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

Can too much sun make you sick?

The sun may make human life possible, but it can also be incredibly damaging to human health. Unprotected sun exposure increases the risk of photodermatitis, sun poisoning and skin cancer. Additionally, the soaring summer temperatures place Californians at an increased risk of heat-related illnesses. At Riverside Community Hospital, you’ll find the expert medical guidance you need to protect your family.


Photodermatitis is a condition in which the skin reacts abnormally to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Certain people may be at a higher risk of being particularly sensitive to sun exposure, including the following:

  • People who are taking certain medications
  • Patients with lupus or eczema
  • People with certain genetic factors

Photodermatitis can be acute, which means it develops suddenly and doesn’t last for a long time. Or, it can be chronic. The possible signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Itchy blisters and bumps
  • Raised areas of the skin
  • Swelling, redness and pain
  • Fever with chills
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Skin lesions
  • Areas of darkened skin

Sun poisoning

Sun poisoning refers to extreme sunburn that causes skin inflammation. Prevention is always best, but if sun poisoning does occur, it’s recommended that patients seek emergency care. The following signs and symptoms can be indicative of sun poisoning:

  • Large blisters
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Fainting
  • Dehydration
  • Rapid pulse
  • Rapid breathing
  • Headache
  • Skin swelling

Additionally, sun poisoning is characterized by a rash-like skin reaction. The skin becomes quite red and dry before it peels. The effects of sun poisoning can last longer than a week.

Skin cancer

Photodermatitis and sun poisoning, along with any other sort of unprotected sun exposure, can increase the risk of skin cancer. Although skin cancer may take longer to develop than sun poisoning, the result can be life-threatening.

Early detection of skin cancer is crucial, so consider scheduling a skin cancer screening annually. Your doctor may also recommend doing a self-check of your skin every month.

Heat-related illnesses

The hot summer sun can make you more susceptible to developing heat-related illnesses, which have immediate and potentially serious effects on health. Heat cramps are the mildest form of these progressive illnesses, followed by heat exhaustion and, lastly, heatstroke.

Heat exhaustion and heatstroke both require immediate medical attention. They can cause:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Little to no sweating and urine output
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid, shallow breathing

For all of life’s medical emergencies, your family can count on Riverside Community Hospital to provide the superior care you deserve. Along with our patient-focused emergency care, we specialize in bariatric weight loss, robotic surgery and organ transplants. To request a physician referral, call a registered nurse in Riverside at (951) 788-3463.

Why is it harder for women to lose weight?

It might not seem fair that some people seem to be able to eat anything they want without gaining a pound, while other people struggle to maintain their weight or to lose a little. It probably isn’t just your imagination that the men in your life seem to shed pounds far more easily than women. When you watch this video, you’ll learn why metabolism plays an important role in this discrepancy. This video features a bariatric weight loss specialist at Riverside Community Hospital. If your weight is interfering with your health, consider talking to a bariatric weight loss specialist about your options.

What your basal metabolic rate is

Your basal metabolic rate is the average number of calories your body uses each day while at rest in a typical environment. In other words, these are the calories that are necessary to keep your heart pumping and your airways breathing.

Basal metabolic rate is influenced by a person’s height, current weight and age. It also depends on whether a person is male or female. Men naturally tend to have a higher basal metabolic rate than women do, which means their bodies burn more calories each day regardless of their activity level.

How basal metabolic rate influences weight loss

Your basal metabolic rate is significant for weight loss because, with a low rate, your body needs fewer calories each day. Any calories you consume beyond this threshold must be used for physical exertion. Otherwise, weight gain occurs.

How women can achieve their weight loss goals

Although it can be disheartening to learn that you may be predisposed to lose weight more slowly than an average man, there are ways you can effectively change your body composition. Building more lean muscle mass, for example, will boost your basal metabolic rate.

Bariatric weight loss isn’t right for every patient, but for good candidates, it can pave the way for a healthier lifestyle and better quality of life. For the superior care and personalized guidance you deserve, you can turn to the bariatric weight loss specialists at Riverside Community Hospital. Residents of Riverside can call our nurse referral line at (951) 788-3463.

How to follow up on an ER visit

As much as they care about their patients, ER physicians do prefer not see them more than once. Unfortunately, the lack of follow-up care after an ER discharge can sometimes increase the likelihood of a repeat ER visit. To keep your family healthy and out of the ER as much as possible, the team at Riverside Community Hospital provides patient-focused, easy-to-follow discharge instructions that are personalized based on the diagnosis. You can hear more about our discharge protocols when you watch this video, which features one of our caring registered nurses. She explains the importance of following up with your primary care physician.

