Erectile Dysfunction: More Common than You Think

It is reported that nearly 30 million American males suffer from erectile dysfunction. Defined by the National Library of Medicine, erectile dysfunction is when a man has trouble getting or keeping an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse, accompanied by a reduced sexual desire. While some men will experience erection difficulties every now and then, an ongoing erection problem indicates a larger problem.

What Happens During an Erection?
In order for an erection to occur, a male must first be sexually aroused. Next, the brain must “communicate” this sexual arousal to the body’s nervous system, which activates blood flow to the genital area. Lastly, relaxed blood vessels must supply blood to the penis. This results in an erection. If anything affects these three steps—arousal, the nervous system, or the vascular system— erectile dysfunction can occur.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Since male sexual arousal is a process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels, erectile dysfunction can be caused by any of these, as well as stress, fatigue, anxiety, and mental health diseases. Erectile dysfunction effects men as they age, but it can also be a sign of an underlying health problem, such as heart disease, blocked blood vessels, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, making it extremely important to speak with a physician.

“For most men, talking to their doctor about erectile dysfunction is awkward and embarrassing, and therefore a conversation that is often avoided,” said Dr. Riccardo Ricciardi, a Urologist at Jamaica Hospital. “Men have to speak up, especially since there are tests and procedures that can be performed to address their impotence.”

Millions of men have tried medications, such as Viagara, in an attempt to improve their erectile function and regain intimacy in their lives. While this option has proven successful for many, for approximately 30-40% of men this method of therapy is not effective. For these men, a variety of options are available, including penis pumps, penile implants, or surgery.

Jamaica Hospital’s Division of Urology currently offers an advanced surgical device for impotence. The Coloplast Titan and Titan One Touch Release inflatable penile implants are self-contained, fluid-filled systems made from Bioflex and silicone. The treatment features:

  • a 3-piece design for a more natural-appearing erection, providing greater flaccidity than with two-piece implants. Each part is connected by silicone tubing. The Titan implant is MRI conditional and latex free.
  • an ease-of-use pump, which means fewer squeezes to achieve a full erection and smooth, simplistic deflation.
  • a lock-out valve for less chance of unintentional inflation and smooth, simplistic deflation.
  • a hydrophilic coating that attracts water contained in solutions used to prepare the device.

The Coloplast Titan One Touch Release features an innovative “One Touch Release,” making deflation of the implant possible with only one hand.

For more information about erectile dysfunction or to schedule an appointment to see a Urologist for other men’s health issues, please call 718-206-7110.

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’s Community-Based Care Program Significantly Benefits Patients

Being admitted to the hospital is often a necessary experience but being readmitted to the hospital shortly after being discharged is something most patients simply want to avoid. Jamaica Hospital’s newly implemented Care Transitions Program is a momentous effort the facility is taking to provide proactive medical and social interventions to patients who pose a high risk for hospital readmission.

One major component of the new program is Community-Based Care. Two teams were developed to reach patients who typically don’t have repeated in-hospital stays, but are still at risk for hospital readmission because of their health status or other risk factors.

Both teams consist of a nurse practitioner, a care coordinator, and a community care assistant. The teams monitor 30-40 patients each, for up to 29 days, and work closely with the patient’s primary care physician to ensure coordination of health care needs for 30 days post discharge. To best meet the needs of the patient, health care interventions, such as medication reconciliation, referrals to health care services, and management of medical services, are provided in the home and/or the community.  After the completion of 30 days, patients may be referred to ongoing services in the community, ongoing monitoring by their primary physician, or to the hospital’s IMPACT program, another aspect of the Care Transitions Program that specifically provides long term, managed care to patients who have repeated in-hospital stays.

“The idea behind our care transitions initiative is to provide interventions in the home to high risk individuals and to reduce the risk of preventable readmissions,” said Dr. Angelo Canedo, Vice President at MediSys Health Network. “We understand that hospital stays are usually unwanted by patients. It’s taxing, both emotionally and physically, for patients, and their loved ones.”

He added, “with Community-Based Care, we are able to provide our patients with preventive measures that will help keep them out of the hospital, improve the quality of care they receive, and provide them with care in the comforts of their own home—all significant benefits.”

Jamaica Hospital’s Care Transitions Program is aimed at cutting 30-day readmissions by at least 20%, which is also aligned with the government’s recent effort to decrease hospital readmissions, and increasing community based/ambulatory care.

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.

Traumatic Brain Injury Mostly Associated with Cycling

There has been a great deal of attention recently given to brain injuries and sports, specifically the relationship between the cumulative effects of concussions and contact sports, such as football. Surprisingly however, many non-contact sports and recreational activities have a high incidence of brain injuries, with cycling having the highest rate by far.

