Thanksgiving COVID-19 Tips

Thanksgiving is typically a holiday where we gather with our family and friends but this year is unlike any other. In an effort to keep you safe, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center offers the following tips to modify your holiday celebration during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year many health experts are recommending that we spend the holiday with only the people we live with year round and who are consistently taking precautions and are at the lowest risk. Once we open our home to people who don’t live with us, such as people traveling from other cities or states such as college students, we are increase the risk of spreading the virus. In addition, it is strongly recommended that gatherings be limited to ten people or less.

The Centers for Disease Control issued the following criteria for people who should not attend holiday gatherings. They include:

  • Anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 recently
  • Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19
  • Anyone waiting for test results
  • Anyone who was exposed to someone else with COVID-19
  • Anyone who is immunocompromised

All guests should be asked to wear a mask and to maintain social distancing and avoid loud talking and singing. The number of people preparing and serving the meal should be limited to just a few. They should all be wearing masks and they should be washing their hands frequently. Other guests should also be encouraged to wash their hands as soon as they enter the home and limit contact with surfaces of furniture. It is also recommended that there be only one source of food preparation. This means food from other households should be avoided as best as possible.

This year the holiday will definitely have a different vibe than what we have been accustomed to in the past but if we all practice safety precautions, we can still enjoy festivities.

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.

Anxiety

The American Psychological Association defines anxiety as, “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”

Experiencing anxiety occasionally is normal; however, if this feeling occurs frequently, and gets worse over time it may be an indication of an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental health disorders. Nearly 30% of adults living in the United States are affected at some point in their lives. 

There are four main types of anxiety disorder, including:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder (social phobia)
  • Specific phobias
  • Separation anxiety disorder

It is important to note that it is possible to have one or more anxiety disorder.

The causes of anxiety disorders are not fully understood; however, there are certain risk factors believed to contribute to developing them.  General risk factors include:

  • Exposure to negative or stressful life events in early childhood or adulthood
  • A family history of anxiety disorders or other mental illnesses
  • Having certain health conditions such as heart arrhythmias or thyroid problems
  • Taking certain medications that can aggravate symptoms

For those living with any type of anxiety disorder, feelings of excessive worry, fear, apprehension or nervousness are often difficult to control and can interfere with daily activities. These feelings can also lead to physical symptoms such as:

  • An increased heart rate
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Sweating
  • Hyperventilating
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue

If you are finding it difficult to control anxiety, and symptoms are affecting your health or ability to live a normal life, please seek help.  A mental health specialist can conduct a psychological evaluation to help determine a diagnosis. A physical exam may also be recommended to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

Treatment for anxiety disorders can include psychotherapy or medications.

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.

Injury Prevention Tips for Thanksgiving

For millions of New Yorkers, Thanksgiving is an important celebration bringing together family and friends over food and drinks.

Unfortunately, this rich American holiday is also when Jamaica Hospital Medical Center sees an increase in trauma cases involving preventable injuries.

Here are some tips to help you stay safe during this Thanksgiving.

#1 – Pay close attention to your hands when using cutting tools.

Some of the most common injuries seen during Thanksgiving involve kitchen cutting tools like knives, mandolins, graters, blender blades, and peelers. These cutting injuries normally occur when someone is not paying attention to the placement of their fingers before cutting.

Avoid distractions like talking to others, watching television, or trying to multitask multiple cooking tasks. Scheduling your food preparation and cooking times in advance may help reduce stress and allow you to properly pace yourself.

Keep all sharp objects away from counter ledges and away from children. When passing cutting tools like knives or scissors to others, be sure to practice extra caution and ensure the person receiving the cutting tool has a good handle to prevent dropping it.

When clearing out a blender, make sure it is unplugged from the wall and pay close attention to the blades.

Mandolins are notorious for fingertip injuries, so we recommend you refrain from using them unless they offer special safety features to prevent accidental cuts.

If you are using a peeler, make sure you have a good handle on the food you are peeling. Some food, such as potatoes and cucumbers can be slippery and cumbersome to hold.

Lastly, many kitchen sinks have a garbage disposal installed to grind up scraps and other food waste for easy disposal down the drain. Sometimes these garbage disposals can get clogged up. Avoid putting your fingers down the drain. Make sure the electrical switch controlling the garbage disposal is in the “off” position before unclogging the drain. 

#2 – Practice extra caution around stovetops, ovens, hotplates, pots, and pans to avoid burns.

Treat any cooking surfaces with caution or assume all pots and pans are hot. Many Thanksgiving injuries involve burns from handling very hot objects without the proper protection like oven mitts. Be sure to keep small children away from the kitchen to avoid burning curious hands.

