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Heart Screenings

   

Free Ankle-brachial Index for Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a common condition. PAD results from hardening of the arteries, called arteriosclerosis. When arteries that carry oxygenated blood through the body become narrowed or blocked because of plaque, blood flow is decreased. PAD most commonly affects the arteries in the legs, but can also involve arteries that carry blood to the head, arms, kidney and intestines. 

PAD is a serious condition. Those with PAD are at increased risk for heart disease, aortic aneurysms, stroke and blood clots. Many people with PAD may not realize they have a circulation problem; they may think that the pain they are experiencing is simply part of getting older or related to their joints. 

Symptoms may include:
-painful cramping in the leg or hip during activity that improves with rest
-numbness, tingling and weakness in lower legs and feet
-burning or aching in feet or toes when resting
-cold legs or feet
-sores on leg or foot that will not heal
-change of skin color on legs or feet

Among the risk factors for PAD are diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Most patients are older than 50. 

Luckily there is a simple screening that can tell you if you have PAD; the Ankle-brachial Index or ABI.

ABI measures the blood pressure at the ankle and in the arm while a person is at rest. During the test, you lie on a table on your back, and a technician measures your blood pressure in both your arms using an inflatable cuff. Then, the technician measures the blood pressure in two arteries in both your ankles using the inflatable cuff and a hand-held Doppler ultrasound device that your doctor will press on your skin. The Doppler device uses sound waves to produce images and lets your doctor hear your pulse in your ankle arteries after the cuff is deflated.

Having an ankle-brachial index test is painless and similar to getting your blood pressure taken in a routine visit to your doctor. You may feel some pressure on your arm or ankle when the cuff inflates to read your blood pressure.

If you think you might be at risk for PAD, call (254) 519-8578 to schedule your free screening today.

 About Metroplex Heart and Vascular Center

Opened in September of 2016, the Metroplex Heart and Vascular Center is equiped with the latest imaging technology.  Machines like the Siemens Artis Q machine, GE MACLAB Hemodynamic monitoring system, Intra-aortic Balloon Pump and Artic Sun Hypothermia cooling system allow the Metroplex Cardiology and Interventional Radiology teams perform procedures such as angioplasty and stenting for heart blockages and treatment of heart attacks; radiofrequency ablation for cardiac arrhythmias; placement of pacemakers; and much more.

In addition to the state-of-the-art technology, the new Heart and Vascular Center also is the only cardiovascular center in Texas to be awarded the Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI and Resuscitation accreditation by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). 

According to the SPCP website, more than 60 percent of all cardiac arrests are caused by a heart attack, which occurs when the blood flow to the heart is abruptly cut off. The addition of the Resuscitation designation to Chest Pain Center with PCI Accreditation acknowledges that the hospital receiving the designation has initiated a treatment plan that includes interventions such as early recognition; CPR and defibrillation; early intervention with Primary PCI, which means a team made up of the cardiac cath lab staff and an interventional cardiologist will arrive at the facility within 30 minutes; and simultaneous post-arrest hypothermia treatment.