Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute
With our leading surgeons, heart institute, Level 2 NICU and PICU and our other first-rate services, we are dedicated to providing quality care and improving the health of the communities we serve.

Understanding the dangers of distracted driving

According to the National Safety Council, along with alcohol and speeding, distracted driving is one of the top three causes of traffic accidents and fatalities. A simple text message is all it takes for a car journey to turn into a trip to hospital for emergency care. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which is the perfect time to assess your own driving habits and consider what you can do to make the roads safer for everyone. Get the facts here about the dangers of distracted driving.

What is distracted driving?

Distracted driving occurs when your mind is not focused on the activity of driving. Although your brain can switch between different activities quickly, it can’t do two things at once, which is what makes distracted driving so dangerous.

When you are talking on the phone, the part of your brain that works to process visual images decreases activity by about 30 percent. That is the reason that even hands-free devices are dangerous to use when driving.

What are some common causes of distracted driving?

Most people think of cell phones when they think of distracted driving, and texting and talking on the phone are certainly common distractions. However, many other things can cause distraction when you’re driving, including things that may seem like normal things to do in the car. Some other causes of distracted driving include:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Changing radio stations
  • Using in-dash navigation systems
  • Putting on makeup

How can I prevent distracted driving?

Make it a habit to store your phone out of reach when you’re driving, and pull over if you need to use it. Set your radio station and navigation systems before you leave. If you have a group of passengers, ask them to keep the noise levels down. If you are the parent of a teen driver, set an example by keeping your attention completely on the road.

If an accident does occur, Lawnwood Regional Medical Center provides emergency care in the Treasure Coast around the clock for all of your urgent medical needs, including a fully equipped pediatric ER for young patients. To learn more about our hospital services, please call (800) 382-3522.

What Increases the Risk of Trisomy?

Trisomy is a chromosomal disorder in which the nuclei of cells contain an extra copy of a chromosome. There are a few forms of trisomy, including trisomy 13, 18 and 21. Trisomy 21 is best known as Down syndrome. Specialized children’s services can help children with trisomy live life to the fullest, but there is no cure and there is no known way of preventing these disorders. If you have concerns about your preconception health or prenatal care, consider speaking with a women’s services provider affiliated with Lawnwood Regional Medical Center.

Chromosomal Abnormalities

During Trisomy Awareness Month, which is recognized in March, take a few minutes to become familiar with human chromosomes and their potential abnormalities. The cells in the body contain genes within their nuclei. These genes are essentially the blueprint for life. In a person without trisomy, the cells contain 23 pairs of chromosomes, which equates to 46 individual chromosomes in total. A person with trisomy has a total of 47 chromosomes because of an error in cell division. For example, the majority of Down syndrome cases are trisomy 21, as opposed to mosaic trisomy 21 and translocation trisomy 21. Trisomy 21 occurs when an extra copy of chromosome 21 is present in the sperm or the egg. When the sperm fertilizes the egg, this fertilized egg has a total of three copies of chromosome 21. When the cells of the embryo divide, the extra chromosome is copied in each new cell.

Maternal Age

Unlike many medical problems, trisomy disorders cannot be affected by environmental influences or lifestyle modifications. Preventive measures are not available, aside from undergoing genetic counseling prior to conception. However, one risk factor that researchers have identified for trisomy is maternal age, which refers to the age of the mother during conception and pregnancy. As a woman grows older, her eggs do, too. Older eggs have a higher risk of dividing abnormally.

Lawnwood Regional Medical Center provides compassionate children’s health services in Treasure Coast. Our women’s services provider affiliated with Lawnwood Regional Medical Center include prenatal counseling and testing, and our newborn care is supported by our Level III NICU. You can reach a registered nurse at our hospital at any time by calling (800) 382-3522

Why You Should Stay Home When You Have the Flu

It’s common knowledge that respiratory infections like influenza are contagious and that it’s advisable to stay home during the recovery. Regardless, countless people still go to school or work despite their illness. Even if your flu symptoms are not severe enough to require emergency care at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, it’s best to stay at home.

Preventing the Spread of Germs

One compelling reason to stay home with the flu is to protect the health of other people. Flu viruses are easily spread from person to person via coughing and sneezing. Other people can be infected directly by breathing in airborne droplets from an ill patient’s sneezes and coughs. Or, they may contract the infection from touching contaminated objects like doorknobs and phones. Emergency care physicians strongly advise patients to stay home with the flu until at least 24 hours have passed with no fever and without the need for fever-reducing medications.

