Raulerson Hospital
We are a 100-bed acute care facility providing a full range of medical and surgical services. We have been serving the Okeechobee and surrounding communities for more than 30 years.

Getting the Basic Facts of Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is often categorized along with sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Although it is a sleep-related disorder and it may be treated in the Sleep Disorders Laboratory at Raulerson Hospital, RLS is actually a neurologic disorder. As the name implies, RLS is characterized by symptoms that involve the legs. Since there is no specific test to diagnose RLS, a doctor might perform a variety of tests, including diagnostic imaging, to rule out other potential causes of symptoms.


Although the symptoms of RLS may affect individuals of any age, they are most common among older adults. The symptoms tend to occur in the evening and during long periods of inactivity. Patients with RLS typically report the sensations of tingling, pins and needles, pain, prickling, or creeping in the legs. Sometimes, these sensations occur in the arms. Patients tend to have a strong urge to move the limbs to alleviate the symptoms. These can lead to nighttime problems such as tossing and turning in bed. Patients with RLS often struggle with insomnia.


It is unknown exactly what causes RLS. It is possible that some patients may have a genetic predisposition toward developing this disorder. This is known as primary RLS. Secondary RLS may be caused by the use of certain medications or the presence of other medical conditions. These may include peripheral neuropathy, kidney failure, nutrient deficiency, vein diseases, and pregnancy.


Since RLS lacks a cure, the goal of treatment is to manage symptoms. For patients with mild RLS, this typically involves lifestyle modifications such as abstaining from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine, massaging the legs, using a heating pad, and adhering to a sleep routine. If underlying medical conditions may be contributing to RLS symptoms, then treating these issues may help. Patients with severe or persistent RLS symptoms might consider the use of medications. The FDA has approved dopamine agonists for the treatment of RLS. Other drugs that may be helpful include anticonvulsants and clonidine.

Raulerson Hospital provides state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic services for individuals with sleep disorders in Okeechobee, FL. For information about our Sleep Disorders Laboratory, you can call (863) 763-9228 to speak to a registered nurse or visit our website to read more about our healthcare services, including diagnostic imaging and women’s health services.

An Overview of Heart Health Red Flags

Leading a heart-healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, regardless of age. However, if you have a cardiovascular condition, it’s even more critical to improve overall wellness by following a treatment plan with the help of a specialist at the cardiopulmonary services department. Additionally, you can be proactive about your health by learning to recognize the red flags of cardiac problems, some of which may require emergency care.

Warning Signs of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Coronary heart disease is characterized by the accumulation of plaque inside the coronary arteries, which bring blood to the heart. As the leading cause of death among men and women in the U.S., it’s important to recognize the warning signs of CHD early. If you’ve developed CHD, you may experience angina, or chest pain, which may feel like a squeezing sensation in your chest. Angina may be triggered by emotional or physical stress and it may be relieved by rest. Patients may also experience shortness of breath if CHD led to heart failure.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

CHD increases the risk of a heart attack, which requires emergency care at the nearest ER. If you think you could be experiencing a heart attack, you shouldn’t try to drive yourself to the hospital; instead, call 911. Some possible signs of a heart attack include pain in the chest, jaw, back, neck, arms, and upper abdominal area. Dizziness, lightheadedness, and cold sweats are other possible signs of a heart attack.

Red Flags of Heart Failure

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is incapable of pumping a sufficient volume of blood to fulfill the demands of the body. In addition to shortness of breath and fatigue, heart failure may lead to swelling in the lower extremities, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, persistent cough or wheezing, and sudden weight gain caused by fluid retention.

The highly trained specialists at the Cardiopulmonary Department at Raulerson Hospital are available around the clock to perform intensive and critical care procedures. Our cardiopulmonary services in Okeechobee, FL include diagnostic imaging and emergency care. If you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 right away for transportation to the ER; otherwise, you can call (863) 763-9228 to speak to a registered nurse.

What Is a Colon Resection?

Pain in the abdomen

Colon resection is a surgical measure typically considered after less-invasive options have failed to alleviate a particular ailment. In particular, this procedure may be necessary for individuals with extensive colon disease.

Colon disease can encompass any number of conditions. For instance, patients with advanced Crohn’s disease may require colon resection to remove damaged tissue that is obstructing proper colon function. This procedure may also be necessary if the colon has malignant growths or if cancer from another part of the body has spread to the colon. Though colon resection may require several days of hospitalization, it can prove integral to preserving quality of life for those who undergo it.

Have you been told that you require a colon resection? Then call Raulerson Hospital today at (888) 725-3918 to speak with one of our registered nurses available 24/7. We can refer you to the appropriate physician for more information on this procedure and its benefits.

Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for Breakfast and Lunch on the Go

Are you too busy to make a sit-down breakfast or lunch? With the help of your blender, you can still eat healthily even when you’re running short on time.

This video demonstrates how to create nutritious yet delicious smoothies. With just a few ingredients, you can make a wholesome and satisfying breakfast or lunch. For a breakfast smoothie, try fresh or frozen berries and low-fat yogurt for a tasty and portable meal. When you don’t have time for a traditional lunch, you can use your blender to mix together peanut butter, jelly, and other diabetes-friendly ingredients for a filling fix to your afternoon cravings.

Are you looking for more diabetes management information? Call Raulerson Hospital at (888) 725-3918 to speak with one of our Consult-A-Nurse associates.

Medical Emergency: Insect Bite Allergy

Bug bites

The bite of a fire ant or the sting of a bee can be incredibly painful for many people. Such an event can also be life-threatening for individuals with insect allergies. Raulerson Hospital recommends that individuals with known insect allergies or those who suffer an anaphylactic response seek emergency care as soon as possible if they suffer an insect bite.

Allergy Triggers

The bite or sting of any insect has the potential to cause a severe allergic reaction. However, a select few species account for the majority of anaphylactic responses. Creatures that live in hives or nests, including hornets, yellow jackets, and wasps, can induce a serious reaction in those with insect allergies. As mentioned, fire ants are also responsible for many trips to the emergency room due to the reactions that their venom can cause in some individuals.

Warning Signs

A bite or sting normally produces tenderness and redness. For those with insect allergies, a bite or sting can lead to a wide range of serious side effects. Some people may exhibit extreme respiratory difficulties. For instance, your throat can swell, making it challenging to breathe. Allergic reactions can also induce gastrointestinal issues. You may experience abdominal pain, vomit, or suffer from diarrhea. A bite or sting can also lead to the formation of welts over the body.

Treatment Options

Anaphylaxis requires immediate emergency treatment. If the victim of a bite or sting cannot breathe or loses consciousness, his symptoms may turn fatal if he does not receive professional medical attention. Epinephrine can prove integral to stabilizing the patient until an emergency team can better assess his symptoms and provide appropriate care.

Do you know how to identify the warning signs of anaphylaxis? Recognizing the symptoms and getting emergency care could save your life or that of someone you love. Call (888) 725-3918 to speak to a registered nurse available 24/7 to find out more about the emergency care services that Raulerson Hospital provides for allergy reactions and other life-threatening conditions.

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