Jamaica Hospital Provides Patient Safety Tips For Your Next Hospital Visit

Dealing with illness or injury can be a stressful situation for anyone. When faced with challenges concerning your health or that of a loved one, you place your trust in the hands of healthcare professionals to provide you with solutions to those problems.

jamaica Hospita, hospital safety tips

The last thing that you need to think about during a medical emergency is the possibility of an error occurring during treatment, but by taking an active role in your care plan and working with your doctors and nurses, you can drastically reduce these chances and greatly enhance the probability of a positive outcome.

Jamaica Hospital has created a person-centered care model that focuses on patient communication and empowerment. We encourage all patients to take an active role in their treatment plan.  To that end, we have provided the following tips to help you during your next hospital visit:

  • Provide your healthcare providers with a detailed medical history, including a list of all existing conditions, prior hospitalizations as well as prescription and over the counter medications you are currently taking.
  • Be sure to notify your medical team of any known food or medication allergies
  • Check that you were issued a hospital identification wristband that contains accurate personal information
  • Ensure that all doctors, nurses, and the rest of your healthcare team positively identify you before providing treatment. Ask that all providers address you by name and confirm your date of birth.
  • Visually inspect your environment for cleanliness as healthcare facilities are likely environments to spread germs if they are not properly maintained
  • Closely monitor that all healthcare providers wash their hands before and after they provide treatment
  • Be an active participant with your healthcare provider. Provide details about how you are feeling, ask questions about all treatment plans and prescribed medication, including potential side effects.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare team to repeat information if you do not understand something initially

Jamaica Hospital understands the stress associated with a hospital visit. By providing the tips listed above, we hope to eliminate some of your concerns so you can concentrate on a fast and complete recovery.

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 Properly Maintain Your CPAP Machine

For those living with sleep apnea, the decision to get a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device is a valuable investment in your health.

Jamaica Hospital, sleep center, sleep apnea, CPAP machine

A CPAP machine works by sending a constant flow of airway pressure to your throat to ensure that your airway stays open during sleep, effectively treating the spontaneous pauses in breathing.

Although these machines can improve your quality of sleep and overall health, it is important to keep in mind that failure to properly maintain them can increase your chances of developing other types of illnesses.

Your CPAP machine consists of a cushioned mask, tubing or hoses, humidifier chamber and filter. You directly breath in air that’s circulated through it, so failing to clean each of these components regularly will not only decrease how well it functions, but can also lead to health complications, such as:

  • Bacteria exposure
  • Mold exposure
  • Allergy symptoms
  • Possible increased risk for sinus infections or pneumonia

Cleaning your CPAP machine is fairly easy and inexpensive. The following are some tips to help you properly maintain it.

  • Before cleaning any parts of your CPAP device, be sure to unplug it.
  • Clean the mask and cushion – the parts that touch your face – daily with warm water and mild dishwashing detergent. The mask should then be left to air dry before reusing.
  • Replace the water in your heated humidifier chamber daily. Do not allow this water to sit for extended periods of time, as bacteria love a warm, wet place to grow.
  • Only use distilled water in your humidifier to avoid hard mineral deposits.
  • Take apart the machine and thoroughly clean all components, including hoses, filters, and the chamber at least once per week.
  • Read the manufacturer’s recommendations for filter replacement

Following these guidelines will not only extend the life of your device and improve its effectiveness, but more importantly help keep you healthy.

If you think you have sleep apnea and would like to make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Sleep Center, please call 718-206-5916.

 

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.

Is Your Child’s Rash Due To Fifth Disease?

Fifth disease, also known as erythema infectiosum, is a contagious viral infection that is most common in school-age children.  The disease produces a rash on the face and body of those who have it.

Jamaica Hospital shares that a child with a red rash on their cheeks may have fifth disease

The feature that sets fifth disease apart from other types of rashes, such as rubella or scarlet fever is the distinctive, sudden appearance of bright red cheeks, commonly referred to as a “slapped cheek” rash. This can followed by a second rash a few days later on the chest, back, buttocks, arms and legs. The rash may be itchy, especially on the soles of the feet. It can vary in intensity and usually goes away in seven to 10 days, but it can come and go for several weeks.

Other symptoms of fifth disease are usually mild and may include:

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Pain and swelling in the joints

Fifth disease is transmitted from person to person by respiratory secretions, such as saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The incubation period is usually four to 14 days, but can be as long as 21 days. Those with fifth’s disease are most contagious when symptoms resemble that of a fever or a cold. By the time a rash appears they are no longer contagious.

