• Celebrating National Health Education Week

    Quality healthcare means more than visiting the doctor once a year for checkups. For patients to truly thrive, health education is fundamental, because it allows patients to better understand their individual healthcare needs and recognize any future risks that may exist for them. Here at Riverside Community Hospital, we strive to provide every patient with information and resources to manage their health in the clinical setting and at home. We also look forward to National Health Education Week, which provides an opportunity to highlight the importance of patient education and public health awareness to promote a healthier community right here in Riverside.

    What is National Health Education Week?
    National Health Education Week (NHEW) is an annual event that has taken place since 1995 thanks to the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE). It is focused on increasing awareness of national public health issues and the role of patient education in healthcare. This year, some of the issues highlighted will include gun violence, health equity and access, and the increasing role of technology in health education.

    How can you celebrate?
    Many of the activities and discussions for NHEW will take place on social media, so it’s easy to get involved. Search the hashtag #MyImpact to read stories and facts from health education professionals and follow @SOPHEtweets to be part of the discussion.

    You can also celebrate by improving your health education with classes and events held at your community hospital. With a greater understanding of the issues affecting your health and the health of your community, you can become empowered to take a more active role in your healthcare and make healthier lifestyle choices.

    Riverside Community Hospital goes great lengths to help our patients remain informed as we provide exceptional care in our ER, Cancer Center, and Heart Care Institute. To connect with us, visit our website or call (951) 788-3463 to speak with a member of our nursing staff at any time.

  • Who has the highest risk of breast cancer?

    No woman is immune to breast cancer, but there are many risk factors that can increase the chances that you will be diagnosed with breast cancer in your lifetime. Some risk factors you can control, while others will be unavoidable. However, you can control how much you know about breast cancer and how frequently you check in with your doctor for appropriate screenings, including mammograms. If you fall into any of the following categories, it is especially important to talk to your doctor, because you will be in the highest risk groups for the disease.

Women with an inherited genetic mutation.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, or you know that the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation runs in your family, then it is likely that you have an inherited genetic mutation that can increase your risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Even if you do not have one of these genetic mutations, you might still be more proactive in your preventive care if you have a close relative, such as your mother, sister, or aunt, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Women over the age of 50.
Most breast cancer cases are diagnosed in women over the age of 50, which is why you will need more frequent breast cancer screenings as you get older.

Women with dense breast tissue.
Women with dense breasts have more connective tissue in the breasts than fatty tissue, which is harder to see through on a mammogram, so tumors may be more easily missed during routine screening. If you do have dense breast tissue, there are other imaging options, such as breast MRI that may be more suitable for you.

Women who have undergone hormone replacement therapy.
Hormone replacement therapy using the hormones estrogen and progesterone can increase the risk of breast cancer. Additionally, certain types of hormonal birth control may raise your risk. Talking to your OBGYN about the risks and benefits of any hormonal drugs is an important step for managing your breast health and getting the care you need.

For exceptional breast cancer care from screening to diagnosis to treatment to support, rely on Riverside Community Hospital’s Cancer Care Center. As a leading cancer treatment center in the Inland Empire, we are here to provide state-of-the-art care with compassionate patient support and education. For a physician referral in Riverside or guidelines for breast cancer screening, contact us today through our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (951) 788-3463.

  • Concussion prevention at any age

    The skull does a good job of protecting the brain during everyday activities. However, the brain is very delicate, and it’s susceptible to sustaining serious damage from traumatic impacts. Brain injuries, or concussions, can affect many areas of a person’s life—from memory and cognition to emotions and personality. Concussions can occur at any age, but children and older adults are high-risk groups. The healthcare providers at Riverside Community Hospital are always here to help if you have any questions about concussion prevention in your family.

    Infants and children
    One possible cause of life-threatening concussions in infants is shaken baby syndrome. This can occur when parents or caregivers feel so overwhelmed by a baby’s inability to stop crying that they shake the baby, causing irreversible brain damage.

    To prevent shaken baby syndrome, consider taking new parent education classes at the hospital and only hire experienced, well-qualified caregivers. Look for and address the cause of a baby’s crying, such as hunger, a wet diaper, the need to burp or the need for comfort. And if you ever feel overwhelmed, place the baby in the crib and walk away until your emotions are under control.

    Infants and children are also at risk of concussions from car accidents. Aside from driving safely, the most effective way to protect kids in a car is to keep them securely buckled into an appropriate car seat.

    Older children and adolescents
    When older children and adolescents join sports teams, parents can best protect them by ensuring they have the right safety gear. Consult the pediatrician or a qualified athletic coach to find out about appropriate safety gear for the child’s chosen sport. And always make sure kids wear a helmet when they go for a bike ride, or go skateboarding or rollerblading.

    Adults and older adults
    Older adults are particularly at risk of concussions from falling. A fall can happen to anyone in any place. If you’re taking medications, talk to your doctor about whether any of them may cause dizziness, which increases the risk of a fall.

    Additionally, maintain a safe environment. Remove clutter from the floors, ensure the home is well-lit and install safety modifications as needed, such as handrails in the bathroom.

    Riverside Community Hospital provides high-quality, patient-centered emergency care to Riverside County and greater southern California. Our providers use our Rapid Medical Evaluation program, which allows most patients to be seen within an average of 15 minutes. Call 911 if you have a true medical emergency, otherwise, you can direct general healthcare questions to a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463.

  • Signs of juvenile arthritis

    It’s often thought that arthritis is a disease of the elderly. But in fact, many children develop juvenile arthritis. Some of these patients will outgrow their diagnosis, while others require lifelong medical care for this disease. There are quite a few types of juvenile arthritis, and several of them fall into the category of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. No matter what your child’s diagnosis is, the orthopedic specialists at Riverside Community Hospital can help your family overcome health challenges.

    Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis
    “Systemic” means that a disease or its effects aren’t limited to just one area of the body.

    Often, a persistent fever is the first sign of systemic arthritis. Children may have a fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The fever may do any of the following:

    • Occur daily for a period of time
    • Spike in the evening and then drop within a few hours
    • Occur in the morning
    • Occur twice daily
    • Continue throughout the day

    The fever is accompanied by a rash that typically develops on the patient’s arms, legs or trunk. The rash looks pale, flat and pink, and it usually isn’t itchy. In most cases, this pink rash will last no longer than a few minutes or a few hours, during the time when the fever spikes.

    Oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis
    Oligoarticular arthritis is more common than the systemic type. It affects fewer than five joints, causing localized symptoms such as:

    • Pain
    • Stiffness
    • Swelling
    • Tenderness

    Children with oligoarticular arthritis are also at risk of a complication called uveitis. This is an inflammatory eye disorder that requires early diagnosis and treatment to prevent permanent vision loss.

    Polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis
    Polyarticular arthritis is similar to oligoarticular arthritis. However, it affects five or more joints. Children may have symptoms in the small joints of the hands and fingers, but some may also experience pain of the jaw joints and larger, weight-bearing joints.

    Riverside Community Hospital maintains an enduring commitment to healthcare excellence. Since 1901, our compassionate doctors and nurses have been providing patient-focused, family-centered care to residents in Riverside and throughout the Inland Empire. Call a registered nurse at our state-of-the-art hospital at (951) 788-3463.

  • Why asthma makes your allergies worse

    People who have asthma frequently also suffer from allergies. There is a close link between these conditions, and they can easily exacerbate each other. If you have asthma, your physician may focus on helping you control both asthma and allergy symptoms to prevent them from feeding off each other. Here is what you need to know.

    Allergic asthma
    Allergic asthma is the most common form of asthma, affecting 60% of asthma sufferers. With this kind of asthma, symptoms are triggered by an exposure to an allergen. There are many different potential triggers for allergic asthma, including:

    • Dust mites
    • Cockroaches
    • Mold
    • Pollen
    • Pets

    For people with allergic asthma, exposure to an allergen can cause the airways in the lungs to swell. This swelling can in turn cause an asthma attack to occur, for which sufferers may need to seek emergency care at a hospital.

    Asthma and allergy symptoms
    Allergies can be the cause of asthma symptoms, including shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and chronic cough. Continued to exposure to an allergic trigger can make these symptoms chronic, while occasional exposure to triggers can cause acute symptoms or flare-ups of symptoms.

    Asthma symptoms can also make allergy symptoms worse. Allergies and asthma cause similar symptoms, so when they occur at the same time, the symptoms of each condition can be intensified. Similarly, the chest tightness and shortness of breath that occurs with asthma can make rhinitis and associated nasal membrane swelling that occurs with allergies feel worse.

    Asthma and allergy management
    For people with allergic asthma, managing both asthma and allergies is essential for symptom relief. Avoiding exposure to allergens as much as possible is the first step. Your physician may also provide medications for both chronic asthma and allergy symptoms and acute attacks that occur as symptoms flare up.

    Managing asthma and allergies can involve a complex treatment plan, but Riverside Community Hospital is here to help. Our ER provides emergency care around the clock, so we’re ready when asthma attacks strike, and our providers cam help you create a comprehensive and effective treatment plan. Contact our hospital in Riverside for a referral to a physician today by calling (951) 788-3463.

