• Do You Know the Signs of Dehydration?

    Did you know that if you reach for a drink because you feel thirsty that you are already dehydrated? While mild dehydration may be resolved by sipping a glass of water, ignoring the symptoms and allowing it to progress can lead to serious health complications, including heart emergencies. Stay aware of these symptoms of dehydration so you can take action to prevent complications.

    Thirst

    As mentioned, thirst is an indicator that you are already dehydrated, not a warning to drink before dehydration hits. With mild to moderate dehydration, you may notice an increase in your thirst and your mouth may feel dry and sticky. As dehydration becomes more severe, so does thirst. Your mouth may feel extremely dry and your tongue may become swollen. Once you become severely dehydrated, you may dramatically increase your fluid intake without increasing your urine output, as your body tries to hold onto the water. You may stop urinating completely, or your urine may appear much darker than normal, despite drinking more fluids.

    Rapid Heart Rate

    Being dehydrated can upset the electrolyte imbalance in your body and make your heart work harder to supply your cells with nutrient-rich blood, so many people experience rapid heartbeats when they are dehydrated. This can be particularly dangerous for people with existing heart disease or other chronic conditions. Often, rapid heart rate caused by dehydration is also accompanied by rapid breathing.

    Headache

    Dehydration plays a role in a large number of headaches, and chronic dehydration can lead to chronic headaches. The lack of water in the body causes muscle tension, which in turn can cause headaches. Increasing fluid intake can be the key to reducing chronic headaches for some people.

    Severe dehydration is a medical emergency, and the ER at Riverside Community Center is here to provide the urgent treatment you need when you have dehydration symptoms. From OBGYN services to our heart hospital in Riverside, we’re invested in your good health. To find out more about all of our hospital services, please call (951) 788-3463.

  • Planning a Safe Summer Road Trip with Your Family

    Summer is the perfect time to hit the road with your family, but unfortunately, it is also a time that people find themselves making trips to the hospital ER more frequently. You can make sure your road trip doesn’t involve an unplanned detour to the hospital with this planning advice.

    Pack a Disaster Kit

    Bad weather, unexpected road closing, and mechanical trouble are just a few of the things that could leave you unexpectedly stranded on the side of the road. If this happens, it helps to have a disaster kit on hand. Pack your kit with First Aid items, high-protein snacks, water, and a flashlight with extra batteries. It can also help to have a battery-operated radio and extra prescription medications as well as emergency contact information. This kit can save the day if someone gets injured or if you are stuck for an extended period of time.

    Share the Driving

    Even when you are well rested, driving can be tedious and tiring. On long road trips, it can help to share the driving to make sure your attentiveness doesn’t slip. Make frequent stops as well to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, and recuperate. These stops can also add to the fun of the journey. If there is no one to share the driving with, or if all of the drivers are too tired to drive safely, find a safe spot to stop and get some rest.

    Tell Someone Your Driving Route

    Make sure someone at home knows your driving route and itinerary. If something goes wrong on your journey, that person can send assistance along that route so you can get the help you need sooner. He or she can also make sure you know about any inclement weather or other alerts that appear on your route when you’re on the road.

    If a summertime injury or illness does occur, Riverside Community Hospital is here to help. We provide ER care all year long, as well as OBGYN care, heart care, and bariatric surgery in Riverside. Get a referral to one of our physicians or find out more about our services by calling (951) 788-3463.

  • Why Are Helmets So Essential for Outdoor Recreation?

    For people enjoying bike rides, skateboarding, and other outdoor activities that could lead to injury, a helmet could be life-saving. When you or your children get active outside, make wearing a helmet a must and avoid a trip to the ER. Here are some of the reasons why helmets are so important and how you can make sure yours gives you the best protection possible.

    Avoid Serious Injury

    Head injuries that occur during outdoor sports can be devastating. Such injuries can lead to lifelong disability, paralysis, and even death. In the U.S., half a million children sustain head injuries while biking, many of which may have been avoidable with a helmet. Any kind of fall that involves a head injury always has the potential to be serious and should always be evaluated in the ER promptly. In some cases, early treatment could prevent a brain injury from worsening, which is critical for avoiding or reducing long-term complications. Simply wearing a helmet can protect against a vast number of these injuries.

    Follow the Law

    Helmets are so important for outdoor safety that wearing them is the law in many places. Before you engage in your favorite outdoor activity, find out what the rules are in your area. Some states require bike helmets, for instance, while others have more extensive helmet laws.

    Choosing the Right Helmet

    Getting the right helmet fit ensures that you get the maximum amount of protection. Always choose a helmet that has been approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission or Snell Memorial Foundation. The chinstrap should be snug, and the helmet shouldn’t shift in any direction. Consider choosing a helmet in a bright color to make yourself more visible, and use a helmet that was designed for the specific activity you will be doing.

    At Riverside Community Hospital, in addition to our ER, we provide comprehensive care to the community, including bariatric surgery, robotic surgery, and organ transplant in Riverside. Call us today at (951) 788-3463 for more information.