Jamaica Hospital and LiveOnNY Rallying New Yorkers To Use The Power Of Their Signature To Help Save Lives On Organ Donor Enrollment Day

save lives heart -186343017Did you know New York is ranked last in the entire country for the percentage of residents registered as organ donors? This is troubling because every 18 hours a New Yorker dies while waiting for an organ. It takes 1 donor to save 8 lives.

Jamaica Hospital is taking action and teaming up with LiveOnNY to help launch the first ever Organ Donor Enrollment Day on Oct. 6th. The event is being executed with one goal in mind: enroll as many willing New Yorkers as possible as organ donors in a single day.

Join us in the hospital’s main lobby from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and the cafeteria  from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm to register or show your support for this very important cause.

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 For Choosing A Pediatrician

pediatrician -484617119The health of your child is very important. Equally as important is the pediatrician you choose to take care of their healthcare needs.

Pediatricians manage the physical, mental and behavioral health of children.  They treat patients from birth until the age of 21.  Therefore, your relationship with your child’s physician may be long term.  Because your relationship with your child’s physician could be long lasting, it is important for you to compile a list of characteristics or requirements to help you assess compatibility.

While there are many qualified pediatricians for you to choose from, selecting one that is compatible with your requirements can sometimes be challenging.

Here are a few helpful tips you can use to make your search for a pediatrician less complicated:

  1. Ask around– Friends or loved ones can be a trusted resource when looking for a pediatrician. They can refer you to a pediatrician that has provided a positive experience or to someone who has an excellent reputation.
  2. Find the name of qualified pediatricians- A list of qualified and board certified physicians in your area can be found on the website of The American Academy of Pediatrics. abp.org
  3. Consider proximity- It is highly suggested that you seek a pediatrician that is located within close proximity to your home.
  4. Make sure the physician is covered by your insurance- Call your insurance company to ensure that the physicians you are interested in are providers in your plan.
  5. Set up interviews– Call the pediatrician’s office and explain that you are interested in their services and would like to schedule a time to ask a few questions. Your talk with the doctor may be in person or over the phone.  A few key questions to ask include:
  6. Where did the pediatrician attend medical school?
  7. What are their credentials?
  8. Which hospitals are they affiliated with?
  9. On average, how long does it take to get an appointment?
  10. On average how much time does the doctor take to see each patient?
  11. How are emergency situations handled?
  12. How can the doctor be reached after hours?
  13. Are sick and well patients separated?
  14. Go with your instincts- After your interview with the pediatrician use the information you have gathered and your parental instincts to help you to decide if they are best for you.

Once you have selected your pediatrician, remember a good doctor-parent relationship can improve the quality of healthcare your child receives.  Building a good relationship with your doctor will require clear communication, mutual respect and trust.

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.

Can Cracking Your Knuckles Lead to Arthritis?

You were probably cautioned as a child not to crack your knuckles because it would cause arthritis… and if you are a parent, you probably tell your children the same thing, but is there any truth to this warning?

ThinkstockPhotos-57226144Our hands contain many joints where our bones meet. Surrounding those joints are capsules filled with synovial fluid, a natural lubricant produced by our bodies. When we push, pull, or crack our fingers or knuckles we are actually stretching those capsules, causing the gasses that were dissolved in the fluid to release and equalize the pressure in the joints – kind of like popping a cork on a bottle of champagne. This release results in the common “popping” sound associated with cracking your knuckles.
The act of knuckle or finger cracking provides a momentary sense of relief as the joints are stretched. It takes our bodies about 30 minutes to re-build the synovial fluid in our joints.

The good news is that while the sound of knuckles cracking is annoying to hear, it actually does not contribute to the development of arthritis. The bad news is there are other consequences. In recent studies, habitual knuckle crackers were found to have reduced hand functionality and weaker grip strength than those who did not crack their knuckles.

With this newfound information, mothers and fathers everywhere can now change their parental warning to, “Stop cracking your knuckles or you will have a weak handshake!”

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.

History of Toothpaste

Even in ancient times people were concerned with the health of their  teeth and gums. The first toothpaste was used by the Egyptians around 5000 BC.  It was made from the powder of ox hooves, burnt eggshells, pumice and water. There is also evidence that the ancient Greeks and Romans used crushed bones and oyster shells followed by the Chinese who favored ginseng, herbal mints and salt.
More modern versions of tooth cleaning products  were made in the mid 1800’s that combined soap, borax and  chalk. In those days toothpastes were mainly in powder form and were very abrasive which often damaged teeth.   The first toothpaste which came in a jar was developed in 1850 In the 1890’s  toothpaste  was introduced in tube form. Soap was still an important ingredient of toothpaste until the 1940’s when it was replaced by sodium lauryl sulphate . One of the major developments was the addition of fluoride in the 1950’s which inhibited tooth decay and is still a key component today.
To make an appointment with a dentist at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-6980.

