Vaughan to offer free heart screenings

Published 8:44 pm Friday, January 29, 2016

By Emily Enfinger | The Selma Times-Journal

Vaughan Regional Medical Center will be recognizing Heart Month with free heart screenings on National Wear Red for Women Day, Friday, Feb. 5.

The screenings are part of the hospitals’ Early Heart Attack Care program to educate the community about heart attack prevention.

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“We want people to know their risk factors before they have a heart attack,” said Ann Sturgis, acute care educator at Vaughan Regional Medical Center. “We don’t want people to ignore symptoms; we want them to think about their risks for heart disease.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is one of the leading causes of death for men and women in the U.S. with one in four deaths caused by heart disease — roughly 610,000 a year.

Blood pressure screenings as well as blood sugar and cholesterol labs will be held from 8 a.m. until noon in the medical center lobby. People interested in taking advantage of the free blood sugar and cholesterol labs must not eat before having the lab done because it could affect their results.

Sturgis said in addition to the screenings, they will also be providing information on heart disease, heart healthy eating and more.

Megan Austin, director of Physician Relations and Industry at Vaughan Regional Medical Center, said many people may not know the risks of heart disease and this is a good way for them to learn and to take early precautions.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking are leading factors for heart disease according to the CDC, and 47 percent of Americans have at least one of these factors. Other factors that can put people at a higher risk for heart disease include diabetes, obesity, excessive alcohol use and more.

The CDC reports roughly 735,000 Americans have a heart attack every year with 210,000 of those occurring in people who have previously had a heart attack.

Sturgis said they will screen everyone who comes because they do not have a cutoff limit for screening; they just need to come during the screening times.

“It’s a good opportunity because it’s free,” Austin said.