St. Lucie Medical Center
772.335.4000
For more than 25 years, St. Lucie Medical Center has continued to grow and provide world-class care to the residents of Port St. Lucie.

What to Expect When Your Baby Arrives

When you’re pregnant, it’s natural to spend your time focusing on what to expect during each trimester and what your labor and delivery will be like. Often, new moms realize after labor ends that they overlooked one important part during their research—what happens next? At The Birthing Center at St. Lucie Medical Center, you’ll find the comprehensive support you need from our maternity and newborn care teams as you experience your first few days as a mother. Like pregnancy, this is also a time of big changes for your body. Here is a look at what you can expect.

Continued Contractions

When labor is over, your body begins to return to a non-pregnancy state immediately. Part of this process is having the uterus return to its usual size. As the uterus shrinks, it can cause contractions that persist for a week after the birth. Although the contractions won’t be as severe as they were during labor, they can cause some discomfort that can usually be controlled with a heating pad or warm compresses. The uterus will also shed the lochia, or the lining. This may take up to six weeks, during which time your discharge will become lighter in color.

Mood Swings

The hormonal changes that occur during delivery are fast and drastic. Within just a few days, you could experience changes in hormone levels of up to 90%. Not surprisingly, these shifts can cause mood swings, including periods of anxiety and sadness. If you are persisting, see your doctor.

Breast Changes

Your breasts may grow in size after pregnancy as they prepare for breastfeeding. They may also secrete a liquid called colostrum that is intended for your newborn. If you choose to breastfeed, you will be hungrier than normal and may need to consume an extra 500 calories of nutrient-dense food per day.

Find out why so many families choose St. Lucie Medical Center for maternity and newborn care in Treasure Coast by scheduling a tour of The Birthing Center. We can also provide referrals to pediatrics specialists and provide pediatric friendly ER care when necessary. Call 1.800.382.3522 to learn more.


Knowing the Signs and Treatments for Bone Fractures

Bone fractures are painful orthopedic injuries that require emergency care. There are several different treatments available, depending on the type of fracture, including immobilization to surgery. Here is what you need to know about recognizing the signs of a bone fracture and what treatments your orthopedics specialist may recommend.

What are the symptoms of bone fractures?

Typically, bone fractures cause immediate and severe pain in the area of the break. You may be unable use the area in which the fracture occurred as normal. Bruising and swelling is common, as is numbness. In some cases, you can see the abnormal positioning of the bones caused by the fracture or pieces of bone may poke through the skin. Fractures cause some people to faint from the shock of the injury or pain. Although most fractures cause immediate, obvious symptoms, some minor fractures may not. For instance, stress fractures, in which small, thin fracture develops on a bone because of overuse instead of a single incident, may cause discomfort that can be difficult to diagnose. These fractures are often confirmed using diagnostic imaging, and the patient may not know that they have a fracture until these tests are performed.

What treatments are available?

It’s important to seek emergency care if you think you have a fracture, as delaying treatment could lead to long-term damage that could permanently impact your mobility. If the fracture caused the bone to separate, the doctor will put the bones back into place, either manually in the ER or surgically, using pins, rods, screws, wires and plates as needed. As you heal, you will likely need to wear a cast, splint or brace to immobilize the area and ensure the bone stays in alignment. After the initial healing period, you will require rehabilitation to re-strengthen the area around the fracture.

The ER at St. Lucie Medical Center is here to provide care for all of your bumps, bruises, and breaks 365 days per year. For young patients with fractures and other urgent needs, our pediatric friendly services near Treasure Coast provides kid-friendly care by pediatrics specialists. To find out more about our hospital services, please call 1.800.382.3522.


What Are the Signs of an Eating Disorder?

During National Eating Disorders Awareness Week from February 26 th through March 4 th, take a few minutes to become better informed about this prevalent health issue. Eating disorders involve extreme and dangerous eating habits, including binge eating, purging, and drastic reductions in food intake. Sometimes, eating disorders are severe enough to require emergency care and hospitalization. It can be difficult for family members to detect the signs of an eating disorder because it isn’t unusual for patients to try to hide these behaviors. If you have concerns about a loved one or about your own eating habits, consider speaking with a behavioral health professional at St. Lucie Medical Center.

Anorexia Nervosa

Patients with anorexia have an overwhelming fear of gaining weight. Even if they are underweight, they may still perceive themselves as being overweight. Individuals with anorexia tend to diet frequently or constantly, count calories obsessively and display secretiveness regarding food intake. Due to malnutrition and being underweight, individuals with anorexia may develop heart problems, muscle wasting, physical weakness, hair loss, constipation, lightheadedness and the absence of normal menstruation. If anorexia is not treated, patients run the risk of serious health complications that may require emergency care.