If your home has an electric stovetop, always make sure all knobs are in the off position when not in use.

When boiling water or using cooking oil, be sure to keep a close eye to avoid boil over or accidentally knocking over a pot or pan.

Look around before opening or closing the oven, and always using proper protection to avoid burns.

If you or someone does get burned, cool it down with water. Do not use ice. Cover the burn with an antibiotic ointment. Don’t use home remedies like butter or lard. If the burn blisters or covers a large portion of skin, make sure to seek medical attention at an emergency room or urgent care facility.

#3 – Do not drink and drive.

One of the more tragic and completely preventable traumas we see at Jamaica Hospital is a motor vehicle crash due to drunk driving. While sharing memories and food with alcohol is a staple of a Thanksgiving dinner, no one should be getting behind the wheel of a vehicle when they are inebriated.

Drunk driving accounts for nearly 500 deaths each year during the Thanksgiving holiday.[1]  Do not be a statistic. Keep yourself, your family, your friends, and others on the road safe.

If you see someone at your home over drinking or inebriated, ask them to slow down. Have your guests’ addresses readily available ahead of time in case they need to take a cab, Uber, or Lyft back home.

If possible, have someone your trust in charge of pouring or mixing drinks for your guests. Having one person keep track of the number of times someone asks for a refill will help you identify who needs to be cut off from further indulging in alcohol consumption.

#4 – Make your home a fall free zone.

If you have older adults visiting for Thanksgiving, such as grandparents, great-grandparents, or anyone over the age of 65, be sure to make your home easy to navigate and clutter-free. One in four older adults age 65 and older experience a fall each year in the United States. Falls are responsible for most injuries and fatalities in the senior population.

Some ways to prevent falls in your home are keeping all pathways clear of wires, books, shoes, or throw-rugs, keeping hallways and all rooms well illuminated, and checking in with seniors to see how they feel after dinner as they may feel tired.

We encourage you and your guests to keep a close eye on seniors to notice if they are acting strangely or require assistance getting to a bathroom, walking up or downstairs, or getting up or sitting down at their seats.

#5 – Follow all instructions carefully when deep-frying a turkey.

In recent years, deep-frying a turkey has become a more common cooking method on Thanksgiving. While a deep-fried turkey does sound delicious, it can be dangerous if used incorrectly leading to serious injuries.

If you do decide to deep-fry a turkey this year, make sure you are wearing protective gear and wearing flame-retardant clothing. Wear long sleeves and use safety goggles to prevent oil splatter injuries.

Only deep-fry a turkey outdoors with plenty of space – at least 10 feet away from your home and away from any low hanging branches. The deep-fryer must be placed on a flat and leveled surface away from flammables. Always have a fire extinguisher on hand in case a fire breaks out.

Follow all instructions carefully when using the deep-fryer. Do not overfill the deep-fryer with oil. Too much oil can lead to overflow and splashing, leading to fires or burns. Never leave the deep-fryer unsupervised. You must make sure your turkey is completely defrosted before putting it into the deep-fryer. Failing to do so can lead to a fire and serious injury.


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.

How Long Should A Mother Breastfeed ?

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months after a baby is born.  However, breastfeeding should continue at least for the first year.

Breastfeeding has long been known to offer benefits to babies and mothers.

Benefits for the babies:

  • Developing a stronger immune system
  • Obtaining a well-balanced diet

Benefits to mothers who breastfeed for a year include a:

  • Lower risk of breast cancer
  • Lower risk of ovarian cancer
  • Lower risk of high blood pressure
  • Lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lower risk of developing diabetes

Weaning a baby off breastfeeding usually begins when other types of food are introduced into the diet. The WHO and AAP recommend that this occur at the six month mark. A baby who is starting to eat solid food may not require as much breastmilk for nutrition. It is best to slowly wean a baby off of breastmilk instead of stopping suddenly.

There is no evidence to indicate that long term breastfeeding can be harmful to a baby’s or mother’s health.

Ultimately the decision for how long to breastfeed will be up to the mom and her baby. Speak to your baby’s pediatrician for their guidance on the recommendations. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, 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.

Jamaica Hospital Adopts Integrative Healthcare Model to Treat Post-COVID Patients

Post-COVID  Recovery In Queens

For people living with the long-term symptoms of COVID-19, Jamaica Hospital’s Post-COVID Care Center offers an innovative treatment approach.

