True or False – We Lose Most of our Body Heat From Our Head?

Now that the colder weather has arrived, we all are reminded to cover our heads to stay warm. One of the reasons we do this is because of the age-old theory that we lose approximately half of our body heat through our heads, but is this bit of advice really true?

The origin of this belief comes most likely from an old U.S. Army Field Manual from the 1950’s based on arctic survival research. The problem with the study is that while the research was performed on subjects wearing cold weather gear, they were not wearing hats. Naturally, in circumstances like this, body heat will escape from whatever area is exposed – in this case, the subjects uncovered heads.

Since our heads represents only 10% of our body’s total surface area, it would have to lose about 40 times as much heat per square inch as other parts of the body for this theory to be true.

Another factor in why this myth is thought to be true by many has to do with how our blood vessels are composed. We tend to feel colder in places where blood vessels are densely packed, like the head, and less where aren’t such as the legs.

Even though there is no factual basis to the concept of losing excess body heat through our heads, most will agree that if you want to stay warm this winter, you should cover your entire body to prevent heat from escaping…including your head.

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.

Fun Fact Friday: How Much Paper Does Jamaica Hospital Recycle Every Year?

Jamaica Hospital Fun Fact:

Jamaica Hospital and its partners in the MediSys Health Network understand the importance of “Going Green” to help the planet.

Paper and cardboard

A few years ago we established EcoMediSys, a committee of hospital employees responsible for evaluating how the hospital could become more environmentally conscious. One of the many ways we have achieved our goals is through our paper usage.

Fact:
In 2010, Jamaica Hospital printed over 19 million copies of paper. Thanks to the implementation of an electronic medical records system and incorporating other operating efficiencies, we have reduced that amount to just over 6 million last year – a reduction of over 300 percent.

In addition, we increased our recycling efforts. According to our most recent data, Jamaica Hospital now recycles an average of over 240,000 pounds of paper annually.

Paper usage is just one example of how Jamaica Hospital is dedicated to helping the environment.

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.

Does Our Nose and Our Ears Really Continue to Grow as We Age?

At some point in your life, someone has probably shared with you a little nugget of wisdom about how our nose and our ears never stop growing. You might then look around and see a bunch of senior citizens and notice that, in-fact, their facial appendages are slightly larger than their younger counterparts and believe this fact to be true…but is it?

ThinkstockPhotos-503387376The truth is that “Yes”, as we age, our nose and our ears do get bigger, but not because they are growing. The real reason is a common scientific force known as GRAVITY. You see, our nose and our ears are made of cartilage and while many people mistakenly believe that cartilage never stops growing, the fact is cartilage does stop growing. However, cartilage is made of collagen and other fibers that begin to break down as we age.

The result is drooping. So what appears to be growth is just gravity doing its job. Our noses and our earlobes sag and become larger. Adding to the misconception is what happens to other parts of our face. While our nose might sag, our cheeks and lips actually lose volume, making everything else look comparatively larger.

Unfortunately, aging – and gravity – are both unavoidable. Our only defense against this natural occurrence is finding the fountain of youth or moving to the moon.

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.

What is a Brain Freeze?

“SPHENOPALATINE GANGLIONEURALGIA!!!” We’re guessing you have never heard anyone yell that out after licking an ice cream cone or slurping down a frozen beverage. Perhaps you have heard someone scream “Brain Freeze” though, the more common term for this scientific condition.

Man eating ice cream cone

A brain freeze usually occurs after a cold food or beverage touches the roof of the mouth (your palate). This sudden temperature change of the tissue stimulates nerves, causing rapid dilation and swelling of the blood vessels. This response is an attempt to direct blood to the area and warm it back up. The “headache” that follows is triggered when the pain receptors in your mouth signal your brain using the nerves in your face. The end result is a sudden, sharp pain and the usual exclamation that is synonymous with this phenomenon.

A brain freeze, also referred to as an ice cream headache, can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes in duration. Brain freezes can occur as frequently in the summer as they do in the winter because the brain’s response is to the food being consumed, not to the temperature outside.

To avoid getting a brain freeze it is recommended that you eat slowly because this reaction is triggered by an immediate temperature change in the mouth. If you do suffer a brain freeze, try pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth to warm the blood vessels. Other suggested tricks include holding your head back or breathing in through mouth and out through the nose to pass warmer air through the nasal passages.

With the weather getting warmer and more people indulging in ice cream and other frozen treats, expect to hear someone yelling out “Brain Freeze” soon. When they do, be sure to share your new found knowledge about this common sensation.

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.

WHICH DO YOU THINK IS HEALTHIER-ICE CREAM, FROZEN YOGURT OR GELATO?

frozen yogurt-505636479In recent years, frozen yogurt and gelato have become very popular alternatives to ice cream. Many believe that these treats are healthier options. There are several differences that set these deserts apart, making some better choices than others.

