• Dog Park Safety for Animal Owners

    Dogs love to meet new friends and run around while off their leashes. Your neighborhood dog park in Riverside could be an excellent opportunity for safe socialization and exercise for both you and your furry friend. But be mindful of the potential health hazards that might land you in the hospital. If an incident does occur, the Emergency Room in Riverside Community Hospital is always open.

    Choose the Right Dog Park

    Before letting your faithful companion off his or her leash, take a few minutes to assess the dog park. Avoid parks that have dogs that look aggressive or fearful. Avoid dog parks in which the other owners are inattentive to their animals.

    Respond Appropriately to Unfamiliar Dogs

    Kids are taught to not approach unfamiliar dogs without permission. This is also a good rule for adults. Even if a dog appears friendly, always ask the owner if it’s all right for you to pet him or her. Never pet an unfamiliar dog without letting the dog sniff you first. If an unfamiliar dog approaches you and appears aggressive, stay still and remain calm. Avoid direct eye contact, turn your body partially away from the dog, and say “No!” in a firm tone of voice.

    Handle Dog Attacks Effectively

    If a dog does attack you, you can reduce the risk of serious injuries by placing an object like a handbag or trash can between you and the dog. If the dog knocks you over, curl up, touch your chin to your chest, and cover your ears and neck with your hands. If you get bitten, seek emergency care promptly. Even if the wound does not appear serious, dog bites pose a significant risk of infections.

    Break up Dog Fights Safely

    No pet parent likes to see a furry friend fighting with another dog, but it’s important not to get between two fighting dogs. Never assume that your own dog won’t bite you. In the midst of a fight, even your own faithful companion may see you as an aggressor. Instead, grasp your dog’s back legs and pick them up as though you were handling a wheelbarrow. Ideally, the other dog’s owner will copy your actions.

    Riverside Community Hospital is a leading provider of emergency and trauma services for individuals throughout the greater Riverside area. If you’ve sustained major trauma in a dog attack, please call 911 without delay. Otherwise, you can call a registered nurse at our hospital at (951) 788-3463.

  • Why 9-1-1 Is the Most Reliable Resource for Emergency Care

    Every adult knows that calling 911 in an emergency is the right thing to do, yet many people fail to activate emergency services even in the midst of a life-threatening situation. In some cases, this is because patients do not recognize the subtle signs of a heart attack or they decide to wait and see if stroke symptoms will clear up on their own. Here at Riverside Community Hospital, our emergency care professionals strongly urge our neighbors throughout Riverside to call 911 without delay when a true medical emergency develops.

    Caller Instruction

    When you call 911 to get help for yourself or someone else, an ambulance will be sent to your location as quickly as possible. However, there may be something you can do in the meantime to help preserve the patient’s life. The 911 dispatcher can walk you through the steps of performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), aiding a choking victim, or using an automated external defibrillator (AED). Calling 911 instead of trying to drive someone to the ER can save that person’s life.

    Onsite Stabilization

    Another reason why it’s better to call 911 in emergency situations is because patients can begin receiving life-saving interventions from Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel as soon as the ambulance arrives. Emergency technicians and paramedics can quickly assess the patient’s condition, deliver oxygen therapy, use a defibrillator, or add a stabilizing neck brace, depending on the patient’s specific needs. The patient will continue to receive life-saving care while in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

    Care Coordination

    Patients who have suffered a heart attack, stroke, or major trauma need immediate care when they reach the hospital. If you drive a patient to the ER yourself, the ER team won’t be alerted to the patient’s impending arrival. Calling 911 instead lets the EMS team coordinate the patient’s care with the ER doctors. While the ambulance is on the way to the hospital, the ER team can assemble and prepare to treat the patient as soon as he or she arrives. In a life or death situation, every second counts.

    Riverside Community Hospital maintains ER wait times that are consistently below the national average. At our community hospital, patients can receive specialized cardiovascular and neurological emergency care. You can direct general, non-emergent questions to our hospital at (951) 788-3463.

