National School Backpack Awareness Day

Backpacks are essential back-to- school items for kids.  They come in different colors, sizes and shapes and most importantly they help children to carry their belongings.  Backpacks are preferred by many in comparison to shoulder bags because when worn correctly, they evenly distribute weight across the body.  However, if worn incorrectly they can cause back pain or injuries and eventually lead to poor posture.

To prevent problems associated with improper backpack use, parents should first purchase a backpack that has the following features:

  • Lightweight
  • Wide and padded straps
  • Multiple compartments
  • Padded back
  • Waist belt
  • Correct size (A backpack should never be wider or longer than your child’s torso).

Practicing these safety tips will further reduce the chance of back pain or injuries caused by backpacks:

  • When packing, heavier items should be placed to the back and center of the backpack. Lighter items should be in front. Sharp objects such as scissors or pencils should be kept away from your child’s back.  Utilizing different compartments can help in distributing weight.
  • Do not over pack. Doctors recommend that children should not carry backpacks that weigh more than 10-15% of their body weight.
  • Ensure that children use both straps. Using a single strap can cause muscle strain.
  • Adjust the straps so that the backpack fits closely to your child’s back and sits two inches above the waist. This ensures comfort and proper weight distribution.
  • Encourage children to use their lockers or desks throughout the day to drop off heavy books.

The Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America recommends that parents should always look for warning signs that indicate backpacks may be too heavy. If your child struggles to put on and take off the backpack, they are complaining of numbness or tingling or if there are red strap marks on their shoulders -It may be time for you to lighten their load.

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 Cancer Awareness Month

Ovarian cancer is one of the most serious cancers affecting women. In the United States, an estimated 22,000 women will be diagnosed every year with this disease and approximately 14,250 will die because of it.  This type of cancer usually affects women who are in their fifties and sixties, and who typically have a family history of the disease. When the disease is detected early, the five-year survival rate is approximately 92%.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer are:

• Bloating
• Nausea, indigestion, gas, and constipation
• Abdominal and pelvic pain
• Fatigue
• Backaches
• Frequent Urination with urgency

When a physician suspects ovarian cancer, they will perform certain tests to confirm the diagnosis. The exam will include a blood test for the CA-125 genetic marker, an examination of the abdomen to see if there is tenderness, a pelvic exam, ultrasound, and a biopsy.

There are four main stages of ovarian cancer:

. Stage I – completely confined to one or both ovaries.
. Stage II – Found in one or both ovaries with spread to other pelvic organs (bladder, colon, rectum, uterus).
. Stage III – Cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has spread to the lining of the abdomen and/or the lymph nodes.
. Stage IV – Most advanced stage of the disease with spread to additional organs such as liver and lung.

Treatment options for ovarian cancer include chemotherapy, surgical removal of the affected organ(s), hormone therapy, and radiation. The type of treatment will be determined by the type of ovarian cancer, the age of the patient, and the stage of the disease.

Remember that early detection is important and just may save your life. All women should see their OB/Gyn once a year for a pelvic exam. If you would like to make an appointment at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center, 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.

September is National Yoga Month

September is National Yoga Month.  It is a national observance designed to help educate people about the benefits of yoga and to inspire them to live a healthy lifestyle.

Developed in India thousands of years ago, Yoga is a form of exercise that has gained popularity tremendously over the past 50 years.

Yoga teaches increased flexibility by learning how to stretch your muscles. This can help a person improve mobility, feel less tired and improve their posture.

• Some of the other benefits of yoga are:

• Improved immunity

• Ease migraines

• Improve sexual performance

• Better sleep

• Improve eating habits

Yoga can help you to feel calmer and more relaxed. This is because some forms of yoga teach techniques that focus on breathing.

It has also been shown to lower blood pressure and to lower the heart rate. This can greatly help people who have been diagnosed with heart disease and who either have had a stroke or at risk of having a stroke.

