Heat Stroke vs. Heat Exhaustion

With the mercury rising, you have to think about what you can do to keep cool.  Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are common maladies during the summer months. The main symptoms of both heat stroke and heat exhaustion are an altered mental state or behavior, nausea, vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing, and a racing heart rate.  The main difference is, when you are experiencing heat exhaustion you will experience profuse sweating.  Conversely, when you are experiencing heat stroke, there will be a lack of sweat.

The best way to combat heat stroke and heat exhaustion is by hydrating with cool water when it is hot and humid; this will help you stay clear of dehydration. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking 16 – 20 ounces of water before moderate intensity summer exercise (8 – 12 ounces of water 10 – 15 minutes before going out into the heat and 3 – 8 ounces every 15 – 20 minutes during activity when active for less than one hour).

Some the most common signs of dehydration are:

  • General  fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Increased body temperature
  • Weakness
  • Muscle cramps

Other means of keeping cool during the summer months is to wear lighter, breathable fabrics, slow down your pace, exercise indoors, and by using common sense when planning your day outdoors.

Please speak with your physician to determine your specific needs to avoid dehydration since it can vary from person to 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.

Information About Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury is a very serious public health issue in the United States. A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is categorized into two major types of injuries: Penetrating Injuries and Closed Head Injuries. Penetrating injuries occur when a foreign object (e.g., a bullet) enters the brain and causes damage to specific brain parts. Closed Head Injuries result from a blow to the head as occurs, for example, in a car accident when the head strikes the windshield or dashboard.

Between 2002 and 2011, the number of children making trips to emergency rooms for brain injuries increased by 92 percent. During the same time, the number of those admitted to the hospital for further observation or treatment also increased by about 10 percent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called traumatic brain injury an “invisible epidemic,” because unlike other injuries, such as broken bones, the symptoms are not always immediately identifiable. According to the CDC, almost 500,000 emergency room visits for traumatic brain injuries each year are made by children under the age of 14. And each year, emergency rooms nationwide treat nearly 175,000 sports-related traumatic brain injuries among children under the age of 19.

With March being Brain Injury Awareness Month, The Jamaica Hospital Department of Surgery Trauma Division wants to make sure you and your loved ones recognize traumatic brain injuries in children.

Call 9-1-1 or take the child to the emergency department right away if after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body the child exhibits one or more of the following danger signs:

  • One pupil larger than the other
  • Is drowsy or cannot be awakened
  • A headache that gets worse
  • Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Cannot recognize people or places
  • Becomes increasingly confused, restless

The following are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Brain Injury Association of America to reduce the chances that you or your family members will have a brain injury:

  • Always buckle your child into a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt (according to the child’s height, weight, and age) in the car.
  • Make sure your children wear helmets when riding a bike, scooter, or playing a contact sport, such as football, baseball or ice hockey.
  • Avoid falls in the home by: Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows. Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around. Using non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors;

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.

Treating A Bee Sting

One of the things we least look forward to while enjoying summer weather is being stung by a bee.  In the event that this happens, you should know how to properly treat stings.

Treating bee stings depends on severity. People who are allergic or people who have received multiple stings should seek immediate emergency care. However, if you are not allergic, and have not received multiple stings, you can do the following to relieve pain and swelling:

  • Remove the stinger as soon as possible, in any way that you can ( using tweezers or your fingernails are some ways that you can)
  • Wash the area with soap and water
  • Apply ice or cold compress to reduce swelling
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever as instructed
  • Apply hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion  or take oral antihistamines to relieve itching or swelling

If you have a severe reaction to a bee sting, go to the nearest hospital Emergency Room or call 911.

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.

Safely Grilling Food Outdoors

Summertime is a popular time of year for outdoor grilling. Food that is grilled outdoors always seems to delight our family and friends, but if we don’t practice proper food safety, people could get food poisoning.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when grilling food in order to avoid food poisoning:
• Always make sure the utensils you are using are clean before and after you use them
• Keep raw food away from cooked food by using separate plates
• Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching uncooked food
• Use a meat thermometer to ensure that meat is cooked at the right temperature
145 degrees for whole beef, pork, veal, lamb
145 degrees for fish
160 degrees for hamburgers and ground beef
165 degrees for poultry and hot dogs
• Check the date on the meat package to ensure it is fresh when you buy it
• Don’t leave raw meat or poultry out at room temperature for more than two hours
• Keep uncooked meat refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower
• After food is cooked, keep it hot until served at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter
• Wash all of the utensils used for grilling after you are done with them
• Do not partially cook food and finish it later
• Keep food out of direct sunlight
• Use a meat thermometer to ensure that meat is cooked at the right temperature

• By following these simple tips, you will ensure a wonderful meal will be enjoyed by everyone.

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.

Fruit and Vegetable Safety

I bet your doctor has talked to you at some point in your life about how important it is for your health to eat fruits and vegetables; they can help prevent stroke and heart disease, help you lose weight and even help to protect against certain types of cancer.  But one thing they probably didn’t mention is how important it is to pick and prepare fruits and vegetables properly to prevent food poisoning that can be caused by germs on your fresh produce.

