• What is Preeclampsia, and What are the Signs and Symptoms?

    Care about pregnant woman

    Pregnancy affects women in a variety of ways, so it can be difficult to differentiate between normal side effects and those that indicate a health problem. Riverside Community Hospital urges expectant mothers to be attentive to body changes throughout pregnancy and maintain an open dialogue with their OBGYN to determine if something is amiss. Doctors stress that women should be especially aware of preeclampsia symptoms. Preeclampsia is a condition characterized by high blood pressure and excessive protein in urine. Since neither of these factors is readily apparent, expectant mothers must pay attention to the following symptoms:

    Chronic Headaches
    The fatigue of pregnancy can cause women to experience the occasional headache. If you begin to suffer from persistent headaches, you may want to contact your OBGYN. Reoccurring headaches are a symptom of preeclampsia, and if they do not abate with doctor-approved medication, they require further evaluation by a medical professional.

    Swelling
    Water retention is a common side effect of pregnancy; still, if you notice facial or finger swelling, request to see your OBGYN. This type of swelling, referred to as edema, is a sign of preeclampsia and typically occurs in the face and hands. Edema may also present as leg discoloration.

    Vision Deterioration
    Headaches and swelling do not always point to preeclampsia, but vision issues are clear indicators that you should consult your physician. Expectant mothers with preeclampsia may notice spots or flashing lights obstructing their vision. They may also experience general blurriness of vision. These symptoms may be either persistent or sporadic. In either case, do not delay to reach out to your OBGYN for help.

    May is Preeclampsia Awareness Month, and Riverside Community Hospital aims to bring a greater understanding to expectant mothers about their preeclampsia risks. For more information on this pregnancy complication, call (951) 788-3000. Patients can also take advantage of our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral program to learn about other preeclampsia warning signs.

  • The Patient’s Guide to the Gastric Bypass Procedure for Weight Loss

    Diet and exercise

    When you are obese, it can be challenging to achieve a healthy weight. Even if you change your dietary habits, excessive pounds can still make it difficult to exercise. That’s why Riverside Community Hospital offers laparoscopic gastric bypass services for eligible patients. This bariatric weight loss method provides patients with a means to rapidly lose weight for improved health and wellness.

    When should you consider gastric bypass surgery? 
    Gastric bypass is a measure that should be considered only when dieting and exercising are unsuccessful or insufficient in reducing your weight. If you have a body mass index of 40 or more, you may be a candidate for gastric bypass surgery. Bariatric weight loss may also be an option for individuals with BMIs of less than 40, provided that they have a potentially life-threatening condition such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease that can be alleviated with gastric bypass surgery.

    What happens during the gastric bypass procedure?
    Gastric bypass involves the stapling of the stomach to reduce the amount of food that a person can eat in one sitting. The lower part of the stomach is sectioned off from the upper part, which is then connected directly to the small intestine. This allows the patient to continue absorbing essential nutrients from meals.

    How effective is gastric bypass at achieving weight loss?
    Healthcare providers estimate that a patient may lose anywhere between 120 to 240 pounds in a single year after he or she undergoes gastric bypass surgery. However, doctors stress that individuals must be proactive in cultivating a healthy lifestyle after the procedure to ensure that they keep off the weight. Nutritious meals and regular physical activity are vital for continued wellbeing.

    Would you like to know if you are eligible for gastric bypass surgery? Then call Riverside Community Hospital at (951) 788-3000 to schedule a consultation. Our Riverside bariatric weight loss specialists can help you determine whether this procedure is right for your medical needs.

  • How to Do a Skin Self-Exam

    Would you know how to detect a potentially dangerous mole? This video describes what to look for when performing a skin self-exam.

    A simple way to remember how to do a self-exam is to remember “ABCDE.” First, check for asymmetrical moles, or moles of an abnormal shape. Next, look at the border of each mole. Melanoma, a form of skin cancer, typically presents as moles with jagged borders. Then examine the color of your moles. Multi-colored moles may indicate melanoma. Also, measure the diameter of all moles; a medical professional should evaluate those bigger than six millimeters. Lastly, monitor all moles for evolution. Any change in a mole should be noted and appropriately addressed.

    Riverside Community Hospital offers capable care for those diagnosed with skin cancer. Call our Riverside facility at (951) 788-3000 for more information.

