National Infant Immunization Week

Infants under the age of two are susceptible to a variety of serious illnesses that can significantly harm or even kill them, as their immune system is still in an early stage of development. This is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a series of immunizations that can protect infants against some of the most dangerous diseases to their health.

Many parents may have concerns about vaccinating their children due to potential side effects. While mild adverse reactions are possible with many vaccines, they typically disappear on their own within a few days. Generally, the side effects most children may expect include reactions such as fever, fatigue, body aches, and swelling or tenderness around the site of the injection. More serious, long-lasting side effects are extremely rare.

Vaccines such as those given to infants only use the ingredients necessary to be safe and effective. These ingredients may often include adjuvants (commonly found in antacids and antiperspirants) and stabilizers (such as sugar or gelatin). Additionally, all vaccines go through extensive lab testing, often for years, before they are available to the general public.

The CDC recommends vaccinating children under the age of two against:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Rotavirus
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, & acellular pertussis
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b
  • Pneumococcal conjugate
  • Inactivated poliovirus
  • COVID-19
  • Influenza
  • Measles, mumps, rubella
  • Varicella
  • Hepatitis A

You can find the complete schedule of recommended vaccines for your child by age on the CDC’s website. To schedule an appointment for your child to receive the vaccines they need, you can call 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.

What is a Bunion ?

Bunions are a bony bump that forms at the joint located at the base of the big toe. This is also called the base of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP).

Bunions are most commonly seen when there is a lot of pressure over time on the big toe, often due to wearing tight fitting shoes that push the big toe out of its natural alignment. Women experience this more often than men. Additional causes of bunions include genetic factors, walking in a manner that causes misalignment of the big toe, standing on one’s feet for extended periods over the course of many months or years, and certain disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

In severe bunions, a person may experience symptoms such as:

  • Redness at the inside base of the big toe
  • Stiffness of the big toe
  • Pain at the base of the big toe
  • Swelling of the big toe
  • Callouses at base of the big toe
  • Overlapping of the adjacent smaller toes

Typically, bunions are diagnosed by physical examinations and an x-ray when needed. Treatment for a bunion depends on the severity. These are the most common treatment modalities:

  • Change shoe gear
  • Take pain medication
  • Injections to reduce inflammation
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgical correction
  • Apply padding to affected area

If you are experiencing discomfort from a bunion, and would like to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, you may 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.

Mental Health Therapy for Trauma Survivors

An older man experiencing receiving trauma support from a therapist.Trauma can have a significant negative impact on your mental health. If you’ve been a victim of a serious injury, abuse, or a catastrophic event in your personal life, you face a higher likelihood of developing conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can create new challenges in various aspects of your daily life. To reduce this risk or learn to overcome conditions such as PTSD, it’s important to seek help from a qualified mental health professional.

Psychiatrists and other mental healthcare providers can use a variety of techniques to help you learn to process your trauma in a healthy way. One of the most effective tools available for providing this care is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on:

  • Finding unhealthy and unhelpful patterns in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  • Identifying how these patterns contribute to any challenges you experience in your daily life
  • Changing these patterns to help you overcome the challenges you face

Therapists may also use other variations of CBT during your treatment, depending on what particular mental health problems you experience in connection with your trauma. These alternatives include:

  • Cognitive processing therapy, which focuses on challenging and changing beliefs you’ve developed because of your trauma
  • Cognitive therapy, which focuses on helping you evaluate or remember your trauma in a way that is less disruptive or more helpful for your ability to function
  • Prolonged exposure, which helps you learn to approach trauma-related thoughts, feelings, or situations that you may be avoiding

Other treatment approaches, including medication and other forms of psychotherapy, may also be available for people who have experienced trauma, depending on the nature of their symptoms and responsiveness to standard treatment.

You can find compassionate, effective therapeutic treatment or support for trauma-related mental health conditions at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry, as well as our new Trauma Survivors support program. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-5575.

