Concussion in Children: When To Worry

Concussions are a type of mild traumatic brain injury that children can receive as a result of falling off a bike while not wearing a helmet, bumping heads while playing sports or by other means of physical contact.

Concussions occur when a blow to the head or body causes the head to move back and forth with a lot of force.  This sudden change of direction may cause the brain to collide with the inside of the skull, and result in a minor injury to the brain.  These types of injuries to the brain can change the way nerves communicate and lead to concussion symptoms.

Symptoms of a concussion vary in severity and can include headaches, dizziness, problems with memory or concentration, nausea or blurry vision. Some symptoms may begin immediately, while others may appear days after the injury. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to up to four weeks; therefore, parents should keep a watchful eye.

If your child displays mild symptoms such as a headache or neck pain, you should consult a physician.  Your doctor may request a full neurological exam. If the concussion is determined to be mild, cognitive and physical rest for the first 24 hours and a gradual return to routine activities are usually recommended.

After 24 hours, your child may be able to complete simple tasks such as doing homework.  However, if symptoms develop while performing these tasks, allow them to stop and rest then try again in a few hours. Sports should be avoided until symptoms have completely resolved and your child has been reevaluated by their doctor. Screen time should also be avoided because activities such as playing video games or watching TV can make symptoms worse.

Mild concussions typically heal in a few days to a few weeks but if symptoms worsen or persist for more than four weeks,  your child needs to be taken to the emergency room for further evaluation to rule out more serious causes for their symptoms.

Please keep in mind that children should be taken to the ER immediately if they are displaying symptoms such as headaches that will not go away, seizures, loss of consciousness, persistent vomiting, excessive crying or slurred speech.  These symptoms are severe and require urgent medical care.

To avoid concussions, children should always wear seat belts in the car and helmets while riding bikes. Children who participate in sports should be encouraged to follow safe sports techniques.

To speak with a Family Medicine doctor about concussions, please call (718) 206-6942.

Dr. Navdeep Kaur; 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.

Jamaica Hospital First In Queens To Join HealingNYC’s Relay

The opioid epidemic continues to plague New York City communities.  According to the City’s Department of Health, there were 694 confirmed overdose deaths from January to June 2018, and a fatal drug overdose reported every six hours.

More New Yorkers die as a result of a drug overdose than homicides, suicides and motor vehicle accidents combined.

In Queens, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center which operates one of the City’s busiest emergency departments, has experienced firsthand the detriment the epidemic has caused.  Last year, Jamaica Hospital’s emergency department treated over 200 patients for opioid drug overdoses.

“Over the years, we have seen the numbers continue to increase significantly. This epidemic has profoundly affected many individuals and families. Opioid addiction has impacted all genders, ages, ethnicities and those of all socioeconomic backgrounds,” explained Dr. Geoffrey Doughlin, Chairman of Emergency Medicine.  “No group is untouched.”

“At Jamaica Hospital our goal is to improve the health of our community in all aspects. We are committed to doing all that we can to combat the opioid crisis,” shared Dr. Shi-Wen Lee, Vice Chairman of Emergency Medicine.  In addition to providing life-saving treatments in the emergency department, the hospital is the first in Queens to participate in New York City’s Relay program.

The Relay program, which was launched in 2017 under HealingNYC, targets survivors of opioid overdoses who are at high risk for a future, fatal overdose.  According to New York City’s Department of Health, “In the hours after someone survives an opioid overdose, a trained Relay “Wellness Advocate” meets with the survivor in the hospital emergency department to offer overdose risk reduction counseling, overdose rescue training, and an overdose prevention kit containing naloxone. Participating hospitals can contact Relay at any hour of the day or night, on every day of the year, and a Wellness Advocate aims to arrive within the hour. Wellness Advocates stay in contact with overdose survivors for up to 90 days and connect them to appropriate services”

“Jamaica Hospital is proud to work in collaboration with Relay. Since the program’s inception in August 2018 at this facility, our emergency department has made over 50 patient referrals,” said Joshua Sclair, Emergency Medicine Administrator.  The hospital’s participation in the initiative offers the community resources that can potentially reduce the number of overdose deaths and provide access to supportive services.

Any person in need of treatment for their addiction can come to the emergency department at Jamaica Hospital and receive help. The hospital has designated detoxification beds and staff that are specially trained to help patients with their treatment.

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.

Sleep Awareness Week

The keys to a healthy lifestyle are eating right, exercise, and what’s the third thing?  Oh yes, sleep. While we give a great deal of attention to the first two, the importance of a good night’s sleep is often overlooked.

