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.

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

Preparing for Your Upcoming Stress Test

If your doctor is concerned about your heart and vascular health, he or she may refer you for a stress test. Stress tests can help your doctor determine if you have a problem that is affecting the way your heart works or if the heart care you are currently receiving is working. Stress tests are non-invasive, painless, safe and require very little preparation. If you are scheduled for a stress test, follow these steps to get ready for it.

Discuss Your Medications

It’s very important for your doctor to know about all of the medications you’re taking before your stress test. Don’t forget to mention over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbs. In some cases, these medications can influence the way your heart works and could interfere with the results of your test. For this reason, your doctor may recommend that you avoid taking certain medicines either the day of your test or for a period of time before the test. Follow these instructions carefully, but don’t discontinue any medication unless you are instructed to do so.

Follow Your Eating and Drinking Instructions

Your doctor may ask you to avoid eating and drinking for up to four hours before your stress test. Generally, it is still OK to drink water during this time, but follow your doctor’s advice precisely. If you have diabetes and fasting for an extended period is difficult, your doctor will help you create a plan for managing it. You will also be asked to abstain from smoking for at least four hours before the test. Smoking is extremely detrimental to your heart health, so talk to your doctor about ways you can quit.

Dress Comfortably

A stress test involves walking on a treadmill, so dress comfortably. Many patients find it is easy to dress as though they were going to the gym. Choose shoes with rubber soles and wear loose-fitting clothing, since you will need to have electrodes attached.

At Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, we offer cutting-edge heart care in the Treasure Coast, from our ER to our Heart Institute. For a referral to one of our physicians, please call 1.800.382.3522.

Quitting Smoking During Pregnancy

There is no “safe” number of cigarettes, regardless of one’s pregnancy status. Smoking any number of cigarettes before, during, or after pregnancy places a baby at risk of serious health complications, including death. Quitting smoking is among the most impactful choices you can make to support your baby’s health and your own wellness. The women’s services providers at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center understand that smoking is an addiction and quitting is never easy.

Consider Talking to Your Doctor

Some women delay disclosing their tobacco addiction to their obstetricians, often because smoking can be perceived as an embarrassing habit. But you should know that your doctor is there to support you, not to judge you. Your doctor is committed to making sure that you have a healthy pregnancy and that your baby has the best possible start in life. But to provide this support, your doctor needs to know that you smoke.

Take a Smoking Cessation Class

Your doctor can direct you to resources such as the hospital’s smoking cessation classes. Here, you’ll learn effective techniques to get through the quitting process successfully. You’ll discover which smoking cessation methods are safe to use during pregnancy. You can also turn to the instructors and your fellow quitters for emotional support.

Use Visual Reminders

Create visual reminders to use when a craving strikes. On index cards, write down the harmful effects that smoking can have on your baby. On the flip sides, draw pictures of your child as you imagine him or her to be in the future. Then draw a cigarette in your child’s hand and allow yourself to become upset at the thought of your child smoking. Tuck these cards into your handbag and take them with you wherever you go. Look at the cards whenever you feel the urge to smoke.

Engage Your Imagination

Your imagination can have a powerful effect on your behavior. At intervals throughout the day, take a few minutes to close your eyes and imagine what cigarette smoke could be doing to your baby. Imagine your child needing special newborn care for birth defects, premature birth and lung infections.

Lawnwood Regional Medical Center is a proud partner with the Healthy Start program, which provides prenatal and postnatal education and care. These critical women’s and children’s services in Treasure Coast include smoking cessation classes, psychosocial counseling and nutritional counseling. Call a registered nurse at 1.800.382.3522

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