October is SIDS Awareness Month

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is defined as the sudden and unexplained death of an infant under the age of one. It is the leading cause of death in babies in the United States. Most cases of SIDS occur while infants are asleep; this is why it is also referred to as “crib death”.

Despite many years of research, the cause of SIDS is still unknown; some experts theorize that the cause may be the result of defects in the part of a child’s brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep.

Although the cause of SIDS is undetermined, research does indicate that factors that include a combination of factors in physical and sleep environments can make infants more vulnerable.   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), parents and caregivers can take the following actions to help reduce the risk of an occurrence:

  • Make sure babies sleep on their backs (Babies should not sleep on their stomachs or sides)
  • Avoid placing soft materials such as quilts or comforters in cribs or wherever babies are placed to sleep
  • Place babies to sleep on a firm surface( Infants should not be placed on soft surfaces such as waterbeds or sofas)
  • Breastfeed for as long as possible- especially within the first six months of a baby’s life
  • Adults should avoid sharing beds with babies
  • Use cribs that conform to the safety standards of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Abstain from drinking, smoking or using illicit drugs during pregnancy and after  giving birth
  • Monitor the temperature in a baby’s  sleep space to ensure they are not too warm

The CDC reports that due to education, incidents of SIDS have declined.  Flushing Hospital Medical Center is raising awareness during SIDS Awareness Month, which is observed in October, by educating the community about ways to reduce risks.

Although there has been a declination in the number of infant deaths attributed to SIDS, It is important to keep in mind that SIDS remains the leading cause of death in babies and parents should always take measures to provide a safe sleep environment for their child.

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.

Ways to Prevent Acid Reflux

How many times have you eaten something you wish you had not because you ended up with a burning sensation in your chest? This is a classic symptom of acid reflux, a condition also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Acid reflux is a common condition where the symptoms typically last for a few hours. Symptoms of acid reflux are a burning sensation in the abdomen and lower esophagus.                                   There are several things you can do to reduce the occurrence of acid reflux:
• Don’t eat a big meal before going to bed.
• Stop smoking.
• Elevate the head of your bed so that your head is higher than your abdomen.
• Avoid tight clothing that press on your abdomen.
• Reduce your consumption of alcohol.
If you are experiencing symptoms of acid reflux on a regular basis you should consult with a physician who may want to perform tests to find out how serious the condition is. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

 

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 Some Bacteria be Good for You?

Bacteria. The word alone makes us think of infection, disease, and illness. We hate all bacteria, right?

ThinkstockPhotos-482096272Actually, there is such a thing as GOOD bacteria. They are called probiotics and they help you maintain a healthy digestive system. They do this by lowering “bad” bacteria that can cause infections and other problems. Sometimes we don’t have enough good bacteria in our systems (for instance, like when we are on antibiotics). A lack of good bacteria can cause a variety of digestive issues. By taking probiotics, we are replacing those good bacteria which are sometimes lost.

Probiotics are most commonly taken to help prevent or improve common digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. Others have suggested that they are also beneficial in treating skin conditions, such as eczema, improving urinary and vaginal health, and preventing colds and allergies.

Your body naturally generates probiotics, but if you want to increase your good bacteria levels, you can take probiotics in supplement form or get them by eating certain foods, most notably yogurt and other fermented products.

Probiotics are natural so they are generally considered safe to take, even in supplement form. It is recommended that you speak to your doctor about the best way of incorporating probiotics into your diet.

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.

How Do You Know if Your Child has a Growth Disorder?

When is a lack of growth a cause for concern? All children grow at different rates. The same boy that is the smallest in his class in elementary school might be the tallest at his high school graduation. In most cases lack of height can be attributed to genetic factors or in other instances it could just be that the child is a “late bloomer.”

After years of collecting statistics on childhood development experts have developed a standard growth chart. Pediatricians use this chart as a guideline to monitor the growth of their patients against other children of the same age during a child’s annual well visit.  Children are ranked by percentile (from 1 to 100). If a child is ranked either below the 3rd or above the 97th, a doctor will usually want to investigate potential reasons as to why.

