Learn the Facts About Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially life-threatening condition for those living with diabetes. It occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough sugar (glucose) due to a lack of insulin.

Under normal conditions, insulin serves to help glucose enter the cells that make up our muscles and tissues and provide them with the energy they need.  However, when the body can’t produce enough insulin, glucose remains in the bloodstream and fatty acids called ketones begin to build-up. These ketones can eventually spill over into the urine, leading to DKA.

If you have diabetes or you’re at risk of developing diabetes, learn the warning signs of diabetic ketoacidosis — and know when to seek emergency care. DKA signs and symptoms can develop quickly and can include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Flushed, hot, or dry skin
  • Loss of appetite or abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath

Diabetic ketoacidosis can lead to many health complications including low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) levels, low potassium (hypokalemia) levels, and swelling in the brain (cerebral edema). If left untreated, the risks can become much greater. Diabetic ketoacidosis can lead to loss of consciousness and even fatality.

There are many different reasons for DKA to occur. One of the most common causes is the existence of a severe infection or other illness, such as pneumonia or a urinary tract infection. These types of infections can cause the body to produce high levels of hormones that counter the effects of insulin.

Another common cause of DKA for people who are insulin dependent is either missed or inappropriate insulin therapy, which can leave the body with not enough insulin. Other contributing factors for the onset of DKA include extreme dehydration, trauma, heart attack, or alcohol or drug abuse.

The best way to prevent DKA is to commit yourself to managing your diabetes by living a healthy lifestyle and regularly monitoring your blood glucose and ketone levels.  If you find that your levels are not what they should be, act quickly and consult with your doctor about adjusting your dosage or seek emergency care.

To schedule an appointment with a doctor 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.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Each year thousands of lives are lost due to someone who is not fully concentrating on the road while operating a motor vehicle. A few of the things that people should avoid while driving include:

  • Texting
  • Eating
  • Adjusting a radio or GPS
  • Talking on the phone
  • Personal grooming

Dr. Geoffrey Doughlin, Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Jamaica Hospital, explains in this video why distracted driving is so dangerous.

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.

High Blood Pressure? Check Your Salt Intake.

In the United States, one out of every three adults has been diagnosed with high blood pressure. It is a symptomless disease and is known as the “silent killer.” One step you can take to avoiding or controlling high blood pressure can begin with your diet.

A high sodium diet increases blood pressure in many people. Based on the recommendations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the amount of salt intake in your diet should be no greater than 2,300 milligram per day, which is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of salt. This can be easily consumed if you are not watching what you eat. You may be consuming them every day without knowing its potential to harm you, or your family, in the long run. Many convenience foods can be a culprit of containing high sodium content.

Some examples of the daily foods to avoid, which contain high sodium contents are:

  • Frozen Dinners and pre-packaged foods
    • Packaged deli meats/ lunch meats
    • Canned foods and fast foods
    • Soups and nuts
    • Spaghetti Sauce
    • Chips and dip

Some helpful tips to begin modifying your diet can include:

  • Creating a food diary to help keep track of the salt in the foods you eat
    • Read the ‘nutritional facts’ label on every food package and opt for a lower sodium version
    • Avoid pre-packaged foods and try using salt-free seasonings
    • Opt for fruits and vegetables to naturally spice up your food- onions, cranberries, and apple butter are some good examples of foods and products that can enhance your meal

Making the effort can be difficult at first but it’s worth your long term health. If you believe you are at risk of high blood pressure, speak with your physician and see if a low-sodium diet could benefit you.  If you do not have a private physician, please contact Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 to set up an appointment with a physician.

For these and other helpful ways to side step hypertension, log onto www.webmd.com.

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.

Types and Stages Of Lung Cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC) are the two major types of lung cancer. About 80 to 85% of diagnosed cases of the disease are attributed to NSCLC and the remaining 10 to 15% to SCLC.

Once diagnosed, a doctor will try to determine how much cancer has spread; this process is known as staging.  Different stages of the disease describe how much cancer is in the body and can help doctors to decide on suitable treatment options.

The staging system most commonly used for NSCLC is the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM system.  There are four stages which include:

Stage 1- Cancer is found only in the lungs and has not spread to lymph nodes.

