Jamaica Hospital Warns Against Using Fireworks This July 4th Holiday

With July 4th holiday approaching, Jamaica Hospital  Medical Center wants everyone to know the potential dangers associated with fireworks so you can avoid injuring yourself or others.

Fireworks are ILLEGAL in New York State, and are extremely dangerous when they are not being used by a professional. They burn at extremely high temperatures and can rapidly burn through clothing and skin.  Items such as sparklers are mistakenly thought to be safe, but they are actually quite dangerous too.

In states where it is legal to purchase and operate fireworks, please be sure to follow the following safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under the close supervision of an adult
  • Never light fireworks indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks in case of fire

This year, have a safe Fourth of July and leave the firework displays to the trained professionals. If you have questions about fireworks displays and safety, you can visit The National Council on Firework Safety webpage at http://www.fireworksafety.org.  Take the test and learn just how much you know about fireworks safety.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Heart Disease and Hot Weather

Summertime heat affects everyone, but for people who suffer from heart disease, it can be life threatening. Activities that are performed when the weather is mild may not have much risk associated with them but once the temperature rises they can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. People with heart disease are very susceptible to extreme weather conditions.

When we are exposed to the heat, our bodies respond by sweating, which is the body’s way to maintain a normal temperature. . Heat as well as the body’s response to it, leads to enlarged blood vessels, lower blood pressure and higher heart rate. This combination can cause people with heart problems to serious problems due to the stress on the cardiovascular system. If the heart is already weakened it may not be able to pump blood effectively and keep the blood pressure at a high enough level. This can lead to an overheating of the body. Some medications that are prescribed for heart patients also lower the heart rate, which can be compounded during the hot weather.

Some helpful tips for people with heart disease in the hot weather are:

  • Stay out of the heat during the middle of the day
  • Wear clothing that is loose fitting and light
  • Do not perform strenuous activities in hot weather
  • Keep hydrated and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Stay indoors in an air conditioned environment

Discuss with your physician ways to stay healthy during the hot summer months. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-6742.

Jamaica  Hospital Medical Center has reopened many of its healthcare services. To learn about the safety measures the hospital has taken to protect your health, please visit https://jamaicahospital.org/to-our-patients/

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

June is Cataract Awareness Month

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has designated June as Cataract Awareness Month. The purpose of this designation is to help educate the public on what cataracts are and how to treat them once they are diagnosed.

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye. This will result in blurry vision, and since less light is being transmitted, objects will appear darker as well.

Cataracts are the leading cause of preventable blindness; therefore, it is important that you do not delay treatment.

It is estimated that 25 million people in the United States age 40 and older will be diagnosed with a cataract, and by the time people reach the age of 80, more than half of the population of the United States will be affected with the disease.

Risk factors for developing cataracts include:

  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Hereditary factors
  • Prior eye injuries

Cataracts are classified by what causes them. Age is the biggest factor, followed by eye trauma, congenital causes and secondary to taking certain medications like steroids.

There are a few ways to lower the risk of developing cataracts, but they may not be completely successful. 

  • Wearing sunglasses when outdoors
  • A diet rich in vitamin C foods
  • Avoiding smoking

Treatment for cataracts involves a surgical procedure which removes the old lens of the eye  and replacing it with a synthetic one. It is a very common procedure and considered relatively safe. If you would like to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-5900.

Jamaica  Hospital Medical Center has reopened many of its healthcare services. To learn about the safety measures the hospital has taken to protect your health, please visit https://jamaicahospital.org/to-our-patients/

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

COVID-19 Summer Precautions

Just as spring was about to begin, the pandemic struck and forced us to change our lifestyles. This included the closing of schools and non-essential businesses, as well as restricting most of our person- to -person interactions.

Now that we are approaching summer, and the weather is warming up, more and more people are starting to go outdoors to parks, beaches, and other places. Under normal circumstances, this wouldn’t be an issue, however, due to the risk of spreading COVID-19, we have to be careful about becoming exposed to the virus.