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 Resurgence of an Old Disease -Syphilis on the rise in NYC

syphilis-178883789 (1)The New York State Department of Health is raising awareness on the alarming and steady rise of syphilis cases in our region. The number of New Yorkers newly infected with syphilis has increased by more than 160% between 2010 and 2014.  Numbers are particularly higher in Manhattan and men account for approximately 70% of these cases.

Syphilis is considered an old, easy to diagnose and highly treatable disease.  It once plagued populations from the 1400’s up until the 1940’s; when it was discovered that antibiotics such as penicillin can be used as a cure.  Since then the spread of this sexually transmitted disease has been controlled with the use of modern medications and contraceptives such as condoms.

Given the history of syphilis and the resources that are readily available, one may question why we are seeing such resurgence? Studies have shown that people are having more casual and unprotected sex and many are unaware that they are carriers of the disease.

If left untreated the disease can cause serious damage to the body and can eventually lead to premature death.

The New York State Department of Health is encouraging people to remember the importance of practicing safe sex. The escalation of syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases can be reduced if unsafe sex practices are eliminated and if those who are sexually active receive frequent STD screenings.

For more information or to schedule an appointment for STD screenings, please call the Family Medicine Center at Jamaica Hospital at 718-206-6942 or visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/living/std-syphilis.shtml

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.

High Blood Pressure and Pregnancy

hypertension pregnancy -78484693 (1)Hypertension (high blood pressure) is one of the most common medical problems encountered by pregnant women. It is estimated that the disease affects six to eight percent of expecting mothers.

Women with a pre-existing history of chronic hypertension are likely to experience complications caused by the disease; however, women with no prior history are also at risk of developing high blood pressure or gestational hypertension. A high blood pressure rate during pregnancy is defined as a reading over 140/90, anything above that number is concerning.

Some women are more at risk for developing gestational hypertension than others.  Your risk may be higher if you are:

  • African American
  • Carrying more than one baby
  • Pregnant with your first child
  • Over 40 years old
  • From a family with a history of gestational hypertension or preeclampsia
  • Obese

High blood pressure during pregnancy poses various medical problems not only for the mother but for the developing baby as well.  Some of these problems include:

  • Harm to the mother’s kidneys
  • Placental abruption
  • Low birth weight
  • Premature labor

If left untreated, high blood pressure can develop into a serious condition known as preeclampsia.  This condition is most likely to occur in women with pre-existing and chronic hypertension.  The disease usually develops after the 27th week of pregnancy and is characterized by high levels of protein in urine and elevated blood pressure levels.  Women may experience symptoms such as headaches, nausea or vomiting, reduced urine or no urine output, swelling or shortness of breath.

If you have been informed by your doctor that your blood pressure levels are high it is important to get it under control immediately. You can do so by taking prescribed medications and managing your sodium intake. It is equally important that you maintain prenatal appointments to monitor the development of your baby.

For questions about prenatal care or to make an appointment with the Women’s Health Center of Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-291-3276.

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 Modern Day Zombie

Walking Corpse Syndrome (also known as Cotard’s Syndrome) is a rare neuropsychiatric disorder in which the afflicted person holds the delusion that he or she is dead, missing their soul, organs, blood or other body parts, as well as being in a state of existence denial. Conversely, some patients may have delusions of immortality.

For people with this condition, entertainment like cable TV’s “The Walking Dead” may be too close for comfort.

Studies indicate that the disease is more prevalent in older patients and women with depression.  It is also more likely to occur in patients with disorders such as:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Brain injury
  • Brain atrophy
  • Seizure disorders
  • Depression
  • Brain tumors
  • Stroke
  • Migraine

Though it is thought that lesions in the frontal and temporal regions (front and sides) of the right hemisphere of the brain have been associated with the disease, Cotard’s disease is so rare that it is difficult to pinpoint the mechanisms that cause it.

Tests are used to diagnose associated diseases and rule out other conditions.  Current treatment for Cotard’s Syndrome involves medication with antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. Electroconvulsive therapy, in combination with medication, has been reported to be more effective than medications alone.

Fortunately, patients with Cotard’s Syndrome can experience a complete recovery, even in severe cases.

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.

September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month

September has been designated National Sickle Cell Awareness Month to bring attention to this genetic disease that affects an estimated 100,000 Americans.

ThinkstockPhotos-478180764Sickle cell disease is an inherited form of anemia – a condition in which red blood cells are unable to carry oxygen throughout the body. For most, red blood cells are round and can move easily through blood vessels, but the red blood cells in people with sickle cell disease are crescent, or half-moon shaped. These irregular shaped cells can get stuck in blood vessels, which can slow or block the flow of oxygen to certain parts of the body.

In addition to being irregular in shape, sickle cells are fragile and break apart easily. Normal red blood cells live an average of four months before they die and need to be replaced. Sickle-shaped cells however only live an average of 20 days. The result of this shortage of blood cells is a loss of energy and general sense of fatigue.
Other symptoms of sickle cell disease include:

• Hand-Foot Syndrome – Often the first sign of sickle cell disease. It is caused by a lack of blood flow to the hands and feet

• Episodes of Pain – Referred to as a “crisis”, these episodes of pain occur when blood flow is blocked to the chest, abdomen, and joints. The frequency and duration of the episodes vary from person to person, but in severe cases, they can result in hospitalization.