Stage 2 – Cancer is found in the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes.

Stage 3- Cancer is found in the lungs, lymph nodes, and in the middle of the chest.

Stage 4- Cancer is found in the lungs, fluid in the area around the lungs, as well as other parts of the body and other organs.

The stages of SCLC are based on the results of biopsies, physical exams, imaging tests or any additional form of testing used to determine how far this type of cancer has advanced. Doctors typically use a two-stage system to help them to decide which form of treatment is best.  The stages of SCLC are:

Limited Stage- This is when cancer is found in only one side of the chest and in the lymph nodes above the collarbone – on the same side of the chest.

Extensive Stage- This describes when cancer has spread to lungs, the lymph nodes and other parts of the body.

Treatment for each type of lung cancer varies by stage.   Typical approaches for NSCLC may include surgery, radiation, immunotherapy or chemotherapy.  Radiation or chemotherapy are the most common types of treatment used for patients diagnosed with SCLC.

Smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products contribute greatly to the development of lung cancer. Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of developing this deadly disease.

If you are ready to quit smoking, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center provides a free smoking cessation program. To learn about our Freedom From Smoking program please call, 718-206-8494 or visit www.JamaicaHospital.org.

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 Introduces Robotic Pet Therapy to Provide Comfort to Patients

Being hospitalized can be a difficult situation for many. In addition to dealing with being sick or injured, patients struggle with feelings of depression, stress and loneliness. To help them cope with these emotions, Jamaica Hospital has recently implemented an innovative pilot program that is receiving very encouraging feedback.

Under the guidance of Dr. Sharon Wexler, PhD, RN, nurse researcher at Jamaica Hospital, a study is being conducted at the hospital to determine the benefits of robotic pets on hospitalized older adults (65 and older). These patients were selected because they are among the group most likely to demonstrate feelings of depression or loneliness during hospitalization.

According to the robotic pet program, patients receive a free, lifelike, battery-powered cat or dog with an audible heart beat to care for and play with. These pets interact with the patients by purring or barking, snuggling, turning their heads, opening and closing their eyes, wagging their tails, moving their paws, and showing their bellies. The pets, which come with a collar, identification tag, and grooming brush, cost approximately $100 and are single patient use only, so patients get to take them home with them once they are discharged.

Some may ask why use robotic pet therapy when actual pet therapy is available?  The answer is Jamaica Hospital, like many other hospitals across the country does recognize and utilize live pet therapy for our patients. While pet therapy has been widely proven to improve the spirits of patients and potentially improve clinical outcomes, there are some limitations to this service. Unfortunately, traditional pet therapy services are not available 24 hours a day. In addition, some patients may have a fear of animals or be allergic to them. By introducing robotic pet therapy in addition to traditional pet therapy as an intervention, Jamaica Hospital now offers our patients a technologically advanced and effective additional service to boost their outlook and recovery process.

Prior to using realistic looking robotic pets, the hospital had older patients care for an avatar virtual service animal by using a tablet computer. The results were extremely positive as these patients exhibited increased cognition levels and reported fewer feelings of loneliness and depression, making the decision to continue with the robotic pet service an easy one.

While robotic pet therapy has been utilized at many extended care facilities, Jamaica is the first hospital to explore the potential of this service in an acute care setting. The hospital has already enrolled dozens of patients into this program, which began only a couple of months ago, and early indications are very promising, with patients expressing very positive feedback about their experience.  The hospital looks forward to the continuation and expansion of this program in the future.

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.

Parenting – Should Children be Paid to do Household Chores?

Many parents wrestle with the question of whether or not their children should be required to do chores around the house, and if so, should they be paid for it? There’s really no simple answer.

There are pros and cons to every method of administering an allowance to children. Some think kids should earn money in exchange for doing chores, others believe kids should not be paid for regular contributions that are expected of every family member.  No matter which side you agree with, the point of an allowance is to teach your kids money management skills.

Age appropriate, weekly chores, whether it’s taking out the garbage, emptying the dishwasher, folding clean laundry, cleaning the cat litter box, or light yard work like raking leaves, can help a child develop character. Paying them for their contributions also helps them to develop a respect for earning money.