According to recent statistics reported by the American Association of Neuro Surgeons, there were over 446,000 sports related brain injuries treated in hospital emergency departments in 2009.  Of those, over 85,000 were associated with cycling, nearly doubling the next highest rated activity, which was football, with close to 47,000 reported head injuries.

Traumatic Brain Injury is defined as a blow or jolt to the head, or a penetrating injury that disrupts normal function of the brain. Concussions are the most common form of head injury. Concussions are defined as trauma-induced transient loss of mental functioning lasting less than 24 hours and may or may not be accompanied by a loss of consciousness. They are usually categorized into one of three grades:

  • Grade I – Post-Traumatic Amnesia: less than 30 minutes without loss of consciousness
  • Grade II – Post-Traumatic Amnesia: 30 minutes – 24 hours with loss of consciousness lasting less than 5 minutes
  • Grade III – Post-Traumatic Amnesia for over 24 hours with loss of consciousness lasting more than 5 minutes

Symptoms of a concussion include headaches/pressure in the head, confusion, dizziness, ringing in the ears, nausea or vomiting, slurred speech and fatigue.  Some other symptoms can be immediate or have a delayed onset of hours or even days, including memory problems, irritability or depression, sensitivity to light, and disorders of taste and smell. According to Dr. Vazquez-Casals, “if you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.  A physician can assess your attention, memory, coordination and other abilities and order the appropriate imaging tests, such as a CT scan or an MRI, to determine the severity of your injury.”

Dr. Gonzalo Vazquez-Casals, Neuro-Psychologist at Jamaica Hospital has experience treating cyclists who have suffered head-injuries, both in the Hospital’s TBI Unit as well as those recovering on an out patient basis. Head injuries as a result from cycling accidents can range from mild to severe, but regardless of the severity, all head injuries should be taken seriously. If not dealt with appropriately, even the most minor injury can have long-term effects.

Doctors recommend getting plenty of rest and avoiding any physical or mentally demanding activities that place unnecessary stress on the brain.  This includes any kind of exercise, driving a car, operating machinery or using a computer.  According to Dr. Vazquez-Casals, “not pushing yourself and getting proper rest after sustaining a concussion is the most important step to a complete recovery. If you are cyclist who has suffered a concussion or brain injury, don’t get back on a bicycle until you are cleared to do so by a doctor or you put yourself at risk for further, more serious injuries.”

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.

Finding Springtime Allergy Relief

If you are one of the millions of Americans who experience springtime allergies, control your seasonal symptoms with this allergy sufferer’s survival guide.

Allergies occur when your immune system tries to defend your body against substances that are harmless to others, causing itchy or watery eyes, sneezing, wheezing, and a stuffy or runny nose. About 50 million Americans suffer from year-round allergies to mold, dust, and pets. However, seasonal allergies are the most common cause. Typically, in early Spring, symptoms are most likely caused by pollen from trees while in late spring they are likely due to grass pollens.

“There is no cure for allergies, but proper treatment can help keep your allergy symptoms from getting worse,” said Stephen Rand, MD, allergist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.  “If you suffer from seasonal allergies, your doctor can help you control symptoms so you will feel better.”

He added: “The simplest remedy may be just to avoid what is triggering your allergy symptoms, but if this is too difficult, try an over-the counter antihistamine.  If you know you suffer from allergies in the springtime, start taking medication just before the season begins.”

Allergies vs Cold

Since allergy symptoms are similar to those of a common cold, it can sometimes be hard to tell the two apart. “If the condition lasts for more than two weeks, seems to be triggered by a certain substance (an allergen), or returns every season, then it’s probably an allergy instead of a cold. Symptoms that include significant itchiness are also most likely allergy related,” says Dr. Rand.

Finding Relief

If an over-the-counter remedy doesn’t help, an allergist at Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center can offer a variety of treatment options to considerably minimize your allergy symptoms.

“You don’t have to be a victim of the season,” says Dr. Rand. “Often, when over-the counter solutions don’t work, a nasal spray or prescription medication can lessen allergy symptoms.”

Dr. Rand says, “If more complex treatment is needed, your physician may recommend allergy shots – which are effective about 80 percent of the time. The bottom line is that even if you do suffer from seasonal allergies, you don’t have to dread the spring.”

To schedule an appointment with an allergist at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-6742.

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.

Pediatric Ear Infections: Know the Signs

Ear infections are among the most common health conditions in young children and babies. However, some children are too young to tell you that they have ear pain. How can you tell if your child has an ear infection?