Recently we have seen a general “flattening of the curve” which means fewer people are being hospitalized and succumbing to the virus. While this is a very positive step in the right direction, we have to be cautiously optimistic and must not let our guard down.

It is important to remember that the number of coronavirus cases has declined as a result of people staying home as much as possible and following the recommended safety guidelines.

To continue this trend, we must adhere to the rules that allowed us to get to this point. This includes:

  • Practicing social distancing – keeping at least six feet apart from others
  • Avoiding gatherings of 10 or more people
  • Wearing masks
  • Sanitizing our hands
  • Sanitizing surfaces that we commonly come in contact with

Taking these precautions will help to protect our health as our cities and towns begin to reopen. By remaining vigilant we can achieve our collective goal of further flattening the curve.

For more information and the latest developments of the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit www.cdc.gov

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital Reopening Safety Plan

To Our Patients,

We hope that you and your family are in good health. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all.  Many aspects of our lives have drastically changed, and perhaps nothing has been altered more than the way we manage our health and the health of our family.

During the outbreak, many of our primary care and specialty providers have remained in communication with and treated our patients via “video visits”. Jamaica Hospital will continue to make this service available and encourage you to use it whenever possible, but we also understand that not all healthcare can be provided in this manner.

As we start to recover from the COVID-19 outbreak, Jamaica Hospital is beginning to reopen some services for our patients and community.  We understand that many of these services are vital to your health and are pleased to once again offer them to you.  As we reopen, we want you to know that your safety is our priority and our hospital is taking every precaution to ensure it during this time.

Some of our measures made to protect you include:

Modified Appointment Schedule – To eliminate overcrowding in our patient care areas, we are limiting appointments. This will reduce waiting times and help us manage proper social distancing policies.

Pre-Registration – To avoid spending unnecessary time in waiting areas, patients will have the opportunity to complete all paperwork remotely before they arrive.

Screenings – Designated hospital employees will greet all patients and screen them for COVID-like symptoms upon arrival. 

Disinfection and Cleaning – Our team remains dedicated to thoroughly and repeatedly disinfecting and cleaning all patient care areas in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Limited Companions – For everyone’s safety and to avoid overcrowding, only parents or other required companions are permitted to accompany patients during their appointments.

Protective Equipment – All employees will be wearing the appropriate level of personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times.  All patients will be required to wear a face mask as well.

Working Together – All patients should monitor their health and report if they have tested positive for COVID-19, come in contact with someone who tested positive or experienced any related symptoms in the last 14 days.

Following these safety measures will allow us to deliver the highest-quality, person-centered care to our patients and community.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Men’s Health Month

The month of June has been recognized as Men’s Health Month. The reason for this designation is to bring awareness of preventable health issues and to encourage early detection and treatment of diseases prevalent in men.

The leading causes of death among men are:
• Heart Disease
• Cancer
• Diabetes
• Lung Disease
• Injuries
• Stroke
• HIV/AIDS

Some of the reasons that men tend to have more serious chronic illnesses is because more men than women don’t have health insurance, men tend to have more physically demanding jobs with greater safety risks. Additionally  more men smoke than women and they also tend to  take greater risks with unsafe behavior.

Women tend to live five years longer than men and one of the reasons for this is that women usually take better care of their health. Men are often guilty of waiting until a disease has progressed to a more serious level before they seek help. There is an old adage that if a man is in a doctor’s waiting room, most likely a woman brought him there for an exam.

During the month of June, organizations across the country hold health awareness campaigns to educate men about various health issues that they may be at risk for and to encourage them to see a doctor regularly.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center has reopened many of its healthcare services. To learn about the safety measures the hospital has taken to protect your health, please visit https://jamaicahospital.org/to-our-patients/

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Antibody Testing

Antibody testing has become a popular topic during the COVID-19 pandemic.  There have been ongoing discussions as to whether or not this form of testing can provide answers to some questions we have about the disease.