Read your discharge instructions carefully

Before you leave the Emergency Room, a healthcare provider will explain your discharge instructions to you and provide you with a written copy. If someone accompanied you to the ER, you may wish to have that person join in the conversation to help you keep track of your health at home.

Keep your written instructions and refer to them if you’re unclear about any aspect of your diagnosis and treatment.

Call your primary care physician

In many cases, patients are advised to follow up with their primary care doctors. Since primary care doctors typically have busy schedules, it’s best to call him or her as soon as possible.

During your appointment, discuss your symptoms and diagnosis with the doctor, and explain what you’ve been doing at home to take care of your health. Ask your physician if you need any further tests, exams or treatments, and discuss any issues you might have experienced with prescribed medications. Your doctor may recommend that you follow up with a specialist.

Check for available test results

If your hospital offers an online patient portal, you can use it to keep track of your health information. Your account will include information such as:

  • Your recent and upcoming visits
  • Your diagnoses
  • Your medications and dosages
  • Your test results

Using your patient portal can help you coordinate your follow-up care with your primary doctor.

Riverside Community Hospital is known for providing superior, compassionate emergency care to families throughout Riverside. Our hospital attracts top physicians and specialists because of our unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest standards of patient care and safety. Please direct medical emergencies to a 911 dispatcher, or you can call a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463 for general healthcare questions.

Break your misconceptions about mental health

Myths about mental health are dangerous to everyone, because they stop people from getting the care they need. Getting treatment for a mental health problem is no different from getting treatment for any medical condition. You wouldn’t avoid seeing the doctor for treatment for heart disease or OBGYN care, and you should approach your mental health care the same way. Here are the facts behind some common myths about mental health.

Myth: Mental health problems are rare

The fact is that mental health problems are exceedingly common. When the US Department of Health and Human Services tracked mental health statistics for 2014, they found that:

  • 1 in 5 adults dealt with a mental health issue of some sort

  • 1 in 10 young people lived through a time of major depression

  • 1 in 25 people had a serious mental illness, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

Mental health problems affect families all over the country, of all walks of life, and they impact people of all ages. Like any other illness, some people have mental health issues and some people don’t.

Myth: People with mental health problems are weak

Mental health problems are not character flaws or signs of that a person is weak or lazy. Several different factors can contribute to mental health issues, such as:

  • Brain chemistry imbalances

  • Physical illness and injury

  • History of trauma or abuse

  • Family history of mental health problems

Most people with mental illness have a combination of factors that come together to cause their disease, but character issues are never one of them.

Myth: There are no treatments for mental health problems

In reality, there are more treatments for mental health problems than ever before, and today’s treatments provide effective care with a minimum of side effects. Most physicians use a combination of treatments to control symptoms and help patients enjoy the lives they want to live.

Don’t suffer in silence with mental illness. The compassionate providers at Riverside Community Hospital are here to help when you or your loved one experiences mental health issues. Find out more about our hospital in Riverside and get a physician referral by calling us anytime at (951) 788-3463.

Stay safe when you commute by bike

Commuting to work or school by bike is great for your heart and the environment. However, to avoid injury, you should also take some precautions to ensure you reach your destination safely. At Riverside Community Hospital, we’re open around the clock to provide emergency care if an injury does occur, but you can dramatically reduce your risk by sticking to these safety guidelines.

Always wear a helmet

No one should ride a bike without a helmet, whether they’re riding up and down their driveway or cycling to work through traffic. Your helmet should fit snuggly and be secured with a chinstrap so that it protects your head thoroughly and doesn’t fly off if an accident happens.

If you fall from your bike, your helmet could be the only thing that prevents a head injury from occurring. If it has been a long time since you’ve been fitted for a helmet, visit a bike store to make sure yours still fits the right way. If the strap starts to wear out and the helmet feels loose, consider replacing it.

Wear appropriate clothing

Keep in mind that it can be difficult to see you when you are cycling through traffic, particularly when it is dark out or during dawn and dusk hours. For daytime cycling, wear a fluorescent jacket or strip, and at night, wear retro-reflective clothing. Front white lights and rear red lights can also increase your visibility.

Follow road rules

Be sure you understand the rules of the road for cyclists, and follow them exactly. These rules exist to keep you safe, and drivers will anticipate your behavior based on what they expect you to do according the rules.

At Riverside Community Hospital, we provide care around the clock for everything from minor bumps and scrapes to serious traumas that require emergency care . You can learn more about our comprehensive hospital services in Riverside by calling (951) 788-3463.

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