Doctors at the center are adopting an integrative care model to treating these patients, commonly referred to as “long haulers.” These individuals typically experience a variety of lingering physical symptoms including fatigue, muscle and body pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, and headaches. In addition to these physical symptoms, many long haulers also encounter cognitive deficits, such as difficulty concentrating or focusing (commonly referred to as mental fog) as well as mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

This holistic approach to treating post-COVID patients begins with gathering an initial, comprehensive patient history. This is performed through the utilization of the HOPE note, a tool to elicit the information needed from a patient to better understand their issues beyond the regular medical visit.  Information gathered in the HOPE note includes learning about various lifestyle factors, such as eating, exercise, and sleep habits of the patient. Collecting these details allows doctors to create a customized treatment plan for their patients.

Beyond the initial detailed patient intake form, doctors at Jamaica Hospital’s Post-COVID Care Center also incorporate integrative techniques such as practicing mindful meditation and beginning a gratitude journal.  Both of these activities have proven to offer benefits not only for the patient’s mental health but also for their physical health, highlighting the connection between the mind and body.

Providers also help their patients improve their overall health by creating a customized exercise plan, taking into consideration their past and current level of physical fitness. This can include a walking regimen, yoga or stretching.

Another key aspect of the Integrative Care team at Jamaica Hospital’s Post-COVID Care Center’s treatment plan is the incorporation of a diet that focuses on reducing inflammation.  The anti-inflammatory diet involves the elimination of foods and beverages high in fat and increasing the consumption of vegetables and lean proteins, such as fish.  Another aspect of this diet is the incorporation of turmeric, which can help address joint stiffness and muscle pain, both common symptoms reported by long-haulers.

Of course, the integrated care approach doesn’t just offer alternative forms of treatment; instead, it uses them in addition to traditional forms of Western medicine.  The Center’s team of primary care physicians, pulmonologists and mental health professionals incorporate the best of both worlds to provide a comprehensive care approach to help their patients recover from symptoms they may have been experiencing for months. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Post COVID Care Center to receive this pioneering care plan for your post-COVID symptoms, please call  718-736-8204.

To learn more about our Post-COVID Care Center, please visit, https://jamaicahospital.org/post-covid-care-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.

Fun Ways To Get Your Children to Wash Their Hands

In a world where proper hand washing techniques have never been more important, it is vital that we teach our children how to properly wash their hands.

As you know, the basics of effective hand washing are:

  • Using warm water to wet your hands.
  • Using soap to lather up your hands.
  • Rubbing your soaped up hands together, for no less than 20 seconds, scrubbing the entire hand and between the fingers all the way up to the wrist.
  • Rinsing your hands and wrist with running water.
  • Drying your hands using a clean towel, preferably disposable towel.

However, this seemingly easy process may become tedious when applied to young children.

Here are some fun ways to implement proper handwashing techniques to make your child more enthusiastic about hand hygiene:

  • Use soaps that have an inviting scent like, fruit or bubble gum.
  • Utilize a reward system. Keep a chart for your child with colorful stickers that indicate how many times they properly washed their hands on a particular day. If they are successful, a small reward at the end of the week can be a great motivator.
  • Choose songs to sing while washing or recite a children’s rhyme that lasts approximately 20 seconds.
  • Bubbles, lots of bubbles.  Choose a soap that foams up so that your child can equate washing their hands with a fun activity and not a chore.
  • Create a routine for your child to wash their hands, especially before and after mealtime.

Studies have shown that proper hand washing is one of the best ways to keep healthy and ward off harmful viruses and bacteria.

Remember, the best way to teach our children is by example. Be sure your child knows and observes how you are washing your hands. 

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.

COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an inflammatory lung disease that makes breathing difficult. It is caused by damage to the lungs over a prolonged period of time and is usually attributed to smoking.

COPD can result in serious, long-term disability and is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

The symptoms of COPD typically present when there is significant damage to the lung. They may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chronic cough
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Wheezing
  • Swelling of the feet, ankles or legs

Those most at risk of developing COPD are individuals who:

• Are over age 40 and currently smoke or smoked at some point

• Worked or lived around chemicals or fumes

• Have certain genetic conditions

• Have asthma

If you think you have COPD, you should:

• Talk with your healthcare provider about your symptoms

• Request a breathing test, known as a spirometry

• Quit smoking! If you need help, ask your doctor

• Avoid pollutants or fumes that can irritate your lungs

COPD can lead to other health complications such as heart problems, lung cancer, or high blood pressure in the arteries that bring blood to your lungs.

While you can’t undo the damage COPD has caused to your lungs, there are steps you can take to prevent the condition from getting worse, this includes avoiding factors that can irritate lungs, taking medications as directed, enrolling in a pulmonary rehabilitation program, and receiving annual flu and pneumonia vaccines.