Look for the following symptoms, which are all signs of ear infections:

 

  • ear drainage
  • fever
  • trouble hearing
  • tugging on the ear, fussiness, or excessive crying
  • difficulty sleeping
  • difficulty eating or chewing

While ear infections are not always preventable, you can help minimize your child’s risk of developing them by keeping him or her away from second hand smoke and people with colds whenever possible. Frequent hand washing also helps. If your child has frequent ear infections it is advisable to see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist for a complete evaluation. 

Originating from germs found in the nose or throat, ear infections are easily treated. Over-the-counter pain medications can be given as needed for temporary relief.  Ear infections may resolve by themselves, however depending on the severity, antibiotics may be needed. It is best to speak to your physician to determine the proper treatment.

If you suspect your child has an ear infection, please call 718-206-7001 to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician.

 

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.

Low-Dose CT Scans Offered at Jamaica Hospital…High Quality, Less Radiation

CT scans are widely used across the medical field to perform diagnostic exams, and for many patients, the risk of radiation exposure is concerning. To address this concern, Jamaica Hospital is now utilizing a low-dose CT scanner.

Jamaica Hospital’s brand new, state-of-the-art GE CT scanners boast quick scans and use high-definition technology to produce precise images, using 30%-40% less radiation.

“This technology is pivotal, in that we can minimize the risk of radiation exposure without compromising the quality of the images produced,” said Dr. Sabiha Raoof, Chairperson of the Department of Radiology. “With the increase in the volume of CT scans that are ordered by our physicians, this is a significant medical solution.”

CT scanners are a specialized technology that provide detailed pictures of muscles, organs and tissues and are a vital diagnostic tool. The clarity of these images help lead to accurate diagnoses, while lower doses of radiation improves patient safety.

“Comparatively, low-dose CT scans are just as effective as the traditional scanners we’ve used in the past,” said Dr. Raoof. “They yield important benefits and will be used throughout our facility.”

CT scans are commonly used to diagnose muscle and bone disorders, determine the location of tumors and infections, guide procedures, such as surgery and radiation therapies, identify diseases and conditions, such as cancer and heart disease, and detect internal bleeding and injuries.

What Happens During a CT Scan?

Obtaining a CT scan requires lying on a table that moves slowly through a large imaging machine. In order to produce clearer pictures, some patients may be required to swallow a dye or have it injected into their veins.

Patients are advised against wearing jewelry, eyeglasses, hairpins, or any other objects that could affect the quality of images.

If your physician requested that you have a CT scan performed and you would like to schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-6138.

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.

Be A Quitter and Stop Smoking

Year after year, one of the most frequently heard New Year’s resolutions is the one to “Quit Smoking”.  It is a hard one to fulfill and unfortunately, has a high rate of failure. Finding the right resources, however, can increase one’s success. Jamaica Hospital, in partnership with the Queens Quits Initiative, is dedicated to helping people who currently smoke take the necessary steps to help them succeed at quitting.

The Queens Quits Initiative suggests the following steps to making this resolution work:

  • Switch to a brand of cigarettes that you would never smoke
  • Set a quit date within two weeks from today
  • Exercise!! It will help combat stress and possible weight gain
  • Try stop-smoking medications such as NRT, Chantix or Zyban
  • Keep your hands occupied with a pen, bottle of water or even a straw
  • Stay away from cigarette smoke
  • Stay away from alcohol, if you drink and smoke together
  • Remove all cigarettes from your home, car, office and anywhere else you spend time
  • Tell your friends and family that you are quitting
  • Read motivational stories about how others quit smoking on nysmokefree.com
  • Don’t quit trying to QUIT! Most people have over seven quit attempts before they quit for good
  • Call the NYS Smokers Quitline (1-866-NY-QUITS) for free counseling and educational material

Speak to your physician for suggestions or call Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 to make an appointment with a Pulmonary specialist. These physicians, through a thorough exam and pulmonary testing, can determine which treatment option is best suited for each patient. Let us try to help you fulfill your wish to quit smoking this year.

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.

Battling the Winter Blues

It is estimated that as many as half a million people in the United States experience winter-onset depression, a type of depression associated with cold-weather months. With a physician’s help, however, winter-onset depression is a treatable condition.

Winter-onset depression is the most common form of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression associated with changing seasons. The cause of the condition is unclear but it may be related to changes in an individual’s circadian rhythm that result from reduced exposure to sunlight in winter.

Winter-related SAD typically lasts from late fall or early winter to the beginning of summer. SAD usually appears in people ages 20 or older and is more common in women. SAD is more likely to occur as a person ages, and individuals living in northern regions are more vulnerable to winter-onset SAD.

Every person’s experience with inter-onset SAD is different, but common symptoms include:

  • Change in appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Low energy level and fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Lack of interest in favorite activities

Winter-onset SAD is fairly predictable, as symptoms tend to occur at the same time each year.

