For Hometown News
Florida Hospital DeLand offers a new test to assess patient's risk of cardiovascular disease in as little as five heartbeats.
Called a coronary calcium scan, this test provides high speed images of a patient's heart, without dyes, injections or incisions. These images can detect specks of calcium, or calcifications, in the walls of the arteries in the heart. These calcifications are an early sign of coronary heart disease which can cause a blockage or heart attack.
Men older than 45 and women older than 55 are at risk for developing coronary heart disease. Also at risk are those who are overweight, have an inactive lifestyle or are past or present smokers. Also, those with either family or personal history of coronary artery disease or anyone with a history of high cholesterol, diabetes or high blood pressure also are at risk for coronary heart disease.
"Even if you currently do not have symptoms, these images could be the most valuable moments of your life," said Wes Harden, the hospital's administrative director of radiology. "Heart disease is the nation's leading killer of men and women alike, and these images of the heart can help determine a patient's risk of heart disease in its earliest stages, enabling them to take the appropriate steps to avoid heart disease down the road."
This advancement comes on the heels of several other enhancements to the hospital's cardiac services.
In January 2014, the hospital acquired Impella, the world's smallest heart pump for heart attack. Also the hospital upgraded one of its cardiac catheterization labs and has plans to replace the second and add a third in 2014.