Bruises – Why We Get Them

A bruise is a common injury that causes the skin to become discolored. When there is bleeding beneath the surface of the skin it becomes evident as a black and blue mark. Eventually, if the person is healthy, the skin will reabsorb the blood and the black and blue mark will fade. A bruise may hurt at first but the pain subsides usually before the discoloration goes away.

 

 

Bruising occurs more frequently in:

  • Older people because their skin isn’t as thick as it once was.
  • Women because they typically have thinner skin.
  • People who exercise vigorously.
  • People who take anti-coagulating medications such as aspirin.
  • People who use topical or oral cortical steroids bruise more easily because it can make the skin thinner
  • People who use the dietary supplement ginkgo can also cause the skin to bruise more easily because it acts as a blood thinner

People who bruise easily should be checked to see if they have serious medical conditions. This would include having blood clotting issues due to taking certain medications or not having the correct amount of blood clotting proteins in the body. Bruising can also be a sign of physical abuse and this must be followed up with a physician or with the police if it is noticed and there is no explanation as to why it occurred.

Treating a bruise includes using a cold compress, elevating an extremity if it is on an arm or leg, taking acetaminophen for discomfort, and after the initial 48 hours, using a warm compress to help the flow of blood in the area.

While most bruises will resolve on their own, it is important to get medical attention if the bruise has a lot of swelling and pain or if it doesn’t start to resolve in two weeks and is still present after a month. Any bruising of the head or the eye should be followed up with a physician.

You can schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical 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.

Safety Tips for Driving at Night

The National Safety Council estimates that even though we do only a quarter of our driving at night, approximately 50% of all traffic accidents occur after dark. This leaves many wondering why so many accidents take place at night.

One of the main reasons is that at night, our depth perception is reduced, as is peripheral vision and the ability to see colors. We are also more likely to be more tired at night which can affect our reflexes. People who don’t get enough sleep or who have been working long hours are more prone to having an accident.

Another factor that can affect our ability to drive and see well at night is age. According to the National Safety Council, a person who is older than fifty years of age may need twice as much light to see well as a person who is only 30. Older drivers may also have compromised vision as a result of degenerative eye diseases or cataracts.

There are a few precautions drivers can take to prevent accidents while driving at night. Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma service and the National Safety Council recommends the following:

  • Keeping the windshield clean
  • Making sure headlights are aimed properly
  • Reducing  your speed
  • Turning your headlights on as soon as it starts to get dark so others can see you
  • Increasing  the distance between your car and the car ahead
  • Pulling over if you feel too tired to drive
  • Getting at least seven hours of sleep

Older drivers are encouraged to get annual eye exams to make sure that their eyes are healthy. These annual exams can also see if there are cataracts forming which can impair vision, and can check to see if eyeglass prescriptions are needed.

If you would like 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.

Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Service Wants to Educate the Public on How to “Stop the Bleed”

What would you if you encountered a traumatic event where someone was bleeding and no medical professional was immediately available? Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Division wants to make you aware of a national campaign called “Stop the Bleed” that can help in these types of situations.

Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death from trauma.  Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign that was initiated by the White House in 2015 to bring attention to this very serious situation. It is a collaboration of a number of Federal agencies, non- profit organizations and corporations. The purpose of this campaign is to teach as many people as possible what to do when faced with a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. When an emergency arises often the first people on the scene will be non-medical professionals without much training in first aid. This campaign serves to train as many people as possible on what to do until help arrives.

These are the ABC’s to follow when someone is bleeding: :

  • A – Alert
  • Either call 9-1-1 or have another bystander make the call
  • B – Bleeding
  • Find the source of the bleed
  • C – Compress
  • Apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Cover the wound with a clean cloth and apply pressure with both hands, apply a tourniquet when possible, or pack the wound with gauze or a clean cloth

In addition it is important to assess the situation so that you can ensure your own safety. When it is possible, you should protect yourself from blood and blood products by using gloves and other protective gear when available.

If you would like to obtain more information on learning how to Stop the Bleeding, please visit the website www.bleedingcontrol.org

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’s Trauma Team Offers Driving Safety Tips to Seniors

Everyone remembers the day they passed their road test and received their driver’s license. Getting a license opens up a world of options for drivers and provides them with a sense of independence that they didn’t have before.

If you received your license a long time ago, and are now a senior citizen driver, you may begin to notice certain limitations that could potentially impact your ability to operate a vehicle. While for some, driving at an advanced age may no longer be advised, most seniors can still enjoy the benefits of driving by taking a few extra precautions.

Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Division is offering the following tips to senior drivers to help them avoid injury to themselves, other drivers or pedestrians while on the road.

