A Delicious Fall Recipe

Today is the first day of Fall and a perfect time to prepare a delicious butternut squash casserole to welcome in the season. Here is a recipe from delish.com made with butternut squash. https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a40509027/butternut-squash-casserole-recipe/

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 School Backpack Awareness Day

As students begin a new school year, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is taking the opportunity to inform our community about backpack usage, potential medical issues that it can cause, and ways to prevent these issues for National School Backpack Awareness Day.

Most students use backpacks to carry the books and supplies they need for school each day, often hauling loads weighing as much as 20% of their body weight. When students frequently carry this kind of weight, the muscles and joints in their back, neck, and shoulders can become strained or injured due to continuous stress. This can also lead to posture problems, causing misalignment in the musculoskeletal system, interfering with proper joint movement and function, and wearing away the spine.

Your child’s choice of backpack can substantially help to avoid these problems. Look for a backpack that:

  • Fits your child properly
  • Features two wide, padded shoulder straps and a waist strap
  • Has a padded back
  • Is lightweight

These features are most helpful when utilized properly. All straps on a backpack should be tightened to keep the load as close to a student’s back as possible, reducing the stress it places on their muscles. Additionally, keep the heaviest items low and toward the center of the backpack, removing any items that aren’t necessary for the day. Lastly, be sure your child is lifting the weight of the backpack from their knees, not their back.

If your child is experiencing frequent or chronic back pain, you can schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center to diagnose and treat the problem by calling (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.

What You Should Know About The Novavax Adjuvanted COVID Vaccine

The Novavax vaccine, Adjuvanted was recently authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 12 years of age and older.  It is the fourth vaccine to receive authorization in the U.S. along with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine packages harmless proteins of the COVID-19 virus alongside another ingredient called an adjuvant that helps the immune system respond to the virus in the future.”

Adjuvanted is found to be 90% effective against COVID. It is used for primary vaccinations, meaning it has not been authorized for use as a booster.

The vaccine is given in two doses, three weeks apart. It is given as an injection in the muscle. Mixing Adjuvanted with other COVID-19 vaccines is not recommended at this time.

As with other vaccines, there are side effects associated with Adjuvanted.  The most common side effects include:

  • Pain or tenderness at the injection site
  • Injection site redness or swelling
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea/ vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills

Myocarditis and pericarditis, conditions caused by an inflammation of the heart, have occurred in a few clinical trial participants.

Although potential side effects can occur after receiving a COVID vaccine, the CDC advises that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks. Vaccines remain the most effective form of protection against infection.

It is important to remember that information about COVID-19 is constantly changing as we learn more about the virus. We encourage you to visit the CDC for updates.

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.

What Is Anemia?

Anemia is the most common blood condition in the United States and affects over two billion people globally. More women suffer from iron deficiency anemia than men. Anemia reduces the number of healthy red blood cells available to carry oxygen throughout your body, leaving you feeling tired and weak.

The symptoms of anemia can range from mild and temporary to chronic and severe, potentially causing life-threatening complications such as heart failure. Severe symptoms may be more likely for people over the age of 65.

The severity of anemia mainly depends on its cause, which can include factors such as:

  • Deficiency of iron, folate, or vitamin B-12
  • Acute or chronic inflammatory diseases
  • Radiation and chemotherapy
  • Infections and autoimmune diseases
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Bone marrow disease
  • Blood disease
  • Genetics

Not all forms of anemia are preventable, particularly if it’s inherited genetically or the result of a condition with unclear causes. Increasing your intake of foods rich in iron, folate, and vitamins B-12 and C can help prevent certain forms of anemia or manage anemic symptoms.

Additionally, you may be able to prevent anemia associated with other conditions by managing the risk factors of those conditions. This may include reducing your intake of alcohol or avoiding exposure to toxic substances as much as possible.

A hematologist can provide treatment to help relieve anemia symptoms through intravenous infusions, red blood cell transfusions, bone marrow transplants, erythropoietin injections, or surgery to stop internal bleeding that may cause the condition.

If you’re looking for a diagnosis or anemia treatment, you can schedule an appointment with a hematologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center by calling (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.

Head Lice Prevention Month

Since 1985, healthcare organizations have informed communities about head lice symptoms, diagnosis, and prevention for National Pediculosis Prevention Month, also known as Head Lice Prevention Month.

Although reliable data isn’t available on this condition, pediculosis (head lice infestation) is fairly common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately six to 12 million infestations affect children between the ages of three to 11 each year. Adults can also develop infestations through contact with both children and other adults.

Head lice typically spread through contact with the hair of an infested person, though it can also occur when people share clothes or lay on furniture after an infested person has recently used them. Lice typically remain on a person’s scalp; however, in rare instances, they may move to the eyelashes or eyebrows.

Signs of pediculosis include the feeling of something moving through the hair, itching, the development of sores on the scalp, and difficulty sleeping due to the increased activity of head lice in the dark. A diagnosis is generally made when live head lice are found on the scalp.

