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Act quicker to save your ticker

By Mary W. Poole

Serving Orange County for more than 60 years, we have had the opportunity to touch hearts and save lives.  Having a long history of clinical excellence in cardiac care, we provide a variety of cardiac treatment options.  We are proud to be designated as a Nationally Recognized Stroke Center providing telemedicine services in partnership with the University of Texas Health Science Center as well as being designated as a Level IV Trauma Emergency Department staffed with Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physicians.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone has a coronary event every 25 seconds.  Heart disease is nothing to ignore.  It can strike both the young and old and is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States.
Fortunately, everyone can take steps to protect their heart.  The key is seeking medical care as soon as possible.  Heart attack victims can benefit from new medications and treatments unavailable in the past.  Clot-busting drugs can stop some heart attacks in progress, reducing disability and saving lives.  New, innovative surgical techniques allow physicians a variety of options for heart procedures, and early detection procedures allow physicians to understand a patient’s risk of having a cardiac event.
Age is just a number when you are young at heart.  This is a great motto to live by, but staying young at heart, both physically and emotionally, often takes some effort – and positive energy.  Here are some great ideas to feel young at heart, no matter your age.
1. Walk – walking is great for your heart and it is easy to squeeze into your daily routine.
2. Get outdoors – fresh air and sunshine are good for the body and spirit and can help ensure you have healthy levels of vitamin D.
3. Eat heart-healthy foods – stick to foods low in salt and high in fiber like fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limit saturated and trans-fats.
4. Connect with others – spending time with others can give you a lift, and that is good for your heart, too.
5. Get a good night’s rest – sleep is an essential part of keeping our heart and blood vessels in good condition.  People who sleep less than six hours a night are at higher risk for heart attacks and stroke.
You can learn more about your risk for having a heart attack.  Does one or more of these conditions apply to you?
• Family or personal history of coronary artery disease
• Male over 45 years of age, female over 50 years of age
• Past or present smoker
• History of high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure
• Overweight
• Inactive lifestyle
If you answered yes to any of the above, what you need to do next is:
Schedule an appointment for a Cardiac Screening at the Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas, Orange Campus.
•  You will need to fast for 8 hours prior to the exam.
• Lab work will be drawn – the lipid profile requires a blood sample.  This measures the levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, low density lipids (Bad cholesterol) and high density lipids (good cholesterol).
• Cardiac Calcium Score will be performed with a CT scanner.  This test will reveal if there is a buildup of calcium in plaque on the walls of the arteries of the heart.  It take approximately 5 minutes.
This exam is not covered by insurance, but we can offer a Cardiac Calcium Score and a blood lipid profile; evaluated by a cardiologist. The result will be mailed back to you within 72 hours, the results can also be sent to your family physician.  This scan can be scheduled without a physician’s order.  For more information or to schedule your appointment, please call 409-883-1196. If you or a loved one need advanced cardiac care, you know your heart is in the right place at the Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas.

Mary W. Poole is Director Public Relations at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas