• Improve your stroke knowledge

    Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. suffer a stroke every year. It’s among the top causes of death and long-term disability. Since anyone can potentially suffer a stroke—even younger adults – everyone should know the warning signs. The sooner a stroke victim reaches the hospital, the better the chances of saving his or her life. At Riverside Community Hospital, a certified Primary Stroke Center, our dedicated team of specialists works around the clock to save lives and improve long-term outcomes.

    Understanding how stroke happens
    The accompanying video features a neuroradiologist at Riverside Community Hospital. He explains that stroke occurs when there is reduced blood flow to an area of the brain, causing that brain tissue to become deprived of essential oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, the brain cells begin to die.

    There are two main types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. The majority of stroke patients suffer ischemic stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel supplying the brain is blocked. This can happen when a blood clot forms in that blood vessel, or when a blood clot forms elsewhere and travels to the brain.

    The other type, hemorrhagic stroke, occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and causes bleeding on the brain. The blood that fills the space in the skull puts pressure on the delicate brain tissue.

    Knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke
    The symptoms of stroke develop suddenly, such as a sudden, severe headache that has no apparent cause. Other symptoms include:

    • Numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
    • Confusion
    • Difficulty understanding speech or speaking
    • Vision impairment in one or both eyes
    • Dizziness
    • Trouble walking
    • Loss of balance
    • Lack of coordination

    A 911 dispatcher should be notified immediately if any of these symptoms develop suddenly.

    Reducing your risk of stroke
    Most cases of stroke are preventable. Talk to your doctor about managing the medical conditions that may increase your risk of stroke, such as:

    • Diabetes
    • Heart disease
    • High blood pressure
    • Abnormal cholesterol
    • Sickle cell disease

    A heart-healthy lifestyle is also effective for reducing the risk of stroke. Consider making the following changes, if applicable.

    • Quit smoking
    • Avoid secondhand smoke
    • Avoid or limit alcohol
    • Lose weight
    • Exercise
    • Eat well

    Call 911 right now if you or someone else might be suffering a stroke in the Riverside area. For non-emergency, general healthcare questions, a registered nurse at Riverside Community Hospital is available at (951) 788-3463. Our designation as a Primary Stroke Center reflects our commitment to providing superior, patient-focused care that leads to the best possible outcome for stroke patients.

  • Here’s what you need to know about antibacterial soap

    For years, people bought soap labeled “antibacterial” because it was thought the product would offer better protection from illness-causing germs than regular soap. This seems like common sense, but health experts have long disagreed about the possible benefits and risks of adding antibacterial ingredients to soap. Given that the benefits remain unproven, but the evidence of harm continues to grow, the FDA has banned 19 of the ingredients manufacturers used to make antibacterial soap. The move does not affect hand sanitizers or the soap used in hospitals like Riverside Community Hospital.

    How regular soap works
    Some molecules are polar, which means they are mixable with water. Others are non-polar, which means they aren’t mixable into water. Soap molecules are amphipathic, which means they have both types of properties.

    The amphipathic nature of soap molecules means that soap can dissolve many foreign molecules on the skin, allowing you to wash off grime easily. When regular soap is introduced to bacteria and viruses, these pathogens no longer adhere well to the skin, which lets you scrub them off. And since there is soap on the skin, you’ll likely rinse long enough to send these germs down the drain.

    In other words, regular soap helps you scrub off germs, but it doesn’t kill them.

    How antibacterial soap works
    Antibacterial soap is amphipathic too, so it works the same way as regular soap. However, the antibacterial ingredients added to it are designed to prevent the replication of any bacteria still remaining on the skin. Just like antibiotics, antibacterial soap has no effect on viruses.

    Why the FDA has banned antibacterial soap ingredients
    Most antibacterial soaps contained triclosan—one of the 19 banned ingredients. Triclosan is also added to a variety of everyday products, from toys to interior paint, for the purpose of discouraging bacterial growth.

    It’s been associated with a number of harmful effects, including drug-resistant bacteria and environmental harm. Triclosan has also been shown to cause hormonal disruptions in animals. Whether or not humans could suffer the same harm is a subject of ongoing research.

