• Stroke Awareness and Treatment [INFOGRAPHIC]

    When a stroke occurs, fast action is crucial. The sooner a stroke victim gets emergency care, the more brain tissue can be saved, which means fewer post-stroke complications. If someone you know experiences the telltale sign of a stroke, such as slurred speech, confusion, and weakness on one side of the body, get him or her emergency care right away. Once the symptoms are stabilized, the attention turns to recovery. Initially, patients get in-hospital rehabilitation care, including physical therapy and occupational therapy, to address the impacts of the stroke. After discharge, most stroke patients continue to need outpatient rehab and may also require in-home caregiving support. Find out more about what to do during and after a stroke in this infographic from Riverside Community Hospital. Our Riverside hospital provides emergency care to stroke sufferers, as well as heart care, minimally invasive surgery, and much more


  • Staying Safe in the Heat of Summer


    Heat-related illnesses are not uncommon during the summer months in California. A heat-related illness can occur when a person’s temperature rises too rapidly or when the body loses too much salt and fluids. If left unmanaged, heat exhaustion may lead to heat stroke, which is a life-threatening condition. While preventing heat-related illnesses is always preferable, you can find the help you need at a community hospital if you do develop signs of heat stroke.

    Working or Playing Outdoors Safely

    It’s advisable to avoid remaining in high temperatures for long periods of time. If you do need to be outdoors, drinking plenty of sports drinks and other fluids can help prevent heat-related illnesses. Additionally, try to take frequent breaks in an air conditioned area to cool off. Wearing lightweight and lightly colored clothing can also help.

    Preventing Hyperthermia in Parked Cars

    Many people underestimate how quickly a parked car can heat up, even in mild temperatures. Children, the elderly, and pets are all at a heightened risk of hyperthermia, or elevated body temperature. Leaving the car windows slightly open does not offer enough protection from hyperthermia. Instead, avoid leaving anyone in a parked car for any length of time.

    Staying Safe during a Heat Wave

    During a heat wave, it’s particularly important to be proactive about preventing heat-related illnesses. Experts often advise individuals to delay strenuous activities until cooler temperatures are reached, such as during the evenings or early mornings. Stay within the coolest area available to you. If your home lacks air conditioning, head to a nearby public library, mall, or other air conditioned location. Drinking plenty of fluids is also advisable, although alcoholic beverages should be avoided.

    The Emergency Department at Riverside Community Hospital provides 24/7 care for those who are suffering from heat stroke or other medical emergencies. At our hospital, members of the Riverside community will also find a range of healthcare specialties, such as bariatric weight loss, organ transplant, robotic surgery, and heart health services. If you would like to speak with a registered nurse in Riverside, call (951) 788-3000.

  • How Managing Your Blood Pressure Can Keep You Out of the ER


    High blood pressure is defined as having systolic pressure higher than 140 mmHg or diastolic pressure higher than 90 mmHg. High blood pressure affects your body in a number of ways. It exerts additional stress on your blood vessels, heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain. If not properly managed, high blood pressure may send you to the ER because of an increased risk in complications such as stroke and heart attack. If you have conditions that affect your cardiovascular health, you might consider working with a physician at a heart hospital to improve your wellness.


    By managing your blood pressure levels, you may reduce your risk of atherosclerosis, or the accumulation of plaque on the arterial walls. Having high blood pressure inflicts damage on your blood vessels, making them more likely to become clogged with plaque or develop blood clots. When the blood vessels in the brain are damaged, they are at a higher risk of rupturing or leaking, causing stroke. A stroke can also occur if a blood clot obstructs blood flow to the brain.

    Heart Attack

    Stroke isn’t the only medical emergency that may send you to the ER as a result of unmanaged high blood pressure. If you develop atherosclerosis as a result of hypertension, you may be at an increased risk of suffering a heart attack. High blood pressure can also lead to arteriosclerosis, or the thickening and stiffening of the arteries. These changes to your blood vessels can result in reduced blood flow to the heart.

    Heart Failure

    Specialists at heart hospitals often work with patients who suffer from heart failure, which occurs when the heart muscle becomes weak and can no longer meet the body’s demands for oxygenated blood. Unmanaged high blood pressure can eventually contribute to heart failure because it places additional strain on the heart.

