Burns

Burns are one of the most common injuries to occur in the home.  An estimated 250,000 children under the age of 17 are treated annually in hospitals and ERs for burn injuries.

There are three primary types of burns:

  • First-degree burns- damage is done only to the outer layer of the skin. These burns  can result in minor swelling, blisters or redness
  • Second-degree burns- damage is done to the outer layer and the layer underneath the skin. Skin may develop blisters or begin to thicken
  • Third-degree burns- damage is done to deeper tissue. Skin might appear charred, white or leathery in appearance

When treating minor burns that do not require emergency care such as first-degree burns, doctors recommend:

  • Holding the burned area under cool (not cold) running water or applying a cool compress. Do not apply ice as this can cause further damage
  • Taking over-the-counter-pain relievers
  • Applying an anesthetic lotion that contains aloe vera  to the affected area
  • Applying an antibiotic ointment
  • Bandaging the burn , with a sterile, non- adhesive, gauze bandage (not cotton balls as small fibers can adhere to the burn)

You should seek medical attention if:

  • There are signs of an infection
  • The burn blister is larger than three inches in diameter
  • Pain endures for several hours
  • The burn appears deep
  • The burn affects a widespread area such as the face, feet, hands, groin or buttocks

Burns in the home can be prevented when proper safety measures are practiced.  The National Fire Protection Association offers helpful tips to help keep you and your family safe. Please visit their website https://www.nfpa.org for more information.

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.

Seatbelts Save Lives

One of the best ways to prevent an injury while riding in an automobile is to use a seatbelt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), using a seat belt properly can reduce the risk of crash injuries by 50 percent. Seatbelts are estimated to save almost 13,000 lives in the United States each year.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than half of the people killed in car crashes were not restrained at the time of the crash.

When a motor vehicle comes to a sudden stop, the occupants of that vehicle come to a stop as well, but not always simultaneously.  When the occupants are not wearing their seatbelts and the vehicle comes to a sudden stop, they can be thrown forward. This often results in either people hitting the windshield of the vehicle or being thrown from the car if the impact is forceful enough.

How does a seatbelt work? A seatbelt when worn properly will disperse the motor vehicle’s stopping force across a person’s chest and pelvis. Seatbelts are usually made from material that has a little elasticity, so the stopping action isn’t as severe. The main objective of the seat belt is to prevent a person from making sharp impact with the windshield, the dashboard, or other rigid areas in the vehicle. By dispersing the force across the body, this will help to reduce the amount of trauma that is inflicted.

Seatbelts are only helpful when they are worn. Even though it is mandatory to wear a seatbelt in most states, there are still people who don’t always wear one. Anyone who has ever been involved in a motor vehicle accident and who was wearing a seat belt at the time will tell you that it probably saved their life. Seat belts that went across the lap started appearing in cars in the early 1960’s and were supplemented by shoulder harnesses in the late 1960’s. At first people found them to be very uncomfortable to wear but as time passed, car manufacturers were able to design the modern three point belt that is easier to use and more comfortable to wear.

Everyone should buckle up, seatbelts save lives.

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.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas that is produced when substances containing carbon are burned. It has been referred to as the “silent killer.”
Common sources of carbon monoxide include heaters, car exhaust, fireplaces, cigarette smoke, and portable generators. When the fumes from these devices aren’t properly vented, carbon monoxide can reach dangerous levels and cause serious health issues even death.
The effects of carbon monoxide poisoning become noticeable when its level in the blood becomes too high.  Diagnosing elevated levels of carbon monoxide in the body is usually done through a blood test.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
• Headaches
• Nausea
• Feeling tired
• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain
• Memory problems
• Agitation
• Coughing
The best way to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning is to use caution and preventative measures when in a space where things are burning. It is important to have a functioning carbon monoxide detector in the on each level of the home.   Chimneys in homes must be kept clear of debris, fireplaces should be inspected at least once a year and keep ducts open and clean that come from water heaters, stoves, and clothes dryers. In addition, do not use gas powered machines in closed spaces,
Anyone who is suspected of being exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide should be taken to an emergency room immediately. Treatment requires being given oxygen, sometimes in high quantities, to flush out the carbon monoxide. If not treated quickly the results are often fatal. If you suspect that there is a carbon monoxide, or any other gas problem in your home, best to evacuate the premises and call 911.

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.

Thanksgiving Holiday Safety Driving Tips

Thanksgiving Safe Driving Tips The Thanksgiving Day holiday period (November 23 to November 27) is one of the busiest times of the year for travel. According to a recent study from AAA (American Automobile Association) a projected 48.7 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from home to be with the ones they love.  The report indicated driving is the most popular means of travel and more than 89% of travelers will be on the road.