There is no vaccine or medicine that can prevent fifth disease. You can reduce your chance of being infected or infecting others by:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water
  • Covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Staying home when you are sick

Treatment for fifth disease typically involves taking over the counter medications to relieve symptoms, such as fever, itching, and joint pain.

To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Pediatric 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.

Can Diabetes Affect Your Sense of Hearing?

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, a disease that inhibits the body’s ability to produce and manage insulin appropriately, causing glucose to build up in the bloodstream instead of feeding hungry cells.

If you have diabetes, you should be aware of how it can impact your hearing as research has indicated that diabetics have a higher probability of developing hearing loss than those without the disease.

diabets and hearing loss, Jamaica Hospital

Multiple studies in recent years have examined the relationship between diabetes and hearing loss. In one study conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) those with diabetes were found to be more than twice as likely to have mild to moderate hearing loss than those without the disease. A separate study published by the Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism analyzed the results of more than 20,000 participants and concluded that diabetics were more likely to have hearing loss than those without the disease, regardless of their age.

While researchers are uncertain as to exactly how diabetes negatively impacts our sense of hearing, most believe that high blood glucose levels cause damage to the small blood vessels in the inner ear.

Our inner ears are lined with hair cells called stereocilia. These hairs cells are responsible for translating the noise our ears collect into electrical impulses, which are then sent to the brain where we process them into recognizable sounds.  Like other parts of the body, these hair cells require good circulation to function. If damaged, these cells cannot regenerate and hearing loss would be permanently affected.

With a higher likelihood of developing hearing loss, it is recommended that diabetics take certain precautions to avoid damaging these cells, including:

  • Turning down the volume on personal electronic devices and limiting the use of devices that require headphones or earbuds
  • Protecting your ears from excessive noise with earplugs if you engage in noisy hobbies or attend loud events.
  • Incorporating an appropriate amount of exercise into your daily routine. Even a moderate amount improves circulation and blood flow.
  • Maintaining an appropriate weight. Excessive weight makes it more difficult for your heart to pump blood effectively to all parts of your body, including your ears.

Most importantly, you should schedule a hearing evaluation regularly with your doctor if you have diabetes.

To speak to a doctor about how to better manage your diabetes, 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.

What Are the Symptoms Of A Pinched Nerve?

Jamaica Hospital, Pinched Nerve

Our nerves are specialized cells that carry important messages throughout our bodies in the form of tiny electrical signals.  When too much pressure is applied to our nerves by surrounding tissues, ligaments or bones, it can result in a pinched – or compressed nerve.

A pinched nerve can occur in various parts of our bodies and they can cause radiating pain, tingling, numbness or weakness. Damage from a pinched nerve may be minor or severe. It may cause temporary or long-lasting problems.

Pinched nerve signs and symptoms include:

  • Numbness or decreased sensation in the area supplied by the nerve
  • Sharp, aching or burning pain, which may radiate outward
  • Tingling, pins and needles sensations
  • Muscle weakness in the affected area
  • Frequent feeling that a foot or hand has “fallen asleep”

Symptoms may worsen when attempting certain movements, such as turning your head or straining your neck. Problems may also become worse while sleeping.

Certain medical conditions can contribute to the development of a pinched nerve. These include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Thyroid disease
  • Pregnancy

A pinched nerve can also occur as the result of an injury or from repetitive activities. Conversely, long periods of inactivity or lying down can also cause the problem.

Maintaining a healthy weight, stretching regularly, avoiding repetitive motions and practicing good posture are some tips to avoid developing a pinched nerve.

With rest and other conservative treatments, such as taking over-the-counter medications, most people recover from a pinched nerve within a few days or weeks

See your doctor if the signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve last longer or don’t respond to self-care measures.  Your doctor can provide treatment options to shrink swollen tissue around the nerve. Treatment options may include anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, or surgery.

To make an appointment to see a doctor at Jamaica Hospital to treat a pinched nerve, 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.

What is Popcorn Lung and Can Vaping Cause It?

“Popcorn lung” is the nickname for bronchiolitis obliterans, a serious and irreversible lung disease that can damage the smallest airways in your lungs, resulting in coughing and shortness of breath.

popcorn lung, pulmonary medicine, Jamaica Hospital, vaping, e-cigarettes, lungs

The condition got its nickname because of the chemical diacetyl, a buttery flavored chemical that was commonly found in microwave popcorn.  After workers at the factories that produced microwave popcorn began to experience symptoms associated with bronchiolitis obliterans after inhaling diacetyl, manufacturers removed it from their products.

