August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

Traditionally, the month of August is when children around the United States starting getting prepared to return to school. Often this will require them to visit their pediatricians for physical exams and vaccinations. One of the most important exams is an eye exam.

The American Optometric Association recommends that children get their first eye check-up when they are six months old. They should receive another check-up at the age of three, and again when they are either five or six. After the age of six, children should have their eyes examined every two years unless they wear contact lenses or glasses which require annual visits to an eye doctor. It is also recommended that your child visit an eye doctor if they exhibit signs and symptoms of a vision disorder. These include:

• Lack of interest in reading
• Not able to see things far away
• Constant tilting of the head
• Squinting when watching TV
• Frequent blinking and rubbing of the eyes
• Seeing double
• Holding a book close to the face
• An eye that wanders
• Covering one eye
• Inability to stay focused on an object

Eye health and eye health are very important. If you would like to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital, 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 Celebrates Breast Feeding Week

Today Jamaica Hospital Medical Center hosted a baby shower for women in our community in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week. Our lactation consultants along with special guests spoke to moms-to-be about the importance of breastfeeding and the many health benefits it provides.

Each year, August first to seventh is designated World Breastfeeding Week to encourage breastfeeding around the world and improve the health of babies.

World Breastfeeding Week was created 26 years ago by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) to promote the health benefits infants receive from being fed breast milk exclusively for the first six months of life. The observation is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).

Organizations including WHO and the American Academy of Pediatrics have found that in addition to being an optimal source of nutrition, breastfeeding offers babies protection from bacteria and viruses that can lead to potential life threatening diseases. Breastfeeding also benefits mothers; women who choose to breastfeed are less likely to develop breast or ovarian cancer, diabetes and post-partum depression.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, recently designated Baby-Friendly USA promotes exclusive breastfeeding. Our hospital provides several social and clinical programs created to support pregnant and nursing mothers.   Some our programs include breastfeeding education classes, Centering Pregnancy and breastfeeding support groups. The hospital opened a lactation lounge for our community to utilize and access 24 hours, 7 days a week.

For more information about the services we provide, please 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 Offers Effective, Non-Surgical Treatment for Varicose Veins

Jamaica Hospital now offers the VenaCure EVLT therapy to treat a condition that affects over 25 million Americans – varicose veins.

Varicose veins are bulging, bluish cords that run beneath the surface of your skin and are most prevalent on the legs and feet. They are sometimes surrounded by patches of flooded capillaries known as spider veins.   While varicose veins are usually harmless, in some cases they can become painful and tender to the touch. They can also lead to swollen ankles and hinder circulation in the limbs.

Up until recently, the most common way to treat varicose veins is through the use of compression stockings designed to help leg muscles push blood upward, or taking over-the-counter medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen to alleviate swelling. In more serious cases, doctors can perform a variety of interventions, including the use of heat with radiofrequency to close the veins, injecting chemicals into the vein, or even some surgical options that either strip or remove the vein entirely.

Now, Jamaica Hospital is offering a new and more effective way of treating varicose veins.  The VenaCure EVLT system is the number one physician choice in laser vein treatment and brings remarkable results and significant advantages to remedying superficial vein reflux.  During this laser vein treatment, a thin fiber is inserted into the damaged vein. A laser light is emitted through a fiber, delivering just the right amount of energy, causing these superficial veins to close and reroute blood flow to other veins.

This minimally invasive and clinically proven treatment option boasts a 98 percent success rate with minimal to-no scarring, offers less discomfort and a quicker recovery period than other forms of therapy for varicose veins.  The VenaCure EVLT procedure is also easy to perform, results in less complications, is done in your doctor’s office, and can get you back on your feet in less than an hour.

For more information about VenaCure EVLT treatment, or to schedule an appointment with one of Jamaica Hospital’s vascular surgeons, 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.

