• Learn About the Many Benefits of Breastfeeding at Our Free Breastfeeding Class

    breastfeeding

    Breastfeeding is a natural and powerful way to nurture a newborn infant, but the technique can be difficult to master without practice. To gain confidence in your ability to breastfeed, consider attending Riverside Community Hospital’s free breastfeeding class the evening of Wednesday, September 5th. In addition to learning various breastfeeding holds and latching techniques, you’ll find out about the many reasons to nurse your baby.

    Breast milk is a nourishing substance whose benefits for newborns cannot be fully reproduced by formula. These include:

    Easier Digestion

    The proteins in breast milk are broken down easily by infants’ digestive systems, unlike the proteins found in artificial formulas, which are derived from cow’s milk. More thorough absorption of breast milk means less gas and diarrhea as well as better-smelling diapers.

    Enhanced Immunity

    Breastfed infants are far less likely to get sick, thanks to the antibodies passed through breast milk from the mother. Babies who breastfeed have a much lower chance of contracting ear infections, meningitis, lower respiratory infections, and inflammatory bowel disease. In addition, breast milk confers lifelong benefits, including a reduced risk of obesity, type-II diabetes, allergies, and asthma.

    Breastfeeding benefits more than the health of your baby. New mothers who breastfeed enjoy:

    Faster Weight Loss

    The production of breast milk costs a woman’s body roughly 500 calories per day. This combined with the nursing-stimulated shrinking of your uterus can help you more easily return to your pre-pregnancy appearance.

    Reduced Risk of Cancer and Bone Disorders

    Mothers who breastfeed can reap the benefits decades later, with a reduced risk of uterine, ovarian, and breast cancer, as well as protection against bone loss and osteoporosis.

    Minimal Preparation

    Caring for a newborn can be stressful and time-consuming, which is why many women appreciate the convenience of breastfeeding. With fewer bottles to wash and carry and no mixing or warming of formula, mothers can focus on bonding with their babies during feeding times.

    Find out more about Riverside Community Hospital’s free classes for expectant parents by calling (951) 788-3000. Our mission is to promote lifelong health through education and quality medical services. 

  • Our Surgical Weight Loss Seminar Is Coming Up

    fit

    If you are considering surgical weight loss, it is important to inform yourself about your options and what you can expect. To help you become educated about the procedure, Riverside Community Hospital offers free surgical weight loss seminars conducted by one of our bariatric surgeons. During the talk, he or she will provide detailed information on the following topics:

    Types of Bariatric Surgery

    Riverside Community Hospital’s Center for Surgical Weight Loss provides three minimally-invasive surgical weight loss options: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding, and sleeve gastrectomy. During the surgical weight loss seminar, you can learn about the anatomical differences between these procedures, as well as how they work and the hospital stay involved.

    Benefits of Surgical Weight Loss

    Every person has different reasons for wanting weight loss surgery, but our seminar will cover the major benefits offered by the procedure. These may include a reduction in the severity of diabetes, arthritis, obstructive sleep apnea, asthma, and hypertension, as well as a decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, and degenerative disc disease.

    Risks of Surgery

    As with all surgical procedures, weight loss surgery carries certain risks. While opting for a laparoscopic technique rather than open surgery can help decrease your pain, recovery time, and risk of infection, complications occasionally occur involving postoperative bleeding, gastrointestinal leakage, blood clots, and dumping syndrome. Our surgeons can help you understand the likelihood of these occurrences and how your eligibility for surgery factors into your risk.

    Expected Results

    The amount of weight you lose after bariatric surgery greatly depends on your motivation to change your lifestyle. During the seminar, you will learn why it is vital to follow your surgeon’s specific instructions regarding the type and amount of food you eat, as well as your physical activity levels and cessation of detrimental behaviors such as smoking.

    Our next surgical weight loss seminar is at Riverside Community Hospital on Tuesday, September 4th at 6 pm. While it is free to attend, we ask that you reserve your spot by calling (951) 788-3000 to register.

  • Becoming an Organ Donor

    Medical concept

    Did you know that one person has the ability to save up to 8 lives through organ donation 

    Organ donation is a surgical procedure in which one or more healthy organs are transplanted into a patient with end-stage organ failure.  It is widely considered to be a selfless act of generosity, yet it represents a significant commitment on the part of the potential organ donor and his or her loved ones.