Serene woman sleeping at night

March 10th through the 16th  has been designated Sleep Awareness Week and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) want to raise awareness and educate the community about how important sleep is to each and every one of us. While most of us understand the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, we often do not make sleep a priority.

There are many health benefits that sleep can provide. Sleep aids our heart, brain, lungs, and muscles to function properly.  Additional benefits include:

  • Improved immunity
  • Decreased pain
  • Increased alertness
  • Lower risk of injury
  • Improved memory
  • Better mood

The NSF recommends that adults receive seven to nine hours of sleep each night. They also provide the following tips to ensure a restful night’s sleep.

  • Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends.
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual Try to separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety; a lot of which can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
  • If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. Napping may help you during the daybut it can interfere with your ability to sleep at night
  • Avoid drinking any caffeinated beverages at least five to six hours before bed.
  • Exercise dailyVigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity.
  • Evaluate your sleep environmentRemove any noisy distractions, eliminate bright lights and set a comfortable temperature to optimize your sleep.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and  Make sure your mattress is supportive.

If you still have trouble falling asleep or getting a restful night’s sleep, you should speak with your doctor as there may be an underlining medical issue. Jamaica Hospital operates a state-of-the-art sleep center that can help diagnose and treat a variety of sleep disorders. For more information, or to make an appointment, please call 718-206-5916.

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 Obesity Contributes to Lower Back Problems

There have been numerous reports about how people who are obese are at a higher risk of developing a variety of serious health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. Obesity can also negatively impact a person’s life in many other, non-life-threatening ways, such as how it can contribute to lower back problems.

As the structure that helps support the body and influence movement, the back has a normal spine curve that is most effective when it is in a neutral position. When a person is obese any added weight in their midsection can shift the pelvis forward and cause the spine to curve excessively inward, placing abnormal pressure on back muscles that are now forced to bear that weight.

Based purely on statistics, there is a very strong association between excess weight and lower back pain. A recent article in the American Journal of Epidemiology assessed that lower back pain was directly related to an increased body mass index (BMI). According to the research, people within a normal weight range were at a low risk of lower back pain, overweight individuals were at a moderate risk, while those who were obese were at the highest risk. The study also concluded that obese people were more likely to have back pain issues more frequently and require medical care to treat their lower back pain.

Obesity is a growing problem in American, affecting nearly 40 %, or approximately 93 million adults in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To address this issue, experts recommend eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. If however, you have tried all diet and exercise programs and are still obese, there are surgical options available to you.

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.

Break Free from Osteoporosis by Learning How to Prevent and Manage the Disease.

Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens the bones, making them more susceptible to breaking. Approximately 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and another 44 million have an increased risk, due to poor bone density. In fact, one in two women and one in four men will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime.

There are a number of factors that can increase the likelihood that you’ll develop osteoporosis – some are controllable, but others are not. Some of the factors are:

• Gender – Women are much more likely to develop osteoporosis than men.
• Age – The older you get, the greater your risk of osteoporosis.
• Race – You’re at the greatest risk of osteoporosis if you’re white or of Asian descent.
• Family history – Having a parent or sibling with osteoporosis puts you at greater risk.
• Body frame size – Men and women who have small body frames tend to have a higher risk because they may have less bone mass to draw from as they age.
• Hormone levels – Osteoporosis is more common in people who have too much or too little of certain hormones in their bodies.
• Dietary factors – Those with a lower calcium intake or have a history of eating disorders are at an increased risk
• Medications – Long-term use of oral or injectable steroids can interfere with the bone rebuilding process
• Lifestyle – Excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use can contribute to the weakening of bones.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), the keys to combatting osteoporosis are diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Recommendations include:

  • Get plenty of calcium and vitamin D in your diet
  • Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption
  • Participate in weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercises on a regular basis

A bone density test can be performed to measure the proportion of mineral in your bones. During this painless test, you lie on a padded table as a scanner passes over your body. In most cases, only a few bones are checked — usually in the hip, wrist and spine.

Hormone therapy or medications can be administered to treat osteoporosis, but there are side effects. Please consult your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, Jamaica Hospital has qualified physicians at our Ambulatory Care Center. To make an appointment, 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.

The Benefits of Choosing a Pediatric Dentist for Your Child

If you were to look in a textbook for a description of a pediatric dentist, you would read a definition that states “the branch of the dental healing arts that focuses on the condition of children and associated structures of the oral cavity.”  However, if you ask a pediatric dentist to define what they do, you will get a much different answer. The truth is a pediatric dentist is so much more and there are many benefits to having a pediatric dentist treat your child.