  • Have Your Vision and Hearing Checked Regularly – Be aware of any ocular conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration that might affect your vision. If you wear glasses or contacts, make sure you wear them while driving. Similarly, if you require a hearing aid, make sure you don’t drive without one as it is an important device to help you hear car horns and emergency sirens.
  • Be Aware of Other Health Factors – Pain or stiffness in the joints can limit mobility and your ability to check mirrors or turn your head. Chronic fatigue can be a problem, especially during long drives, and certain chronic conditions such as diabetes or seizure disorders can affect your safety. Side effects from medications can also impact driving and should be discussed with your doctor or pharmacist before driving.
  • Know Your Limitations – As you age, it’s important to acknowledge that certain motor functions might not be as sharp as they once were and should be taken into consideration while on the road. It is advised that seniors should increase their following distance, use their brakes earlier, try to anticipate situations before they occur, and try to avoid highly trafficked areas when possible.
  • Avoid Dangerous Driving Conditions – Controlling your car in inclement weather, such as rain or snow is more difficult and therefore should be avoided. Driving at night can also pose increased risks because reaction times are often affected during this time of day.  Lastly, driving during rush hour presents additional opportunities for accidents to occur because other drivers tend to be more aggressive and inpatient. Under these conditions.

Getting older doesn’t mean that you can no longer drive. By following these tips, you can continue to drive without feeling as if you are a danger to yourself or others.

If however, you feel concerned about your ability to drive, it doesn’t mean you have to give up your independence. There are many car fare services and public transportation options that can still get you where you want to go.

 

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.

Safety Tips on How to Avoid Being a Distracted Pedestrian

There has been a great deal of attention paid to the dangers associated with distracted driving.  We have seen the public service announcements warning drivers not to text or talk on their phones while behind the wheel, but what about the dangers of being a distracted pedestrian?

There has been a recent and dramatic increase in the number of pedestrians struck by automobiles and killed in recent years. While some of this can be attributed to distracted drivers, those not paying attention to their surroundings while crossing the street has also been reported to play a role in many incidents. One study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University concluded that the number of pedestrians (or “petextrians” as they are commonly referred to) injured while on their cellphones has doubled over the last decade.

Studies suggest that distracted walkers take longer to cross the street and are more likely to ignore traffic lights or neglect to look both ways while crossing. These problems are particularly prevalent among teens, but it’s important to note that all age groups are vulnerable to these dangers.

Safety experts agree that the most important advice for pedestrians is to never use a cell phone or other electronic device while walking. Here are some other tips to stay safe and avoid injury while crossing the streets:

  • Look left, right and left again before crossing the street; looking left a second time is necessary because a car can cover a lot of distance in a short amount of time
  • Make eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you
  • Be aware of drivers even when you’re in a crosswalk; vehicles have blind spots
  • Don’t wear headphones while walking
  • If your view is blocked, move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic
  • Never rely on a car to stop
  • Only cross at designated crosswalks
  • Wear bright and/or reflective clothing
  • Walk in groups

Walking is one of the best things we can do to stay healthy, but only if we put safety first. Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Division wants to warn our community that the risk for injury and death escalates when a pedestrian is not focused on his or her environment and our staff wants to spread the word on how pedestrians can avoid senseless injuries and death.

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.

Information About Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury is a very serious public health issue in the United States. A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is categorized into two major types of injuries: Penetrating Injuries and Closed Head Injuries. Penetrating injuries occur when a foreign object (e.g., a bullet) enters the brain and causes damage to specific brain parts. Closed Head Injuries result from a blow to the head as occurs, for example, in a car accident when the head strikes the windshield or dashboard.

Between 2002 and 2011, the number of children making trips to emergency rooms for brain injuries increased by 92 percent. During the same time, the number of those admitted to the hospital for further observation or treatment also increased by about 10 percent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called traumatic brain injury an “invisible epidemic,” because unlike other injuries, such as broken bones, the symptoms are not always immediately identifiable. According to the CDC, almost 500,000 emergency room visits for traumatic brain injuries each year are made by children under the age of 14. And each year, emergency rooms nationwide treat nearly 175,000 sports-related traumatic brain injuries among children under the age of 19.

With March being Brain Injury Awareness Month, The Jamaica Hospital Department of Surgery Trauma Division wants to make sure you and your loved ones recognize traumatic brain injuries in children.

Call 9-1-1 or take the child to the emergency department right away if after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body the child exhibits one or more of the following danger signs:

  • One pupil larger than the other
  • Is drowsy or cannot be awakened
  • A headache that gets worse
  • Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Cannot recognize people or places
  • Becomes increasingly confused, restless

The following are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Brain Injury Association of America to reduce the chances that you or your family members will have a brain injury:

  • Always buckle your child into a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt (according to the child’s height, weight, and age) in the car.
  • Make sure your children wear helmets when riding a bike, scooter, or playing a contact sport, such as football, baseball or ice hockey.
  • Avoid falls in the home by: Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows. Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around. Using non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors;

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.

Avoid Serious Injury When Grilling – Practice These Safety Tips

Barbecue party

Warm weather brings people outdoors for all kinds of activities. One of the most popular is outdoor grilling. Whether it be the all – American hotdogs and hamburgers, chicken, steak, fish and vegetables, everything tastes better on a grill, but grilling can be dangerous if precautions aren’t taken.