    Statistics, resources, and patient stories relating to organ donation can help you make an informed decision about becoming an organ donor. 

    Organs and tissues that can be donated include:

    • Skin
    • Kidneys
    • Heart 
    • Liver 
    • Pancreas
    • Intestines
    • Lungs
    • Bone and bone marrow
    • Cornea
    • Middle ear

    Why become a donor?

    According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, organ donors made more than 28,000 transplants possible in 2011. In addition to recoveries aided by organ transplants, one million people received tissue transplants that supported recoveries from trauma, burns, bone damage, spinal injuries, vision loss and hearing impairment.  

    Unfortunately, thousands of people die each year while waiting for organ transplants.

    How to become an organ donor

    You must register with your state to become an organ donor. You can register over the Internet or while getting your driver’s license renewed. You may also wish to share your organ donor status with your family and friends, so they can support you in this important decision.

    Who can and cannot be an organ donor

    People of any age can potentially become organ donors. Infants, as well as senior citizens, have been successful donors.  Donors can be living or deceased.

    Some preexisting conditions will exclude a person from becoming an organ donor; these include active cancer, HIV infection, and systemic infection.  If you are under 18 years of age, you need the permission of your parent or legal guardian to register as an organ donor.

    Many potential organ donors worry that their religion will not support the process of organ donation. In fact, many major religions in the U.S. support organ donation and consider it to be the final act of love and kindness toward others. It is recommended that you speak to a leading member of your religious organization to learn more about your religion’s stance on organ donation.

    The Transplant Program at Riverside Community Hospital offers diagnostic testing and treatment strategies within a compassionate, patient-focused environment.

    For more information on the medical services provided at Riverside Community Hospital or to obtain a referral, call our free Consult-A-Nurse ® service at (951) 788-3000. 

  • Five Questions to Ask Your Ob/Gyn

    Questions and Answers

    Being proactive is a huge part of staying healthy. For women, the mission to stay healthy includes annual visits to the office of their Obstetrician/Gynecologist. While scheduling and keeping these appointments is key, being vocal during your time with your Ob/Gyn is also very important.

    Some women don’t know what questions may be worth asking and some are afraid to talk about intimate topics. The Ob/Gyn is ready to discuss any topic a patient needs to address and women should feel encouraged to ask questions rather than stay silent. Speaking up saves lives.

    5 Questions to ask during your Ob/Gyn visit

    1. What is a Pap test and why do I need one? / What is a pelvic exam and why do I need one?

    A Pap test or Pap smear is used to look for changes in the cells of your cervix. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health advises that all women age 21 or older have a Pap test once every two years. There may be reasons your Ob/Gyn recommends you have the test more often, space it out to every 3 years or stop at a certain age. It is important to talk to your doctor about your particular health needs.

    2. What is human papillomavirus (HPV) and how can I protect myself against it?

    There are actually about 40 types of HPV, which can be spread through sex. HPV is a major cause of cervical cancer. Your Ob/Gyn is the best source to answer your questions about HPV, including prevention, discovery and treatment.

    3. How can I protect myself against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and HIV?

    There are more than 20 types of sexually transmitted diseases. The health problems they can cause are often more serious in women than in men. Your Ob/Gyn can explain how you can reduce your risk of getting STDs and what it means to practice “safe sex.”

    4. What should I know about birth control?

    There are many types of birth control on the market today. Some types of birth control help prevent sexually transmitted diseases and some do not. Therefore, it is very important that you speak to your Ob/Gyn regarding what method of birth control may be right for you.

    5. What is a mammogram and how often do I need one?

    A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast that looks for signs that cancer may be present. While there is no debate that early detection of breast cancer saves lives, there is some discussion about when to begin regular mammogram screenings. The majority of guidelines from medical and cancer organizations agree that beginning at age 40, women with average risk should have a mammogram every 1-2 years. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women 40-49 talk to their doctor about the benefits and risks of routine mammography before age 50.

    The Women’s and Children’s Services Program at Riverside Community Hospital includes a team of dedicated Obstetrician/Gynecologists who are available to answer all of your Obstetrics and Gynecology-related questions.

    To find a physician who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology or to obtain a referral, call Riverside Community Hospital’s free Consult-A-Nurse ® Healthcare Referral line at (951) 788-3000.

