Use Caution When Using a Space Heater This Winter

During the cold, winter months, when your home isn’t always as warm as you would like it to be, electric space heaters might seem like a convenient way of raising the temperature inside for you and your family.

ThinkstockPhotos-521707503When used appropriately, space heaters can be a reliable source of supplemental heat for your home or workplace. Unfortunately for many, space heaters are used improperly or as a primary source of heat. When used under these conditions, space heaters can become dangerous. In fact, they are responsible for approximately one-third of all winter house fires and 80 percent of all winter heating fire deaths.

To ensure you are using a space heater the right way, follow these simple safety tips:

• Read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully before operating your space heater.
• Make sure your space heater is assembled correctly. Look for cracks in the unit or loose or frayed wire or plugs.
• Only use your space heater as a heating device. Do not attempt to use it to warm bedding, cook food or dry clothing.
• Space heaters must be kept a safe distance away from anything that can burn, including newspapers, magazines, clothing, curtains or rugs.
• Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep.
• Be sure to install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas and test them once a month.
• Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use extension cords or power strips, which can overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
• Space heaters should always be positioned on a level surface. Never place heaters on furniture or uneven flooring.

Failure to comply with these recommendations can result in serious injury or even death.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center urges everyone to be smart when using space heaters this winter season.

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.

“Ouch! When Did That Get There?”

Bunion_Progression_Scale

If you have ever looked down at your foot and said, “When did that get there?” you’re probably referring to a bunion, especially if it’s painful. A bunion is the painful swelling of the first joint on the toe. For many people, bunions run in the family. Bunions sometimes develop with arthritis. Three out of four Americans will experience a common foot problem in their lifetime. Therefore, you’re not alone.

Women are more likely to develop bunions due to years of wearing tight, poorly fitting shoes, especially heels with pointed-toe closures. Athletes who run track or are required to wear cleats can also get bunions easily.

There are a few cosmetic ways to comfort your bunion without surgery. However, most times when the bunion has gone untreated for too long, the pain becomes too severe and requires surgical removal.

Bunionectomy is the surgery performed to remove bunions. Bunions form when the bone or tissue at the joint at the bottom of the big toe moves out of place. Years of abnormal motion and pressure on the joint forces the big toe to bend toward the others, which causes an often-painful lump on the joint. Your doctor also may recommend surgery because bunions can result in other painful foot problems, such as hammertoes, bursitis, a bunion below the little toe, or pain in the balls of your feet. The goal of surgery is to return the big toe to its correct position. A surgeon puts bones, ligaments, tendons and nerves back into correct order, and removes the bump.

To prevent growth of your bunion you can wear properly fitting shoes that allow room for all of your toes and wear low-heeled shoes if you are used to wearing high heels or stilettos. If the pain caused by your bunion is still too unbearable you should speak to your doctor about surgery.

The Ambulatory Surgery Unit at Jamaica Hospital is here to help you through your experience. All nurses are trained with full holistic/relaxation techniques and will help you to make this a calm procedure. “We want you to feel like Jamaica ASU is a part of your family, ‘Jamaica Cares’” the nurse manager, Cheryl Gallotta-Dimassi is available to assist you, and welcomes you to seek her out.

Jamaica Hospital’s on-site Ambulatory Surgery Unit is located on the first floor of the hospital. The Center is open Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. For an appointment,                         call 718-206-6102.

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 Mental Health Benefits for Adults Using Coloring Books

adult coloring -495035414The popularity of adult coloring books has grown rapidly over the past year and the idea that it’s just for kids is fading just as quickly.

