Asperger’s Syndrome

Asperger’s syndrome (AS) is a developmental disorder that affects a child’s socialization and communication skills.

Boys are three to four times more likely to have AS than girls. Children diagnosed with the disorder are often considered to be on the “high functioning” end of the autism spectrum.   High functioning is the term used to refer to children on the spectrum who can read, speak, write or manage other life skills with very little assistance.

The causes of Asperger’s are unknown; however, experts are investigating possible factors such as genetics and abnormalities in the brain.

Signs and symptoms of Asperger’s typically appear first during early childhood and vary in severity, they may include:

  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Showing few emotions
  • Showing little or no empathy for others
  • Not understanding or missing social cues such as body language
  • Repeating the same movements or topic of conversation
  • Difficulty with having conversations
  • Frequently speaking to oneself
  • Possessing a remarkable ability in paying attention to detail
  • Displaying hypersensitivities to light, sounds and tastes
  • Having difficulty with change

Speak to your pediatrician if you notice these signs and symptoms in your child. Your doctor may refer you to a mental or developmental health professional that specializes in autism spectrum disorders.  This specialist will conduct a complete assessment and create a treatment plan that is best suited for your child’s needs.

To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician at Flushing Hospital Medical 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.

Questions You Should Ask Your Doctor About Your Prescription

Patients are encouraged to ask their physicians about their medications. It is important to be fully informed, as learning about your prescription can reduce the chances of an accident.

You can get learn about your medications by asking your health care provider the following questions:

  • Why is this medication being prescribed?
  • What is the name of the medication?
  • Is there a generic version?
  • How will this prescription treat my condition?
  • How long will I have to take this prescription?
  • How and when should I take this medication?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose?
  • Are there any foods or drinks I should avoid?
  • Is it safe to take this medication along with other drugs or supplements?
  • Are there any side effects?
  • How do the benefits outweigh the risks?

In addition to asking your doctor questions about your medications, you can ask a pharmacist. They are an excellent source of information and can help you to understand your prescription.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s retail pharmacy provides prescription services to patients and those who live in its community.  If you have a medication question to ask after you have left your doctor’s appointment, please call 718-353-3160 or visit 146-01 45th Avenue, Flushing NY 11355.

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.

Could You Be Pregnant? 10 Signs You May Be

A common question many women ask after missing their period is, “could I be pregnant?”  There are early symptoms that you could look out for that may indicate pregnancy. These signs may show up a week or two after you have missed your period and can include:

  1. Mood swings
  2. Food aversions
  3. Frequent urination
  4. Spotting and cramping
  5. Constipation
  6. Changes in breasts that may involve swelling or tenderness
  7. Fatigue
  8. Headaches
  9. Back pain
  10. Darkening of nipples

Every woman’s body is unique; therefore, some may experience multiple symptoms or none at all during the early stages of their pregnancies.  If you believe you could be pregnant, it is advised that you see your doctor to confirm the pregnancy.   Once your pregnancy is confirmed, your doctor will discuss a prenatal care plan that is best for you and your baby’s health.

Prenatal care is vital because it improves the chances of a healthy pregnancy.  Women who do not receive prenatal care are three times more likely to have low birthweight babies and are more at risk of having complications caused by pregnancy.

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.

What You Should Know About Legionnaire’s Disease

Legionnaire's Disease Legionella is a type of bacterium that is typically found in freshwater environments; however, it can also grow in man-made water systems such as cooling towers for industrial air conditioning mechanisms, grocery store misting machines, decorative fountains, as well as hot water tanks and heaters.

Exposure to Legionella is known to cause legionnaire’s disease which is a severe form of pneumonia.  This disease can develop after a person breathes in small droplets of water contaminated by bacteria.  Infection may also occur through aspiration -when water accidentally gets into the lungs while drinking.

Legionnaire’s disease usually develops between two to 10 days after exposure to legionella. The most common symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea or vomiting

Some people are more prone to develop legionnaire’s disease than others. Individuals who are most at risk include:

  • Smokers
  • Adults who are 50 years of age  and older
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • Those who have a chronic lung disease

Treatment of legionnaire’s disease involves the administration of antibiotics and may require hospitalization.  If symptoms are left untreated they can develop into life-threatening conditions such as septic shock, respiratory failure and acute kidney failure.