    Members of the Riverside community and beyond can learn how to manage their heart health with help from the team at the HeartCare Institute at Riverside Community Hospital. Our heart hospital offers specialized care, including rapid response to cardiac emergencies and cardiac rehabilitation services. Call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (951) 788-3000 to inquire about our heart hospital or our other healthcare services, including robotic surgery, organ transplant, and bariatric weight loss.

  • A Closer Look at the Sleeve Gastrectomy Procedure


    There are several options to consider for bariatric weight loss, including vertical sleeve gastrectomy. During this procedure, a bariatric surgeon modifies the stomach so that it can hold a smaller amount of food. This helps patients lose weight because they feel full more quickly and can reduce their calorie intake. Bariatric weight loss is a life-changing event that requires many lifestyle adjustments. If you’re wondering if bariatric weight loss might be right for you, read through the following information and consider attending a surgical weight loss seminar at Riverside Community Hospital.

    Preparing for Bariatric Weight Loss

    Prior to having sleeve gastrectomy, you can expect to consult a specialist to determine if this procedure is right for you. You may undergo a physical exam, a review of your medical history, mental health counseling, and tests such as blood tests. Bariatric weight loss patients also typically receive nutrition counseling and extensive education regarding lifestyle adjustments. Bariatric weight loss patients who smoke may be advised to quit before the surgery. A physician may instruct you to discontinue certain medications or supplements for a period of time. Since you will be placed under general anesthesia, your physician will let you know when you must cease food and drink intake before your surgery.

    Undergoing Sleeve Gastrectomy

    When you arrive at the bariatric weight loss center, an IV line will be placed and a breathing tube will be inserted into your throat. If the bariatric surgery can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, then the surgeon will make several small incisions in the abdomen. The stomach will be inflated and surgical staples will divide the stomach. The new stomach is often compared to the shape of a slender banana. The remainder of the stomach is removed.

    Recovering from the Procedure

    Patients are typically discharged from the hospital in about two to three days. You’ll receive detailed post-operative instructions, including steps to take to reduce the risk of infection and support healing. You’ll also need to follow your doctor’s dietary instructions.

    The Center for Surgical Weight Loss at Riverside Community Hospital has been designated as a Center of Excellence by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program from the American College of Surgeons. In addition to providing sleeve gastrectomy and other bariatric weight loss procedures in Riverside, we offer extensive patient education, seminars, and support groups. Call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (951) 788-3000 to find out more.

  • Exploring the Connection Between A-Fib and Stroke


    Did you know that your brain health and your cardiovascular wellness are closely linked? In fact, having certain cardiovascular conditions, such as atrial fibrillation (A-fib) can increase your risk of stroke. Fortunately, there are ways to manage your condition. Consider discussing a treatment plan with specialists at a heart hospital, such as Riverside Community Hospital.

    Understanding How A-Fib Can Cause Stroke

    Your heart has an electrical system that emits signals to control the heartbeat. These electrical signals begin in the upper chambers of the heart, or the atria, and they travel to the ventricles, or the lower chambers. A patient with atrial fibrillation has irregular or fast electrical signals in the atria, causing these chambers to shake instead of contract properly. Sometimes, this can also cause the ventricles to pump irregularly or rapidly. These irregular heartbeats interfere with the way in which the heart pumps blood out, which can allow blood to pool in the chambers. This accumulated blood may form blood clots. If a blood clot breaks away from the area, it may travel along the blood vessels toward the brain, where it may block blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke.

    Identifying A-Fib Symptoms

    Atrial fibrillation doesn’t always cause symptoms. However, if you do experience any possible symptoms, you could seek a diagnosis and treatment plan at a heart hospital. Managing atrial fibrillation can reduce your risk of stroke. The symptoms of atrial fibrillation include an irregular or rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness, pain or pressure in the chest, shortness of breath, and inability to exercise.

    Exploring Stroke Prevention Strategies

    The goal of an atrial fibrillation treatment plan is to reduce the risk of blood clots, restore the normal rhythm of the heart, and maintain a normal heart rate. Medications can help prevent blood clot formation and manage the rate and rhythm of the heart. Some patients may be advised to make lifestyle changes, such as achieving a healthy weight. In certain cases, surgery at a heart hospital may be recommended.

    If you have atrial fibrillation, you can find the healthcare solutions you need at the HeartCare Institute at Riverside Community Hospital. Our heart hospital in Riverside is also a Primary Stroke Center certified by The Joint Commission. For general information about our heart health services, bariatric weight loss, robotic surgery, or OB/GYN services, call (951) 788-3000 to speak with a registered nurse.