This process all starts at the grocery store or market:

  • It is very important to choose produce that hasn’t been bruised or damaged. This creates an area where potentially harmful germs can grow.
  • Once you have your produce, keep it separated from raw meats in your cart, bags and refrigerator.
  • Make sure to keep pre-cut fruits and vegetables cold or refrigerated. They are less likely to grow harmful germs when kept cold.
  • Don’t be fooled! Read packages carefully as pre-packaged does not always mean pre-washed. There is still a risk of contamination.

Once you’re home, it’s important to:

  • Wash everything that will come into contact with your produce while you’re cooking; including your hands, cooking surfaces, utensils, and the produce itself. It is best to wash your fruits and vegetables under running water.
  • Make sure to remove any bruised or damaged areas of the produce.
  • Store all cut or peeled fruits and vegetables properly. They should be refrigerated within two hours of preparation if they are not going to be cooked.

Certain people have a greater chance of getting food poisoning and it is especially important to be careful when preparing food for them. Those people are the very young, adults older than 65 years old, pregnant women, or anyone with a weakened immune system.

Although most cases of food poisoning are mild, only lasting a few days, there are some more severe forms.  If you experience vomiting or diarrhea for more than three days, have a high fever greater than 101F, or see blood in your stool, you should talk to your doctor immediately.

With a little bit of new knowledge and care, you can protect yourself, enjoy a healthier diet and live a healthier life. Just remember to buy right, store properly, separate for safety and prepare safely.

For more information about current outbreaks of food poisoning related to food products, visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/features/foodsafetyquiz/

To schedule an appointment with a Family Medicine Physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call

Dr. Andrew Flowers, 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.

Swimming after Eating – How Long Should You Wait ?

Is it true that people should wait 30 minutes or even an hour after eating before they go swimming ? According to some health experts,  this rule is merely a myth.  Some people will experience stomach cramps if they do anything vigorous after a meal, but moderate swimming or any type of exercise shouldn’t cause any serious side effects.
The process of eating and digestion diverts some blood away from the muscles in the arms and legs and sends it towards the stomach and the intestines to aid in digestion. In most cases there is still enough blood for all of the body parts to function normally after a meal. In extreme cases when excessive exercise begins right after a meal, cramping can occur due to lack of oxygen, but this isn’t common.
Although there is very little risk of cramping associated with going swimming right after eating, it is still better to be safe and wait.

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.

When is a Sore Throat Not Just a Sore Throat?

We all develop a sore throat from time to time. There are many reasons for this. It might be due to a viral infection, an allergic reaction, or hoarseness from overuse.  In some case however, a sore throat can be a symptom of strep throat, which is a bacteria that if left untreated can lead to serious complications.

Strep throat is an infection of the throat and tonsils. You can get the infection from someone who is sick with it or is a carrier of it. Like other infections, it spreads from person to person or by touching objects that are contaminated and then touching your own eyes, mouth or nose. Strep throat is most common in children, but anyone can get it.

In addition to a sore throat some other symptoms of strep throat include:

  • A fever of 101 F or higher
  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • White patches in the throat
  • Tiny red spots on the roof of the mouth
  • Appetite loss
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
  • Rash

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and can administer a test to confirm if you have strep. There are two ways to test:

  • A rapid strep test can identify a case in just a few minutes. The doctor will gently hold down your tongue with a depressor. Then, use a cotton swab to take a little bit of mucous from the back of the throat.
  • A throat culture is performed by rubbing the sample from the throat swab onto a special dish. If you have strep throat, the streptococci bacteria will grow in it. It usually takes about two days to get results from a throat culture.

If you have strep, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria that caused the infection. Most treatments last for about ten days. The medicine can make your symptoms go away faster and help prevent complications. It is important to take the full the dose of antibiotics. Stopping the medicine too early can leave some bacteria alive, which can make you sick again.

Other things you can take to treat the symptoms of strep throat include:

  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen to bring down a fever and ease pain.
  • Throat lozenges or piece of hard candy to soothe a sore throat.
  • Liquids such as tea and broth or something cold such as an ice pop.

The best way to prevent getting strep is to practice good hygiene. Don’t share cups, dishes, forks, or other personal items with someone who’s sick and wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer many times daily.

If untreated, strep can lead to scarlet fever, inflammation of the kidney, and rheumatic fever; a serious inflammatory condition that can affect the heart, joints, nervous system and skin.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you suspect that you or your child has strep throat. If you do not have a doctor, 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.

Common Summer Illnesses

Typically when we think of seasonal illnesses, we think of conditions such as allergies, the cold and flu as they relate to winter, spring and fall months. However, it is important for us to remember certain illnesses are more likely to occur during the summer than at other times of the year.

Although the summer provides us with lots of sunshine and opportunities to enjoy recreational activities, warmer temperatures and elements of our environment can increase our risk of exposure to factors that affect our health.

Hot weather provides the perfect climate for bacteria to grow that causes food poisoning. Therefore, we have to be especially careful during summer months to make sure our food is stored and prepared correctly to avoid illness.

