People brave cold weather to wait on line for COVID-19 vaccinations in White Plains

People brave cold weather to wait on line for COVID-19 vaccinations in White Plains

Many residents in White Plains have to brave the cold weather as they wait outside in line for their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Early Saturday morning, people were already lined up at the vaccination center.
Resident Don Noll says he jumped on line despite the cold weather because he doesn’t want to miss his chance to be immunized.
Dr. John Galeno, with Brain and Spine Surgeons of New York, warns that cold temperatures can be very dangerous and may even cause hypothermia.
“The signs are shivering, and then eventually the shivering stops, then the body cannot produce enough heat…that’s when it becomes a real emergency situation,” he says.
The doctor says there is also a risk of frost bite, which starts with numbness on fingers or any other exposed body part.
“Even at home, it’s important to keep the temperature at a reasonable level. Usually, the level stated is 68 degrees,” says Dr. Galeno.
While officials are warning people to stay inside, Noll and so many other residents have to be outdoors, whether it’s for work or other commitments.
Dr. Galeno says if you notice symptoms of hypothermia or frostbite, go immediately to the emergency room.
“Worst case scenario is you made an unnecessary visit,” he says.

Medical Advances in the Treatment of Scoliosis, or Curvature of the Spine, in Adolescents Can Lead to Patients Leading Normal, Active Lives

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK— A parent, a family member, a school nurse, a coach or even a friend notices a subtle change in the posture of an adolescent boy or girl. The child is taken to his or her pediatrician who, after an examination, suspects the child might be exhibiting signs of early stage scoliosis, also known as curvature of the spine. A referral to a spine specialist confirms the diagnosis: adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

According to Westchester orthopaedic surgeon and spine specialist John Galeno, MD, the real pernicious element of scoliosis rests with its eventual negative and potentially serious impacts on the individual’s cardiopulmonary health. Left untreated, scoliosis can do real damage to the heart and lungs, and could prove fatal years down the line. For that reason, Dr. Galeno stresses, it’s critical that young scoliosis patients be examined, diagnosed and treated at the earliest signs of the disorder.

“With scoliosis in early adolescence, patients are first treated with a brace,” Dr. Galeno explains. “The brace is fitted to help mold the spine into its natural position. The rate of curvature of the spine is carefully monitored; if the brace helps straighten the spine, its use is continued. Should the brace fail to ameliorate the condition, the next logical step is surgery when it reaches a certain degree of severity.

“Advances in surgery for scoliosis have been remarkable over the years,” Dr. Galeno says. “In the operating room it’s the instrumentation to correct the deformity that has seen advancements,” he says. “Now we have the ability to correct the deformity not just on one plane, but on more than one plane in one procedure with screw and rod placement. We use instrumentation to force the spine to go into a more normal position; that way we are able to maintain a natural curve of the spine. The use of robotics is slowly but surely making its way into treatment in some operating suites.”

Dr. Galeno recalls one young patient who came to see him for a follow-up exam a few years after her procedure to correct idiopathic scoliosis. Not only had she fully recovered, but she demonstrated her gymnastic agility by completely bending over backwards and placing her palms flat on the floor — a challenging feat for even the most dexterous athlete. “That was pretty remarkable, and impressive,” Dr. Galeno recalls. “It spelled a remarkable transformation for a young patient who, just a few years earlier, was facing the daunting challenges of adolescent scoliosis. Surgery not only improved her life, but it restored her sense of self.”

“Early intervention is extremely important,” Dr. Galeno urges. “The sooner we diagnose and treat a young person, the better the chances for a full recovery.”

Fred Yaeger
Yaeger Public Relations
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Yonkers, New York 10701
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