With more vehicles on the road during the holiday travel period, the odds of getting into an accident are greater. However, by following these safe driving tips from the American Red Cross you can keep your loved ones safe and enjoy your trip:

  • Buckle up, slow down, don’t drive impaired.
  • Be well rested and alert.
  • Follow the rules of the road.
  • Use caution in work zones.
  • Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
  • Observe speed limits – driving too fast or too slow can increase your chance of being in a collision.
  • Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers. If you’re too tired to drive, stop and get some rest.
  • Don’t follow another vehicle too closely.
  • Clean your headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows to help you see, especially at night.
  • Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or if you are using your windshield wipers due to inclement weather.
  • Don’t overdrive your headlights.
  • If you have car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible.

If winter weather threatens and you become stuck in the snow, these tips are for you:

  • Stay with the car. Do not try to walk to safety.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.
  • Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes won’t back up in the car.
  • Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running to help rescuers see the vehicle.
  • Keep one window away from the blowing wind slightly open to let in air.
  • Carry an emergency preparedness kit in the trunk.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing

 

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.

Prom Night – Trauma Prevention

Prom night is one of the most memorable evenings in a young adult’s life. A young woman or a young man will spend countless hours preparing for it; considering everything from who will I go with to what will I wear and where will we go will be a major focus leading up to the big night. All of this can be very exciting, but it can also lead to great stress and sometimes, some not so great decisions.
There are a few things everyone can do to make sure that the evening goes smoothly:
• Know the group of people you will be going with.
• Don’t drink anything from a previously opened container or from a glass that was left unattended
• Tell family members or a trusted adult who you are going to be with
• Make sure to check in during the evening with your friends
• Always wear a seatbelt when riding in a motor vehicle
• Don’t drink and drive – alcohol related accidents and fatalities spike during prom season.
Parents should be aware of their children’s plans for the night. They should have a discussion with their child about the dangers of alcohol, especially when consumed in excess, and of the hazards of taking drugs. Encourage your child to keep in contact during the night and to know that you will be available to pick them up in case of trouble. Groups of people often get together and hire a limousine to get the prom goers from place to place. This eliminates the risk of having a young driver getting behind the wheel that night.
The night of your prom will be something you remember for the rest of your life. Make smart decisions and it will be remembered for the right reasons.

Prom limousine and banner

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.

History of Sutures

Surgical stitches

Sutures (also known as stitches) have been around for thousands of years and  are used to hold wounds together until the healing process is complete. They were first described as far back 3000 BC in ancient Egyptian literature. For centuries they were made from plant materials like hemp, or cotton or animal material such as tendons, silk, and arteries. The material of choice for many centuries was catgut, a fine thread woven from sheep intestines.
In the 1800’s it became apparent that it was a good idea to sterilize the catgut before using it to suture wounds, In the 1860’s the physician Joseph Lister devised a technique for sterilizing catgut and it was perfected finally in 1906. Eventually, sterilization took place by exposing the suture material to radiation which was more effective than previous techniques.  Each development helped to reduce the risk of infection.
Early in the 20th century synthetic materials were developed that could be used for suturing. These synthetic materials, still used today, were categorized as “absorbable” or ‘non-absorbable’ depending on their ability to be absorbed during the wound healing process.
Absorbable sutures usually dissolve anywhere from 10 days to eight weeks and are made from:
• Silk
• Catgut
• Polyglycolic acid
• Polylactic acid
• Monocryl
Non – absorbable sutures  don’t dissolve naturally and are usually removed after the wound has closed. They are made from:
• Nylon
• Polyester
• Stainless steel
• PVDF
• Polypropelene
Additional new technology has added laser technology and surgical glue to the tools available to physicians for wound healing.  These new materials help the process go quicker and also make the scars less visible. However, even with all the new modern techniques for suturing a wound, many of the basic concepts used today were first developed thousands of years ago.

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.

Automobile Safety Features

Automobile accidents happen all too frequently and can  have devastating effects on the passengers who are involved. Fortunately though, advances in safety features help to lessen the number of fatalities and the severity of these accidents.  With every year that passes, automobile manufacturers add safety features to their vehicles with the hopes that they will help lower the number of injuries and fatalities.
Through government regulation and the formation of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 1970, safety became a priority for all cars being sold in the United States. Manufacturers were required to meet these standards in order to be in compliance.
Some of the safety features that became mandatory include:
• 1964 Front seat belts became required equipment
• 1966 Padded dashboard, front and rear seat belts and back up lights
• 1968 Collapsible seat belts, side marker lights, front shoulder belts
• 1969 Front head restraints
• 1986 Third brake light in rear of car
• 1998 Front passenger airbags
Some additional  features that became standard equipment over the years were windshield wipers, rear window defrosters, bumpers that can withstand front and rear impact, fuel tanks that are able to withstand impact without exploding, front and rear brakes, and shatterproof windshield glass.
We continue to see more safety features being added. They include back up cameras, blind spot detectors and sensors to alert drivers of drifting into another lane.
Each state also has regulations that require motor vehicle to be inspected every year for safety compliance. Tires, brakes, emissions, lights and mechanical equipment is checked to determine if the vehicle is road worthy. If the vehicle does not pass the inspection the owner is advised of the repairs that need to be made before they can renew their registration.  The purpose of this is to ensure that each motor vehicle on the road is safe to be operated.ThinkstockPhotos-160479991

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.

