Just to give you some perspective, the commercial break during KSFY Action News Live at 10:00, right before the Avera Medical Minute, runs about 3:00 in length. The same amount of time someone in this country dies from having a stroke. May is Stroke Awareness Month and this third leading killer can be stopped if only you screened for it.
At the age of 80, Ray Sneller from Parker isn't taking his health lying down. Don't let appearances fool you. He doesn't. He knows that just because you can't see what's going on inside your blood vessels means you should ignore it. That's why he is taking advantage of Avera's Ultrasound Stroke and Vascular Screenings upstairs at the HyVee on Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls.
Sneller says, "I did it 4 or 5 years ago and they found I had a little blockage, but not bad enough to do anything about it. I have to tell you though, at the same time, my brother-in-law did it and they found something on his kidney. It turned out to be cancer. They had it removed and he is doing great. A stitch in time saves nine."
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. If that happens--part of the brain can't get the blood it needs and starts to die.
Avera McKennan Mobile Imaging Services Director Pam Hansen says, "The screening involves three different areas. If your carotid (artery in the neck) is occluded it can cause a stroke. If we catch that blockage in time, we can send them to the experts to either do surgery or put stents in them to open them up. We also screen the abdominal aorta for aneurysms and we've caught a few that we have sent to the Avera Heart Hospital immediately and we screen the legs and arms for peripheral arterial disease. We are trying to prevent something from happening (stroke) that is entirely preventable."
Sneller says sometimes we take better care of our cars than we do our own bodies. This screening takes only 10-15 minutes, less time than it takes to get the oil changed in your car. Hansen says if you are 45 and older, if you have a family history of stroke or aneurysm, if you have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol you are prime candidate for screening.
Sneller says, "I plan to do my best to take care of my body the best I can. I don't smoke. I don't drink and I hope to see my great grandkids grow older."
You can take advantage of the screenings every Wednesday at one of the Sioux Falls HyVee Stores or at the Avera Heart Hospital. Just call to make an appointment 877--AT-AVERA.
Avera Sacred Heart is excited to announce that they were awarded a Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The $362,081 grant is spread over 3 years and will help Avera build and pilot eStroke, an innovation technology solution linking rural hospitals to neurology stoke support 24 hours a day. The grant project, a partnership of Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, St. Michael's Hospital, Wagner Community Memorial Hospital, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center, Neurology Associates, and the American Heart Association, will also provide professional and community education on the prevention and treatment of stroke.
Screenings Include: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, Stroke, and Peripheral Arterial Disease. Screening locations vary and appointments are required for each $35 screening (or, take advantage of a discount price of $90 for all three screenings). Call 1-877-AT-AVERA (1-877-282-8372) to make a screening appointment.
Avera McKennan's Stroke Center is certified as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, and is nationally recognized for excellence.