It usually takes a few weeks to start seeing the benefits of yoga. When looking for yoga classes, find an instructor who has proper training and who is certified to teach the class. It can be practiced by just about anyone, and it isn’t just for people who are in good physical condition.

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.

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Childhood obesity affects approximately one in five children in the United States. Obesity is measured by taking a child’s body-mass index (BMI) and evaluating where this number falls on a BMI age-growth chart. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a table to make it possible to compare the BMI with those of other children of the same age and height. Other factors that need to be considered are the type of body frame, musculature, and the child’s development pattern.

There are many reasons why a child may become obese. Often obese children come from families where there are poor eating habits, and lack of physical activity. Other contributing factors can include stress, boredom, and depression as well as living in a community with limited accessibility to healthy food choices.

Obesity in children puts them at risk of developing chronic illnesses later in life such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, arthritis, and heart disease. It also makes children more prone to depression, low self-esteem and susceptible to bullying.

Ways to control a child’s weight include:

  • Limit fast food
  • Increase fruits and vegetables in the diet
  • Limit sweet drinks
  • Limit desserts and unhealthy snacks
  • Eat together as a family when possible
  • Regulate portion sizes
  • Increase physical activity, not just exercise
  • Decrease the amount of time spent watching TV or on the computer

Flushing Hospital strives to help prevent childhood obesity by participating in workshops throughout the year at schools and at community health fairs by providing educational materials and guidance on proper nutrition. To speak with a pediatrician about childhood obesity, please call 718-670-5440 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.

Employee Spotlight – Tracy M. Norris, LCSW

Meet Tracy M. Norris, LCSW.  Tracy is a dedicated social worker, doctoral student and Clinical Manager at the Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s (FHMC) Mental Health Clinic.

As Clinical Manager, Tracy’s daily responsibilities are many.  Whether overseeing patient care, staffing, medication trouble shooting, communicating with administrators or providing direct consults for patients Tracy’s days are eventful.

Tracy considers every day to be her best day.  No matter the challenge or accomplishment she is focused on the patient by always striving to improve patient care and overall satisfaction.

“When you know that your patients are healthy, happy and safe, you have a sense of pride and personal fulfillment” is how Tracy describes what pleases her most about the work she does.

Tracy does not keep her dedication to mental health tethered to inside the hospital.  She maintains a rigorous community outreach schedule bringing her knowledge to the surrounding community and schools in Flushing.

She hosts community workshops on various topics including, but not limited to:

  • Internet Safety
  • Satellite Babies
  • Mental Health 101
  • Anger and Rage Management in Adolescents
  • Parenting a pre-teen
  • Cyber-Bullying

“Outreach is a way of putting a human face on a mental health issue that may be culturally stigmatized causing people to not want to reach out for help.” “I feel that if I can influence a child or help a parent to connect with their child, I have made a difference,“ stated Tracy.

To Tracy M. Norris, life is about meaning. Her work and her patients as well as being part of the social work team at Flushing Hospital Medical Center are her greatest motivation. She states, “They are a good reason to jump out of bed 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.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a condition that is characterized by raised, red scaly patches. It is  often found on the scalp, knees and elbows, but can show up on other parts of the body as well of people who have the disease. The exact cause is not known but there is a correlation between genetics and also the body’s immune system. Psoriasis is a condition where the skin cells multiply at a faster rate than normal cells. This causes a buildup up skin lesions and the area of the body also feels warmer because it contains more blood vessels.
Psoriasis is not contagious so it does not get passed by coming in to contact with a person who has it. It is a condition that affects men and women equally and  it can develop at any age, most commonly between the ages of 15 and 35.
Common signs of psoriasis include:
• red patches of skin with thick silvery scales
• cracked and dry skin that may bleed
• stiff joints that may be swollen
• itching, burning and soreness
• nails that are pitted, thick and ridged
There are certain risk factors for developing psoriasis.  This includes stress, smoking, obesity, alcoholism, skin infections, a vitamin D deficiency, and a family history. Psoriasis is diagnosed by examining the skin and making a diagnosis. A dermatologist will be able to determine if it is psoriasis by the amount of thickness and redness it has. There are different types of psoriasis and they are classified by how they show up on the skin.
There are three ways that treatment for psoriasis can be approached. They can be used by themselves or together, depending on the severity. Topical creams and ointments that contain corticosteroids are usually the most commonly prescribed medications for mild to moderate conditions. Light therapy that is either natural or artificial ultraviolet light  can be used and it is directed at the area of the body that is affected. In severe cases, medications that are either injected or taken orally may be required. There are also alternative treatments that are being used and this includes Aloe vera which comes from a plant and   omega-3 fatty acids that comes from fish oils.
Depending on the severity of the disease, it may have an impact on a person’s quality of life. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist at Flushing Hospital Hospital for any type of skin condition, 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.