“Many people with winter-onset SAD may benefit from seeing a psychiatrist, who can assess their symptoms and formulate a treatment plan,” says Dr. Seeth Vivek, Chairman of Psychiatry at Jamaica Hospital. “Possible treatments include medication, behavior therapy, and light therapy.”

Light therapy acts a substitute for the limited sunlight during the winter months. Patients receiving this treatment sit in front of a light box or wear a light visor for 30 minutes per day, and if the therapy proves effective, they continue until spring.

When it comes to preventing winter-onset SAD, it is important to stay active. Search for activities to do around the house and guard against isolation by scheduling get-togethers with friends.

For more information about winter depression or to make an appointment to speak with a member of Jamaica Hospital’s Psychiatry Department, please call 718-206-7071.

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.

Breathe Easy: Clinical Trial for IPF Offered at Jamaica Hospital

Having Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), the stiffening and scarring of the lungs, can make breathing extremely difficult and life less enjoyable. With no known cure, clinical trials of new treatments have become important in helping to improve the outcomes of patients with IPF. Jamaica Hospital is accepting patients for enrollment in the ASCEND trial, a clinical study sponsored by biotechnology company InterMune.

The ASCEND study provides patients with the opportunity to try pirfenidone, a new and investigational treatment for IPF, and is designed to evaluate its effectiveness and safety.

“IPF is a serious pulmonary condition and over time, its symptoms worsen,” explained Dr. Craig Thurm, Director of Pulmonary Diseases at Jamaica Hospital. “Participation in clinical trials provides patients with access to potentially effective medications—medications they would not have access to otherwise.”

To be eligible for this study, Dr. Thurm states that patients must:
• Be between 40 and 80 years of age
• Have been diagnosed with IPF for at least six months
• Have not smoked within the last three months and is willing to abstain from smoking during the study

The study lasts 52 weeks and involves approximately 12 visits to Jamaica Hospital. Eligible patients who complete the study will be offered the opportunity to receive pirfenidone as part of an open label study.

If you have IPF, meet this criteria, and are interested in participating in the ASCEND trial, please call Kelly Cervellione, Research Associate at 718-206-5800, or Dr. Craig Thurm, Director of Pulmonary Diseases at 718-206-7130, for more information.

All patients who participate in the study will have access to the services and programs available through Jamaica Hospital’s Division of Pulmonary Medicine. These include:
• a Pulmonary Function Lab that provides a wide range of testing options to patients with respiratory symptoms and lung disease.
• a multidisciplinary Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program for patients with breathing problems.
• a pulmonary support group for individuals with lung disease.

For additional information about the various services offered by the Division of Pulmonary Medicine, please call 718-206-7126.

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.

Getting a Good Night’s Rest Just Got Easier

Feeling tired? You’re not alone. According to The National Sleep Foundation, millions of Americans lack adequate sleep and suffer from a sleep disorder. To better help individuals get a good night’s rest, Jamaica Hospital has opened a brand new, state-of-the-art Sleep Center.

The Sleep Center staff is comprised of Board Certified Sleep Specialists and Respiratory Therapists who work together to diagnose and treat the following sleep disorders: narcolepsy (falling asleep suddenly during the day often without warning), sleep apnea (irregular interruptions in breathing during sleep), snoring, shift work sleep disorders (sleep difficulties stemming from working irregular hours or overnight shifts), and pediatric sleep disorders, such as night terrors.

“Our lives are consumed with work, family, and personal responsibilities, all of which greatly impact the time we get to rest,” said Dr. Mayank Shukla, Director of Sleep Medicine at Jamaica Hospital. “Inadequate sleep is considered the norm but we have to understand that sleep affects our overall health, so if you’re not getting enough rest, it’s important to find out why.” 

Dr. Shukla adds that the various symptoms of a sleep disorder can include: daytime sleepiness, fatigue, falling asleep at inappropriate times, loud snoring, frequent nocturnal movements, nighttime chest pains, poor memory and concentration, and morning headaches.

Jamaica Hospital’s Sleep Center performs overnight tests, where a patient wears electrodes so that their breathing, brain waves, muscle movements, snoring, and heart rate can be monitored by a technician throughout the night. The testing environment is comfortable and homelike. Each patient room has soundproof walls for privacy and is furnished with a queen size bed, a flat screen television, and a DVD player. A continental breakfast is also available to patients before their morning departure.

“Sleep disorders and lack of sleep is a growing problem,” said Dr. Shukla. “People often ignore their continued sleepiness, not realizing that it can be the result of a sleep disorder. It’s important that people mention this problem to their doctor.”

If you have a sleep disorder or suspect that you have a sleep disorder and would like to schedule an appointment, ask your doctor to provide you with a referral to Jamaica Hospital’s Sleep Center. 

 

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.