Travel and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Deep Vein ThrombosisMemorial Day weekend includes some of the busiest days for travel. Millions will travel great distances by car, rail or plane to their desired vacation destinations. Despite the mode of transportation, people often spend an extensive amount of time sitting while in transit.  This prolonged period of inactivity can lead to the formation of blood clots or complications such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Deep vein thrombosis, dubbed “Economy Class Syndrome” or “Traveler’s Thrombosis,” occurs when a blood clot forms in the veins of the leg, obstructing the flow of blood to the heart. Clots are more likely to develop when legs are hanging down, causing blood to flow slowly and collect. Anyone flying or driving for four hours or more without mobilization are at risk for developing them.

Symptoms of DVT can be mild and may include swelling of the calf or long-term discomfort. However, symptoms can also be fatal as deep vein thrombosis can develop into a more severe, sometimes fatal condition known as pulmonary embolism.

Pulmonary embolisms form when blood clots travel from the veins in the legs and eventually becomes lodged in the blood vessels going to the lungs.  Symptoms include chest pains, difficulty breathing, feeling lightheaded or fainting, coughing up blood, anxiety or irregular heartbeat. If these symptoms present themselves, medical attention should be sought immediately.

Some people are more prone to developing deep vein thrombosis- related conditions than others.  Those with an increased risk include people who are obese, over the age of 40, have varicose veins, a family history of blood clots, are using contraceptives such as birth control containing estrogen, have had recent surgery, hormone replacement therapy, recent severe illnesses such as pneumonia, recent cancer treatment and have limited mobility due to a leg cast.

There are many steps one can take to reduce risks.   While traveling during a long journey, it is recommended to wear comfortable and loose clothing, take breaks and walk around whenever you can, drink water, purchase flight socks, do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol or take sleeping pills. It also highly advised to take a walk after a long trip to get your circulation going.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Pancreatitis

The pancreas is a large gland located in the upper abdomen, behind our stomachs.  Our pancreas produces enzymes that aid with digestion as well as the release of hormones that regulate blood sugar. If these enzymes are activated while they are still in the pancreas (before they are released into the small intestine) they can lead to inflammation. This inflammation is known as pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis can be acute (lasting for a short time) or chronic (long-lasting). Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation that can result in symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Rapid pulse
  • Vomiting
  • Upper abdominal pain that radiates into the back
  • Tenderness when touching the abdomen
  • Abdominal pain that worsens after eating

Chronic pancreatitis is inflammation that does not improve or heal over time. It can lead to permanent damage and impair an individual’s ability to digest food and make pancreatic hormones.   This damage can lead to symptoms that include:

  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Oily or fatty stools
  • Pale or clay-colored stools
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

There are several factors and conditions believed to increase the risk of pancreatitis.  Risk factors include:

  • Family history of pancreatitis
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Gallstones
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Lupus
  • Smoking
  • Injury to the abdomen

Serious complications such as pancreatic cancer, diabetes or kidney failure can develop as a result of pancreatitis. Therefore, if you are experiencing symptoms associated with the disease it is recommended that you see your doctor right away.  Your doctor can order a series of tests and procedures to check for abnormalities of the pancreas. Treatment of pancreatitis varies with each individual and can include pancreatic enzyme supplements, treatment for alcohol dependence, smoking cessation, dietary changes, pain management or surgery.

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 Initiative Focuses on Vision Saving Service for Premature Babies

Retinopathy of prematurity Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a potentially blinding eye disorder that affects premature babies. It results in the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina (the layer of cells at the back of the eye that allows us to see).

According to the National Eye Institute, ROP “is one of the most common causes of visual loss in childhood and can lead to lifelong vision impairment and blindness.”  It is estimated that 15,000 children living in the United States are diagnosed with ROP each year. The disorder can occur in babies that are born before 31 weeks of gestation and weigh 2 ¾ pounds or less.

Although some premature infants are at risk for developing ROP, advancements in medicine such as timely laser therapy, intraocular medications, and initiatives such as Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s ROP Continuity of Care program reduces the chances for the disease to cause further complications.  Serious eye problems that can develop as a result of ROP include detachment of the retina, glaucoma, strabismus and blindness.

Jamaica Hospital’s ROP Safety Net program aims to educate the community about the disorder, provide quality care to premature infants, and improve follow-up rates for patients who required ROP screening or treatment during their stay in the NICU. “ROP is an issue that affects our community but many people are unaware of the disorder, we want to change that,” explained the hospital’s ROP Coordinator Maria Estevez.

