Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Knowledge is Power. Understanding the Importance of Vascular Health.
- Vascular disease includes any condition that affects your circulatory system, such as peripheral artery disease. This ranges from diseases of your arteries, veins and lymph vessels to blood disorders that affect circulation.
- March is Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness month, understanding the risk factors, signs and symptoms can save your life.
- Marietta Memorial Hospital offers free non-invasive vascular screenings that include patient education, carotid ultrasounds to detect stroke risk factors and more.
What is Vascular Disease?
Vascular disease includes any condition that affects your circulatory system, such as peripheral artery disease. This ranges from diseases of your arteries, veins and lymph vessels to blood disorders that affect circulation. The following are conditions of vascular disease:
- Peripheral artery disease
- Renal artery disease
- Raynaud’s phenomenon (also called Raynaud’s disease or Raynaud’s syndrome)
- Buerger’s disease
- Peripheral venous disease
- Varicose veins
- Venous blood clots
- Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Pulmonary embolism
- Chronic venous insufficiency
- Blood clotting disorders
Marietta Memorial Hospital’s Shane Parmer, M.D., vascular surgeon, discusses the risks for vascular disease and how to deal with them.
“Avoiding tobacco products, controlling diabetes and engaging in regular exercise are preventive measures that can be taken to avoid cerebrovascular disease (stroke) and peripheral arterial disease (PAD),” states Dr. Parmer.
Celebrating DVT Awareness Month Through Education
March is Deep-Vein Thrombosis Awareness month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 200,000 – 400,000 people have DVT in the U.S. DVT is a type of clot that forms in a major vein of the leg or, less commonly, in the arms, pelvis, or other large veins in the body.
Understanding the Risk Factors, Signs and Symptoms for DVT
The symptoms of DVT may be subtle and difficult to detect and as many as half of all DVT episodes produce minimal symptoms or are completely “silent.” Because a number of other conditions, including muscle strains, skin infections and phlebitis (inflammation of veins), display symptoms similar to those of DVT, the condition may be difficult to diagnose without specific tests.
When DVT is spotted early and properly treated, the risk of complications is reduced. When left untreated, it may cause severe complications, some even fatal.
Symptoms of DVT may include:
- Discoloration or redness of the affected area
- Skin that is warm to the touch
Risk factors include but are not limited to:
- Restricted Mobility
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Respiratory Failure
- Infectious Disease
- Age > 40
- Prior or family history of venous thromboembolism (VTE)
DVT Complication: Pulmonary Embolism
Pulmonary embolism is a major complication of DVT. A DVT blood clot has the potential to move into the lungs and block circulation to the lungs – a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism (PE) – which requires immediate medical attention.
PE occurs when a blood clot breaks loose from the wall of a vein and travels to the lungs, blocking the pulmonary artery or one of its branches. This blocks the blood flow from the heart. Obstruction of a large pulmonary artery by one or more of these migrating clots (emboli) may be life threatening.
Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism may include:
- Unexplained shortness of breath
- Chest pain or breathing
- Rapid heart rate
- Unexplained coughing
- Coughing up blood
Pulmonary embolism kills up to 300,000 people a year in the U.S., that’s more than AIDS and breast cancer combined!
Marietta Memorial Hospital’s Vastrac Early Detection Vascular Screenings
We know the best way to fight disease is to keep it from developing in the first place. We also know heart disease and stroke are two of the most common health conditions found in the region. That’s why we’re teaming up with Dr. Shane Parmer, vascular surgeon, to put the power in your hands.
Our non-invasive vascular screenings are free and the key to taking a proactive approach to your heart health. Vascular screenings are particularly helpful for anyone with a family history of early onset of heart disease, persistent leg pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a personal history of smoking.
To be eligible you must:
- Have no past participation in the program.
- One visit per patient
- No current involvement with a vascular specialist.
- Be age 18 or over.
Screenings last about 60 minutes and include patient education, carotid ultrasound to detect stroke risk factors, aorta ultrasound to detect aneurysms and ankle/brachial measurements to detect disease in the legs. You might not have any symptoms, but you still could be at risk.
Appointments are available daily. Critical results provided immediately. Call (740) 374-1750 to schedule your vascular screening today.
The Memorial Health System is a not-for-profit health system governed by a volunteer board of community members that are committed to providing comprehensive services that meet the needs of our region. We are comprised of a network of two hospitals, outpatient service sites, assisted and long-term care facilities and a retirement community. We work in innovative ways to meet the healthcare challenges of today, while preparing for the health needs of our communities in the future.