National Handwashing Awareness Week

A wide variety of viral illnesses, including respiratory, diarrheal, and gastrointestinal diseases, frequently spread through direct contact via the hands. People use their hands to touch a multitude of surfaces countless times throughout each day, allowing germs to spread easily.

Regular handwashing offers the simplest solution to reducing your risk of illness and restricting the spread of germs among your friends, family, and community. Handwashing with soap removes germs effectively, preventing a substantial percentage of respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses when done correctly. Less people getting sick also reduces the need for antibiotics in many cases, reducing viruses’ resistance to these medications.

Washing your hands is typically most effective at key moments, such as after using the bathroom or changing a diaper, or immediately after you’ve touched a point of infection such as food (cooked or raw), garbage, physical wounds, mucus, or a sick person. You should never touch your eyes, nose, mouth, or food without washing your hands with soap first.

Handwashing is most effective as a preventative measure against disease when it’s performed correctly. You should lather the front and back of your hands, as well as between the fingers and under the nails, using soap and water, scrubbing them for 20 seconds before rinsing and drying them with a towel or air dryer.

Although hand sanitizer can also effectively remove many germs and is acceptable when handwashing is not possible, it does not remove as many germs or chemicals from your hands as washing with soap and water, and is therefore not ideal. When you use sanitizer, make sure it contains at least 60% alcohol.

If you’re sick with a viral infection, you can schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center 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.

Jamaica Hospital Celebrates Infection Prevention Week

October 14th marks the beginning of Infection Prevention week, an annual effort to highlight the importance of infection prevention among healthcare professionals, administrators, legislators, and consumers.

Over the past 32 years, infection prevention week has gained a great deal of recognition around the world and patients are now benefiting from the safer healthcare practices that are shared during this week-long observance. The theme of Infection Prevention week this year is Protecting Patients Everywhere. 

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center supports the prevention of infection among our patients, visitors, and staff. To help eliminate the spread of bacterial infection we urge every person who steps foot inside our hospital to learn about the best ways to protect themselves and others.

Below is a list of ways patients can reduce the risk of infection provided by the Association of Professionals in Infection Control (APIC):

  • Speak up for your care
  • Clean your hands often
  • Ask about safe injection practices
  • Ask to have your room cleaned
  • Ask questions about your medications
  • Ask if you should shower before having surgery
  • Ask each day if you still need a catheter
  • Ask about vaccinations so you stay healthy
  • Learn about healthcare associated infections

Jamaica Hospital is proud to share that we have made great strides in our infection prevention and control initiatives.  We are currently at 97% hand hygiene compliance, which has led to very low hospital-acquired infection rates including urinary catheter infections, surgical site infections, and bloodstream infections.

Jamaica Hospital knows that by practicing good hand hygiene and adhering to other patient safety initiatives as well as continuing to educate our patients, we are creating an even safer environment for our patients, staff and visitors.

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.

Follow These Tips to Avoid Getting the Flu at Your Super Bowl Party

The Super Bowl is this weekend and so many Americans look forward to celebrating this national event by watching the game with their friends and family. With flu season at its peak throughout the U.S, attending a gathering to watch the big game can be risky if you are not careful. Whether you are the host or a guest at a party this weekend, be sure to follow these tips to minimize catching the flu or any other virus this Sunday.

  • Avoid others if you are sick – The best way to avoid contracting or spreading the flu is to avoid others if you are feeling symptoms. If you are invited to a party but you or someone in your house is not feeling well, stay home. If you are hosting and experiencing flu-like symptoms, cancel the party.
  • Practice appropriate hygiene – If you are at a party and suddenly develop symptoms, make sure you cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze. Avoid using your hands when covering up. Instead use your upper sleeve. Also discard all tissues immediately after using them.
  • Exercise proper hand hygiene – Super Bowl parties offer many opportunities for you to shake hands or exchange high-fives with other party- goers. Expressing excitement is great, but when doing so, be sure to wash your hands frequently to avoid spreading germs. If you are hosting, it might be a good idea to have plenty of hand sanitizers available.
  • Be smart about how food and drinks are served – Most big game celebrations are sure to offer two things; plenty of food and drink. Be smart about how they are served by ensuring that there are appropriate utensils at the party, such as tongs to grab wings and scoopers to avoid hands in the chip bowls. Additionally, avoid sharing beverages. One idea to avoid mistakenly grabbing the wrong drink is to mark all plastic cups with the names of your guests with a magic marker.

By following these tips, you can enjoy all the fun that Super Bowl Sunday brings and reduce your chances of suffering with a cold or flu immediately after.

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.