• Which technologies assist modern neurosurgeons?

    Neurosurgeons rely heavily on technology to make treatments less invasive and safer. Many patients in need of neurosurgery are surprised at their options for minimally invasive treatments and how quick and comfortable recovery can be. These advanced treatment options also provide care for conditions that were considered to be unmanageable. Here is a look at some of the technologies being used by neurosurgeons today.

    Deep brain stimulation

    1. Deep brain stimulation is performed by placing electrodes within the brain to stabilize abnormal impulses. As explained in the video, it can be used to treat multiple movement disorders. Some of the diseases and conditions that can be helped by deep brain stimulation include:
    • Essential tremor
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Dystonia
    • Epilepsy
    • OCD
    • Tourette’s syndrome
    • Some types of chronic pain

    Deep brain stimulation is usually performed after medications have provided sufficient symptom relief. Researchers are currently investigating its usefulness in treating depression, addiction, dementia, and brain damage caused by stroke.

    Robotic surgery
    Robotic surgery is a technique in which robotic instruments make incisions and excisions during surgery. The robotic tools are controlled by a surgeon, who operates them from a control panel that incorporates a high-resolution camera, so that he or she can clearly see the patient during the procedure.

    Robotic surgery offers multiple benefits to patients, such as:

    • Smaller, more precise incisions
    • Faster recovery times
    • Less surgical and post-surgical bleeding

    Neurointerventional Biplane System
    The Neurointerventional Biplane System allows neurological procedures that would have been done with traditional, open surgery in the past to be treated with minimally invasive procedures. The system allows neurointerventionalist to map the flow of blood through the vein without an open surgery, and then treat any issues minimally invasively, through a catheter introduced through an entry point in the leg.

    Some of the conditions treated with this system include:

    • Stroke
    • Carotid artery blockages
    • Intracranial hemorrhages
    • Arteriovenous malformations

    Riverside Community Hospital is the only place in western Riverside County with a Neurointerventional Biplane System , and our neurosurgeons rely on advanced technologies every day to provide the best possible patient care. To learn more about our services, including robotic surgery in Riverside, please call (951) 788-3463.

  • Knowing when drinking is a problem

    Alcohol abuse is a problem that affects every walk of life. No gender, race, class, or ethnic group is immune to risks and dangerous of alcoholism, but few people know how to recognize the signs of problem drinking before abuse becomes severe. Knowing the symptoms of alcohol abuse can help you take action when necessary is you or someone you love is struggling with a drinking problem. If you recognize these symptoms, consider talking to your healthcare provider about the next steps you should take.

    Binge drinking
    The amount of alcohol a person can safely consume depends on many different factors, however, there are some general guidelines as to what is considered to be excessive:

    • For women, more than 7 drinks per week or more than 3 drinks per drinking session
    • For men, more than 14 drinks per week or more than 4 drinks per session
    • For people over 65, more than 7 drinks per week or more than 3 drinks per session

    Drinking more than these guidelines on a regular basis is considered to be excessive. When people drink more than these guidelines per session, they are engaging in binge drinking. Binge drinking is an especially dangerous form of alcohol abuse that is associated with significant health risks and loss of life.

    Risk-taking behavior
    Taking risks while drinking is another sign of alcohol abuse. Some common forms of risky behavior people who are dealing with alcohol abuse may engage in includes:

    • Drinking and driving
    • Mixing drinks with medications
    • Lying to healthcare providers about drinking
    • Drinking while in charge of young children
    • Engaging in risky sexual behavior

    Alcohol dependence
    Alcohol abuse can cause someone to prioritize alcohol over other needs and responsibilities and to become physically and psychologically dependent on it. Some signs of alcohol dependency are:

    • Trying to hide how much you’re drinking
    • Worrying about not having access to alcohol
    • Missing work and personal obligations to drink
    • Experiencing shaking, anxiety, and other physical symptoms if you can’t drink

    Alcohol abuse can be devastating for families, but help is available. Your healthcare provider at Riverside Community Hospital can help you understand if you are abusing alcohol and get the help you need. Get a referral to a physician in Riverside by calling (951) 788-3463.

  • What should you do to maintain your personal health records?

    Thanks to the adoption of EHRs—electronic health records—it is easier than ever before for physicians to share information with each other and for every provider to have access to a complete view of your health. These records provide physicians with information about diagnoses, tests and results, and current medications, which helps to cut down on errors and reduce the risk of redundant tests and treatments. However, despite these advances, it is still helpful to for patients to maintain their own personal health records. Doing so is easier than you may think. Here is what you need to know.

    PHRs 101
    A personal health record —or PHR—is created and managed by you. It can contain much of the information that is in the EHRs your physicians manage, but it can also hold information that you think is important that your doctors don’t track. Some of the things that people include in PHRs that might not be in their EHRs are:

    • Over-the-counter medications and dosages
    • Vitamins/nutritional supplements and dosages
    • Exercise habits
    • Eating habits
    • Sleep habits
    • Symptom journals

    Starting a PHR
    Although you can keep paper medical records, most people who start a PHR do so using a web-based system. There are several online PHR, both for free and for a small fee. Check the features of each system closely. The difference between free PHRs and fee-based ones usually have to do with the amount of storage provided and management capabilities.

    When you select a PHR, you will have to add your own information manually or by scanning documents. You will also have to keep it updated as needed, as you get new diagnoses or medications.

    Sharing Your PHR
    Most PHRs can be viewed only with people you share them with. However, some people use PHRs provided by their healthcare network or insurance company. In these cases, your providers or insurance company may automatically have access to your information.

    At Riverside Community Hospital, the MyHealthOne Patient Portal is a great way to manage your health information. All of our providers also have access to your medical records through an EHR system, making it easier for your physicians to share information. For more information or a referral to a provider at our hospital in Riverside, call (951) 788-3463.

  • Do your heart a favor and de-stress

    One of the biggest dangers for your heart is something you may not think about—stress. Stress puts your heart at significant risk but raising your chances of many health conditions that impact your cardiac health. Although stress is a major risk factor for heart disease, it is also one of the most controllable ones. There are many things you can do to control your stress levels, which in turn will reduce your risk of heart disease.

    Stress and your heart
    When you are under stress, your body releases a hormone called adrenaline. Adrenaline makes your body ready to deal with an immediate, stressful situation in a number of ways—including increasing your heart rate.

    Short bursts of adrenaline can be helpful in some situations, when you have an immediate stressor to handle. The problem comes in when stress occurs of an extended period of time. This kind of chronic stress floods your body with adrenaline for long periods, which means that your heart rate is also increased for a long period of time. This can weaken your heart muscle and also contribute to high blood pressure—another risk factor for heart disease.

    Stress and lifestyle choices
    Another way stress can impact your heart is in the way it influences your lifestyle choices. When people face stress, they are more likely to engage in behaviors that can put their heart health at risk, such as smoking, drinking excessively, failing to get an adequate amount of sleep, and making poor food choices.

    While coping with stress, people any also neglect their chronic health conditions. For instance, a person with diabetes may fail to manage their blood sugar adequately. This can also increase the risk of heart health problems.

    Stress coping techniques
    To prevent stress-related heart health problems, learning how to cope with stress is essential. Some simple stress management strategies include:

    • Exercise
    • Meditation
    • Calling a friend
    • Listening to music

    If you are having difficulty managing your stress, talk to your physician. There are many medications that can be useful in reducing stress.

    At Riverside Community Hospital, your heart health is our mission. We offer comprehensive cardiac care, from our emergency room to our outpatient providers. Get more information about our heart health services in Riverside by calling (951) 788-3463.