Follow These Tips to Avoid Getting the Flu at Your Super Bowl Party

The Super Bowl is this weekend and so many Americans look forward to celebrating this national event by watching the game with their friends and family. With flu season at its peak throughout the U.S, attending a gathering to watch the big game can be risky if you are not careful. Whether you are the host or a guest at a party this weekend, be sure to follow these tips to minimize catching the flu or any other virus this Sunday.

  • Avoid others if you are sick – The best way to avoid contracting or spreading the flu is to avoid others if you are feeling symptoms. If you are invited to a party but you or someone in your house is not feeling well, stay home. If you are hosting and experiencing flu-like symptoms, cancel the party.
  • Practice appropriate hygiene – If you are at a party and suddenly develop symptoms, make sure you cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze. Avoid using your hands when covering up. Instead use your upper sleeve. Also discard all tissues immediately after using them.
  • Exercise proper hand hygiene – Super Bowl parties offer many opportunities for you to shake hands or exchange high-fives with other party- goers. Expressing excitement is great, but when doing so, be sure to wash your hands frequently to avoid spreading germs. If you are hosting, it might be a good idea to have plenty of hand sanitizers available.
  • Be smart about how food and drinks are served – Most big game celebrations are sure to offer two things; plenty of food and drink. Be smart about how they are served by ensuring that there are appropriate utensils at the party, such as tongs to grab wings and scoopers to avoid hands in the chip bowls. Additionally, avoid sharing beverages. One idea to avoid mistakenly grabbing the wrong drink is to mark all plastic cups with the names of your guests with a magic marker.

By following these tips, you can enjoy all the fun that Super Bowl Sunday brings and reduce your chances of suffering with a cold or flu immediately after.

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.

Prostate Cancer – Screening and Treatment

The prostate gland is a part of the male reproductive system that produces a fluid that mixes with sperm and other fluids during ejaculation.  It sits just below the bladder and is normally about the side of a walnut.

Prostate cancer is an abnormal growth of cells within the prostate gland.  Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among American men.  The majority of men who reach the age of 80 are found to have prostate cancer however most of types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may not contribute to any serious harm.  Some types of prostate cancers are more aggressive and can spread to other parts of the body.

Prostate cancer, especially in its early stages, may not have any symptoms.  When symptoms are present they may include difficulty starting urination, less force to the stream of urine, dribbling at the end of urination, needing to urinate frequently, urinating frequently at night, pain while urinating, blood in the urine or semen, difficulty starting or maintaining an erection, pain with ejaculation, pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis and upper thighs, or unintended weight loss.

Although it is not known exactly what causes prostate cancer some risk factors for developing prostate cancer are older age (more than 65% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men older than 65), race (African-American men are 60% more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasian men), family history (having a father or brother with prostate cancer) and obesity.

There is an ongoing debate among physicians and medical groups about screening for prostate cancer.  Currently many organizations including the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommend against routine screening for prostate cancer.  Having a discussion with your doctor about prostate cancer screening can help you decide if you should consider undergoing prostate cancer screening based on your unique health history and preferences.

When screening is done there are two tests that are available.  The available tests are a digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.  To perform a digital rectal exam your doctor uses a gloved finger, inserted a few inches into your rectum, to check your prostate gland.  A prostate-specific antigen test is a blood test that measures the level of PSA in your blood.  Many men who have prostate cancer have elevated levels of PSA however PSA can also be elevated for less serious causes such as prostate enlargement or infection.  Further testing is needed to diagnose cancer.  Additional tests that your doctor may recommend to diagnose cancer include an ultrasound of the prostate and a biopsy of the prostate.  A biopsy is when a small piece of the prostate is removed to look for abnormal cells.

Treatment of prostate cancer depends on many factors including your age, your overall health and the growth and spread of the cancer when it is diagnosed.  Some men who have slow growing tumors may not need treatment right away and some may never need treatment.  Other types of prostate cancer are aggressive and can quickly spread to other parts of the body making treatment difficult.  Common treatment options include watchful waiting or expectant management (regular testing and checkups to assess for new signs or symptoms), radiation therapy (high-energy x-rays used to kill cancer cells), chemotherapy, surgery (having the prostate gland removed) and hormone therapy. Flushing Hospital also offers robotic surgery and physicians specially trained in its use, as an option for the treatment of prostate cancer.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center to discuss prostate cancer screenings and treatment options, 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.

Jamaica Hospital Doctors Nominated As Region’s Top Doctors

For more than two decades, Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. has been a recognizable resource for identifying the area’s Top Doctors.

The organization’s selection process is based on peer nominations, of which more than 50,000 physicians, hospital and healthcare executives are contacted directly for their input. The Castle Connolly physician-led research team then carefully reviews the credentials of every physician that is considered for inclusion in Castle Connolly Guides®, magazine articles and websites. After a thorough review of credentials, nominated physicians are chosen to appear on the list of Castle Connolly Top Doctors.

This year we are pleased to announce that five doctors from Jamaica Hospital have been selected as Top Doctors in the New York Metro Area for 2018.

