Splinter Hemorrhages

Splinter hemorrhage  doctor Queens New York The appearance of your nails can reveal clues about your health.  Abnormalities in the shape, color or texture of nails or nail beds are sometimes indicative of underlying medical conditions.

One of the abnormalities that can occur is the appearance of small, dark-red or brown blood vessels that resemble splinters under your nails. These visible blood vessels are known as splinter hemorrhages.

Splinter hemorrhages can develop as a result of trauma or injury to the nail.  However, in instances where trauma is not involved, the appearance of blood vessels under the nail could signal the development of serious health issues.

Some medical conditions that can cause splinter hemorrhages to appear include:

  • Endocarditis- An infection of the heart valves and chambers
  • Vasculitis – Damage or swelling of the blood vessels
  • Scleroderma- An  autoimmune disease that causes hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues
  • Peptic ulcer disease- A condition in which painful sores or ulcers develop  in the lining of the stomach or parts of  the small intestine
  • Psoriasis – An inflammatory disease characterized by a buildup of excess skin cells that result in scales and red patches on the skin
  • Raynaud’s disease- A rare disorder of the blood vessels that causes them to constrict excessively in response to cold

Splinter hemorrhages can also appear as a result of taking certain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

If splinter hemorrhages form after receiving trauma or injury to the nails, there is usually no need to see a doctor- unless the hemorrhages do not go away on their own.  (Splinter hemorrhages typically take 3-4 months to disappear).   You should see a doctor immediately if splinter hemorrhages appear without trauma or injury.  Your doctor will order a series of tests to isolate a possible cause.

To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please  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.

Is Your Kitchen Sponge Absorbing More Than Soap?

dirtysponge, bacteria, e.coli, salmonella, cleansponge

Did you know that your kitchen sponge can harbor more bacteria than your toilet bowl?  Well, it can.

As food particles in your sponge begin to decompose, the sponge may smell sour or like mildew. When there is an odor, it is a sign that a bacterium is more than likely present.

Since one single bacteria cell can become more than 8 million cells in less than 24 hours, it is safe to assume that your wet, dirty kitchen sponge may quickly become a breeding ground for E. coli, salmonella, and campylobacter bacteria, which can cause mild to serious illness.

Therefore, keeping your sponge clean is an important component to minimizing the growth of bacteria.

There are many ways to cleanse your sponge such as, placing the sponge in the microwave for one to two minutes, running it though the wash cycle in your dishwasher or soaking your sponge in white vinegar for five minutes.  Although all these methods profess to kill at least 99% of bacteria, the most effective way to kill bacteria in your sponge is with bleach.

Start by mixing ¾ cup of bleach in one gallon of water and soaking your sponge for five minutes before rinsing, studies have shown that this method of cleaning will kill 99.9% of the three bacteria strains from sponges.

Keep in mind that no matter how meticulous you are about keeping your sponges clean, you should change your sponge every two to three weeks.

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.

Measles Outbreak Updates

measles outbreak nycMeasles is a highly contagious virus that causes a red spotted rash to spread all over the body, along with high fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat. The virus can be very dangerous and potentially fatal for infants and children.

Recently, there has been an outbreak in the New York City area, and in an effort to contain the spread of the virus health officials are urging communities to keep up with the latest information and comply with recommendations.

To help educate our community, Jamaica Hospital is sharing the following information:

How has the measles outbreak affected NYC communities?

  • Close to 600 cases of measles have been reported in NYC since the fall of 2018, majority of which are from Brooklyn (Williamsburg, Borough Park, Crown Heights, and more recently Sunset Park); although most cases have been linked to unvaccinated travelers within Orthodox Jewish communities, the disease has also affected non-Orthodox Jewish residents in other boroughs including Queens.

How is the virus spreading?

  • Measles spreads when people breathe in or have direct contact with fluid that contains the virus. For example, it can pass through droplets sprayed into the air when someone with measles coughs or sneezes.
  • Measles can spread to others from four days before a rash appears through the fourth day after the rash disappears.
  • The best way to stop the spread of the virus is through the measles (MMR) vaccination.

How safe and effective is the MMR vaccine?

  • The MMR vaccine is very effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective.
  • Despite many claims that autism is linked to the MMR vaccine, multiple studies have scientifically proven that the measles vaccine is safe and not linked to autism.

Who gets the MMR vaccine?

  • All children should receive vaccination. The CDC recommends “children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.”
  • Infants aged 6 to 11 months traveling abroad to high-risk areas should receive an early dose of MMR ( This dose would be in addition to the regular schedule of MMR vaccinations)
  • Teens and adults should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination.
  • Adults with no evidence of immunity (Individuals who may not have previously received vaccination, have no laboratory or written evidence of immunity)
  • Adults with no evidence of immunity and are at a higher risk for contracting measles. This group includes healthcare workers, international travelers, college students or those exposed to people with measles in the outbreak areas. (Adults who are at a high risk of transmission should receive two doses, 28 days apart).

