The COVID Antiviral Pill

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Many people have asked if there is a pill they can take to lessen the effects of COVID-19. The answer is yes, but it isn’t for everyone. The pill is manufactured by Pfizer and the brand name is Paxlovid. It has been granted authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for anyone who is 12 years of age and older and weighs at least 88 pounds. The pill is only recommended for people who are at high risk for severe disease. This medication has been shown to have an 89% reduction in the risk of hospitalization in people with severe cases of COVID-19.

If your physician prescribes this medication for you, it should be taken within five days of developing symptoms and having a positive COVID-19 test. It requires you to take three pills twice a day for five days. That is a total of 30 pills.

There are some side effects of taking Paxlovid. They include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Muscle aches
  • Loss of taste

If you test positive for COVID-19, speak to your physician about being a candidate for this medication. Because it does interact with other medications that you may be taking, only a physician can determine your eligibility. To schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center you can 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.

Sharing the “Jamaica Journey” of Diana Masabanda

Over 3,000 employees work for Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. Each has a different career path that brought them to where they are today. Today we share the Jamaica Journey of one such employee.

Diana Masabanda came to Jamaica Hospital as an intern in 2011 as part of a one-year New York City Department of Health grant. She was hired to assist colonoscopy patients by making sure they were prepared for their tests and helped them coordinate follow-up care after their procedure.

Coincidentally, just as the grant was about to expire, Jamaica Hospital was launching its Patient Navigator program, and based on her excellent work, Diana was offered a job in the newly formed department where she would continue to help patients coordinate their care.

However, as a Registered Nurse, Diana wanted to utilize her degree to provide direct patient care, so when an RN position became available in 2013, she applied for the job and was hired to work the evening shift in the hospital’s telemetry unit. Diana explained, “I loved working on the telemetry unit and I learned so much from my colleagues and supervisors but I knew I wanted another challenge.” So after waiting 3 ½ years to satisfy her desire to expand her knowledge, Diana transferred to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) in 2016.  There she treated critically ill surgical patients, while at the same time earning her Master’s Degree in Nursing.

Now, having earned her degree, Diana wanted to take all that she learned from the past eight years working at Jamaica Hospital and share it with others in a managerial capacity. According to Diana, “I saw the difference a good manager can make and that is what inspired me to earn my degree.”

Diana applied for and was promoted to Assistant Nurse Manager of the SICU in 2019. At the time, there was only one nurse manager for both the MICU and SICU, but soon after, hospital leadership decided that each unit required its own dedicated supervisor, so, in April of 2022, Diana was promoted once again to the Nurse Manager of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit.

Diana credits her Jamaica Journey to the hospital’s culture of giving their employees opportunities to grow. She believes that Jamaica Hospital is “A great place to grow and learn.”  As a Queens resident, Diana also sees great value in her work, stating, “I understand how important Jamaica Hospital is to this community, and how much our patients need us. That is one of the reasons I am here.”  The other reason Diane enjoys working for Jamaica Hospital is the bonds she has created with her co-workers. “We really work well together. We have great teamwork and that results in better care for our patients.” 

Jamaica Hospital thanks Diana Masabanda for her many years of service 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.

Community Health Needs Assessment Survey

In collaboration with hospitals across the state, the MediSys Health Network (Jamaica and Flushing Hospital Medical Center) is conducting a Community Health Needs Assessment survey to determine the most important health concerns of the community, and we would greatly appreciate your input.

The Community Health Needs Assessment survey will assist in the development of a plan that involves many community partners to improve the health of our community. The results of this survey are very important as they can also impact funding, spending, and other wide-reaching decisions about healthcare delivery systems.

The survey is open to all community members residing in New York. To access it, please click here, and share what issues matter to you most.  Please share the survey with family, friends, and others so that their input can be heard. All responses are confidential.

Thank you for your time and for helping us gain valuable insights into the needs of the community.

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.

World Hand Hygiene Day 2022

May 5th has been designated as World Hand Hygiene Day by the World Health Organization (WHO). The slogan for this year’s campaign is “Unite for safety: clean your hands.” This year’s theme focuses on  recognizing that we can all contribute to healthcare facility’s culture of safety and quality by cleaning our hands.

