LUMBERTON — Southeastern Regional Medical Center is partnering with Life Line Screening, the nation’s largest provider of preventive screenings, to stop stroke and hip fractures in their tracks. Screening can identify risk factors that lead to stroke or fractures before these disabling or deadly events occur.
“Combining Life Line Screening’s preventive service with Southeastern Regional Medical Center’s diagnostic and treatment abilities creates a continuity of care that is unsurpassed in this area,” SRMC President and CEO Joann Anderson said. “We have a commitment to the community to prevent catastrophic events like stroke and hip fractures, and this partnership is an important part of that commitment.”
Provided screenings include:
— Carotid artery screening: painless, non-invasive Doppler ultrasound is used to visualize the carotid arteries, the arteries that bring blood to the brain. The majority of strokes are caused by plaque build up in these arteries.
— Atrial fibrillation screening: An ECG machine is used to identify this irregular heart rhythm. During afib, the blood may not pump out of the heart completely and can pool in the heart chambers, forming a clot. This clot may then travel to the brain where it can cause a stroke or travel elsewhere to block the arteries to the arms, legs, kidneys or other organs. Individuals with atrial fibrillation have a five-fold increased risk of stroke.
— Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening: Ultrasound is used to visualize the abdominal aorta, the largest artery in the body, to measure the diameter of the aorta. This measurement can indicate if there is a weakening in the aortic wall which can cause a ballooning effect known as an aneurysm. Aneurysms can burst, which generally is fatal.
— Peripheral arterial disease screening: PAD is also known as “hardening of the arteries.” Sufferers have four to six fold increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Risk is evaluated through a measurement called the “Ankle-Brachial Index,” which is obtained by reading the systolic pressure in the ankle and arm.
— Osteoporosis screening: Ultrasound is used to estimate the bone density of the heel. This can indicate if there is a reduction in bone density, which may indicate the presence of osteoporosis. The heel is used because it is similar in composition to the hip, where disabling fractures often occur.
“Screening tests can be very helpful in diagnosing serious health problems, such as abnormal heart rhythms, stroke or aneurysms, which may not have warning symptoms associated with them, said Dr. Robert Everhart of Duke Cardiology of Lumberton. “This is particularly true for individuals who are at risk and do not have regular medical contact.”
These diseases are considered “silent killers” that strike with no previous symptoms or only subtle ones. In fact, half of all stroke victims are asymptomatic. A simple screening may prevent death or disability.
A special wellness package of all four screenings is available for only $149. The whole process takes less than an hour.
The next screening is scheduled for Oct. 2 at Kiwanis Recreation Center on Devers Street in Fayetteville. Other future screens include: Oct. 12, Bill Sapp Center, Lumberton; Oct. 22, First Baptist Church, Dillon, S.C.; and Nov. 9, Lu Mil Vineyard, Dublin,. To pre-register for a screening, contact Life Line Screening at www.lifelinescreening.com or call 1-800-690-0295 to make an appointment.