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.

Do You Know the Risks of High Blood Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is used by the body during digestion and in the creation of certain hormones and vitamins. While some level of cholesterol in the body is beneficial for these reasons, high blood cholesterol can raise your risk for coronary artery disease, which may lead to a heart attack or stroke. Reducing high blood cholesterol is an important step towards healthy heart care.

Heart Attack

One of the most significant risks associated with high blood cholesterol is an increased risk for heart attack. When the levels of cholesterol in your blood are high, excess cholesterol can form deposits, called plaques, inside the arteries. Plaques reduce blood flow, making the heart work harder over time. If an area of plaque ruptures, the body responds by forming a blood clot; this clot can fully block the artery, stopping blood flow completely and starving the heart of the blood and oxygen it needs. This situation is known as a heart attack, and requires immediate emergency care to prevent widespread damage to the heart muscle.


High blood cholesterol levels can raise your risk for a stroke in two ways. First, high blood cholesterol levels are linked with a higher risk for heart disease, which is itself a significant risk factor for stroke. Individuals suffering from coronary artery disease are twice as likely to suffer a stroke as those without this condition. Second, the buildup of cholesterol deposits inside your arteries could also lead directly to a stroke if plaque in an artery ruptures and the ensuing blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain.

Lawnwood Regional Medical Center wants to help your family develop healthy heart care habits to reduce your risk of serious disease. Our heart and vascular services near the Treasure Coast include stress testing, cardiac catheterization, echocardiography and cardiovascular intensive care. If you’d like more information about heart care or heart healthy practices you can follow every day, please call 1.800.382.3522 to speak with a registered nurse or visit our website for more health articles.

Why Are Newborn Screenings So Important?

In the U.S., all newborns are screened for certain medical conditions not long after birth. These screenings are crucial because it isn’t always possible to determine that an infant has a health problem just by assessing his or her appearance and behavior. At Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, our children’s and women’s services providers are dedicated to helping families welcome their little ones into the world in a safe and healthy way.

Newborn Screenings

Most babies are screened at 24 to 48 hours after birth. The primary screening procedure is the heel-stick test, which involves taking a few drops of blood from the baby’s heel and sending it to a lab for analysis. Two of the conditions that the blood test checks for are phenylketonuria (PKU) and hypothyroidism, which are potentially serious conditions that require early diagnosis and treatment.

Early Diagnosis

With newborn screenings, healthcare providers are able to diagnose serious medical conditions as early as possible. Even if a child appears to be healthy and there is no family history of serious medical problems, the child could still have a disorder that requires careful treatment.

Preventable Complications

When a child is diagnosed as early as possible, he or she can begin the proper treatment to reduce the risk of complications. For example, babies with PKU cannot process phenylalanine, which is found in certain foods. If the baby is given these foods, the substance accumulates in the blood and tissues, eventually causing brain damage. Untreated hypothyroidism in infants can also result in brain damage as well as slowed growth. Thanks to the early detection and management of these problems, babies can go on to lead active, healthy lives.

Lawnwood Regional Medical Center offers comprehensive newborn care, children’s services, and women’s services in Treasure Coast. We are also the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in St. Lucie County, with pediatric subspecialists available as needed. For general information about our newborn care and women’s services, you can call our Consult-A-Nurse line at 1.800.382.3533.

What Can You Expect in the Pediatric ER?

A trip to the ER can be intimidating for children. Thankfully, some hospitals, including Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, now feature dedicated pediatric ERs that feature treatment rooms for infants, children, and adolescents. At our hospital, our pediatric ER also features child-sized medical equipment, specially trained pediatric providers, and Child Life Specialists.

Pediatric Triage

Every young patient’s visit to the pediatric ER begins with triage. This is the process of taking the patient’s basic information, such as assessing the urgency of his or her medical issue. Pediatric triage is conducted by an ER staff member who has plenty of experience reassuring worried children.

Child-Friendly Setting

Dedicated pediatric ERs go the extra mile toward making their young patients feel comfortable and at ease. They feature colorful décor and child-friendly furniture. The treatment areas are designed in a way that soothes young patients. The doctors and other medical providers use special medical instruments that are appropriately sized for children, which may help to reassure parents that their youngsters are getting the care they need.

