Riverside Community Hospital
Riverside Community Hospital is committed to the care and comfort of our patients and improving the overall health of our community.

How Do EMS Personnel Communicate with Trauma Centers?

Trauma centers are distinct from emergency departments. Emergency departments evaluate and treat patients who are suffering from a wide range of medical problems—from ankle sprains to heart attacks. Trauma centers provide specialized, emergent care for patients with life-threatening and critical injuries that are in need of immediate resuscitation or stabilization. In the Riverside area, patients can be directed to the Emergency Room or the Level II Trauma Center at Riverside Community Hospital.

When EMS Arrives on the Scene
When someone calls 911 to report a critically injured patient, the 911 operator will dispatch Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to the scene. Watch this featured video to hear a registered nurse at Riverside Community Hospital explain what happens as soon as EMS arrives on the scene. The EMS team quickly assesses the nature and extent of the patient’s injuries, and checks the patient’s vital signs. Paramedics may perform certain life-saving interventions as needed, such as administering oxygen or performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The EMS team contacts the hospital and advises the mobile intensive care nurses about the patient’s condition. Based on this information, a nurse will direct the ambulance to the ER or to the trauma team.

When Patients Arrive at the Hospital
Thanks to the communication between the EMS team and the mobile intensive care nurse, the appropriate trauma team is ready and waiting to immediately attend to the patient’s needs as soon as he or she arrives in the trauma resuscitation room. Communication between the trauma center and the EMS team eliminates the possibility of any waiting period between a patient’s arrival and his or her treatment. In a life or death situation, every second counts.

Riverside Community Hospital is proud to serve the needs of our community members in Riverside with our dedicated trauma resuscitation rooms, operating suites, and 40-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Please direct all medical emergencies to a 911 dispatcher. Questions about our hospital services may be directed to a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463.

Coping with the Flu When You're Pregnant

Influenza is a respiratory infection caused by a virus. Many cases of the flu are mild, but certain people are at a high risk of severe flu symptoms and complications. This high-risk group includes women who are pregnant. In fact, expecting mothers who contract the flu are at a higher risk of premature labor and delivery, and their babies are at a higher risk of birth defects. If you’re pregnant and displaying signs of the flu, you can find the expert medical care you need at Riverside Community Hospital.

Getting the Flu Shot
Prevention is preferable, and the flu shot is safe for using during pregnancy. The flu shot, unlike the nasal-spray flu vaccine, contains inactivated flu viruses. In other words, it is not possible to contract the flu from the vaccine. It’s advisable that women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant receive the flu vaccine as early as possible during the flu season.

Seeking Early Treatment
If you do develop symptoms of influenza, early treatment is available to reduce the risk of complications. Flu symptoms can include fever, chills, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, and nasal congestion. Consider calling your doctor or visiting the hospital for a medical exam if you develop these symptoms. Antiviral medications can be prescribed, but they must be taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Before taking any over-the-counter (OTC) fever reducers or nasal decongestants, discuss these medicines with your doctor. Some medications are not advised for use during pregnancy.

Recognizing Serious Symptoms
Doctors recommend calling 911 right away if serious symptoms develop in pregnant women. These can include sudden dizziness, severe or persistent vomiting, and difficulty breathing.
Pain in the abdomen or chest, confusion, persistent high fever, and decreased fetal movement are also red flags.

The Emergency Room in Riverside is available 24/7 for patients with serious flu symptoms and other severe medical problems. The obstetricians of the Family Birthplace at Riverside Community Hospital specialize in providing high-risk pregnancy care and neonatal intensive care to help every baby get a healthy start in life. You can speak with a registered nurse at our hospital by calling (951) 788-3463, but please direct medical emergencies to 911.

Is Your Headache Bad Enough for a Visit to the ER?

Headaches are quite common and can be caused by everything from poor posture to sleep deprivation. But sometimes, a headache might indicate a serious or even life-threatening medical condition that requires emergency transportation to the hospital. These include conditions like meningitis and a ruptured brain aneurysm. When neurological emergencies affect people in the Riverside area, specialty care can be found at Riverside Community Hospital.

Ruptured Brain Aneurysm
When a blood vessel wall bulges outward and stretches, it is referred to as an aneurysm. An aneurysm can occur in any blood vessel, including in blood vessels of the brain. Most aneurysms aren’t detected until they rupture or leak. When this occurs, the patient is likely to experience an extremely painful headache. The headache may be accompanied by other symptoms such as seizures, nausea, vomiting, confusion, loss of consciousness, and stiff neck. If you or a loved one suffers the rapid onset of these types of symptoms, it’s time to call 911.