Common questions asked about COVID-19 antibody testing include: “Can antibodies help detect past infections?” and “Does having antibodies reduce our risk of infection?”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the presence of antibodies (proteins produced by our body’s immune system to fight antigens such as viruses) can help to determine if you had a past infection of the virus that causes COVID-19.

A blood test, known as a serology test, is required to detect disease-specific antibodies.  Testing is typically recommended for individuals who have fully recovered from COVID-19 or those who suspect they had or were exposed to the virus but were asymptomatic.

Positive or negative results could mean several things for your health:

  • A positive antibody test result indicates that you may have had a COVID-19 infection in the past. However, results can also be false-positive, meaning you have developed antibodies but for a different kind of coronavirus such as the one that causes the common cold. It is very important to remember that a positive test does not guarantee immunity from the disease; so there is a possibility that you can become re-infected. Therefore you should continue to exercise the proper safety precautions to protect yourself and others around you.
  • If you test negative, this may mean that you have not had a prior COVID-19 infection. But it can also mean that you may currently have the virus and have not yet produced antibodies (If you have symptoms of the disease or believe you have been exposed, you can take a viral test to learn if you have the virus.)  For those who have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 but tested negative, please keep in mind that it may take 1-3 weeks after infection to develop antibodies.

Although antibody testing is providing some answers about COVID-19, there is still a degree of uncertainty about the accuracy of the information we are obtaining.  COVID-19 is a novel disease, and ongoing studies are revealing new details about it each day.  Until we are more certain in our knowledge of the disease, the CDC recommends that we continue to practice social distancing and other safety measures to prevent the virus from spreading.

To learn more antibody testing please consult your physician or visit the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/serology-overview.html

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

The Importance of Monitoring Chronic Illnesses During the COVID-19 Crisis

Many health care facilities have seen a decrease in people seeking care for chronic conditions due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This can be attributed to fears of being exposed to the virus in public places or the temporary suspension of certain services offered by healthcare providers.

Although the outbreak has caused alterations in the way we live, one thing that should remain unchanged for those living with chronic illnesses is monitoring their health. It is important that they pay attention to symptoms that warn of serious health problems, because ignoring them may put their lives at risk.

Symptoms of chronic illnesses that should not be ignored include:

  • Chest pain, pressure in your chest, shortness of breath or other heart attack symptoms
  • Sudden numbness, weakness, confusion, loss of vision or other stroke symptoms
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heavy bleeding
  • High fever
  • Spikes in blood sugar (Diabetes)
  • Nausea

If these symptoms are persistent, please contact a physician for a medical consultation or seek emergency treatment. Medical facilities are well equipped to safely treat non-COVID-19 patients and many doctors are offering telehealth appointments. Some hospitals are also reopening their outpatient locations. 

In addition to monitoring symptoms, it is important to maintain healthy habits. This can be achieved by keeping routine appointments (virtually or in person), taking prescribed medications, exercising, and eating a well-balanced diet.  

If you have a non-COVID-19 related chronic medical condition or symptoms and would like to see a doctor, please contact Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001, to schedule an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Tips On How To Prepare for a Telemedicine Appointment

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we conduct our day-to-day routines.  To prevent the spread of the disease, most of our activities are now done from home. In some instances, this includes seeing our doctors for medical appointments.

Telehealth or telemedicine appointments have become the norm for many who require consultations from their physicians during the pandemic.  These appointments connect patients and doctors by utilizing video conferencing technology.  Although these virtual visits may not take place physically in a doctor’s office, they are private.  Information and conversations shared between participants remain confidential. Many of Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s doctors are now accepting appointments for virtual visits.

