Motor Vehicle Accidents and the Holidays

christmas car458146831What time of the year are you most at risk of getting into a motor vehicle accident?

The odds of getting into an accident increase during periods when there are more cars on the road, such as rush hour, or when during periods of inclement weather. But when the number of alcohol impaired drivers increase, the odds skyrocket.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 36 fatalities occur per day on average in the United States as a result of crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. At certain times of the year, such as holidays, those numbers rise dramatically. For example, during the Christmas season, an average of 45 fatalities involving an alcohol-impaired driver occurred each day, and soars to 54 per day over the New Year’s holiday.

New Year’s Eve is more than just the last day of every year; it is also the holiday with the most arrests made by law enforcement agencies across the United States for suspected drinking and driving.

Jamaica Hospital wants to remind everyone not to drink and drive and to exercise good judgment while on the road this holiday season.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Do The Holidays Stress You Out? Follow These Tips

HolidayStress134936674The holidays are supposed to be about joy and merriment, but for many they can become a very stressful time of year.

The average American spends 42 hours a year on holiday activities including, shopping, wrapping presents, decorating, attending holiday parties, and traveling from place to place. Often, these extra activities get squeezed into our already busy schedules.

Our schedules are not the only thing being squeezed during the holidays; so too are our wallets. The holidays promote gift giving, but to what extent? Buying something for everyone on your list can be a very stressful situation, especially when you are on a budget.

To help you enjoy avoid holiday stress and enjoy this very special time of year, try following these simple tips:

• Take Calm-Down Breaks. Soon after you awake, close your eyes, take several deep breaths and meditate or just relax. Quieting down your mind before you begin your day can help it get off to a great start and things will flow for you.

• Create the Holiday You Want – When the holidays come around, you may find yourself getting pulled in many different directions. Don’t give in to outside pressures. Decide how do you want to spend your time and resources. Consider what is most important to you and what memories you want to create.

• Stick to a Budget – Unfortunately, so many people cause their own stress by overspending during the holidays. Try to start saving for the upcoming holiday season early in the year. Sit down and look to see what you can really afford before you start shopping.

• Be Generous With Your Heart – One of the best ways to stay calm, content and cheerful this time of year is to act generously with your loved ones, co-workers and friends. This doesn’t  mean you have to spend a lot of money though.

• Get Moving – One of the best ways to overcome stress during the holidays or any other time is to exercise regularly. Physical activity not only boosts your fitness and energy levels but can also elevate your mood.

• Eat Healthy- Inevitably, at this time of year, you’ll be constantly tempted with sweet, empty-calorie treats. But to be your most energetic, focused and happy self, it’s best to avoid the sugary snacks and eat healthier options.

Hopefully, by following these recommendations, your holidays can be calm, relaxing and fun.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Don’t Let Depression Meno”PAUSE” Your life

depression 496852213If you are between the ages of 45 and 55, did you know you are four times more likely to have depression than women who have not reached that stage in their life?

 During menopause, a woman’s body experiences a reduction in the production of estrogen and a rise in production of testosterone (typically known as a male sex hormone). The rapid fluctuations of these hormones can influence the neurotransmitters in the brain and can lead to depression.

 During Menopause, a woman’s body can experience irregularities, such as, restless sleep, hot flashes, weight gain, blood circulation, as well as, reduction in sex drive and a slower metabolism.One change that gets far less attention is a woman’s psychological health.

 Studies have proven that menopausal women are three times more likely to be diagnosed with depression than the general population, even if they don’t have a personal history of mental health disease.

 Depression is a common yet potentially serious symptom of menopause. It involves more than the occasional bout of sadness and, if not treated, can lead to more severe mental disorders and a lessened quality of life. 

Although depression experienced during menopause is often dismissed, it is recognized as a valid disease and, when identified, can be managed.

 If you are experiencing similar changes and are in an at risk age group, you can schedule an appointment with the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Mental Health at 718-206-7005.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water

Colic 476133667Whether you are a new or seasoned parent, sleepless nights caused by your newborns restlessness can be un-nerving.  You ask yourself the basic questions, “Is my baby’s diaper dry or is he/she hungry?” The answer could be, neither.  If your baby is fussy, cranky and seems to be experiencing stomach pain, they could be “colicky.”

The condition known as colic is the term that applies to any healthy, well-fed infant, approximately two to three weeks old, who cries more than three hours a day, more than three days per week, for more than three weeks.  The exact cause of Colic is unknown, which is why there isn’t a defined prescription to alleviate the discomfort associated with this condition.

Reasons for symptoms could be:

  • Tummy trouble, perhaps a problem with cow’s milk protein or lactose in some baby formulas.
  • Reflux, which is heartburn due to stomach acid and milk flowing back into the windpipe.
  • A growing digestive system with muscles that often spasm.
  • Hormones that cause stomachaches or a fussy mood.
  • Oversensitivity or over-stimulated by light, noise, etc.
  • A moody baby.
  • A still-developing nervous system.