  • Keep Your Eyes Safe from Injury

    Keep Your Eyes Safe from Injury

    Healthy vision is something that many people take for granted, but thousands of eye injuries occur in the U.S. every year. Most eye injuries occur at work, at home, and while playing sports. You can reduce your risk of winding up in the hospital’s ER by taking a few simple safety precautions. If an accident does occur, you can find the prompt care you need at Riverside Community Hospital.

    At Home

    According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, almost half of all eye injuries occur in or near the home. This may be because only 35% of people surveyed have a habit of always using eye protection when situations call for it. Keep your kids safe by keeping them away from areas where you are operating power tools or lawn equipment, and protect your own eyes by wearing protective goggles. Protective eyewear is a must when doing tasks that produce airborne particulate matter and when working with chemicals.

    At Work

    Construction sites and woodshops are filled with hazards that can cause eye injuries, but any workplace can be potentially hazardous if it features chemicals or the potential for airborne projectiles. Your employer should provide you with the proper protective eyewear. In some cases, safety glasses are sufficient, while other worksites may call for full face shields. In addition to wearing safety gear, you can protect your eyes by paying close attention to the task at hand, using tools properly, and avoiding the use of power tools when you are fatigued or distracted.

    On the Playing Field

    Normal eyeglasses do not offer protection against sports-related eye injuries. Choose lensed polycarbonate protectors when playing basketball or racquet sports. Baseball batting helmets should feature polycarbonate face shields. Face shields or protective eyewear should also be worn when playing sports like football, soccer, hockey, and lacrosse.

    The emergency care physicians at Riverside Community Hospital respond promptly to medical emergencies. For rapid transportation to our hospital, call 911 without delay. Non-emergent questions about our hospital services may be directed to a registered nurse in Riverside at (951) 788-3463.

  • How Young Women Can Manage Their Health

    Young ladies have unique health needs that require the expert attention of an Ob/Gyn specialist. With the resources and compassionate care available at a community hospital, young women can become proactive patients who embrace preventive wellness. Here at Riverside Community Hospital, our Ob/Gyn providers are committed to offering extensive patient education and support services.

    Routine Health Screenings
    Young ladies will usually have been to pediatricians for routine checkups and vaccines, but as they enter into adulthood, it’s time to see a gynecologist. Watch this video to hear an Ob/Gyn at Riverside Community Hospital explain that all young ladies should see a gynecologist no later than their 21 st birthday for a pelvic exam and Pap smear. However, women should have an evaluation younger than this if they are sexually active. During a typical exam, the doctor palpates the breasts to check for lumps, performs a pelvic exam, and takes a small sample of cells from the cervix. This sample is tested in a lab to check for changes that may indicate cervical cancer or pre-cancer. Young ladies who feel uncomfortable with the idea of having a Pap smear may choose to request a female gynecologist and/or have a female family member in the exam room with them.

    Lifestyle Choices
    During your appointment with an Ob/Gyn, you’ll be asked about your sexual activity and lifestyle choices. It can feel awkward sharing personal information, but you can rest assured that your doctor only cares about supporting your wellness and giving you the health information you need. The exam room is always a judgment-free zone. Based on the information you provide, your doctor may recommend a test for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or an evaluation for other reproductive health issues, such as ovarian cysts. Feel free to ask your doctor about any concerns you may have, such as those pertaining to nutrition, weight, emotional health, smoking, and alcohol use.

    Abnormal Changes
    Your Ob/Gyn will let you know when you should schedule your next routine exam, but you may need to make another appointment sooner than this. Young ladies can manage their health effectively by being aware of any unusual changes with their bodies, such as menstrual abnormalities, or lumps in the breasts or underarms. Early detection allows for early treatment.

    At Riverside Community Hospital, you’ll find comprehensive and compassionate care for women at every stage of life. Our Ob/Gyn specialists look forward to working with you to address your health concerns and answer your questions. Young women in the Riverside area can request a referral to an Ob/Gyn at our community hospital by calling (951) 788-3463.

  • Lifestyle Tips for Heart Healthy Women

    Heart hospitals across the country are working to raise awareness about the impact of lifestyle choices on women’s heart health. Events like the health expo at Riverside Community Hospital are excellent opportunities to get health screenings and essential information about heart health. If you do currently have a cardiac condition, consider speaking with a physician at our heart hospital in Riverside.

