Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute
772.461.4000
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.

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.


Maintaining Your Health When Living with an Arrhythmia

When you get heart care for an arrhythmia, part of the focus of your treatment will be on helping you learn to lead a healthy and full life in spite of your heart condition. By working closely with your cardiologist and sticking to your treatment plan, you won’t have to let an arrhythmia slow you down. Here are some of the things you can do to stay healthy when you have an arrhythmia.

Take Your Medications as Prescribed

You can’t reap the full benefits of your treatment plan if you don’t take your medications in the right ways. Follow your physician’s instructions closely and try not to miss doses. If you are not taking your medications because of the side effects, talk to your doctor. There may be alternative medicines you can take or things you can do to ease any discomfort caused by your treatment. If you’re receiving heart care, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking over-the-counter medicines to avoid dangerous interactions.

Adopt a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet helps to support a healthy heart. Get better control over your arrhythmia by making dietary changes. Eat a diet that is low in saturated fats, added sugars, refined grains, and salt. Instead, reach for lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. If you need help choosing the right foods, talk to your doctor.

Report New Symptoms

If the symptoms of your arrhythmia become more intense, or if new symptoms appear, talk to your doctor. Reacting quickly to changes in your heart health can prevent future complications. If you experience the symptoms of a heart attack, such as chest pain and shortness of breath, go to the ER right away.

At Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, our Heart Institute in Treasure Coast provides ongoing care to patients living with arrhythmias and a range of other heart and vascular problems. If you’re concerned about your heart health, call us at (772) 461-4000 for more information about our heart care services and a referral to one of our specialists.


Knowing What Type of Medical Care Your Child Needs

Facing a child’s medical issue is a nerve-wracking experience for parents. You can ease some of the stress of the situation by knowing when to go to a pediatric ER for care and when to see your pediatrician instead. The decision is not always an easy one, so if you are ever in doubt, seek ER care. Here are some tips for deciding which kind of medical care will be right for your child.

When to Call 911

In some cases, calling 911 is the best way to react to a medical crisis. If your child has stopped breathing, has a neck or spine injury, experiences a seizure that lasts for more than three minutes, or is bleeding uncontrollably, 911 can provide the fastest medical care. An ambulance will get you to a pediatric ER quickly, and your child will receive medical attention in transit from first responders.

When to Go to the ER

Your child likely needs emergency care if he or she is experiencing a severe allergic reaction, has a deep wound or serious burn, or has a high fever that doesn’t respond to over-the-counter medicines or that is accompanied by a stiff neck. Emergency care is also required for broken bones, breathing difficulties, throwing up blood, and when dehydration is possible. Choose a hospital with a pediatric ER so he or she gets specialized care with kid-friendly equipment.

When to Call the Pediatrician

A visit to the pediatrician is usually appropriate for common childhood illnesses, low fevers, and minor injuries. Your pediatrician can advise you to seek emergency care if necessary when you call for an appointment.

Lawnwood Regional Medical Center provides comprehensive children’s services in Treasure Coast, including a pediatric ER and newborn care. Choose us for kid-friendly emergency care, and let us help you find the right pediatrics specialist for your little one. Call us today at (772) 461-4000 for more information.


Medical Screening Tests to Consider During June's Men's Health Week

The week just prior to Father’s Day has been recognized as National Men’s Health Week for the past couple of decades. This year, men are encouraged to become better informed of the health issues that can affect them. Being a proactive advocate for your own wellness is a good way to reduce your risk of potential problems. For example, by asking your doctor about routine screening exams, you may be less likely to end up in the emergency care department later on. Lawnwood Regional Medical Center encourages men in our community to support men’s health awareness during June.

Blood Pressure Check

Healthcare providers routinely check patients’ blood pressure during every office appointment and ER visit. But many men are in the habit of avoiding doctor visits whenever possible and they might not necessarily know if their blood pressure levels are healthy. Consider scheduling an annual physical exam this June, during which your provider will explain whether your blood pressure is within a good range. High blood pressure increases your risk of a number of health problems, including stroke.

Cholesterol Test

Men with high cholesterol are at an increased risk of heart attacks, peripheral artery disease (PAD), and stroke. Consider asking your doctor if you should have a blood test to check your cholesterol levels. Generally, cholesterol tests are recommended every five years for men ages 35 and older. However, if you have certain risk factors, your doctor may recommend screening earlier and more frequently.

Prostate Cancer Screening

Men can undergo screening for prostate cancer at a routine annual wellness appointment. The doctor can perform a digital rectal exam (DRE) to check for prostate enlargement and other abnormalities. This exam generally takes less than one minute. Men might also consider asking their doctors whether a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test may be appropriate for them. There are benefits and drawbacks to having this screening test, which your doctor can explain to you.

Lawnwood Regional Medical Center is your source for comprehensive preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic care. In addition to regular screening exams for men, our hospital offers women’s services, behavioral health, and heart care for patients in the Treasure Coast region. If you would like to request a referral to a doctor, you may call our Consult-A-Nurse line at 1.800.382.3522.


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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