Avera Medical Minute: Planet Heart screenings provide vascular and heart insight

Published: Jan. 17, 2021 at 11:36 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -

Extensive tests for heart and vascular health can often cost thousands of dollars. At North Central Heart Institute at Avera Heart Hospital, the screening is only $75.00.

The planet heart screening is quick and efficiently done. You can book it over a lunch hour.

Planet Heart Vascular Sonographer Val McGlothlen takes blood pressure readings of both arms and ankles. A large difference between each limb could signal vascular concerns. She Also does an ultrasound to screen for an aortic aneurysm and the carotid arteries for calcified plaque.

“It’s wonderful if we find something because it’s better to walk in the door rather than be carted in the door. So to find it before they even know it’s there anything, so that’s always a good thing,” said McGlothlen.

The second part of the screening is lead by Planet Heart Nurse Andrea Engbarth as she escorts each patient to the CAT scan. Electrodes are positioned in four places before the testing begins. The technician captures information that monitors heart rate and rhythm.

Engbarth puts the medical terms into ways a patient can understand.

“We always remember that you are: age, genetics, how you eat, and how you move. You know are our bodies are plumbing and electricity. So, you know, we can make it pretty simple yet we’re very complex creatures,” said Engbarth.

Each patient will leave with their results in hand, knowing even more detailed reports will be coming in the mail and sent to your primary care doctor.

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