• Frequent Infections and Fever– Sickle Cell can cause damage to the spleen, an organ that fights infection, making those with sickle cell at greater risk of developing an infection and an accompanying fever.

• Changes in Skin – People with sickle cell disease can develop a yellow tint to their skin or the whites of their eyes. Skin and nail beds can often become pale.

• Delayed growth – By not receiving enough oxygen rich red blood cells, those with sickle cell disease may also not get the necessary nutrients essential for growth.

The risk of inheriting sickle cell disease is a genetic one. For a baby to be born with it, both parents must carry the sickle cell gene. Doctors can diagnose sickle cell disease before a child is born. Couples who are at risk for passing on this disease to their children may want to talk with a genetic counselor about prenatal testing. The sickle cell gene is more common in families that come from Africa, India, Carribbean islands, and Central and South America.

To determine if you have sickle cell disease, your doctor can order a test to check for hemoglobin S, the defective form of hemoglobin that underlies sickle cell anemia. Further tests can confirm the existence of one gene (carrying the sickle cell trait) or two genes (sickle cell anemia). For those who have sickle cell anemia, treatment is aimed at treating the symptoms and avoiding crisis. Regular check-ups to monitor your red blood cell count are important. Medications are available to reduce pain and prevent complications can be prescribed, and blood transfusions, supplemental oxygen and even bone marrow transplants may also be necessary.

Jamaica Hospital serves a culturally rich and diverse population. Many members of our community are from the parts of the world most often affected by sickle cell disease. In recognition of National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, Jamaica Hospital’s encourages anyone living with sickle cell disease to carefully manage their condition. The hospital also recommends all potential parents to be tested for the sickle cell trait.

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.

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Childhood obesity affects approximately one in five children in the United States. Obesity is measured by taking a child’s body-mass index (BMI) and evaluating where this number falls on a BMI age-growth chart. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a table to make it possible to compare the BMI with those of other children of the same age and height. Other factors that need to be considered are the type of body frame, musculature, and the child’s development pattern.

There are many reasons why a child may become obese. Often obese children come from families where there are poor eating habits, and lack of physical activity. Other contributing factors can include stress, boredom, and depression as well as living in a community with limited accessibility to healthy food choices.

Obesity in children puts them at risk of developing chronic illnesses later in life such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, arthritis, and heart disease. It also makes children more prone to depression, low self-esteem and susceptible to bullying.

Ways to control a child’s weight include:

  • Limit fast food
  • Increase fruits and vegetables in the diet
  • Limit sweet drinks
  • Limit desserts and unhealthy snacks
  • Eat together as a family when possible
  • Regulate portion sizes
  • Increase physical activity, not just exercise
  • Decrease the amount of time spent watching TV or on the computer

Jamaica Hospital strives to help prevent childhood obesity by participating in workshops throughout the year at schools and at community health fairs by providing educational materials and guidance on proper nutrition. To speak with a pediatrician about childhood obesity, please call 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 for the Single Parent

 

Being a single parent is not easy; it has its own set of challenges.

Couples get together with the very best of intentions, full of hopes and dreams of white picket fences, 2.5 kids.

No one enters into a committed relationship with the intention of uncoupling. Nonetheless, it’s a distressingly common occurrence.

Suddenly, you find yourself a single parent. Even if you have always been an active, involved parent, this is a completely different experience.

In the best of situations, with a support team of grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, friends, etc. you may have bouts of frustration and fatigue.

During these times you will have to push through and step-up. There is no substitution for a parent when dealing with a crying toddler, grumpy daughter or a son who failed to make the last out. These are hurdles you and your children will have to scale together.

Some of the most common ways a single parent can cope with and reduce stress are:

  • Finding a balance – Remember that parenting is about the moment. Take a deep breath and let go of your expectations.
  • Show your love –Praise your child. Give him or her unconditional love and support.
  • Create a routine – Structure, such as regularly scheduled meals and bedtimes help your child know what to expect.
  • Find quality child care – If you need regular child care, look for a qualified caregiver who can provide a safe environment. Do not rely on an older child as your only babysitter and be careful about asking a new friend or partner to watch your child.
  • Set limits – Explain house rules and expectations to your child, such as speaking respectfully and enforce them.
  • Don’t give in to guilt – Don’t blame yourself or spoil your child to try to make up for being a single parent.
  • Make time for yourself – Include physical activity in your daily routine, eat a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep. Make time to enjoy alone time or activities with close friends.
  • Lean on others – It’s okay to join a support group for single parents or seek social services. Call on trusted loved ones, friends and neighbors for help.
  • Stay positive – Be honest with your child if you’re having a difficult time, but remind him or her that things will get better. Try to keep your sense of humor when dealing with everyday challenges.

Mistakes may be made, but with love and the best of intentions, you’ll make it through.

 

 

 

 

 

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.