Flushing Hospital Offers Tips To Enjoy a Happy and Safe Memorial Day

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of Summer for many.  Whether you are planning a weekend road trip, firing up the grill, or heading out on the water, Flushing Hospital Medical Center wants you to have a fun and safe holiday weekend by following some of these simple safety tips.

Driving Safety Tips:

  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely and use caution in construction zones.
  • Be sure to make frequent stops and use multiple drivers if necessary.
  • Ensure that your vehicle’s gas tank doesn’t get too low.
  • Let someone know where you’re going before you leave.
  • Avoid distractions such as cell phones, and always buckle your seatbelt

Backyard Barbeque Tips:

  • Keep your grill out in the open and away from overhangs, enclosed areas, or anything that could catch fire.
  • Make sure that no one gets too close to the grill, such as children or pets.
  • Use long-handled tools as to avoid any burns.
  • Never add starter fluid if your coals have already been lit.

Water Safety Tips:

  • Learn CPR in case of an emergency and ensure that all swimmers are skilled.
  • Actively supervise children and stay within arms-reach of new swimmers.
  • If you’re on a boat, wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Remain within eyeshot of a lifeguard and swim with a buddy.
  • Keep a life preserver nearby, and in case of drowning, throw it, but don’t jump in.

By following these tips, you can ensure not only just a fun Memorial Day weekend, but a safe Summer.

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.

Flushing Hospital Now Offering Podcasts To Our Community

Podcasts have become an increasingly popular medium to distribute information about a variety of topics. Millions of people listen to them to learn about many things including politics, entertainment, sports, and health. For this reason, Flushing Hospital has begun producing and distributing podcasts to help members of our community learn how to better manage their health as well as how our hospital can provide valuable services to assist them.

The podcast which is named Flushing Hospital MedTalk began production earlier this year. Each episode is approximately 15-minutes-long and features providers from various medical specialties discussing a wide range of topics.

The podcasts can be found on multiple podcast platforms including Apple, Google, IHeart Radio, Spotify, Stitcher and others.  In addition, those interested can listen to or download the podcasts on the hospital’s website. Episodes are also being shared on our social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Flushing Hospital is dedicated to providing important information about health and wellness to our community. We are excited to utilize our podcasts as a new way to engage everyone.

To listen to any of the Flushing Hospital podcasts, please click the link below:

https://flushinghospital.org/podcast/

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.

Learning The Facts About Aphasia

Aphasia is a neurological condition that can affect your speech, as well as your ability to write and understand both spoken and written language.

Aphasia typically occurs after a stroke or a head injury, but it can also have a gradual onset as the result of a slow-growing brain tumor or a disease that causes degenerative damage. Sometimes temporary episodes of aphasia can occur. These can be due to migraines, seizures or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). A TIA occurs when blood flow is temporarily blocked to an area of the brain.

The severity of aphasia varies depending on the cause and the extent of the brain damage.

Some of the symptoms of aphasia include:

  • Speaking in short or incomplete sentences
  • Speaking in sentences that don’t make sense
  • Substituting one word for another or one sound for another
  • Using unrecognizable words
  • Not understanding conversations
  • Writing sentences that don’t make sense

Aphasia can create numerous quality-of-life problems because communication is so much a part of your life. Communication difficulty may affect your job, relationships, and general day-to-day functionality.  Communication difficulties can also lead to feelings of shame and depression.

Once the cause has been addressed, the main treatment for aphasia is speech and language therapy. The person with aphasia relearns and practices language skills and learns to use other ways to communicate. Family members often participate in the process, helping the person communicate.

Because aphasia is often a sign of a serious problem, such as a stroke, seek emergency medical care if you suddenly develop any symptoms.

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.

Islam Family Praises Flushing Hospital For Exceptional Care

The decision of where to have your baby delivered is an especially important one. Flushing Hospital Medical Center considers it an honor when we are entrusted with this responsibility, and our team does everything in its power to ensure that our patients have a positive and memorable experience. That is why we are so appreciative when one of our families feels compelled to share their story with us.

Nazrul Islam brought his wife Anika to Flushing Hospital to deliver their child earlier this year. Nazrul was initially skeptical of choosing Flushing Hospital based on what some of his neighbors told him, but everything changed when they entered the lobby for her scheduled pre-admission testing. “I was immediately impressed with how beautiful the hospital looked. It felt like a hotel. Everyone was so nice. They treated my wife and I so well,” said Nazrul.

With their fears allayed, Mr. and Mrs. Islam returned two days later for a scheduled cesarean section delivery. According to Nazrul, “We were scheduled for delivery at 8:00 a.m. and by 9:41 my son Saheim was born. Everything was extremely well-managed, and it could not have gone any better.” In addition to how smooth everything went Mr. and Mrs. Islam were also extremely impressed with the accommodations and how well the entire Flushing Hospital team treated them. “We found the Labor, Delivery and Recovery suite to be very spacious and comfortable and everyone from the doctors and nurses to the environmental services and dietary care employees to be so helpful. They made us feel at ease.” Nazrul added “I didn’t hesitate one second when I had to leave my wife and son because I knew they were in great hands. They treated us like a member of the family.”

