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    A Patient's Guide to COPD

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, is a serious lung disease that is the third most common cause of death in the United States. More than 24 million Americans suffer from this condition, which makes it progressively more difficult for a person to breathe. Here are some commonly asked questions about COPD.

    What are the types of COPD? There are two primary types of COPD: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. When a person has chronic bronchitis, their bronchial tubes become severely inflamed, producing an unusual amount of mucus and causing a persistent cough. Emphysema is a condition marked by progressive damage to the lungs. Most people with COPD suffer from both conditions to varying degrees.

    What causes COPD? COPD is most often caused in by breathing in cigarette smoke, though it can also be caused by long-term exposure to chemical fumes and other pollutants. Being a smoker drastically raises your chances of developing COPD, especially as you get older. Quitting smoking is the most important step you can take to reduce your risk of COPD.

    What are the symptoms of COPD? Many people are not diagnosed with COPD until the condition is fairly advanced. Having a persistent cough is a warning sign, particularly if you regularly cough up mucus. Wheezing, chronic fatigue, and continual shortness of breath are also common symptoms of COPD.

    How is COPD treated? There is no cure for COPD, but the condition can be managed and its symptoms can be reduced. Pulmonary rehabilitation, which focuses on building up strength through exercise and breathing therapy, is one of the most effective treatment methods for COPD. The therapy is combined with other methods such as oxygen supplements and medications.

    If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of COPD, contact Largo Medical Center. We offer state-of-the-art treatment for a wide range of medical issues, including COPD and other lung diseases. You can find out more about our medical services by visiting our website or by calling (727) 470-6826. 

    Understanding Schizophrenia

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that often results in severe symptoms which can interfere with daily life. An individual with schizophrenia interprets reality in an abnormal fashion. Some individuals experience symptoms that are so severe they require a trip to the emergency room. Fortunately, there is help available and fortunately Largo Medical Center has one of the only behavioral health emergency rooms in the area. If you or a loved one has schizophrenia, explore the resources available at your local hospital.

    Causes and Risk Factors

    Researchers still are not sure what causes schizophrenia. However, there may be certain factors that can increase the risk of developing it. These risk factors include having a family history of the disorder, having an older paternal age, and being exposed to toxins or viruses while in the womb. Individuals who take psychoactive or psychotropic drugs during the teen years could also be at a higher risk.

    Sign and Symptoms

    The symptoms of schizophrenia may be a little frightening to the family members and friends of a loved one with the disorder. The individual may hear voices that don’t exist, see visual hallucinations, and fail to make sense while talking. Some people with schizophrenia may sit still for hours without talking or making a movement, while others may become extremely agitated due to paranoia. Schizophrenia is typically characterized by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, and abnormal physical behavior.

    Treatment Options

    If a loved one goes to the emergency room with severe symptoms of schizophrenia, he or she will have a comprehensive mental health assessment. The doctor may recommend antipsychotic medications or atypical antipsychotic drugs. While medication is critical for managing symptoms, psychosocial interventions can also be helpful. These may include individual therapy, family therapy, social skills training, and vocational rehabilitation.

    Residents of Largo, Fl and throughout Pinellas County can take advantage of the dedicated adult behavioral health program available at Largo Medical Center. Our hospital features a Behavioral Health Emergency Room for those who are suffering from a mental health crisis. You can explore the range of services available at our state-of-the-art hospital by calling (727) 470-6826 or visiting us online.

    What to Expect from Inpatient Rehabilitation at Largo Medical Center

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Over the years, Indian Rocks Rehabilitation at Largo Medical Center has helped more than 6,000 patients work toward their recovery goals. Since our rehabilitation services department is located within our hospital, patients have 24/7 access to physicians, laboratory services, diagnostic tests, and even onsite hemodialysis. Our inpatient rehabilitation department was designed to provide the utmost in patient comfort. All of our unit’s beds include private rooms.

    During your stay at our hospital, you’ll receive a minimum of three hours of therapy five days each week. For many patients, this is divided evenly between physical therapy and occupational therapy. You’ll work with our highly skilled therapists in our state-of-the-art gym and activity of daily living suite to regain your skills and improve your independence. Your therapy program will be customized to your unique needs.

    If you have any questions about inpatient rehabilitation at Largo Medical Center, call our hospital at (727) 470-6826. Residents of Pinellas County are also encouraged to explore our community hospital’s rehabilitation program on our website. 

    What Are the Risk Factors for Heart Disease?

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Certain risk factors for heart disease are uncontrollable, such as having a family history of heart disease, having a personal history of preeclampsia, and being over the age of 55. However, many more risk factors are manageable with healthy lifestyle changes and medical management. Leading a physically inactive lifestyle, being overweight or obese, and eating a high-fat diet will significantly increase your risk.

    Watch this video to find out whether you could be at risk of heart disease. You’ll learn about the medical conditions that may increase your risk and you’ll get some helpful tips on leading a healthy lifestyle. This video urges individuals to visit their local hospital to have their blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked.

    Residents of Pinellas County can schedule a screening at Largo Medical Center. Take control of your heart health by calling our hospital in Largo, FL at (727) 470-6826.

    Signs You Should Call Your Doctor About Your Cancer Treatment Side Effects

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Cancer treatments can cause many different side effects. The side effects you’ll experience are dependent upon the specific type of treatment you are undergoing or medication you are taking. Work with the cancer care team at your local hospital to find out more about your treatment and learn to distinguish which side effects necessitate a trip to the emergency room or a call to your oncologist. It’s helpful to have someone with you during your consultations at the hospital to keep track of the information.

    Indications of Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS)

    As the cancer treatment kills the tumor cells, they release substances that can interfere with your metabolism and electrolyte balance. This is a potentially life-threatening condition, possibly leading to seizures and loss of muscle control. Usually, patients suffer from TLS within 48 hours after a round of chemotherapy. If you’re at home when you experience signs of TLS, have someone drive you to the emergency room. These symptoms can include lethargy, cloudy urine, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, joint pain, nausea, and vomiting.

    Symptoms of an Infection

    Cancer and cancer treatments suppress your immune system, making you more vulnerable to a range of infections. For example, if you have undergone surgery, the surgical site may be prone to infections. If you had a catheter while in the hospital, you are at risk of a urinary tract infection (UTI). The symptoms of an infection vary, but often include a high fever, chills, and sweating. Additionally, an untreated UTI can cause burning during urination and sometimes confusion.

    Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

    DVT refers to a blood clot, which commonly forms in the legs but may turn into a life-threatening condition if it breaks free and travels along the bloodstream. Call your doctor and go to the hospital promptly if you notice swelling and redness, chest pain that worsens upon breathing, shortness of breath, and fever.

    Since 1981, the Cancer Program at Largo Medical Center has received continuous accreditation by the Committee on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons—an acknowledgement of our hospital’s dedication to high-quality, multidisciplinary patient care. Cancer patients at our hospital can take advantage of extensive support services, including cancer education, religious support, and nutritional support. Families in Pinellas County who are battling cancer are encouraged to call our hospital in Largo, FL at (727) 470-6826 to learn more.


Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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