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Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Week in Suffolk County

March 5 – 11

Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI is most often caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Leading causes of TBI are falls, motor vehicle crashes and assaults. Participating in team sports such as football, ice hockey, soccer, baseball and softball, can also put a person at risk for a concussion.

Did you know? While Most TBIs that occur each year are mild, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a TBI. Of them: 52,000 die, 275,000 are hospitalized, and. 1.365 million, nearly 80 percent, are treated and released from an emergency department.

The signs and symptoms of TBI can be subtle and may not appear for days following an injury. Signs and symptoms of a concussion include:

  • headache,
  • neck pain,
  • difficulty remembering,
  • slowness in speech and thinking,
  • confusion,
  • tiredness,
  • lack of energy,
  • change in sleep patterns,
  • dizziness,
  • loss of balance,
  • nausea,
  • sensitivity to lights and sounds,
  • blurred vision,
  • loss of sense of smell or taste, and
  • ringing in the ears.

If you or your loved one have any of these symptoms after a head injury, seek medical treatment immediately.

Below are some tips to keep you and your family safe at home and outdoors:

  • Among adults 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths, hospitalizations and emergency room visits. Make your home safer by removing objects you can trip over: throw rugs, shoes, etc.; install grab bars in bathrooms; store items in low cabinets to avoid using a stepstool, improve lighting and install handrails, especially in staircases. Ask your doctor about the best type of exercise program for you and do it! Choose safe footwear, too. Visit Suffolk County’s Fall Prevention page for information and a listing of classes.
  • Infants and children should always be properly restrained in the appropriate car/booster seat recommended for their age and weight. Teens and adults should always wear a safety belt whether in the front or rear seats of an auto.
  • Young children should be carefully supervised inside and outside the home to avoid accidents as much as possible. Children and adults taking part in athletic activities should always wear the correct protective equipment. When biking, in-line skating and skateboarding, helmets should always be worn.
  • Shaken Baby Syndrome, a form of child abuse, occurs when an adult caretaker violently shakes a baby or young child causing brain injury. In addition to TBI, shaking can also cause outcomes such as blindness, paralysis and death.

Those with suspected concussions should not return to play until examined by a doctor. Coaches and parents must learn the signs and symptoms of concussions.

For more information, visit:


March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Suffolk County participates in the “80% by 2018” initiative to encourage residents who are 50 or older to be screened for colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. With regular screening, colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable!

Colorectal cancer begins in either the colon or the rectum. Symptoms of colon cancer may differ from those of rectal cancer, but both have much in common. In most cases, colon and rectal cancers develop slowly over many years and most often start as a polyp – a growth of tissue that starts in the lining and grows into the center of the colon or rectum. A type of polyp known as an adenoma can become cancer. Removing a polyp early will stop it from growing into a cancerous polyp. Although this disease can occur at any age, most people who develop colorectal cancer are over age 50. All men and women ages 50 and older should get screened.

Symptoms: There are usually no symptoms during the early stages of colorectal cancer, which is why it is so important to have regular screenings. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include:

  • diarrhea or constipation
  • a feeling that your bowel does not empty completely
  • blood (either bright red or very dark) in your stool
  • stools that are narrower than usual
  • frequent gas pains or cramps, full or bloated feelings
  • weight loss with no known reason
  • fatigue: feeling tired with no know reason
  • nausea or vomiting

Do you know? The five year survival rate for early stage colorectal cancer is over 90 percent, but when colon cancer is detected at a late stage, the rate drops to 5 percent. There are several types of colorectal cancer screening options. Talk with your doctor about the best option for you.

Blood stool test: stool is examined to search for small amounts of blood, which can be a sign of cancerous polyps. Samples can be taken in the home and delivered to a lab.

Sigmoidoscopy: allows a physician to examine only the large intestine, and not the whole colon. If sigmoidoscopy is your preferred testing method, it is recommended every five years, with a blood stool test every three years (for an average risk individual).

Colonoscopy: similar to a sigmoidoscopy except that the entire colon and rectum can be examined. During this examination, any abnormal growths, including pre-cancers, can be removed. As a screening tool for colorectal cancer, a colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years for people at average risk. Fifty percent of U.S. colorectal cancers could be prevented by eating healthfully, being active and maintaining a healthy weight…so start taking steps today toward a healthy lifestyle!

Most health insurance plans cover lifesaving preventive tests. Use the health benefits you are paying for to get screened. Call your doctor today. If you are uninsured or underinsured, call your local health clinic. HRHCare operates clinics throughout Suffolk County, Call 1-888-HRH-CARE to set up an appointment. OR contact Cancer Services Program Partnership of Suffolk County, which also provides colorectal, breast and cervical cancer screening: 631-548-6320.


More information: Suffolk County Cancer Prevention and Health Promotion Coalition:

NYDOH Cancer Services Program:

Information about colorectal cancer can be found online at

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month pdf

Marzo es el mes de concientización sobre el cáncer colorectal pdf


March is Kidney Disease Awareness Month!

The County of Suffolk has designated the month of March as Kidney Disease Awareness Month in to raise awareness of chronic kidney disease and its risk factors.

March 9 is World Kidney Day!

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition in which the kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood as well as they should. Loss of kidney function can take place over a period of months or years. If left untreated, CKD can progress to kidney failure (also known as end-stage renal disease) and early cardiovascular death.

Fast Facts

  • More than 14 percent of U.S. adults are estimated to have CKD and most are undiagnosed.
  • Untreated kidney failure can be life-threatening.
  • Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States. Each year, kidney disease kills more people than breast or prostate cancer.
  • High blood pressure and diabetes are the most common causes of kidney disease. High blood pressure causes just over a quarter of all cases of kidney failure.

Risk factors

  • Family history of kidney disease, diabetes or high blood pressure
  • African-American, Native American, Hispanic, Asian, or Pacific Islander heritage
  • Prolonged use of painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen
  • Age 60 or older
  • Obesity
  • Low birth weight
  • Lupus and other autoimmune disorders
  • Chronic urinary tract infections
  • Kidney stones


Early chronic kidney disease has no signs or symptoms. Symptoms of advanced CKD may include fatigue, weakness, difficult urination, foamy urine, dark urine, increased thirst, increased need to urinate, puffy eyes, and swollen face hands, abdomen, ankles and feet.

The Good News

  • If you are healthy, you may be able to prevent CKD if you avoid tobacco, exercise regularly, control you weight, stay hydrated, drink alcohol only in moderation get an annual physical and know your family history.
  • If you have CKD or at high risk of developing CKD, visit your medical provider routinely. Your provider will check your blood pressure, the amount of protein in your urine, and the level of creatinine in your blood. Your provider may also want to check your Glomerular Filtration Rate, a calculation based on age, race and gender. If CKD is detected early and managed appropriately, the deterioration in kidney function can be slowed or even stopped. Early detection can also prevent cardiovascular complications from developing.


For more information, visit:

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease

United States Renal Data Service 2016 Annual Data Report

The National Kidney Foundation