Aventura Hospital
Aventura Hospital and Medical Center provides healthcare services responsive to the needs of our patients, in partnership with our physicians, employees, volunteers and community.

Knowing What to Do When Your Child Has the Flu

For most children with the flu, the symptoms resolve by themselves within one to two weeks. However, children with severe or persistent flu symptoms—or complications of the flu—may need emergency care. The Emergency Department at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center is available 24/7 to assist families in the Miami area with medical emergencies.

Understanding the Risk of Complications

It’s important for parents to know if their children are at a high risk of developing flu-related complications and requiring emergency care. All children younger than five years old are considered to be at a higher risk. This is especially true for children younger than two. Children of any age may be at a higher risk if they have certain medical conditions, such as asthma, blood disorders, endocrine disorders, neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions, weakened immune systems, and morbid obesity. Additionally, children under the age of 19 who are on long-term aspirin therapy are at a higher risk of complications.

Identifying Serious Symptoms

If your child is at a higher risk of complications, call his or her doctor of pediatrics if flu-like symptoms develop. The doctor may recommend bringing your child to the hospital for treatment. Certain symptoms may indicate a need for emergency care. These include the following:

  • Bluish or grayish skin
  • Respiratory distress
  • Dehydration or failure to keep fluids down
  • Listlessness or lethargy

Comforting Your Child

If your child’s doctor prescribes antiviral medications, be careful to administer them as directed. Ask the pediatrician before administering any over-the-counter medications such as children’s strength ibuprofen. Encourage—but don’t force—your child to sip fluids throughout the day. He or she may wish to eat bland foods such as gelatin, hot cereals, or broth-based soups. Encourage your child to rest while he or she recovers.

When your little one isn’t feeling well, the physicians at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center are here to provide compassionate emergency care near Miami. Our children’s services also include influenza vaccinations and newborn care. Please call 911 if your family has a true medical emergency; otherwise, you can contact a registered nurse at our hospital at (305) 682-7000.

Breaking Common Misconceptions About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder affects millions of U.S. residents, yet it isn’t well understood by the general population. Unless you or a loved one is coping with bipolar disorder, it can be easy to underestimate just how severe the symptoms can become. Some patients with bipolar disorder may even require emergency care for suicidal ideation. Fortunately, bipolar disorder is treatable with help from the behavioral health specialists at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center.

Myth: Patients Experience Mood Swings Just Like Everyone Else

It’s not uncommon for a person without bipolar disorder to experience occasional mood swings, particularly during times of significant stress. Perhaps because of this, it’s often thought that the mood swings of bipolar disorder are manageable through willpower alone. Unfortunately, this simply isn’t true. Bipolar disorder causes extremes in moods; a patient may be extremely depressed or extremely euphoric. Additionally, these symptoms inhibit the patient’s ability to function normally at work, school, home, or anywhere else.

Myth: Patients Shift Moods Rapidly

Another common misconception regarding bipolar disorder is that patients may be elevated one minute and suicidal the next. Some patients do shift from the manic to the depressive phase more quickly than others. However, it’s more common for patients to experience one predominant state for long periods of time. Usually, patients suffer from depressive symptoms more often than manic symptoms.

Myth: The Manic Phase Makes Patients Happy

Patients who are in a manic phase aren’t necessarily happy or elated at all. In fact, some patients may become frightened when manic symptoms develop because they tend to lose control over their thoughts and actions. As this phase progresses, they may become irritable. Much like the depressive phase, the manic phase of bipolar disorder is characterized by self-destructive behaviors. However, individuals with manic symptoms may go on spending sprees that they cannot afford, engage in unsafe sexual behaviors, abuse alcohol or drugs, and become sleep deprived.

Individuals with bipolar disorder can turn to the Behavioral Health Programs at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center. We’re pleased to offer inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs to support behavioral health near Miami. Contact our Consult-A-Nurse line at (305) 682-7000 for general information or browse our website to read more about our medical services, including pediatrics and emergency care.

Alcohol Safety Tips for the Holidays

During the holidays, a hectic schedule of parties and celebrations can lead to an increase in alcohol consumption for many people. While it’s natural to want to imbibe with family and friends during the season, it is important to remember that safety still matters. ER visits spike during the holiday season, and alcohol is one reason so many people need emergency care. By keeping a few safety tips in mind, you can keep ER visits off your holiday calendar and ensure the season is joyous for everyone involved in your celebrations. Make sure alcohol doesn’t derail your holidays with this advice.

