There could be a time bomb ticking inside you and you don't even know it. You could with proper screenings and it could be as easy as a trip to your favorite grocery store for the Avera Stroke and Vascular Screenings.
Upstairs at the HyVee on East 10th street in Sioux Falls Harley Barz is relaxing while Avera McKennan Registered Vascular Technologist Pam Hansen checks his carotid artery for any undetected blockage that could lead to a stroke. Meaning it's there but you don't have any symptoms to indicate plaque buildup. That's one of the 3 screenings available right here.
Pam says, "We check for any undetected aneurysms in the stomach or peripheral arterial disease. They could have leg pain and can't walk on the golf course. If they have something like that we are looking for undetected disease so we can prevent a stroke or prevent an aneurysm from rupturing."
The remote screening is possible, for one, because of technology. It's improved so much over the years and last year Avera McKennan bought 6 of these portable ultra-sound machines. Pam is not only looking at Harley's carotid, she is listening too. The artery sounds like a heart beat, the veins sound like wind. The machine is so smart it can also tell which way the blood is flowing.
This is a joint effort between Avera McKennan Hospital and the Avera Heart Hospital. Once these tests are taken, a cardiologist at the Avera Heart Hospital will read them. If they see anything abnormal they will contact the patient and have them come in. Harley is 74 and this is his first stroke and vascular screening.
Harley Barz says, "My wife has had some in the past and she thought at my age it wouldn't hurt to get one. I have some other health problems so I thought this would be a good idea."
Pam says, "It's a good idea for anyone 45 and up to get screened, especially if you have family history or diabetes. Anyone with high blood pressure would also be good candidates."
It doesn't hurt and takes less than an hour.
Harley laughs, " Oh the screening, there's nothing to it. They stick some goop on you and listen. That's all there is to it. I'd recommend it for anyone"
Each screening costs $35 or you can get all three done for $90 which is a steal since it could save your life and prevent a stroke.
The Avera Stroke and Vascular Screenings are held on Wednesday's 3 weeks a month.
Call 877-At-Avera to make an appointment.