When is the Best Time to Get a Flu Vaccine ?

Flu season can start in September and run until May. Even before the summer is over, pharmacies start advertising that the flu vaccine is available. While many people believe that the best time to get a flu vaccine is as soon as possible, getting it in October probably is the best option. Some research has shown that the effects of the vaccine start to wear off after six months so we want to make sure we are well protected when the height of the flu season is upon us.

Every year the flu vaccine is different, manufactured with the hope that it will be effective against the prevalent strain expected for that year. It is estimated that it takes approximately two weeks for the vaccine to become fully effective, so being covered early is important. Everyone who is going to be vaccinated wants to be prepared before the peak of the flu season which runs from December to late March. If you would to schedule an appointment for a flu vaccine in the Ambulatory Care Center 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.

New Colon and Rectal Cancer Screening Guidelines

Earlier this week, the American Cancer Society updated its guidelines for colon and rectal cancer screenings and is now calling for all adults to be screened by age 45 and no longer wait until 50 years of age, which was the previous recommendation.

Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates annually there are over 136,000 people diagnosed with the disease and approximately 50,000 of those cases are fatal.

The change in guidelines is in large part due to recent data that notes an increase in the number of colon and rectal cancer diagnoses in younger adults in recent years. According to reports there has been a 51% increase of these types of cases in the U.S. in people under the age of 50 since 1994. Possible reasons for the rise are poor diet or obesity.

Conversely, the number of both the number of cases and the number of deaths linked to colon and rectal cancer has declined in older adults. Many attribute the decline to increased efforts to screen this population.

Regular screening is one of the most powerful weapons for preventing colon cancer. Screening can also result in finding cancer early, when it is easier to treat and more likely to be curable. If polyps are found during colon screening, they can usually be removed before they have the chance to turn into cancer.
Common symptoms of colon cancer include:

Changes in bowel habits or a change in stool consistency that lasts more than four weeks
Rectal bleeding
Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
Feeling that bowels do not empty completely
Weakness or fatigue
Unexplained weight loss

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are over the age of 45, Jamaica Hospital urges you to get screened. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center and schedule your screening, 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.

Do You See “Floating” Spots in Your Field of Vision?

Have you ever experienced small specs or thin lines in your field of vision? Those spots, lines, or other shapes you see before your eyes are commonly referred to as “floaters.”  In almost all cases floaters, while annoying, are no cause for concern and should not interfere with your sight.

Floaters earn their name by moving around in your eye. They tend to dart away when you try to focus on them. They usually come and go over time and appear most often when you look at something bright.

The onset of floaters usually occurs in individuals 50 years and older and once you get them, they usually don’t go away. Most people who experience floaters state that they notice them less over time.

Floaters come in many different shapes, such as:

  • Black or gray dots
  • Squiggly lines
  • Threadlike strands, which can be knobby and almost see-through
  • Cobwebs
  • Rings

Most floaters are small flecks of a protein called collagen that are part of a gel-like substance in the back of your eye called the vitreous. As we age, these protein fibers that make up the vitreous shrink down and clump together, forming a shadow on our retina – or a floater.

Floaters are more common in those who are nearsighted or have had cataract surgery. It’s rare, but floaters can also result from:

  • Eye Disease
  • Eye injury
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Eye tumors

Most people ignore floaters and learn to live with them. Only in rare cases do they get bad enough to require treatment. The best way to temporarily remove floaters from your field of vision is to circulate the fluid in your eyes by shifting your eyeballs up and down.

If however you have so many floaters that your vision is compromised your doctor may suggest surgery called a vitrectomy. During this procedure, the vitreous is removed and replaced with a salt solution.

If you only have a few eye floaters that don’t change over time, don’t sweat it, but go to the doctor immediately if you notice:

  • A sudden increase in the number of floaters
  • Flashes of light
  • A loss of side vision
  • Changes that come on quickly and get worse over time
  • Floaters after eye surgery or eye trauma
  • Eye pain

The risk is low, but these symptoms may indicate a tear or a more serious break in your retina. You should treat a possible retinal break or detachment as an emergency. Treatment may save your sight.

To speak to an eye specialist at Jamaica Hospital’s Ophthalmology Center, please call 718-206-5900.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital Reducing Pressure Injuries for Hospital Patients Through Wound Care Service

Jamaica Hospital now provides a comprehensive consultative wound care service for all inpatients.

The purpose of the service, offered though the Nursing Department and run by Rosalyn Beswick, Clinical Nurse Manager and Certified Wound Care Nurse, is to prevent pressure injuries from occurring through education and intervention.

A pressure injury (previously known as pressure ulcer) is defined as localized damage to the skin and/or underlying soft tissue usually over a bony prominence. The injury can present as intact skin or an open ulcer and may be painful. Pressure injuries usually occur as a result of intense and/or prolonged pressure.

Rosalyn and her team of specially trained wound care technicians provide around the clock coverage for all patients in need of their services. The team performs approximately 50 consults every week with the number growing steadily. “As the providers become more familiar with the services we provide and learn how we can contribute to the recovery of the patients, they are utilizing us more and more” states Rosalyn.

One of the main focuses of the wound care team is to provide instructions on how to properly position patients to allow for the appropriate distribution of weight.  Another service offered includes monitoring the nutritional status of the patient to ensure they receive a diet high in protein and vitamins as well as adequate hydration.  Lastly, the wound care specialists assess patients and offer the necessary moisture management, needed to prevent a breakdown of the skin. To support this effort, hospital administration has made an investment to purchase over 200 new bed surfaces and additional foam wedges, which will greatly benefit the team and the patients they serve.

The results of this program have been overwhelmingly positive. Since the inception of the service, the hospital’s pressure injury incidence rate went from 3.48 to .93, well below the national average. As a result Jamaica Hospital’s patients have benefited by reporting decreased pain and suffering and improved quality of life.

Rosalyn is very excited about how well the service has been received, “The patients are thankful for their improved quality of life and the staff is appreciative to have the resource available to them.” With more and more doctors, nurses and discharge planners counting on the services offered by the wound care team, Jamaica Hospital is confident that this service will continue to improve the overall quality of care provided to our patients.”

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.

Today is World Health Day – Let’s Talk About Depression

In recognition of the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO), every April 7th people across the earth celebrate World Health Day.

Doctor In Consultation With Depressed Female Patient

Every year on this date, WHO and its partners select a different global health issue – The subject of their 2017 awareness campaign is depression and their campaign slogan is “Depression: Let’s Talk.”

Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. The risk of becoming depressed is increased by poverty, unemployment, life events such as the death of a loved one or a relationship break-up, physical illness and problems caused by alcohol and drug use. Untreated depression can prevent people from working and participating in family and community life. At worst, depression can lead to suicide.

At the core of the World Health Day campaign is the importance of talking about depression as a vital component of recovery. There is a negative association surrounding many mental health disorders, including depression. This connotation remains a obstacle that is difficult to overcome for people around the world   By encouraging those with depression to talk to others, whether with a family member helps break down this stigma. Also, by initiating conversations about depression in group forums, such as in schools, in the workplace and in social settings; or in the public domain, such as in the news media or on social media platforms will ultimately lead to more people seeking help.

Jamaica Hospital operates a outpatient mental health center where individuals can speak with trained mental health professional about depression or any other disorder. To make 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.