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Salem Hospital named one of Oregon's top hospitals (Photo) - 08/16/17

Salem Hospital has been named a top Oregon hospital by U.S. News & World Report for 2017-2018. The U.S. News analysis of hospitals comprises data from almost 5,000 health centers across the country. Scores are based on a variety of patient outcome and care-related factors, such as patient safety and nurse staffing. U.S. News then ranks hospitals in adult and pediatric specialties and common procedures and conditions.

"At Salem Hospital, we are proud of our commitment to put patients first and to always get better at what we do," said Cheryl Wolfe, Salem Health President and CEO. "The result is a stronger and healthier community. Whenever someone in our community needs care, we are here with compassion and the highest quality care."

The hospital rankings began with a total of 4,658 hospitals which includes almost all inpatient facilities in the United States. Salem Hospital received the highest rating possible in the specialties of pulmonology, urology and the following eight procedures and conditions:

* Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair
* Aortic valve surgery
* Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
* Colon cancer surgery
* Heart bypass surgery
* Heart failure
* Hip replacement
* Knee replacement

According to the U.S. News website, "Oregon has nearly 70 hospitals. Nine meet high U.S. News standards and are ranked in the state." Salem Hospital was ranked fourth in Oregon.

Salem Hospital is the main campus of Salem Health, which offers exceptional care to people in and around Oregon's Mid-Willamette Valley. It comprises hospitals in Salem and Dallas, a medical group of primary and specialty care providers, plus other affiliated services. Visit us at www.salemhealth.org; "Like" us on www.facebook.com/salemhealth; follow us on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at www.youtube.com/salemhealth.

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Salem Health prepares for eclipse, offers eclipse tips (Photo) - 08/10/17

Are you ready for the eclipse? Salem Health's team has been preparing for the eclipse for over a year and plans are in place to provide care in a variety of contingencies.

We want you to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event so here are a few things to remember!

Eye Safety
Looking directly at the sun can seriously damage your eyes. The only safe way to look at the eclipse is with special solar filters that meet the international standard for safe, direct viewing of an eclipse. You can find more details on the American Astronomical Society website.

Be prepared
Aside from bringing your eye protection, here are a few other things to remember:

* Bring water and stay hydrated
* Allow plenty of travel time to get where you're headed
* Be aware of your surroundings
* Fully charge your cell phone and bring a charger with you
* Even though there's an eclipse, remember to apply and reapply sunscreen

In case of illness or injury
If something happens this weekend and you need medical attention, it's important to understand when you should visit our Urgent Care Clinic and when it's time to go to the emergency room. Of course if you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 9-1-1.

"Hospital emergency departments provide medical care round the clock and are equipped and staffed for the most complex and/or critical needs, including life-threatening and limb-threatening situations ranging from heart attack and stroke to traumatic injuries," says Nancy Bee, RN, BSN, CEN Salem Health emergency department manager. "Many medical conditions are considered emergencies because they can require rapid and/or advanced treatments (such as surgery) that are only available in a hospital setting."

If you or someone you know is experiences any of the following symptoms, visit the emergency department at the nearest hospital:

* Can't breathe
* Major trauma
* Lost consciousness
* Altered mental state
* Head injury
* Severe abdominal pain
* Suicidal thoughts or actions
* Stroke
* Uncontrollable bleeding
* Chest pain or pressure
* Severe burns
* Sudden loss of vision
* Broken bones

"Urgent care clinics are great to use when a person gets sick or injured and cannot wait for an appointment with their regular provider," added Bee. "Calling your primary doctor first, then an urgent care clinic can be more appropriate than going straight to the emergency room."

For less serious conditions, we're also here for you at the following locations and hours.

Salem Health Urgent Care
1002 Bellevue St. SE
Salem, OR 97301
503-561-5554
Weekdays 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Weekends 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

These Salem Health Medical Group clinics, located throughout the Salem community, will be open for walk-in or same-day appointments only on Monday, Aug. 21 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Keizer Clinic, 550 Dietz Ave. NE, Keizer , OR 97303, 503-814-4400
* Salem Clinic, 966 12th St. SE, Suite 130, Salem , OR 97302, 503-814-4400
* South Salem Clinic, 2925 River Road S., Salem , OR 97302, 503-814-4400
* West Salem Clinic, 1049 Edgewater St. NW, Salem , OR 97304, 503-814-4400

We want your eclipse experience to be fun and safe. But should you run into any health concerns, we're here for you. Enjoy the Great American Eclipse!