    Limit Alcohol Consumption
    Heavy alcohol use can increase the risk of cardiomyopathy, which refers to diseases that affect the heart muscle. Cardiomyopathy may involve the thickening, enlarging, or increased rigidity of the heart muscle. Consuming alcohol regularly can also increase blood pressure and binge drinking can cause heart arrhythmias. Heart health experts recommend that women either avoid alcohol entirely or limit their consumption to no more than one drink per day. However, your doctor may urge you to avoid alcohol completely if you already have cardiomyopathy, heart failure, high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, high triglycerides, or other medical conditions.

    Get Enough Sleep
    When women think about making heart-healthy lifestyle choices, dietary choices and exercise often come to mind. The importance of sleep might not be as well-known, but it certainly plays a role in heart health. Poor sleep quality and quantity can increase the risk of hypertension and weight gain. Additionally, feeling exhausted can lead to poor lifestyle choices such as skipping workouts and indulging in junk food. For better heart health, make getting enough sleep a priority.

    Manage Stress Responses
    Stress management is another healthy lifestyle choice that often plays second fiddle to diet and exercise. Stress can influence heart health because a typical stress response for many people might involve eating comfort food, having trouble sleeping, drinking alcohol, or smoking cigarettes. Additionally, women are more likely than men to experience broken heart syndrome or stress-induced cardiomyopathy. This is characterized by sudden chest pain and sometimes short-term heart muscle failure. Stress-induced cardiomyopathy can be caused by significant life events, such as the death of a loved one or a divorce. Because of the health risks of chronic stress and acute stress episodes, good stress management should be a priority for every woman.

    The HeartCare Institute at Riverside Community Hospital is an accredited Chest Pain Center that provides technologically advanced, life-saving interventions such as open heart surgery, stent grafting, and the MAZE procedure. At our HeartCare Institute in Riverside, patients receive a continuum of care—from diagnostics to cardiac rehabilitation. Please call 911 if you think you are experiencing a heart attack; otherwise, call (951) 788-3463 to request a referral to a specialist at the HeartCare Institute.

  • What to Expect in a Trauma Center

    Patients with critical and life-threatening medical conditions require the specialized care that can be found in a trauma center. In the Riverside area, emergency responders can bring critically injured patients to the Level II Trauma Center at Riverside Community Hospital. You can watch this featured video to hear a registered nurse at our Trauma Center describe a patient’s journey from ER to resuscitation room to hospital admittance.

    Emergency Transport
    A patient’s trauma care actually begins before he or she reaches the hospital. The emergency response team notifies the Trauma Center that a critically ill patient will be arriving soon. Based on the information provided by the emergency responders, the appropriate members of the trauma team will assemble at the resuscitation bay in the ER. Trauma specialists may also begin preparing the operating suite.

    Resuscitation Room
    Patients who need trauma care typically require immediate stabilization. At the resuscitation room, the trauma team may need to clear the patient’s airway, administer oxygen, stabilize the core body temperature, switch intravenous (IV) lines, and stop heavy bleeding. Until they definitively know otherwise, trauma specialists proceed under the assumption that all trauma patients need oxygen, are bleeding, have a cervical spine injury, and, if patients are unconscious, have brain injuries.

    Operating Suite
    It’s not unusual for trauma patients to proceed directly from the resuscitation bay to an operating suite. Trauma Centers feature dedicated operating suites that are available 24/7. The goal is to administer surgical interventions as quickly as possible to save lives and support best outcomes. Trauma surgeons may perform procedures such as an appendectomy, limb amputation, tracheostomy, and many others. Trauma surgeons work with car crash victims, survivors of farming or industrial accidents, and victims of acts of violence, along with many others.

    Hospital Admittance
    Once the patient has received the immediate treatment he or she needs, the trauma team may transfer the patient to the intensive care unit (ICU) or to the medical/surgical floor. In the ICU, the patient receives intensive, close monitoring. Patients who are in stable condition and have been transferred to a bed will progress through their recovery with the help of a multidisciplinary team. This team may include occupational, physical, or speech therapists, and other specialists.

    If you or someone else is experiencing a medical emergency in Riverside, please call 911 without delay. For general information about the services available at Riverside Community Hospital , call (951) 788-3463 and speak with a registered nurse. In addition to protocols-driven trauma care, our hospital provides robotic surgery, organ transplants, and other specialty services.

