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

Is Your Child at Risk for an Ear Infection?

Posted on 4/13/2012

Ear Infection

Ear infections are the number one reason that parents bring their children to the doctor—in fact, three out of four children will experience at least one ear infection before they are three years old. An ear infection, also called acute otitis media (AOM), is an inflammation of the middle ear that results when fluid builds up behind the eardrum. While anyone can get an ear infection, they are much more common in children due to their smaller anatomy and poorly developed immune systems.  

Ear infections are usually caused by bacteria and typically occur after a child suffers from a sore throat or upper respiratory infection. The bacterial infection causes fluid to build up behind the eardrum, resulting in the symptoms associated with ear infections:  pain in the ear, trouble sleeping, fever, fluid drainage from the ear, problems with balance, and trouble hearing. While it is very common for children to get ear infections, there are factors that can put your child more at risk. These factors include:

  • Age
    Children between the ages of six months and two years are at the highest risk of developing ear infections. This is largely due to the shape of their Eustachian tubes—at this age, they have a decreased ability to drain any fluid that accumulates due to bacterial infection. 
  • Air quality
    Children exposed to tobacco smoke or air pollution have an increased risk of developing middle ear infections.
  • Seasonal factors
    Children are more likely to develop ear infections during the fall and winter, when influenza and colds are common. Children with allergies may also have problems with ear infections during times when there are high pollen counts.
  • Child care
    Children that are cared for in group child care settings are much more likely to catch the common cold or other infections, which also increases their risk of suffering from an ear infection.

If your child appears to be suffering from possible ear infection symptoms, consider seeking treatment from your pediatrician. If you would like to learn more about the causes and treatments of acute otitis media, contact the professionals at Sunrise Children’s Hospital at (702) 731-5437.

What is Graves' Disease?

Posted on 4/12/2012

Graves Disease

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped organ that is located at the front of the neck. This important gland is primarily responsible for the secretion of two chemicals into the bloodstream: triiodothyronine and thyroxin. These chemicals, called thyroid hormones, have essential and comprehensive effects on the human body, from regulating metabolism, growth, and brain development to affecting muscle strength and body temperature. 

In a condition known as Graves’ disease, the thyroid gland becomes overactive and releases too much thyroid hormone. It is believed that this increased level of thyroid activity, called hyperthyroidism, is the result of an attack of the body’s immune system on its own healthy cells. Normally, the immune system works to defend against fungi, bacteria, viruses, and other foreign invaders that threaten to infect the body and cause illness. In patients with Graves’ disease, the immune system does not recognize the healthy thyroid cells as “self” and attacks them, causing the release of excess thyroid hormone. 

Adults and children suffering from Graves’ disease will often experience a wide variety of symptoms related to the dysfunction of the systems regulated by the thyroid gland.  Because the thyroid regulates body temperature, for example, Graves’ patients will often experience intolerance to high temperatures. Other symptoms of Graves’ hyperthyroidism include:

  • Irritability, anxiety, and nervousness
  • Muscle weakness and fatigue
  • Hand tremors
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight loss
  • Goiter (an enlarged thyroid that appears as a lump at the front of the neck)
  • Irregular and rapid pulse
  • Diarrhea
  • Appearance of bulging eyes (Graves’ ophthalmopathy)

Although this condition is most commonly seen in adults, it can also occur in children. If you suspect your child may be suffering from hyperthyroidism or any other endocrine disorder, consider contacting the pediatric specialists of Sunrise Children’s Hospital at (702) 731-5437. Our healthcare team is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care for the families in our community.

Understanding Gestational Hypertension

Posted on 4/6/2012

Gestational hypertension is a condition that develops only during a woman’s pregnancy and is often the precursor of a more serious condition known as preeclampsia. According to the American Pregnancy Association, preeclampsia affects approximately 2 to 6 percent of healthy, first-time moms. 

In this video, you can learn more about gestational hypertension and preeclampsia. The host discusses the complications that can arise, including what is normal and what can be a warning sign that something is amiss. She also outlines the criteria necessary for diagnosing the condition and what can be done to manage the condition.

The specialists at Sunrise Children’s Hospital of Las Vegas offer the highest quality of healthcare and support for mothers before, during, and after pregnancy. Call Sunrise today at (702) 731-5437 to learn more about our comprehensive mother and child care services.

A Brief Overview of Gestational Diabetes

Posted on 4/5/2012


As an organ of both digestive and endocrine function, the pancreas plays a vital role in the break down and absorption of the fuel we need to create energy. One of its most important functions is the secretion of insulin, a hormone responsible for facilitating the uptake of glucose, or sugar, into the cells of the body. Without the help of this hormone, glucose remains in the bloodstream and cannot be used by the cells to create the energy needed to perform vital body functions.

In a condition known as diabetes mellitus, the pancreas either does not secrete enough insulin or the body has mounted a resistance to the hormone’s effectiveness. When insulin does not function correctly and glucose remains in the blood, a condition known as hyperglycemia occurs and can threaten the health of almost every system in the body. When this condition occurs during pregnancy, it is known as gestational diabetes.

Unlike the other forms of diabetes, gestational diabetes occurs only temporarily during a woman’s pregnancy. Although the exact causes of this condition remain unknown, medical scientists believe that certain factors may contribute to the disease’s development. Hormones that are at higher levels during pregnancy, for example, may interfere with the insulin function. Excess maternal weight can also increase insulin resistance, keeping the body from effectively using its adequate supply. The increased blood sugar levels that occur as a result of this condition have the ability to cross the placenta and can potentially harm both mother and developing child.

There are certain risk factors that can increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes during your pregnancy. If you possess any of these factors, consider consulting with your physician about your potential risk. 


  • Obesity
  • Family history or personal history of diabetes or gestational diabetes
  • An age of 25 years or older
  • Previous delivery of a larger-than-average child
  • Previous stillbirth
  • Glucose in urine

To help prevent this condition from affecting your pregnancy, consider eating a healthy diet before and during your pregnancy and staying active to promote the maintenance of a healthy weight. You can also learn more about your risk factors and staying healthy during a high-risk pregnancy by contacting Sunrise Children’s Hospital at (702) 731-5437 today.

Check Your Symptoms with the iTriage App

Posted on 3/30/2012


When you or your child is suffering from an illness or injury, it is often difficult to determine the cause and severity of the symptoms and where you should seek medical treatment. With the help of the iTriage application for iPhone and android, you have easy access to a large amount of medical information, including the potential causes of symptoms, the closest medical facilities, thousands of medications, medical procedures, and much more. The information provided in this app is clear, concise, and easy to use. 

With the help of iTriage, you even have access to emergency hotlines and nurse advice lines. If you would like to learn more about this application and how it can be of use to you and your family, contact Sunrise Children’s Hospital at (702) 731-5437.

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