• Understanding the Role of EMS in Your Emergency Medical Care

    When a person calls 911 because of a medical emergency, he or she may activate the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system for his or her community. EMS fills a critical need in Riverside and beyond. These systems are implemented for the purpose of saving lives. EMS doesn’t only provide emergency transportation for patients to a hospital nearby, such as Riverside Community Hospital. Rather, EMS also provides life-saving medical interventions while patients are being transported to the hospital.

    Which Components Comprise EMS?

    EMS is a carefully coordinated network that provides integrated care via multiple components. An EMS system may include both public and private organizations. Some of its vital components are its transportation networks, communication systems, trauma centers, hospitals, and specialty care centers. An EMS system also includes highly trained professionals who are dedicated to saving lives. Some of these professionals serve on a volunteer basis while others have made it their life’s work to respond to emergency situations.

    What Is the Star of Life?

    The Star of Life is a registered certification mark created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It was designed to be instantly recognizable to individuals who require emergency care. The Star of Life is a blue, six-pointed star that features the rod of Asclepius in the center. You can see this decal on ambulances, emergency medical equipment, and uniforms of EMS providers.

    Are EMS Personnel Trained and Licensed to Provide Care?

    All EMS personnel are trained to perform a certain scope of duties. Some of these individuals are more highly trained than others and are authorized to provide a greater level of care. For example, an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) does not serve as a primary caregiver; however, he or she can provide emergency services while waiting for the arrival of other EMS personnel. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are licensed to provide medical transportation. Other trained and licensed individuals include paramedics and Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians (AEMTs).

    Families throughout Riverside can rely on Riverside Community Hospital to provide compassionate emergency medical services. In addition, patients can turn to our community hospital for exceptional Ob/Gyn care, heart health services, bariatric weight loss procedures, and robotic surgery. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 now to activate EMS. Otherwise, you can speak with a registered nurse in Riverside by calling (951) 788-3463.

  • 4 Great Reasons to Become a Blood Donor

    The most compelling reason to become a blood donor is to save someone’s life. Many people decide to become regular blood donors after they or their loved ones required extensive medical treatments that involved blood transfusions. Other people decide to give blood simply because they feel it’s the right thing to do, regardless of whether they have a personal connection to a patient. The robotic surgery team at Riverside Community Hospital encourages our neighbors throughout Riverside to consider becoming blood donors.

    Blood Donations Are Always Needed

    One reason to consider becoming a blood donor is that the need for ongoing donations will never cease. Every day, thousands of blood donors give the gift of life. Yet, about 40,000 units of blood are needed every day in the U.S. If you become a regular blood donor, you may be eligible to give blood once every three months if you are a man or once every four months if you are a woman.

    Human Blood Is Not Reproducible

    Medical science has advanced considerably over the years. Surgeons can replace faulty heart valves with artificial valves and perform organ transplants when a patient’s own organs fail. Yet, there is no artificial substitute for human blood. Human blood cannot be artificially manufactured; it can only come from generous donors like you.

    You Can Donate Blood to Yourself

    A third reason to become a blood donor is if you are expecting to undergo a scheduled surgery. Several weeks in advance of your procedure, you can begin donating your own blood to be used during the surgery.

    Donating Blood Is Safe

    A fourth reason why you might become a blood donor is that the process is completely safe. It typically takes less than one hour to complete. Medical technicians only use new, sterile needles for every donor. This means that there is zero risk of contracting an infectious disease.

    Riverside Community Hospital is proud to provide a full range of medical services to families throughout the Riverside area, including robotic surgery, organ transplants, bariatric weight loss surgeries, and specialized heart procedures. If you are expecting to undergo robotic surgery or another type of surgery at our community hospital, consider talking to your doctor about donating your own blood for the procedure. You can direct general questions about blood donations to a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463.

  • Know the Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

    Alcohol poisoning is a possible consequence of binge drinking. Individuals who have alcohol poisoning require immediate medical attention at a community hospital, since this condition can be life-threatening. Drinking too much alcohol in a short period of time affects many of the body’s vital functions, including breathing, heart rate, and body temperature. The Emergency Department at Riverside Community Hospital is always available to provide life-saving interventions to critical patients.

    Physical Appearance

    One way to determine if someone could be suffering from alcohol poisoning is to evaluate his or her physical appearance. He or she may develop unusually pale skin or skin that appears to have a bluish hue. These visible signs of alcohol poisoning can indicate hypothermia.

    Mental State

    A person with alcohol poisoning may display signs of confusion or stupor. It is also common for alcohol poisoning to cause the loss of consciousness. If the individual passes out, you may not be to awaken him or her. It’s important not to mistake the loss of consciousness for being normal, harmless sleep. Even when a person with alcohol poisoning loses consciousness, alcohol will continue to be released into the bloodstream. In other words, it is not safe to assume that a person can “sleep off” alcohol poisoning. He or she will need to be seen at the local hospital right away.

    Respiratory Function

    Another way to identify alcohol poisoning is to assess the individual’s breathing. The person may display abnormally slow breathing, which may be defined as fewer than eight breaths per minute. Irregular breathing can occur, which is generally indicated by a gap of greater than 10 seconds between breaths. Additionally, the person may begin gasping for breath.

    If you feel that someone may be suffering from alcohol poisoning or another medical emergency, please call 911 right away. Residents of the Riverside area can direct non-emergent questions to the Consult-A-Nurse line for Riverside Community Hospital at (951) 788-3463. Along with emergency care, our hospital is a proud provider of specialized medical services such as bariatric weight loss, robotic surgery, organ transplant, and heart care.

  • Planning a New You in the New Year

    Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, yet many people struggle to stick with their goals after the first few weeks. Much like quitting smoking; however, sometimes it takes multiple attempts to successfully lose weight. If you’re planning a new you for the New Year, Riverside Community Hospital is here to help. We are a leading provider of bariatric weight loss procedures. Watch this video for an introduction to bariatric weight loss , which features two bariatric patients and a surgeon at Riverside.

    Consider Talking to Your Doctor

    Before making dramatic changes to your diet or exercise routine, consider talking to your doctor about your weight loss goals. Your doctor can help you understand your current health status, advise you if certain physical activities are safe, and offer recommendations to help you reach your goals. Some patients may be good candidates for bariatric weight loss. However, your doctor may suggest that you first try to lose weight through the safe reduction of calories and increase of physical activity.

    Try New Recipes

    Many diets fail because dieters become dissatisfied with the meals. Instead of thinking about all of the foods that you shouldn’t eat, try to focus on the flavorful ingredients that are nutritious for you. Experiment with new recipes that feature fresh ingredients you may not have tried yet, such as bok choy or dragon fruit. Adventurous dieters might even try alligator steaks instead of red meats. However, if you still struggle to lose weight despite making changes to your diet, you might consider exploring your bariatric weight loss options.

    Find a Fitness Buddy

    Exercising can be more enjoyable when you do it with a friend. Ask a friend with common interests to sign up for a fitness class, join a gym, or simply meet you in the park for a walk a few times a week. Furry friends can also keep you motivated to work out. If you have a dog (or if you can borrow a neighbor’s dog), bring him or her along on your workouts.

    Riverside Community Hospital is your source for comprehensive health services and wellness information. Our bariatric weight loss team in Riverside looks forward to helping you achieve your health goals. For general information about bariatric weight loss, please visit our website or speak with a registered nurse by calling (951) 788-3463.