Jamaica Hospital Offers Weight Lifting Safety Tips

Lifting weights can offer many health benefits, including strengthening your muscles, burning excess fat, and improving your overall physical fitness. If however, it not done safely, weight lifting can result in serious injury or even death.

Before you begin to lift weights, you should speak with a qualified instructor or other trained professional to teach you the proper technique to avoid an injury. They can advise you on an appropriate starting point that should include what exercises are best suited for you as well as how much weight to start with, and at how often to lift. Many factors will play a role in determining your weight lifting regime including age, overall physical health, and the reason you want to lift weights.

Some weight lifting safety tips should include:

  • Take time to warm up and cool down before and after your workout by stretching your muscles
  • Avoid weight lifting alone. Using a partner to “spot” you will help you avoid injury
  • Understand the proper form when lifting weights, including keeping your back straight
  • Don’t exercise any set of muscles more than three times per week and never lift more weight than you can handle safely
  • Take a moment to understand how to operate the equipment and inspect it to make sure it is in good condition
  • Wear shoes with good traction to avoid slipping
  • Stop lifting weights if you feel faint or are experiencing any  type of pain

It is important to speak to your doctor if you are considering beginning a weight lifting program to make sure it is the best form of exercise for you. You should also consult with your doctor if you suspect you sustained an injury while lifting weights.

To make an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care 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.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is characterized by numbness, tingling and weakness in the hand caused by pressure exerted on a major nerve and tendons in the wrist.

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the palm side of the wrist through which passes the median nerve and these tendons.  It usually starts, gradually, with numbness in the thumb, index and middle fingers that, at first, may appear to come and go and ten as it progressively worsens, remains constant.  It generally affects women more frequently than men.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Tingling or numbness of the thumb, index finger and middle fingers
  • Weakness of the hand with difficulty holding on to objects

Compression of the median nerve can be caused by a few different factors.  Some people have naturally occurring smaller carpal tunnels which can lead to increased likelihood of damage.  Any damage to treat area of the wrist can cause a problem.  A previous wrist fracture or anything that may cause swelling in that area can lead to the problem developing.  In addition, there are certain health related issues such as diabetes, hypothyroidism and arthritis which can be associated with this condition. 

Temporary relief from the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can be addressed by:

  • Taking quick breaks from repetitive activities of the hand
  • Rotate your wrists and stretch your palms and fingers
  • Avoid sleeping on your hands and wrists
  • Ultrasound therapy which makes the area of the wrist warm and more flexible

Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome really depends on what the cause is and how severe it has become.  If symptoms appear, never wait too long before seeking treatment options as this can lead to permanent damage.  Some simple remedies include stopping any activity that may be compressing the nerve, putting ice on the wrist for 10-15 minutes once or twice an hour, taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling, and wearing a night splint to take the pressure off of the nerve.

Some cases can be helped with injections of corticosteroids.  When the condition is really severe, surgical intervention may be required.  If you are experiencing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and would like to be treated by an orthopedic physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-6923 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.

Shining Our Employee Spotlight on Dominic Rodrigues

This month we shine our Employee Spotlight on Dominic Rodrigues, Registration Supervisor in the Emergency Department.

Dominic was born in Bangladesh and came to New York when he was three years old. He grew up in Queens Village and attended P.S. 82, Junior High School 109 and August Martin High School. Dominic is a graduate of Queensborough Community College with a degree in Business Management.

Dominic began his career in 2002 at Jamaica Hospital as a registrar, then became a financial investigator. He was later promoted to his current position as a supervisor.

Dominic still resides in Queens Village with his wife Annmarie and their 8-year- old son Andrew. He enjoys spending his free time with family and friends. One of Dominic’s favorite things to do is to go fishing, primarily in the Spring and Summer but he has also gone occasionally in the winter months. When he is home he enjoys building things with his son. They have built model airplanes and they also put together puzzles of maps.

