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.

How Do Bleeding Disorders Affect a Patient's Health?

Bleeding disorders are characterized by the impairment of the blood’s ability to clot. Blood clotting is essential for preventing excessive bleeding due to internal or external wounds. Bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia and von Willebrand disease, can significantly affect a patient’s health and quality of life. At St. Lucie Medical Center’s ER and the St. Lucie Medical Center Darwin ER, patients with bleeding disorders will find the emergency care and specialized wound care they need to support their health.

Exercising Cautiously

Due to the risk of serious bleeding events, patients with bleeding disorders must take special precautions in their daily lives. Exercise is important for wellness. It improves balance, strengthens muscles and supports the joints, which are all critical for injury prevention. However, it’s advisable for patients to avoid high-risk sports, such as martial arts, boxing, hockey and football. Bleeding disorder specialists generally recommend swimming, walking, dancing and indoor cycling, as these are low-risk sports.

Knowing When to Get Emergency Care

Minor cuts and scrapes are not usually a cause for alarm, even among most patients with bleeding disorders. Patients can apply firm pressure over a bandage to stop the bleeding. Moderate to severe injuries may require emergency care. To stop the bleeding in a patient with hemophilia, an emergency care physician can apply a special clotting medication directly to the wound or administer an infusion of recombinant clotting factor.

Receiving Blood Transfusions

Patients with bleeding disorders might need blood transfusions from time to time. In the U.S., strict precautions are taken to ensure the safety of the donor blood supply. However, it’s still wise to guard against potential infections by getting appropriate vaccinations, including hepatitis A and B shots.

Understanding Potential Problems of Childbirth

Another way that bleeding disorders can affect a patient’s health is by increasing the risk of complications during childbirth. It’s advisable for a hematologist to be involved with the expecting mother’s care early on in the pregnancy. Special precautions may be needed for tests during pregnancy, such as amniocentesis. The hospital may need to make special arrangements to respond swiftly to major blood loss during the delivery.

If you’re experiencing a bleeding emergency, please call 911 without delay. Prompt emergency care in Treasure Coast can improve outcomes in patients with bleeding disorders. General questions about the healthcare services available at St. Lucie Medical Center may be directed to a registered nurse at (800) 382-3522.


Spotlight on National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month® is here! This March, take a few minutes to review your family’s typical eating habits and consider whether a few simple changes could improve your loved ones’ wellness. If you’re looking for healthcare guidance, the clinic and hospital staff members of St. Lucie Medical Center are always available to help.

Consider speaking with a registered dietitian (RD).

Nutrition is a complicated area and eating well involves many more factors than just limiting calories. The latest fad diets and the nutritional misinformation readily available online only add to the confusion. The smart and safe way to make nutritional changes is to consult a registered dietitian. RDs and registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) have completed advanced training in this field. They can develop a complete nutritional plan that is customized to meet your unique needs, lifestyle and preferences. Anyone can consult an RD, but doing so is particularly important for people who have chronic medical conditions, food allergies or intolerances and special dietary restrictions, such as vegetarianism. RDs can even provide patients with a customized weight loss diet plan to promote safe, healthy weight loss.

Manage your intake of added sugars.

Whether or not you choose to consult an RD during National Nutrition Month®, it’s always a smart idea to scrutinize your intake of added sugars. Many foods naturally contain sugar, including milk and strawberries. These foods are still healthy because they offer nutrients your body needs, like calcium and vitamin C. Unfortunately, many children and adults get far too much sugar in the form of added sugars found in processed foods. Before buying a processed food product, check the label for corn syrup, dextrose, fructose and sucrose. These are all forms of added sugar. Here are a few simple ways to reduce your intake:

  • Choose low-sugar breakfast cereal.
  • Choose old-fashioned rolled oats instead of instant oatmeal packets.
  • Choose whole fruit instead of fruit juice.
  • Choose unsweetened yogurt and add some fresh fruit.

Include more vegetables in your daily meal plan.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that adults eat at least two and a half cups of vegetables daily. It’s easy to meet this goal if you include veggies with most meals. Add tomatoes, onions or spinach to your omelet. Enjoy a veggie wrap with hummus for lunch. Smother a pizza with broccoli for dinner. These simple tricks are easy ways to support your wellness.

For comprehensive adult and pediatric-friendly care in Treasure Coast, your family can trust St. Lucie Medical Center. Our hospital and clinic provide a full range of preventive health screenings, diagnostic imaging scans and therapeutic interventions. Call a registered nurse at (772) 335-4000.


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.


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