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.

Why Are Regular Immunizations So Important?

From infancy through adulthood, one of the most important steps you can take in managing your health is getting vaccinated following the recommended schedule of immunizations from the Centers for Disease Control and American Academy of Family Physicians. There are many different immunizations that exist, and they all work to help the body combat harmful diseases by creating antibodies without actual exposure to a virus or bacterial infection. Below, you can get a closer look at the critical importance of regular immunizations at any stage of life.

Fighting deadly illnesses

Thanks to immunizations, conditions like polio and smallpox have been effectively eradicated in the general population. Other diseases like the measles and whooping cough are also well- controlled with immunizations, though there have been recent outbreaks of these conditions related to a decline in vaccination rates among American children. By following a schedule of vaccinations, you not only protect yourself from potentially deadly diseases, but you help to boost herd immunity for the long-term eradication of these conditions.

Boosting seasonal immunity

Immunizations like the flu shot and pneumococcal vaccine can keep you from suffering from seasonal illnesses that may have you miss work or school. More importantly, these immunizations help prevent further spread of these diseases to high-risk populations such as infants and elderly people who may not be eligible for vaccination.

Reducing healthcare costs

Taking a preventive approach to healthcare is more cost-effective than a treatment-based system, so you may save yourself from significant medical bills by getting vaccinated. Plus, many of the diseases that immunizations protect against have no cure, so prevention is the key to treatment.

At the Clinic at St. Lucie Medical Center, you can find complete care for the whole family with the immunizations you need to stay healthy at any age. For a closer look at our Clinic services, visit our website or call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (772) 335-4000.


Women Frequently Underestimate Stroke Risk

Did you know that stroke affects about 55,000 more women than men in the United States each year? In fact, women are twice as likely to die from stroke as breast cancer, but recent studies have revealed that women are often unaware of their risk for stroke and the symptoms that can indicate when a stroke is taking place. Because time is of critical importance when it comes to seeking emergency care for stroke, women should take the time to get educated about their risk and the signs to look for.

Risk factor awareness

Only about 3 in 10 women are knowledgeable of stroke risk factors, which include advanced age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Moreover, many health-related risk factors are asymptomatic, so women might not be aware that they are at risk if they have not recently had a checkup.

Symptom recognition

A staggering majority of women can only name two or fewer of the primary stroke symptoms that will indicate the need for emergency care. These symptoms are a sudden weakness on one side of the face, weakness in the extremities on one side of the body, confusion, and trouble speaking, trouble seeing in one or both eyes, trouble walking, and a headache with no known cause. All of these symptoms can come on suddenly and without warning.

Emergency care

When patients are admitted to the ER within one hour of the onset of symptoms, outcomes are much more positive, because clot-busting medications can be used to rapidly restore blood flow to the brain tissue.

If you are seeking emergency care in the Treasure Coast, you can count on St. Lucie Medical Center, which is a Primary Stroke Center serving the Port St. Lucie community. You can also find resources to help you better understand your stroke risk by calling (772) 335-4000 to speak with one of our registered nurses.


What Are the Top Health Concerns of Elderly Adults?

Getting older presents a wide range of unique challenges, not the least of which is the wide range of health conditions that may arise with the aging process. While it is not uncommon to experience deteriorating health later in life, it is important to remember that many of the health problems associated with aging can be managed with awareness and the right type of clinical care. Here’s a closer look at some of the top health concerns that all elderly adults should be aware of.

Memory and mood disorders

Mild memory problems are not uncommon with aging, but memory loss is not a normal part of the aging process. Memory loss and mood disorders such as depression often go hand in hand, and they can easily be overlooked in older adults living at home on their own.

Falls

With conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis, seniors face a much more significant risk for serious injuries resulting from falls, which are one of the most common reasons for seniors to be admitted to the ER. Therefore, fall prevention might be one of the most important steps in creating a safe living environment for elderly loved ones.

Seasonal illnesses

Through the aging process, the immune system may become more susceptible to conditions like the flu, which may only be a minor annoyance in younger people. Seniors are more likely to have flu complications that could result in hospitalization and long-term health issues.