You might decide on a definite set of weekly chores that your child must complete before being paid, or choose to make a list with a set price per chore and leave it up to them. Bigger tasks like shoveling snow, earn more money, and things like making their bed, earn less.

The method you end up using may not be what you started with, every child is different and the family dynamic and responsibility varies. However you structure it, be flexible. Even if you offer your child an allowance with no strings attached, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask them to do something periodically.

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 – Katiria Martinez

This month we are pleased to shine our employee spotlight on Katiria Martinez, an Ambulatory Care Representative in the Emergency Department since 2014.
Katiria currently lives in Brooklyn but grew up in the Richmond Hill section of Queens and is very familiar with the area surrounding Jamaica Hospital. According to Katiria, working in the Emergency Department is dynamic and can be very rewarding. She is extremely happy when she can make someone’s day more pleasant , especially when they are facing very stressful moments in the hospital emergency room. She finds it very interesting meeting people from all walks of life and from all over the world.  Katiria states “I am very fortunate to be working with a great group of people. Everyone helps one another which makes it a very good work environment.”  She feels very fortunate to have a supervisor who encourages her to be the best that she can be and who teaches her so many important skills. These are all reasons that she enjoys coming to work every day.
When Katiria isn’t at work she enjoys spending time with her children, two sons and a daughter. She has a fondness for all kinds of outdoor activities such as going camping, hiking, spending time in the woods,  and also spending time at the beach.  Summer is her favorite time because she enjoys warm weather and it is the best time of year to be outdoors. One of the sports she enjoys is archery.  She also enjoys traveling to new places and she is hoping to visit Panama on her next vacation.
Katiria believes in living life to the fullest. When she is at work she strives to make each day interesting and to make a positive difference in the lives of the people she interacts with. When she is home she feels the same way, her family is the most important part of her life and she enjoys the time she spends with them. Katiria  is always trying to make each day a great day for everyone she meets.

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.

Q&A: A lot of patients ask, do I need a PAP smear every year?

Dr. Peter Wong OB/GYN Jamaica Hospital

A PAP smear is looking at the cells of the cervix for any abnormalities. This can help identify cervical cancer. A lot of patients ask, do I need a PAP smear every year?
For a majority of women, the short answer is no. The true answer is dependent on a number of factors: past PAP smear results, your age, and the type of testing that has been done.

In 2012, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends women start getting PAP smears starts at age 21. For women age 21 to 65 years, the USPSTF recommends a PAP smear every 3 years. For women age 30 to 65 years who want to lengthen the screening interval, screening with a combination of cytology and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing every 5 years.

If a woman has any abnormal findings in their PAP smear or HPV testing, then the screening interval changes.
You should continue to visit your gynecologist for yearly annual exams to ensure overall health. Your clinician will check for any signs of infection, prolapse, and abnormal growths (fibroids, cysts, polyps).

Each individual’s case is unique, speak to your doctor about your current health and their recommendations for a PAP smear.

For women experiencing gynecological issues, Jamaica Hospital provides many highly specialized services and treatments for a wide range of conditions that affect women’s health. Our specially trained staff offers expert diagnosis and treatment options for multiple forms of gynecological cancers as well as services to treat complications that may develop from fibroid tumors, bladder conditions, or menopause.

If you would like more information, please feel free to contact us at 718-206-6808.

 

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 You Need to Know About Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills are a hormonal type of oral contraceptive that needs to be taken every day to prevent pregnancy. They work by stopping ovulation so that the fertilization of an egg by sperm cannot occur.

Most women are prescribed combination birth control pills which contain two types of hormones- estrogen and progestin. There are progestin-only pills available as well. These are often recommended for women who have medical reasons for avoiding estrogen. Most combination birth control packs contain pills for every day of the month (depending on the pack). The three first weeks of the pack are pills with hormones. The final week contains placebo pills or sugar pills (no hormone). This last week of having no hormones allows your menstrual period to occur.

The pill is generally safe when taken as prescribed; however, if you are considering this form of contraception, there are a few things you should know:

How effective are birth control pills?