Mr. and Mrs. Islam are so thankful to Flushing Hospital they have been sharing their positive experience with everyone who will listen. Nazrul stated “I have written multiple positive reviews on-line and I tell all my friends who are thinking about having a baby to choose Flushing Hospital. It is the top hospital in my experience.”

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 Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency??

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) is a condition affecting the pancreas, an organ located in the abdomen that plays an essential role in converting the food we eat into fuel for the body’s cells. The pancreas has two main functions: it helps with digestion, and it regulates blood sugar.

The pancreas produces enzymes that break down food and keep digestion moving properly. For those with EPI, the pancreas does not make enough of these enzymes, which prevents the absorption of nutrients and disrupts digestion.

There are numerous gastro-intestinal symptoms of EPI, ranging from mild to extreme including:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Greasy, oily stools
  • Foul-smelling stools
  • Unexplained weight loss

Other symptoms can include fatigue, dizziness, dry skin, brittle nails, hair loss, depression, irritability, and problems with memory and concentration. These can occur when the body does not absorb the necessary fats and nutrients from food.

EPI is often the result of a variety of conditions, such as

  • Pancreatitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Diabetes

There are diagnostic tests your doctor can perform if he or she suspects you have EPI. Once EPI is confirmed, the most common form of treatment is pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT). PERT supplements are capsules that contain a mixture of digestive enzymes that those with EPI cannot produce to help them break down fat and assist with digestion.

It is also recommended that people with EPI eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins. It is also important not to avoid foods with fats, as these are essential to maintaining a healthy weight. However, it is best to stick with healthy fats, like salmon, avocado, and nuts rather than unhealthy trans or saturated fats found in red meats, dairy products, and fried foods.

To schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist at Flushing Hospital’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.

Flushing Hospital Adds Bi-Directional Communication Boards To Improve The Patient Experience

The Patient Centered Services Department at Flushing Hospital Medical Center is proud to announce the installation of bi-directional communication boards in all in-patient rooms.

The boards, which are 3’ x 2’ have been placed at the foot of each bed and are intended to convey information between the patient and the care team, enhance patient and family engagement, and improve the patient experience.

“What Matters to You, Matters to Us” is boldly written across the top of each board to emphasize the importance of effective communication and understanding.  The board is split into two halves underneath this title. Each half contains blank fields that are to be filled in daily by the care team and patient together.

The left side of the board is designated as the patient side. On this side of the board the patient can express how they prefer to be addressed, their goals for the day, their language of choice, and any questions or concerns they want to share with their healthcare team.

The right side of the board is to be completed by the care team and includes important information such as the names of everyone on the healthcare team. It can also identify any special needs the patients might have as well as address the care plan for the day.

The response to the bi-directional boards has been overwhelmingly positive with employees stating that the boards are “helpful,” “engaging,” and “good for the patients.  The patients are appreciative as well, sharing that they “really like them” and that the boards make them “feel cared about.”

The implementation of the bi-directional boards is one of many initiatives the hospital has taken to demonstrate our commitment to patient-centered care.

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 on How to Avoid Purchasing a Fake At-Home COVID Test Kit

There was a time when many of us would stand in line for hours to get a COVID test, but due to the increased availability of at-home kits, more and more are opting to perform the test themselves. While home tests are very convenient, consumers must be careful that the tests they are purchasing are real.

Experts warn that inadvertently buying fake tests are not only are a waste of money, but they can also increase the risk of unknowingly spreading the virus and not receiving appropriate treatment.

Flushing Hospital offers the following information on how to avoid buying a fake test.

When purchasing a COVID-19 home test on-line, it is best to check the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website: https://www.fda.gov/  The FDA maintains a running list of every SARS-CoV-2 antigen diagnostic test approved under its emergency use authorization (EUA) process. The list includes several types of test kits and features product brand names for easy reference. Websites selling false tests may falsely claim that that their tests are FDA approved so it’s important to check for authenticity.

When buying an over-the counter COVID test kit in person, it’s important that you purchase it from a reliable source, such as your local pharmacy or supermarket. It is strongly advised that you do not buy a test kit from a street vendor as they may be selling kits from oversees that are not FDA-approved or they may be selling old or fake kits in boxes that appear to be legitimate. Experts warn if the seller cannot produce a business license, then you should not buy a kit from them. Additional tips include avoid packaging in foreign languages and kits not sold in boxes.

Flushing Hospital warns when purchasing a test kit, avoid being tempted by lower prices and don’t rush to buy a suspect kit out of fear of limited availability.  You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to get a test kit that will offer you accurate results.

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.