The hospital’s multi-leveled approach to care has made its ROP Continuity of Care program a success.  At birth, premature babies who are at risk for ROP are screened for the disease by way of a thorough ophthalmological evaluation. If it is found that a baby has active ROP, a specially trained ophthalmologist will determine the best course of action to treat the patient.  Treatment can include a series of examinations, as well as laser therapy or intravitreal injections.   Education and support are offered from birth until the child matures to eighteen years of age. “Our team monitors the health of each patient diagnosed by constantly following up and coordinating their appointments. We send reminders and offer additional tools to help parents stay on top of their child’s healthcare and eye care,” said Estevez.

Since implementing the ROP Safety Net program in 2016, Jamaica Hospital has experienced a significant incline in follow up rates.  Prior to implementation, follow up rates were 58.2%; the hospital currently boasts a rate of 92.2%. “We are pleased with these numbers.  They are a reflection of our efforts to educate parents and encourage them to actively follow up with the necessary care for their children,” shared Dr.  Julia Shulman, Chairperson of Ophthalmology at Jamaica Hospital, and Director of the ROP Service.

ROP is an avoidable cause for blindness. Jamaica Hospital hopes that by initiating programs such as the ROP Continuity of Care, it can decrease the incidence of visual loss or blindness associated with the disorder. The hospital plans to link its community with a system of ROP care where support and comprehensive services are offered on a long-term basis.

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.

Learn The Facts About Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a hereditary disease that affects the cells in your body that make mucus.  CF occurs when there is a mutation of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. The mutation disables cells from moving chloride (a component of salt) to their surfaces.  Without the movement of chloride, cells cannot hydrate properly.  This leads to the production of mucus that is thicker and stickier than normal.

CF can result in damage to the digestive system, lungs, and other organs that utilize mucus to function.  The buildup of mucus can obstruct the ducts, tubes or passageways of these organs.

Those living with cystic fibrosis often have abnormally high levels of salt in their sweat.  Other complications or symptoms that may develop as a result of the disease include:

  • Frequent lung infections, including recurrent  pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Persistent cough with thick mucus
  • Frequent sinus infections
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nasal polyps
  • Fatigue
  • Delayed growth or puberty
  • Poor weight gain
  • Bowel movements of greasy bulky stools
  • Severe constipation
  • Male infertility

All babies born in the United States are screened for cystic fibrosis by testing small blood samples. In other cases, if someone is suspected to have CF, their doctor can order a sweat test to determine if chloride levels are normal.

Currently, there is no cure for CF. However; treatment is focused on alleviating symptoms and reducing complications. Treatment may include medications, physical therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation or surgery.

To learn more about cystic fibrosis or to make an appointment with a pulmonologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, 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.

Rotator Cuff Injury

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that keep your arm in the shoulder socket.  Damage or injury caused to the rotator cuff can result in limited mobility or permanent loss of motion of the shoulder joint.

Rotator cuff injuries are very common; in fact, it is estimated that close to 2 million people living in the United States seek treatment for rotator cuff problems every year.

Injuries occur most often in people who repeatedly perform overhead motions in their daily activities.  However, an injury can also be sustained due to an accident or the degeneration of tendons. These factors put some at risk of injury more than others.  Those who have an increased risk of injury include:

  • Individuals who play certain sports that involve the use of repetitive arm motions such as baseball or tennis
  • Individuals employed in occupations that require the use of constant overhead motion such as a house painting
  • Individuals over the age of 40

Injury to the rotator cuff can range from microscopic tears to large irreparable tears.  According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, symptoms can vary depending on the severity of these tears and may include:

  • Pain at rest and at night, particularly if lying on the affected shoulder
  • Pain when lifting and lowering your arm or with specific movements
  • Weakness when lifting or rotating your arm
  • Crepitus or crackling sensation when moving your shoulder in certain positions

If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment to see a doctor as soon as possible.  Prolonging a doctor’s visit can result in more damage.

Your doctor may conduct a physical examination and (or) imaging tests such as x-rays or an MRI to determine if you have received an injury. Treatment for a rotator cuff injury may include rest, physical therapy or surgery.

To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical, please call 718-206-6923

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.

Poison Prevention Week- Child Safety Tips

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.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Mental Health Clinic Queens Social anxiety disorder or social phobia is a common type of anxiety disorder that affects approximately 15 million adults living in the United States.  According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, it is characterized by “an intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation.”