Importance of a Back to School Dental Check Up

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When planning your child’s return to school in the fall, as parents you have a list of supplies and purchases that need to me be made to make sure they have everything they need to have a great school year. While planning your child’s entrance back to school, make sure you schedule an appointment for your child’s dental check-up.

Healthy teeth are important to your child’s overall health. Did you know that a correlation between oral infections and diabetes, asthma, heart disease and obesity has been identified?  According to the National Institutes of Health, 20% to 30% of children and adolescents in the United States have chronic health conditions due to a lack of good oral hygiene.

Chronic illness may interfere with a child’s ability to succeed in school.  There has been statistical evidence that shows a direct link between chronic illness and missed school time that can lead to a decline in your child’s school performance.

Some ways to promote healthy teeth in your child are:

  • Brush teeth regularly – At the age of 3, you can begin to teach your child proper brushing techniques by using a drop of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Avoid Sugar – Ingesting sweets brings about an acidity that causes decay-producing bacteria. A sugary snack can lead to a mouth full of cavities.
  • Regular dental treatments – Your child should see a dentist around the time of his/her first birthday and then regularly thereafter. It is important to establish a relationship of trust between your child and their dentist.

If you feel anxious about a visit to the dentist, try not to convey those feelings to your child.  Encourage your child to discuss any fears about visiting a dentist and be reassuring that the dental professional is there to help them.

If you are interested in making an appointment for your child to see a dentist, the Department of Dentistry at Flushing Hospital Medical Center provides valuable services to the community. For an appointment call, 718-670-5521.

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 Healthy Eating Promote Successful Wound Healing?

The nutritional status of a patient plays a large role in their body’s ability undergo wound healing. It requires a higher than normal level of energy and nutrients if it is going to be successful. The body requires an additional 35 calories per kilogram of body weight to help a chronic wound to heal. This will include eating a well-balanced diet that includes protein, grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy.

A balanced diet should include 1.5 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight. A kilogram is equal to 2.2 pounds. Keeping hydrated is also very important, eight glasses of water per day should be the minimum and more if the person sweats profusely, has a wound that is draining, or if vomiting and or diarrhea are present. Meals should include meats, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, seeds, yogurt and dried beans. In some people who have difficulty obtaining proper caloric intake from their daily meals, high protein and high calorie shakes can be used as supplements. Two amino acids, found in foods having protein and that have been identified as having potential to help wound healing are arginine and glutamine.


People with diabetes often have difficulty with wound healing, and this is due to poor circulation, nerve damage which leads to the constant breakdown of healthy tissue components needed to heal, and a higher than normal level of sugar in the blood which can lead to higher rates of infection and causes fluids to be drained from the body. It is therefore very important for a person with diabetes to keep tight control of their disease.
Wound healing also requires additional levels of vitamins and minerals, however care must be taken too not take in more that the daily recommended amounts because this can have a negative effect on the body.


