Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Team Offers Driving Safety Tips to Seniors

Everyone remembers the day they passed their road test and received their driver’s license. Getting a license opens up a world of options for drivers and provides them with a sense of independence that they didn’t have before.

If you received your license a long time ago, and are now a senior citizen driver, you may begin to notice certain limitations that could potentially impact your ability to operate a vehicle. While for some, driving at an advanced age may no longer be advised, most seniors can still enjoy the benefits of driving by taking a few extra precautions.

Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Division is offering the following tips to senior drivers to help them avoid injury to themselves, other drivers or pedestrians while on the road.

  • Have Your Vision and Hearing Checked Regularly – Be aware of any ocular conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration that might affect your vision. If you wear glasses or contacts, make sure you wear them while driving. Similarly, if you require a hearing aid, make sure you don’t drive without one as it is an important device to help you hear car horns and emergency sirens.
  • Be Aware of Other Health Factors – Pain or stiffness in the joints can limit mobility and your ability to check mirrors or turn your head. Chronic fatigue can be a problem, especially during long drives, and certain chronic conditions such as diabetes or seizure disorders can affect your safety. Side effects from medications can also impact driving and should be discussed with your doctor or pharmacist before driving.
  • Know Your Limitations – As you age, it’s important to acknowledge that certain motor functions might not be as sharp as they once were and should be taken into consideration while on the road. It is advised that seniors should increase their following distance, use their brakes earlier, try to anticipate situations before they occur, and try to avoid highly trafficked areas when possible.
  • Avoid Dangerous Driving Conditions – Controlling your car in inclement weather, such as rain or snow is more difficult and therefore should be avoided. Driving at night can also pose increased risks because reaction times are often affected during this time of day.  Lastly, driving during rush hour presents additional opportunities for accidents to occur because other drivers tend to be more aggressive and inpatient. Under these conditions.

Getting older doesn’t mean that you can no longer drive. By following these tips, you can continue to drive without feeling as if you are a danger to yourself or others.

If however, you feel concerned about your ability to drive, it doesn’t mean you have to give up your independence. There are many car fare services and public transportation options that can still get you where you want to go.

 

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.

September is National Traumatic Brain Injury Month

September is recognized as National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month. The main purpose of this observance is to raise awareness about traumatic brain injuries and how to recognize, prevent, and treat it one if it occurs.

The most common type of head injury is called a concussion, which is known as a mild traumatic brain injury. These can happen to anyone, at any age that has experienced a blow to the head. Signs and symptoms of a concussion can include:

  • Headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea
  • Feeling tired
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Loss of consciousness

In most cases, people will recover from a concussion in a week to ten days, with adults usually recovering faster than children. While many times traumatic brain injuries can’t be prevented because they are due to an accident, there are a few things a person can do to protect themselves:

  • Anyone who participates in a sport that has physical contact should wear proper head gear
  • When riding in a car everyone should wear a seat belt
  • Helmets should always be worn when riding a bicycle
  • People who are prone to falling should walk with the assistance of a cane, a walker or have someone with them for assistance.

If you or someone you know experiences a head trauma, it is advised that they to be seen immediately by a physician or be taken to the nearest emergency room.

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 Offers Information to Parents About Sports-Related Concussions

This fall, millions of children and teens across America will be returning to school and many of them will be trying out and playing for their school’s various sports teams.

While the health benefits, exercise and comradery associated with youth sports is undeniable, parents must also educate themselves and their children about the potential dangers of sports-related concussions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a concussion is “a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. This fast movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging the brain cells.”

Largely associated with football, concussions are actually prevalent in many major sports including soccer, gymnastics, hockey and lacrosse and they can occur while participating in any physical activity.

To minimize the chances of sustaining a concussion, it is important for coaches and parents to create a culture of safety in youth athletics. This includes teaching proper safety techniques on the field of play and making sure that children follow those rules.  Another key to reduce the chances of a child or teen suffering complications from a concussion is to educate them on their signs and symptoms. If children are aware of not only the symptoms, but the dangers of not reporting a concussion, they are more likely to inform a coach or parent when they experience one.

Symptoms of a concussion can include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision.
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Confusion, or concentration or memory problems
  • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down.”

It is important to understand that not all concussions are created equal. Those who suffer one many experience some, but not all symptoms and the severity of those symptoms may vary from person to person.