It is helpful to attempt to ease your infant’s acid reflux. Try feeding half as much and twice as often. A smaller volume of food will empty from the stomach faster leaving less chance of it rising back up in the esophagus. An infant’s stomach is only the size of their own fist, so you can understand why their stomach can become overwhelmed.

Another measure you can take in preventing colic is to make sure you are relieving any gas that may be trapped. Gently rub your baby’s back, in an upward motion, to help release any gas that may have formed during their feeding.   Laying your infant down, immediately after a feeding, is discouraged since a prone position can cause acid-reflux.

In addition, crying after a feeding increases intro-abdominal pressure, this can cause abdominal pain so attempt to soothe your infant. The calmer your baby is, the better their stomach will tolerate milk.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. The symptoms usually begin to subside, on its own, by the time the infant reaches three or four months old.

If your baby is experiencing the symptoms of colic, you can make an appointment at The Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center. Call 718-206-7005

 

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Can Children with Asthma Keep Pets?

kid and pet 178496846The presence of some pets in the home can trigger asthma attacks in children. While many believe pets’ fur is the culprit, it is actually the allergens such as dust and proteins found in pets’ dander, saliva, dead-skin flakes, urine and feathers that can cause a reaction.

These allergens and proteins are airborne-they can enter the body by way of the mouth or nose. When they are combined with antibodies (a substance that the body recognizes as foreign) and inhaled into the lungs, they can trigger the body’s defense mechanisms, causing inflammation and eventually restricting air flow.

It is recommended that the easiest way to reduce the hazards of pet dander and allergens in the home is to relocate the animal. For some, this decision can be difficult as pets often become members of the family. If the option of relocating the animal is not likely, then the following solutions should be considered.

  • Minimizing contact by keeping your pet outdoors as much as possible or prohibiting the animal from the bedroom of the person with asthma.
  • Using vacuums with HEPA filters to frequently vacuum surfaces where dander can accumulate.
  • Wash pets often and groom them outside the home.
  • Keep animals off surfaces such as the couch, which collects pet dander.
  • Dust frequently. It is best to dust when the person with asthma is not home.
  • Clean bird and rodent cages thoroughly at least once a week.
  • Purchase air cleaners with HEPA filters.
  • Keep children away from litter boxes or places designated for the animal to eliminate waste.
  • Change carpeted floors to hard wood floors.

It is highly advised that you consult a physician to confirm that it is okay to keep your pet and to explore the best ways to reduce the risks of triggering an asthma attack.  Your doctor may be able to develop a treatment plan, which can include allergy shots, sprays or pills to help manage symptoms.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Holiday Safety Tips

Decorating your home for the holidays is always so much fun, but did you know that each year an estimated 250 house fires nationwide are caused by faulty holiday lights? Here are some tips for keeping your home safe this year:

• Before stringing holiday lights always check the sockets to ensure they are not broken or cracked.

• Never use indoor lights for outdoors use.

• Turn off the indoor tree lights before going to bed or whenever you leave the house.

• Do not connect more than three sets of lights to each extension cord.

• Make sure that your lights have safety labels and are made by reputable companies.

• Do not use candles on or near a tree.

• Place your tree and gift wrapped presents away from sources of heat such as fireplaces.

• Make sure that your tree is secured firmly to its base so that it can’t tip over.

• Artificial trees should be fire resistant.

• Always keep a fire extinguisher handy and accessible in case of emergency.

Don’t ruin your holiday by being careless. A little common sense and taking some precautions will ensure a joyous holiday for you and your family.christnmas safety

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Should You Breast Feed When You Are Sick?

BreastFeeding.SickThere are many benefits to breast feeding, but is it harmful to your child’s health when you are sick with a cold or virus?

Even when you are sick, your baby will almost always benefit from breastfeeding. In most instances, viruses are most likely transmitted before symptoms even occur. Breast feeding can actually help protect your baby from the virus since your breast milk produces the necessary antibodies to stave off the illness. In fact, even if your baby gets sick, it is usually a much milder case than anyone else in the house.

It is not a good idea for you to stop breast feeding abruptly because your breasts can become engorged, which can lead to painful inflammation, known as mastitis. Instead, while you are sick, ask a family member to bring the baby to you to nurse and take him way when you’re done so you can rest. Also, drink plenty of fluids when you are sick so you don’t become dehydrated and your milk supply does not decrease.

Some moms may also be concerned about taking medications while breastfeeding, but with few exceptions, over the counter medications are just fine. Some suggestions include:
• Avoid using extra or maximum strength pain medication or fever reducers.

• Medications that contain ibuprofen are recommended over those that contain acetaminophen.

• Try to use single ingredient, short acting forms of cold, cough, and allergy medications.

• Avoid taking aspirin as there is a small risk of infants developing Reye’s syndrome.

