• What are the chances of your child inheriting Duchenne muscular dystrophy?

    Couples who are planning to conceive may sometimes wish to speak with an Ob/Gyn about their health history beforehand. A preconception health visit evaluates the medical conditions that may affect the pregnancy, the mother or the child. In some cases, an Ob/Gyn at Riverside Community Hospital may refer couples to a genetic counselor. A genetic counselor can explain the likelihood of the child inheriting a genetic disorder, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    The basics of Duchenne muscular dystrophy
    Muscular dystrophy is a group of uncommon diseases. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a progressive genetic disorder. It causes muscle degeneration and weakness that typically starts very early in life, and becomes much worse by adolescence.

    Because adolescent patients begin to experience heart and respiratory difficulties, in past years, they did not usually live long into adulthood. Life expectancy for these patients has been improved with better care, and many of these patients can now live into their 30s. Some of them have lived into their 40s and 50s.

    The likelihood of inheriting the mutation
    Female children inherit two X chromosomes. Male children inherit an X and Y chromosome. Since the genetic mutation that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy occurs on the X chromosome, females are almost never affected by this disease.

    Boys inherit the X chromosome from their mothers, which means the disease is passed down on the maternal line. Each son born to a mother who carries the mutation has a 50% chance of inheriting it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    If a female does inherit the mutation, she isn’t likely to be affected because she has another X chromosome to compensate for the deficiency. However, she will be a carrier of the genetic disease, and her sons will have a 50% chance of inheriting it.

    Riverside Community Hospital is a state-of-the-art medical center that provides a full range of medical services and specialty care. Every day, our team strives for healthcare excellence because our neighbors in Riverside matter to us. If you’d like to speak with a registered nurse or request a referral to an Ob/Gyn, you can call (951) 788-3463.

  • Why everyone should know the risks of glaucoma

    Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of vision loss. Left untreated, it almost always leads to blindness, and some people who get treatment still lose their sight. By knowing the risk factors for glaucoma, you could reduce your risks of developing this serious eye health condition. Here is why understanding the risk of glaucoma is so important.

    Anyone can get glaucoma.
    Glaucoma does not just happen to older people or people with certain health conditions. Anyone can get glaucoma at any age. Some people are even born with a congenital form of the disease.

    Therefore, receiving regular eye exams are incredibly important. Glaucoma responds best to treatments in its early stages, but it seldom causes symptoms until some degree of vision loss as already occurred. Only through regular eye exams can you know if have glaucoma before you begin to lose sight.

    Vision loss is permanent.
    Although there are treatments available to stop the progression of glaucoma that work for many people, any vision loss caused by the condition is permanent. No treatments are available to reverse blindness that results from glaucoma.

    Early diagnosis and treatment are the only tools that can effectively prevent vision loss from glaucoma. Understanding your risk will make you more likely to get screened for glaucoma.

    You won’t know you have it until it’s too late.
    The first symptom of glaucoma is vision loss. Typically, people who develop glaucoma first notice that their peripheral vision is diminished. In some cases, people don’t notice the initial peripheral vision loss and only realize they have a problem when their forward sight is compromised.

    When this happens, the disease is in an advanced stage. It’s important to be proactive about the risk before this happens.

    Good health starts with regular preventive screening tests for a wide range of conditions. Your physician at Riverside Community Hospital can help you understand what tests are right for you, so you can get the personalized care you need. To learn more about our hospital services in Riverside, please dial (951) 788-3463.

  • What you can do for your heart beyond wearing red

    National Wear Red Day takes place on February 2, 2018. This designation is intended to raise awareness about the risk factors of heart disease, and the importance of taking steps toward prevention. On this day, you’ll likely see plenty of people at heart hospitals and in your community proudly wearing red. Although it’s good to raise awareness, taking concrete steps to improve your health is even more important. Riverside Community Hospital connects patients with caring specialists who can provide personalized treatment plans and lifestyle recommendations.

    Talk to friends and family about heart health
    On National Wear Red Day, you can encourage your loved ones to be proactive about their own heart health. Schedule a physical exam for your partner, invite a co-worker to take a walk with you after work or ask your kids to help you prepare a low-sodium vegetarian meal. Share information about the importance of a heart-healthy lifestyle on your social media accounts.

