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.

Can you benefit from occupational therapy?

This April, the team at St. Lucie Medical Center is celebrating Occupational Therapy Month. It’s a chance to get the word out about the ways that occupational therapy makes life-changing contributions to patients’ healthcare and quality of life. Your doctor may refer you to an occupational therapist after you have orthopedic surgery, when you’re recovering from a stroke or after your child has been diagnosed with a disability.

Understanding the focus of occupational therapy

Occupational therapy truly revolves around the needs of the individual patient. It’s compassionate care that prioritizes your unique health goals, preferences and concerns. Occupational therapists work closely with other specialists, such as orthopedic surgeons, to develop personalized rehabilitation programs for patients of all ages. Your recovery plan can empower you to live life well by helping you do the things you love despite physical or cognitive limitations.

Identifying the uses of occupational therapy for children

Your child may work with an occupational therapist if he or she could use some extra help to reach developmental targets that are appropriate for the age range. The occupational therapist can help your child overcome obstacles to allow him or her to enjoy the following:

  • Playing with friends
  • Participating in school
  • Experiencing healthy self-esteem
  • Feeling confident in his or her abilities

Considering the benefits of occupational therapy for adults

Adults may work with an occupational therapist while they are recovering from surgery or from fall-related injuries. Occupational therapy is also helpful for patients with the following issues:

  • Arthritis
  • Neurological impairment
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Low vision
  • Severe burns
  • Mental health disorders
  • Missing limbs
  • Multiple sclerosis

When working with adult patients, occupational therapists focus on understanding their patients’ typical work, household and leisure activities. Then, occupational therapists can customize programs that enable patients to modify existing skills or learn new skills to preserve quality of life.

The rehabilitation specialists at St. Lucie Medical Center are committed to developing strong relationships with our patients that empower them to reach their health goals. Our modern orthopedic hospital in Treasure Coast is pleased to provide superior, patient-centered care delivered by top specialists who live and work in the same communities as you. Call us at 1.800.382.3522 and let us know how we can help you.


Guidelines for preventing oral cancer

Cancers of the lips, tongue, hard palate, cheeks and floor of the mouth are all types of oral cancer. It’s often thought that oral cancers are easy for patients to detect, but actually, they are frequently not diagnosed until the cancer has already spread to other areas. Late detection worsens the anticipated outcome. At St. Lucie Medical Center, we encourage our neighbors throughout Treasure Coast to become empowered patients. Knowing the risks and taking small steps to improve health can make a big difference.

Quit smoking

Smoking substantially increases the risk of oral cancers. Doctors prefer that their patients never pick up the habit at all, but even if you do smoke, it is never too late to quit. Quitting smoking will protect your health and quality of life, even if you’ve smoked for many years. It’s never easy to overcome an addiction, but your doctor genuinely cares about helping you meet your health goals. Your doctor can offer personalized guidance to help you quit smoking.

Avoid alcohol

Heavy drinking is another major risk factor of oral cancers. If you drink, consider asking your doctor if the amount of alcohol you consume could be risky. Physicians usually recommend limits of one drink daily for women and two drinks daily for men, although abstaining is advisable.

Use sunscreen

Sunscreen doesn’t just protect you from skin cancer. It also reduces the risk of lip cancer. Before leaving home each day, apply lip balm that has built-in sunscreen. Reapply it periodically throughout the day. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat while outdoors is also a smart idea.

Get dental care

During your routine six-month dental check-up, your dentist will examine your mouth and lips for signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer screenings also allow your dentist to check for pre-cancerous conditions. These are problems that could turn into oral cancer if left untreated. Your dentist can help you prevent oral cancer by treating these pre-cancerous areas, which are called leukoplakia or erythroplakia.

Get vaccinated

You might recognize the human papilloma virus (HPV) for its role in increasing the risk of cervical cancer. This common infection is also thought to increase the likelihood of oral cancers. Consider asking your doctor if the HPV vaccine is right for you.

St. Lucie Medical Center is a trusted source of preventive healthcare. Our specialists and nurses provide a continuum of quality care—from diagnostic imaging to surgical services in our modern facility in Treasure Coast. Speak with a caring nurse by calling 1.800.382.3522.


How does alcohol impact your joint health?

On the first week of April, you’re invited to take part in Alcohol-Free Weekend. It’s part of Alcohol Awareness Month and it’s intended to help participants consider whether going without alcohol for three days is difficult or uncomfortable. This April is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the many ways heavy alcohol consumption affects your health, including your joint health. If you’re concerned about your joint health or your alcohol use, the orthopedic and behavioral health specialists at St. Lucie Medical Center are here to help you. We provide compassionate care designed with each patient’s unique needs in mind.

Rheumatoid arthritis

According to the Arthritis Foundation, some studies suggest that enjoying alcohol in moderation might help reduce inflammation throughout the body. This may have a preventive effect regarding rheumatoid arthritis. For women, moderate alcohol consumption means consuming one drink or less daily. For men, it means limiting daily consumption to two drinks or fewer. However, if you currently abstain from alcohol, your doctor would probably recommend that you continue abstaining. And if you already have joint health problems, alcohol might make them worse.