Doctors affiliated with Jamaica Hospital Medical Center are:

  • Cono M. Grasso, Ophthalmology
  • Steven R. Inglis, Maternal and Fetal Medicine
  • Riccardo Ricciardi, Jr., Urology
  • Alan R. Roth, Family Medicine
  • Craig A. Thurm, Pulmonary Disease

The Medisys Health Network prides itself on providing the highest quality of care to all of our patients. We congratulate all of our doctors chosen for the 2018 Castle Connolly Top Doctors Guide.

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.

Teaching Your Children to Embrace Diversity

Our children are being introduced to so many more people than any other generation before them. Whether through school, outside activities, or on some form of electronic media, they have the opportunity to learn a great deal about people who come from diverse backgrounds, including those from different ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, and family dynamics. So, how can we, as parents make sure they are accepting of the differences in others?

Here are some tips parents can follow when trying to teach their children about diversity:

  • Set a good example – It might sound obvious but our children learn just as much from watching what we do as listening to what we say. As parents, we must recognize and address our own short-comings when it comes to accepting diversity if we want to teach our children correctly. Our actions cannot contradict the lessons we are trying to teach and we must lead by example if we do not want our children judge others based on stereotypes.
  • Get out of your comfort zone – While we all agree technology can make the world a much smaller place, the fact is most of us still spend our daily lives living in communities where the majority of our neighbors look like us and share the same values and traditions. Unfortunately, raising our children in a homogeneous environment is not conducive to truly teaching them about accepting diversity because they don’t get the opportunity to experience those who are “different.” Parents must make a deliberate effort to leave our familiar surroundings and experience and appreciate diversity.
  • Listen to what your child is saying – As much we would like to think we are the only influences in our children’s lives, we are not. They see and hear things from other adults, other children and other sources. Other influences can lead to the formation of inaccurate perceptions and beliefs. Take notice if your child is using hurtful or stereotypical language and take time to explain why something is inappropriate. Also encourage your children to ask questions. You can help provide explanations to things that might otherwise be confusing to them.
  • Don’t ignore differences – Many parents mistakenly want their children to be “difference blind.” This can only make the situation worse. There are many differences among us that should be embraced including how someone speaks, what they wear or eat, how their name is pronounced, or if they have two moms. These differences are bound to ignite curiosity and could lead to questions. Instead of ignoring diversity, teach your child to accept what makes us all unique and that our differences are only part of who we are, but they do not define us.

By following these tips, you can raise your children to be more accepting of others, which will go a long way in their development into adulthood.

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.

Employee Spotlight – Dillon Peters

This month we would like to introduce you to Dillon Peters – Lieutenant in the Security Department at Jamaica Hospital. He has been with the hospital since February of 2014 having started as a security officer and was twice promoted during these four years to his now current rank of Lieutenant.
Dillon is a native of the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. He is the divorced father of four children who he loves dearly. In his free time he enjoys music of all genres, and spending time with friends and relatives.  His hobbies include anything athletic such as basketball, table tennis and soccer. He also enjoys dancing.  He attended Nyack College and graduated with a B.S. degree in Organizational Management.
Dillon can best be described as a “people-person”. He enjoys helping others whenever he can and in his own words “loves bringing a smile to other people’s faces”.  He enjoys it when he can make people feel comfortable and getting them to share some laughter with him.
Dillon is very energetic and enjoys interacting with patients, visitors and the people who work at the hospital. He can often be seen walking through the building helping wherever he can to ensure that others are having a good experience while they are at Jamaica Hospital. He accomplishes this by being a good listener, friendly, caring, thoughtful and as everyone who knows him will attest to, a very kind person

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.

Portable Heater Safety Tips

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating equipment, such as portable space heaters, is a leading cause of home fire deaths and half of the home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February.

NFPA suggests these tips for safely operating heating equipment in your home:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.

As a way of further making your home safe during the colder months, it is recommended that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are checked each month. They may need a change of battery to ensure they are working properly.

 

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.

Surprising Health Benefits of Eating Apples

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is an old Welsh proverb that many of us have heard at some point in our lives. While the saying is not accurate, and leading a healthy lifestyle requires much more than eating this fruit each day; studies have found that apples provide us with several health benefits.

Apples are one of the best foods to include in your diet. They are rich in important components such as quercetin, vitamin C, pectin and more.  Studies have associated these substances with several benefits which include:

  • Improving neurological health– Quercetin contains two compounds that are known to help reduce cellular death caused by the oxidation and inflammation of neurons.
  • Reducing the risk of certain cancers- The American Association for Cancer Research has found that consuming apples rich in flavonoids such as quercetin and rutin can help to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer. Apple peels contain compounds that promote anti-growth activity in cancer cells that develop in the breast, liver and colon.
  • Lowering cholesterol- Fibers found in apples such as pectin are linked to lowering levels of LDL cholesterol.
  • Boosting immunity- Apples are a good source of immune-boosting nutrients such as vitamin C.
  • Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes-  A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that flavonoids such as anthocyanins are associated with lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

While eating apples each day may not keep your doctor away, they can be a key factor in helping you to maintain your health.  Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help to reduce the risk of several diseases and improve overall wellness.