  • Myths and facts about hepatitis C

    Hepatitis C is an increasingly common but often misunderstood disease. Researchers did not identify the hepatitis C virus until 1989, but since that time, a huge amount of knowledge has been amassed about the disease. Unfortunately, myths keep some people from getting tested who could benefit from it while others let misinformation impact their attitudes about the condition. If you or someone you love has hepatitis C, your doctor can explain the facts about the condition so you have a better understanding what it is. Don’t let these myths impact your knowledge about hepatitis C.

    Myth: Hepatitis C is a terminal disease.
    Although hepatitis C is a serious diagnosis, most people with the disease live long lives. It is true that 10 to 25% of people with the disease can develop serious and potentially fatal liver complications, but being diagnosed with hepatitis C does not mean that you have a terminal illness.

    People with hepatitis C can do many things to improve their health, including:

    • Seeing physicians regularly to monitor the disease progression
    • Eating a healthy diet
    • Avoiding alcohol
    • Following the recommended treatment plan
    • Exercising daily

    Myth: Hepatitis C is an STD.
    There are some instances in which hepatitis C is transmitted via sexual contact, but research has indicated a 0-3% of passing the disease on during sex in heterosexual couples. The rate is slightly higher among homosexual men, but most people with hepatitis C got the disease from blood-to-blood exposure.

    Some people believe that hepatitis C can be transmitted through air or salvia, but it cannot. Sharing utensils and drinking glasses, hugging, and other forms of casual contact will not expose anyone to the disease.

    Myth: Hepatitis C cannot be treated.
    There is no cure for hepatitis C, but there are many medications that can help manage the progression of the disease. Not everyone needs to be on medications, but there are treatments available if your physician determines that you could benefit.

    Hepatitis C medications have a reputation for having significant side effects, but these can be managed by working closely with your physician.

    Living a healthy life with hepatitis C is possible. Contact Riverside Community Hospital to get a referral to a physician in Riverside who can help you get the care you need. Dial (951) 788-3463 for more information.

  • What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the elbow?

    Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint in the body, and although it is more common in weight bearing joints, the elbow can be affected. If you are experiencing chronic elbow pain that impacts your range of motion and ability to do certain tasks, see your physician to determine if osteoarthritis could be blame. A range of treatments, including noninvasive options and robotic surgery, is available and help get you out of pain and back to your normal activities.

    What is osteoarthritis of the elbow?
    As explained in the video, osteoarthritis occurs in the elbow for the same reason it occurs in other joints. When the cartilage in the joint degenerates, it allows the bones to rub together or bump into each other, causing pains. Bone spurs may also develop.

    Cartilage degeneration can occur because of an injury or because of joint overuse. Often, injuries that cause osteoarthritis happen many years before the arthritis actually appears. Overuse injuries can also take years to develop, which is why osteoarthritis is more common later in life.

    What are the symptoms?
    Osteoarthritis causes pain and stiffness in the elbow. In early stages, you may only notice the pain when you are moving your elbow. However, osteoarthritis is a progressive disease, and the pain will become worse over time until you feel it even when you are at rest.

    Swelling is also common, as is hearing creaks and squeaks when the joint moves. It often becomes difficult to bend and straighten the arm when osteoarthritis gets worse.

    What treatment options are available?
    Steroid injections and pain medications are successful in reducing osteoarthritis symptoms in some people. Activity modification and physical therapy are also helpful for some people.

    When noninvasive treatments don’t provide adequate relief, surgery may be necessary. There are many different procedure options, including minimally invasive and robotic procedures, such as joint debridement and elbow joint replacement.

    Don’t let osteoarthritis pain keep you from doing the things you love. At Riverside Community Hospital, we offer comprehensive orthopedic and joint replacement procedures and cutting-edge robotic surgery. Contact our hospital in Riverside at (951) 788-3463 for a referral to a specialist.

  • Women – set healthy goals

    Today is a great opportunity for women to take time out to focus on their own health and wellness. Are you ready to commit to some healthier goals this year? Here are some strategies for committing to better health.

    Have a physical
    A yearly physical, including a well woman exam, is the foundation of good health. During a physical, your physician can get a clear view of your overall health, determine if you could be suffering from any undiagnosed medical conditions, and evaluate how well your current medical treatments are working.

    A physical is also a good time to ask questions about your health and address any concerns you have about symptoms or your risk factors for certain diseases. By having a physical each year, your physician can track and identify changes in your health that need further attention.

    Stop smoking
    Smoking has a tremendous impact on your health. It can do everything from increase your risk of heart attack and stroke to cause mouth and lung cancer. The longer you smoke, the more damage you will do to your body, but when you stop, your body begins to recover immediately.

    Quitting smoking is challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Your physician can help you find resources that work for you, from support groups in your area or online to medications that reduce cravings, so you can succeed in quitting, even if you’ve tried before.