  • How You Can Prevent the Occurrence of a Stroke

    Brain stroke

    While many people know the common signs of stroke, such as slurred speech or facial drooping, it’s just as important to know stroke risk factors. By understanding the circumstances that can lead to stroke, you have the power to control your risk factors and encourage others to do the same. Riverside Community Hospital provides comprehensive stroke care for patients, and we strive to educate residents on how to avoid suffering from this potentially fatal condition. The following takes a look at ways you can avoid stroke.

    Reassess Your Lifestyle Habits
    What you put into your body has a resounding impact on your likelihood of experiencing stroke. For example, a high-calorie diet that leads to excessive weight or obesity raises your chances of stroke. Heavy alcohol consumption can also increase your chances of suffering a blood clot or rupture in the brain. Smoking can have a significant impact on the circulatory system, which in turn may trigger stroke. To minimize your stroke risk, eliminate behaviors that put you in danger.

    Limit Your Cholesterol Intake
    Even if you are at your doctor’s recommended weight, you may be eating foods that cause elevated cholesterol levels. Butter, bacon, and baked goods contain high amounts of saturated fat and trans fat, which contain LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol can clog arteries and contribute to clots and ruptures in the brain. By lowering your LDL cholesterol intake, you also decrease your risk of stroke.

    Control Your Blood Pressure
    High blood pressure is another factor that may put you in danger of stroke. Though measures such as maintaining a healthy weight and eating nutritious foods can decrease high blood pressure, only a medical professional can accurately assess your condition and determine if additional treatment is needed. If you believe you might have high blood pressure, consult your physician.

    Don’t let stroke unravel your health. To make an appointment for a blood pressure screening and stroke assessment, call Riverside Community Hospital at (951) 788-3000. Patients on their way to our emergency care center can also use our iTriage Symptom Checker to alert our staff to their arrival.

  • Free CPR Training to Help Save Lives, Make Community Safer

    Compression Only CPR

    On May 22, local EMS provider American Medical Response (AMR), in cooperation with Riverside Community Hospital (RCH), will provide free training to local residents and teach them to save lives through compression-only CPR. The event is part of AMR’s nationwide observance of National Emergency Medical Services Week with events being held in 40 states.

    Compression-only CPR allows bystanders to keep life-saving blood flowing through a victim’s body just by pressing on the chest in a hard, fast rhythm. Bystanders who provide compression-only CPR can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival. Local schools and businesses are expected to participate in the event.

    WHAT :  AMR and RCH will provide free CPR training

    WHEN :  May 22nd, 2013 from 2 pm until 5 pm

    WHERE : Riverside Community Hospital adjacent to the front entrance; 4445 Magnolia Avenue Riverside, CA. 92501

  • When Should You Consider Orthopaedic Surgery?

    Knee injury

    Orthopedics refers to the care of patients who have suffered illness or injury relating to the bones, muscles, or soft tissues. Though most orthopedic physicians will recommend conservative treatment measures like physical therapy before advising more invasive care, some conditions may necessitate surgery. In particular, patients who have suffered severe trauma to the knee or hip may require orthopedic surgery to replace the damaged joint with a prosthetic substitute. Individuals with spinal issues may also be candidates for orthopedic surgery. If you have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease or a severely herniated disc, your doctor may recommend disc replacement surgery or spinal fusion, which removes the damaged disc and bonds the vertebrae adjacent to it. As with any major surgical procedure, be sure to thoroughly discuss your expectations and concerns with a physician before undergoing orthopedic surgery.

    Riverside Community Hospital ’s orthopedic department offers the highest level of care for patients with bone and soft tissue problems. To learn more about the services provided by our Riverside medical center, call (951) 788-3000. We can help you regain your mobility and quality of life.

  • Answers to Common Questions About Organ Donation

    Question

    The choice to become an organ donor can one day save of dozens of lives. However, deciding to donate your organs requires some forethought on your part. First, you must register your decision with your state or on your driver’s license. You may also want to record your wishes with an organ transplant center, like Riverside Community Hospital. Second, you must discuss your choice with your loved ones. Though you may feel strongly about donating your organs, your family may need to give consent upon your death, which underscores the importance of letting them know your decision. The following questions and answers can further help you understand the process of organ donation.