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.

Flu Vaccines are Important and Safe for Pregnant Women

Influenza or Flu is a viral illness that appears most frequently during the winter and early spring. The effects of the flu can range from a mild cold-like illness to becoming severely sick, requiring hospitalization.

Women who are expecting are at an increased risk of developing severe flu-related illnesses due to the many changes in the immune system, heart and lungs that occur during pregnancy.

Influenza can be harmful to both mother and developing baby.   Complications from the flu can increase chances for premature delivery and is also linked to neural tube defects in growing fetuses.

The CDC highly recommends that pregnant women receive the flu shot. For 2015-2016, it is estimated that the vaccine prevented about 5 million influenza illnesses and 3,000 related deaths.

A flu shot given to a pregnant woman protects mother and baby. Research shows that mothers, who are vaccinated, will pass on some immunity to their child after birth. This reduces the risk of illness for the newborn.  The CDC finds that “The flu shot given during pregnancy has been shown to protect both the mother and her baby for several months after birth from flu.”

The vaccine is safe to get during any trimester.  There is an excellent safety record for the millions of pregnant women who received the flu shot.  We highly recommend vaccination for all pregnant women, and it is considered part of routine prenatal care.

It is important for others living in the household to get the flu shot to further protect the newborn. Babies usually get their first flu shot at the age of 6 months, so until then, they are at an increased risk of getting influenza from their environment. If an unvaccinated infant gets the flu, it can be severe and require medical management.

If you are pregnant and experiencing flu symptoms such as fever, body aches or a sore throat, call your family doctor immediately or seek medical attention.

To schedule an appointment with the Family Medicine Department at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call, 718-206-6942

Radeeb Akhtar MD. MPH. JHMC Family Medicine

 

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.

Winter Skin

Winter can be a particularly harsh season for our skin. During this time of year, temperatures are cold and we spend more time indoors where heating systems tend to deplete the water content in the air.  Low humidity in our environment contributes to dry skin.

Dry skin commonly appears as being rough and flaky patches, which can show up anywhere on the body but mostly on the arms and legs. In severe cases, your skin can develop creases and cracks when it is extremely dry.

Drying of the skin typically occurs when the outer layer of the skin, called the stratum corneum, becomes compromised. The stratum corneum which is composed of dead skin cells and natural oils; acts as a protective layer that prevents water from evaporating from the surface. When water evaporates, outer skin cells become flaky and will cause cracks and fissures.

There are steps you can take to retain moisture and prevent dry skin. Here are a few:
• Bathe in warm water, never hot
• Use mild soaps that contain moisturizing creams
• Pat the skin dry with soft towels
• Use a moisturizer several times a day on exposed areas of the body.
• Drink a lot of water
• Apply sunscreen to prevent drying out from the sun’s rays
• Wear gloves
• Avoid wearing wet articles of clothes outdoors.
• Have a humidifier in the home

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital to discuss dry skin and how best to treat it, 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.

I Need a Nap

An office protocol, that normally would have been grounds for termination, is now being considered for its many benefits. Several companies are now acknowledging the health benefits of a short nap during the workday, which include increased alertness, enhanced brainpower, and fewer sick days.
It is recommended that adults sleep for at least eight hours every night, however, research has shown that most individuals suffer from broken sleep and fail to get a good night’s rest. For these individuals, a short nap can help. A quick 15 to 20 minute power nap can provide the boost needed to effectively complete your workday.

There are several progressive companies, such as British Airways, Nike, Pizza Hut and Google, who are now seeking to reap these benefits. These companies have created designated nap rooms or “renewal rooms” for their employees, allowed their employees to bring a nap mat for the office, or simply encouraged their employees to sleep at their desk.

Some employers are now encouraging napping for the wellness of their employees. People who take daily 30-minute naps are 37 percent less likely to die from heart disease than those who don’t nap, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2007. Naps can also boost the immune system—theoretically leading to fewer sick days—and propel employees into their most alert, energetic, and creative states, say nap advocates. Believers in this protocol feel that a well-rested employee is a pleasant employee, noting that if you’re sleep deprived, you’re going to be moody.

Napping Further Explained
Naps can be broken down into four categories:

  • Planned napping, also known as preemptive napping, involves taking a nap before you get sleepy. It is a good thing to do if you know you’re going to have a late night.
  • Emergency napping is exactly as it sounds— taking a nap when you’re so sleepy that you can’t properly engage in your current activity.
  • Habitual napping is the practice of taking a nap at the same time every day.
  • Appetitive napping is the act of napping strictly for enjoyment.

As noted, napping increases alertness, learning capacity, memory and performance— and we have known this now for several decades. Naps can also reduce stress, as well as lower blood pressure, which is important for our overall health. So, with the research and results on “power napping,” it is safe to say that a well-rested employee is a more productive employee.

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.