Dominic likes taking trips and likes picking new places to explore. A few years ago he took his family to Australia and describes it as one of the best vacations he has ever taken.

Dominic enjoys working at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center because he feels like he is a part of a really wonderful group of people. He enjoys helping people, both his fellow employees and the patients that come to us from all over. He looks forward to continuing to contribute to the hospital’s growth and success.

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 Your Pet Be A Distraction To You While You Drive?

There are many known driving distractions that we are warned to avoid while on the road. These include: talking or texting on your mobile device, eating or drinking, attending to personal grooming, or adjusting our vehicle’s radio or navigation system. While it is important to be mindful of each of these potential distractions, there is another type of distraction that doesn’t get as much attention – driving with our pets.

Many people take their dogs or cats in the car with them when they run local errands; others bring them along for long road trips. During these excursions, our pets often have free reign of the vehicle, will place their head out the car window, and in some cases, even sit in the driver’s lap. These activities, while adorable, can pose great danger to not only the operator of the vehicle, but also the other passengers, fellow motorists, and even the pets themselves.

A recent study of individuals who frequently travel with their pets in the car revealed some very startling facts about their behaviors. The survey concluded that 64 percent of drivers admitted to engaging in a potentially distracting pet-related activity, and 29 percent admitted to actually being distracted by their pets. Some of the activities noted in the study included petting or playing with their pets, allowing them to stay in their lap, feeding them treats, and taking photos of them.  The same study determined 84 percent allowed their pets to ride in their vehicle while unrestrained.

To avoid these types of distractions while driving, motorists should consider purchasing a safety device for their dog or cat. There are two types of devices to choose from:

  • Pet seat belts – They are easy to use and work in tandem with your normal seat belt. Check to make sure the pet belt is the right size for your animal. One that’s too big or too small is counterproductive and can cause unnecessary injuries.
  • Pet carriers- Look for a sturdy carrier with ample ventilation and plenty of room for your pet to turn around and stretch out. Also, make sure you secure the carrier so that it stays safely in place if you suddenly brake or get into an accident.


Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Division warns that driving with your beloved pet in the car doesn’t need to be dangerous. Take some time to make sure you can safely restrain your pet to maximize safety for you and your lovable friend.

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.

Medications That Can Affect Eyesight

Did you know that some of the medications you may be taking can cause changes in your eyesight?

You may be more at risk of a condition known as Dry Eye, if you are taking medications such as:

  • Diuretics
  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Cholesterol lowering drugs
  • Beta-blockers
  • Birth control pills

Dry eye is a condition where a person doesn’t have enough tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Since tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision, people with dry eye often have red, itchy, inflamed eyes with blurred vision.

If you medications are causing dry eye, you do not want to stop taking them right away since that can cause a harmful effect.  It is best to discuss your condition with a physician and discuss the best solution. 

Often times, an adjustment in dosage, a change of medication and artificial tears can help alleviate the condition.

If you would like to schedule an appointment at the Jamaica Hospital Department of Ophthalmology, please call 718-206-5900.

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.

Foods To Avoid Before Bed

Having Trouble Sleeping- Sleep Specialists in Queens, New York

Our late-night food options can negatively affect the quality of our slumber and contribute to a loss of sleep. Therefore, if we want to get a good night’s rest, there are certain foods we should avoid.

The following foods are either: acidic, fatty, spicy or difficult to digest. They may also contain high amounts of sugars or stimulants.  It is best that we do not consume them right before going to bed.