Salem Health offers exceptional care to people in and around Oregon's mid-Willamette Valley. It comprises hospitals in Salem and Dallas, a medical group of primary and specialty care providers, plus other affiliated services. Visit us at www.salemhealth.org; "Like" us on www.facebook.com/salemhealth; follow us on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at www.youtube.com/salemhealth.

Take care in forecasted extreme heat
Take care in forecasted extreme heat
Take care in forecasted extreme heat! (Photo) - 08/02/17

In Oregon, we love spending time outside once summer comes around. With record temperatures expected through August, heat-related illness could cause serious problems. The staff and physicians of Salem Hospital's emergency department want area residents to stay healthy and safe. Here are some tips to help you, your children, your elderly parents, and even your pets, stay safe -- and what to do if you have problems in the heat.

"There are some simple things people can do to stay cool during heat waves," says Nancy Bee, RN, BSN, CEN, Emergency Department manager. "First of all, staying hydrated with water is essential and avoid alcohol and caffeine as they increase water loss."

Stay well hydrated
* Drink two to three quarts of non-caffeinated fluid per day.
* Do not limit intake to just water. You also need electrolytes, which you can get from a variety of sports drinks.
* If you are thirsty, you have waited too long.
* One way to tell if you are getting enough fluid is to look at your urine. In general, it should be clear. A yellow color means you need to drink more water -- unless it is affected by food, vitamin, medication or caffeine intake.
* Limit alcohol intake. It doesn't count toward your water consumption and it can impair your judgment.
* Be smart about outdoor activities.
* Stay inside, unless your job requires you to be outdoors.
* If you have to be outdoors, avoid strenuous activities between the hottest times of the day -- typically from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
* If you need to be outdoors, prime the pump before you go: Start your fluid intake before you take your first step outside.
* Wear sun block and a hat.
* You might also use a water sprayer (mister) to cool off. Battery-operated, hand-held fans may also be helpful.

"Speaking of water, it has great power to cool," added Bee. "Place a damp cool cloth on your neck or head to keep cool. You can also soak your feet in a cool bath. Last but not least, remember to check on pets and elder neighbors as both have a harder time regulating temperature and using the same cooling methods with a damp cloth can work for them."

Some people need extra precautions
* High heat can cause confusion.
* The very young and the elderly are most prone to thermal-regulation problems -- their bodies simply have a harder time regulating heat. They especially should avoid the outdoors and manage their fluid intake. This is also true for people with chronic illnesses, like those on dialysis.
* Children can become dehydrated much more quickly than adults. Be sure they get enough fluid and follow all heat and sun-safety procedures.
* Don't overdress newborns. If you're wearing a tank top and shorts, then a similar outfit for your baby is appropriate -- whether it's a shorts outfit or simply a t-shirt and diaper. Stay in the shade. Use a lukewarm washcloth to cool baby -- and carry a blanket to protect the baby when you enter air-conditioned extremes.
* Some medications can cause problems during heat spells, particularly some psychiatric medications and diuretics. Talk with your pharmacist if you have concerns.
* Notice a distressed pet in a hot car? Call 911 if you can't locate the owner quickly.

Be safe in the water
* When it gets hot, it can be tempting to jump in the river to cool off. Be careful. Remember, Oregon rivers are cold -- even on hot days. Do no dive into rivers or ponds -- they may be shallow.
* Wear a lifejacket on boats and in the river.
* Do not drink alcohol.
* Parents should closely watch their children in the water -- plus people who have mental or physical disabilities.
* If you have a backyard pool, make sure it has a fence around it.

Warning signs and what to do if you experience them
* Heat illness goes through three stages: heat cramps, exhaustion, and then heat stroke.
o If you experience heat cramps, you will have muscle cramps and feel dizzy. You need to get in the shade and use a cold compress and take fluids.
o With heat exhaustion, you will sweat excessively and look pale. Get in the shade, use a cold compress, and drink fluids. I-V fluids may be needed.
o If you are having a heat stroke, you will be very pale and have a fever. You will not be able to sweat and you will be mentally confused. Your body core temperature has gotten too high. Call 911!

This summer promises to be a hot one and Salem Health encourages you to play it safe and prevent heat-related illness!

Salem Health offers exceptional care to people in and around Oregon's mid-Willamette Valley. It comprises hospitals in Salem and Dallas, a medical group of primary and specialty care providers, plus other affiliated services. Visit us at www.salemhealth.org; "Like" us on www.facebook.com/salemhealth; follow us on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at www.youtube.com/salemhealth.

For more information: Salem Health media relations, available 24/7 at 971-718-3157.