2011-02-18 / Community

SJEH Sets Free Vascular Screening

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is offering screenings for vascular disease. Millions of Americans are at risk for abdominal aortic aneurysms. Early detection of abdominal aortic aneurysms can save lives. Each year approximately 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with abdominal aortic aneurysms. Because many do not experience any symptoms, many people go undiagnosed. Fortunately at least 95 percent of those with this disease can be successfully treated if detected prior to rupture.

The aorta is the largest artery in your body and it carries oxygen-rich blood pumped out of, or away from, your heart. Your aorta runs through your chest, where it is called the thoracic aorta. When it reaches your abdomen, it is called the abdominal aorta. When a weak area of the abdominal aorta expands or bulges, it is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Aneurysms are a health risk because they can burst or rupture. A ruptured aneurysm can cause severe internal bleeding, which can lead to shock or even death. Diagnosis

Fortunately, most abdominal aortic aneurysms can be detected through a simple ultrasound screening in which a health care professional glides a sensor over the stomach to view images of the aorta. This painless procedure usually takes just a few minutes. The doctor can read the images produced to determine if there is an abdominal aortic aneurysm present. These exams also measure the size of the aneurysm, a key step in identifying the best treatment option. Are You At Risk? - Are you a man older than 65 years old or a woman older than 65 with a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm? - Do you have an immediate relative, such as a brother or mother, who has had an abdominal aortic aneurysm? - Do you have high blood pressure? - Do you smoke?

If you think you may be at risk please call the Vascular Surgery Office at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital at 718-869-7138 to find out if you qualify for a free screening. The Hospital has vascular surgeons and a new Vascular Laboratory. The vascular surgeons at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital can diagnose and treat abdominal aortic aneurysms and other vascular disorders. St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is located at 327 Beach 19 Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691.

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is a 257-bed hospital offering general adult medical surgical services, obstetrics, pediatrics and psychiatry. Their goal, says a spokesperson, is to combine accessible, medical excellence with the compassionate, caring environment expected from a faith-based community hospital.

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