  • How Summer Heat Can Affect Your Heart

    bright blue sky with the sun causing lens flare

    Hot summer weather can be hard on your heart.That’s because the way the human body works to keep its temperature around 98.6 degrees puts extra stress on the cardiovascular system.

    For healthy people, the dog days of summer may be merely uncomfortable.Their bodies usually adapt to the weather changes without any ill effects.

    But sweltering temperatures can cause trouble for people with damaged or weakened hearts and older people. When hot weather hits, their hearts may not pump efficiently enough to keep their bodies cool and their blood pressure in check.  Their body temperature can rise to dangerous levels leading to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

    What can you do to beat the heat?  Heart hospital experts suggest these precautions:

    Keep Cool – Spend time at the coolest place you can find, especially between noon and 3pm when the sun is strongest. Staying indoors with chilled air from air conditioning works best, whether at home or in an air-conditioned public place like a movie theatre or shopping mall. Electric fans work to a point, but can wind up moving around warm air.Taking cool showers or baths and applying a cold wet cloth or ice pack to the skin can also help.

    Kick Back – It’s okay to take it easy in high heat. Put off or cancel strenuous activities, or reschedule them to early morning and evening hours, the cooler parts of the day. If you can’t wait for the temperature to drop, make sure you dress properly when braving the heat. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, a hat and sunglasses. Apply water resistant sunblock and remember to reapply it every 2 hours. If you are a heart patient, check with your doctor before heading outdoors.

    Drink Up – Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water or other non-alcoholic beverages. Avoid coffee, tea and alcohol which can increase water loss or dehydration. Limit sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice because they are not absorbed as quickly and easily as plain water.

    Eat Light – Create summer menus of smaller meals. Fill your plate with cold fruits, vegetables and salads. Eating cool light fare helps your stomach work less and provides extra liquid.  

    Keep these tips in mind to enjoy a healthy, fun-filled summer, no matter what the weather brings.

    The HeartCare Institute at Riverside Community Hospital is dedicated to effectively treating and combating heart disease.If you would like to learn more about our comprehensive services, call Riverside Community Hospital at (951) 788-3000.

  • Riverside Community Hospital Welcomes Back Blue Shield Members

    Blue Shield

    RIVERSIDE, California, Wednesday, August 15, 2012 Riverside Community Hospital (RCH) is pleased to announce the hospital has reached an agreement with Blue Shield of California which becomes effective today August 15, 2012.

    Under the agreement, all of Blue Shield of California’s membership, including those covered by CalPERS, will be able to access services at RCH as an in-network provider.  

    “Let me first start by saying that I would like to welcome Blue Shield members back to RCH for your health care needs.” says hospital’s President and CEO, Patrick Brilliant. “We are pleased to be back in-network with Blue Shield and applaud the efforts of the leadership team at Blue Shield of California, who, along with our team, were able to develop a sound agreement that will serve all interested parties for years to come. RCH has been serving the community for over 110 years, and we are delighted that Blue Shield members will have access to healthcare services at RCH….the type of high-quality healthcare that a community such as ours deserves. ”

    Since 1901, people have depended on RCH for innovative and advanced medical care. Today, with a 373-bed facility and highly specialized services, RCH continues to provide comprehensive healthcare for the entire family. With more than 500 physicians on staff, and over 1800 employees, you’ll find a team dedicated to providing high-quality healthcare. Through the years, RCH has expanded services to offer specialties that are critical to health and wellness for our community. We are proud to offer you the following Centers of Excellence and specialty services close to home.

    Read the rest of the news release here !  For more information about Riverside Community Hospital, dial (951) 788-3000!

  • Did You Enjoy Reading About Our Recent Health Topics? Visit These Helpful Resources to Find Out More

    ECG printout and stethoscope

    Learning more about how nutrition and disease prevention can help you stay looking and feeling great. If you have any further questions about the topics discussed in our recent blogs, contact Riverside Community Hospital today at (951) 788-3000.The following links contain more information about lowering your risk factors for heart disease, eating well, losing weight, and more.

    • Heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women of the United States. You can see more of the statistics associated with heart disease on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
    • Taking good care of your teeth and gums may help to reduce your risk for heart disease and many other serious health conditions. Read this paper from the American Heart Association journal Circulation to find out more about the oral hygiene-heart disease connection.
    • Are you taking control of your heart disease risk factors? Learn how you can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease on the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website.
    • Signing up to be an organ, tissue, or eye donor can help you to save up to eight lives. Read more about donating the gift of life on OrganDonor.gov.
    • To prevent rejection of a transplant organ, the immune system is tricked not to attack the new organ. Visit TransplantLiving.org to learn more about life after a transplant.
    • To help Americans lose weight and practice healthy eating habits, the United States Department of Agriculture has put together a helpful food guidance system found on ChooseMyPlate.gov.
    • Endometriosis is a common health problem that occurs when endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus. Read more about this condition on WomensHealth.gov.
    • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also provides more helpful information about the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis.
    • If you are considering bariatric surgery, visit the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery to learn more about the benefits and advantages of weight loss procedures.
    • You can find a comprehensive overview of bariatric surgery and how it can help to resolve severe obesity on the Weight-Control Information Network.

  • Portion Control Helps to Keep You Healthy

    Portion control plays an important role in weight loss and disease prevention. Many men and women do not realize the actual portion size of their meals and can underestimate their daily calorie intake significantly.

    When working to lose weight, finding the right portion size can be difficult. In this video from the American Heart Association, you can learn some helpful ways to remember the appropriate portion size for a few heart-healthy foods.

    If you have any questions about dietary recommendations, let Riverside Community Hospital be your resource—call us at (951) 788-3000 for answers to your health-related questions.

  • Are You a Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

    Overweight and obesity

    For patients suffering from severe obesity, bariatric surgery can be a powerful step towards a healthier and more fulfilling life. When performed by a team of bariatric weight loss specialists, this type of surgery can be a safe and effective way to begin the weight loss process. Most patients who find success through bariatric surgery experience many health improvements, from the resolution of type-II diabetes mellitus to reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. Are you considering weight loss surgery to improve your quality of life Below are the qualities that make a good candidate for one of the various bariatric surgical procedures.

    A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher

    Body mass index is a number calculated based on a person’s height and weight. As a reliable indicator of weight problems, BMI is often used to evaluate a person’s weight category and how it may lead to certain health problems. A BMI of 40 or higher is approximately 100 pounds or more of excess body weight. A BMI for a normal, healthy adult lies between the ranges of 18.5-24.9.

    A BMI of 30 or higher with other health conditions

    Patients with a BMI of less than 40 may be considered for bariatric surgery if they also are suffering from an obesity-related health problem. Such conditions may include diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, or high blood pressure. 

    If your fight against weight gain has continuously been a struggle, contact the healthcare team at Riverside Community Hospital. Our Center for Surgical Weight Loss is dedicated to helping each patient resolve their obesity and avoid the serious health consequences of being overweight.  You can contact Riverside’s Bariatric Coordinator for more information about our weight loss services by calling our free Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (951) 788-3000.

  • The Link Between Depression and Cardiovascular Disease

    While many patients recovering from a heart attack are focused on adopting a new diet, becoming more physically active, and properly managing medications, they often overlook their mental health and emotional wellbeing. However, research shows that depression is a common after-effect of heart attack, and one that can have serious ramifications if left untreated.

    Heart and Depression

    According to the American Heart Association, up to one-third of patients experience symptoms of depression after a heart attack. Women, patients with preexisting depression, and people who feel socially isolated have an even higher chance of developing depression after a coronary incident.

    Depression may also be a risk factor for heart disease, even in people with otherwise healthy cardiovascular systems. This may be partially due to the autonomic nervous system, which regulates heart rate and breathing. In people with depression, the functioning of this system may be disrupted, affecting the health of the heart.

    Signs of depression include feelings of hopelessness, persistent sadness, and disinterest in formerly enjoyable activities. If you notice this behavior in yourself or a loved one after a heart attack, notify a physician, who will ask several diagnostic questions to determine whether a referral to a mental health professional is in order.

    Treatment for depression may involve a combination of medication and therapy. Patients on antidepressants may have fewer cardiovascular complications than those who do not use medicinal treatment for depression. Psychotherapy may also be beneficial and often includes stress management techniques and encouraging the patient to reach out for emotional support.

    The HeartCare Institute at Riverside Community Hospital is dedicated to quickly and effectively treating a variety of cardiovascular conditions. With Level II accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers, a Rapid Response AMI Program, and STEMI-receiving capabilities, we promote positive outcomes and peace of mind. Call (951) 788-3000 or contact us online today for more information on our services.