National Healthcare Decision Day

Today, Jamaica Hospital recognizes National Healthcare Decision Day.    On this day, our goal is to help members of our community understand the importance of planning end-of-life-care and providing advance directives.

Although planning end-of-life-care is difficult, it is necessary. Taking the time to prepare for this stage of life can help you and loved ones with making challenging decisions about your care that may arise in the future.

When planning your end-of-life care it is important to consider what your wishes are and how they should be carried out.

Advance directives are legal documents (which includes the creation of a living will and choosing a healthcare proxy) that allow you to spell out your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They give you a way to tell your wishes to family, friends, and health care professionals and to avoid confusion later on.

To receive further information about planning end-of-life care, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Palliative Care Division recommends utilizing comprehensive resources such as The Conversation Project.  The organization provides a starter kit, “a useful tool to help people have conversations with their family members or other loved ones about their wishes regarding end-of-life care.”  For more information, visit www.theconversationproject.org.

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.

April is National Donate Life Month

organ donor 2017April is National Donate Life Month, a month dedicated to celebrating the lives of people saved by organ donation and the donors who made a difference. In 2016, over 33,000 lives in the United States were saved thanks to the men and women who decided to give the gift of life.

During National Donate Life Month, organizations such as LiveOnNY carry out missions or campaigns to educate communities about the importance of organ donation.  These initiatives are very important because they address many concerns people may have about becoming a donor, such as:

  • Religion- Most major religions such as Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and others are in support of organ donation.
  • Age – If you have been given approval by your doctor to be a donor, you are never too old. The oldest person in the U.S. on record to be a donor was 93 years old.
  • Health conditions- It is important that you do not rule yourself out as a donor due to medical conditions. Each case is different.
  • Premature death- The primary goal of doctors is to save your life. Donation is only considered when all efforts to save a patient’s life have failed.

Jamaica Hospital is encouraging people to help play a role in saving or improving lives by registering as organ donors.   Research shows that 90 percent of New Yorkers support organ donation but only about 30 percent are registered.  By registering, you can make a difference and help save up to eight lives.For more information please visit, http://www.liveonny.org/  or www.organdonor.gov

 

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.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Each year thousands of lives are lost due to someone who is not fully concentrating on the road while operating a motor vehicle. A few of the things that people should avoid while driving include:

  • Texting
  • Eating
  • Adjusting a radio or GPS
  • Talking on the phone
  • Personal grooming

Dr. Geoffrey Doughlin, Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Jamaica Hospital, explains in this video why distracted driving is so dangerous.

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.

March is National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month, founded by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, actually started in 1973 as just a week-long event but because of the public’s growing interest in the topic, it was expanded in 1980 to a month long event. The objective of this observance is to promote healthy eating habits,  and encourage physical activity. The theme for 2018 is “Go Further With Food”. It’s message includes:
• Encouraging a healthy eating style with a variety of foods
• Home cooking with healthy ingredients
• Eating meals in healthy amounts
• Including physical activity into a daily routine
• Maintaining a health weight
If you feel that you need to acquire better eating habits and would like some professional assistance, please speak to your physician who will be able to refer you to a nutritionist. To schedule an appointment  with a physician at Jamaica Hospital please call 718-206-7001.

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

Chronic Kidney Disease

Approximately 30 million adults in the United States are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD).  This condition causes damages to kidneys and leads to a loss of function over time.  If your kidneys are unable to function properly, complications such as hypertension, nerve damage, weakened bones and anemia can develop. CKD also increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

While high blood pressure can result from chronic kidney disease, it can also be the cause of it.  Other conditions and diseases that can cause CKD include diabetes, recurrent kidney infections, prolonged obstruction of the urinary tract and vesicoureteral reflux.

Anyone at any age can develop chronic kidney disease; however, some people are more at risk than others. You may have an increased risk for CKD if you:

  • Have a family history of kidney  failure
  • Have diabetes
  • Have hypertension
  • Are obese
  • Have cardiovascular disease
  • Are a smoker
  • Are of African American, Native American, Pacific Islander or Asian American descent
  • Are an older adult

Signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease can vary by individual and may appear over time as the disease progresses. They can include:

  • Muscle cramps and twitches
  • Swelling of feet and ankles
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Itchy skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • High blood pressure
  • Vomiting

There are several things you can do to prevent CKD and keep your kidneys healthy.  Maintaining a healthy diet and cutting back on food rich in sugar and salt is beneficial for your kidneys, as well as monitoring cholesterol levels, keeping hydrated, quitting smoking and drinking in moderation.

If you are living with chronic kidney disease, it is strongly advised that you keep blood pressure and blood sugar levels under control, moderate protein consumption, reduce salt intake, avoid NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and get the flu shot each year.

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.

Congenitial Heart Defect Awareness Week – Know The Facts About CHD

Every year, February 7th to the 14th is designated as Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) Awareness week. This annual week of recognition was created to raise awareness about CHD and to empower all patients and families affected by this condition.

Congenital heart defects are problems with the heart’s structure that are present at birth. These defects can involve:

  • The interior walls of the heart
  • The valves inside the heart
  • The arteries and veins that carry blood to the heart or the body

Congenital heart defects are the most common form of birth defect. They affect eight out of every 1,000 newborns. Each year, more than 35,000 babies in the United States are born with this condition.

There are many different forms of defects that can range from minor with no symptoms to complex with life-threatening symptoms. Minor defects often do not require any treatment or are easily fixed. However, those babies born with complex congenital heart defects require special medical care soon after birth.