When taken correctly, birth control pills are about 91% effective. It is important to take the pill at the same time every day to improve efficacy. If you are forgetful, there are some easy ways to remember to take your pill every day.  You can set an alarm on your phone or put your pills next to your toothbrush or in other places you are likely to see them every day. If you decide that you want to become pregnant; birth control pills can be stopped at any time and periods typically return within three months.

What are some benefits of taking birth controls pills other than preventing pregnancy?

In addition to preventing pregnancy, oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) are great at helping women with irregular and/or painful periods regulate their cycles and minimize pain.  OCPs can also help decrease the symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome), which involve mood changes related to menstrual cycling. Another added benefit of taking OCPs is, they can also help improve cystic acne in many women.  Lastly, studies have found that taking birth control pills may reduce the likelihood of endometrial and ovarian cancer.

What side effects are likely to occur?

Women may experience side effects with birth control pills but they usually go away after 2-3 months. Some common side effects are spotting between periods, changes in libido, or nausea. Doctors sometimes advise that you stick with the pill for this duration of time to see if the side effects will subside. If they don’t or you experience more serious effects such as increased blood pressure or blood clots, speak to your doctor. Serious side effects are generally rare and many people have to try different birth control pills until they find the right one for them.

What should I do if I forget to take my pill?

If you missed one pill, take your pill as soon as you remember. It’s okay to take two pills on the same day or within 24 hours. If two or more pills are missed in the 1st week, take the most recent missed pill as soon as possible (discard the missed pill). Continue taking your daily pills according to the pack. If you missed two or more pills, you may be at risk of becoming pregnant: resume taking your daily pills and avoid having sex without condoms, or use another backup birth control method for at least seven days of hormonal pills. Emergency contraception should be considered if you missed pills within the first week and had sex without a condom in the previous five days. If the forgotten pill is during days 15-21 of a 28-day pack, then skip the placebo pills. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides recommended actions for late or missed OCPs. https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/unintendedpregnancy/pdf/248124_fig_2_3_4_final_tag508.pdf

Who should not take birth control pills?

Talk to your doctor if any of the following pertain to you:

  • Are over 35 years old and smoke more than 15 cigarettes per day
  • Have hypertension
  • Have a history of Venous thromboembolism (blood clots)
  • Have a history of, or current, breast cancer
  • Have liver cirrhosis or failure
  • Suffer from migraines with aura at any age

It is important to remember, that while OCPs are very effective at preventing pregnancy, they do not prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  If you are having sex with a new partner, or you are concerned about infections, it is important to use condoms in addition to OCPs. It is recommended that you also get tested for STIs at your doctor’s office.

If you have questions about contraception or family planning and would like to schedule an appointment with a family medicine doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center please call, 718-206-6942

Marina Bissada D.O. 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.

History of Orthodontics

More and more people, both children and adults are seeking orthodontic treatment today. Having well aligned teeth is not only important for a nice smile but also for proper dental health.

The importance of having healthy and aligned teeth dates back as early as 1000 BC. The ancient Egyptians and the Etruscans were using material made from animal intestines to move teeth into better alignment. An ancient Roman scientist discovered that by applying finger pressure on teeth for an extended period of time over the course of months would help move teeth into a new position.

The first more modern practice of orthodontics was documented in the early 1770’s. A French surgeon dentist named Pierre Fauchard came up with the concept of the “Bandeau” which was a horseshoe shaped device that gave the mouth a natural arch. Later on in the early 1800’s Francois Delabarre invented the wire crib that was placed on the teeth and help move them into better alignment. In the mid 1800’s dentists began to realize that the jaw and the teeth would have to be aligned simultaneously and this was accomplished by using tiny rubber tubing and wire cribs together.

In the early 1900’s, we entered the era of orthodontics that we are more familiar with today. Back then, dentists would wrap different materials depending on their preference (ivory, wood, copper, or zinc and later on gold or silver) and connect them with bands that helped move the teeth into the desired position. In the 1970’s stainless steel was more widely used and this had the advantage of being less costly and also more flexible than the other materials used previously.

In the late 1990’s, orthodontics changed with the introduction of the invisible braces. In addition to brackets that were placed on the inside of people’s teeth to make it more aestically appealing, clear retainers were also being used which would help to align teeth.

To schedule an appointment with a dentist at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-6980.

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.