Legionnaire’s disease can be prevented. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “the key to preventing Legionnaires’ disease is to make sure that building owners and managers maintain building water systems.”  Smokers are also advised to quit smoking, as this can reduce their risk.

To learn more about Legionnaire’s disease please visit https://www.cdc.gov/legionella/index.html

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.

Asthma and Humidity

Severe weather conditions such as high humidity can negatively affect those living with asthma.

Excessive moisture and the heaviness of the air caused by humidity can make it difficult to breathe. Hot and humid air can also help allergens which trigger asthma symptoms such as mold to thrive.

High humidity levels can cause the following asthma symptoms to occur:

  • Chest tightness
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chronic coughing

To avoid or minimize the risk of these symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that humidity levels should be kept between 35%-50% in the home.  When temperatures are hot and humid, it is best to use an air conditioner or dehumidifier, or both.

If you are experiencing symptoms of asthma, take medications as directed or contact your doctor immediately.

To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital Medical 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.

What is A Pulmonary Embolism?

A pulmonary embolism is a blockage of an artery in the lung. In most cases, an embolism results from a blood clot that has traveled to the lung. When this occurs blood flow is obstructed which increases the risk of serious damage to organs or death.  However, if symptoms are recognized and treatment is received promptly these risks can be reduced.

Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism may vary depending on the size of the clot, how much of your lung is affected or if you have preexisting health conditions such as heart or lung disease.  Symptoms tend to come suddenly and may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Blue nails or lips
  • Chest pain, which may worsen with exertion or each time you breathe deeply
  • Coughing that may produce bloody or blood-streaked sputum
  • Lightheadedness
  • Excessive sweating

If you are experiencing these symptoms it is highly advised that you seek immediate medical attention.

Knowing your risks and exercising preventative measures can also reduce your chances of developing a pulmonary embolism.  You are at an increased risk if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Are taking estrogen supplements or birth control pills that contain estrogen
  • Are a smoker
  • Recently had major surgery
  • Have a disease that increases the risk of blood clotting
  • Are obese
  • Are on bed rest or confined to a space for an extensive amount of time

You can prevent the occurrence of a pulmonary embolism by:

  • Taking medication(blood thinners) as prescribed
  • Elevating legs
  • Wearing compression stockings as recommended
  • Being physically active or moving around as much as possible
  • Drinking plenty of fluids

Pulmonary medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases affecting the lungs. The Division of Pulmonary Medicine at Flushing Hospital Medical Center is dedicated to providing outstanding inpatient and outpatient care through the use of certified physicians and modern research.

To learn more about the Division of Pulmonary Medicine at Flushing Hospital or to schedule an appointment with a specially-trained physician, please call 718-670-5639.

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.

Children’s Vitamins

Ideally, most children should receive their daily recommended vitamins and minerals from the food they eat. However, for parents who are challenged for time and aren’t able to prepare well-balanced meals throughout the day; children who are picky eaters or those with certain chronic illnesses, supplements are essential for providing nutrients needed.

There are many types of children’s vitamins available for purchase, but before doing so, it is highly recommended that you speak to your child’s pediatrician.  They can help you to determine what kinds of vitamins and minerals are needed as well as the appropriate daily dose.  This is important because overdosing can lead to symptoms such as headaches, rashes, nausea or even more severe adverse reactions.

Some of the essential vitamins children need to grow healthy and strong include:

  • Iron– Prevents anemia and helps build muscles  and healthy red blood cells
  • Vitamin D– Most children do not receive enough Vitamin D. It is needed to help with bone growth and development
  • Vitamin A-Promotes normal growth and development, as well as healthy eyes and skin. It also aids in repairing bones and tissues
  • Calcium-Helps to build strong bones as children grow

Remember to keep in mind that children’s vitamins are supplements and should not replace healthy, well- balanced meals.  Try to provide your child with foods that are nutrient-rich and those that are low in calories and sugar. Encourage them to eat as much whole fruits and vegetables as possible. If their diet allows for meat, include meats that are lean and avoid or limit frying as a method of preparation.

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.

Sunscreen and Skin Cancer Prevention

Many of us enjoy soaking up the sun in the summer, however, it is important that we do so safely and with discretion to prevent skin cancer.

One of the best ways to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays is to wear sunscreen.  Studies show that using sunscreen regularly reduces the incidence of melanoma (a form of skin cancer) by 50-73%.

