Warren Erickson is the Avera Sacred Heart Hospital Lab Director.
If you are one of those folks who keep an eye out for health screenings to get your vitals checked, we have good news for those of you in the Yankton area. Nancy Naeve Brown has more from Avera Sacred Heart Hospital where they welcome walk-in's for blood draws.
Jay Gravholt from Yankton started making it a habit to get his blood drawn at Avera Sacred Heart hospital 1 to 2 times a year after he found out 12 years ago that his triglycerides were over a thousand. They should be around 150. It's an easy habit to keep thanks to an accommodating open door policy by the hospital and a lab staffed with 30 people.
Avera Sacred Hospital Lab Director Warren Erickson normally places do health screens once a year and one of things we do is offer it year round. You can have it done Monday through Friday 7 am to 7 pm. All you really need to do is come in fasting. You don't need an appointment. "
Jay says, "It is close, it's fast and you can walk right in. A lot of times I don't eat breakfast so I'm fasting at 11 am I can come in anytime. The staff is great that draws my blood and I'll have results by an hour and they'll share with the doctor which is nice. "
With one blood draw the lab can do 35 different tests.
Pathologist Dr. Richard Strom says, "You can get your lipid panels tested, PSA levels for prostate cancer, with a simple blood draw you can get CBC white cell counts."
Erickson says, "Number one it's inexpensive. The other thing is we have a lot of people in this part of the country on Lipitor and if those people can take an active approach to their lifestyle they'll see changes. This is a great program because it allows them to monitor it very frequently."
Since high cholesterol runs in his family and high levels of triglycerides in your bloodstream are a precursor to coronary blockage, Jay knows he has to stay on top of it to lower it. He takes two medications, watches what he eats and gladly rolls up his sleeve at the most convenient of places.
Avera Sacred Heart's Hospital lab performs 300,000 inpatient and outpatient tests a year.