Sunrise Children's Hospital
For more than three decades, Sunrise Children’s Hospital has been Nevada’s largest, most comprehensive children’s hospital.

A Look at Heart Failure in Children

Posted on 2/8/2016

Heart failure is often thought of as being a problem that only affects older adults. But in fact, the youngest of patients can also suffer from heart problems. At a children’s hospital, a pediatric heart health team can diagnose and treat children whose heart muscle cannot pump enough blood. Parents of children with heart conditions will find the solutions they’re looking for at Sunrise Children’s Hospital.

Causes of Heart Failure

In adults, risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, and malfunctioning heart valves can lead to heart failure. In children, this condition may result from over circulation failure because of structural abnormalities. Overcirculation failure refers to a disruption in the normal flow of blood. For example, a child may have a hole in the wall that separates the chambers of the heart or the child may have malformed blood vessels outside the heart. Heart failure in children may also be caused by pump failure, which is a condition in which the heart can no longer pump blood efficiently. Pump failure may be caused by a viral infection, muscular dystrophy, or heart valve problems.

Symptoms of Heart Failure

Parents may observe that children with heart failure display poor feeding, poor growth, and rapid heart rate. Children may experience difficulty breathing, excessive sweating, and low blood pressure. At a children’s hospital, a suspected heart failure patient can undergo chest X-rays, an EKG, and other tests to diagnose heart failure.

Treatment for Heart Failure

Each pediatric heart failure patient will receive a personalized treatment plan. This may include medications such as diuretics, along with nutritional supplements to compensate for poor growth. Some children may need to undergo surgery to receive a pacemaker, repair a heart defect, or have a heart transplant.

The Heart Care Program at Sunrise Children’s Hospital combines state-of-the-art technology and sophisticated interventions with the compassionate touch of our specially trained heart health providers. Families in Las Vegas and beyond can turn to our children’s hospital for personalized pediatrics treatment plans for heart failure. For children’s emergency care, please call 911 right away; otherwise, you can reach our children’s hospital at (702) 233-5437.

Heart Health Tips for New Moms

Posted on 2/2/2016

For new moms, the health, safety, and happiness of their babies are the utmost priorities. Yet, self-care is also crucial for mothers. If you choose to breastfeed, you can improve your baby’s health and your own health simultaneously. Consider exploring breastfeeding support services available at a children’s hospital such as Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas.

Reducing Your Risk of Chronic Diseases

You may already know that breastfeeding your child supports his or her immune system and it can reduce your own risk of breast and ovarian cancers. But did you know that breastfeeding can strengthen your heart health? Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women—and your baby will need you in his or her life for a long time. Research suggests that new moms who breastfeed for at least seven to 12 months have a reduced risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both of which can contribute to deadly cardiac events. Breastfeeding may also lower your risk of diabetes, which is a major risk factor of heart disease.

Restoring Your Healthy Shape

It isn’t advisable to go on a fad diet or otherwise significantly restrict your calories while breastfeeding; you and your baby need proper nutrition. However, if you choose to breastfeed, you may find it easier to return to your pre-pregnancy body weight. Breastfeeding by itself can burn up to 500 calories per day. By reducing your risk of being overweight or obese, you’re also reducing your risk of diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, and heart disease.

Exercising with Your Baby

Newborns require very careful, gentle handling. Your healthcare team at the children’s hospital can help you learn how to properly hold your child. Despite the fragility of your little one, it is still possible to begin exercising once you return home from the children’s hospital. Consider wearing your baby safely in a specially made sling while you walk around your home or complete errands. Or, place your baby securely in a jogging stroller and take a daily walk around your neighborhood.

Sunrise Children’s Hospital can help you and your baby get off to a healthy start with our Sunny Babies program and breastfeeding classes. Our children’s hospital is pleased to provide compassionate high-risk pregnancy care and children’s emergency care. Families throughout the Las Vegas area can speak with a registered nurse at our NICU hospital by calling (702) 233-5437.

Raising Awareness for Pediatric Stroke

Posted on 1/25/2016

When most people think of stroke, they imagine older patients, but it is possible to have a stroke at any age, even during infancy. Pediatric stroke occurs in about 11 in 100,000 children annually, and many of these children are under the age of 2. This condition is among the top ten causes of death in children, so it is important to recognize the risks and signs to ensure proper care when pediatric stroke occurs.