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 Effects of Stress on Our Health

Long-term or chronic stress can harm our mental and physical health.  When we are experiencing stress, the body releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which if they persist at high levels can lead to adverse reactions including suppression of the digestive system and immune systems, elevation of blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and disruption in the processes of the brain that control mood, perception, and cognition.

Over time, these negative changes in our body may increase the risk of stroke, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, depression, anxiety, and other health problems.  Furthermore, continued stress makes it more difficult to recover from these conditions.

Reducing or managing stress levels by learning to cope healthily can greatly improve your health and reduce the risk of certain diseases. Here are a few stress management techniques you can try:

  • Learn to identify stressors or triggers, and reduce or eliminate them
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing exercises, or meditation
  • Get the recommended amount of sleep
  • Practice good time management
  • Avoid harmful ways to cope with stress such as binge eating, drinking excessively, using illicit drugs, or smoking tobacco
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Connect with others

Practicing stress-reduction techniques is not a one-size-fits-all approach. If high levels of stress persist and you continue to feel overwhelmed, you may need additional support from a trained professional. A licensed therapist or mental health counselor can evaluate your mental and emotional health, and suggest a plan of treatment that can help you.

To schedule an appointment with a licensed mental health provider at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5575

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.

Black Maternal Health Week

A pregnant Black mother looks down at her stomach.Black Maternal Health Week is observed from April 11th to 17th; it is focused on raising awareness about inequities in health outcomes among Black mothers throughout the United States. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S. has one of the highest maternal mortality rates among high-income nations. While this crisis affects all mothers, Black mothers are disproportionately likely to die due to pregnancy complications.

Several factors contribute to Black mothers’ increased mortality rate, including:

  • Limited access to high-quality medical care due to geographic factors and the potentially high cost of needed treatments
  • Organizational structures and policies that provide inadequate support for Black mothers
  • A lack of sufficient data and understanding on the part of organizations and providers regarding the health needs and circumstances of individual Black mothers and their children

At Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Black maternal health is important to us, and we have initiated and continually improved upon several programs designed to create a more equitable care environment for mothers at our hospital. For example, our CenteringPregnancy program offers pre-natal care in a group setting facilitated by doctors, nurses, and midwives, where expectant mothers with similar due dates can share experiences, receive support, and learn effective ways of staying healthy throughout pregnancy.

In addition to CenteringPregnancy, our hospital also offers access to midwife care and support from doulas, who help to ensure that mothers receive the guidance and support they need throughout their care. We also adhere to the Respectful Care at Birth initiative, a New York City Department of Health program focused on:

  • Providing easy-to-understand information about pregnancy, childbirth, and the care you will receive
  • Providing a sanitary, supportive environment in which to receive the care you need and give birth to your child
  • Supporting the ability and authority of mothers to make informed decisions about their care
  • Reinforcing the expectation that patients of all races and backgrounds will be treated with dignity and respect throughout their care
  • Ensuring that mothers have the support they need in terms of information, care, and having family members (or other people of their choosing) present during their care

No matter your race or background, you can always expect to receive comprehensive, high-quality maternal care at Jamaica Hospital’s Women’s Health Center. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, 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.

April is Autism Awareness Month

April was designated as National Autism Awareness Month in 1970. The idea to recognize a month for autism awareness came from Dr. Bernard Rimland, Ph.D who was an autism researcher. In April 1988, President Ronald Reagan made it official with a proclamation declaring April as Autism Awareness Month. It is meant to bring attention and a better understanding of this disorder.

The symbol of autism is a puzzle piece that represents power, strength, hope, and unity for people who are diagnosed with this disorder.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in the United States, autism affects approximately one in 36 children and one in 45 adults. They also state that autism is seen more frequently in boys than in girls, is found in people of all ethnicities and  races, and it affects people who have it in many different ways. Some people have very mild cases and some have very severe manifestations. Some children are verbal while others may not be. Some children, but not all,   have intellectual issues, and some can be high functioning while others require assistance with activities of daily living. Signs of autism can be seen in children as young as age two or three and the diagnosis can usually  be made definitively by age five.