  • Cruciferous vegetables-   Broccoli, kale cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables contain large amounts of insoluble fiber, making them difficult to digest. Complex sugars found in these food items can also contribute to bloating and gas.
  • Red meat- Beef, lamb, veal and other types of red meat are all high in protein and fat which require our bodies to work harder during digestion.  Our bodies will be focused more on breaking down these foods than sleeping.
  • Cured meats and cheeses- Food such as prosciutto, salami or Gouda cheese contain tyramine an amino acid that can make us alert.
  • Caffeinated food- Large amounts of caffeine can be found in dark chocolate, certain sodas or coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant that keeps us alert and remains in our system for hours.
  • Spicy food- Chemicals in spicy foods can upset our stomachs, cause heartburn or raise our core body temperature, making us restless throughout the night.   Therefore, think twice before using hot sauce or eating spicy cuisine before bed.
  • Alcohol- Studies have shown that alcohol is disruptive to our sleep cycles.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, alcohol “blocks REM sleep, which is often considered the most restorative type of sleep. With less REM sleep, you’re likely to wake up feeling groggy and unfocused.”  Alcohol also suppresses breathing which can lead to sleep apnea.

A good night’s sleep is important to our health. Taking small steps such as being smart about the foods we consume can improve our quality of sleep, allowing us to be more energetic and productive when we are awake.

 If you have questions about how diet or other lifestyle habits may affect your sleep, please call 718-206-5916 to speak with a sleep specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical 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.

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung cancer, CT

November is recognized as Lung Cancer Awareness Month. The importance of this designation is to bring awareness to the fact that Lung Cancer is responsible for approximately 25 percent of all cancer deaths. Lung cancer takes more lives each year than colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.

Lung cancer is a form of cancer that starts in the lungs. In the early stages there may not be any signs or symptoms. A history of smoking definitely contributes to a higher risk of being diagnosed with the disease, though non-smokers also can develop lung cancer.

Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer include:
• A cough that doesn’t get better
• Coughing up blood
• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain
• Wheezing
• Hoarseness
• Weight loss that isn’t intentional

It is now recommended that certain patients who are over 55 years of age and have smoked for many years consider screening for lung cancer by doing  a a low dose CAT scan of the lungs. This may detect cancers at an early stage where they may be more curable. It is important to have a conversation with your physician prior to performing a screening CT scan so that the patient understands the pros and cons of screening. For example, many scans will show small nodules (small spots in the lungs) that are not cancerous but will require follow-up and patient’s need to understand this and be prepared for this possibility.

There are several types of lung cancer based on their appearance under the microscope. These include small cell cancer and non-small cell cancer, which  is a group of cancers that includes squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.

Testing that can help make the diagnosis of cancer includes chest  x-rays, CT scans,  PET scans, examination of the sputum, bronchoscopy ( a test in which a fiber optic  scope is passed into the lungs), and lung biopsies (which can be done by a needle although sometimes a surgical procedure is required). Not all tests will be required for every patient.

Once the diagnosis is established it is important to determine what stage the cancer is. Factors that go into staging cancer include the size of the tumor itself location and whether it has spread to the lymph nodes in the chest or to other parts of the body such as the brain, liver, bone or adrenal glands.

To schedule an appointment with a pulmonologist 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.

Flu In Infants

Flu Vaccine for Babies

Children under the age of five years old, especially those who are six months and younger, are at a higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu.

Every year, thousands of children under the age of five are hospitalized as a result of the flu, and some die when they become seriously ill.

The best way to prevent the virus from spreading in children is to get them vaccinated. The flu vaccine is safe for infants to receive, and contrary to what some may believe, a person will not get the flu as a result of vaccination. 

Infants can be vaccinated against the flu starting at six months. Two doses given at least four weeks apart are recommended for children ages six months through eight years old receiving the flu vaccine for the first time. An annual flu shot will be sufficient for the following years.

Protecting infants under the age of six months from the flu can be challenging as they are too young to receive a vaccination. Since vaccines aren’t available for these infants, parents must take other precautions to protect them. Here are a few recommendations:

  • If you are pregnant, you should receive the flu shot. The vaccine can protect babies for several months after birth.
  • Make certain those in contact with your child are vaccinated. This helps to reduce the risk of exposure.
  • Avoid getting sick by staying away from those who are sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough.
  • Wash your hands regularly to avoid spreading the virus.
  • Recognize the danger signs and seek medical help if you notice your infant experiencing:
    • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
    • Ribs pulling in with breathing
    • Decreased eating and urinating, no tears when crying
    • High fever greater than 102 F
    • Decreased alertness or interaction

It is very important for infants to receive treatment for these symptoms early.   Medication is most effective when treating those experiencing symptoms for less than two days.  Based on your doctor’s recommendation medication can also be given to children exposed to the flu but have not displayed symptoms.