While in most cases there is no need for concern, for some children, a lack of growth could be caused by a growth disorder. The most common reason for a growth disorder is related to the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. One of the main functions of this gland is to release growth hormones to your body. When the pituitary gland doesn’t make enough growth hormone,  it causes a condition known hypopituitarism, which can slow down a  child’s rate of growth. Special tests can determine if a child isn’t producing enough growth hormone. If not, daily injections of growth hormone can often help them grow at a more conventional rate.

Another gland that produces hormones important for growth is the thyroid. Your thyroid makes a hormone called thyroxine. If it makes too little, the condition is called hypothyroidism. Having too little thyroxine cause a child to grow more slowly. Doctors can do a simple blood test for hypothyroidism. If it’s needed, pills can be prescribed to compensate for the lack of this hormone.

Thankfully, many growth disorders can be successfully treated today. The best advice is to make sure your child sees their pediatrician for their annual visit so any issue can be immediately identified. If you do not have a pediatrician, you can make an appointment to see one in Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center.

For more information, or to make an appointment, please call 718-670-3007.

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.

How to Prevent the Flu

It is nearing the middle of October and it is also the beginning of flu season. None of us want to catch the flu so it is a good idea to take some preventative measures that can help us to stay healthy.
Here are a few of the ways we can prevent getting the flu:
• Everyone who is six months of age and older should get the vaccine every year
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
• Keep a hand sanitizer handy for the times soap and water are not available.
• Avoid touching your hands to your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Whenever possible, disinfect surfaces that are frequently used by others such as tables and chairs.
• Clean your drinking glasses and dishes in hot water and with soap
• Keep your immune system healthy by eating a balanced diet, exercising  regularly and getting enough sleep every night
• Tobacco can suppress the immune system, so it is highly recommended to quit smoking.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital to discuss the flu vaccine and other ways to stay healthy, please call 718-670-5486.

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.

Does My Breath Stink?

Bad breath, medically known as halitosis can be caused by a number of factors including health problems, smoking, certain foods and poor dental health habits. If the cause of bad breath is not the result of chronic conditions such as diabetes, sinus infections or kidney disease, then chances are there is a build-up of bacteria in the mouth that gives off gases or odors.

The best recommendation is to practice good oral hygiene.  There are also a few natural remedies that can help combat bad breath, such as:

  • Drinking plenty of water.
  • Chewing a piece of lemon or orange rind.
  • Taking probiotics or eating foods that are rich in probiotics, such as yogurt.
  • Eating raw fruits and vegetables such as apples or celery.
  • Gargling with salt water.
  • Consulting a physician about colon cleansing.
  • Chewing a tablespoon of fennel seeds or making fennel tea.
  • Drinking cinnamon tea.
  • Chewing on fresh parsley.
  • Mixing apple cider vinegar with water and gargling.

Trying these natural remedies can help in keeping breath fresh; however, the best remedy is to practice good oral health by brushing and flossing teeth daily.

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.

Organ Donor Registry Day

New York State currently holds the second lowest number of organ donors with 26% registered compared to 50% nationwide.  That’s why the state has adopted October 4, as its additional Organ Donor Registry Day.

In an effort to bolster the number of organ donors in NYS, Flushing and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s hosted a registration in their main lobby.

On hand to give their personal account of the importance of organ donation was Mary Fischer, CNA at FHMC and her daughter, Lauren Fischer, a double lung transplant recipient.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services nearly 124,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the US.  One organ donor can save up to eight lives, however 21 people still die each day waiting for an organ.

Here are a few popular myths and facts about organ donation:

Myth:  Age, illness or physical defects can prevent me from becoming a donor.

Fact: A person’s medical condition is evaluated at the time of death to determine what organs and tissues are viable for donation. People living with chronic diseases or those who have a history of cancer or other serious diseases are still encouraged to join the donor registry.

Myth: If doctors know that I am registered to be an organ or tissue donor, they won’t work as hard to save my life.

Fact: The first priority of a medical professional is to save lives. Organ and tissue donation isn’t even considered or discussed until after death is declared.

Myth: My religion doesn’t support organ and tissue donation.

Fact: Most religions support organ and tissue donation.  Discuss organ and tissue donation with your spiritual advisor if you have concerns on this issue.