Pediatric Services

When a hospital builds a dedicated pediatric ER, it ensures that the treatment area is staffed by specialists in pediatrics such as board-certified emergency physicians trained in pediactrics. Some hospitals may even offer special services within the child-friendly ER. Child Life Specialists are skilled in explaining complex medical procedures to children using age-appropriate language. These professionals can even work with the siblings of hospitalized children.

If your child is experiencing a serious medical problem and requires emergency care in Treasure Coast, please call 911 now. Non-emergent questions about the children’s services available at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center may be directed to a registered nurse at 1.800.382.3522. Our community hospital is pleased to meet the unique needs of our pediatric patients with our dedicated child-friendly ER and children's services.

Are You Eating Enough Fruits and Veggies?

There is no question that a healthy diet is one of the cornerstones of overall wellness and plant-based nutrition is particularly beneficial. The nutrients within fruits and vegetables are essential for proper heart care, weight management and other aspects of healthy living. But many Americans don’t consume as many fruits and vegetables as they ought to for good health. If you have concerns about your nutrition, you might consider speaking to a doctor at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center.

Serving Recommendations

For years, Americans were told that five servings of vegetables and fruits per day was the ideal amount. Fortunately, we know better now. The newer recommendations are customized for the varying needs of the average man, woman, girl and boy. These recommendations also differ by activity level and age. For example, an active man between the ages of 19 and 30 should strive for four cups of vegetables and two and one-half cups of fruit daily. A less active man in the same age group should get three and one-half cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit.

Portion Sizes

With a busy lifestyle, it often isn’t practical to take the time to measure out how much produce you’re eating each day. That’s why the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued portion size recommendations that are easy to remember. Simply fill your plate half-full with veggies and fruits at each meal.

Healthy Strategies

To help you get the recommended number of servings each day, it’s best to try to include veggies and fruits at each meal. Add a handful of spinach to your omelet for breakfast and pair it with a side of fresh berries or melon. Eat a salad or a veggie-packed sandwich for lunch. Look for ways of increasing your veggie intake at dinner, such as substituting cauliflower for rice or mashed potatoes. If you use these strategies on a daily basis, they’ll soon become habits that are easy to maintain.

Lawnwood Regional Medical Center is your family’s partner in wellness. From our outstanding women’s services to our heart and vascular care to our emergency care in Treasure Coast, our team is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of patient care and safety. You can call 1.800.382.3522 if you have a question for our registered nurse or if you would like further information about our hospital services, including wound care.

What Happens to Your Heart During a Heart Attack?

The heart is an incredibly strong organ. Over the course of a day, it may pump as much as 2,000 gallons of blood. But over time, a person’s heart health can become compromised by factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, cigarette smoking, and poor dietary choices. These risk factors can contribute to a heart attack, which is always a life-threatening emergency that demands immediate heart care. If you do suffer a heart attack or you’ve been told that you’re at risk of it, the heart care specialists at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center can give you the answers you need.

Blood Obstruction

Over the years, atherosclerosis can develop. Fatty substances known as plaque can build up on the interior walls of the arteries, which restrict the amount of space the blood has to move through these vessels. Eventually, a plaque may become damaged and rupture. The same bodily response that works to stop bleeding from cuts on your skin goes to work on the ruptured plaque. Platelets rush to the plaque and form a blood clot. If it’s large enough, this blood clot can completely obstruct blood flow through the artery, starving one section of your heart of the life-sustaining blood it needs.

Cell Death

When the heart muscle is starved of blood, it’s also starved of oxygen. The lack of oxygen will cause the heart cells to die. Unless you receive emergency care, you might die from ventricular fibrillation or heart failure. If the heart cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body, including the brain, then those cells will begin to die.

Scar Tissue Formation

Once you arrive at the ER, the heart care team will immediately get to work restoring blood flow to the heart. However, the dead heart cells will never regenerate. Instead, this part of the heart forms scar tissue, which cannot work as well as normal heart tissue.

The Heart Institute at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center is dedicated to saving lives. When patients arrive at our ER in Treasure Coast with symptoms of a heart attack, they are rapidly evaluated and treated with the latest cardiac intervention techniques. Please call 911 now if you think you’re having a heart attack; non-emergent questions about our Heart Institute may be directed to a registered nurse at (772) 461-4000.

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