To prepare for your telemedicine appointment at Jamaica Hospital, please follow these helpful tips:

  • Sign up for Medisys MyChart. (This is preferred, however, if you do not have MyChart, we can still schedule a virtual visit through Zoom directly through zoom.us/join). 
  • Have access to a smartphone, tablet, or computer with a camera enabled with visual and audio.
  • Download the Zoom video communications application.
  • Test your equipment before your scheduled virtual visit.
  • Close other running programs or unnecessary tabs to avoid delays or pauses in your connection.
  • Find a quiet space.
  • Adjust the lighting in your space. Utilize overhead lights if they are available and block sunlight from windows. ( This will prevent you from having too much background light)
  • Prepare to answer questions pertaining to your medical history, symptoms, lifestyle changes, or any aspect of your health.
  • Have a pen and paper ready to write down your doctor’s recommendations or information about your treatment plan.

It is important to note that while most virtual visits are like normal appointments, there may be limitations based on your condition.  Please contact your doctor’s office if you have questions about scheduling a virtual visit.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital Discharges New Mom After Battle With COVID-19

Jamaica Hospital’s doctors, nurses and other frontline staff have provided life-saving care to thousands of patients with the coronavirus since the onset of the outbreak. As a team, they have overcome several obstacles but when they were confronted with saving the life of a pregnant woman and her unborn child, the challenge became that much greater.


On March 24, Mrs. Tasnim Shaheen was 24 weeks pregnant with her third child when she was taken to the Queens-based hospital, located at the epicenter of the global pandemic with flu-like symptoms. She was initially admitted to the hospital’s labor unit for coronavirus, but within two days, her symptoms intensified and she was transferred to the intensive care unit and placed on a ventilator.


The ICU team closely monitored her condition over the next few weeks but became increasingly concerned as Mrs. Shaheen developed acute kidney injuries as well as pneumonia. The doctors determined that it was in the best interest of the patient and her unborn child if they performed a C-section. “At this point, Mrs. Shaheen was 28 weeks pregnant and we felt as if the baby had a good chance of survival if we delivered,” stated Dr. Kavitha Ram, Director of Obstetrics at Jamaica Hospital. “In addition, we felt that removing the fetus would give Mrs. Shaneen a better opportunity to resolve her kidney issues as well as her pneumonia.”

After consulting with the patient’s husband, the decision was made to perform the surgery on April 22nd. The patient was taken directly from the intensive care unit to the operating room where Dr. Ram and her team delivered a 940 gram (approximately 2 lb.) baby girl, the couple’s first daughter. According to Dr. Ram, “The baby came out kicking and screaming and was very healthy.” The baby was immediately taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and mom returned to intensive care.

Soon after the delivery, Mrs. Shaheen began showing signs of improvement. Within two days her kidneys began to recover, within three days she was taken off of the ventilator and after five days she was moved out of intensive care and back to the labor unit.

One of the factors that Dr. Ram attributes to Mrs. Shaheen’s recovery was the hospital’s ability to connect her to her family despite not being able to see them due to visitation restrictions. “Throughout the entire admission, our Palliative Care team did an excellent job of communicating with the patient’s family through video conferencing. Mr. Shaheen had daily contact with his wife even when she was on a ventilator, which allowed him to be involved in her care.” Dr. Ram added, “When Mrs. Shaheen was eventually taken off the ventilator, she was able to not only see and speak with her husband and sons, but also her extended family in Bangladesh. We feel this greatly contributed to her recovery.”
Perhaps the greatest moment, however, was when Jamaica Hospital was able to connect Mrs. Shaheen from her hospital bed to her baby girl, Reeda Birt Shaheen in the NICU. ‘We were overjoyed to be able to provide her with the opportunity to see her daughter for the first time,” stated palliative care physician Dr. Medha Chunduru.

Now, approximately seven weeks after being admitted, Mrs. Shaheen is being discharged. Jamaica Hospital is inviting members of the media to share in this joyous occasion and even see baby Reda through video conferencing technology.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.