Keeping Kids Busy During These Challenging Times

During these last few months, with schools closed and social distancing rules in place, it has proven to be very challenging to keep children occupied.

Here are some suggestions that you may find helpful for keeping children occupied based on their age.

Younger children:

  • Go on scavenger hunts around your neighborhood
  • Put painters tape on the floor and make a maze for toy trucks to follow
  • Take a whiteboard or pieces of paper and let your child write a story
  • Make hand puppets with socks and tell stories
  • Plant seeds in paper cups and watch them grow
  • Build a fort with a sheet

Older children :

  • Go on virtual tours of interesting places around the world.
  • Bake cookies
  • Use the internet to learn new skills or to learn how to play an instrument
  • Write letters to people in nursing homes
  • Play board games

While trying new and innovative ways to occupy their time can be difficult at times, there are many benefits. These activities can stimulate them mentally and physically and help them to avoid boredom and depression. There are also many resources on the internet that will help you to find activities that suit everyone’s interests.

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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 Importance of Getting a Bone Density Screening

A bone density test is a type of x-ray that measures the concentration of calcium and other minerals in the bones. This test is most commonly performed to evaluate a patient for osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to lose density and become easy to break or fracture.

Some people are more at risk for developing osteoporosis than others. Risk factors include:

  • Age – Older people tend to have a greater incidence of osteoporosis
  • Race – Caucasians and Asians are typically more prone to bone density issues
  • Gender – Women experience bone loss more frequently than men
  • Dietary factors – People who have a low intake of calcium are at greater risk
  • Medications – People with a long term use of injectable steroids have bone loss issues
  • Smoking – People who smoke tend to lose bone mass at a faster rate than non-smokers
  • Family history – There is a correlation of osteoporosis and hereditary factors

Symptoms of the disease are:

  • Loss of height over a period of time
  • Back pain
  • Bones that break more easily than expected
  • A stooped posture

For those who are presenting symptoms or have a higher chance of developing osteoporosis, a doctor may recommend testing to assess the density of their bones.

Bone density screenings are non-invasive, painless, and use low amounts of x-rays. The results of the test will indicate whether or not you need to take medication that will help to maintain your bone density or make changes in your lifestyle and diet to prevent bone loss.

If you would like to schedule a bone density screening at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, ask your physician for a referral to have it performed. You can schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital by calling 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.

Heart Disease and Hot Weather

Summertime heat affects everyone, but for people who suffer from heart disease, it can be life threatening. Activities that are performed when the weather is mild may not have much risk associated with them but once the temperature rises they can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. People with heart disease are very susceptible to extreme weather conditions.

When we are exposed to the heat, our bodies respond by sweating, which is the body’s way to maintain a normal temperature. . Heat as well as the body’s response to it, leads to enlarged blood vessels, lower blood pressure and higher heart rate. This combination can cause people with heart problems to serious problems due to the stress on the cardiovascular system. If the heart is already weakened it may not be able to pump blood effectively and keep the blood pressure at a high enough level. This can lead to an overheating of the body. Some medications that are prescribed for heart patients also lower the heart rate, which can be compounded during the hot weather.

Some helpful tips for people with heart disease in the hot weather are:

  • Stay out of the heat during the middle of the day
  • Wear clothing that is loose fitting and light
  • Do not perform strenuous activities in hot weather
  • Keep hydrated and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Stay indoors in an air conditioned environment

Discuss with your physician ways to stay healthy during the hot summer months. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-6742.

Jamaica  Hospital Medical Center has reopened many of its healthcare services. To learn about the safety measures the hospital has taken to protect your health, please visit https://jamaicahospital.org/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.

June is Cataract Awareness Month

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has designated June as Cataract Awareness Month. The purpose of this designation is to help educate the public on what cataracts are and how to treat them once they are diagnosed.

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye. This will result in blurry vision, and since less light is being transmitted, objects will appear darker as well.

Cataracts are the leading cause of preventable blindness; therefore, it is important that you do not delay treatment.

It is estimated that 25 million people in the United States age 40 and older will be diagnosed with a cataract, and by the time people reach the age of 80, more than half of the population of the United States will be affected with the disease.

Risk factors for developing cataracts include:

  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Hereditary factors
  • Prior eye injuries

Cataracts are classified by what causes them. Age is the biggest factor, followed by eye trauma, congenital causes and secondary to taking certain medications like steroids.

There are a few ways to lower the risk of developing cataracts, but they may not be completely successful. 

