Blood Flow Screening
A blood flow screening is an inexpensive test that anyone can request without a doctor’s order. A blood flow screening can identify potential risk factors associated with the onset of a stroke, circulation to the legs, and abdominal aortic aneurysm. With the Blood Flow Screening’s brief ultrasound of the carotid arteries in the neck and of the abdomen, and a leg circulation screening, you can discover potential risks in several key areas of your body before your health has been jeopardized.
The blood flow screening identifies:
- Plaque build-up in the arteries of the neck that could break free and travel to the brain or cut off blood supply to the brain both causing an Ischemic stroke. Ischemic Strokes account for 80% of strokes. A less common Hemorrhagic stroke causes blood vessels to burst open.
- Peripheral arterial disease – When the walls of your blood vessels have plaque buildup, the arteries are narrowed causing reduced blood flow depriving the muscle tissue of oxygen. This can cause cramping pain and poor circulation to your feet. Left untreated, your risk for heart disease and stroke increase.
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm – the term for enlargement and weakening of the main blood vessel in the abdomen. If the aneurysm bursts, large amounts of blood can be lost quickly causing death. Aneurysms can develop silently without symptoms. The symptoms of a rupture include sudden and severe pain in the abdomen or back which may radiate to arms and legs, a rigid abdomen, nausea and vomiting, clammy skin, rapid heart rate when standing, shock, and abdominal mass.
A high cholesterol level is a major risk for developing vascular and heart disease. Too much cholesterol results in plaque buildup causing narrowing blood flow and blockages. An optional cholesterol blood test can be done with the Blood Flow Screening for this reason.
The American Heart Association estimates that 795,000 Americans will have a stroke this year. Stroke is our nation’s number three killer and a leading cause of severe, long-term disability. A blood flow screening can help identify and reduce your risk of suffering a stroke.
If you have symptoms of any of these conditions, especially stroke and aneurysm, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.
For more information on blood flow screenings, please call The Heart Center at Wooster Community Hospital at 330-263-8282.