YIKES! Did I Really Do That?

droppedchild

 

Whether you’ve accidently tripped over a child underfoot or walked into a doorway with your infant’s head in the lead, you’ve caused a child an accidental injury.

When you accidentally hurt your child, you may feel intense shame, even panic and a sense of self-loathing or blame.  Even when your head clears, you may feel like you are a terrible parent.

These feelings are confusing.  You may ask yourself, “How could I have done that?”  The truth is, children and accidents are synonymous; even the preventable ones.

It is hard to see your child in pain and even harder to know that it is your fault. Your mind will replay the event in your head many times while you are slowly accepting what happened.

In most cases, the child is not badly hurt and you can find comfort in realizing that while accidents happen, most of them are not serious and your child is not quite as fragile as you think.

As you tell the story of what happened to your child, you will realize that most people understand and, in fact, it has happened to the best of parents.  At this point, you will find it easier to forgive yourself.  Still, you and your child suffered a trauma and it will take time for both of you to heal.

Some reactions to trauma are:

  • Feeling numb or disconnected
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Sadness or depression

During this time, you should be kind to yourself and keep in mind that you will not always feel this way. After the guilt lessens, you should experience acceptance.

If you are having difficulty coping and the reactions have become prolonged symptoms, you may be experiencing a response to trauma called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  If the negative feelings persist, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help from a physician, counselor, clergy member, friend and family member.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Mental Health Center is centrally located and has convenient hours.  To make an appointment with a physician or licensed professional, 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.

Tips for Safe Driving in the Snow and Ice

Severe weather and snow can prove treacherous for drivers during the winter months. Every year there is an average of 500,000 motor vehicles accidents due to snowy and icy weather. Over 150,000 injuries and nearly 2,000 fatalities are reported annually from driving in these conditions. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Trauma Division wants all motorists to have a basic understanding of how to practice proper safety while driving in wintry conditions.

503373275 (1)The best tip to avoid getting into an accident during inclement weather is to avoid driving and stay home. To elude getting caught in a storm, be sure to watch weather reports for both your location as well as your destination in an effort to delay or reschedule unnecessary long trips. If however you must venture out, take the appropriate precautions and make sure you are properly prepared.

Many safety precautions can be made before you even start your car. These tips include:

• Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
• Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a licensed mechanic.
• Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Also make sure your exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow or ice
• Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
• Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
• Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
• Pack the necessary safety items such as cellular telephone, extra blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle in case you get stuck for an extended period of time
Once you are in your vehicle and on the road, it is important to be extra cautious and follow these basic instructions for driving in a winter storm:
• Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight.
• Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, and turning all take longer on wet surfaces than on dry pavement.
• Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface.
• Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
• Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of effort it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling.
• When going uphill, avoid applying your brakes or attempting to accelerate. Attempting to accelerate after braking places extra pressure on your tires and will cause your wheels to spin in place.

Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Division treats an increased amount of motorists during winter storms. It is our goal to have you avoid unnecessary accidents by practicing safe driving this winter.

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.

Safety Tips for Hoverboards

Boy Doing Stunts on a SkateboardHoverboards are the hot new toy, but how safe are they? These self-balancing scooters are on the top of every kid’s (and some adult’s) list to Santa this year, but as these unregulated travel devices rise in popularity, so too have trips to the Emergency Department.

Hospital ERs across the country are reporting a series of injuries, from scrapes and contusions, to fractures and sprains, to even head injuries resulting from hoverboard accidents. These toys can reach maximum speeds of 15 miles an hour and falls from them can cause significant harm. All you have to do is go to You Tube, Twitter, or Instagram and type in #HoverBoardFalls to see how dangerous hover-boards can be if the rider (or parent, if the rider is a child) does not take proper precautions.

Hoverboard price and quality vary greatly so read online reviews from previous buyers before purchasing one. Also, because they are so new to the market, there are no national safety standards for hoverboards. Until regulations are in place, riders should follow the same safety guidelines they would for riding a bicycle, including wearing a helmet, elbow and knee pads, wrist guards and/or gloves.

Other tips to follow before getting on a hoverboard include carefully reading the instruction manual to learn how to properly operate it. Also make sure to adhere to all safety rules, including age and weight recommendations.

It is a good idea to have a “spotter” with you when you first attempt to ride your hover-board in case you fall. Lastly, riders should not use their hoverboards in the street or on public walkways to avoid seriously injuring themselves or others.

Like everything else, hoverboards can be a lot of fun if they are used responsibly. Happy and safe riding!

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.