It is important to consult with a physician about how to eat successfully when trying to heal a wound and also a nutritionist who specializes in wound care.
If you have a chronic or non-healing wound, you may be a candidate for Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s outpatient Wound Care Center. To schedule an appointment or speak with a clinician, please call 718-670-4542

 

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.

Lung Cancer and Treatment Options

Lung cancer is a form of cancer that starts in the lungs. In the early stages there may not be any signs or symptoms. A history of smoking definitely contributes to a higher risk of being diagnosed with the disease, though non-smokers also can develop lung cancer. Smoking causes cancer by irritating the lining of the lungs. This causes changes in the lung tissue. It is believed that the effects of smoking may be reversible in the very early phases but repeated exposure to the chemicals found in smoke will eventually be irreversible.

Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer include:

  • A cough that doesn’t get better
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarseness
  • Headache
  • Weight loss that isn’t intentional

There are two types of lung cancer based on their appearance under the microscope:

Small cell is the most common type of lung cancer and is found in heavy smokers.

Non-small cell is a group of other types of lung cancers that act similarly. This group includes squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.

Lung cancer staging

Stage 1

  • The cancer is limited to the lung.
  • Tumor is smaller than 2 inches
  • has not spread to lymph nodes

Stage 2

  • Usually larger than 2 inches
  • Spread to lymph nodes
  • Possible spread to pleura, chest wall and diaphragm

Stage 3

  • Involves spread to other organs
  • Found in distant lymph nodes

 

Stage 4

  • Spread from one lung to another
  • Spread to distant parts of the body

 

If lung cancer is suspected, a few tests to make the diagnosis definitive will be ordered. A chest x-ray will be performed and if there are any lesions found on the lung a CT scan will to get a better view of the lungs. An exam of the sputum can sometimes reveal lung cancer cells and to complete the diagnosis a lung biopsy will be done to examine the cells to see if they are cancerous.

Depending on the stage of the cancer, treatment options vary and can include chemotherapy, radiation and / or surgery. A common surgical option is called a lobectomy, removal one of the lobes of the lung.

If you would like to discuss lung cancer and treatment options 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.

Dr. Tip – Foot Ulcer, Prevention and Treatment

Dr. Steve Norman, specializing in Podiatry at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Wound Care Center offers the following information on the prevention and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.

If you have diabetes, you may have reduced nerve function due to a condition called peripheral diabetic neuropathy.  This condition causes the nerves that carry the sensation of pain from your feet to your brain to not function properly.  This lack of sensation may cause a small cut or scrape on your foot develop into an ulcer without you feeling the symptoms.

Here are some ways you can prevent a foot ulcer are:

  • Inspection – Check your feet every day. Check for cuts, blisters, calluses, red spots, swelling and other abnormalities.
  • Protection – Keep your feet clean by washing them every day. This will help defend wounds from becoming infected.  After washing, be sure to dry your feet thoroughly and apply lotion to prevent cracking.
  • Prevention – Try to keep your blood glucose levels within normal range. Elevated diabetes blood glucose levels can cause uncared foot ulcers to develop gangrene which can eventually lead to loss of limbs.

If you already have a foot ulcer you can try:

  • Keeping the ulcer dry and covered with a dressing
  • Maintaining proper blood glucose levels, this will facilitate healing
  • Applying topical ointments
  • Do not walk on the ulcerated foot excessively
  • Wear socks with extra padding and a loose-fitting soft shoe with laces or Velcro fasteners

“Advanced foot ulcers may require wound debridement, which is a process that carefully removes dead tissue,” stated Dr. Norman. “You want to make sure consult a physician before your wound/ulcer becomes so advanced that you may be faced with amputation.”

If you are suffering from a chronic or non-healing wound, you may be a candidate for Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Wound Care Center.  The center is open for outpatient appointments Monday through Friday, 8:00am-4:00pm.  For more information, or to make an appointment, call 718-670-4542.

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.