Employee Spotlight on Samantha Nunez

This month we shine our employee spotlight on Samantha Nunez an Administrative Assistant in the Department of Ambulatory Care at Jamaica Hospital. Samantha has been working at the hospital for the past two years, and prior to that she was at  Flushing Hospital.
Samantha is a native of Queens, having grown up and attended school in the South Ozone Park and currently resides in St. Albans.  She is a graduate of Martin Van Buren High School and is now studying for her degree at Nassau Community College. Samantha has been greatly influenced by her work in the health field and her future plan is to obtain a master’s degree in Business Administration, specializing in the health professions.
In her free time Samantha enjoys going to concerts, movies, spending time with family and friends, and traveling whenever she has the opportunity. She enjoys all four seasons but the one she likes the most is Spring.
Samantha is very close with her family, especially her grandmother who she tries to see as often as possible. She has a very strong relationship with her two sisters and is surrounded by a very nice group of friends that she also likes to spend time with. Samantha has two puppies, Simba and Bambi that she absolutely adores.
Samantha enjoys the diversity of the people she works with at Jamaica Hospital. She finds her colleagues to be very much like a family, and everyone helps one another to provide a very high level of care to our patients. Samantha has learned a lot by working at Jamaica Hospital and it has definitely influenced her long term goal of being involved in healthcare.

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 it Time to Address Your Child’s Lisp?

Most of us find it adorable when our children mispronounce different words and sounds when they are young and first learning to speak. While in most cases, these miscommunications are something they outgrow as they develop, certain distortions, such as lisps, may eventually require intervention.

A lisp is a term used to describe the mispronunciation of words.  The most common form of lisp occurs when a child makes a “th” sound when trying to make an “s” sound. This typically takes place when the child pushes their tongue out when making these sounds instead of keeping it behind their top teeth.

There are four types of lips:

  • A palatal lisp means that when your child tries to make an “s” or a “z” sound, his tongue contacts the soft palate.
  • A lateral lisp means that air travels out of either side of the tongue. Children with a lateral lisp produce “s” and “z” sounds that sound “slushy.”
  • A dentalized lisp means that your child’s tongue makes contact with his teeth while producing the “s” and “z” sounds.
  • An interdental lisp, sometimes called a frontal lisp, means that the tongue pushes forward through the teeth, creating a “th” sound instead of an “s” or “z” sound.

Lisps are very common in children and there are many reasons why they develop. While they are normal in early childhood development, if a child continues to have a lisp by the age of seven, you should seek professional assistance as the longer you wait to treat one, the harder they are to correct.  Your pediatrician, dentist, or school speech therapist can refer you to a speech language pathologist who can assess and treat your child for their lisp. These professionals offer a variety of techniques to correct a lisp and treatment can last anywhere from a couple of months to years of therapy.

In addition to having a speech language pathologist treat your child, parents can do a few things at home to help correct a lisp, such as:

  • Treating any existing allergy or sinus problems so your child can breathe through their nose as open-mouth breathing can cause the tongue to lie flat and protrude.
  • Keeping your child’s fingers out of their mouth as much as possible since thumb-sucking can contribute to a lisp.
  • Having your child use a straw in their drinks. This kind of sucking motion promotes good oral-motor strength, which is so important in language development.
  • Encouraging fun activities that can improve oral-motor strength such as having your child blow bubbles or playing with a toy horn.
  • Having your child look in a mirror and practice putting his teeth together while he makes an “s” This exercise can help him remember to keep his tongue behind his teeth

Most importantly, make sure that while you are supportive of correcting your child’s lisp, you do not point it out to them repeatedly or publicly as this can affect their self-esteem and result in them speaking less.

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.

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.

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.

The Facts About Male Infertility

Infertility is a diagnosis given to couples who have been unsuccessful at conceiving after a year of trying. Infertility affects approximately 15% of all couples and within this group male infertility issues contribute to 30% of all cases.

During Men’s Health Month, Jamaica Hospital wants to provide information about male infertility and offer treatment options for those trying to conceive.

 

The most common cause of male infertility is a varicocele, which is an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum that holds the testicles. Varicoceles are a common cause of low sperm production and decreased sperm quality.