Mental health professionals have long utilized art in treating patients because it has a profoundly positive effect on mental well-being.   This form of therapy encourages self- exploration and helps in organizing emotions. Although art therapy received from a professional is more effective than coloring on your own;  coloring does have several benefits. It has been found that coloring can help adults:

1: De-stress

2:  Achieve a state of meditation

3: Reduce anxiety

4: Alleviate less severe symptoms of depression

5: Improve concentration

6: Boost creativity

While coloring can be beneficial; it is important for individuals to note that it is not art therapy and should not be used as a method of self-treatment for mental health disorders.  Art therapy differs from  coloring because it relies on a patient-therapist relationship. This dynamic is important in helping patients to express their problems to the therapist through art when they are not able to in words.

Creative arts therapy has been an integral part of the Department of Psychiatry at Jamaica Hospital for nearly 20 years. For more information about the program or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-5575.

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.

Eating Disorders Myths Debunked

eating disorder -487759058“You can tell if someone has an eating disorder by looking at them,” “eating disorders are caused by a diet gone too far,” and “only young women are affected”   are some of the popular misconceptions associated with eating disorders.

Studies show that despite growing awareness and education about eating disorders, many people still continue to view myths such as these as factual.  This is dangerous as misinformation can result in the denial of symptoms and the validation of harmful behaviors.

In an effort to stop the spread of harmful information, we are providing the following myths and facts about eating disorders:

Myth –You can tell if someone has an eating disorder by looking at them.

Fact- Many individuals with eating disorders seem healthy in appearance. In several circumstances weight loss or weight gain may not be obvious during the onset of eating disorders.  It is also common for sufferers to learn how to hide symptoms of their illness by doing things such as wearing baggy clothing.

Myth- Eating disorders are lifestyle choices or result from diets taken too far.

Fact – Going on a diet is a choice and having an eating disorder is not.  Eating disorders are life- threatening illnesses that are associated with psychological, social or emotional distress.

Myth- Only adolescent women are affected by eating disorders.

Fact- Eating disorders do not discriminate by gender or age.  In fact it is estimated that 10 million men living in the United States have an eating disorder.  More and more people are seeking treatment for these disorders in their twenties and up.  There three main groups of people that fit into this category:

  • Those who secretly struggle with eating disorders for years without seeking treatment.
  • Those who received treatment earlier in life and are experiencing recurring symptoms
  • Those who have developed eating disorders as adults

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.

Home Remedy to Rid Blackheads

Blackheads are most common on your face, specifically on your nose and the sides of your nose. Common and annoying, blackheads occur when your pores become clogged with excess sebum (an oil created by the sebaceous glands that keeps skin supple) and dead skin cells. The difference between a black head and a white head is simply whether or not the pore is open or closed. Blackheads aren’t as unpleasant as pimples but they are still a nuisance to have. Here are some home remedies to curing pesky blackheads using items you might already have in your kitchen.

A little baking soda goes a long way for blackheads, but don’t overdo it, as it can seriously dry out your skin thanks to its saltiness. While pH may or may not have a role to play in blackheads, the biggest reason baking soda helps is because of it’s small, fine, granules that can work as a natural and inexpensive way to occasionally exfoliate and remove anything clogging your pores (and therefore causing blackheads.)

You will need baking soda and fresh water.

Mix the water with enough baking soda to form a thick, but spreadable, paste. Using a gentle circular motion, massage the paste into your skin. Rinse thoroughly with plain water, pat your face dry, and then make sure you moisturize.

Since blackheads are caused by open, clogged, pores reacting to oxygen, it only makes sense that “shrinking” your pores down will help. Lemon juice is just the astringent substance needed to get the job done, however, it can lighten skin temporarily and it does make you sensitive to the sun, so load up on sunscreen if you plan on using this method in the summertime. If you have sensitive skin, try diluting the lemon juice with water first.

You will need a lemon, cotton balls and a small bottle.

Rinse your face and pat dry. Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bottle and then use just enough to dampen a cotton ball. Apply to affected areas 3-4 times a week, at bedtime. When you wake up, rinse your face with luke-warm water and apply moisturizer as usual. Store the rest of the juice in the refrigerator for up to a week. Be aware-the juice can sting sometimes!

