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.

Controlling Prenatal Infections During Your Pregnancy

Maternal infections are one of the causes of birth defects. Because of this serious health concern, February has been designated as International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month. If you’re pregnant or planning to be, consider speaking with a women’s services provider at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center about ways of reducing your risk of infections.

Foodborne Illnesses
Foodborne illnesses are a serious concern during pregnancy, but there are effective ways to minimize the risk to you and your baby. It’s essential to avoid eating raw foods like sashimi and undercooked meats, eggs and similar products. Make sure you only eat cheese and other dairy products that have been pasteurized. Fruit and vegetable juices should also be pasteurized. Raw vegetables are generally healthy if thoroughly cleaned, but it’s best to avoid raw vegetable sprouts during pregnancy because these products have a higher risk of transmitting infections. Keep cooked and raw foods separated, and scrub all kitchen surfaces well to prevent cross-contamination. All perishable food items should be refrigerated promptly.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
CMV is a common virus. Once a person contracts CMV, the virus remains in the body for life. Usually, it does not cause problems, although it may come back. Although most babies with CMV do not develop problems, the virus can occasionally result in intellectual disabilities, hearing impairment, or vision loss. To minimize the risk of CMV during pregnancy, women are advised to wash their hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after changing diapers.

Zika Virus
Zika virus is a major concern for families in Florida. The infection rarely causes serious problems in adults who contract it, but if a pregnant woman contracts Zika, birth defects can result. Zika is a known cause of severe brain defects, including microcephaly. It’s also been linked to stillbirth, miscarriage and other defects. To reduce the risk of Zika virus, pregnant women and their partners can protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellent, wearing clothing that covers much of the skin, and using air conditioning instead of opening the windows. A barrier method of protection during sexual intercourse is also recommended.

For high-quality and compassionate maternity services in Treasure Coast, you can count on Lawnwood Regional Medical Center. Our women’s services team is dedicated to healthcare excellence in prenatal, labor and delivery, and post-partum care. For general information about our maternity care, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at 1.800.382.3522.

Improving Stroke Prevention Through Better Knowledge of Stroke

Stroke Center Treasure Coast

Stroke is a leading cause of death among Americans, third only to heart disease and cancer. Patients who survive a stroke must often deal with significant disabilities. The prevalence of stroke is troubling, but becoming better informed about stroke and its prevention is an important step for all families to take. Here at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, our emergency care team encourages our neighbors to learn about stroke prevention and early detection.

Understanding Stroke
There are three main types of stroke, the most common of which is ischemic stroke. This event occurs when an obstruction blocks blood flow to an area of the brain. When the brain tissue is deprived of life-sustaining blood, it rapidly begins to die. This brain damage is irreversible. The other primary types of stroke are hemorrhagic, which involves a ruptured aneurysm that causes bleeding on the brain, and transient ischemic attack (TIA). TIA is often referred to as a “mini stroke” because the obstruction clears quickly, before major problems can occur.

Identifying Risk Factors
The presence of one or more risk factors can increase the likelihood that a person will suffer a stroke. Some of these risk factors are modifiable and others, like being of advanced age, are not. However, the majority of all strokes are indeed preventable. Consider speaking with your doctor about your risk factors. Those that are modifiable include smoking and leading a sedentary lifestyle, and having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Good management of these lifestyle habits and medical conditions can reduce the risk.

Recognizing the Signs of Stroke
Despite taking steps to reduce the risk of stroke, it’s still important for everyone to know how to recognize this life-threatening medical condition when it occurs. Stroke causes the following signs and symptoms to develop suddenly:

  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Impairment of balance and coordination
  • One-sided weakness or paralysis
  • Excruciating headache
  • Blurry vision or vision loss

If any of these problems arise, it’s crucial to call 911 right away. With stroke, every second counts.

