Palms West Hospital
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Palms West Hospital is proud to have provided the Western Communities with healthcare excellence since 1986.

Why Is Prenatal Care So Important?

Prenatal care refers to the healthcare services that an expectant mother receives from an obstetrics specialist, midwife, or other healthcare professional. Prenatal care is essential for every expectant mother. Ideally, these services begin before pregnancy. At a preconception visit with a provider at Palms West Hospital, women will discuss medical conditions, medications, and testing to promote a healthy pregnancy.

Manage Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions may place your health or your baby’s health at risk. Sometimes, medical conditions arise during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Other women may already have existing medical conditions when they become pregnant. With proper prenatal care, expectant mothers can manage these conditions to reduce the risk of problems. An obstetrics provider can help expectant mothers manage thyroid disease, epilepsy, asthma, diabetes, depression, obesity, and other conditions that may affect pregnancy.

Detect Potential Problems

Routine testing is an integral component of prenatal care. At each prenatal care appointment, the healthcare provider evaluates weight gain and blood pressure. At some visits, women may have a pelvic exam, Pap smear, blood tests, urine tests, and ultrasounds. These exams allow for the early detection of problems that may affect the health of the mother or baby.

Provide Dietary Advice

Another reason why prenatal care is essential is that women receive personalized dietary guidance. Based on an expectant mother’s current weight and whether she is pregnant with multiples, the doctor can recommend a safe rate of weight gain. The physician can provide advice on how to choose foods and prenatal vitamins to get all the nutrients the baby needs. Expectant mothers also learn about foods they must avoid.

Provide Lifestyle Guidance

Prenatal care encompasses lifestyle guidance. Expectant mothers who smoke, consume alcohol, or have a substance abuse problem can receive the counseling they need to reduce the risk of harm to the baby. The doctor can also provide recommendations for safe exercise during each trimester of pregnancy.

The New Life Center at Palms West Hospital features dedicated specialists in obstetrics in Loxahatchee, FL. Our obstetrics services include comprehensive childbirth and parenting classes to meet the unique needs of every family. Expectant parents can speak with a registered nurse by calling (561) 345-7009 or visit our website to learn more about our medical services, including imaging services such as ultrasounds.


Common Reasons to See a Podiatrist

Podiatrists specialize in diagnosing, treating, and preventing conditions that affect the foot. A podiatrist may order imaging studies, perform diagnostic tests, administer medications, and perform surgeries. There are many reasons why you might make an appointment with a podiatrist. At the orthopedics department of Palms West Hospital, you’ll find highly trained specialists of podiatry who can assist you with acute foot injuries, diabetes, infections, and many other health problems.

Diabetes

Patients with diabetes can benefit from including a podiatrist on their diabetes care team. Doing so may reduce the need for hospitalization and the risk of lower limb amputation. A podiatrist can help diabetic patients learn how to keep their feet clean and dry to reduce the risk of infections. He or she can provide guidance on footwear selection and perform examinations to check for problems. Patients with diabetes who notice any abnormalities of the feet are encouraged to see a podiatrist promptly. These abnormalities may include skin color changes, dry cracks or bleeding of the skin, pain, swelling, and open sores.

Acute Injuries

Podiatrists often treat patients with acute injuries of the foot and ankle. Heel pain is particularly common. It’s often caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. Podiatrists can also treat heel spurs, sprains, strains, and broken bones of the feet—just to name a few conditions.

Infections

Any infection requires prompt attention. However, diabetics in particular need to exercise caution regarding infections. It is possible to develop an infection from an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails most often affect the big toe. Some signs of this foot problem include tenderness, redness, swelling, and drainage. A podiatrist can treat the ingrown toenail and prescribe antibiotics if there is an infection. Podiatrists also frequently treat patients with fungal infections, including fungal toenail infections and athlete’s foot. Debridement, topical medications, or oral medications can treat fungal infections.

Podiatry is one of the many types of orthopedic care in Loxahatchee, FL, that you’ll find at Palms West Hospital. Our other medical services include rehabilitation and emergency care. If you would like to speak with a registered nurse, please call (561) 345-7009 any time of the day or night.


An Overview of Common Allergies in Children

Allergies are quite common in children, particularly those who have a family history of allergies. The severity of allergy symptoms can vary widely from mild nasal congestion to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. If you suspect your child may have allergies, you can consult a specialist in pediatrics to have your child tested. At the Children’s Hospital at Palms West, our pediatric team provides specialized care for the youngest of patients.