While diacetyl is no longer a threat from microwaved popcorn, many are now being exposed to it through e-cigarette vapor. Diacetyl is often added to “e-juice” liquid by some e-cigarette companies to complement flavorings such as vanilla, maple, coconut and more. In fact, recent studies have found that more than 75 percent of flavored e-cigarettes and refill liquids tested positive for diacetyl

So how does diacetyl cause popcorn lung? Your lungs are where your blood receives oxygen before carrying it to cells in the rest of your body through tiny air sacs called alveoli. Exposure to diacetyl can irritate or scar the alveoli, causing inflammation or narrowing, making it difficult for them to deliver oxygen to your blood.

The main symptoms of popcorn lung are a dry cough and shortness of breath. These show up between two weeks and two months after you’ve been around a toxic gas or had an illness. You’re especially likely to have them after exercising or heavy labor.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Flu-like illness with fever
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Wheezing
  • Eye, skin, mouth, or nose irritation, if caused by chemical exposure

Popcorn lung is often misdiagnosed as asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema. To diagnose popcorn lung, your doctor will order an X-ray, CT scan or a surgical lung biopsy. Your doctor may also want to measure your lung’s function by conducting a pulmonary function test.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for popcorn lung, but there are treatments to help alleviate the symptoms or slow the progression of the disease. Treatment options include prescription corticosteroids, cough suppressants, bronchodilators to open the airways or immunosuppressant therapy to decrease your body’s immune response. In severe cases oxygen supplementation may be needed. If left untreated, popcorn lung can be fatal in some cases.

The best way to prevent developing popcorn lung is to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals like diacetyl, found in e-cigarettes.

If you are experiencing symptoms of popcorn lung, make an appointment to see your doctor. To make an appointment with a Pulmonologist at Jamaica Hospital, please call our Ambulatory Care Department 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.

Difficulty Swallowing Food? Learn the Facts About Dysphagia

 

Swallowing is a function of our body that we do every day and give very little thought as to how it is achieved. We consider it to be a simple accomplishment, but in fact, it is very complex and involves the coordination of the brain, nerves, and muscles in mouth, pharynx and esophagus.

Jamaica Hospital's Division of Gastroenterology can help diagnose and treat people with swallowing disorders

For some however, swallowing can become difficult or even impossible. This may be due to a range of diseases, commonly referred to as dysphagia. This category of health conditions can become a serious problem that requires medical attention.

There are generally two different types of dysphagia.

  • Esophageal dysphagia – This refers to the sensation of food getting stuck in the base of your throat or chest after you’ve started to swallow. This type of dysphagia can be caused by a number of issues, including a narrowing of the esophagus due to tumors or scarring, poorly coordinated contractions or spasms in the esophagus, or the lower esophageal muscle not allowing food to enter the stomach.
  • Oropharyngeal dysphagia – This focuses on swallowing issues that involve the process of moving food from the mouth to the throat when you begin to swallow. Causes for this type of dysphagia are often related to neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, or Parkinson’s disease. It can also occur after sudden neurological damage from a stroke or spinal cord injury.

Swallowing problems can occur at any age, but they are more common in older adults. Symptoms include:

  • Having pain while swallowing
  • Drooling
  • Being hoarse
  • Regurgitating food
  • Having frequent heartburn
  • Having food or stomach acid back up into your throat
  • Losing weight without explanation
  • Coughing or gagging when swallowing

In addition to the constant risk of choking, dysphagia can also introduce bacteria into the lungs when food enters the airway, leading to aspiration pneumonia. Other complications from dysphagia include malnutrition, weight loss and dehydration.

Treatment for dysphagia depends on the underlying cause. On some occasions the condition can be managed easily while complex swallowing problems may require treatment by a specialist.

Those with swallowing problems can do many things to manage their condition, including sitting upright or standing while eating and for 15 minutes after eating, cutting up food into small pieces, eating slowly, and drinking plenty of fluids while eating.

To make an an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital’s Division of Gastroenterology, 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.

Tips To Make Sure the Ice in Your Freezer is Clean

There is nothing more refreshing on a warm summer day than an ice-filled cold beverage, but before you host your next summer gathering, make sure that the ice you serve is clean and free of harmful bacteria.