  • Why Is It Important to Recognize Heart Attack Symptoms?

    Heart attacks can present themselves in surprising ways. They don’t just affect older men and they aren’t always indicated by crushing chest pain or pressure. A heart attack can affect virtually anyone, including young adults in their 20s. But there is one thing that all heart attack patients have in common: They all require emergency medical intervention. Here at Riverside Community Hospital, our heart care team encourages our neighbors to become aware of the signs and symptoms of heart attacks. Getting to our heart hospital quickly via an ambulance can not only save lives, but may also reduce the risk of post-heart attack complications.

    Heart Failure
    A heart attack occurs when blood supply to the heart is disrupted, such as when a blood clot blocks a coronary artery. The longer the heart is deprived of oxygen-rich blood, the more damage it can sustain. Damage to the heart tissue can impair the organ’s ability to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. This condition is known as heart failure. Some heart attack patients suffer temporary heart failure, while others develop chronic heart failure.

    Heart Arrhythmia
    The damage inflicted on the heart muscle can lead to other complications besides heart failure. Damaged heart tissue can disrupt the electrical signals that the heart relies on to contract and pump blood. This causes an arrhythmia, which is a heart rate that is too fast, too slow, or irregular. An arrhythmia can be minor or life-threatening. It may cause symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, heart palpitations, fatigue, and shortness of breath.

    Heart Rupture
    Heart rupture is a serious complication that may affect a relatively small number of heart attack patients. A heart rupture may occur in cases of significant damage to the heart muscle. It generally develops within one to five days of the cardiac event. This condition, which involves the rupturing of the heart muscles, walls, or valves, can be fatal.

    The HeartCare Institute at Riverside Community Hospital is a leading provider of cardiac care for the Inland Empire. Our heart hospital is proud to serve our Riverside community by providing access to the latest medical innovations and advanced interventions. Direct all medical emergencies to a 911 dispatcher; non-emergent questions may be directed to a registered nurse at our heart hospital by calling (951) 788-3463.

  • When Should You Seek Medical Care for a Stroke?

    Stroke is often referred to as a “brain attack” because it involves the disruption of the blood supply to the brain. When brain tissue is deprived of oxygen-rich blood, it begins to die. Stroke can be fatal. Even when stroke patients survive, they often face a lifetime of physical and cognitive disabilities. This is why it’s essential to get emergency care without delay when stroke symptoms develop. The sooner a patient reaches a Certified Primary Stroke Center such as Riverside Community Hospital, the better the chances of survival are.

    Identify the Signs
    When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear a registered nurse at Riverside Community Hospital explain some of the common signs of stroke. These include one-sided weakness, confusion, walking difficulties, and speech problems. Stroke care experts teach their communities to use the F.A.S.T. acronym to simplify the recognition of stroke symptoms. The letters stand for face, arms, speech, and time. If you think someone is having a stroke, ask that person to smile and observe whether one side of the smile droops downward. Ask the person to raise both arms so that they are parallel to the floor and observe whether one arm drifts downward. These signs, along with slurred speech, indicate that a stroke may be occurring and time is of the essence. In addition to these stroke signs, this life-threatening condition may cause dizziness, visual impairments, loss of balance, impaired coordination, and a sudden, severe headache.

    Know What to Do
    Never wait to see if these signs and symptoms will dissipate; it’s essential to call 911 immediately. The longer the blood supply to the brain tissue is cut off, the more brain damage there will be. People who are suffering a stroke may have trouble getting to the phone. This is one reason why seniors are advised to wear medical alert buttons to summon emergency help from wherever they are. After calling 911 or pressing a medical alert button, the patient should lie down and turn his or her head to the side. Never take aspirin for a stroke and avoid swallowing anything else while waiting for emergency responders.

    The stroke care team at Riverside Community Hospital urges our neighbors to call 911 immediately if any potential signs of stroke develop. It’s our mission to save lives, improve long-term outcomes, and connect patients with resources and information necessary to reduce the risk of stroke. For non-emergent questions about our hospital services in Riverside, call a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463.