One in every 8 Americans older than 60 years of age have PAD. In all, PAD affects as many as 12 million people in the United States. Slightly more men than women have the disease. Due to the prevalence of PAD, September was named Peripheral Arterial Disease Awareness Month by the US Senate in 2007.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a condition that develops when the arteries that supply blood to the arms or legs become completely or partially blocked as a result of atherosclerosis. There are many possible side effects of atherosclerosis including angina and heart attacks if the coronary arteries are involved; strokes and transient ischemic attacks if the carotid and vertebral arteries are involved; and claudication, non-healing leg ulcers and critical limb ischemia if the lower extremity arteries are involved. Common risk factors include high cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, atherosclerosis and age. Smokers are four times at greater risk, African Americans are three times as likely to have PAD, and one in every three people over the age of 50 with diabetes is likely to have the disease.
PAD is diagnosed by healthcare professionals who review medical history and tobacco use, and perform physical exams and diagnostic tests. An ankle-brachial index (ABI) test may be performed, as well. An ABI test is painless and easy, and involves a comparison between a blood pressure reading in the ankles and a blood pressure reading in the arms. An ABI can help diagnose PAD, but it cannot identify which arteries are narrowed or blocked. A Doppler ultrasound test may be done to see which artery or arteries are blocked.
For patients with chronic wounds and their healthcare providers, PAD poses particular problems. Chronic toe and foot sores are common in people with PAD, as are cramping, numbness, weakness or heaviness in the leg muscles. However, many patients with PAD do not experience symptoms. That’s why the Northwest Wound Care Center® performs tests for PAD, treats chronic wounds which may have underlying conditions of PAD and counsels patients on how to manage PAD.
Below is a reprint of an article that recently ran in the Journal Record newspaper. The article was written by Bob Henger, Northwest Medical Center CEO and it outlines some of the challenges faced by rural hospitals, but more importantly, explains the tremendous value our hospital provides to the community and the importance of the hospital's survival.
The Alabama Daily News Digest recently featured an article by columnist Matthew Stokes. In the article he writes about “The Hamilton Project,” a significant initiative by the Brookings Institution. The project examines the vitality index of every county in America, weighing factors including median household income, poverty rate, unemployment rate, life expectancy, home vacancy rate and prime-age unemployment to population ratio. To no one’s surprise, almost every county in Alabama ranks low on this vitality index.
The article goes on to say that rural industries leave an area for a variety of reasons and, in time, rural residents with higher degrees and training leave the area as well due to a lack of job opportunities and the amenities offered by larger cities. When they leave, they take with them their money, civic energy, organizational know-how and leadership. Put crudely, this phenomenon causes many of our rural areas to suffer from a significant brain drain.
The "High 5 Star" award was put into place to recognize those employees who go above and beyond their regular duties to provide exceptional service to our patients, families or fellow employees. These awards are special because they are most often recommended by fellow workers who observe their co-workers extra efforts. Four awards were recently presented to deserving team members.
Amanda Godsey is a nurse practitioner in our newly-opened Primary Care Clinic. Amanda was recognized for the care she offers to all her patients in the clinic. She was also praised for the work she does outside the clinic in promoting the clinic and its services throughout the community. Amanda is a valuable asset in our Primary Clinic and also as an ambassador for Northwest Medical Center. CEO Bob Henger presented Amanda's award at the recent ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Primary Care Clinic.
Jennifer Cole, LPN also works in our Primary Care Clinic. She has proven to be a vital member of the staff in the clinic and works hard every day to provide exceptional care for the patients who come to the clinic. She takes great care of her patients and is always willing to help out any way she can in assisting Dr. Sartain or Nurse Practitioner Amanda Godsey, Jennifer serves as a volunteer firefighter in addition to her duties at the clinic. She also received her award from Mr. Henger.
Phillip Box is a familiar site around the hospital. He works with Steve Reed in maintenance and can be seen all around the hospital doing all sorts of jobs. In addition to his daily duties in the maintenance department, Phillip keeps an eye on the patients and family members who are on the hospital campus. If he sees someone who needs something, he is always willing to help. Phillip is a valuable member of the maintenance team, but more importantly, he cares about the people who use the hospital. We thank Phillip for all he does at NWMC. Steve Reed presented Phillip with his award at a recent Department Managers' meeting.
In every organization, there are those who you can count on to do whatever needs to be done. They never say "That's not my job." Tina Sherman is one of those people. Tina was also recognized at the department managers' meeting for the way she is willing to ptich in and help wherever she is needed. She is also a great ambassador for the hospital and doesn't mind going out into the community and promoting our services, particularly our Senior Care Center. Tina was presented with her award by Director of Nursing, Theresa Lawrence.
The Winfield Hospital had its official opening in 1949 and since that time has been serving the primary health care needs of Marion, Fayette, Lamar, Walker and Winston Counties.
In this modern era, Northwest Medical Center has added many specialized services reaching beyond our primary service area into a regional service facility. A modern, well-equipped replacement hospital was built in 1998 and compliments the quality of our Medical Staff and patient care.
Digital mammography can detect early-stage breast cancer.
If you're a woman 40 years of age or older, you should have a mammogram every year.
Schedule your mammogram today by calling us at (205) 487-7748. (A physician's order is required).
In the fairy tale "The Princess and the Pea," the heroine cannot sleep because she can feel a very small lump, even though it's covered by dozens of mattresses.
In real life, we are not that lucky. By the time we can feel a lump in our own breasts, a cancerous tumor could possibly have grown larger and spread beyond the breast into other areas of our bodies.
The process for requesting a patient's medical records includes obtaining a medical release of information authorization that is signed and dated by the patient.