Pediatric stroke risk factors

In adults, the risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries, but these conditions are not often seen in children. With pediatric stroke, risk factors are related to existing conditions such as head or neck trauma, preeclampsia during pregnancy, arterial diseases, congenital heart defects, and immune disorders.

Signs and symptoms

Common symptoms of stroke like drooping of the face or extremities on one side of the body, slurred speech, and confusion may be seen in children who are suffering from stroke, but these symptoms may not be as apparent in infants who are unable to communicate. Other signs that may be clearer include seizures, excessive sleepiness, and favoring one side of the body. In older kids and teens, stroke may cause severe headaches, vomiting, dizziness, and loss of coordination.

Recovery from pediatric stroke

Because children’s brains are still developing, stroke tends to have less of a lifelong impact on pediatric patients. Even still, it is important to seek immediate care when you suspect a stroke in your child or infant, since emergency care for stroke can have a strong impact on long-term rehabilitation.

At Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas, you will find a dedicated pediatric ER where your child will have the care he or she needs in the fact of any emergency. Our campus also features a neonatal intensive care unit and a wide range of pediatric care sub-specialists to provide the right care for the youngest members of your family. To learn more about our hospital or check current ER wait times, call us at (702) 233-5437.

A Closer Look at Underage Drinking and Alcohol Poisoning

Posted on 1/21/2016

Underage drinking is a high-risk activity, but it occurs in a large percentage of adolescents and teens who are often unaware of all of the risks that can come with alcohol use. Aside from the long-term issues that can come from underage drinking—including changes in brain development—drinking among teens and adolescents often results in emergency room visits for alcohol poisoning. This article will offer a more detailed look at the facts about underage drinking that will help you talk to your child to prevent this dangerous activity.

Underage drinking is very common

About 35% of 15 year olds report having had at least one alcoholic drink in their lives, and 27% of people between the ages of 12 and 20 report drinking within the past month. Because the chances of drinking in this age group is so high, you should discuss the potential risks of underage drinking with your child, such as impaired judgment, increased risk of assault, and serious injuries.

Teens and young adults are more likely to binge drink

While any amount of alcohol is dangerous for adolescents and adults whose brains are still in a critical period of development, the excessive amounts in which teens drink are a particular concern. Underage drinkers are much more likely to binge drink, meaning that they drink large quantities of alcohol in a short period.

Teens do not recognize the signs of alcohol poisoning

Binge drinking can easily lead to alcohol poisoning, and many teens are not aware of the signs for this emergency situation. Informing your teen of these signs, which include excessive vomiting, unconsciousness, and mental confusion, will help reduce the chances of fatal complications of alcohol poisoning. Recognizing the signs will allow your teen to use better judgment and call 911 when a peer is suffering from alcohol poisoning.

For tips on talking to your teen about alcohol use and other health risks that may arise in middle and high school, call Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas at (702) 233-5437 to speak with one of our registered nurses.

Why Antibiotics and the Flu Don't Mix

Posted on 1/19/2016

When your child has the flu, medication might be prescribed if you bring your child to the doctor shortly after symptoms begin. This medication, however, will not be an antibiotic, which might cause more harm than good when you are trying to treat the flu. Below, you can see why antibiotics are not a suitable treatment for the flu, which is one of the most frequently diagnosed illnesses in children.

Flu is a viral infection

Antibiotics are highly effective drugs in the treatment of bacterial infections, but they will do little to treat the flu, which is caused by a virus rather than bacteria. Antiviral drugs are appropriate for the flu, but they should not be used unless they have been specifically prescribed by your child’s pediatrician.

Unnecessary antibiotic use can lead to resistance

If antibiotics are used when they aren’t needed, a patient can build up a resistance to these drugs, meaning that they won’t work when prescribed for a bacterial infection. This is particularly problematic with the flu since bacterial infections are a common complication of the flu virus. Over time, the antibiotic resistance across a large population can lead to the formation of a super-bug that will not be manageable with existing antibiotic drugs.

Antibiotics can have negative side effects

When giving your child any medication, it is important to remember that all medications can have potential side effects. That means that giving your child antibiotics for the flu will not only fail to resolve flu symptoms, but it might also cause new symptoms to arise.

To learn more about the basics of treating the flu at home, connect with the Consult-A-Nurse line at Sunrise Children’s Hospital by dialing (702) 233-5437. We offer a wealth of resources to manage your child’s health along with a wide range of hospital services to deliver dedicated pediatric care to the Las Vegas community.

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