Keeping tabs on your health doesn’t have to take a lot of time. It also doesn’t even have to take you to a traditional doctors office. I’m on the go A LOT, which makes screening options while I’m out running errands, or in between adventures, even better!
Did you know that Heart Disease and Stroke are the First and Fifth leading causes of death in the U.S. and that you can experience them without much warning?
St. Elizabeth Healthcare is making cardiovascular screenings even more accessible by bringing the screenings to the community.
A close relative of mine found out that she had a blockage during a screening at the Cardiovascular Mobile Health Unit at a local library and that visit could have saved her life!
My appointment was scheduled a few days before I left to do some pretty extreme adventures in Las Vegas that included a controlled jump off of an 855 ft building…. so it didn’t hurt to make sure that all of my blood was circulating properly and that I didn’t have any unforeseen risks besides the crazy jump before I left.
What are the screenings looking for?
The screenings help determine your risk for heart disease, stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral artery disease, and AFib (Atrial fibrillation.)
How long does it take?
Screenings take about 30 minutes. Scheduling is easy and there’s not a long wait for these screenings. They do also accept walk-ins but it’s strongly recommended to call ahead of time so that you get your preferred time slot and you don’t have to wait.
How much does it cost?
4 screenings are offered at $25 each, however, when you call to register, they can advise you on which screenings would be most valuable for you based on your risk factors. The Afib screening is free with any other scheduled screening.
What to expect during the screening
I experienced all four screening tests so that I could help you know what to expect. Before my visit, I had envisioned that I would be running on a treadmill but the reality of my visit was that it was even easier than that.
Cardiac Age Health Risk Assessment
Upon arrival, I was asked for my weight which I didn’t know (maybe I was in denial) so I was weighed in another room privately.
You will be asked to fill out a form that helps assess your medical history and current medical conditions that can be answered pretty quickly. It’s important that you don’t eat or drink anything 4 hours before your appointment because that could affect your results. I set an alarm on my phone as a reminder just in case.
I did get my finger pricked to measure blood sugar and lipids, which is probably why my blood pressure rose a bit. I don’t like/I’m scared of needles, but I did it… in the name of research…and it wasn’t bad at all. I tend to freak out about needles and they are never as bad as I build them up to be in my mind.
We went over the results of my first screening and it was determined that I have a low risk for heart disease and stroke but that I could use more fruits and veggies in my daily diet. I already knew that my weight was higher than I would like it to be which was a reminder to make better food choices and to keep my body moving each day.
Stroke/Carotid Artery Screening
This 10-minute ultrasound scan of your carotid arteries (in your neck) looks for plaque buildup, the leading cause of stroke.
Next, I was taken back to a more private room for the additional screenings. You will need to take off your shoes so make sure that you wear cooler socks than I did that day and be aware that there is a portion of the screening where the vascular technician will need to be able to use equipment on your stomach. (I’ll spare you pictures of my stretch marks)
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening
This 10-minute ultrasound test examines the main artery in your abdomen, the aorta, for enlargement or an aneurysm that could lead to a ruptured aortic artery.
Peripheral Artery Disease Screening
This 10-minute Doppler ultrasound test examines blood flow in your legs to determine your risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD), a narrowing and hardening of arteries that supply blood to your legs and feet.
The exam uses blood pressure cuffs, so make sure that you don’t wear pantyhose.
Atrial Fibrillation Screening
This simple, painless screening is offered at no charge with at least one other paid screening. A fingertip scan of your heartbeat creates a snapshot that can detect a potential irregular heart rhythm.
The main objective is to check for blockage and the additional screenings are pain-free and go by quickly. You can ask the staff additional questions that may come up as you go over your results on the screen.
Initial results are provided immediately, along with a personalized discussion about ways you can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Overall the St. Elizabeth staff didn’t have any major concerns about my health which is always good to hear! The key is to be proactive and get a screening before it’s too late.
Where is the CardioVan located?
The CardioVan rotates to different locations throughout the Greater Cincinnati Area with a large majority of the locations in Northern Kentucky. Check the calendar to find out a location convenient for you.
Schedule an Appointment
Please call (859) 301-9355 (WELL) to schedule an appointment.
If you only registered for one screening and the staff recommends additional screenings it’s not a problem! You only pay for the screenings you receive and you can pay for additional screenings while you are there.
You can find more information on the CardioVan from the St. Elizabeth Healthcare website.
Basic info about the Cardiovascular Mobile Health Unit can be found at stelizabeth.com/screenmyheart.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by St. Elizabeth Healthcare. All opinions are my own.
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