    Learn your numbers
    There are certain numbers that mean a lot to your health, and knowing them helps you make smart decisions about your wellness. Make sure you know these numbers:

    • Weight
    • Cholesterol
    • Blood pressure
    • Blood glucose

    If you don’t like some of your numbers, ask your doctor about changes you can make to get them in a healthier range.

    At Riverside Community Hospital, your health is our priority. If you don’t have a physician, contact us at (951) 788-3463 and ask for a referral to a primary care physician or OBGYN in Riverside .

  • Which technologies assist modern neurosurgeons?

    Neurosurgeons rely heavily on technology to make treatments less invasive and safer. Many patients in need of neurosurgery are surprised at their options for minimally invasive treatments and how quick and comfortable recovery can be. These advanced treatment options also provide care for conditions that were considered to be unmanageable. Here is a look at some of the technologies being used by neurosurgeons today.

    Deep brain stimulation

    1. Deep brain stimulation is performed by placing electrodes within the brain to stabilize abnormal impulses. As explained in the video, it can be used to treat multiple movement disorders. Some of the diseases and conditions that can be helped by deep brain stimulation include:
    • Essential tremor
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Dystonia
    • Epilepsy
    • OCD
    • Tourette’s syndrome
    • Some types of chronic pain

    Deep brain stimulation is usually performed after medications have provided sufficient symptom relief. Researchers are currently investigating its usefulness in treating depression, addiction, dementia, and brain damage caused by stroke.

    Robotic surgery
    Robotic surgery is a technique in which robotic instruments make incisions and excisions during surgery. The robotic tools are controlled by a surgeon, who operates them from a control panel that incorporates a high-resolution camera, so that he or she can clearly see the patient during the procedure.

    Robotic surgery offers multiple benefits to patients, such as:

    • Smaller, more precise incisions
    • Faster recovery times
    • Less surgical and post-surgical bleeding

    Neurointerventional Biplane System
    The Neurointerventional Biplane System allows neurological procedures that would have been done with traditional, open surgery in the past to be treated with minimally invasive procedures. The system allows neurointerventionalist to map the flow of blood through the vein without an open surgery, and then treat any issues minimally invasively, through a catheter introduced through an entry point in the leg.

    Some of the conditions treated with this system include:

    • Stroke
    • Carotid artery blockages
    • Intracranial hemorrhages
    • Arteriovenous malformations

    Riverside Community Hospital is the only place in western Riverside County with a Neurointerventional Biplane System , and our neurosurgeons rely on advanced technologies every day to provide the best possible patient care. To learn more about our services, including robotic surgery in Riverside, please call (951) 788-3463.

  • Knowing when drinking is a problem

    Alcohol abuse is a problem that affects every walk of life. No gender, race, class, or ethnic group is immune to risks and dangerous of alcoholism, but few people know how to recognize the signs of problem drinking before abuse becomes severe. Knowing the symptoms of alcohol abuse can help you take action when necessary is you or someone you love is struggling with a drinking problem. If you recognize these symptoms, consider talking to your healthcare provider about the next steps you should take.

    Binge drinking
    The amount of alcohol a person can safely consume depends on many different factors, however, there are some general guidelines as to what is considered to be excessive:

    • For women, more than 7 drinks per week or more than 3 drinks per drinking session
    • For men, more than 14 drinks per week or more than 4 drinks per session
    • For people over 65, more than 7 drinks per week or more than 3 drinks per session

    Drinking more than these guidelines on a regular basis is considered to be excessive. When people drink more than these guidelines per session, they are engaging in binge drinking. Binge drinking is an especially dangerous form of alcohol abuse that is associated with significant health risks and loss of life.

    Risk-taking behavior
    Taking risks while drinking is another sign of alcohol abuse. Some common forms of risky behavior people who are dealing with alcohol abuse may engage in includes:

    • Drinking and driving
    • Mixing drinks with medications
    • Lying to healthcare providers about drinking
    • Drinking while in charge of young children
    • Engaging in risky sexual behavior

    Alcohol dependence
    Alcohol abuse can cause someone to prioritize alcohol over other needs and responsibilities and to become physically and psychologically dependent on it. Some signs of alcohol dependency are:

    • Trying to hide how much you’re drinking
    • Worrying about not having access to alcohol
    • Missing work and personal obligations to drink
    • Experiencing shaking, anxiety, and other physical symptoms if you can’t drink

    Alcohol abuse can be devastating for families, but help is available. Your healthcare provider at Riverside Community Hospital can help you understand if you are abusing alcohol and get the help you need. Get a referral to a physician in Riverside by calling (951) 788-3463.

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