    Know your heart health numbers
    Do you know your blood pressure and cholesterol level? If it’s been a while since you had a screening test, it’s time to schedule an appointment. See how your numbers compare to these ideal ranges:

    • Blood pressure: Below 120/80
    • LDL cholesterol: Below 100
    • HDL cholesterol: 60 or higher
    • Total cholesterol: Below 200
    • Body mass index: 18 to 25
    • Resting heart rate: 60 to 100

    Set goals to improve your numbers
    If all of your numbers are already ideal, then keep making healthy lifestyle choices to maintain your heart health. Otherwise, your doctor can help you learn about medical management options or lifestyle changes to improve your health.

    Establish specific, reasonable goals for making lifestyle modifications. For example, instead of aiming to cut down on sugar, your goal could be to eliminate added sugar in coffee. Once you’ve mastered that, work on eliminating soda from your diet.

    Every small change can help you reach your goal, and your doctor can give you guidance along the way.

    From diagnosis to follow-up, you’ll find a continuum of care at HeartCare Institute at Riverside Community Hospital . Our team of cardiovascular surgeons, cardiologists and nurses is committed to giving each patient the superior care he or she needs for the best possible outcome. Call 911 for medical emergencies, or call a registered nurse in Riverside at (951) 788-3463 for general information about our heart hospital.

  • What expecting moms can do to prevent birth defects

    Birth defects can happen to any baby. However, there are many things you can do to ensure your baby has the best chance at being born without any issues. These steps will help promote the health of both you and your baby.

    Take folic acid
    Folic acid, a type of B vitamin, can help to protect your baby from birth defects, especially early in pregnancy. In fact, if you’re planning to become pregnant, taking a folic acid supplement can help to reduce the risk of brain and spine-based birth defects, such as anencephaly and spina bifida.

    In addition to supplements, you can get folic acid from foods that been fortified with the vitamin and foods high in folate, such as leafy green vegetables, beans, and citrus fruits.

    Avoid cigarettes, drugs and alcohol
    Cigarettes, drugs and alcohol can significantly increase the risk of birth defects. There are many kinds of birth defects these substances can cause, including:

    • Cleft palates
    • Cleft lips
    • Fetal alcohol syndrome
    • Intellectual disabilities

    There are no safe amounts of cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol to have during pregnancy. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor.

    Manage your chronic health conditions
    Birth defects can happen to any baby. However, there are many things you can do to ensure your baby has the best chance at being born without any issues. These steps will help promote the health of both you and your baby.

    Take folic acid
    Folic acid, a type of B vitamin, can help to protect your baby from birth defects, especially early in pregnancy. In fact, if you’re planning to become pregnant, taking a folic acid supplement can help to reduce the risk of brain and spine-based birth defects, such as anencephaly and spina bifida.

    In addition to supplements, you can get folic acid from foods that been fortified with the vitamin and foods high in folate, such as leafy green vegetables, beans, and citrus fruits.

    Avoid cigarettes, drugs and alcohol
    Cigarettes, drugs and alcohol can significantly increase the risk of birth defects. There are many kinds of birth defects these substances can cause, including:

    • Cleft palates
    • Cleft lips
    • Fetal alcohol syndrome
    • Intellectual disabilities

    There are no safe amounts of cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol to have during pregnancy. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor.

    Manage your chronic health conditions
    Some chronic health conditions can increase the risk of birth defects. For example, diabetes increases the risk of spina bifida and cleft palates. Having a chronic health condition can also put you at risk of complications during pregnancy, which can increase the chances of your baby having health problems.

    If you have a chronic health condition, be sure to manage it carefully during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor as soon as you become pregnant, as you may need to make changes to some of the medications you take.

    Having reliable healthcare throughout your pregnancy is essential for the wellbeing of you and your baby. Family Birthplace at Riverside Community Hospital is here to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery. For more information about having your baby at our hospital in Riverside or to get a referral to one of our women’s health specialists, please call (951) 788-3463. Some chronic health conditions can increase the risk of birth defects. For example, diabetes increases the risk of spina bifida and cleft palates. Having a chronic health condition can also put you at risk of complications during pregnancy, which can increase the chances of your baby having health problems.