You can prevent the spread of head lice by teaching your child to avoid sharing clothes or supplies, using furniture recently used by an infested person, or coming into head-to-head contact with friends or classmates. It’s also helpful to encourage them to regularly comb their hair. You can keep yourself free of head lice by following these recommendations, as well.

If an infestation has already developed, lice removal kits are a non-chemical solution for combing lice out of an infested person’s hair. Several over-the-counter and prescription lice removal shampoos, creams, lotions, and drugs are also available.

If you or your child need a diagnosis or treatment for head lice, schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at (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.

September is Cholesterol Education Month

September is designated as National Cholesterol Education Month. The importance of this designation is to bring awareness of the health risks associated with high cholesterol.  

One of the major conditions associated with high cholesterol is heart disease, a leading cause of death in the United States. People who have high levels of cholesterol are twice as likely to have heart disease than those who have levels in the normal range.

The liver produces two types of cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). When the level of LDL cholesterol, also known as the “bad” cholesterol is too high we can develop health problems such as peripheral vascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, kidney failure, and heart attack. We can reduce our risk of complications by making lifestyle changes.

Ways to reduce “bad” cholesterol LDL and raise HDL “good”  cholesterol include:

  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid saturated fats and trans fats such as fried food, pizza, margarine and pastries
  • Eat foods with unsaturated fats including olive oil, olives, nuts such as almonds, cashews, macadamia, pecans and canola oil
  • Eat foods with polyunsaturated fat containing Omega-3 fatty acids including salmon, mackerel, herring and tuna
  • Eat high fiber foods such as fruits, beans, oat cereal
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Use Psyllium as a dietary supplement

There are no symptoms associated with high cholesterol, so the only way to assess it is through a blood test. It is recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to have cholesterol level in the blood checked every five years after the age of 20 and it should be a part of your annual physical as you get older. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician 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.

Sickle Cell Awareness Month

Over 100,000 Americans suffer from sickle cell disease. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Black and Hispanic-American babies are most often born with the disease. Additionally, one in every 13 Black babies is born with sickle cell trait (HbAS), which generally doesn’t cause symptoms of sickle cell disease, but may lead to health issues in response to physical stresses such as dehydration or strenuous physical exercise.

A person with sickle cell disease has abnormal hemoglobin, causing their red blood cells to become hard and sticky. These cells form into a shape resembling a sickle and have a short life cycle, leading to a constant shortage of red blood cells and symptoms that include pain, infections, strokes, and acute chest syndrome.

There are also several different forms of sickle cell disease. Common types include:

  • Sickle cell anemia (HbSS), which causes standard sickle cell disease symptoms as well as potential issues such as delayed puberty and vision problems
  • HbSC, a typically mild form of sickle cell disease
  • HbS beta thalassemia, in which a child inherits the genes for both sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia, another cause of abnormal hemoglobin

Rare forms of sickle cell disease include:

  • HbSD, in which a child inherits the sickle cell “S” gene and a “D” gene
  • HbSE, in which a child inherits the “S” and “E” genes
  • HbSO, in which a child inherits the “S” and “O” genes

Sickle cell disease can be diagnosed through a blood test shortly after a baby’s birth or through a sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding a baby in the womb. A blood test can also be used to diagnose an adult with sickle cell disease.

People with sickle cell disease can manage their symptoms by staying hydrated, regulating their body temperature, and avoiding spaces with low oxygen levels. Practicing good hand hygiene can also help.

If you need help managing symptoms of sickle cell disease or sickle cell trait, schedule an appointment with a hematologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Internal Medicine at (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.

Meet Our Doctors: Dr. Elizabeth Fontana

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is proud to introduce the newest member of our medical team: Dr. Elizabeth Fontana, a neurosurgery specialist, and Trauma Liaison. Neurosurgery includes the surgical treatment of conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, or any other parts of the nervous system.

“Neurosurgery is a job that is interesting, different, rewarding, and challenging every single day,” said Dr. Fontana. “I am always learning from colleagues and patients. It is a privilege to be able to practice medicine in this field.” She also has a particular interest in brain tumors and the field of oncology in general.

As Trauma Liaison, Dr. Fontana works with Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma service, the busiest in New York City and one that consists of a team of highly-trained surgeons who provide life-saving treatment to critically-injured patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Dr. Fontana grew up in a small town west of Boston, where she attended public school before studying at Harvard. Later, she moved to New York City for medical school, completing both her studies and residency at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and spending a year in Seattle to complete her fellowship in tumor treatment.

Before joining Jamaica Hospital, Dr. Fontana worked for Northwell Health on Long Island but came to work here because she recognized it as an exciting opportunity to participate in the growth and development of our neurosurgical program.

“The neurosurgery department is relatively new, but has made really great strides in the past few years,” said Dr. Fontana. “The administration has been extremely supportive of this growth effort, and I felt like it was a place where I would really be able to contribute to the development of the neurosurgical program and provide valuable services to this community.”

You can schedule an appointment with a specialist at Jamaica Hospital’s Division of Neurosurgery for diagnosis and treatment by calling (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.