If you believe that your child has suffered a concussion, you should remove them from play immediately and have them seen by their healthcare provider who can assess the severity of his or her injury via an examination and conduct additional tests if necessary. Typically, treatment for a concussion involves rest and restricting the patient from activity.

If your child does not have a healthcare provider, or they are unavailable when they sustain a concussion, you should take your child to a nearby hospital emergency department, such as the one at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

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 on How to Avoid Being a Distracted Pedestrian

There has been a great deal of attention paid to the dangers associated with distracted driving.  We have seen the public service announcements warning drivers not to text or talk on their phones while behind the wheel, but what about the dangers of being a distracted pedestrian?

There has been a recent and dramatic increase in the number of pedestrians struck by automobiles and killed in recent years. While some of this can be attributed to distracted drivers, those not paying attention to their surroundings while crossing the street has also been reported to play a role in many incidents. One study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University concluded that the number of pedestrians (or “petextrians” as they are commonly referred to) injured while on their cellphones has doubled over the last decade.

Studies suggest that distracted walkers take longer to cross the street and are more likely to ignore traffic lights or neglect to look both ways while crossing. These problems are particularly prevalent among teens, but it’s important to note that all age groups are vulnerable to these dangers.

Safety experts agree that the most important advice for pedestrians is to never use a cell phone or other electronic device while walking. Here are some other tips to stay safe and avoid injury while crossing the streets:

  • Look left, right and left again before crossing the street; looking left a second time is necessary because a car can cover a lot of distance in a short amount of time
  • Make eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you
  • Be aware of drivers even when you’re in a crosswalk; vehicles have blind spots
  • Don’t wear headphones while walking
  • If your view is blocked, move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic
  • Never rely on a car to stop
  • Only cross at designated crosswalks
  • Wear bright and/or reflective clothing
  • Walk in groups

Walking is one of the best things we can do to stay healthy, but only if we put safety first. Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Division wants to warn our community that the risk for injury and death escalates when a pedestrian is not focused on his or her environment and our staff wants to spread the word on how pedestrians can avoid senseless injuries and death.

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.

Pool Safety

The weather is warming up and people will be looking for ways to keep cool. One way that has always been popular during the warm summer months is swimming in a pool. Every year there are countless accidents and also fatalities at or near swimming pools. Many of which  could have been avoided had precautions been taken.
Safety Tips to follow:
• Never leave children unattended near a pool
• Only swim when there is a lifeguard present
• Every pool should have proper drain covers
• Pools should have alarms and proper fencing
• Keep the pool clean
• There should be no diving allowed in pools that are shallow
• Never swim alone
• There should be no horseplay in or near a pool
• Do not swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• Do not swim in a thunderstorm
• It is a good idea to give children swimming lessons before the start of the summer
• Children who don’t know how to swim should be given flotation devices to wear
There are many organizations around the country that offer swimming lessons for children and adults of all ages. If you don’t know how to swim, look into getting some lessons before heading out to the pool. You will have a good time and you will also be a lot safer this summer.

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.

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.

Avoid Serious Injury When Grilling – Practice These Safety Tips

Barbecue party

Warm weather brings people outdoors for all kinds of activities. One of the most popular is outdoor grilling. Whether it be the all – American hotdogs and hamburgers, chicken, steak, fish and vegetables, everything tastes better on a grill, but grilling can be dangerous if precautions aren’t taken.

Following these rules will make grilling safe:

 
• Keep the grill at least ten feet away from your house, garage, porch, and automobile
• Always keep the grill clean
• Remove any grease and fat build up
• Keep a hose fire extinguisher, or a bucket of water nearby
• Check for leaks if you are using a gas grill
• Make sure the area is well ventilated
• Keep away from decorations and other flammable objects
• Keep small children away from the grill
• Never leave the grill unattended
• Keep the lid open when starting the fire to avoid build-up of gas
• Do not grill indoors with an outdoor grill
• Do not overload the grill with food

Don’t let your summer grilling be memorable for the wrong reasons. Every year people end up with serious injuries because they weren’t careful. Remember that a grill uses a flame to cook and regardless of it being charcoal or gas that is fueling it, it can get out of control quickly. Take your time and do it the right way and you will have a wonderful meal every time.

 

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.