One of the biggest advantages of choosing a pediatric dentist is their gentle nature. Going to see the dentist can be overwhelming for many adults, so imagine how a young child must feel. Pediatric dentists are aware of these common concerns and because they have the training and skills to manage them, they are best suited to make your child feel comfortable and at ease once they are in the dentist’s chair.

While having a dentist who makes your child feel comfortable is important, it is equally as important to make sure that the person taking care of them is well qualified; this happens to be another advantage of selecting a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists receive an additional two years of formal training to focus on the growth and development of a child’s oral cavity, from birth through the teenage years. Since pediatric dentists specialize in caring for children’s teeth, they are naturally better equipped to address the many potential problems that may occur, such as a delayed loss of baby teeth or the development of cavities and tooth decay.

Pediatric dentists take a holistic approach to provide care to children and work with parents to identify environmental factors that may contribute to poor dental health, such as dietary choices and the potential risks associated with habits such as thumb sucking, teeth grinding or the use of a pacifier.  These interactive opportunities serve to empower the entire family to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Statistics indicate that pre-school children are getting more cavities than ever before, with one out of every four children having one by the age of four. In addition, children miss more time from school due to toothaches than they do from the flu. Due to these alarming facts, a pediatric dentist will practice developmentally-based dental care by focusing a great deal of time during your child’s initial visits on teaching them about good dental habits, such as how to properly take care of their gums and teeth.

The pediatric dental team at Jamaica Hospital is dedicated to treating all children, from the time their first tooth erupts through their high school years. They believe the world is a happier place when it is filled with smiling children and they take pride in maintaining those smiles.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Pediatric Dental Center, 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.

Tubal Reversal Offered at Jamaica Hospital

For women, the decision to have tubal ligation, or getting their “tubes tied,” is a difficult one, but that decision no longer needs to be a permanent one. Doctors at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center now offer a tubal reversal procedure for women, giving them the opportunity to become pregnant again.

Tubal reversal is a simple, minimally invasive procedure that reconnects the fallopian tubes and restores their ability to function after a previous sterilization procedure. The surgery is performed by trained doctors, who use specially designed instruments to gain access to the fallopian tubes. The ends of the damaged tubes are reconstructed and repaired. Once the surgery is complete, testing will be performed to make sure that the tubes are open or “patent.”

Dr. Khaled Zeitoun, Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Gynecologist, perform this procedure with great success at Jamaica Hospital. “This procedure gives women a second chance at having a baby,” states Dr. Zeitoun. “The effectiveness of tubal reversal is approximately above 50% and is a much more affordable fertility option than other procedures such as IVF (in vitro fertilization).”

While the overall success rate for conception is high for those who have tubal reversal surgery, there are some factors that affect this success, such as the degree of damage to the tubes during the original tubal ligation procedure, the weight and health status of the patient and other medical factors in the patient and the partner.

The procedure traditionally takes from 2-4 hours and recovery time is minimal. “In most cases, patients can try to become pregnant during their next ovulation cycle and every cycle after that, which is another benefit when compared to other options which only allow patients one chance of conception,” explains Dr. Zeitoun.

To learn more about the tubal reversal procedure or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Zeitoun, please call 718-206-7642.

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.

Stuttering

Stuttering, sometimes called stammering or dysfluency is a disruption in the normal patterns of speech. It can take many forms, such as:

Message on chalkboard

• Repeating a sound or a syllable, especially at the beginning of the word, such as “li- li- like.”
• Prolongation of a sound such as “ssssss”
• Complete stoppage of speech or the omission of a sound.
• Repeated interruption of speech with sounds such as “uh” or “um.”

Stuttering can begin at any age, but it’s most common among children who are learning to form words into sentences. Boys are more likely than girls to stutter.

Approximately one out of every 20 children will develop stuttering that lasts for more than six months, but this does not necessarily mean that stuttering is going to be a lifelong problem. Knowing what to look for and responding appropriately to your child’s stuttering will go a long way toward preventing it from becoming a more long-term or even permanent condition.