Food Allergies

It is possible for any food to cause an allergic reaction. However, the majority of adverse reactions to foods are triggered by just eight of them:

  • Peanuts

  • Tree nuts

  • Fish

  • Shellfish

  • Eggs

  • Soy

  • Wheat

  • Milk

Often, an allergic reaction to a food occurs within a few minutes of consumption; however, delayed reactions are possible. Some of the indicators of an allergic reaction to food include vomiting, stomach cramps, dizziness, weak pulse, shortness of breath, wheezing, and persistent coughing. Children may complain of a hoarse throat, have trouble swallowing, have difficulty talking, or take on a bluish coloring of the skin. If any of the signs of anaphylaxis occur, such as fainting and rapid heartbeat, the child requires emergency care.

Indoor Triggers

Along with food allergies, children may be diagnosed with allergies to indoor allergens such as dust mites, mold, animal dander, and cockroach droppings. After the pediatric doctor identifies a child’s allergy triggers, he or she can offer guidance on minimizing symptoms by practicing careful environmental control. Sneezing, red and itchy eyes, runny or stuffy nose, wheezing, and coughing are possible signs of an allergy to one of these triggers.

Outdoor Allergies

Outdoor allergies include seasonal triggers such as tree and plant pollen. Children may also have allergies to insect bites or stings, car exhaust, cigarette smoke, or other irritants. The symptoms of outdoor allergies are similar to those of indoor allergies.

If your child suffers a serious allergic reaction, you can count on Palms West Hospital to provide compassionate emergency care near Loxahatchee, FL. Our specialists in pediatrics can also help parents learn how to provide proper food and nutrition despite a child’s food allergies. If your child requires emergency care, please call 911 now; otherwise, you can direct non-emergent inquiries to a registered nurse 24/7 by calling (561) 345-7009.


Tips for Helping Your Child Manage Asthma Symptoms

Asthma is a common chronic respiratory disease that can have serious complications in young patients if it is not properly treated with preventive care to manage symptoms and reduce the frequency of asthma attacks. An integral part of managing asthma will be the development of a medication plan with your child’s pediatrician, and this will probably include daily medication as well as fast-acting drugs to minimize the impact of asthmatic episodes. Below, you can see more of the steps that will lead to more effective asthma management for your child.

Have an asthma action plan
Even when asthma is well-controlled with medication, it is important to stay prepared with an action plan for flare-ups. Your child’s asthma plan may include steps to relax the airways and control breathing. This might include the use of a fast-acting inhaler and breathing exercises. Your child’s school and daycare facility should have a copy of the asthma action plan so that he or she can follow proper procedures in any environment.

kids asthma | west palm beachIdentify your child’s asthma triggers
There are many different possible asthma triggers, which can include exercise, cold weather, airborne irritants, allergens, and viral infections. Knowing which triggers are most likely to affect your child can help you control the environment at home to keep asthma attacks at bay. An allergy test may be necessary to identify which allergens will irritate your child.

Use a peak flow meter
A peak flow meter is a portable, inexpensive device that will measure lung capacity to identify when there is inflammation in the airways before symptoms appear. These devices are easy to use, so you should teach your child when to measure with a peak flow meter and what to do when readings are low.

The pediatric care of The Children’s Hospital at Palms West can help you manage your child’s respiratory health and seek kid-friendly emergency care when asthma attacks do occur. For a closer look at our services just for kids in Loxahatchee, visit our website or call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (561) 345-7009.


What to Expect in the First Trimester of Pregnancy

During the first trimester of pregnancy, you may not notice any weight gain or significant physical changes to your body, but you might have a wide range of symptoms that result from the influx of hormones that your body is producing to sustain the pregnancy. While the first trimester is a little different for every expecting mom, there are some common symptoms that you might expect. Read on to learn about a few of the most likely symptoms you may encounter in the first few months of pregnancy.

Morning sickness

Up to 85% of women will experience nausea and morning sickness, making it one of the most universal pregnancy symptoms. With morning sickness, the best remedies tend to be natural solutions such as dietary changes and aromatherapy, but you might need to consult a doctor if you are suffering from severe nausea or vomiting that prevents you from eating and drinking enough to sustain your baby’s nutrition.

Vaginal bleeding

Light spotting can take place early in your pregnancy, as bleeding is a common side effect of an embryo’s implantation in the uterus. Unless bleeding is severe or accompanied by sharp abdominal pain and cramping, it is not likely a concern for the health of you or your baby.

Breast tenderness

The hormonal changes in your body may affect your breasts before any other part of the body. Symptoms like tenderness and soreness are common, as the breasts are preparing your milk ducts to feed your baby. You might find relief with a larger or more supportive bra.

Fatigue

While it may not be obvious from the outside, your body will be undergoing many different changes in preparation for the months ahead, which means that you will be using a lot more energy during the day. As a result, you may have fatigue that can be addressed with increased nightly sleep or daytime naps. It is important to get plenty of sleep during your pregnancy, as you may have many late nights once your baby arrives.

If you are expecting in Loxahatchee, you can count on Palms West Hospital for your prenatal care. To begin planning your birthing experience with us at the state-of-the-art New Life Center, give us a call at (561) 345-7009.

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