Mobile Vascular Screening Program to Visit Texas Health Cleburne on March 3
02/27/2009

CLEBURNE, Texas — Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne will hold a vascular screening day on Tuesday, March 3.

Texas Health Cleburne’s screening day is part of a program developed by the Heart Center at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth to uncover potentially fatal conditions in the body’s transportation — or vascular — system. The hospital’s vascular screening program, which can identify individuals at risk for stroke, ruptured aneurysm and peripheral arterial disease, has traveled around Tarrant County throughout February.

“This quick screening program is designed to catch problems before symptoms appear,” said Blake Kretz, Texas Health Cleburne’s president. "We are excited to offer this new screening tool to Cleburne and the surrounding communities."

Three Quick Scans Save Lives

The vascular system carries blood to vital organs throughout the body. If left undetected, a weakness of the blood vessel wall or blockage within this system can lead to a debilitating stroke, deadly aneurysm rupture, limb amputation or other serious disability.

“Three simple and non-invasive tests that take only 20 minutes to complete can tell us if an individual has a vascular problem that might lead to serious complications or death, and whether or not they need to see a physician for treatment,” said Deborah Bricker, director of cardiac and vascular services at Texas Health Fort Worth. “When you consider that most deadly aortic aneurysms go undetected because there are few, if any, symptoms prior to rupture, you realize how life-saving a quick and simple screening can be.”

The screening’s carotid scan uses ultrasound to evaluate the arteries in the neck which supply blood to the brain. Carotid artery blockages are the No. 1 cause of stroke.

Ultrasound is also used in the aortic scan to detect and measure an aneurysm in the abdominal aorta — the body’s main artery. Abdominal aortic aneurysms account for 15,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Using Doppler measurement, the peripheral arterial disease evaluation identifies reduced blood flow and/or blockages in the arteries of the arms and legs. Impaired circulation in the body’s extremities can lead to serious disability or amputation. Between 25 and 30 million people over age 70 have peripheral arterial disease, and are three times as likely to die of heart attacks and strokes as those without the disease.

Getting a Vascular Screening

Texas Health Cleburne is offering the three-test screening for $120. Medicare does not cover the cost of vascular screening. Individuals with private insurance should contact their provider to check on coverage.

Persons age 55 or older with vascular disease risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol or a family history of stroke, heart disease, aneurysm or other circulatory problems should undergo screening.

For more information, or to schedule your screening, call 1-877-THR-WELL.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne is a 137-bed acute-care, full-service hospital that has served Cleburne and the Johnson County area since 1986. The hospital’s services include surgery, women’s services, urology, orthopedics and ear, nose and throat care. Texas Health Cleburne, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, has been recognized with the 2007 Premier/Carescience Select Practice National Quality Award. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. The system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, Texas Health Presbyterian hospitals, and a medical research organization. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org.

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.