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    How Managing Your Blood Pressure Can Keep You Out of the ER

    Last updated 5 days ago

    High blood pressure is defined as having systolic pressure higher than 140 mmHg or diastolic pressure higher than 90 mmHg. High blood pressure affects your body in a number of ways. It exerts additional stress on your blood vessels, heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain. If not properly managed, high blood pressure may send you to the ER because of an increased risk in complications such as stroke and heart attack. If you have conditions that affect your cardiovascular health, you might consider working with a physician at a heart hospital to improve your wellness.


    By managing your blood pressure levels, you may reduce your risk of atherosclerosis, or the accumulation of plaque on the arterial walls. Having high blood pressure inflicts damage on your blood vessels, making them more likely to become clogged with plaque or develop blood clots. When the blood vessels in the brain are damaged, they are at a higher risk of rupturing or leaking, causing stroke. A stroke can also occur if a blood clot obstructs blood flow to the brain.

    Heart Attack

    Stroke isn’t the only medical emergency that may send you to the ER as a result of unmanaged high blood pressure. If you develop atherosclerosis as a result of hypertension, you may be at an increased risk of suffering a heart attack. High blood pressure can also lead to arteriosclerosis, or the thickening and stiffening of the arteries. These changes to your blood vessels can result in reduced blood flow to the heart.

    Heart Failure

    Specialists at heart hospitals often work with patients who suffer from heart failure, which occurs when the heart muscle becomes weak and can no longer meet the body’s demands for oxygenated blood. Unmanaged high blood pressure can eventually contribute to heart failure because it places additional strain on the heart.

    Members of the Riverside community and beyond can learn how to manage their heart health with help from the team at the HeartCare Institute at Riverside Community Hospital. Our heart hospital offers specialized care, including rapid response to cardiac emergencies and cardiac rehabilitation services. Call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (951) 788-3000 to inquire about our heart hospital or our other healthcare services, including robotic surgery, organ transplant, and bariatric weight loss.

    A Closer Look at the Sleeve Gastrectomy Procedure

    Last updated 12 days ago

    There are several options to consider for bariatric weight loss, including vertical sleeve gastrectomy. During this procedure, a bariatric surgeon modifies the stomach so that it can hold a smaller amount of food. This helps patients lose weight because they feel full more quickly and can reduce their calorie intake. Bariatric weight loss is a life-changing event that requires many lifestyle adjustments. If you’re wondering if bariatric weight loss might be right for you, read through the following information and consider attending a surgical weight loss seminar at Riverside Community Hospital.

    Preparing for Bariatric Weight Loss

    Prior to having sleeve gastrectomy, you can expect to consult a specialist to determine if this procedure is right for you. You may undergo a physical exam, a review of your medical history, mental health counseling, and tests such as blood tests. Bariatric weight loss patients also typically receive nutrition counseling and extensive education regarding lifestyle adjustments. Bariatric weight loss patients who smoke may be advised to quit before the surgery. A physician may instruct you to discontinue certain medications or supplements for a period of time. Since you will be placed under general anesthesia, your physician will let you know when you must cease food and drink intake before your surgery.

    Undergoing Sleeve Gastrectomy

    When you arrive at the bariatric weight loss center, an IV line will be placed and a breathing tube will be inserted into your throat. If the bariatric surgery can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, then the surgeon will make several small incisions in the abdomen. The stomach will be inflated and surgical staples will divide the stomach. The new stomach is often compared to the shape of a slender banana. The remainder of the stomach is removed.

    Recovering from the Procedure

    Patients are typically discharged from the hospital in about two to three days. You’ll receive detailed post-operative instructions, including steps to take to reduce the risk of infection and support healing. You’ll also need to follow your doctor’s dietary instructions.

    The Center for Surgical Weight Loss at Riverside Community Hospital has been designated as a Center of Excellence by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program from the American College of Surgeons. In addition to providing sleeve gastrectomy and other bariatric weight loss procedures in Riverside, we offer extensive patient education, seminars, and support groups. Call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (951) 788-3000 to find out more.

    Exploring the Connection Between A-Fib and Stroke

    Last updated 19 days ago

    Did you know that your brain health and your cardiovascular wellness are closely linked? In fact, having certain cardiovascular conditions, such as atrial fibrillation (A-fib) can increase your risk of stroke. Fortunately, there are ways to manage your condition. Consider discussing a treatment plan with specialists at a heart hospital, such as Riverside Community Hospital.