    From our Ob/Gyn specialists to our organ transplant surgeons, the entire team at Riverside Community Hospital follows rigorous sanitation protocols to prevent hospital-acquired infections. Nothing is more important to us than your health and safety, since our healthcare providers live and work in the same Riverside community as you. Call a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463.

  • Why is the knee more prone to injuries than other parts of the body?

    It’s no secret that the knee is an injury-prone joint. The orthopedic specialists at Riverside Community Hospital often treat patients who have sustained acute injuries like ligament tears, as well as chronic knee conditions like osteoarthritis. The knee is a complex hinge joint, and any of its many components can sustain damage.

    Excessive stress on the knees
    In the accompanying video, one of the orthopedic surgeons at Riverside Community Hospital explains the main reasons why the knee is so susceptible to injuries. It’s subject to considerable stress from everyday use – standing up, climbing stairs and stepping down from curbs are all common activities that force the knees to work harder. Athletes subject their knees to more strain from running, pivoting and jumping.

    Sometimes, these movements push the knee beyond its capacities, and an injury occurs. The knee can also sustain damage gradually. The stress of everyday activities can add up over the years, potentially causing overuse injuries and chronic knee problems.

    Common knee problems
    Dozens of problems can affect this large joint, including the following acute injuries:

    • Tendon injuries
    • Ligament injuries
    • Kneecap dislocation
    • Meniscus tear
    • Knee fractures

    Chronic knee problems and overuse injuries can significantly reduce quality of life by preventing patients from doing the activities they enjoy, like sports and gardening. Some examples are:

    • Osteoarthritis
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Pseudogout
    • Tendinitis
    • Iliotibial band syndrome

    Knee pain is never normal. If you’re experiencing unusual knee symptoms, your doctor may refer you to an orthopedist for expert care.

    Preventive health recommendations
    Knee injuries aren’t inevitable as you grow older. You can reduce your risk of knee pain with the following steps:

    • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Wear well-fitted, supportive shoes
    • Warm up and stretch before exercising
    • Use proper form while exercising
    • Increase workout intensity gradually
    • Strengthen the leg muscles that support the knee

    When aching knees are keeping you from the activities you love, let the orthopedic specialists at Riverside Community Hospital help you reclaim your quality of life. Our highly trained surgeons and talented nurses continually strive for healthcare excellence to give our patients the best possible outcomes. Call a registered nurse in Riverside at (951) 788-3463 to request a referral to an orthopedic specialist.

  • Are there medications you can take to treat the flu faster?

    Infections are caused by different types of germs, such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Antibiotics are only capable of treating bacterial infections. Since the flu is caused by a virus, doctors never prescribe antibiotics to treat the flu. However, there are antiviral medications available to help some patients recover from the flu faster. The Emergency Room physicians and nurses at Riverside Community Hospital can help if you’ve developed severe flu symptoms or complications.

    How antiviral drugs work

    Antiviral medications can be administered intravenously or taken by mouth. They work by improving the severity of symptoms and shortening the duration of the illness. Antivirals are also useful for reducing the risk of serious flu complications, including pneumonia.

    When antivirals should be used

    Emergency Room doctors prefer to give patients antiviral drugs within two days of the onset of the flu. This is because the medicine is most effective when given early. However, some people may still benefit from taking antivirals later on.

    Who may benefit from antiviral drugs

    Most people who contract the flu can recover well at home, without medical intervention. Doctors may decide to prescribe antivirals to individuals who develop severe flu symptoms, which can include:

    • Sudden dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Shortness of breath
    • Severe vomiting

    Patients who develop complications of the flu may be given a prescription for antivirals, or they may receive intravenous drugs in the hospital.

    Some patients who are at a high risk of complications may be given antivirals at the first sign of influenza. These high-risk groups include:

    • Pregnant women
    • Women who recently gave birth
    • Seniors
    • Young children
    • Residents of long-term care facilities

    Additionally, there are many medical conditions that can place a person at an increased risk of severe flu symptoms or complications. These include:

    • Asthma
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Cancer
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Obesity
    • Blood disorders
    • Liver or kidney disease
    • Chronic lung disease

    Influenza can be serious, so consider talking to your physician about protecting yourself with the flu shot. Riverside Community Hospital encourages our neighbors throughout Riverside to take advantage of our many preventive healthcare services. A registered nurse is available to assist you at (951) 788-3463.