Practicing good hand hygiene helps with infection prevention and control. This is why the WHO is encouraging people to clean their hands at the right time and with the right products. Furthermore, healthcare workers at all levels and all others who visit healthcare facilities must unite by cleaning their hands, not just on World Hand Hygiene Day, but every day.

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.

Optimize Your Bedroom for A Good Night’s Sleep

One of the keys to achieving a good night’s rest is creating an environment that supports quality sleep.

There are a few factors to consider when cultivating that space. They include lighting, sound, tidiness, color, and temperature.

Here are a few ways you can optimize these elements to create a sleep-friendly bedroom:

  • Turn off all lights- This includes television lights, as well as lights from computers and phones. Exposure to light during sleep can throw off the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
  • Keep it quiet- Remove or turn off electronics and any other items that contribute to background noise. The only noise believed to help you sleep is white noise.
  • Clear clutter- Research shows that sleeping in a cluttered room can affect sleep and lead to anxiety or stress.
  • Choose paint colors that are conducive to sleep- Colors such as lavender, blue, silver and green are known to be calming. Whereas, colors such as purple and red are believed to be stimulating.
  • Sleep in cool temperatures- According to the Sleep Foundation, “The best bedroom temperature for sleep is approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). This may vary by a few degrees from person to person, but most doctors recommend keeping the thermostat set between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius) for the most comfortable sleep.”

Following these recommendations can help you achieve quality sleep.  Sleep specialists also recommend sticking to a sleep schedule, avoiding heavy meals a few hours before bedtime, and exercising at least three hours before bed as habits you can apply to improve sleep health.

If you are having problems falling and staying asleep, please consult a sleep specialist.  To schedule an appointment with the Jamaica Hospital Sleep Center, 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.

Employee Spotlight Shines on Mariah Mahadeo

This month we are proud to shine our employee spotlight on Mariah Mahadeo,  Clinical Coordinator in the TJH Department of Orthopedics.

Mariah has been with Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for three years. She grew up in Valley Stream, Long Island and attended P.S. 161, Lawrence Middle School and graduated from Lawrence High School in 2010. Mariah obtained her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts in 2016 from Nassau Community College and is currently working on her Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Management at the University of Phoenix.  Although Mariah grew up in a family that is in the food industry her passion has always been healthcare because she enjoys helping people.

Mariah recently got married. Her family is the most important aspect of her life. They have always supported her endeavors and encouraged her to work hard to attain her goals. Her work and her studies take up most of her time but when she does take a break, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. One of her favorite things to do with them is cooking and trying new recipes. She enjoys going out to eat as well, especially to Mexican, Italian and Asian restaurants. When she is able to get away from New York, her favorite places to vacation have warm weather and nice beaches. She has been to Trinidad which is la second home to her because this is where her family is from. Mariah has also been to Mexico and the Bahamas and one day hopes to go to Indonesia.

Mariah enjoys working at Jamaica Hospital because of the great patient caret hat is provided. She also appreciates that her colleagues make her feel like a valued member of their department.

We are very happy to have Mariah on our team and  look forward to her continuing 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.

Is it Pink Eye or a Springtime Allergy ?

Allergies of the eye and pink eye are both types of conjunctivitis, which is an inflammation of the outer membrane that covers the eyeball.

Many of the symptoms of pink eye and eye allergies are similar, and this can sometimes make it difficult to tell each condition apart.  However, it is important that we learn about the characteristics that make them distinct- especially now that pink eye is considered a warning sign of a COVID-19 infection.

The symptoms of eye allergies can include:

  • Redness
  • Tearing
  • Gritty feeling in the eye
  • Itchiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Swelling of the eyelid

Symptoms of bacterial or viral pink eye can include:

  • Redness
  • Tearing
  • Gritty feeling in the eye
  • Itchiness
  • A  green or white discharge in one or both eyes, that can result in crusting at night
  • Soreness of the eyes

Although eye allergies and pink eye share common symptoms, the causes of each condition are different. Allergies are typically caused by a reaction to an allergen such as pollen while pink eye can be caused by bacteria or a virus.

