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.  The theme this year is “It’s About How You Live.”  It 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.

Can Small Changes Affect Your Health

When seeking a routine that can bring wellness to your entire being, you don’t have to climb a mountain in Tibet or strip away all the food you love.  Experts say that the best way to bring a wellness routine into your life is through a series of small changes that will gradually make a difference.

Changes such as:

  • Meditation – Take a moment in the morning to meditate.  It will set the tone of the day and clear your head to prepare for what the day may bring.
  • Music – Play calming music.  The body’s internal rhythms sync with the rhythms of music.  By focusing on the music and its melody, you will start of feel your breathing and heart rate begin to slow down, bringing you to a much calmer place.
  • Plan a trip – According to research, happiness spikes when planning a trip.  Shut down your smartphone – When the impulse to pick up your phone comes, and you resist it, you may feel a wave of anxiety.  Don’t panic!  Breathy through the anxiety and you will see that there is a calm that will follow.
  • Breathe deeply – Sit in a comfortable place, breathe naturally and settle your attention on your breath.  With each inhale and exhale, mentally repeat the words “in” and “out.”  Even if your mind wanders, don’t get distracted; just bring your attention back to your breathing.
  • Email – Don’t check your email when you first wake up.  Instead, sit silently and allow your mind to wander.  Take 10 minutes to just center yourself before you start your day.
  • Walk – Use part of your lunch break to take a walk.  This activity will aid with digestion, keep you active and relieve stress.

No one likes change and it rarely comes easy.  That’s why slowly incorporating small steps toward your goals overtime can lead to huge changes in the long run.

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 Journaling Help Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Did you know that keeping a journal is a great tool for relieving anxiety and stress?  According to Verywellmind.com, “Journaling can relieve stress by helping you work through your anxious feelings.”

By journaling, you can minimize thoughts that may have you anxious.  Writing down what is causing you to stress may help you shift feelings of fear and hopelessness to empowerment and solution orientated thoughts.

Some tips on how to get started are:

  • Start journaling for five to 15 minutes – Too much time shouldn’t be spent on your journaling. Write about what is concerning you most.
  • If an event is currently causing difficulty write it down in detail. If it is not a current issue, but something that has been plaguing you, focus on writing that you worry about the “what could possibly happen” factor.
  • Write how these feelings affect you in your daily life
  • Once your thoughts are arranged, you can write about what positive measures you can implement to help relive how you are feeling (i.e. meditation, exercise, support groups)

The hardest part about journaling is getting started.  Many people think that they don’t have the time to journal, but if you have the time to fret, you have the time to put pencil to paper and work on feeling better!

For more tips on how to benefit from journaling visit – www.verywellmind.com

 

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.

Breast Feeding After Augmentation

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), breast augmentation has become the #1 cosmetic procedure for the last decade. Since the best age for breast augmentation is anywhere from 18 to 50 years old, a woman’s desire to look younger may overlap with the tick of her biological clock.

One of the most popular questions women ask before having surgery is, “Will I be able to breastfeed?”

The answer is, yes. Breastfeeding after breast augmentation is absolutely possible.

Although the prior condition of the breasts, position of the implant and incision could have a direct bearing on milk production, it is very likely that you will have a positive experience when nursing your child.

If you have any questions regarding breastfeeding your baby, you can call Jamaica Hospital’s Lactation Consultant at 718-670-4200 for answers to FAQ’s.

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.

DANGERS OF INFANT WALKERS

The American Association of Pediatrics’ (AAP), has recommended a ban on infant walkers as a result of a recent study that revealed over  230,000- children less than 15 months old were treated for infant walker related injuries in U.S. emergency departments from 1990 to 2014. The majority of injuries were to the head or neck noting that the injuries were sustained by falling down stairs in their infant walker.

HealthyChildren.org states that most walker injuries happen while an adult is watching.  Even the most attentive parent or caregiver cannot respond quickly enough to prevent a child from falling since a child in a walker can move more than 3 feet in 1 second.  That is why walkers are never safe to use, even with an adult close by.

The AAP recommends that instead of infant walkers, parents choose:

  • Stationary activity centers – They resemble walkers without wheels.  They often  have seats that rotate, tip and bounce.
  • Play yards or playpens – These can be used as safety zones for children as they learn to sit, crawl or walk.
  • High chairs – As your child grows, they can enjoy sitting in a high chair to play with toys on the tray.

Before 1997, there weren’t any standards for baby walkers in place.  These standards caused manufacturers to make the base of a walker wider so as to not fit through most door ways and having brakes that stop them at the edge of a step.  Although necessary, these improvements cannot and have not prevented all injuries from walkers.

Research has shown that walkers do not provide any advantage to accelerating a child’s development.  In fact, they may hinder development because they do not teach infants to walk.  A better practice is to allow your baby the freedom in a safe environment that allows them the opportunity for pulling themselves up, creeping and crawling.

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.

EATING FOR ENERGY

If you conducted a survey, most people will tell you that between the hours of 3:00PM and 4:00PM each day, a feeling of fatigue may set in which makes them feel less productive.

This is typically the time of day when they may reach for a less healthy choice of food or beverage to “perk-up.”

Many of their snack options are laden with sugar and fat and have no nutritional value.  There are several healthy foods available that give us both a boost and essential nutrients.

Some healthy foods that have been proven to help raise energy levels are:

Bananas – Bananas contain carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B6, all proven to boost energy levels in your body.

  • Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes contain fiber and complex carbs, as well as manganese, which can help break down nutrients in order to produce energy.
  • Brown Rice – Brown Rice is less processed than white rice so it retains more fiber, vitamins and minerals. It also has a low glycemic index and could help regulate blood sugar levels to help maintain steady energy levels all day long.
  • Coffee – Coffee is rich in caffeine. Caffeine quickly passes from your bloodstream to your brain.  The result is the production of epinephrine.  Epinephrine is a hormone that stimulates the body and brain allowing you to keep more focused.
  • Eggs – Eggs are rich in protein and leucine. These are both known to stimulate energy.
  • Water – Not drinking enough water could cause dehydration which can cause your body functions to slow down and make you feel sluggish. It is a good habit to drink water throughout your day, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate has a high content of cocoa. Cocoa has antioxidants that have proven health benefits, like increasing your blood flow.  An increased blood flow helps deliver oxygen to the brain and muscles, improving their functions.   Additionally, dark chocolate contains compounds such as caffeine, a known ingredient to enhance mental energy and mood.

If you’d like to speak with a Jamaica Hospital Medical Center licensed nutritionist, call 718-206-7001 to schedule an appointment.

For these and other healthy food and beverages that can give your day a boost, visit healthline.com.

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.

SUGAR FREE LEMON POUND CAKE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being the wife of a diabetic, I see how difficult it is for my husband to pass up so many delicious, sugary desserts.

Below is a recipe that I have made myself and recommend highly.  Although I am not the creator of the recipe, I thought it delicious enough to share.

-Joann Ariola, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, MediSys Health Network

INGREDIENTS:

1 (18.25 Ounce) Package Sugar-free Yellow Cake Mix
1 (3.4 Ounce) Sugar-free Lemon Pudding Mix
1¾ cups Water
3 Egg Whites
¾ cups Reduced-fat Milk
½ tsp Lemon Extract
1 (1 Ounce) Package Sugar-free Vanilla Pudding Mix
1 (ounce) Sugar-free Cool Whip
Cooking Spray

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and coat a 10×15-inch pan with cooking spray.

Combine yellow cake mix and lemon pudding mix in a large mixing bowl. Stir in water and egg whites. Beat mixture on low speed for 1 minute. Beat for an additional 4 minutes on high speed.

Place batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile mix milk, lemon extract, and vanilla pudding mix in a large mixing bowl. Add in cool whip and mix well. Spread mixture over the cake once it has cooled.

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 Back Pack Safety Month

September is National School Backpack Safety Month and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is sharing information on how you can help your child avoid the pain and injury that is associated with carrying heavy backpacks.  These simple tips can help protect your child from having chronic back pain throughout their lives.

Backpacks are essential back-to- school items for kids.  They come in different colors, sizes and shapes and most importantly they help children to carry their belongings.  Backpacks are preferred by many in comparison to shoulder bags because when worn correctly, they evenly distribute weight across the body.  However, if worn incorrectly they can cause back pain or injuries and eventually lead to poor posture.

To prevent problems associated with improper backpack use, parents should first purchase a backpack that has the following features:

  • Lightweight
  • Wide and padded straps
  • Multiple compartments
  • Padded back
  • Waist belt
  • Correct size (A backpack should never be wider or longer than your child’s torso).

Practicing these safety tips will further reduce the chance of back pain or injuries caused by backpacks:

  • When packing, heavier items should be placed to the back and center of the backpack. Lighter items should be in front. Sharp objects such as scissors or pencils should be kept away from your child’s back.  Utilizing different compartments can help in distributing weight.
  • Do not over pack. Doctors recommend that children should not carry backpacks that weigh more than 10-15% of their body weight.
  • Ensure that children use both straps. Using a single strap can cause muscle strain.
  • Adjust the straps so that the backpack fits closely to your child’s back and sits two inches above the waist. This ensures comfort and proper weight distribution.
  • Encourage children to use their lockers or desks throughout the day to drop off heavy books.

The Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America recommends that parents should always look for warning signs that indicate backpacks may be too heavy. If your child struggles to put on and take off the backpack, they are complaining of numbness or tingling or if there are red strap marks on their shoulders -It may be time for you to lighten their load.

 

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 Suicide Prevention Week

Suicide affects millions; over 800,000 people take their lives each year, and the number of people who attempt suicide is twenty five times that amount. In addition to the lives lost, suicide also affects the many friends and family members devastated by the loss of their loved one.

Suicide is largely preventable though. Through education and awareness, we can get those people who are contemplating suicide the help they need.

One of the best tools in preventing suicide is to know the risk factors. Over 90% of people who attempt suicide live with depression or another mental disorder. Alcohol or substance abuse is often a contributing factor. Adverse factions to traumatic events or stress can also lead to someone wanting to take their own life.Other risk factors for suicide include:

• Family history of mental disorder or substance abuse
• Family history of suicide
• Family violence
• Physical or sexual abuse
• Keeping firearms in the home
• Chronic physical illness, including chronic pain
• Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others

Someone who is considering suicide usually displays certain behaviors. Loved ones should look for the following warning signs:

Always talking or thinking about death
Trouble sleeping and eating — that gets worse over time
Displaying reckless behavior that could result in death, such as driving fast or running red lights
Losing interest in things one used to care about
Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
Talking about suicide or killing one’s self
Visiting or calling people to say goodbye

If someone you know appears to be contemplating suicide, take the issue seriously. Let the person know that you care and understand and are listening and attempt to get them immediate help from a health care professional.

If your loved one appears to be in imminent danger of committing suicide, do not leave him or her alone. Remove any weapons or drugs he or she could use. Accompany him or her to the nearest emergency room or call 911.

The week of Sept. 10th has been designated World Suicide Prevention Week. Many organizations from around the world have joined this cause. Jamaica Hospital’s supports their efforts and the hospital’s Department of Psychiatry offers many inpatient and outpatient services to help those in need.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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