A favorite summer past time for many is swimming; however, the bodies of water in which we swim can serve as the perfect breeding ground for bacteria that causes recreational water illnesses (RWI) and can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea.  We also have to be mindful of properly draining or drying our ears after swimming, as this can encourage bacteria to grow, potentially leading to an infection known as swimmer’s ear.

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that peaks during the summer months when we are more exposed to ticks in wooded or grassy areas.   Therefore it is important to take the proper precautions to prevent tick bites while we are participating in outdoor activities such as hiking.

Coxsackie is a common summer virus that mostly affects children. The hand, foot and mouth disease is spread from person-to-person by saliva, blister fluid, feces and mucus.  Outbreaks peak in the summer; however, you can control the spread of the virus by frequently washing hands and cleaning surfaces that children touch most often.

Summer heat and places of recreation can provide the perfect environment for illness-causing bacteria and viruses to flourish.  Remember while soaking up the sunshine or lying by the lake to take the proper steps to reduce your chances of getting sick.

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 Provides New and Effective Way to Treat Prostate Gland Enlargement

Dr. Ricardo Ricciardi is one of the first Urologists in New York City to be recognized for his efforts in providing a new and effective way to treat Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), a condition that affects millions of men in the United States.

BPH — also called prostate gland enlargement — is a common condition that many men experience as they get older.  The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that surrounds the urethra. When the prostate becomes enlarged it can lead to BPH, which can cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms, such as frequent or urgent need to urinate and increased frequency of urination at night. In addition to urinary problems, men living with BPH also experience interrupted sleep, loss of productivity, and depression.  Over 40 million men in America are affected by BPH and 12 million are currently under the care of a physician for the condition.

Until recently, men living with BPH were offered two treatment options – medication or surgery. Medication is often the first-line of therapy for BPH, but relief can be inadequate and temporary. In addition, many men have reported various side effects including sexual dysfunction, dizziness and headaches.  Traditionally, the alternative treatment option has been surgery, but surgical options either require cutting, heating or removing prostate tissue to open the blocked urethra. While surgery has been effective in relieving symptoms, it requires a longer recovery period and can also leave patients with permanent side effects such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation.

Now, Dr. Ricciardi is offering the UroLift system, an FDA cleared, revolutionary treatment that provides rapid and durable relief from urinary symptoms associated with BPH. The UroLift system works by placing small, permanent implants into the prostate to lift and hold the enlarged tissue out of the way, relieving pressure on the urethra and allowing urine to flow. There is no cutting, heating, or removal of prostate tissue. This non-invasive procedure is done in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia. Patients experience rapid improvement with minimal side effects and are able to resume their normal routines quickly and no longer require medication.

According to Dr. Ricciardi, “I am privileged to be able to offer my patients the UroLift procedure, which is truly a breakthrough in the treatment of BPH. This procedure provides so many benefits and can increase their overall quality of life without any side effects.”

Dr. Ricciardi has performed over 100 UroLift procedures and his practice has recently been named as a Center of Excellence in this form of treatment. This designation recognizes that Dr. Ricciardi has achieved the highest level of training with the UroLift System and has demonstrated a commitment to providing exemplary care to men suffering from symptoms of BPH.  Less than 70 urologists in the United States have received a Center of Excellence designation and Dr. Ricciardi is the only physician in New York City to receive this honor.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ricciardi, please call  (718) 206-7110.

 

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 to Protect You and Your Family from Pinkeye

Pinkeye, also known as conjunctivitis, is one of the most common and highly treatable eye conditions.  More than three million adults and children in the U.S. contract pinkeye every year.

Pinkeye occurs when the thin, clear tissue under the eyelid, known as the conjunctiva, becomes inflamed.  This inflammation makes the blood vessels in the eye more visible, giving them a pink appearance.  People who develop pinkeye typically experience pain, or feel a burning or itchy sensation. Their eyes may also tear and form a discharge that crusts while sleeping.  Other symptoms may include swelling, tenderness or sensitivity to light.

There are several causes for pinkeye, but it is most commonly either viral, which is the most contagious form, or due to a bacterial infection. Other factors that can lead to pinkeye include exposure to irritants such as shampoo, cosmetics, dirt, or pool chlorine, an allergic reaction to pollen, dust, or smoke, or a reaction to eye drops or contact lenses.  Usually a doctor can diagnose pinkeye through a routine examination.

Treating pinkeye depends on the cause of the condition.  In most cases it is treated by administering artificial tears, which can be purchased over-the-counter, to treat the dryness and cold compresses to treat inflammation. If pinkeye has developed due to a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be prescribed. Symptoms of pinkeye typically last anywhere from one to two weeks.

To avoid contracting pinkeye, take the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes.
  • Avoid sharing towels, blankets, and pillowcases.
  • Do not share eye makeup, face makeup, makeup brushes, contact lenses or containers, or eyeglasses.

In rare cases pinkeye can lead to complications. Please see a doctor if you experience moderate to severe pain your eyes, if you have problems with your vision, or if symptoms persist or worsen over time.

To make an appointment 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.