Other causes include:

  • Age
  • A blockage in your reproductive system
  • Undescended testicles
  • Sperm that are abnormally shaped or that don’t move correctly
  • Hormone problems
  • Certain health conditions, such as cancer
  • An infection or sexually transmitted disease (STD)
  • Erectile dysfunction.

Sometimes the cause of male infertility is unknown. In these cases, it may be the result of genetics, lifestyle, or environmental factors.

A doctor can help find the cause of infertility. Your doctor will do an exam and review your medical history. A semen analysis will determine sperm count and quality. Another test your doctor may perform is a check of your hormone levels.

While you cannot always prevent male infertility, there are factors that can affect this condition that should be avoided. These include:

  • smoking
  • alcohol or drug abuse
  • emotional stress
  • obesity
  • Frequent hot tub use or wearing tight fitting underwear.

More than half of male infertility cases can be corrected. Treatment options depend on the root cause. Medicine can improve hormone levels or erectile dysfunction. Surgery can help correct physical problems, such as a varicocele. It also can repair blockages or other damage. Surgery is often minor and done as an outpatient procedure.

In cases where infertility cannot be cured, your doctor may suggest a form of assisted reproductive therapy, such as:

  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI). A man’s sperm is collected and inserted into the woman’s uterus. This procedure is done at the time of ovulation.
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF). This technique is more complex. A man’s sperm and a woman’s egg are fertilized in the lab. Then it is implanted back in the woman’s uterus.

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.

Tips to Successfully Transition Your Child Into Daycare

Placing your child in a daycare center is a reality for more and more working parents today.

The idea of leaving your child in the care of others for an extended period of time can be a frightening one to both you and your child. Many parents feel apprehensive about exposing their babies to a new environment, and the situation is only intensified as some children can experience separation anxiety at the thought of being away from their parents for the first time.

Below are a few tips to help both parents and children as they transition to this new daily routine.

  • Do your research – Before choosing a daycare environment, it is important for parents to do some investigation. Ask plenty of questions from other parents as well as from the daycare staff. It is also appropriate to ask to “sit-in” to observe the staff in action. By doing some due diligence, parents will feel less anxiety and more confident with their choice in a daycare provider.
  • Explain the situation to your child in advance – Sometimes it’s the unexpected that is most frightening to children. You can help the situation by preparing your child for what they will encounter at daycare. Explain to them everything that they will do during their day and everyone that they will meet. Picture books designed to outline the daycare experience to your child can also be a helpful tool
  • Try a gradual start – If your schedule will allow it, try easing your child into a daycare setting by enrolling them on a part-time basis. This can either be shorter sessions or for only a couple of days per week. After they get comfortable with their new surroundings, you can incrementally extend the experience. This gradual transition can reduce stress and anxiety for both parent and child.
  • Be organized – The pressure of transitioning into daycare can only be intensified when parents are running around at the last second as they look to get out the door. A chaotic environment takes a parents attention away from their child, who might need it. Prepare everything the night before so your trip to daycare can be a calm and relaxed one. Creating a check-list is always a good idea.
  • Have your child bring something familiar – A reminder of home will make those first few trips to daycare a little easier and provide comfort on difficult days for an anxious child. Ask your child if they would like to bring their favorite stuffed animal or a cozy blanket with them. These comfort items can reduce the stress associated with going to daycare.
  • Invent a goodbye ritual – Families should create a consistent way of saying goodbye to each other to help establish a fuss-free drop off experience. This could be a loving phrase, a secret handshake or special kiss that is shared just between a parent and a child. This ritual will make your child feel special and it will limit prolonged goodbyes.
  • Expect some tears – It can take anywhere from one day to a month for a child to adjust to daycare. During this transition it is perfectly natural for your child to cry when you drop them off. While this can be heartbreaking to parents in the moment, understand that children are resilient and a daycare experience can actually help them develop social and adaptation skills.

Following these tips can take what can be a tension-filled time in both your life and the life of your child, and make it into a positive and stress-free experience.

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.