    Who is eligible to be an organ donor?
    Any person has the potential to become an organ donor. Organ donation does not discriminate based on age, ethnicity, or gender. The only consideration is the health and quality of the organs to be donated. With a parent’s consent, even those under the age of 18 can give the gift of life to another through organ donation.

    Which organs can be donated to others?
    Up to a half-dozen different organs, including the lungs, heart, and kidneys, can be used for donation. Many body tissues can be donated as well. Skin, bones, blood vessels, and even corneas can be given to another person. When you have a baby, you can also donate your umbilical cord blood.

    To whom do donated organs go?
    According to the Department of Health and Human Services, over 100,000 people in the United States are currently waiting for an organ transplant. Each individual who requires a donation is placed on an organ transplant list according to need. Neither national status nor wealth is ever a consideration when it comes to who receives a life-saving organ.

    Riverside Community Hospital, which is the only organ transplant facility in all of Riverside County, urges the public to learn more about the benefits of organ donation. To speak with a Riverside Community Hospital associate about becoming an organ donor, call (951) 788-3000.

  • What to Know About Jaundice and Your Newborn

    Jaundice is a common yet treatable condition among newborn babies. This video explains the dangers of jaundice and ways to treat it.

    Some people may recognize jaundice by the appearance of yellowish skin and eyes. Babies in particular are susceptible to jaundice, which occurs when bilirubin levels are too high. Should a newborn contract jaundice, it’s vital that he receive treatment, as elevated bilirubin can lead to brain damage. To prevent jaundice complications, have your physician perform a jaundice bilirubin test before leaving the hospital and schedule a follow-up appointment within two days of your hospital discharge.

    Riverside Community Hospital can help parents and their newborns stay healthy. For more information on the services offered to families in the greater Riverside area, call (951) 788-3000.

  • Information to Keep on Hand in the Event of a Medical Emergency

    Healthcare and Medicine

    When you’re in the emergency room, seconds count. That’s why Riverside Community Hospital urges patients to keep an I.C.E. card with them at all times. I.C.E., which stands for “ in case of emergency,” allows the triage staff to better assess a person’s condition and advise appropriate care. Riverside area residents may request an I.C.E. card from Riverside Community Hospital. You also create your own with the following data:

    Contact Information
    First, your I.C.E. card should have all pertinent contact information, including your name, date of birth, address, and telephone number. To ensure that your healthcare providers may reach your immediate family to inform them of your condition, you should also include an emergency contact name and telephone number.

    Medical Information
    Providing all necessary medical information is vital to the usefulness of an I.C.E. card. Individuals with existing conditions such as diabetes or heart disease should consider including that data on their cards; people with allergies, especially to penicillin or anesthesia, may also want to put this information on their I.C.E. cards. The sooner the emergency room staff knows of your medical conditions and allergies, the greater chance you have of receiving care that accurately addresses your individual needs.

    Insurance Information
    The emergency room staff’s first priority is to give you the best care possible. However, to facilitate your treatment, you may also want to provide your insurance information on your I.C.E. card. By including your insurance provider contact information, you can focus solely on your health needs without having to worry about tracking down your insurance company or policy number.

    Riverside Community Hospital aims to give each emergency room patient the highest level of care possible. To request an I.C.E. card, call (951) 788-3000 or visit our website. If you require emergency care, be sure to use our iTriage symptom checker, which informs our staff of your specific medical needs and imminent arrival.

  • A Look at da Vinci Robotically Assisted Bariatric Surgery

    Woman standing on bathroom scale

    Bariatric weight loss is often recommended for individuals who are obese and unable to lose weight through healthy eating and regular exercise. By restricting a patient’s stomach size, physicians can effectively limit that patient’s food intake, which allows him to lose weight. However, as with any other type of surgical procedure, traditional bariatric surgery comes with some risks, including blood loss and possible infection. With the introduction of the da Vinci robotic surgery system, though, patients undergoing bariatric procedures can receive less invasive care and fewer complications. The da Vinci system affords surgeons higher precision and better control during each bariatric procedure. Smaller incisions also result in less pain, blood loss, and scarring for patients. Individuals who are considering bariatric weight loss should consult their doctors about their robotic surgery options.

    Riverside Community Hospital provides several bariatric surgical procedures for eligible Riverside area patients. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of robotic surgery for bariatric weight loss, call (951) 788-3000 or visit our website. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff can help you decide if bariatric surgery is right for you.