While ice is rarely considered to be the source of trouble, there are good reasons to take a second look at how ice is dispensed in your own home.  You may think most bacteria wouldn’t survive the icy conditions of a freezer. But they can. Bacteria and viruses such as listeria, E-coli and salmonella can live in freezing temperatures, meaning they may be alive in your ice cubes. With proper precautions however, you can eliminate the risk of these contaminants existing in the ice you serve.

Here are some tips:

  • Change Your Filter – Most ice makers in freezers use a secondary water filter to stop particles from contaminating the ice. To keep your ice clean, change the freezer’s water filter as frequently as the manufacturer recommends, about every six months.
  • Regular Cleaning – Don’t forget to defrost and deep clean your freezer at least once a year. As a rule of thumb, if the ice buildup in your freezer is a quarter-inch or thicker, then it’s time to defrost and clean it.
  • Use Ice Regularly – The slight melting and refreezing of cubes can allow pathogens to take hold. To avoid this, remove the ice storage bin from the freezer and dump any clumps into the sink. Since inactivity causes ice clumps to form, the easiest solution is to use the ice maker more frequently.
  • Organize Your Freezer – Make sure frozen foods are properly sealed or double-wrapped and avoid having them come into direct contact with ice in trays or bins. Also label all food with a use-by date and remove all expired foods from your freezer.
  • Don’t Use Your Hands – While all of the above tips are useful, the fact is that the most common way to spread germs is by placing unwashed hands in an ice container. Instead of using your hands, use a designated scooper or other tool to handle ice.

It is important to note that while the existence of contaminants in your ice might be disturbing to learn, the health risks associated with it is fairly minimal to the average immune system and the transmission of viruses are rare. Those more at risk are pregnant women, children, and people with a compromised immune system.

Regardless, it is always a good idea to take the proper precautions to reduce your chances of getting yourself or your guests 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 Recognizes National Don’t Fry Day

The Friday before Memorial Day is designated National Don’t Fry Day – a day to raise awareness about sun safety and encourage everyone to take the necessary steps to protect their skin from cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the nation, with almost 5.5 million cases diagnosed in Americans each year – more than breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers combined.  In fact, one out of every five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some time in their lives.

Jamaica Hospital and the American Cancer Society would like to share the following tips to avoid frying in the sun this summer:

  • Seek shade during the peak time of day – the sun is at its strongest between 10:00am – 2:00 pm
  • Dress properly – Wear sun-protective clothing as well as UV blocking sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats
  • Use sunscreen – It is recommended that you apply sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 every 2 hours
  • Avoid tanning devices – These give-off UVA rays just like the sun.

By following these tips, you and your family can enjoy the sun, while protecting yourself from the harm that it can cause

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 Being Honest With Your Doctor

One of the most important factors in the physician / patient relationship is honesty. Doctors expect their patients to be truthful so they can provide appropriate care, but a 2018 study has revealed that as many as 80% of all patients lie or withhold information from their providers.

The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), identified many reasons for patients not fully disclosing information to their doctors. The most cited reason was that they did not want to be judged or lectured about their behaviors. This was followed by the lack of desire to hear how bad the behavior was for their health, as well as simply being embarrassed about their health choices.  Other responses included not wanting information in their medical record, not wanting to take up their doctor’s time, and wanting their healthcare provider to like them.

The failure to provide accurate information however is not always the patient’s fault as some reasons relate to poor physician communication. Several patients revealed that they do not always fully understand their doctor’s questions.  Another reason why some patients admitted to not being truthful was to avoid disagreeing with their provider about their recommended treatment plan.

The topics that patients most commonly fail to be 100% honest with their doctor about include their diet, lack of exercise, sexual activity, medication management, and adherence to their treatment plan. The study revealed that some of the patients who were most dishonest to their provider were those in poor health.

This can be a potentially serious problem as patients withholding information from their doctors can prevent them from receiving the right care and can be dangerous to their overall health. According to researchers from this study, “Patients who aren’t forthright with their health information face unpleasant and sometimes life-threatening side effects from regimens their doctors give them.”

While much of the responsibility to be more forthcoming lies with the patient, those in the healthcare industry acknowledge that they can also help the situation. Knowing that there is a high-likelihood that patients might avoid disclosing important information, physicians need to make every attempt to be less judgmental and make every attempt to put their patients at ease.

By building a trusting and honest relationship, doctors and patients can work together so that the best care is provided.

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.