  • Wearing sunglasses when outdoors
  • A diet rich in vitamin C foods
  • Avoiding smoking

Treatment for cataracts involves a surgical procedure which removes the old lens of the eye  and replacing it with a synthetic one. It is a very common procedure and considered relatively safe. If you would like to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-5900.

Jamaica  Hospital Medical Center has reopened many of its healthcare services. To learn about the safety measures the hospital has taken to protect your health, please visit https://jamaicahospital.org/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.

Men’s Health Month

The month of June has been recognized as Men’s Health Month. The reason for this designation is to bring awareness of preventable health issues and to encourage early detection and treatment of diseases prevalent in men.

The leading causes of death among men are:
• Heart Disease
• Cancer
• Diabetes
• Lung Disease
• Injuries
• Stroke
• HIV/AIDS

Some of the reasons that men tend to have more serious chronic illnesses is because more men than women don’t have health insurance, men tend to have more physically demanding jobs with greater safety risks. Additionally  more men smoke than women and they also tend to  take greater risks with unsafe behavior.

Women tend to live five years longer than men and one of the reasons for this is that women usually take better care of their health. Men are often guilty of waiting until a disease has progressed to a more serious level before they seek help. There is an old adage that if a man is in a doctor’s waiting room, most likely a woman brought him there for an exam.

During the month of June, organizations across the country hold health awareness campaigns to educate men about various health issues that they may be at risk for and to encourage them to see a doctor regularly.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center has reopened many of its healthcare services. To learn about the safety measures the hospital has taken to protect your health, please visit https://jamaicahospital.org/to-our-patients/

If you would like 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.

Why Is My Vision Blurry ?

Many of us have experienced blurry vision at one time or another. Our vision may have been blurred in both eyes or in one eye only. In some cases, our inability to see clearly was sudden and temporary because the problem resolved on its own. In other instances, blurred vision may have developed and worsened over a period of time.

Despite the circumstance, changes to our vision should not be ignored as it is often an indication of a health issue.

Sudden and temporary blurred vision may be caused by digital eye strain, dry eyes, certain medications, conjunctivitis or fatigue. Blurry vision that occurs suddenly can also serve as a warning sign for serious health conditions that require immediate medical attention such as a detached retina, stroke, optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve) or transient ischemic attack.

When blurry vision gets worse over time, it is usually caused by a chronic medical condition, such as glaucoma, diabetes or macular degeneration.

Treatment for blurry vision is dependent on the cause. Any condition that leads to blurry vision should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. While some of these conditions may resolve on their own, other situations may become worse and lead to blindness.

To schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5900 or go to an emergency room if it is urgent.

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.

This Month We Shine Our Spotlight on Ray Fredericks, Jr.

This month we are proud to shine our Employee Spotlight on Ray Fredericks, Jr.  Ray has been with the hospital for close to thirty years. He is a familiar sight on both campuses as well as our facility in Melville.

Ray grew up in Bethpage Long Island. He graduated from Plainedge High School and then went on to BOCES Tech where he obtained his degree in Printing in 1986. He currently lives in Orange County New York.

One of the most important aspects of Ray’s life is spending time with his very close knit family. He has a fourteen year old son who he enjoys spending time with and they share many of the same interests. They often have air hockey tournaments at home and Ray enjoys watching his son participate in Pokemon competitions. To Ray, family is everything. His family spends a great deal of time together and of course,  enjoys celebrating holidays and other special events with one another. They have also traveled together as a family.

Ray loves the outdoors and enjoys partaking in all kinds of outdoor activities, especially hiking and fishing. He enjoys playing  the drums, and dancing. Ray’s other interests include reading, (especially about history), and going to the movies. He is an avid photographer also.

Ray is very proud to be a part of the Jamaica Hospital family. In fact, three generations of his family work either at the hospital or the MediSys Network. He enjoys the comraderie and the sense of belonging to a wonderful organization that does great things for our patients.  We are very proud to have Ray working with us and we look forward to him being a part of the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and MediSys Network for many more years to come.

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 People Really Sleepwalk?

We have seen people who sleep walk in movies but how many of us have actually seen it in person? Probably not many of us have. Sleepwalking, or as it is known in medical terms, somnambulism, actually does exist. It is more common in children, but adults can experience it as well.

Most people won’t remember when they were sleepwalking. This is because sleep walking typically occurs during a deep stage of sleep.

A few of the causes of sleep walking are:

  • Stress
  • Fever
  • Change in sleep schedule
  • Lack of sleep
  • Substance abuse
  • Taking certain medications
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Medical conditions that can lead to sleepwalking are:

  • Nighttime seizures
  • Migraines
  • Heartburn
  • Heart rhythm problems
  • Restless leg syndrome

Diagnosing sleepwalking starts with doing a physical exam which may be accompanied by a sleep study in a specialized lab. Sensors will monitor breathing patterns oxygen levels, brain waves, eye and leg movement.

