• Understanding Pap Smears and Other Vital Screenings for Women

    Gynecological cancer is cancer that affects the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina, and vulva. Cancer is a health risk for every woman, regardless of family history, and the risk of developing both gynecological cancer and breast cancer increases naturally with age. Fortunately, Pap smears and other important screenings can help to catch cancer in its earliest stages for more effective treatment; talking to your OBGYN about your personal health risks and the screenings you should schedule will help you take proactive steps toward lifelong health.

    Pap Smears

    The Pap test examines a small cell sample taken from the cervix to identify any abnormal cells that may be present. Not only can a Pap smear identify existing cancer cells, but it can also find cells that might become cancerous in the future, allowing for their removal before cancer ever develops. The current guidelines maintained by the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology and the American Society for Clinical Pathology recommend that women receive Pap smears every three years between the ages of 21-29 and a combination of Pap testing and HPV testing every five years from age 30 onward.


    Mammography is the use of X-rays to image the breasts. A mammogram may be used as both a screening and a diagnostic tool to identify, pinpoint, or monitor cancerous masses. The American Cancer Society currently recommends that women consider receiving mammograms as early as age 40. All women age 45-54 should receive yearly mammograms, while women age 55 and above may continue yearly screenings or undergo imaging every two years, depending on their individual health risks.

    September is both Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. At Riverside Community Hospital, our women’s services providers can help you learn more about your reproductive health and the factors that affect your cancer risk. You can reach us by phone at (951) 788-3463 for information about our women’s and OBGYN services in Riverside, or to obtain a physician referral for a healthcare provider at our hospital.

  • Parents’ Role in Preventing Childhood Obesity

    Maintaining a healthy weight is important for good general health at every age. However, the American Heart Association reports that one in every three American children are overweight, which can have profound effects on their current and future wellness. As a parent, you can help establish nutrition and fitness routines that will reduce the risk of obesity for your child and set the stage for better weight maintenance throughout his life.

    Teach Healthy Eating Habits

    Teaching healthy habits will create a foundation for healthy eating that your child will remember long into adulthood. Limiting the amount of junk food and processed treats in your home and making plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables available will encourage healthier snacking habits. Including fruits and vegetables in daily meals and adjusting recipes for maximum health benefits will teach your child that getting the nutrients he or she needs is easy and delicious.

    Promote Daily Physical Activity

    Food is only one half of the weight management equation—children also need to learn the benefits of healthy physical activity to keep weight under control. Encourage your family to get active together by reducing the amount of TV you watch and instead spending time together taking walks, riding bikes, or going for hikes. Activities such as swimming and dancing are also great for children; these sports provide an opportunity for healthy teamwork and competition that will improve your child’s social skills and self-esteem while teaching him that movement is expressive and fun.

    Riverside Community Hospital wants to help you and your children enjoy the benefits of healthy meals and healthy movement. Our KidsHealth and Health to You online resources provide more information about good nutrition and beneficial physical activity, while our women’s and children’s services provide personalized healthcare for your entire family. The Center for Surgical Weight Loss offers bariatric surgery solutions to help adults struggling with obesity and weight management as well. You can find out more about our hospital’s weight loss services in Riverside on the web, or by calling our Consult-A-Nurse hotline at (951) 788-3463.

  • Acting Fast in a Medical Emergency

    Medical emergencies are injuries or illnesses that can cause lasting harm or even death if prompt emergency care in a hospital setting is not provided. A medical emergency can occur at any time and happen to anyone, regardless of their age or their current health. Knowing what to do during a medical emergency can help you stay calm and act quickly in these situations.

    Know How to Reach the Hospital

    Because every minute counts during a medical emergency, it’s a good idea to know how to reach the hospital from your home. Learning this route will ensure you won’t need to look up directions or risk getting lost when time matters most. However, if you are experiencing a medical emergency such as a heart attack or stroke, it’s always best to call 911, rather than try to drive to the hospital yourself.

    Learn CPR

    CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a lifesaving procedure used when the heart or lungs stop functioning. Learning CPR is simple and classes are often available at hospitals and clinics to provide certification in this effective technique. Enrolling your family in a CPR class will ensure that everyone you love knows when CPR is appropriate and how to administer it in a serious emergency.

    Create a First Aid Kit

    A well-stocked first aid kit can provide the tools you need to take action during a medical emergency until professional help can be sought. A basic first aid kit should include sterile bandages, antiseptic, a blanket, non-latex gloves, scissors, aspirin, and a first aid instruction booklet.

    The Emergency Department at Riverside Community Hospital is proud to provide fast, efficient, and cutting-edge emergency care services to our community. Our heart hospital in Riverside is an Accredited Chest Pain Center and a Certified Primary Stroke Center, as well as a paramedic base station and an emergency helistop. You can find out more about our emergency services or check the current average ER wait time on our website, or call (951) 788-3463 for answers to your healthcare questions.

  • What Are the Most Common Food Allergies and Their Symptoms?

    Food allergies occur when the body mistakes food for a harmful substance and prompts an immune reaction. These reactions can range from mild discomfort to a severe condition called anaphylactic shock, which requires prompt hospital care to counteract. Allergists have identified several food allergies that are common among both children and adults throughout the United States—keep reading to learn more about some of these common allergies and their symptoms.

    Peanut Allergies

    Peanut allergies are among the most common and most severe food allergies. These allergies tend to persist past childhood and into adulthood, making constant vigilance and knowledge of symptoms and treatment important for those who experience an adverse reaction to peanuts. Exposure to peanuts can cause symptoms that include a runny nose, hives, flushed or swollen skin, an itchy or tingling mouth and throat, and diarrhea, abdominal cramps, or vomiting. Severe reactions can cause tightness of the throat and wheezing or difficulty breathing that should be treated at a hospital as soon as possible.

    Wheat Allergies

    Wheat allergies are more common in children than adults; most individuals will outgrow a wheat allergy, though some people do not. It’s important to differentiate between wheat allergies and wheat intolerance, or celiac disease. While celiac disease can cause severe complications and health concerns over time, an acute wheat allergy will result in symptoms shortly after eating wheat that may be mild or severe and life-threatening. These symptoms include swelling of the mouth, nose, or throat, congestion, watery eyes, skin hives, abdominal cramps or vomiting, and diarrhea. Anaphylaxis due to wheat allergies can cause chest pain or tightness, trouble swallowing or breathing, a rapid pulse, and dizziness or fainting.

    At Riverside Community Hospital, our goal is to promote a healthier community through education and personalized care at our hospital serving Riverside. Our hospital services include emergency care, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging, and women’s and children’s care. You can find out more about healthy eating and how to treat allergic reactions on our website, or speak directly with a registered nurse by calling (951) 788-3463.