Lawnwood Regional Medical Center is a Comprehensive Stroke Center and the only one in the Treasure Coast. If you or someone else requires emergency care in Treasure Coast, please call 911 without delay. Non-emergent inquiries about our services, which include neurosurgery, may be directed to a registered nurse at 1.800.382.3522

Quelling Your Child's Anxiety in the ER

Pediatric ER Treasure Coast

The sights and sounds of the average emergency department can be intimidating for a young child, especially when the child is coping with a painful medical problem. This is one reason why Lawnwood Regional Medical Center has a specially designed Pediatric ER exclusively to treat the medical needs of infants, children and adolescents. Child-friendly emergency care can help soothe your little one as the doctor works to help him or her feel well again.

Keep a positive attitude.
It isn’t just children who experience anxiety when emergency care is needed. As a parent, your concern for your child may cause you to become flustered or upset. This is perfectly natural, but displaying these emotions will only add to your child’s anxiety. One of the most effective ways to soothe your child is to remain calm and composed, and to speak to your child with a positive tone of voice.

Bring comforting items.
Comforting items are a must for an ER visit. Young children will almost certainly want their favorite stuffed animal or security blanket. Consider bringing along a coloring book or small toy as well. Even older children and teens may want something to amuse themselves with in the ER, such as a book or electronic game.

Arrange childcare for the patient’s siblings.
If you have other children who are not ill or injured, try to make childcare arrangements for them instead of bringing everyone to the ER. This will allow you to focus all of your attention on your sick child and his or her medical care. Of course, making childcare arrangements may not be possible when you’re trying to rush your child to the ER quickly. Another option is to make a few calls while in the waiting area to find a trusted relative who can pick up your other children.

Lawnwood Regional Medical Center is pleased to offer the services of our Pediatric ER in Treasure Coast. It features a dedicated, child-friendly waiting area, specially designed treatment rooms, and child-sized equipment and it’s staffed by our Child Life Specialists and board-certified ER physicians and specially trained emergency nurses to care for children. Please call 911 if your child has a medical emergency; otherwise, you can direct non-emergent questions to 1.800.382.3522.

Getting to Know Your Toddler's Nutritional Needs

Your child’s nutritional needs change at every stage of development. There are general guidelines that parents can follow when planning meals for toddlers, but every toddler has unique nutritional needs depending on his or her size, activity level, underlying medical conditions, and other factors. A pediatric specialist at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center can provide personalized guidance for each family.

Serving Sizes

Around the time of your child’s first birthday, his or her rate of growth slows substantially. This means your child will not need to eat as much. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that children between the ages of one and three need approximately 40 calories for each inch of height, depending on activity level. This means that a toddler should be getting about 1,300 calories per day if he or she is 32 inches tall. As a general rule of thumb, a serving size for the average toddler is about one-fourth the size of a serving for the average adult. Keep portion sizes small, but allow your child to have seconds if he or she is still hungry. Young children are generally proficient at recognizing their own hunger signals.


Toddlers should never be served soda. Juice without added sugar may be served occasionally, but eating whole fruit is preferable to choosing fruit juice. Toddlers should primarily drink milk and water.

Meals and Snacks

Because toddlers have small stomachs, they may eat three small meals and a couple of snacks each day. Provide nutrient-dense foods in small portions. A sample menu for breakfast could include:

  • 1/2 cup of low-fat or nonfat milk
  • 1 egg or 1/2 cup of iron-fortified cereal
  • 1/2 cup of fruit
  • 1/2 slice of whole grain toast with 1/2 tsp. of butter

For dinner, a toddler might have two ounces of lean meat, one-third cup of potato, rice, or pasta, and two tablespoons of vegetables, along with a half a cup of milk.

For compassionate pediatric care in Treasure Coast, parents have turned to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center. We are a full-service hospital that proudly features a pediatric ER, exceptional maternity wing, a pediatric intensive care unit and other women and children’s services. Call a registered nurse at 1.800.382.3522 to request a physician referral.

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.

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