• Learning to Recognize the Signs of Parkinson’s Disease


    Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disease, which is characterized by several primary motor symptoms in addition to secondary motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms, which may appear with less consistency. At first, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may be fairly subtle, but they will continue to develop (at varying rates depending on the patient) and pose significant difficulty for patients in their daily activities. Below you will see some of the most distinctive signs of Parkinson’s, which should be addressed by a neurologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment planning. Identifying Parkinson’s early on can facilitate more independence and comfort for patients, so you should not hesitate to seek care in the face of these symptoms.

    Resting Tremor

    About 70% of patients experience a slight tremor in the hand or foot in early stages of Parkinson’s. These tremors occur when muscles are relaxed, which is why they are referred to as a resting tremor. Resting tremors may originate only on one side of the body and spread as the disease progresses.

    Slow Movement and Rigidity

    In addition to causing involuntary movements, Parkinson’s disease can lead to a reduction in spontaneous movement (bradykinesia) or muscle rigidity. These symptoms may show through a decrease in facial expressivity, difficulty performing fine motor movements like buttoning a shirt, or decreased range of motion in the arms and legs.

    Postural Instability

    Postural instability is an important sign of Parkinson’s, which occurs when a person may have instability while standing upright. This can create difficulty while walking, rising from a chair, or turning, as postural instability creates a proneness toward swaying backwards in these movements.

    For the specialized neurological care needed to address Parkinson’s symptoms, you can count on Riverside Community Hospital. For physician referrals or a closer look at our services, call (951) 788-3463 or visit us online.

  • Tips for Preventing Distracted Driving in Teens


    Distracted driving causes upwards of 3,000 fatal car accidents annually and leads to hundreds of thousands of injuries, and many of these accidents involve teenage drivers who are more prone to distractions and have fewer driving skills overall. Parents play a big role in helping to reduce distracted driving behaviors in teens, and the first step should be leading by example with your own good driving habits. Here’s a closer look at what you can do to minimize distractions for your teen driver and promote better safety on the road.

    Encourage Teen Drivers to Turn off Their Phones

    Cell phone use is among the leading distractions for teen drivers. Text messaging is a particular concern, because it requires manual, visual, and cognitive attention. When your teen is on the road, you should encourage him or her to turn the phone off or at least silence the device and keep it out of view. There are also apps that can auto-respond to text messages when your teen is driving, which can eliminate the need to look at the phone right away.

    Limit the Number of Passengers Allowed in Your Teen’s Vehicle

    When your teen first starts driving, it may be best to only allow solo trips so that there are no distractions from passengers. Once your teen is more experienced behind the wheel, he or she may have a better handle on how to minimize passenger distractions and stay focused on the road.

    Keep the Car Clean and Tidy

    A cluttered car can be a distraction, since items may roll around or make noise, drawing attention away from the road. As part of your agreement with your teen to let him or her take on the responsibility of driving, set rules for keeping the car clean so that all focus can remain on his or her surroundings outside of the vehicle.

    For more ideas on promoting teen driver safety, call Riverside Community Hospital at (951) 788-3463 to speak with one of our registered nurses. When distracted driving accidents do occur, you can rely on our emergency facilities, which feature the largest level II trauma center in the Inland Empire.  

  • Answering Your Questions About Organ Donation


    Organ donation is a lifesaving gift that anyone may choose to give, regardless of age or health status. In honor of National Donate Life Month this April, Riverside Community Hospital encourages local residents to consider organ donation and add their names to the state donor registry. The national waiting list for organ donations grows much faster than the donor registry, so there is a high need for new donors across the nation. Here’s a look at the answers to some questions you may have before becoming an organ donor.

    How Can I Become an Organ Donor?

    Becoming an organ donor is easy. You simply need to add your name to the state donor registry, which may be done online or at your local Motor Vehicle Department. Once you are on the registry, you should share your wishes with your loved ones so they may ensure that they advocate for your decision.

    Is There an Age Limit for Potential Organ Donors?

    People of all ages can become organ donors, though minors may not legally be added to the donor registry. In the case of organ donors under the age of 18, parents provide consent following the child’s death. You are never too old to become an organ donor, and donors may have existing health conditions, as previous medical complications may not affect all vital organs.

    Can I Donate Organs While I Am Still Alive?

    In some cases, people may choose to donate a kidney or part of the lungs or liver. Living donors often make the decision to donate organs to help a friend or family member who is a match.

    What Is the Process for Determining Who Receives My Organs and Tissues?

    When an individual on the donor registry dies in the hospital due to trauma from a car accident, stroke, or significant head injuries, the hospital staff will contact a local Organ Procurement and Transplant Network representative to find patient matches for viable organs based on their physical location, medical urgency, blood and tissue type, and position on the national waiting list.

    Riverside Community Hospital has more than 100 years of history in the region, providing lifesaving care with our level II trauma center, Heart Care Institute, and Certified Primary Stroke Center. To connect with us for more information about our services or answers to your healthcare questions, visit our website or call us at (951) 788-3463. 

  • National Minority Health Month: Important Facts and Resources


    In the diverse community of Riverside, there is a high need for healthcare that is accessible to minority patients, who tend to have less access to preventive care and resources that can help reduce the prevalence of serious medical conditions such as heart disease. During Minority Health Month this April, Riverside Community Hospital recognizes the needs of its minority patients with some key facts that represent disparities in minority healthcare.

    Language Barriers Can Prevent Proper Care

    In Hispanic and Asian American populations, there are language barriers that can limit the availability of physicians and resources related to specific conditions. About 33% of Hispanic Americans report that they are not fluent in English, and about 76.5% of Asian Americans speak a language other than English at home. To address these language barriers, Riverside Community Hospital strives to maintain a diverse staff representing the needs of the growing population of the region. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Resources offers online health libraries with materials in more than 35 languages.

    Minority Patients Are More Frequently Uninsured

    The Hispanic population is the most underinsured minority group with 29% of the Hispanic population having no health insurance as of 2012. In the same year, 17.2% of African Americans and 15% of Asian Americans were uninsured compared to 10.4% of non-Hispanic White Americans having no insurance.

    Higher Rates of Obesity Are Reported in Minority Populations

    One of the biggest issues plaguing minority health is elevated obesity rates, which lead to increased instances of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. With the help of Riverside Community Hospital, families can learn to make better dietary decisions and incorporate physical activity in their lives to break the trend of obesity and create a healthier future.

    For a closer look at the services offered at Riverside Community Hospital, visit our website or call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (951) 788-3463. Our registered nurses are available 24/7 for physician referrals and information about our classes and events open to all Riverside residents.