Amelia MacIntyre DO- Family Medicine

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

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer.  It affects the tissue that lines the body’s internal organs. There are four main types of mesothelioma based on location, they include:

  1. Pleural Mesothelioma (Lungs)
  2. Pericardial Mesothelioma (Heart)
  3. Testicular Mesothelioma (Testes)
  4. Peritoneal Mesothelioma (Abdomen)

Most people who develop the disease are those who have swallowed or inhaled asbestos particles over a period of time (Mesothelioma can take many years to develop after exposure; it may take anywhere between 20 to 60 years to form).  There are other contributing factors that increase the risk of the mesothelioma including living with someone who works with asbestos, having a family history of the disease or receiving radiation therapy to the chest.

Symptoms of mesothelioma may vary depending on the location of which the cancer develops.  They can include:

  • Painful coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fluid buildup around the lungs
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Nausea
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Pain in the testes
  • Swelling in the scrotum

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are at risk for developing mesothelioma, it is advised that you see your doctor as soon as possible.  Your doctor can order a series of tests that may include a biopsy, imaging or blood tests.  Testing can help your doctor detect mesothelioma and assign a stage.

There is no cure for mesothelioma. Treatment for the disease is dependent on the stage and location of the cancer,  as well as certain aspects of your health.   According to the National Cancer Institute, treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or targeted therapy.

To learn more about mesothelioma, please visit the National Cancer Institute’s website at www.cancer.gov.

 

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.

Pancreatitis

The pancreas is a large gland located in the upper abdomen, behind our stomachs.  Our pancreas produces enzymes that aid with digestion as well as the release of hormones that regulate blood sugar. If these enzymes are activated while they are still in the pancreas (before they are released into the small intestine) they can lead to inflammation. This inflammation is known as pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis can be acute (lasting for a short time) or chronic (long-lasting). Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation that can result in symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Rapid pulse
  • Vomiting
  • Upper abdominal pain that radiates into the back
  • Tenderness when touching the abdomen
  • Abdominal pain that worsens after eating

Chronic pancreatitis is inflammation that does not improve or heal over time. It can lead to permanent damage and impair an individual’s ability to digest food and make pancreatic hormones.   This damage can lead to symptoms that include:

  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Oily or fatty stools
  • Pale or clay-colored stools
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

There are several factors and conditions believed to increase the risk of pancreatitis.  Risk factors include:

  • Family history of pancreatitis
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Gallstones
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Lupus
  • Smoking
  • Injury to the abdomen

Serious complications such as pancreatic cancer, diabetes or kidney failure can develop as a result of pancreatitis. Therefore, if you are experiencing symptoms associated with the disease it is recommended that you see your doctor right away.  Your doctor can order a series of tests and procedures to check for abnormalities of the pancreas. Treatment of pancreatitis varies with each individual and can include pancreatic enzyme supplements, treatment for alcohol dependence, smoking cessation, dietary changes, pain management or surgery.

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.

Diverticulitis

If you are experiencing prolonged abdominal pain, it is probably a good idea to be checked out to see what is causing it. This type of pain could be something serious.

Diverticulitis is a disease affecting the intestinal tract, usually the colon. When tiny pouches are formed in the lining of the intestine they are called diverticula and when they become inflamed it is called diverticulitis.

There are several risk factors that can cause diverticulitis to occur. Age and a diet that is high in fat and low in fiber factor since it affects people more frequently who are over the age of 40. Other risk factors include obesity, a history of smoking and not exercising.
Symptoms of diverticulitis include:
• Loss of appetite
• Fever
• Abdominal cramps
• Upset stomach
• Bloating

Diverticulitis can be diagnosed through a CT scan testing the blood and urine and examining the stool for blood.

Treating diverticulitis is dependent on its severity. In mild cases, it may suffice to adopt a bland diet, drink lots of fluids, and to take an antibiotic. Once the condition has healed, adding fiber to the diet will be beneficial to keeping the intestines functioning properly. In more severe cases, surgery may have to be performed.

 

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 Benefits (And Some Warnings) About Using The Internet To Manage Your Health

The internet is a wonderful tool for us to gather information. One of the subjects that many use the internet for is to learn more about their health. Using online searches to increase your understanding about a potential or existing medical condition can be beneficial, but doctors do have warnings about how and when to utilize this technology.

