By Paula Motolik
When tragedy strikes, people often find themselves asking whether or not something could have been done to prevent it from happening.
For many who have lost their lives to a tragic catastrophic medical occurrence, prevention may have been the answer.
Preventive screenings are not all that new. Life Line Screening was established in 1993, and has since become the nations leading provider of vascular screenings. Over 45 ultrasound teams are on staff to travel to your local community, bringing the screenings to you.
These non-invasive, inexpensive and painless, ultrasound tests help people identify their risk for stroke, vascular diseases or osteoporosis early enough for their physician to begin preventive procedures.
Many people debate the issue of attending health screenings based on the argument, Why cant I just get these tests done by my physician? The answer, although relatively surprising, is that your physician cannot order these tests without clear evidence of symptoms.
Ironically, most people who suffer from a stroke or aortic abdominal aneurysm never show any signs or symptoms that a major medical catastrophe is about to occur.
Hence the reason companies such as Life Line Screening were developed. The screenings are fast, painless and low cost.
They involve the use of ultrasound technology, and scan for potential health problems related to: blocked arteries which can lead to a stroke, aortic aneurysms which can lead to a ruptured aorta, and hardening of the arteries in the legs, although not a direct test of the coronary arteries, it is however, a strong predictor of heart disease.
Also offered for men and women, is a bone density screening to assess their risk for osteoporosis. Based with heavy emphasis on the education of the diseases and screening procedures, Life Line Screening has screened over 1 million people since the companys inception, with the goal of screening 1 million people in the next two years.
I feel I owe my life to the fact that this was caught in time. Thank you for the service that you provide and hopefully many more people will use this screening and get early treatment. Phyllis Eichhorn, Madison Heights, Mich. (Carotid Artery/Stroke Screening)
Each screening requires ten minutes or less to complete and are individually priced at $60 or less. Sign-up for a complete vascular screening; include the osteoporosis screening, and pay $189 or less.
For more information regarding the screenings or to schedule an appointment, call 1-800-643-6188. Pre-registration is required.
Risk Factors and Warning Signs:
Risk Factors of Stroke include:
-High Blood Pressure
-Heart disease especially an irregular heart beat known as Atrial Fibrillation (AF)
-Obesity / poor diet
Warning Signs include:
-Numbness or weakness in face, arm, or leg
-Severe dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
-Sudden dimness, loss of vision
-Sudden intense headache
-Brief loss of consciousness
-There are 750,000 stroke victims every year.
-160,000 strokes result in death.
-266,000 survive the stroke with permanent disabilities.
-30,000 stroke survivors are new permanent admissions to nursing homes every year.
-Physicians cannot typically order diagnostic carotid artery testing for an asymptomatic individual.
-50 percent of the time the stroke victims show no prior symptoms.
-The direct and indirect costs associated with stroke tally more then $300 billion per year.
-Over the course of a lifetime, four out of every five American families will be touched by stroke.
-Approximately one-third of all stroke survivors will have another stroke within five years.
-Stroke is one of the leading causes of adult disability.
-Stroke kills more than twice as many American women every year as breast cancer
Risk Factors for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms include:
-Being a male over the age of 60
-High blood pressure
-Atherosclerosis (deposits of fat and Cholesterol called plaque build up on the arterys inner wall, causing the lining to deteriorate)
-Inflammation of the arteries
-Infection (Fungal or bacterial)
-Chlamydia pneumoniae (a type of bacteria)
Warning Signs Include:
-Steady, vague pain in the lower back
-A pulsating and/or tender mass in the abdomen
-An unexplained feeling of fullness after eating only small amounts of food
-A lack of blood flow to a body part
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Statistics:
-The mortality rate from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm is 90-95 percent. The mortality rate from planned surgical treatment is less than 5 percent.
-Once discovered, an aneurysm is measured in diameter and carefully monitored. When it grows beyond five centimeters in size, the aneurysm is surgically removed.
-The vast majority of people who have an aneurysm have no symptoms. The most common symptoms are back pain, rigidity in the abdomen or tenderness in the abdomen.
-Some medical research indicates that as many as 8 out of every 100 people over the age of 60 have an undetected AAA.
-Approximately one in every 250 people over the age of 50 will die of a ruptured AAA.
-Males are at least four times more likely to have a AAA than females.
-AAA is the 13th leading cause of death in the U.S
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