New Year’s Eve – Going Out or Staying In ?

New years -78818644Everyone knows that New Year’s Eve is the most popular night of the year to party.  It is a night to go out with family and friends to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. Some people prefer to spend a quiet night at home though. The reasons are varied but commonly people don’t want to spend the money, don’t like the crowds, and think that the night is much a-do about nothing.

Which do you prefer?

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.

Dealing With Holiday Depression

Holiday depression 524928563The holiday season may be a time of happiness for many but for others it can also be the time of year that they are likely to feel depressed.

Financial stress, increased alcohol or food consumption, Seasonal Affective Disorder and loneliness are common contributors to depression during the holidays.

While the source of depression may vary from person to person, there are chronic behaviors and health problems that are widely recognized as symptoms of the disorder.  Some of these include:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Sleeping excessively
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once enjoyable
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness

People who experience bouts of depression during the holidays can reduce these symptoms by:

  • Asking for help when holiday stressors become overwhelming
  • Moderating alcohol consumption
  • Spending time with loved ones
  • Exercising
  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation

If symptoms of depression persist or progress into self-harming thoughts, please seek the help of a mental health professional immediately. It is important to remember there is no shame in receiving assistance from mental health professionals; they will help you to identify the source of your depression and offer several options for treatment.

To schedule an appointment with a mental health professional at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5587.

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.

Choosing Safe Toys for Toddlers

toys toddlers -156930341The holiday season is the best time of the year to buy toys for children. However, parents are often overwhelmed by a larger selection and choosing the best toy can become challenging.  The most important thing to remember when choosing toys for toddlers is picking toys that are safe and appropriate for their age.

Each year hospital E.R.’s are visited by over 200,000 young children, typically under the age of three, who have incurred toy-related injuries.   These injuries can be avoided if parents keep these guidelines in mind when buying toys:

  • Carefully read warning labels
  • Do not buy toys with small and removable parts
  • Check to see if toys are on a recall list by visiting sites such as recalls.gov or cpsc.gov.
  • Avoid buying toys with parts that launches or projects
  • Do not purchase toys with sharp edges or points
  • Make certain that cords or strings are shorter that seven inches
  • Avoid buying toys that make extremely loud noises
  • Check to see if toys have been tested for lead based paint by visiting websites such as www.ecocenter.org

Most toys come with warning labels that advise parents of potential choking hazards and compatibility by age group. Parents should pay close attention to these labels and also do due diligence by researching toys and inspecting them for further dangers.

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.

Concussion: A brain-bang

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Concussion: A topic that is receiving a great deal of attention recently, but what is it? A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that rattles the brain inside the skull. When the body is jolted, causing a whiplash reaction of the neck and head, this can cause the brain to become disoriented within the skull.  A concussion can be caused by a number of things such as: sports-related injuries, fights, falls, mobile accidents, and playground injuries.

Motor vehicle precautions can be exercised by children and adults by wearing a seatbelt at all times and keeping your child in a car or booster seat based on age, height and weight requirements. Safety measures to be practiced at home include the installation of window guards to ensure your child does not fall out of an open window and safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.

Children and adults should practice helmet safety when riding bicycles, motorcycles, hover-boards, scooters, or all-terrain vehicles. If you are playing a contact sport it is encouraged that you wear a helmet as well. For those contact sports that do not require protective head gear, like soccer, it is important to be vigilant and know the symptoms.

Here are some clues to identify if you have a concussion:

  • Headache
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Delayed reaction times
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to bright lights or loud sounds
  • Irritability
  • Changes in sleep patterns, either insomnia or sleeping more often than usual

A lot of people may experience headaches and dizziness for a day then recover fully, but about five percent of people sustain injuries causing life threatening bleeding if not properly diagnosed. The Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is open 24/7 to diagnose and treat concussions. So, how do you know if you should seek medical attention or wait and see? The best answer to this is, when in doubt, check it out!

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.

How Harmful is Occasional or Social Smoking?

social smoking-79071856 “I am not really a smoker because I only smoke on occasion or socially.” These words are frequently spoken by those who consider themselves light or social smokers.  It is quite common to find that people within this group are usually in denial of the frequency of their use of cigarettes and believe that they are not at risk of developing tobacco-related illnesses.