Unfortunately, doctors often do not know why congenital heart defects occur. Heredity may play a role in cases. Children who have genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome, are often more likely to have congenital heart defects. In fact, half of all babies who have Down syndrome have congenital heart defects. Smoking during pregnancy also has been linked to several congenital heart defects.

Even though many children born with congenital heart defects do not require treatment, some do. Doctors can treat children with CHD with either catheter procedures or surgery. Thankfully, through advances in medicine, thee diagnosis and treatment of complex heart defects has greatly improved over the past few decades. As a result, almost all children who have complex heart defects survive to adulthood and can live active, productive lives.

Through continued education and support, we hope to conquer CHD.

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.

February is American Heart Month

Over 50 years ago President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed the month of February to be American Heart Month in order to bring attention to one of the leading causes of death in the United States. This tradition has been carried on by every President since.

Each year over 800,000 lives are taken as a result of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Every 84 seconds someone in the United States dies from the disease and each year approximately 750,000 people experience a heart attack and of those, about 115,000 will not survive.

The American Heart Association recommends the following behavioral modifications to prevent heart disease:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Engage in some form of daily physical activity
  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Control cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels

The death rate from heart disease has been improving slowly over the last decade due to advances in medications, better diagnostic capabilities, and better access to health care, but the statistics are still pretty alarming. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-6742.

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.

January is Birth Defects Prevention Month

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month Join us in the nationwide effort to raise awareness of birth defects, their causes, and their impact.

This year, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in their campaign to raise awareness among women and their families on actions they can take to increase their chances of having a healthy baby.

While not all birth defects are preventable, there are specific steps women can take to reduce the likelihood of certain types of birth defects. In addition to managing existing health conditions, adopting healthy lifestyle choices, and eliminating dangerous behaviors before and during pregnancy, one of the most important steps a woman can take to minimize her risk of having a baby born with a birth defect is to receive early and regular prenatal care.

When you receive prenatal care, your doctor will assess your health, take a family history, and discuss any lifestyle issues that may affect your pregnancy. Your doctor can also diagnose underlying health disorders that may impact your health or the development of your unborn child and order tests to detect any potential issues. Your doctor will also advise you against potential hazards that can be harmful to your baby, such as taking certain medications.

Understanding the importance of prenatal care and its role on healthy outcomes, Jamaica Hospital now offers an innovative approach for expectant moms. The hospital’s CenteringPregnancy program invites women with similar due dates to share their experiences in a friendly, group dynamic, facilitated by doctors, nurses and midwives. Through this unique model of care, women have an opportunity to share their experiences, receive support, and empower one another, while learning how to maintain healthy pregnancies.

Jamaica Hospital hopes that by offering a group prenatal care model to our patients, they will be motivated to receive the appropriate level of care for their unborn babies, which will lead to better outcomes.

To learn more about the Centering Pregnancy program at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-291-3276.

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.

It’s GERD Awareness Week – Learn How to Avoid This Digestive Disorder

Perhaps there is no other day of the year associated with eating more than Thanksgiving. With so much attention being paid to food consumption, it is fitting that this week we also raise awareness about a health condition that affects the digestive system.

November 19-25, 2017 has been designated Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (or GERD) Awareness Week. GERD, is a very common disorder that occurs when stomach acid or bile flows into the food pipe and irritates the lining.

After it is swallowed, food travels down the esophagus where it stimulates cells in the stomach to produce acid and pepsin (an enzyme), which aid the digestion process. A band of muscle at the lower part of the esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), acts as a barrier to prevent the back-flow. Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the LES is weak or relaxes inappropriately, allowing the stomach’s contents to flow up into the esophagus.

Chronic heartburn is the most frequently reported symptom of GERD. Acid regurgitation (refluxed acid into the mouth) is another common symptom. Other symptoms can include belching, difficulty or pain when swallowing, or waterbrash (sudden excess of saliva). GERD may also lead to chronic sore throat, laryngitis, throat clearing, chronic cough, and other oral complaints such as inflammation of the gums and erosion of the enamel of the teeth.

Dietary and lifestyle choices can contribute to GERD. Certain foods and beverages, including chocolate, peppermint, fried or fatty foods, coffee, or alcohol may trigger reflux. Studies show that smoking can relax the LES and contribute to this condition. People who are obese are more prone to developing GERD symptoms.

Doctors recommend lifestyle and dietary changes for most people needing treatment for GERD. Along with lifestyle and diet changes, your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter remedies, or, in serious cases, prescribe medications designed to reduce acid in the stomach.

To speak to a doctor about treating your GERD, please call Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001.

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

The Great American Smokeout

Every year, on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society encourages everyone to take part in the Great American Smokeout. This event helps to make people aware of the dangers of using tobacco products as well as the tools that are available to help them quit smoking.
The Great American Smokeout started in 1970 in a small town in Massachusetts. People were asked to give up smoking for one day and to take the money that they would have spent on cigarettes and donate it to a local high school scholarship fund. The event spread to other cities both large and small and eventually led to legislation that bans smoking in workplaces, restaurants, and other public spaces both indoors and outdoors.
Smoking  is responsible for one in five deaths in the United States today. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in both men and women. Smoking is also the cause of cancer of the larynx, mouth, sinuses, throat, esophagus, and the bladder. The number of people who smoke has dramatically decreased in the United States since the anti-smoking campaigns began. In 1965 it was estimated that over 40 percent of the population were smokers and today that number is around 18 percent.
Smokers have the best chances of quitting if they use at least two of the following methods:
• Smoking Cessation Groups
• Nicotine substitute products
• Support from family and friends
• Telephone quit lines
• Counseling
• Prescription medications that help to reduce the urge to smoke
If you would like more information about quitting smoking please call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital to discuss smoking cessation, please call 718-206-8494.

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.