Choose the Right Time

Drinking while you’re socializing at a gathering is natural, but alcohol doesn’t mix well with other holiday activities. While you’re decorating your home for the season, make a toast when you’ve finished the job instead of sipping as you go. Many people find themselves in need of emergency after injuries that occurred while hanging lights or using power tools, and adding alcohol to the mix only makes these tasks more dangerous. Avoid drinking when you are sledding, out shopping, and of course, when you have to drive.

Pace Yourself

Reduce the chances of injuries and medical emergencies, as well as next-day hangovers, by pacing yourself when you drink. Alternate between alcoholic beverages and water, and pay attention to how you’re feeling. Recognize your limit and try to avoid surpassing it. Consider lightening up your drinks, such as mixing white wine with seltzer to make a spritzer or choosing a low-alcohol beer.

Remember Your Chronic Conditions

Alcohol consumption can interfere with medications and exacerbate chronic health conditions. Monitor your blood glucose closely if you have diabetes and choose to drink. Excessive drinking triggers holiday heart syndrome, a condition that causes an irregular heartbeat, so be vigilant if you have high blood pressure or existing heart disease.

Aventura Hospital & Medical Center offers comprehensive emergency care and trauma care near Miami when you need it most. Get answers to questions about our emergency department and more by calling (305) 682-7000.

Healthy Strategies for Managing Anxiety

Nearly everyone has to deal with stress now and again, but persistent anxiety is a medical problem that can be managed by behavioral health care. Often, dealing with anxiety requires a multidisciplinary approach. Patients may need medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes, along with emergency care for any acute behavioral health crisis, such as suicidal feelings. If you’re living with anxiety, these changes may help you manage your condition.

Limit Caffeine and Alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol both change the way your body responds to stimuli. Caffeine stimulates you, while alcohol acts as a depressant. Both can make you less able to cope with stressors and get control of your anxiety symptoms. They can both also interfere with sleep, which itself can exacerbate your symptoms. Some people are tempted to use alcohol to ease their stress, but this only provides temporary relief and is actually more likely to make your symptoms worse. Restrict your caffeine and alcohol or consider cutting them out completely.

Control Your Breathing

Controlled breathing can be a powerful way to regain control of your emotions when you are experiencing an intense bout of anxiety. Inhale and exhale deeply while focusing completely on your breathing. Counting to 20 while you breathe may also help you feel centered. Take deep breaths until you feel your anxiousness subsiding. You can do this activity any time and any place you need to reset your thought process.

Focus on Fitness

Exercise will improve your physical health, which can help ease your anxiety, and it provides a release when you feel overwhelmed. Aim to get 30 minutes of activity at least five days per week. Exercise may be challenging at first, but be patient as your body adjusts. It can take eight weeks to adapt to a new fitness routine.

Aventura Hospital & Medical Center offers behavioral health in Miami to adults and geriatric patients suffering from a wide range of conditions. We also provide emergency care for behavioral health issues and are a Baker Act receiving facility. Request a referral to one of our specialists by calling (305) 682-7000.

What Are the Treatment Options for Depression?

Depression is more than occasional sadness or lethargy. Clinical depression is a mental disorder that is often related to an imbalance of chemicals and hormones in the brain, which causes symptoms such as poor sleep habits, unexpected weight loss or weight gain, feelings of guilt or anger, feelings of worthlessness, thoughts of suicide, and irritability. These symptoms are often improved with treatment, but many patients with depression will not seek the help they need to explore the effective therapies discussed in detail below.


Depression can feed into itself with negative thoughts and self-destructive behaviors, which may be combated with therapy in either a one-on-one or group setting. Your primary physician can make recommendations for the right type of therapy for your needs and make a referral to help you get the right psychological care.


Antidepressants can make a big difference in depression symptoms, but these medications can take several weeks to take effect, and they may have some significant side effects to consider. There are many different types of antidepressant medication, so it might take some time to find the right fit for you. When you are taking antidepressants, you should always use these drugs according to your doctor’s instructions and never stop taking medication without your doctor’s approval.

Lifestyle changes

Whether using medication, therapy, or a combination of the two, lifestyle changes such as stress management techniques, exercise, and dietary changes can make a significant improvement in your symptoms. Often these changes will be recommended by your primary physician or a mental health specialist, either of whom can offer ongoing support to help you stay on track with a healthier lifestyle.

If you are struggling with depression or other behavioral disorders, Aventura Hospital & Medical Center can help you seek appropriate care through our behavioral health center, which includes partial hospitalization programs and dedicated mental health care through Sunrise Palms and Sunrise Palms for Seniors. To learn more about our behavioral health services in Miami, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line today at (305) 682-7000.

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