Bulimia Nervosa

Like other eating disorders, bulimia involves an unhealthy and self-critical obsession with weight and body image. Patients with bulimia go through periods of binge eating, during which a large amount of food is eaten. Following this period, patients use unhealthy methods to attempt to purge the body of the calories. People with bulimia often spend a great deal of money on food and they tend to self-medicate with laxatives, diet pills, water pills and enemas. Some of the physical signs and symptoms include abdominal pain, sore throat, swelling of the jaw and cheeks and dental problems due to exposure to stomach acid.

Binge Eating Disorder

Patients with binge eating disorder go through the same periods of eating large amounts of food as patients with bulimia. The difference is that binge eating disorder does not involve purging. Binge eating is characterized by eating by oneself, eating rapidly and eating despite the absence of hunger.

Treasure Coast Behavioral Healthcare at St. Lucie Medical Center is the only behavioral healthcare center in the county with 24/7 medical care onsite for our patients. Here, patients will find compassionate crisis intervention and stabilization. For more information about our behavioral health services in Treasure Coast, call a registered nurse at 1.800.382.3522.


We don’t have outpatient services for behavioral health at SLMC. This typically wouldn’t come through ER like our others. Perhaps, encourage them to follow up with their doctor and if they don’t have one to call us at 1.800.382.3522.


How Should You Celebrate American Heart Month?

If you began the New Year with plans to make healthy changes, you can renew your commitment to better wellness this February, which is widely recognized as American Heart Month. Because heart disease can affect anyone, a heart-healthy lifestyle is important for everyone. If you have concerns about your heart and vascular health, the specialists at St. Lucie Medical Center are here to help.

Evaluate Your Current Health
You may wish to speak with your primary care physician before making major changes to your lifestyle, particularly if you already have a heart condition. Your doctor can help you understand your current health status, including your blood pressure and body mass index (BMI). You may be advised to consider getting your cholesterol and blood glucose levels checked. Based on these findings, your doctor can guide you in making plans to improve your wellness.

Quit Smoking
If you’re a smoker, one of the most impactful ways to improve your heart health is to quit smoking. Even if you have smoked for years, quitting now will improve your health and reduce your risk of heart disease. It’s never too late to quit. If someone in your family smokes, you can support his or her smoking cessation efforts. Offer non-judgmental encouragement and provide distractions as your loved one works through cravings.

Reduce Sugar Intake
Many people focus on lowering their sodium intake to benefit their heart health. While this is certainly a good idea, it’s also important to restrict your intake of added sugar. Clinicians have long known that high-sugar diets increase the risk of high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels and obesity. Current research also indicates that sugar may directly increase the risk of life-threatening heart disease. This doesn’t mean that you have to eliminate sugar entirely; however, many foods naturally contain sugars, such as fruit and milk. By choosing whole foods more often and processed foods less often, you’ll naturally lower your intake of added sugar.

Patients with heart and vascular conditions in Treasure Coast can find the specialized care they need at St. Lucie Medical Center. Our state-of-the-art hospital brings together leading experts in the fields of surgical services, emergency care and many other healthcare specialties. Call a registered nurse at 1.800.382.3522 for general information.


What to Expect from a Skin Biopsy

A skin biopsy is a medical procedure that involves taking a sample of abnormal skin from the patient. The small sample is then tested in a laboratory. One of the most common reasons for a skin biopsy is to diagnose skin cancer or benign skin growths. This procedure can also be helpful for diagnosing bacterial, viral and fungal infections, and inflammatory skin disorders like psoriasis. At St. Lucie Medical Center, our providers are dedicated to ensuring that our patients are fully informed before initiating any medical procedure.

Preparation

Very little preparation is required for a skin biopsy. You should inform your doctor if you are taking any blood-thinning medications. To allow the doctor access to the area of skin, you may be asked to change into a hospital gown. Then, the doctor will sterilize the skin. He or she will apply a local anesthetic to numb the site and prevent you from feeling discomfort.

Procedure

There are three main types of skin biopsies. If your doctor is performing a shave biopsy, he or she will use a special razor to gently shave off a thin slice of the skin. A punch biopsy involves pressing the tip of a special tool into the skin to remove a circular sample of the skin. It may be necessary to stitch the hole closed. An excision biopsy involves the removal of all of the abnormal tissue. Your doctor will use a scalpel to remove the sample and then he or she will place stitches to close the hole.

Recovery

Your doctor will place a bandage over the biopsy site and may ask that you keep the bandage on until the next day. Try to avoid disturbing the biopsy site, which may cause it to begin bleeding again. If bleeding persists, call your doctor. Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding caring for the biopsy site and preventing infections.

At St. Lucie Medical Center, you’ll find a full range of exceptional healthcare services for your family-from maternity care and pediatrics to robotic surgery and diagnostic imaging in Treasure Coast. Our community hospital has partnered with Integrated Regional Laboratories to bring our patients a full spectrum of clinical laboratory testing. If you have questions about an upcoming medical procedure, you can call your doctor or speak to a registered nurse at 1.800.382.3522.


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