It is important however to carefully read medication labels and check with your physician before taking any drug while you are nursing. If you do not have a doctor, contact Jamaica Hospital’s Women’s Health Center at 718-291-3276 to make an appointment.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a disorder of the brain that is severe, chronic and disabling. schizophreniaResearch has shown that there is a brain chemical imbalance that causes the disease. People with the illness do not interpret reality in a normal manner. It occurs in approximately one percent of the population, but if there is a family history of the illness the frequency is much higher. Men and women are affected equally but symptoms are usually seen earlier in men. Usually the illness is first noticed in the early 20’s for men and late 20’s for women. When teenagers develop the illness they tend to be withdrawn socially, perform poorly in school, become irritable and lack motivation. It is unlikely for most people to develop the illness after their mid forties.

Adult Symptoms of Schizophrenia:

• Hallucinations – People hear, see, smell or feel things that do not exist
• Delusions – false beliefs like imagining they are someone else
• Thought disorders – Having trouble organizing thoughts and speaking without making sense
• Movement disorders – A person may make agitated movements or not move at all
• Lack of caring about personal hygiene

The treatment goal is to be able to control symptoms Treatment for schizophrenia includes taking antipsychotic medications and receiving psychosocial treatments.. It is important that a treatment plan for the patient include counseling for their families as well. One important method of therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy which is where the patient is taught how to manage their symptoms.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a mental health professional at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-7160.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Buyer Beware the Potential Dangers of Plastic Surgery Tourism

74855509 plastic surgery overseasCosmetic surgery is chosen with the intent of enhancing a person’s appearance. Procedures could include breast augmentations, rhinoplasty and facelifts. The costs of plastic surgery can be expensive. Generally, most insurance plans consider cosmetic surgery as elective and will not cover the costs-leaving many patients to pay out of pocket and some exploring the option of plastic surgery tourism.

The costs of receiving surgery overseas can be relatively cheaper than in the United States and can be tempting; however, consumers should be aware of the dangerous and sometimes deadly situations they can encounter. It is highly important to keep in mind that many plastic surgery practices overseas do not uphold the rigid standards of qualified board-certified physicians in the U.S. There are no laws protecting patients who choose to do surgeries outside of the country, therefore if there is negligence it is unlikely the medical practice will be penalized.

Other complications that a consumer may encounter from plastic surgery tourism include:

  • Travel- Long flights can increase the risk of developing pulmonary embolisms and blood clots.
  • Lack of follow up care- Follow up care after surgery is extremely important. Physicians need to assess your recovery and ensure there are no abnormalities and infections. Many overseas facilities offer very limited or no follow up care.
  • Botched surgeries and revisions- If the procedure is botched, it may cost twice as much money to  make revisions than the initial surgery would with a domestic surgeon.
  • Language barriers- A breakdown in comprehension and communication can be fatal.
  • Sub-standard equipment-The facility may be ill-equipped.Facilities overseas may not use the same safety checklist that is standard in the U.S. and medical records may not be properly documented.

Every surgery, including plastic surgery has risks.  Boards and organizations such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons are in existence to regulate practices, set safety standards and help reduce these risks. While you may be saving money by going abroad, you are being exposed to medical institutions that may not have the same standards of the U.S. and increasing your risks for complications and potentially death.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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A Healthy Pregnancy over 35

More and more women are waiting to have families well into their late 30’s and beyond. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in five women now wait until they’re 35 or older to have their first child. There may be some risks involved with a pregnancy conceived later in life, but a healthy lifestyle, along with regular visits to your Ob-Gyn can create a healthy pregnancy.

Oftentimes, women worry more about the risks of pregnancy at a later age than conception itself. While a woman’s fertility does decrease after the age of 30, certain risk factors associated with pregnancy do increase including:
• Higher risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure
• Greater risk of chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome
• Miscarriages and still birth
• Low birth weight

Later in Life PregnancyA pregnancy should be happy and welcomed news and planning should be no different. Increased risk factors and statistics should not be discouraging news. Often, statistics do not account for life style choices or pre-existing conditions. Here are a few tips to help you take the necessary steps toward a healthy pregnancy later in life:
• Schedule an appointment with your Ob-Gyn for a visit. Be very honest with your practitioner about any existing health conditions.
• Your Doctor may recommend additional testing such as genetic testing and counseling or sonograms.
• Begin taking pre-natal vitamin. Since folic-acid is important for prevention of birth defects, taking folic acid can add an important level of protection for older women.
• Exercise regularly; eat a well-balanced diet to maintain your weight. Gaining the appropriate amount of weight lessens the chance of your baby growing slowly and reduces the risk of preterm birth.
• Avoid smoking and drinking.

If you are interested in pre-pregnancy and fertility counseling, contact Jamaica Hospital Women’s Health Center at 718-291-3276 to make an appointment.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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