Sunscreen works by preventing the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin.   Your sunscreen’s ability to prevent radiation from damaging your skin is measured by its SPF (Sun Protecting Factor). It is highly advised that you use sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher, as this offers better protection.

The Skin Cancer Foundation also recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen which offers protection against UVA and UVB radiation. Too much exposure from either type of radiation has been linked to skin cancer.

Additional recommendations for proper sunscreen use include:

  • Applying sunscreen approximately 30 minutes before sun exposure to ensure the product has enough time to properly bind to skin
  • Applying sunscreen generously and regularly
  • Checking product instructions for how often  sunscreen should be applied
  • Reapplying sunscreen after swimming or excessive sweating

It is important to keep in mind that protecting your skin from the sun does not only include wearing sunscreen. Remember to wear protective clothing or accessories such as broad-brimmed hats and long-sleeved shirts and limit the amount of time spent in the sun.

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 Fruit Juice Healthy For Kids?

Although many parents perceive fruit juices, including boxed juices as healthy, the reality is most are not. Typically, packaged juices often contain large amounts of added sugar and are of no comparison to 100% fresh juice or whole fruit which offers several nutritional benefits.

According to an article published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, when served with a well-balanced meal in children over the age of one, 100% fresh or reconstituted juice in moderation can be a healthy part of a child’s diet.  It is important that the amount of juice consumed is moderated as studies have found that drinking too much can result in obesity and compromise dental health.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following recommendations to help parents with making better health decisions for their children and moderating their juice intake:

  • Juice should not be given to children under the age of one because it offers no nutritional benefit.
  • If juice is given, intake should be limited to, at most, 4 ounces daily for toddlers age 1-3. For children age 4-6, fruit juice should be restricted to 4 to 6 ounces daily; and for children ages 7-18, juice intake should be limited to 8 ounces or 1 cup of the recommended 2 to 2 ½ cups of fruit servings per day.
  • Toddlers should not be given juice from bottles or easily transportable “sippy cups” that allow them to consume juice easily throughout the day. The excessive exposure of the teeth to carbohydrates can lead to tooth decay, as well. Toddlers should not be given juice at bedtime.
  • Consumption of unpasteurized juice products should be strongly discouraged for children of all ages.
  • Children who take specific forms of medication should not be given grapefruit juice, which can interfere with the medication’s effectiveness. In addition, fruit juice is not appropriate in the treatment of dehydration or management of diarrhea.
  • Children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits and be educated about the benefits of the fruit as compared with juice, which lacks dietary fiber and may contribute to excessive weight gain.

The best options for children’s health are water and fresh fruit.  Fruit juice offers no nutritional advantages when compared to whole fruit.  Water is ideal for hydration and offers more benefits. To speak with a doctor at Flushing Hospital Medical Center about your child’s nutrition, please call 718-670-5406.

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.

What is Vacuum Assisted Closure Therapy?

One of the many wound care treatment options available at Flushing Hospital Medical Center is wound VAC (Vacuum Assisted Closure) therapy.  This form of therapy is effective in treating large or chronic wounds.

A VAC device is utilized during treatment and is composed of a gauze or foam dressing, an adhesive strip which seals the wound and the dressing, as well as a drainage tube that connects to a vacuum pump.

The VAC system works to heal wounds more quickly by decreasing air pressure on the affected area. It may also help to accelerate the healing process by:

  • Reducing swelling
  • Draining excess fluids
  • Increasing blood flow
  • Reducing bacteria
  • Helping to draw the edges of a wound together

In addition to promoting rapid wound healing, VAC therapy can offer other advantages such as decreased levels of discomfort and a reduced risk of infections.

If you suffer from chronic wounds that may be caused by conditions such as diabetes, speak to your health care provider about exploring this form of therapy as a treatment option.

The Wound Care Center at Flushing Hospital Medical Center is a state-of-the-art outpatient unit that provides specialized, interdisciplinary wound care to patients who suffer from non-healing or chronic wounds.

Designed to bring technically advanced, surgically-oriented wound care to patients whose wounds are resistant to traditional forms of treatment, the center is staffed with plastic surgeons, general surgeons, podiatrists, vascular surgeons and nurses certified in wound care. It currently boasts a success rate which is above the national average, and has expanded to a six-bed unit to better accommodate its growing number of patients.

To schedule an appointment Flushing Hospital’s Wound Care Center or to obtain more information about services provided, 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.