbon monoxide levels in your blood drop to normal, which means your whole body gets fed with more oxygen. By the third month, your circulation begins to improve and your lung function increases.

In the First Year

If you have a telltale smoker’s cough, it will clear up within the first year of quitting. Your shortness of breath will also continue to improve. When you smoke, the cilia in your lungs, which are responsible for removing mucus, don’t function properly. Within your first year of being a non-smoker, they will return to their normal capacity, which cuts your risk of lung infections. By the end of year one, your risk of cardiac disease is half that of someone who continues to smoke.

In the First 15 Years

In your fifth year of being a non-smoker, your stroke risk will be equivalent to someone who never smoked at all. Within 10 years, your risk of lung cancer is 50 percent less than a current smoker. When you celebrate 15 smoke-free years, your heart disease risk is equivalent to a lifelong non-smoker.

The Heart Center and Stroke Center near Miami at Mercy Hospital provides a range of heart and vascular services, including preventative care. Quitting is hard, but your doctor can help. Find a physician to help you quit by calling (305) 854-4400.

What Are Some of the Most Likely Complications of Pregnancy?

Complications are common during pregnancy. The good news is that most of them can be managed with good maternity care. Throughout your pregnancy, your maternity doctor will monitor you for signs of complications and begin treatment as needed. Here are some of the most common complications that occur during pregnancy and what you can do about them.

Gestational Diabetes

During pregnancy, your pancreas may not produce enough insulin for your body. This results in a condition known as gestational diabetes. In most cases, it doesn’t cause any symptoms, so your doctor will monitor your blood glucose levels during your pregnancy to see if they increase. Gestational diabetes usually occurs during the second trimester and is treated with diet or insulin. For most women, blood glucose levels return to normal after delivery, but your doctor will screen you immediately after you give birth and again six weeks later to make sure.

Preterm Labor

Preterm labor is labor that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy. The symptoms range from menstrual-like cramps to strong contractions. How your doctor responds to preterm labor depends on where you are in your pregnancy. If your baby can be born healthy with the appropriate newborn care, then you may be allowed to deliver. If your labor starts too soon, you may need bed rest or medication to help extend your pregnancy and give your baby more time to grow.

Rh Negative Disease

Rh factor refers to the presence of a specific kind of protein around your red blood cells. If you are Rh negative and your baby is Rh positive, your body may begin to build up antibodies against Rh factor. When this occurs, it could jeopardize future pregnancies with Rh-positive babies. If you are Rh negative and have previously given birth to an Rh-positive baby, your doctor will test you for antibodies and give you medication to protect your baby, if needed.

Mercy Hospital offers a comprehensive range of women’s services near Miami, including maternity and newborn care. If you need a doctor for your pregnancy or a women’s care specialist, please call (305) 854-4400 for a referral.

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