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 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.

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.

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