Stroke is another life-threatening cause of sudden, severe headaches. Most strokes occur when an obstruction in a blood vessel, such as a blood clot, blocks the flow of blood to the brain. This causes the brain cells in the affected area to die quickly, resulting in functional impairments. A stroke can also be caused by bleeding on the brain. In addition to a headache, stroke can cause one-sided weakness or numbness, slurred speech, confusion, and walking difficulties.

The meninges are the layers of tissue that surround the brain and spinal cord. An infection of this tissue and of the cerebrospinal fluid is called meningitis. Meningitis is a medical emergency that may cause death within a matter of hours if left untreated. In addition to a headache, patients with meningitis may experience a high fever, very stiff, sore neck, sensitivity to light, vomiting, confusion, and seizures.

Riverside Community Hospital provides 24/7 Neurological Emergency Services, including specialized care for patients with stroke, brain aneurysm, and migraines. If you or a loved one is experiencing a serious medical emergency in Riverside, please call 911 immediately. If you have a non-emergent question about our hospital services, you can call (951) 788-3463 and speak with one of our registered nurses.

How Can You Improve Your Stress-Handling Skills?

A person’s stress response can actually be beneficial on a short-term basis. The physiological changes and hormonal fluctuations trigger a “fight or flight” response that is helpful for dealing with dangerous situations. However, long-term stress contributes to a number of adverse health effects, including cardiovascular problems. This is why heart doctors and other physicians might recommend that you work on your stress management skills. If you do have a heart condition, consider visiting the Heart Care Institute at Riverside Community Hospital.

Identify Your Stressors
Become proactive about managing your stress by first identifying the situations that cause you to feel overwhelmed. Carry a small notebook with you for a couple of weeks and write down the specific issues that stress you out. If you’re like many people, you might be stressed out because of a busy schedule, problems at work, or difficulties parenting a stubborn teenager. It may be possible to change certain stressors, such as by asking other family members to take on more household responsibilities. But since most stressors probably cannot be mitigated, it’s time to practice good stress management.

Improve Your Physical Health
Physical health and mental health are closely intertwined. One way to manage your stress more effectively is to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet and exercise on most days of the week. Exercise can also help fight some of the damaging effects of stress, such as heart health problems.

Consider Mental Health Counseling
A mental health counselor can help you sort through your challenges and understand your thinking patterns. If you choose to work with a mental health specialist, you’ll begin to recognize negative thinking patterns and find ways of modifying them.

Use Healthy Coping Strategies
A mental health specialist can also teach you coping strategies to use when you begin to feel overwhelmed. Deep breathing techniques, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery are some of the strategies that may help you.

If you’re looking for a state-of-the-art heart hospital that combines personalized attention with the latest medical advances, Riverside Community Hospital invites you to get to know our Heart Care Institute in Riverside. Our multidisciplinary team of heart care specialists looks forward to working with you to improve your wellness and quality of life. You can request a referral to a specialist at our heart hospital by calling our Consult-A-Nurse line at (951) 788-3463.

Decorate Safely for the Holidays This Year

With the holidays rapidly approaching, it’s time to start getting out the decorations. A festive home can lift the spirits, but unfortunately, decorating does have some risks that your family should be aware of. In fact, thousands of decorating-related injuries are reported in emergency rooms across the country every holiday season. These range from lacerations to debilitating head injuries. From our family to yours, the emergency care team at Riverside Community Hospital would like to wish you a safe and joyous holiday season.

Decorating at an Elevated Position
Falls from an elevated position are among the most common causes of decorating-related injuries. If you easily lose your balance or get dizzy, consider asking someone else to climb up on a ladder or chair for you. Otherwise, place the ladder on firm, even ground. Make sure you’re wearing shoes with good traction before you start climbing up. Only decorate the areas that you can safely and easily reach from the ladder, then climb down and reposition the ladder. Many falls occur because decorators tried to reach too far away from the ladder.

Preventing House Fires
Candles are a popular way to set the ambiance for a holiday get-together, but if there are young children or active pets in the home, consider using flameless LED candles. If you do use real candles, place them far away from any flammable objects. House fires can also be caused by damaged or defective strings of lights. Check each light and cord for signs of damage before using them. Keep the tree well-watered; a dried-out tree can catch fire.

Keeping Young Children Safe
If you’re a parent, then you probably already know the basics of childproofing a home. Be sure to check for decoration hazards, such as extension cords that a young child might chew on or breakable ornaments placed low on the tree. If you’re hosting a family get-together this year that will include young children, consider talking to the parents about ways of improving your home’s safety.

The Emergency Department at Riverside Community Hospital is a Level II Trauma Center available around the clock, every day of the year. Our emergency care team prides itself on providing rapid responses and to further this mission, we’ve added a new helistop adjacent to the ER for critical patients. Please call 911 without delay if you have a medical emergency; otherwise, you can reach our hospital in Riverside at (951) 788-3463.

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