If you have questions about the flu and vaccination in children and would like to schedule an appointment with a Family Medicine doctor, please call 718- 206-6942.

Author: Dr. Angela Boey; Family Medicine Physician

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 Do You Know If It’s A Panic Attack Or A Heart Attack ?

You are experiencing pain in your chest and shortness of breath. Are you having a heart attack or are you experiencing a panic attack? Both conditions share very similar symptoms and have a sudden on-set, so how can you tell them apart?

Typical symptoms of a heart a heart include chest pain, shortness of breath, radiating pain, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. During a heart attack it feels as if pressure or a squeezing sensation on the chest and it typically doesn’t improve over time. Heart attacks are usually brought on by exertion.

During a panic attack you may also experience shortness but it is usually accompanied by tingling of the hands, shaking, and a rapid heartbeat. Instead of a squeezing sensation, a panic attack often produces a sharp, stabbing pain in the chest. Pain experienced during a panic attack usually improves within 30 minutes. Panic attacks are usually due to stress.

Determining the difference between the two can be difficult but don’t take any chances if you are uncertain. If you are experiencing chest pain for more than three minutes you should seek help by calling 911. It is always best to have trained medical professionals examine you in order to be safe. An electrocardiogram and a blood test will be performed to confirm or rule out a heart attack.

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.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.  Jamaica Hospital Medical Center (JHMC) is joining with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO),to promote raising awareness about hospice and Palliative Care.

National Hospie and Palliative Care Month brings focus on how hospice and palliative care can offer a person-centered approach to treament that includes expert medical care, comprehensive pain management, and emotional and spiritual support.

When you are faced with the decision of choosing whether palliative care or hospice care better suites the needs of you, or your loved ones; it is best to know the definition and relationship between the two before deciding.

Palliative care focuses on relieving symptoms that are related to a chronic illness, such as cancer, cardiac disease, respiratory disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s and other dementias, AIDS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other neurological diseases. Palliative care can be used at any stage of illness –not just advanced stages.

Hospice care is palliative by nature, but is only offered when the patient has progress to a point where curative treatment is no longer desired. Hospice care supports the patient, and their families, on the journey to end of life focusing on relieving symptoms and offering comfort from pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, anxiety and insomnia.

Although there are differences between palliative care and hospice care, there is a relationship between the two. Knowing the treatment differences and similarities may be helpful when making your decision, including:

  • Treatments are not limited with palliative care and can range from conservative to aggressive or curative.
  • Hospice care treatments are limited and focus on the palliation of symptoms. The goal is no longer to cure, but to promote comfort.
  • Palliative care can be considered at any time during the course of a chronic illness.
  • With hospice care, Medicare requires that a physician certify that a patient’s condition is terminal. The physician must certify that a patient’s life expectancy is six months or less.
  • Both palliative and hospice care can be delivered at any location.
  • Palliative care services are typically provided through regular physician and nursing visits.
  • Hospice care services are more inclusive than palliative care services. Hospice care includes physician services, nursing services, social worker, spiritual care, bereavement care and volunteers. In some cases physical, occupational, speech and dietary therapy services, as well as other counseling services are deemed necessary as part of the hospice holistic care plan to manage terminal symptoms and provide support for the individual and their family.

It is important to know that choosing palliative care or hospice care is about comfort, control, dignity and quality of life and not about giving up. If you, or a loved one should need information on palliative or hospice care, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Palliative Care and Hospice Care services can help. To schedule an appointment for an evaluation, or to just talk, call 718-206-6914.

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.