Gout

Gout is a type of arthritis that primarily affects the joint in the big toe. Patients with gout experience flare-ups of burning pain, swelling and stiffness. Alcohol can be particularly problematic for patients with gout. This is because alcohol contains high levels of purines. Purines are substances that break down into uric acid, which can build up in the joints and cause painful gout flare-ups.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis affects bone and joint health by causing the bones to become more porous, brittle and susceptible to fractures. Alcohol consumption increases the likelihood of osteoporosis. Alcoholic beverages prevent the body from absorbing calcium and vitamin D as well as it should. These nutrients are essential for strong bones. In other words, heavy alcohol use increases the likelihood of sustaining fractures, such as hip fractures.

At St. Lucie Medical Center, you’ll find compassionate providers who are committed to healthcare excellence. Our state-of-the-art medical center features orthopedic care for individuals with joint problems and behavioral healthcare for patients with alcohol use disorder. Call our nursing staff at 1.800.382.3522 to request a referral to an orthopedic or behavioral health expert in Treasure Coast.


Stay aware of your allergy risks this spring

Spring is a beautiful season to enjoy the great outdoors, but it can also present allergy risks. Allergic reactions may be minor, such as skin irritation caused by poison ivy. Or, they may be life-threatening problems that require emergency care, such as breathing difficulties caused by an insect sting. For all of your healthcare needs, the family of dedicated providers at St. Lucie Medical Center delivers the high-quality care you deserve.

Insect bites and stings

It’s possible to suffer allergic reactions to the following stinging and biting insects:

  • Fire ants
  • Wasps
  • Hornets
  • Honeybees
  • Fleas
  • Black flies
  • Horseflies
  • Mosquitoes

In addition, some people have respiratory allergies to cockroaches. A minor allergic reaction to bites and stings can cause itching and a skin rash. Respiratory allergies can include sneezing, coughing and a runny nose. Occasionally, insect allergies can cause anaphylaxis, which is potentially life-threatening. Call 911 for the following signs and symptoms:

  • Swollen lips, throat, face or tongue
  • Difficult breathing
  • Substantial drop in blood pressure
  • Fainting

Your doctor may recommend that you carry an auto-injector of epinephrine if you have an insect allergy. This is an emergency medicine that could save your life.

Contact dermatitis

Contact with certain substances, including plants like poison ivy, can cause contact dermatitis. This is irritation and inflammation of the skin. Contact dermatitis can trigger a skin rash, itching and blisters. A healthcare provider may perform a skin patch test to identify the substance that caused your skin rash. If the area looks infected, you can receive specialized wound care at the medical center.

Pollen

Pollen allergies are seasonal. If you tend to suffer from itchy eyes, a runny nose, sneezing or coughing each spring, you may be allergic to pollen from trees, weeds or grasses. Your doctor may prescribe medications and recommend lifestyle modifications, such as the following:

  • Have someone else do your yardwork
  • Keep the windows closed and use air conditioning
  • Avoid outdoor activities when pollen counts are high
  • Bathe upon returning home

With these easy strategies, you can continue to enjoy the lifestyle you love, no matter which season it is.

If you or your child suffers a serious allergic reaction, the emergency care specialists at St. Lucie Medical Center are here for you around the clock. We provide personalized, patient-centered care, including special children’s services in our Pediatric-friendly ERs in Treasure Coast. For general healthcare information, you can connect with a registered nurse at 1.800.382.3522.


Injuries that Can Be Treated in the ER's Fast Track

Emergency care physicians diagnose and treat a wide range of medical problems—from life-threatening conditions like heart attacks to relatively minor complaints like respiratory infections. At the ER at St. Lucie Medical Center, and the St. Lucie Medical Center Darwin’s Square ER, patients with the most severe conditions are seen first. However, our Fast Track program allows patients with less serious medical problems to be seen in a timely manner without negatively affecting the care of emergent patients. A triage nurse may assign you to the Fast Track program if you have the following health problems.

Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections can be unpleasant, but they are not usually serious. The common cold is one well-known example of an upper respiratory infection. Others include pharyngitis and sinusitis. Many people can recover from respiratory infections at home, but others may need supportive care in the ER. It can also be helpful to visit the emergency department to rule out the possibility that the symptoms are caused by more serious conditions. Generally, young children, elderly patients, pregnant women, those with chronic medical conditions and patients with suppressed immune systems are more likely to need the attention of a medical provider for respiratory infection symptoms.

Skin Rashes

Skin rashes are often the result of an allergic reaction or fungal infection. These are not usually serious, but may be evaluated in an emergency room. Rashes definitely require prompt medical attention if they cover the whole body, are accompanied by a fever, begin to form blisters, are painful or appear infected.

Wound Care

Patients with minor lacerations can be assigned to the Fast Track system. Even if a wound stops bleeding and does not appear serious, it requires the attention of a medical provider if it was inflicted by a dog or wild animal. These injuries are prone to infections. Some patients may go to the ER even if they have already received initial treatment for a wound. In these cases, a Fast Track provider may check on the progression of healing or remove sutures.

For Fast Track emergency care, you will use the same emergency entrance and check-in area as other emergent patients arriving at St. Lucie Medical Center. Our emergency care providers in Treasure Coast are dedicated to providing a high level of patient care and personalized attention to each individual who arrives at our hospital. For non-emergent inquiries, call a registered nurse at (800) 382-3522.


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