Myth: My family will be charged for donating my organs.

Fact: Costs associated with recovering and processing organs and tissues for transplant are never passed on to the donor family.

To find out how you can register as organ, eye and/or tissue donor please visit http://www.liveonny.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.

Ovarian Cysts

Many women have ovarian cysts at some point in their lifetime.  In most cases, these cysts which are fluid-filled sacs that develop on the ovaries, are painless and have no symptoms.  Typically, they disappear within a few months without treatment.

However, there are instances when cysts can become enlarged and result in symptoms such as pelvic pain, bloating, painful intercourse and pain in the lower back or thighs. In some cases, cysts can affect fertility.

Ovarian cysts can be detected by a gynecologist during a pelvic examination. To get more specific information about the growth, such as size or possible cause, the doctor may order an ultrasound or blood tests.  If it is determined that surgery is needed to make the cysts go away. Surgery can be performed laparoscopically where the doctor makes a tiny incision by the belly button and small tools are used to remove the cyst. The most common surgical treatment is an ovarian cystectomy.

An ovarian cystectomy can be performed utilizing robotic technology.   The da Vinci Robot Surgical System is the tool most popularly used by surgeons.  Doctors at Flushing Hospital Medical Center operate using this state-of-the-art equipment because of the many benefits it can offer.

The advantages of operating with the robot include a reduced risk of infection, shorter hospital stays and minimal pain.   The robot‘s arms are controlled by highly trained surgeons. The dexterity of the machine allows far greater control and precision than the human wrist.

To learn more about the da Vinci robotic ovarian cystectomy or to schedule a consultation with a doctor at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-8994.

 

 

 

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.

How Smoking Can Affect Digestion

Smoking can affect the body’s ability to operate properly. One of the body’s functions that smoking greatly affects is digestion.

Many organs are associated with the digestive system and they produce chemicals that aid in the breakdown of the food into nutrients and other substances that the body needs to survive. All of these organs are susceptible to changes due to the effects of smoking.

Not only can smoking elevate the risk for cancer in any of these organs but because of the body’s response to the irritants it contains, smoking can also lead to:

  • Heartburn
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Liver disease
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Polyps
  • Gallstones
  • Pancreatitis

Smoking can increase the production of pepsin which can harm the lining of the stomach, and it can have an effect on blood flow to the lining of the digestive tract which will inhibit healing. There is also a decrease in the amount of mucous that is produced and this will cause irritation of the lining of these organs because the protective layer is diminished.

One of the ways to prevent the effects of smoking on the digestive system is to stop smoking. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital to find out which way may be best for you, please call 718-670-5486.

 

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.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month is a nationwide campaign founded in 2006 and its mission is to reach out to communities in an effort to educate and raise awareness of bullying and the tools for prevention.

Bullying occurs when an individual or group possesses an imbalance of power, either from a physical or social status perspective, over another person or group. While bullying is prevalent among all age groups, it has become a serious cause for concern among children.

The National Bullying Prevention Center defines bullying as behavior that hurts or harms another person physically or emotionally. Those being bullied often have difficulty stopping the behavior directed at them and struggle to defend themselves.

Statistics have shown that at least 28 percent of students, ages 12-18, reported being bullied at school during the year. Additionally, 7.2 % of students admit to not going to school due to personal safety concerns. Many fear the physical and verbal aggression of their peers, and many more attend school in a state of anxiety and depression.

Many children will not tell parents they are being bullied until the situation escalates, but there a few changes in their behavior that can alert you. Signs that your child may be a victim of bullying include refusing to speak about their day at school,not wanting to go to school, unexplained marks and bruises, asking for more lunch money, complaining of frequent headaches and stomach aches,sudden loss of friends and frequent nightmares.

If you find that your child is being bullied, you will need to document the dates, times and places of the action. If the bullying is taking place on school grounds, call the school and schedule a face to face meeting with a teacher or principal. If not on school grounds, notify the police.

Most schools have adopted an anti-bullying policy. Obtain a copy to determine if the bully violated school law. Bullying is best handled when you work together, with the proper authorities.

After notification, be sure to follow up with your child, and the school, to make sure that the bullying has stopped.

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.