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 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.


Physical Activity Tips for a Healthy Retirement

Living life well as an older adult involves staying physically active. Regular physical activity may help you reduce your risk of certain medical conditions and manage health issues that you may already have. Exercise can even reduce your risk of falls, increase your energy level, support your brain health and improve your sleep quality. Plus, it’s a natural stress reliever thanks to the endorphins it produces. Unfortunately, many mature adults do not exercise regularly. If you have knee or other joint problems that are preventing you from getting active, consider talking to a specialist in orthopedics at St. Lucie Medical Center.

Create a Realistic Plan

Before rushing out to join a gym, take some time to create a reasonable exercise plan. You might consider talking to your doctor for guidance on starting an exercise program. This is particularly helpful if you have medical conditions, since your doctor can tell you whether it’s safe for you to exercise. Identify short-term and long-term goals for physical fitness to help you keep track of your progress. It’s a good idea to ease into your exercise program; starting slowly can help prevent injuries.

Join a Group or Class

There are many senior-friendly exercise groups available, including classes specifically for people with limited movement abilities. Joining a class can be a fun way to meet other seniors and to exercise under the watchful eye of an experienced instructor.

Try a Mix of Activities

It’s recommended that physically active individuals participate in a mixture of aerobic and strength training exercises. Within these two categories, there are dozens of options that might be suitable for you. Experiment with different choices like yoga, swimming aerobics, dancing, or golf to find activities that you genuinely enjoy.

Know When to Take a Break

Physical activity is supposed to improve your health-not put you in the ER. If you experience new or worsening symptoms while working out, it may be wise to cease exercising and talk to your doctor.

St. Lucie Medical Center is a proud provider of comprehensive senior healthcare services, including orthopedics, stroke care and robotic surgery. In the event that you sustain an injury while exercising, you can turn to our senior-friendly ER in Treasure Coast for help getting back on your feet. If you have general questions about our hospital services, call 1.800.382.3522 and speak with a friendly registered nurse.


How Does Fast Track Improve Wait Times in the ER?

Emergency Department personnel across the country are dedicated to saving lives. Emergency care teams collaborate closely with emergency responders to ensure timely interventions to critical patients, including those who require care for heart attacks, strokes and other life-threatening problems. However, your local ER can also provide medical care for severe, yet non-life-threatening, medical problems such as broken bones and flu complications. Fast Track is an innovative ER program that meets the needs of non-emergent patients at St. Lucie Medical Center.

How Fast Track Works

Fast Track is a service that is designed to reduce the wait times of all patients. With Fast Track, patients with non-life-threatening medical conditions can receive quick treatment without affecting the care provided to patients with life-threatening problems.

Where Fast Track Is Located

If you think you might be a good candidate for Fast Track treatment, you’ll go to the same ER entrance and check-in area as you normally would for any other ER visit. Fast Track is an extension of the ER and is located in the same area.

Which Conditions Are Treated Through Fast Track

Fast Track practitioners treat common medical conditions that can be diagnosed and managed rapidly. These include symptoms like earaches, coughs, sore throats and back pain. Fast Track cases include digestive complaints, possible urinary tract infections (UTIs), minor lacerations, and minor allergic reactions. Fast Track practitioners can also remove sutures and check on the progress of wound healing.

Which Medical Providers Offer Care

Regardless of whether a patient is on the Fast Track or not, he or she will always receive high-quality medical care from an experienced and appropriately trained medical provider. The emergency care team members who may provide Fast Track care include physicians, doctors of osteopathy (DO), physician assistants (PA) and nurses.

If you or a loved one requires emergency care in Treasure Coast, call 911 without delay. Non-emergent inquiries about the healthcare services available at St. Lucie Medical Center may be directed to a registered nurse at 1.800.382.3522. Our community hospital is pleased to be a leading provider of ER care for patients of all ages.


Benefits that Knee Replacement Surgery Can Offer

If you’ve been considering orthopedic surgery for your knee, you may have been living with osteoarthritis or a similar condition for a long time. You’ve probably already tried conservative treatment options like medications and physical therapy, but these might not have offered you sufficient relief. If so, you’re certainly not alone. Countless people consult orthopedic surgeons every year and make the decision to undergo knee replacement surgery. To find out if this option might be right for you, consider talking to the orthopedics team at St. Lucie Medical Center.

Improved Comfort

It’s important for patients to understand that every surgery carries inherent risks. You should discuss these potential risks with your orthopedic surgeon prior to making your decision. If you do decide to move forward with knee replacement surgery, the desire for pain relief is likely one of your primary motivators. Many people who have knee replacement surgery decide to do so because the pain has become increasingly persistent or severe. You might even continue to feel pain despite sitting or lying down. After recovering from knee replacement surgery, you can look forward to a new level of comfort.

Better Mobility

Another benefit of knee replacement surgery is its ability to restore your mobility. Patients who suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee and similar conditions often become less active. Consequently, the lack of physical activity can place these patients at a higher risk of chronic illness and even psychological issues. After undergoing knee replacement surgery, you’ll work closely with a physical therapist to regain your strength, range of motion and flexibility. Leading a physically active lifestyle can help reduce your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Increased Quality of Life

Obtaining relief from your knee pain and getting active again can improve your quality of life. You’re likely to find that it’s easier and more enjoyable to carry out daily activities and participate in your hobbies.

If you’re ready to consult an orthopedic specialist in Treasure Coast, you can turn to St. Lucie Medical Center. Our Orthopedic & Spine Institute provides advanced care and custom knee replacement patients within a comfortable setting that mimics the accommodations found in an upscale hotel. Call our Consult-A-Nurse line at 1.800.382.3522 to request a referral to our orthopedic surgical services team.


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