Thyroid Eye Disease

Thyroid eye disease (or TED) is a condition that causes the immune system to attack the muscles and other tissues around the eyes. The condition is most commonly associated with Graves’ disease, which is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland, causing it to produce more thyroid hormone than the body needs.

In most cases people who develop TED are already diagnosed with Graves’ disease, but for some, it is the first indicator of thyroid problem.  Approximately one half of all people diagnosed with Graves disease develop eye symptoms. In most cases the symptoms are mild, but for some, it can have more serious consequences.

The most common symptoms of TED include:

  • Pain and pressure
  • Dry, itchy, or watery eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Inflammation and swelling of the eye and its surrounding tissues
  • Bulging or wide-eyed stare caused by swelling in the orbital tissues
  • Red or bloodshot eyes
  • Double vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Impaired vision
  • Difficulty moving the eyes

Thyroid eye disease can affect people differently. Symptoms can last from 6 months to 2 years. For some, symptoms may go away on their own, but others may experience lasting effects. To best treat the condition, it is best to work with a team of doctors, including a primary care physician, an ophthalmologist, and an endocrinologist.

For milder cases, applying lubricating eye drops and artificial tears a few times during the day can help be helpful.  It is also recommended to avoid conditions that can worsen the condition, such as wind and bright light (or try to wear sunglasses in these elements to protect your eyes). Other tips include applying cool compresses to provide relief and elevating your head while you sleep to relieve pressure on the eyes.

If you have severe symptoms, a doctor may prescribe corticosteroids, such as prednisone to reduce the swelling in and around your eyes.  In a very small percentage of patients, orbital decompression surgery may be recommended if your vision becomes impaired.

To schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital’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.

Immunity-Boosting Tips To Help You Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

The holiday season is here and to increase your chances of staying healthy and enjoying all the festivities that are associated with this time of year, Flushing Hospital is sharing the following tips to help you boost your immune system and avoid illness during this time of year.

  • Protect yourself against illness– taking certain preventive measures like washing your hands, wearing a mask whenever possible and taking Vitamin D can decrease your chances of getting sick. Also. getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu can provide protection against serious complications from those viruses.
  • Get the appropriate amount of sleep – With all the shopping, wrapping, decorating, and baking, the holiday season can be very busy time of year. Even though you might find yourself overwhelmed around the holidays, it’s important to get the recommended amount of sleep each night (seven to nine hours for adults) to help keep your immunity levels high.
  • Eat healthy – Making healthy and nutritious food choices can give your immune system a big boost. Conversely, making unhealthy food choices can negatively affect your immunity to illness. Some foods that can potentially boost your immune system include garlic, whole grains, such as oats or quinoa, and yogurt.
  • Make time for exercise – Regular exercise can not only help keep your immune system running by supporting overall health and wellness, but recent research has suggested that it can also boost it by improving circulation, relieving stress, promoting “good” bacteria in your gut.
  • Enjoy time with family and friends – If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it is the importance that social interactions have on our mental well-being. Spending time with loved ones not only can reduce stress and make us happy, but studies have found that, if done responsibly and when following the appropriate safety precautions, it can also positively impact our immune system.

We hope these wellness tips will help you stay healthy and safe this holiday season.

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.

Flushing Hospital Provides Information About The COVID Pill

In the continued fight against COVID-19, there has been some promising news about the development of a COVID pill. However, there are many questions surrounding this form of treatment.

Recently, pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Merck announced that their anti-viral pills could minimize the effects of the virus for those who contract it. These medications are similar to other anti-viral medications currently used to combat the flu and other viruses. Pfizer claims its pill can decrease the likelihood of death or hospitalization by 89% if taken within three days of symptoms starting. Merck states its capsule can reduce similar risks by 50%.

Neither of the anti-viral medications are currently available as Merck and Pfizer have either already applied to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use or are in the process of doing so and both are waiting for approval as there is still a lot we need to learn.

While this news is encouraging, it is important to understand that if or when these pills become available, they should not be considered a cure. Unlike antibiotics, which work to kill bacterial infections, anti-viral medications usually work to lessen the symptoms of the virus. These pills would also need to be taken during the early stages of the viral infection to be effective. They should only be considered as important additions to other hospital-based treatments.

One concern of many health professionals is that those individuals who are averse to the vaccine will use the existence of the anti-viral medications as an excuse not to get vaccinated, believing that they can get treated by the medications should they contract COVID-19. This philosophy can be misguided as vaccines remain the best protection against the virus.

Another fear among doctors is that people taking the anti-viral pills will not follow appropriate medication adherence. For instance, Merck’s anti-viral pill is required to be taken as a batch of four pills, twice a day, for five days. This medication will be ineffective if it is not taken as directed.

These anti-viral medications have the potential to decrease complications and hospitalizations and make COVID-19 a much more manageable disease, but more time is needed to test their safety and efficacy. Until then, it is recommended that anyone who is eligible receive the COVID vaccine.

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.