    If you have a chronic health condition, be sure to manage it carefully during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor as soon as you become pregnant, as you may need to make changes to some of the medications you take.

    Having reliable healthcare throughout your pregnancy is essential for the wellbeing of you and your baby. Family Birthplace at Riverside Community Hospital is here to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery. For more information about having your baby at our hospital in Riverside or to get a referral to one of our women’s health specialists, please call (951) 788-3463.

  • Assessing your health before weight loss surgery

    If you are considering bariatric surgery, there are several steps required to ensure the procedure is safe for you. Going through these health assessments will determine if you can expect a smooth recovery from surgery and if a weight loss procedure is likely to help you reach your goals. Here is a look at some of the health assessments you many need before weight loss surgery.

    Thyroid function
    January’s Thyroid Awareness Month helps increase awareness about the important link between weight and thyroid function. If you are suffering from hypothyroidism—also known as an underactive thyroid—then you could find it difficult to lose weight, as an underactive thyroid can suppress your metabolism.

    A thyroid screening test before bariatric surgery will tell your physician if hypothyroidism is contributing to your weight. You will need treatment for an underactive thyroid before weight loss surgery and your thyroid will be closely monitored after your procedure so it doesn’t interfere with your weight loss efforts.

    Emotional preparedness
    As explained in the video, bariatric surgery is the start of your journey. To reap the benefits of your weight loss surgery, you will have to commit to a healthy lifestyle and new way of eating after surgery.

    Your physician will work closely with you to make sure you’re emotionally ready for the demands of post-surgery life. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or another emotional health issue, treatment can help.

    Heart health
    For any kind of surgery, it’s important that your heart is healthy enough for anesthesia and the demands of recovery. Your doctor will review your cholesterol, blood pressure, and other facets of your heart health to make sure that surgery is safe for you.

    Your physician may ask you to lose a certain amount of weight before surgery in order to make the procedure safer for your heart.

    Center for Surgical Weight Loss in Riverside at Riverside Community Hospital performs multiple forms of weight loss surgery and offers comprehensive patient education and support before and after our procedures. Find out if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery by calling (951) 788-3463 to request a referral.

  • Can you give blood if you have high blood pressure?

    If you’re looking for a way to give back to your community, consider blood donation. By donating blood, you make sure that the hospitals in your area have this vital resource on hand to save lives. Many people want to give blood but hold back because of myths about the process and eligibility. For instance, what is the real story about donating blood with high blood pressure? Here are the facts behind this question and other blood pressure donation myths.

    Myth: You can’t donate blood if you have high blood pressure.
    High blood pressure does not preclude you from donating blood. If your blood pressure is less than 180 over 100, it’s perfectly safe and acceptable for you to donate. Likewise, being on blood pressure medicine has no bearing on your ability to donate blood. Many people who donate blood regularly are under treatment for high blood pressure.

    Myth: Blood donation is painful.
    It is natural to be a little nervous about blood donation. After all, no one really likes needle sticks. However, nearly everyone who donates blood agrees that any worrying that they did beforehand was not necessary and that any discomfort they experienced was minimal and over quickly. The good you do by donating blood lasts far longer than the slight, momentary pinch of the needle.

    If you have had blood drawn at the doctor’s office, then you know what to expect from donating blood. Blood draw teams at donation sites are experienced and dedicated to your comfort.

    Myth: You can’t donate blood if you’re on medications.
    There are very few medications that prevent you from donating blood. One of the few medicines that could prevent donations is bovine insulin, a type of insulin derived from cows that is not widely used or available.

    Generally speaking, as long as your health condition is under control, taking medication does not interfere with blood donation.

    Blood donations play an important role across Riverside Community Hospital, from our ER to our organ transplant service in Riverside. Consider supporting health in our community with blood donations. If you have questions about our hospital services or need a referral to a physician, please call us today at (951) 788-3463.

  • 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.