This Valentine’s Day, give yourself a gift from the heart. Make a date to attend Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s free “Healthy Hearts” screening event Feb. 14 at the Beaufort Walmart. It could save your life.
“Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of both men and women in the United States,” said BMH cardiologist Dr. Stuart Smalheiser. “Events like this help raise awareness of the problem.”
BMH will be offering a number of free health screenings during the event, including an electrocardiogram or EKG, a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart.
“An abnormal EKG raises the suspicion of underlying problems in someone without symptoms,” said Smalheiser, who will be interpreting the EKG readings at the wellness fair. “It can pick up heart rhythm problems and give us an idea of the structure and function of the heart.” The test, available to adults 18 and older, takes about five minutes and is painless.
“If we pick up on something, we’d need to do further testing,” Smalheiser said. “But we can triage the patient and help them before they have an event.”
Smalheiser is one of a team of Beaufort Memorial medical professionals who will be participating in the
event and available to answer health-related questions. The heart-focused program will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Valentine’s Day outside the Walmart at 350 Robert Smalls Pkwy. Screenings will be performed in Beaufort Memorial’s CHiP mobile wellness van. In addition to the EKG, participants can have their blood sugar tested for diabetes and their blood pressure checked for hypertension. Lipid profile cholesterol tests will be offered for $10. Those wanting to have the cholesterol test should fast for six hours prior to the screening. BMH staff also will be offering instruction on the six signs of stroke and Hands-Only CPR, intended for bystanders untrained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Uninsured Beaufort and Jasper County adults, ages 19 to 64, will have the opportunity to enroll in AccessHealth Lowcountry, a program designed to help patients find medical care with providers who offer free or reduced services.
“We’re very grateful to Walmart for providing us with the venue to host Healthy Hearts,” said Veronica Smalheiser, a BMH nurse practitioner and wife of Dr. Stuart Smalheiser. “This event will offer screenings that can help you assess your risk of heart disease and information on how to improve your health.”