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.

Nebulizers: What You Should Know

A woman using a nebulizer.Over 34 million people throughout the United States live with a chronic lung disease such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). Any type of lung disease can have a significant detrimental impact on your quality of life without effective treatment to manage it. One of these treatments is the usage of nebulizers, which turn liquid medicine into a mist that can be easily inhaled.

While they function in a similar way, nebulizers are not the same thing as inhalers. An inhaler delivers medication more quickly, is often smaller and more portable, often costs less, and usually causes fewer side effects. However, they are not as easy to use properly as nebulizers, which allow you to breathe normally to get the dose of medicine you need.

You may need a nebulizer if you plan to take certain types of medication, such as bronchodilators (which relax your airway muscles) or corticosteroids (which prevent airway inflammation). Nebulizers can also be used with some antibiotics (if you have a bacterial lung infection) or medications that loosen mucus in your lungs.

Before using your nebulizer, it’s important to make sure you’re setting it up correctly. You should:

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions for setting up and using your nebulizer, which should be included
  • Wash your hands
  • Fill the medicine cup and close it tightly
  • Make sure the hose is connected to the air compressor, mouthpiece, and medicine cup
  • Plug in and turn on the nebulizer

While using the nebulizer, you should:

  • Keep your lips firmly around the mouthpiece
  • Breathe through your mouth until the medicine cup is empty (this can take up to 20 minutes)

It’s also important to make sure you’re keeping your nebulizer sanitary for future use. Each time you finish using it, you should:

  • Turn off and unplug the machine
  • Wash the mouthpiece and medicine cup under warm, running water
  • Air dry the nebulizer and run air through it for at least 20 seconds to ensure all parts of it are dry
  • Remove all detachable parts (such as the mouthpiece and medicine cup) and store the nebulizer in a covered place until the next time you use it
  • Change the machine’s filter as needed (see the instructions that came with your nebulizer)

If you experience symptoms of asthma or another type of lung disease, you can receive high-quality treatment from Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Division of Pulmonary Medicine. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-7126.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Enjoy This Easy to Prepare and Healthy Springtime Recipe for Minestrone

Here is a healthy, easy to prepare, and delicious springtime recipe for minestrone with fresh vegetables from the Food Network.  https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/minestrone-with-spring-greens-12544874

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 Cancer Control Month

National Cancer Control Month, which is recognized during the month of April.April is National Cancer Control Month. During this time each year, organizations throughout the United States recognize the burden experienced by people with cancer. Each year, cancer directly impacts millions of individuals, families, and communities, and even the country as a whole. The overall goal of Cancer Control Month is to reduce this impact by:

Preventing as many cancer deaths as possible: Up to 50% of all cancer deaths are preventable through early diagnosis and treatment, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Prevention is one of the most effective methods possible of controlling rates of cancer and cancer deaths. Standard cancer prevention strategies involve:

  • Raising awareness of signs, symptoms, and diagnostic testing procedures
  • Reducing exposure to known cancer risk factors
  • Promoting healthy lifestyle habits that reduce cancer risk

Detecting cancer as early as possible: Early detection of cancer is one of the most important factors for successful treatment, making this an important goal of Cancer Control Month. Cancer prevention strategies, such as patient education regarding risk factors and warning signs, are crucial for encouraging people to visit their healthcare provider for diagnostic testing as soon as possible.

Improving cancer treatments: Many modern cancer treatments are effective when it comes to improving survival rates and quality of life among patients, but further improvements, as well as more research into treatment-resistant forms of cancer, can help prevent an even greater number of cancer deaths.

You can reduce your risk of developing cancer by avoiding certain factors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common risk factors for preventable forms of cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, such as from the sun or a tanning bed
  • Obesity
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

If you have noticed potential signs of cancer and require a diagnostic screening or treatment, you can schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Oncology Department. To schedule an appointment, 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.