Following these rules will make grilling safe:

 
• Keep the grill at least ten feet away from your house, garage, porch, and automobile
• Always keep the grill clean
• Remove any grease and fat build up
• Keep a hose fire extinguisher, or a bucket of water nearby
• Check for leaks if you are using a gas grill
• Make sure the area is well ventilated
• Keep away from decorations and other flammable objects
• Keep small children away from the grill
• Never leave the grill unattended
• Keep the lid open when starting the fire to avoid build-up of gas
• Do not grill indoors with an outdoor grill
• Do not overload the grill with food

Don’t let your summer grilling be memorable for the wrong reasons. Every year people end up with serious injuries because they weren’t careful. Remember that a grill uses a flame to cook and regardless of it being charcoal or gas that is fueling it, it can get out of control quickly. Take your time and do it the right way and you will have a wonderful meal every time.

 

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.

YIKES! Did I Really Do That?

droppedchild

 

Whether you’ve accidently tripped over a child underfoot or walked into a doorway with your infant’s head in the lead, you’ve caused a child an accidental injury.

When you accidentally hurt your child, you may feel intense shame, even panic and a sense of self-loathing or blame.  Even when your head clears, you may feel like you are a terrible parent.

These feelings are confusing.  You may ask yourself, “How could I have done that?”  The truth is, children and accidents are synonymous; even the preventable ones.

It is hard to see your child in pain and even harder to know that it is your fault. Your mind will replay the event in your head many times while you are slowly accepting what happened.

In most cases, the child is not badly hurt and you can find comfort in realizing that while accidents happen, most of them are not serious and your child is not quite as fragile as you think.

As you tell the story of what happened to your child, you will realize that most people understand and, in fact, it has happened to the best of parents.  At this point, you will find it easier to forgive yourself.  Still, you and your child suffered a trauma and it will take time for both of you to heal.

Some reactions to trauma are:

  • Feeling numb or disconnected
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Sadness or depression

During this time, you should be kind to yourself and keep in mind that you will not always feel this way. After the guilt lessens, you should experience acceptance.

If you are having difficulty coping and the reactions have become prolonged symptoms, you may be experiencing a response to trauma called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  If the negative feelings persist, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help from a physician, counselor, clergy member, friend and family member.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Mental Health Center is centrally located and has convenient hours.  To make an appointment with a physician or licensed professional, 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 for Safe Driving in the Snow and Ice

Severe weather and snow can prove treacherous for drivers during the winter months. Every year there is an average of 500,000 motor vehicles accidents due to snowy and icy weather. Over 150,000 injuries and nearly 2,000 fatalities are reported annually from driving in these conditions. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Trauma Division wants all motorists to have a basic understanding of how to practice proper safety while driving in wintry conditions.

503373275 (1)The best tip to avoid getting into an accident during inclement weather is to avoid driving and stay home. To elude getting caught in a storm, be sure to watch weather reports for both your location as well as your destination in an effort to delay or reschedule unnecessary long trips. If however you must venture out, take the appropriate precautions and make sure you are properly prepared.

Many safety precautions can be made before you even start your car. These tips include:

• Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
• Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a licensed mechanic.
• Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Also make sure your exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow or ice
• Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
• Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
• Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
• Pack the necessary safety items such as cellular telephone, extra blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle in case you get stuck for an extended period of time
Once you are in your vehicle and on the road, it is important to be extra cautious and follow these basic instructions for driving in a winter storm:
• Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight.
• Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, and turning all take longer on wet surfaces than on dry pavement.
• Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface.
• Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
• Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of effort it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling.
• When going uphill, avoid applying your brakes or attempting to accelerate. Attempting to accelerate after braking places extra pressure on your tires and will cause your wheels to spin in place.

Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Division treats an increased amount of motorists during winter storms. It is our goal to have you avoid unnecessary accidents by practicing safe driving this winter.

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.

Safety Tips for Hoverboards

Boy Doing Stunts on a SkateboardHoverboards are the hot new toy, but how safe are they? These self-balancing scooters are on the top of every kid’s (and some adult’s) list to Santa this year, but as these unregulated travel devices rise in popularity, so too have trips to the Emergency Department.

Hospital ERs across the country are reporting a series of injuries, from scrapes and contusions, to fractures and sprains, to even head injuries resulting from hoverboard accidents. These toys can reach maximum speeds of 15 miles an hour and falls from them can cause significant harm. All you have to do is go to You Tube, Twitter, or Instagram and type in #HoverBoardFalls to see how dangerous hover-boards can be if the rider (or parent, if the rider is a child) does not take proper precautions.

Hoverboard price and quality vary greatly so read online reviews from previous buyers before purchasing one. Also, because they are so new to the market, there are no national safety standards for hoverboards. Until regulations are in place, riders should follow the same safety guidelines they would for riding a bicycle, including wearing a helmet, elbow and knee pads, wrist guards and/or gloves.

Other tips to follow before getting on a hoverboard include carefully reading the instruction manual to learn how to properly operate it. Also make sure to adhere to all safety rules, including age and weight recommendations.

It is a good idea to have a “spotter” with you when you first attempt to ride your hover-board in case you fall. Lastly, riders should not use their hoverboards in the street or on public walkways to avoid seriously injuring themselves or others.

Like everything else, hoverboards can be a lot of fun if they are used responsibly. Happy and safe riding!

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.