Why does stuttering begin? At one time many people thought that stuttering was the result of either physical or emotional trauma. While there are rare instances of stuttering following traumatic events, this is not the typical factor when determining why stuttering begins. Instead, experts point to other factors that contribute to stuttering:

• Family History – According to research, 60% of all stutterers have someone in the family who also stutters.
• Child Development. – Children who have other language and speech problems are more likely to stutter than children who don’t.
• Neurophysiology – Which part of the brain processes language can contribute in identifying why some children stutter
• Family Dynamics – Some children’s stuttering has been attributed to high family expectations and a fast-paced lifestyle.

Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your child’s stuttering. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist known as a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who can evaluate your child and determine whether or not there is a risk of a long-term problem. In most cases, treatment primarily focuses on training and working with the parents to develop techniques to help the child cope with and get beyond his or her stuttering.

Parents of children who stutter can also help by creating a relaxing atmosphere at home that encourages speech, even if a stutter is present. Some tips include:

• Create opportunities for talking that are relaxed, fun, and enjoyable.
• When conversing with your child, try to create an environment with limiting distractions, such as the presence of television.
• Don’t be critical of your child’s speech or insist on precise or correct speech. Don’t correct his speech, or complete his sentences.
• Don’t put pressure on your child to verbally interact with others when stuttering becomes a problem.
• Listen attentively to what your child is saying, maintaining normal eye contact without displaying signs of impatience or frustration.
• Model a slow, relaxed way of speaking to help your child slow down his own speech.
• Don’t be afraid to talk with your child about stuttering and answer questions. Explain that disruptions in speech are common.

 

 

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 Opens the New Thomas Santucci Jr., MD Cardiovascular Interventional Suite

This summer, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening of the Thomas Santucci Jr., MD Cardiovascular Interventional Suite, named in honor of the late and beloved cardiologist and former Chairman of the Department of Medicine.

Cath Lab Jamaica QueensJoining the hospital for the occasion were special guests of honor: the family of Dr. Thomas Santucci Jr., Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Senator Joseph Addabbo and members of Jamaica Hospital’s Board of Trustees. Over 100 guests and the media were also in attendance.

Jamaica Hospital President and CEO, Mr. Bruce J. Flanz welcomed everyone as they buzzed with excitement, to the new, state-of-the-art cardiovascular care facility.

The suite covers 6500 square feet of space and includes two interventional labs, a six-bed recovery unit, a preparation area, as well as viewing, treatment and examination rooms. The facility is also equipped with the latest and most advanced technologies in cardiac and stroke care. Both labs feature Siemens Artis Zee Ceiling- Mounted Systems which provide high patient-positioning flexibility, affording doctors easier and full-body access to patients.

Mr. Flanz explained to guests that all features and amenities of the Cardiovascular Interventional Suite were carefully selected by the Cardiology Department with the goal in mind of meeting the growing needs of patients.

“There is a significant prevalence of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and obesity in our area, all of which contribute to the growing incidence of all types of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes,” shared Dr. Robert Mendelson, Director of Cardiology and Chairman of the Department of Medicine. It is anticipated that admissions for cardiac disease to Jamaica Hospital will increase by 12% in the next five years and stroke admission by 11% during that period.

In addition to treating patients who live within the hospital’s service area, the Cardiovascular Interventional Suite will provide emergency cardiovascular care to the many travelers who fly through JFK Airport.  Each year, approximately 2,500 people are transported to Jamaica Hospital from JFK and 10% of those emergency cases are the result of a cardiac issue or stroke.

“Given the high volume of cardiovascular and stroke cases received by the hospital, the new Thomas Santucci Jr., MD  Cardiovascular Interventional Suite will certainly be of great benefit to a significant number of people,” said Mr. Flanz.

 

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.

New Changes for MediSys MyChart

For many years, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center has offered our patients the opportunity to better manage their health care and interact with their providers, through the MyChart patient portal.

Access to MyChart accounts has always required a patient’s physician to provide them with a special access code. Now, thanks to our partnership with Experian, our patients can create their very own MyChart account without needing an access code. For patients to create an account, they simply click the link to the MediSys MyChart website: https://mychart.medisys.org and click on the “sign up now” tab.

The new Experian verification process is much easier and will give patients quicker access to their chart, allowing them to take any number of actions, including:

  • Reviewing their medications, immunizations, allergies, and medical history
  • Reviewing test results online
  • Reviewing health education topics and discharge instructions
  • Requesting prescription refills online
  • Interacting with your provider via email
  • Requesting an appointment
  • Linking to family medical records

We hope that this new method of creating an account will encourage more patients to sign-up. By offering our patients easier access to their records, we feel they will become better educated and empowered to take a more active role in their health and the health of their family, which we feel will lead to a healthier patient population.

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.