There is no doubt that the internet has changed the physician – patient dynamic. It is estimated that over 90 percent of adults in the United States have access to the internet and approximately 75 percent of them have used it to conduct a search about a health condition within the last year.

For the most part, online searches are being done by patients before they see their doctor to determine if a visit is even necessary.  Some patients are armed with a plethora of knowledge when they arrive for their appointment, and they are asking their physician to confirm rather than diagnose a condition.  In other instances, many patients are using the internet to discuss medication and treatment options with their doctor as well as referrals for specialists.

But how are these internet searches affecting the doctor-patient relationship? If used correctly, doctors usually welcome and embrace their patient’s increased knowledge about their condition. They believe that an educated and engaged patient is better equipped to better manage their condition and make the correct lifestyle choices to improve their health. Most physicians also believe that if their patients come to them having already picked up some information online, they will get more out of the visit based on their increased knowledge of their condition. Lastly, many doctors use the internet as a valuable tool to reinforce what they are advising to those patients who may be otherwise skeptical of a diagnosis or treatment option.

Even with all of its advantages, doctors do warn that using the internet as a medical resource does have its pitfalls. Physicians want patients to understand that health information on the internet is endless and not all of it is accurate.  Relying on incorrect information can cause patients to either worry needlessly over a false self-diagnosis, or worse, fail to seek treatment after incorrectly believing that they do not need medical attention.

The information found on the internet is intended to be supplemental, and not replace seeing your physician. The best recommendation to incorporate information obtained online is to bring it with you to your appointment and review it with your doctor. By collaborating with your provider you can build a better relationship that can ultimately lead to better health outcomes.

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 Medical Center Announces Partnership with LegalHealth to Provide Legal Services to Our Patients

On a daily basis New Yorkers, especially low-income residents, face challenging financial and social issues. These factors can negatively impact their lives in many ways, most notably their physical and mental health. Lack of access to adequate housing, food, or safe and secure employment can impede their ability to seek and receive appropriate healthcare services for themselves and their families.  Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is working to remove these barriers by offering free legal services to its patients.

Every week an attorney from LegalHealth, a division of the New York Legal Assistance Group, comes to Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center to provide legal counsel to hospital patients on issues relating to government benefits, housing, workplace conditions, and immigration and credit problems. LegalHealth also assists patients and families develop advanced planning directives, wills and legal matters affecting families.

It is well established that unmet social needs have a direct correlation with poor health.  Social factors, such as food insecurity have been closely linked to higher risk of chronic conditions. Studies show that those who lose their jobs are 83% more likely to develop stress-related health conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

Jamaica Hospital made the commitment to fund the LegalHealth clinic knowing that addressing these issues will ultimately improve the health of its patients and potentially reduce unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital admissions.  According to Dr. Alan Roth, Chairman of Family Medicine at Jamaica Hospital, “By understanding these social determinants that our patients encounter on a daily basis and providing a resource to have them addressed, Jamaica Hospital and LegalHealth can remove many of the obstacles that prevent our community from improving and maintaining healthier lives.”

LegalHealth is also providing ongoing training to Jamaica Hospital’s providers to equip them with the necessary tools to help them identify any social, financial or other problems patients are experiencing which can be addressed with legal support.

The Legal Health clinic opened at Jamaica Hospital in January 2019 and is on site weekly.

Patients who utilize LegalHealth services are assured of complete confidentiality and services are completely free to Jamaica Hospital 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.

Oh My Aching Feet!

Corns and calluses are caused by pressure or friction on skin, which leads to the formation of thickened skin on the top or side of a toe. Complications from corns and calluses are rarely serious; however, if you are a diabetic they can lead to more serious issues.

Diabetics often have impaired sensitivity and may not be aware of the friction or presence of a corn or callous. Since they are unaware, the corn or callous can progress into ulcers or secondary infections without the person knowing.

In addition, diabetics don’t, usually, heal as quickly as non-diabetics and their infections can become life-threatening.

Indications that you may have a corn or callous:

  • Skin is thick and hardened.
  • Skin may be flaky and dry.
  • Hardened, thick skin areas are found feet or other areas that may be rubbed or pressed.
  • The affected areas can be painful and may bleed.

According to the National Institutes of Health, preventing friction by wearing proper fitting shoes and avoiding walking barefoot are often the only preventative measures you can take.

Regular examination of you feet can help you to identify any problems and, if you receive a foot injury, you should seek immediate medical attention.

If you have diabetes and are experiencing corns/calluses that are painful, red, warm, or there is drainage in the area, you should call your healthcare provider immediately to determine the cause.

To make an appointment with a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine at Jamaica Hospital Medical Centers Ambulatory Care Center, please call 718-206-7005 to schedule an appointment.

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.