An additional distinction between the two conditions is viral or bacterial pink eye is extremely contagious and can be spread by contact with an infected individual or exposure to a contaminated surface. Eye allergies on the other hand are non-infectious.

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with either type of conjunctivitis, it is important that you consult your eye doctor.  Your physician will be able to examine your eyes or order tests to determine the reason for inflammation and provide the appropriate treatment.

To schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5900.

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

Signs and Symptoms of Depression In Teens

It is estimated that one in five teenagers will experience depression during their adolescent years.  However, many teens do not receive the help they need because the signs of depression are often confused with typical teenage behaviors.

It may not always be easy to tell the difference between depression and teenage mood swings, but here are a few warning signs and symptoms parents can look out for:

  • Unusual and frequent irritability
  • Loss of interest in regular activities
  • Excessive phone and internet use
  • Sadness for no apparent reason
  • Angry outbursts
  • Reckless behavior
  • Violent behavior
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained aches and pains such as headaches and stomach aches
  • Sudden changes in sleep
  • Sudden changes in eating habits
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Problems at school
  • Negative self-talk
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Talks of self-harm or suicide

If you think a teen might be depressed, start a conversation.  Speak about concerning behaviors in a non-judgmental, loving, and supportive way.   Acknowledge their feelings, do not minimize what is being said and resist the urge to be critical.

Initially, a teenager may be resistant to these conversations but gentle persistence from an adult is advised.

Untreated depression can lead to serious problems; therefore, it is important that you seek professional help as soon as possible. A mental health professional can create a treatment plan based on an evaluation.  Treatment depends on the severity of depression and may include therapy or medications.

To speak with a mental health specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5575.

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

April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month

The month of April has been designated as Testicular Cancer Awareness Month.  This is a disease where cancer cells form in one or both testicles. The average age of detection is 33 years old. The American Cancer Society estimates that 8,430 new cases are diagnosed each year and more than 380 men will die from the disease. It is considered to be a highly treatable disease, with an average of one death per 5,000 men.

There are a few risk factors for testicular cancer:

  • Family history
  • History of HIV positivity
  • Races – Caucasian American males are at the highest risk followed by African American males than Asian American males
  • Body size – tall slender males are at higher risk
  • History of an undescended testicle

The signs and symptoms of testicular cancer include:

  • A lump or swollen testicles
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Back pain
  • Breast growth or tenderness
  • Pre puberty growth of hair on face and body
  • Aches in the belly or testicles

Diagnosing testicular cancer is done by performing a physical exam as well as an ultrasound to detect whether a mass is solid ( more likely to be cancerous ) or fluid-filled, a blood test to detect certain proteins, a biopsy to see if there are cancerous cells present, and an MRI or Cat Scan to see if cancer has spread.

Treatment of testicular cancer is determined based on what is found at the time of diagnostic testing. Typically surgery to remove the affected testicle(s), as well as radiation and chemotherapy, are needed.

Testicular cancer is highly treatable if caught early. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a urologist 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.

April 7th is World Health Day

In 1948 the World Health Organization (WHO) held the first World Health Assembly to address health issues affecting people around the world. April 7th was chosen as World Health Day to honor the founding of the organization.

Each year in celebration of World Health Day, the World Health Organization chooses a topic that it wishes to draw global attention to, one that is a subject of major importance.

It is estimated by WHO that over 13 million deaths around the world are due to environmental conditions and many of them might have been avoided had these conditions been improved. This is why the World Health Organization has chosen the theme Our Planet, Our Health for 2022. The WHO’s goal is to highlight the actions necessary to keep humans and the planet healthy and to encourage societies to focus on well-being.

The World Health Organization is of the opinion that we as a society must strive to break the cycles that are causing health, financial inequities and ecological mismanagement around the world because they are responsible for many problems we face. However, these issues can be resolved by making human health, ecological sustainability, and financial stability a priority.

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.