There is no exact known cause for social anxiety disorder; although, it is believed that genetics play a significant role.  Social phobia is also linked to having an overactive amygdala; the part of the brain that controls our response to fear.  Others factors believed to contribute to the disorder are a history of abuse or bullying.

The onset of social anxiety disorder typically begins in the early to mid –teens; however, it can also occur in young children and adults.

Those with social anxiety disorder often experience physical symptoms associated with fear or anxiety in social situations. These symptoms may include rapid heart rate, dizziness, muscle tension, sweating or nausea.

Symptoms of social anxiety disorder can profoundly affect an individual’s ability to live a normal life.  Those affected often avoid or have trouble with normal, day-to-day social situations such as making eye contact, entering rooms where there are people, using public restrooms, eating in front of people or going to work or school.

These behaviors are often indicative of a more serious problem that could be developing as a result of social anxiety disorder. If left unaddressed, social phobia can lead to low self-esteem, negative thoughts, depression, substance abuse or suicide.

The best approach to treating social anxiety disorder is to receive assistance from a mental health professional.  They will be able to assess your health to determine whether you have a social anxiety disorder or other mental health conditions.  As part of your treatment, a mental health professional may recommend psychotherapy or medications.  They may also suggest implementing lifestyle changes such as exercising, learning stress reduction skills or participating in support groups.

To make an appointment or to speak with a 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.

Hidden Illnesses

Ten percent of people living in the United States have a medical condition that can be characterized as an invisible or hidden disability.

Hidden disabilities may not be visible on the outside or immediately apparent; however, their symptoms can be physically and mentally limiting (impairing individuals from leading a normal life). These limitations are often the result of chronic hidden illnesses such as:

  • Lupus- A chronic autoimmune disease that can cause the body’s immune system to attack healthy tissue. Symptoms include damage and swelling of the skin, joints, kidneys, heart and lungs.
  • Cystic fibrosis – A progressive and chronic genetic order that causes persistent lung infections. Symptoms include salty-tasting skin, frequent lung infections, shortness of breath, persistent coughing, greasy or bulky stool.
  • Chronic fatigue- A debilitating disorder characterized by extreme fatigue or tiredness that does not go away with rest. Symptoms include chronic insomnia, frequent headaches, loss of concentration or memory, muscle pain or swollen lymph nodes.
  • Lyme disease – An inflammatory disease caused by bacteria that are transmitted by the bite of an infected black-legged tick. Symptoms include rashes, severe headaches, inflammation of the brain or spinal cord.
  • Fibromyalgia – A chronic pain disorder characterized by widespread pain in the muscles and bones.  Symptoms include severe pain, fatigue or difficulty concentrating.

Living with a hidden disability or hidden illness can be difficult because those diagnosed are often met with skepticism due to a lack of knowledge.  Another challenge that a person living with this type of illness or disability may encounter is social isolation.

There are a few things that can be done to overcome these challenges such as educating loved ones and others about your disability, inviting loved ones to your medical appointments or joining a support group.

 

 

 

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.

Adenovirus Infections

Adenoviruses are a group of viruses that can infect the lining of the eyes, respiratory tract, intestines, urinary tract and nervous system.  Infections often result in common illnesses such as bronchitis, pink eye, diarrhea, sore throat, bladder infections or pneumonia.

Adenoviruses are highly contagious and can be spread when someone who is infected sneezes or coughs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adenoviruses can also spread through close personal contact (touching or shaking hands) or by “touching surfaces with the adenoviruses on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.”  There have been cases in which adenoviruses have spread through stool or through water (for example swimming pools) but occurrences are uncommon.

The places in which adenoviruses are commonly found are daycare centers, summer camps, schools or other areas where large groups of children gather.

Anyone is at risk for contracting adenoviruses, but young children and individuals with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to infection than others.  Symptoms of infection depend on the type of illness a person develops. They may include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Loose stools
  • Pain
  • Chills
  • Burning during urination

It is highly advised that medical attention is sought if symptoms persist for an extended period of time, and immediately received if they are accompanied by trouble breathing, signs of dehydration or swelling around the eyes.

There is no specific treatment for adenovirus infections; however, the risk of transmission can be reduced by taking preventative measures such as hand washing, avoiding contact with your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, staying home when sick, covering your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing and avoiding personal contact. The CDC also advises, that you “keep adequate levels of chlorine in swimming pools to prevent outbreaks of conjunctivitis caused by adenoviruses.”

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.