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 To Avoid Overeating While Working From Home

More people are working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This arrangement can provide several benefits; however, there can be just as many challenges.

One of the most common issues experienced by some is the easy access to their kitchens and refrigerators. Having convenient and constant access to food often leads to overeating and unhealthy weight gain.

Here are a few things one can do to avoid this dilemma:

  • Work furthest away from the kitchen as possible
  • Develop an eating schedule and plan the times you are going to eat
  • Portion out meals and snacks
  • Avoid snacking  out of boredom
  • Avoid stress eating but instead, practice healthy relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing
  • Drink plenty of water (When you are dehydrated, hunger can sometimes be mistaken for thirst)
  • Stock your kitchen with healthy food
  • Avoid doing other activities when eating ( Being distracted can lead to overeating)
  • Stay physically active

Practicing these tips can help provide balance and structure to your daily work-at-home routine. If you continue to struggle with overeating, speak with a dietitian or doctor who can help you with improving eating habits and maintaining a healthy weight.

To make an appointment with a dietitian at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, 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.

Jamaica Hospital Offers Dental Sedation To Help Patients With “Dental Anxiety”

It is estimated that 10% – 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to anxiety or fear. The source of “dental anxiety” may be due to a previous traumatic event or it could be fear of pain or injections. Regardless of the reason, this delay in care can often lead to further complications including increased tooth decay which can lead to tooth loss. 

For those with anxiety caused by going to the dentist Jamaica Hospital Medical Center offers mild to moderate dental sedation for a variety of procedures including tooth extractions.  The service is offered to most adult and pediatric patients. 

Patients who are interested in receiving dental sedation first need to schedule a pre-operative consultation. During the consultation providers will determine if sedation is appropriate.  A customized anesthesia plan will be made for each patient. While sedation is safe for most, patients with a history of asthma, certain cardio-vascular disease or who are obese may not be eligible.

On the day of the appointment, the team will review the procedure and anesthesia plan with the patient and family. The IV anesthesia is administered by a trained oral surgeon and dental hygienist. After the injection, the patient will enter a “twilight” or light state of sedation.  The patient’s heart, blood pressure and a pulse are monitored during the entire procedure to ensure patient safety. Most procedures last between 30-45 minutes. At the conclusion of the procedure, patients are released to a previously identified escort over 18 years of age.

Jamaica Hospital’s Department of Dentistry has been offering this safe service since July of 2019.  The hospital’s team of qualified oral surgeons and dental anesthesiologists have a great deal of experience with dental sedation, performing approximately 20 procedures for children and adults every month.

Patients at Jamaica Hospital’s Dental Center are very appreciative for this service as it has helped them overcome their fear of going to the dentist.

If you would like to learn more about dental sedation service at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-6980 to schedule an initial consultation.

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.

Lisa Fraumeni Shares Her “Jamaica Journey”

Thousands of people work at Jamaica Hospital and each have their own unique story to tell about their career path.  The following is one of them.

Lisa Fraumeni started her Jamaica Hospital journey in July of 1987 as a clerk in the hospital’s Admitting Department.  According to Lisa, “I was working at the hospital while attending Queensborough Community College.  I was originally unsure of what career path to follow, but working at Jamaica had a lot to do with my decision to ultimately pursue a degree in nursing.”

In 1996 Lisa graduated with her nursing degree. She wanted to continue working at Jamaica Hospital, but unfortunately there was a hiring freeze at the time.  Lisa waited patiently for 10 months for a position to open up, but eventually was forced to accept an offer at another hospital.

Coincidentally, around the same time, Lisa was named Jamaica Hospital’s employee of the month. During the presentation of her certificate, hospital leadership learned of her situation. Not wanting to lose her as an employee, a job was offered to her and she happily stayed.

Lisa initially worked day and evening shifts on 4 North before being transferred to the Emergency Department in 1998 where she eventually became Assistant Head Nurse.   In 2017, after nearly 20 years in Jamaica Hospital’s ER, Lisa was ready for her next challenge.  There was an opening for a Nursing Supervisor position on the evening shift. Lisa applied and was given the job.

Over the last 33 years, Lisa considers her colleagues at Jamaica Hospital her second family.  “Jamaica Hospital has provided me with so many opportunities for advancement, for which I am extremely grateful.”  Lisa added, “I grew up at Jamaica Hospital and I’m excited to now be in a position to give back.” Lisa has returned to school to pursue her Doctorate in Nursing Administration.  In her own words, “I’m still going. I’m not done yet.”

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.