The truth is contrary as research has found that one third of people who classify themselves as social smokers actually smoke more than six times per day.   Additionally, whether someone smokes a lot or a little, they are at risk for developing diseases caused by tobacco.  The damage that one puff of nicotine causes is instant.  It takes 10 seconds for nicotine to be transported throughout the body and to the brain.  It slows down circulation and increases blood pressure and heart rate.

Furthermore in a study conducted by the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education it was found that light smoking may result in several health complications such as:

  • Stroke
  • COPD
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Lower respiratory tract infections
  • Weakened immune systems

Smoking occasionally or socially does not exclude you from developing the health complications associated with tobacco use. Over time smoking will take its toll on your body. The best thing you can do for your health is quit smoking.

If you or someone you know needs help in quitting smoking please contact Jamaica Hospital’s Freedom From Smoking program at 718 206 8494 or visit www.smokefree.gov 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.

Department Spotlight – Radiology

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The Department of Radiology at Jamaica Hospital processes over 150,000 images a year. Dr. Sabiha Raoof, Chairperson of the Department of Radiology and her staff is committed to offering to our patients the highest level of care.  All of the physicians in the department are board certified and subspecialty trained. The department is accredited by the American College of Radiologists, meaning that the highest quality of care is provided to our patients when their radiology procedures are performed.
The department has the latest and most advanced equipment. The Department of Radiology offers  a 128 slice Cat Scan and a 1.5 Tesla MRI  and within the next three months  3-D mammography will be offered both at the Women’s Health Center and also on the main campus. This technology, in addition to our sonography and digital x-ray equipment offers our patients the highest level of diagnostic capabilities. To schedule an appointment please call 718-206-6138.

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 Have Trouble Identifying Colors? You Might Be Color Blind!

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet – the colors of the rainbow; most of us can identify and distinguish each of these colors from the rest, but for those who are color blind, telling these colors apart is not so easy.

ThinkstockPhotos-482328524As much as 8% of men are color blind, (compared to only 0.5 % of women). Why are men so much more prone to colorblindness? Well, the reason for colorblindness is a dysfunction in the x chromosome. Men only have one X chromosome, but women have two – and all someone needs is one working x chromosome to compensate for the loss of function of the other.

Being color blind doesn’t really mean that a person can’t see color though. Complete color blindness is actually very rare. What is much more common is a visionary deficiency, which means a person isn’t aware of the differences among colors. Some deficiencies are profound while others are mild. In fact, some people who don’t have a severe form of color blindness are not even aware they have the condition.

The most common type of color blindness is an inability to distinguish between red and green. While there is no cure for color blindness, those who are red-green color blind can actually use a special set of lenses to help them perceive colors more accurately. There are even apps now available on smartphones to help people differentiate colors.

While some people go their entire life unaware they are color blind, most are diagnosed as children. This is because educational material is often color coded, so when a child has trouble processing information, color blindness can be identified as the reason.

Eye care professionals can use a variety of tests to diagnose color blindness. The most common tests use a series of colored circles with overlapping color shapes inside of them. These shapes are easily identifiable to people who have normal color vision, but are difficult to see for people who are color blind.

To have yourself, or your child tested for color blindness, please consult with your primary care doctor or ophthalmologist. The TJH Ophthalmology Center at Jamaica Hospital is staffed with board certified doctors who can test and diagnose this condition. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-5900.

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 the Heimlich Maneuver

Heimlich-495903678In 1972 the Heimlich maneuver was conceived of by Dr. Henry Heimlich, a thoracic surgeon, who noted that many people were dying each year from choking.  He conceptualized using air that was compressed in the lungs to help expel whatever was blocking the windpipe.  Dr. Heimlich first worked on anesthetized dogs in a laboratory in order to perfect his technique. He found that by compressing the abdomen with an upward thrust, he could successfully clear a blockage in the windpipe. Since the invention of this technique, the Heimlich maneuver has saved several million lives.

Link to demonstration of Heimlich Maneuver: http://ow.ly/VJ5vC

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.