Heart disease and stroke

Both stroke and heart attack become more likely with age, so it is important to remain aware of other risk factors that may be present such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

At St. Lucie Medical Center in the Treasure Coast, we understand that seniors have unique healthcare and communication needs, so we provide dedicated care in our senior-friendly ER. To learn more about our emergency care and other service lines, give us a call today at (772) 335-4000.


What to Expect When You See an Orthopedist for Knee Pain

An orthopedic doctor specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal problems, including knee pain. Because knee pain can have a wide range of causes and contributing factors, the orthopedist will need to conduct a comprehensive assessment before developing your personalized treatment recommendations. At the Orthopedic & Spine Institute at St. Lucie Medical Center, patients have access to a continuum of care, including nonsurgical and surgical interventions.

Medical History Review

The orthopedic doctor will request detailed information about your medical history, including your other medical conditions, medications, medication allergies, and treatment history including prior surgeries. He or she may also ask you about your family medical history, such as whether any close relatives have arthritis.

Symptom Assessment

You’ll be asked to describe your symptoms in detail, such as whether you experience sharp or dull pain, whether the pain gets worse or improves with certain activities, and whether your pain is accompanied by any other symptoms. Share all of your symptoms with the orthopedic doctor, even if these symptoms do not appear to be related to your knee pain. Explain the extent to which the knee pain interferes with your usual daily activities.

Physical Exam

Next, the orthopedist will examine the knee for visible abnormalities such as swelling. The doctor will maneuver the knee joint to assess the integrity of the menisci, ligaments, and other structures.

Diagnostic Testing

Depending on the findings from the physical exam and the assessment of your symptoms, the orthopedist may recommend diagnostic testing. You may be asked to undergo an X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scan, or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Sometimes, blood tests can be helpful.

Treatment Planning

If you need to have imaging studies or other diagnostic tests, you might be asked to return to the orthopedist for another appointment after your results are available. At this point, the doctor can explain your diagnosis and treatment options. Your treatment options may be as simple as medications and physical therapy. Or, you may be a good candidate for surgical intervention such as a total knee replacement surgery. If so, carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks of knee replacement before making your treatment decision.

Comprehensive orthopedic care in Treasure Coast is just one of the many exceptional services you’ll find at St. Lucie Medical Center. We’re pleased to offer wound care, children’s services, and robotic surgery. You can contact a registered nurse at (772) 335-4000 to request a referral to an orthopedic specialist.


How to React When Faced with Common Medical Emergencies

Bleeding wounds, fractured bones, head trauma, and other medical emergencies may occur at any time. Since medical emergencies are by nature unpredictable, it’s best to be prepared to handle a broad range of problems, especially if your household includes young children or seniors. When a medical problem requires emergency care, the ER physicians at St. Lucie Medical Center are available around the clock to lend a hand.

Assess the Situation

When a medical emergency occurs, try to remain calm. Maintaining a calm demeanor will help the patient to stay calm and it will help you think clearly. Assessing a medical emergency may sometimes require that you ask the patient some questions about his or her symptoms. If injured, is the patient unable to place weight on a body part? Has the patient experienced an abrupt change in mental status or functioning, such as sudden confusion, loss of vision, or impaired coordination? Does the patient suffer from chest pain? These are all indicators that the patient needs to be seen at an emergency department. If you’re ever unsure of whether a patient’s condition is critical, it’s generally best to err on the side of caution and call 911. The operator can help you assess the patient and will send emergency services to your location if need be.

Perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

If the patient has lost consciousness, the first step to take is to check for a pulse and to check whether the patient is breathing. If not, begin performing CPR immediately after calling 911. If you’re trained in CPR, you can perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. If not, doing chest compressions may still save the patient’s life.

Administer First Aid

If you suspect the patient may have injured the spine, it’s essential not to move him or her. Otherwise, you can administer first aid as needed. Use clean fabric to bind bleeding wounds and apply pressure to these wounds. If the patient sustained head trauma, he or she should remain still while lying down with the head and shoulders slightly elevated.

Fast Track Service is available at St. Lucie Medical Center to help non-critically ill patients receive emergency care quickly in our Treasure Coast facility. In addition to our main ER, we also offer an ER at Darwin Square with special areas designed specifically for the needs of children and seniors. Medical emergencies should be directed to 911; non-emergent inquiries may be handled by a registered nurse at (772) 335-4000.


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