Understanding the Risk of Complications

Although the flu is far more serious than the common cold, many people who contract flu viruses can recover at home without requiring emergency care. However, there is always a risk of severe flu symptoms or complications. Certain people are at a higher risk of life-threatening complications, including infants and young children, elderly patients and patients with suppressed immune systems. When you stay home to avoid infecting others, you aren’t only protecting them from temporary discomfort—you could be saving their lives.

Supporting Your Recovery

The flu typically lasts five to seven days. During this time, your symptoms aren’t going to help you be productive at work or pay attention in school. Instead, stay at home and support your recovery by getting plenty of rest. Sip water frequently to prevent dehydration and eat protein-packed foods to support your immune system.

If you need emergency care and you live in Treasure Coast, you can depend on the caring providers at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center. Our Emergency Department is available 24/7 to provide supportive care to patients with severe flu symptoms. For medical emergencies, call 911. For non-emergency medical questions, call a registered nurse at 1.800.382.3522.

A Brief Look at Endoscopic Vein Harvesting

Heart surgeons can use a number of innovative techniques to help their patients recover after a cardiac event. At the Heart Institute at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, our surgeons can use endoscopic vein harvesting (EVH) to restore healthy blood flow to the heart. EVH is considered to be a preferable alternative to traditional vein harvesting, which requires a more extensive incision.

What It Is

Endoscopic vein harvesting is a surgical procedure that takes a vein from one location for the purpose of grafting it to another location. For example, patients may undergo EVH when they have a blocked coronary artery, which is a blood vessel that carries blood to the heart. During coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery, the surgeon places a vein that diverts blood around the blocked area. This grafted vein is usually taken from the patient’s leg in a separate procedure called vein harvesting.

Why It’s Done

Endoscopic vein harvesting is often preferred over traditional vein harvesting. With a traditional vein harvesting procedure, a long incision or several incisions are made down the entirety of the patient’s leg. Since endoscopic vein harvesting procedures require only small incisions, patients may have an easier recovery. They may be able to move around better after surgery, experience less pain and have a reduced risk of complications, such as infections and trauma to the nearby tissues.

What You Can Expect

Since patients undergoing EVH are typically having major heart or vascular surgery, hospitalization is generally expected prior to the surgery. Patients will be placed under general anesthesia. Two small incisions are made—one at the top of the vein and the other at the bottom. The surgeon will insert an endoscope into one incision. This is a specialized instrument that features a tiny camera and allows the surgeon to separate and remove the vein. Then, the surgeon can immediately move on to perform the primary procedure with the vein graft.

Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute is a leading provider of advanced heart and vascular care in Treasure Coast. Our heart surgeons combine their extensive knowledge with our advanced medical technology to support optimal outcomes for our patients. To request a referral to a specialist, call a registered nurse at (800) 382-3522.

Understanding Outpatient Therapy

At Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, we offer a comprehensive range of outpatient services for a variety of needs, from pre-testing for things like heart care and surgical services to medical services such as chemotherapy. Our outpatient services are divided into three general areas: pretests, medical services and surgical services. If your physician refers you to our outpatient therapy department, here is a look at what you can expect in each treatment area.


The pretest team performs an essential role in preparing patients for upcoming procedures. During pretest, patients may undergo nursing assessments, diagnostic labs and EKGs. This team also handles pretesting for heart and vascular patients and others who need special procedures. It’s important for patients to attend pretesting appointments in the timeframe requested by their referring physicians. Any delay in pretesting results could cause treatments to be delayed.

Medical Services

If you need a medical treatment that must be performed in a physician’s office but that does not require hospitalization, then the outpatient therapy medical services team may provide your care. A large number of medical treatments are performed by the medical services unit, including blood transfusions, chemotherapy, IM/SQ injections, IV therapy and multiple diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. This team can also offer information about dealing with the side effects of medical treatments and work with your physician to manage severe side effects, such as those caused by chemotherapy.

Surgical Services

The outpatient surgical services unit performs pre-operative assessments before procedures and patient education before discharge. This team offers care for patients undergoing a number of different kinds of surgical procedures and scopes.

The outpatient service unit at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center is staffed by registered nurses, licensed practice nurses, and certified nursing assistants and provides care for patients all ages, including infants and geriatric patients. You can find out more about outpatient services near Treasure Coast at our hospital by calling 1.800.382.3522

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