    Understanding How A-Fib Can Cause Stroke

    Your heart has an electrical system that emits signals to control the heartbeat. These electrical signals begin in the upper chambers of the heart, or the atria, and they travel to the ventricles, or the lower chambers. A patient with atrial fibrillation has irregular or fast electrical signals in the atria, causing these chambers to shake instead of contract properly. Sometimes, this can also cause the ventricles to pump irregularly or rapidly. These irregular heartbeats interfere with the way in which the heart pumps blood out, which can allow blood to pool in the chambers. This accumulated blood may form blood clots. If a blood clot breaks away from the area, it may travel along the blood vessels toward the brain, where it may block blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke.

    Identifying A-Fib Symptoms

    Atrial fibrillation doesn’t always cause symptoms. However, if you do experience any possible symptoms, you could seek a diagnosis and treatment plan at a heart hospital. Managing atrial fibrillation can reduce your risk of stroke. The symptoms of atrial fibrillation include an irregular or rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness, pain or pressure in the chest, shortness of breath, and inability to exercise.

    Exploring Stroke Prevention Strategies

    The goal of an atrial fibrillation treatment plan is to reduce the risk of blood clots, restore the normal rhythm of the heart, and maintain a normal heart rate. Medications can help prevent blood clot formation and manage the rate and rhythm of the heart. Some patients may be advised to make lifestyle changes, such as achieving a healthy weight. In certain cases, surgery at a heart hospital may be recommended.

    If you have atrial fibrillation, you can find the healthcare solutions you need at the HeartCare Institute at Riverside Community Hospital. Our heart hospital in Riverside is also a Primary Stroke Center certified by The Joint Commission. For general information about our heart health services, bariatric weight loss, robotic surgery, or OB/GYN services, call (951) 788-3000 to speak with a registered nurse.

    Learning to Recognize the Signs of Parkinson's Disease

    Last updated 26 days ago

    Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disease, which is characterized by several primary motor symptoms in addition to secondary motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms, which may appear with less consistency. At first, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may be fairly subtle, but they will continue to develop (at varying rates depending on the patient) and pose significant difficulty for patients in their daily activities. Below you will see some of the most distinctive signs of Parkinson’s, which should be addressed by a neurologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment planning. Identifying Parkinson’s early on can facilitate more independence and comfort for patients, so you should not hesitate to seek care in the face of these symptoms.

    Resting Tremor

    About 70% of patients experience a slight tremor in the hand or foot in early stages of Parkinson’s. These tremors occur when muscles are relaxed, which is why they are referred to as a resting tremor. Resting tremors may originate only on one side of the body and spread as the disease progresses.

    Slow Movement and Rigidity

    In addition to causing involuntary movements, Parkinson’s disease can lead to a reduction in spontaneous movement (bradykinesia) or muscle rigidity. These symptoms may show through a decrease in facial expressivity, difficulty performing fine motor movements like buttoning a shirt, or decreased range of motion in the arms and legs.

    Postural Instability

    Postural instability is an important sign of Parkinson’s, which occurs when a person may have instability while standing upright. This can create difficulty while walking, rising from a chair, or turning, as postural instability creates a proneness toward swaying backwards in these movements.

    For the specialized neurological care needed to address Parkinson’s symptoms, you can count on Riverside Community Hospital. For physician referrals or a closer look at our services, call (951) 788-3463 or visit us online. 

    Tips for Preventing Distracted Driving in Teens

    Last updated 1 month ago

    Distracted driving causes upwards of 3,000 fatal car accidents annually and leads to hundreds of thousands of injuries, and many of these accidents involve teenage drivers who are more prone to distractions and have fewer driving skills overall. Parents play a big role in helping to reduce distracted driving behaviors in teens, and the first step should be leading by example with your own good driving habits. Here’s a closer look at what you can do to minimize distractions for your teen driver and promote better safety on the road.

    Encourage Teen Drivers to Turn off Their Phones

    Cell phone use is among the leading distractions for teen drivers. Text messaging is a particular concern, because it requires manual, visual, and cognitive attention. When your teen is on the road, you should encourage him or her to turn the phone off or at least silence the device and keep it out of view. There are also apps that can auto-respond to text messages when your teen is driving, which can eliminate the need to look at the phone right away.

    Limit the Number of Passengers Allowed in Your Teen’s Vehicle

    When your teen first starts driving, it may be best to only allow solo trips so that there are no distractions from passengers. Once your teen is more experienced behind the wheel, he or she may have a better handle on how to minimize passenger distractions and stay focused on the road.

    Keep the Car Clean and Tidy

    A cluttered car can be a distraction, since items may roll around or make noise, drawing attention away from the road. As part of your agreement with your teen to let him or her take on the responsibility of driving, set rules for keeping the car clean so that all focus can remain on his or her surroundings outside of the vehicle.

    For more ideas on promoting teen driver safety, call Riverside Community Hospital at (951) 788-3463 to speak with one of our registered nurses. When distracted driving accidents do occur, you can rely on our emergency facilities, which feature the largest level II trauma center in the Inland Empire.  

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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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