Green tea can also be used to treat blackheads. Mix one teaspoon of dry green tea leaves with a little water to make a paste. Then, gently scrub the paste over the affected area for two to three minutes. Rinse your face with lukewarm water and apply a little bit of moisturizer once your face is dry. This scrub deep cleans oily skin and helps unclog pores.

There are many prescription medicines for the treatment of blackheads if trying natural treatments isn’t your thing. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Dermatology Department 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.

February is National Cancer Prevention Month

February is National Cancer Prevention Month. During this time of month, Jamaica Hospital urges everyone to adopt healthy lifestyle practices to reduce the likelihood of developing cancer.

ThinkstockPhotos-159290583According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) there are three factors that we have control over that affects our risk of developing this terrible disease. They are: What we eat, how active we are and how much we weigh. The AICR states that the best protection against cancer is to control all three.

Let’s look at them one at a time:

What We Eat
Choosing a diet consisting mostly of plant foods and limiting red meat and avoiding processed food is the best defense. Preparing meals focused around vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans will help you fortify your body against cancer.

How Active We Are
Being physically active for at least 30 minutes each day. Participating in any number of physical activities can lower your risk for colon cancer and possibly several other cancers as well. To fit time in your schedule, try breaking activities into 10-15 minute sessions.

What We Weigh
It is the third key to help protect against as many as six different types of cancer. The good news is that once you start following the first two guidelines about diet and physical activity, you’ll find it easier to accomplish this one.

Jamaica Hospital joins the American Institute of Cancer Research to bring awareness to how we can reduce our chances of getting cancer by altering our daily 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.

Which Type of Chocolate Do You Prefer – Milk or Dark ?

Everyone has a preference when it comes to eating chocolate, however research has shown us that dark chocolate is more beneficial to your health.
Some of the benefits of eating Dark Chocolate may include:
• Lowers blood pressure
• Improves blood flow
• Decreases cardiovascular disease
• Can protect the skin from sun induced damage
Dark chocolate contains a higher concentration than milk chocolate of polyphenols and flavanols. These chemicals have a beneficial effect on the body.
When eaten in small quantities, dark chocolate is healthy for you, but as with anything that we enjoying eating, too much of a good thing can outdo the benefits we obtain. Chocolate

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.

Exercises That Can Help You Push

pregnant woman -183938624Giving birth is usually not an easy feat. Fortunately, there are several exercises you can do while pregnant that will help prepare your body for labor and delivery.

Doing exercises which place emphasis on strengthening the abdominal muscles and relaxing pelvic-floor muscles can help you in pushing more effectively.  They can also contribute to shorter labor times and help position your baby into an optimal birthing position.

These exercises are simple to do but before trying any of the following, consult your doctor:

  • Squats –The American Pregnancy Association recommends squatting during labor to open up the pelvis. Squatting expands the pelvic outlet to as much as 10%, which allows more room for the baby to move down to the birth canal.  This exercise also strengthens the thighs as well as the abdomen, which is crucial during pushing.
  • Kegels- Pelvic floor exercises such as kegels help in strengthening vaginal muscles and muscles that support the uterus. Kegels can help you to develop control of these areas during labor and delivery, which eases some of the discomforts of giving birth.
  • Pelvic tilts or angry cat- This exercise strengthens abdominal muscles and has been known to help ease back pain during labor.  It also encourages optimal fetal positioning.
  • Walking- This is a great way to prepare your body for delivery. Many women who are near or pass their due date are advised to walk because its rhythm helps to move the baby further toward the cervix, which applies pressure and stimulates dilation.   Walking has also been found to strengthen and help regulate contractions.

Every woman’s pregnancy is different, so speaking with your doctor (especially if you are high risk) about performing these exercises is very important.  If these activities are done incorrectly you may run the risk of harming yourself and your baby.

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.

Motivation Monday

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“Change will not come if we wait on some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – President Barack Obama

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center wishes you a Happy President’s Day!

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.