Many people go through their daily routines without realizing how close they are to suffering a life-threatening stroke.
Unfortunately, most people don't notice a sign or symptom until after a stroke occurs. That's why stroke is commonly referred to as the "silent killer," ranking as the third leading cause of death in the United States.
But new mobile technology is available today to help patients determine their stroke risk in advance so they can take steps to improve their health.
Farm Bureau will be hosting a stroke and vascular on Friday, Oct. 30 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express in Vermillion.
Individuals may schedule any single test for $40 each, any three tests for $100, or a complete wellness profile consisting of all four tests for $120.
A two minute virtual tour of the screenings being offered can be found on the Stroke Detection Plus website, www.strokedetectionplus.com
Appointments are necessary. To set up an appointment, call toll-free 1-877-732-8258.
Stroke Detection Plus' preventative tests help identify those who are at a high risk for stroke and cardiovascular disease, as well as osteoporosis.
Stoke Detection Plus, a mobile vascular screening company, uses ultrasound technology to find blockages in the body's blood vessels that could lead to a stroke.
"Ultrasound technology is something that's been around for over 50 years. Medical professionals have used the visual, non-invasive technology in many applications. Pregnancy is probably the most well-known application of ultrasound," says Scott McGlothlen, Stroke Detection Plus president.
Ultrasound can also help doctors see blocked blood vessels without performing an angiogram, an invasive procedure in which a tiny catheter tube is inserted into a blood vessel.
"Unlike an angiogram, the Stroke Detection Plus ultrasound screening is performed without needles or injections," McGlothlen says. Patients remain fully clothed as the technician moves an ultrasound probe over specific areas of the body to detect potential blood vessel blockages.
McGlothlen says the ultrasound results are 98 percent accurate. "In five minutes, we can tell people if they have blockage. And they get these results confidentially, so it doesn't affect their health premium," he said.
Vermillion resident June Sherman can attest to the benefits of the screenings."I found with your screening I was 75 percent blocked in my left carotid artery. I have been going every year and I will be checked again later.I feel precaution is a good thing. It is so convenient for me and so inexpensive.I believe everyone should have this done."
During a Stroke Detection Plus screening, a certified ultrasound technician performs four preventative tests.These tests include the following:
• Carotid artery or stroke screening: They can detect plaque build-up or blockage, where 75-85 percent of strokes are associated with blockage of the carotid arteries in the neck.
• Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening: They can detect any ballooning or enlargement in this vessel. It is the vessel that feeds the extremities with blood. 80 percent of all aneurysms occur in the abdominal area.
• Peripheral arterial disease screening: This screening looks for blockage in the arms and legs. Patients with vessel blockage in their arms or legs have four to six times greater risk of coronary heart disease.
• Osteoporosis – An ultrasound scan of the heel can determine if osteoporosis has weakened the skeletal system.
"If the ultrasound test discovers a potential health problem, an on-staff nurse for Stroke Detection Plus will follow up with a phone consultation to encourage patients to visit their doctor for diagnosis and treatment," McGlothlen says.
People ages 40 and above are encouraged to sign up for a Stroke Detection Plus screening if they have one or more of the following risk factors: high blood pressure, diabetes, more than 20 pounds overweight, smoke, have high cholesterol, live an inactive lifestyle, or have a family medical history of heart disease or stroke.
"With Stroke Detection Plus, we want to start testing people when they reach 40, because we want to catch it at an early stage before it becomes life-threatening," McGlothlen says. "That way, you and your doctor know it's there and you can continue to work on it, and maybe it motivates you to make some changes."
"Lifestyle changes, such as exercise and a healthy diet, can make a difference in helping to lower a person's risk of stroke or heart disease," McGlothlen says.
"We tell people to tape a copy of that ultrasound picture on your mirror. Let it be a motivator to not smoke that cigarette. Let that be a motivator to not stop for fast food and have a greasy meal that day," he said.