Treating sleepwalking is based upon the cause and may include antidepressants, as well as adjusting prescribed medications that the patient is taking already. People who sleep walk should avoid drinking alcohol, be in a stress free environment and  get a good night’s sleep.

If someone you know tends to walk in their sleep it is a common misconception that they shouldn’t be awakened. It is important to make their environment safe so that they don’t hurt themselves and doors and windows should be locked.

If someone you know tends to walk in their sleep it is important to make the environment safe so that they don’t hurt themselves. They should also be as stress free as possible, have a relaxing routine prior to going to sleep, and they should not drink alcohol.

To schedule an appointment with a sleep disorder specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical 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.

This Month We Shine Our Employee Spotlight On Nicole Tuccillo, PA-C, MHA

This month, we are proud to shine our employee spotlight on Nicole Tuccillo, PA-C, MHA a Physician Assistant in the Emergency Department at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where she has been working since 1999.

Nicole is a native of Queens. She grew up in Howard Beach and attended elementary school at P.S. 207, Junior High School at J.H.S. 202, and high school at Christ the King. She received her associate’s degree from Delhi University and received her B.S. and Physician Assistant degrees from Wagner College. Nicole then went on to obtain a Master’s in Health Administration from Bellevue University in 2012.

Nicole spent her first four years working at Jamaica Hospital in the PICU, she later began working in the Emergency Department. One of the positions she held was Trauma Program manager for five years. However, Nicole’s true calling is working in the different areas of the Emergency Department as this is where she feels she is most needed. She has the opportunity in the ER to teach PA and medical students which is very rewarding.

Nicole currently lives with her family on Long Island. Nicole’s husband is a Lieutenant with the New York City Fire Department. They have a son who is 14 years old and a daughter who is 13 years old. Completing the household is a dog named Cocoa who is always at the door waiting to greet them with lots of love. Her family is her whole world. Nicole also enjoys spending time with her friends as well and likes the fact that they round out her life so nicely. In her free time she practices Pilates and yoga which help her to relax and stay grounded.

Nicole likes trying new types of food, especially things that are exotic. She also loves to travel to new places. A few of the places she has been to include Iceland, Hawaii, Montreal, Sicily and other parts of Europe. Travelling the world has given her the opportunity to see new places, see the beauty that they hold, and learn about other cultures.

Nicole enjoys working at Jamaica Hospital because it is a comfortable atmosphere in which she is able to multi-task. According to Nicole, “The hospital is a place where everyone knows everyone else and work well together as a team. Our collective goal is to provide our patients with the utmost of care.” She also enjoys the diversity that is part of the fabric of the hospital and the patients that we treat.

We are very happy to have Nicole as part of the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center family and look forward to having her with us for many more years.

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.

Why is it important to know what Cushing syndrome is?

When the body is exposed to high levels of the stress  hormone cortisol for extended periods of time this leads to a condition known as hypercortisolism, or Cushing syndrome.

High levels of cortisol in the body can occur as a result of ingesting oral corticosteroids or the body producing too much of the hormone in the adrenal glands.

Why would the body produce too much cortisol? It may be due to a tumor on the pituitary gland which leads to an over production of  adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) that stimulates the adrenal glands. This is more common in women than in men.  It can also be due to a noncancerous tumor of the adrenal gland which causes an excess production of cortisol.

The medications that contain steroids are used to treat asthma, inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus. patients who have had organ transplants are also given steroids to reduce the risk of complications.

Signs and symptoms of Cushing syndrome include:

  • Weight gain
  • Buffalo hump ( fatty tissue deposits between the shoulders)
  • Moon face ( fatty tissue deposits in the face)
  • Thinning of the skin
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Severe fatigue
  • Depression
  • Headache
  • Bone loss
  • Weakness
  • Acne
  • High blood sugar levels

Diagnosing Cushing syndrome is done by several methods. A 24 hour urine test may be performed to test levels of cortisol, a dexamethasone suppression test which involves taking a low dose steroid pill at night and then checking the blood levels for it in the morning, and a salivary cortisol level test which measures the level of cortisol in the saliva at night.

Treatment depends on the cause of the condition. If a person is taking in too much cortisol, it may have to be reduced. If a person is producing too much cortisol, ruling out a tumor is important. It is possible to cure Cushing syndrome, and if a complete cure isn’t possible, there are ways to at least control it. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical 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.