•Ice cream must contain at least 10% milk fat and cream to be legally considered ice cream. It is high in calories, sugar and fat. A scoop of vanilla ice cream has about 275 calories
•Yogurt does not have the milk fat requirement as ice cream; it is made with cultured milk. Because of the freezing process, there are no probiotics in frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt allows for substitutions such as honey in place of sugar. A scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt has about 221 calories
•Although commonly mistaken for ice cream, gelato has a different composition that is denser than ice cream. Gelato tends to have less milk fat, calories and sugar. A scoop of vanilla gelato can have 150-200 calories.
All of these treats are delicious but should always be eaten in moderation. Due to the caloric contents, sugars and fats in each, over consumption can lead to complications in your diet, which can cause obesity or diabetes.

 

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.

Do You Stop at a “Stop” sign?

DStop Signo you “Stop” at a stop sign? For some people it means a slow roll through an intersection, for some it is a mere tap on the brakes, for others it may seem like  five minutes, especially if you are in a hurry and in the car behind  them.
A stop sign means exactly what it says “STOP”,  the wheels on the vehicle must  come to a complete halt, and remain at the intersection until it is your turn to proceed  safely.
Under New York State law, a motorist must come to a full and complete stop at a stop sign at either:
• A clearly marked stop line
• Before entering a crosswalk
• Before entering an intersection with a stop sign at the point that gives you a view of traffic on the intersecting roadway.
• At an intersection marked with a stop sign, the operator of the motor vehicle may proceed only after giving the right of way to a vehicle that already has entered the intersection, or when the intersection is free of pedestrians.
Unfortunately many accidents occur because operators of motor vehicles fail to observe stop signs. If an intersection looks clear, drivers will sometimes just slow down at a stop sign or not even bother to do even that. Failure to obey traffic signs is a violation and can be subject to a monetary fine and other disciplinary action.

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.

Does Earwax Serve A Purpose?

Let’s discuss the most fascinating part of the human body. On second thought, let’s talk about earwax instead.

earEarwax is something that most people would rather not talk about because, well, it’s gross. However, earwax also has many important functions.

Made mostly of skin cells that shed in our ears and secretions from glands in the outer ear canal, ear wax poses many benefits. Like eye lashes and nose hairs, earwax acts as a defender from outside invaders such as harmful bacteria that can potentially cause an infection. Earwax also serves as a lubricant for our ears; without it, our ears would become dry and itchy.

Lastly, earwax is self-cleaning. All attempts to rid your ears of earwax are unnecessary and potentially harmful. When you move your jaw, whether by talking or chewing, you are helping push earwax away from the eardrum to the ear opening where it will eventually fall out on its own. Any attempt to use a cotton swab to clean your ear could push wax further into your ear canal and result in hearing loss.

If you suspect that your ears are blocked by excess earwax, speak to your doctor about clearing it out. If you do not have a doctor, Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center has qualified Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctors who can help. To make an appointment, 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.

What Are Hiccups?

They can be comical ….hic….to other, embarrassing…hic…when they happen in public, and annoying….hic….when we can’t get them to stop, but why do we get the hiccups?

ThinkstockPhotos-80619369A hiccup is a sudden, involuntary spasm of our diaphragm muscle. When our diaphragm abruptly contracts, our vocal cords close, resulting in the very familiar “hic” sound. Although there is no conclusive reason why we get hiccups, but eating or drinking too quickly are believed to be contributing factors.

There are many theories on how to stop an episode of hiccups. They include:
• Holding your breath
• Drinking a glass of water quickly
• Pulling hard on your tongue
• Biting on a lemon
• Gargling with water
• Drinking from the far side of the glass
• Getting scared

In most cases hiccups are just a temporary, minor annoyance, although there was one reported case of someone having the hiccups for six decades. If hiccups last more than three hours, or if they disturb eating or sleeping, call your doctor immediately as it may signal another medical problem.

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.

Holiday Safe Driving Tips

Tsafe driving -481749758he holiday season is upon us and that means many people will be hitting the road to visit family and friends, taking shopping trips to the mall, or just celebrating the joyous season. During the holidays schools are usually closed for vacation, many people get time off from work and everyone wants to have a good time. By taking a few precautions you can get to your destination safely and have a wonderful time.
Safe driving is a key component of having a happy holiday season. To make sure that everything goes well, here are some safety tips to follow:
• Do not speed
• Do not text while driving
• Do not drink and drive
• Plan your route in advance
• Make sure your car is operating properly – check fluids, brakes and lights
• Make sure that you are well rested before getting behind the wheel
• Make sure that everyone in the vehicle is buckled up
Following these safe driving tips will make sure your holiday will be a lot merrier.

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.