Mercy Hospital
Mercy Hospital is a 488-bed acute care U.S. hospital located in Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida. It is Miami-Dade County’s only Catholic hospital and is a recipient of the MAGNET award.

January: Cervical Health Awareness Month

With 2014 comes the opportunity to enjoy a healthier new year. For women who live in the greater Miami-Dade area, that means taking the proper measures to understand and avoid the dangers of cervical cancer. January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and Mercy Hospital urges our female patients to educate themselves on this life-threatening but often preventable disease.

2014 year calendar. January. Isolated 3D image

Knowing What Causes Cervical Cancer
As can any type of cancer, cervical cancer may develop from unknown reasons. However, studies indicate that a high percentage of women get cervical cancer due to the earlier contraction of HPV. HPV can take many forms, some of which may not produce future health complications. Some strains of this virus, which typically is passed through sexual contact, can eventually develop into cervical cancer. Exhibiting safe and cautious behavior can help to deter the spread of HPV.

Protecting Yourself from Cervical Cancer
All adult women should undergo regular gynecological examinations to ensure that their reproductive health is intact. As part of this preventative care process, women should also undergo a Pap smear screening. A Pap smear can detect the presence of abnormal cervical cells. In many cases, this test is the only indicator that a woman might be at risk for cervical cancer. Early detection and treatment can lower the chances that cervical cancer will occur in the future.

Talking to Others About Cervical Cancer
Cervical Health Awareness Month is an opportunity for women to become proactive about their reproductive wellbeing and that of others. In addition to undergoing any necessary preventive procedures, women should encourage their friends and family members to do the same. They can also use social media to spread the word about this disease and the preventive actions that can save the lives of those who are at risk for it.

Mercy Hospital offers comprehensive women’s health services for our Miami-Dade residents. If you are in need of a Pap smear or mammogram, we can help. Call (305) 854-4400 to speak with a Registered Nurse at our hospital. 

What Is Osteoporosis?

Many of the health issues that often occur in older age can be avoided with healthy lifestyle habits and consistent preventive care. Osteoporosis is one such disease that is preventable with the right behaviors. Key to preventing this common problem is finding out why it happens and how to detect it. Mercy Hospital can help the local Miami community lower its risk of osteoporosis with our preventive and treatment options.

painful hip

Osteoporosis develops when the skeletal system no longer contains a healthy amount of bone mass. A lack of density puts bones at risk for fractures that an otherwise healthy skeletal system would not suffer. The reasons why osteoporosis develops can vary from person to person. Some individuals may suffer from it because of too little calcium or vitamin D consumption. Women in particular are susceptible to it because of menopause and the hormonal changes it effects in the body. Chemical reactions in the body as the result of medication, tobacco, or alcohol usage can also cause the skeletal system to lose bone mass.

Osteoporosis normally produces no noticeable symptoms in sufferers, which is why it can prove so dangerous should someone with it experience a fall or other injury. Some people with this disease may suffer subtle changes in their height or posture, but the majority of those who have osteoporosis will not become aware of their condition until they break a bone.

Doctors recommend that individuals who could be at risk for osteoporosis undergo regular bone scan screenings. A bone scan can reveal the presence of a diminished skeletal system before a facture occurs. Should a diagnosis of osteoporosis be made, a physician can advise a treatment plan to address it. Medication to build bone mass may be part of this treatment process. A diet high in calcium and exercise routine with weight-bearing activities can also revitalize bones suffering from osteoporosis.

Let Mercy Hospital provide you with the preventive care you need. To avoid a future of brittle and fracture-prone bones, call our Miami hospital today at (305) 854-4400 to set up an appointment for a bone scan. You can also use our Consult-A-Nurse program to learn more about how osteoporosis can compromise senior health. 

Taking a Closer Look at Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that can rob you of your health. This video explains how this condition develops.

Healthy bone is porous yet durable. This durability stems from intricate patterns of bone tissue that interlock with each other to form a robust matrix. In early adulthood, this matrix begins to deteriorate. Bone tissue diminishes, which weakens the skeletal system. With a single slip and fall accident, osteoporosis can result in a broken vertebrae or hip, which may take months to heal. As you age, the ability to recover from these accidents can diminish as well.

Mercy Hospital offers bone scan services for individuals living in the greater Miami area who may be at risk for osteoporosis. If you would like to make an appointment for a bone scan, call (305) 854-4400 to reach out Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line.

Risk Factors That Can Increase Your Chance of Having a Heart Attack

Until a heart attack strikes, you may have no prior warning that one is about to occur. However, knowing if you are at risk for having a heart attack can provide you with the knowledge you need to alter your health future. Family history and age may be fixed factors, but you have control over many of the other components that can heighten your chances of suffering a heart attack. Mercy Hospital encourages all residents in the greater Miami-Dade community to become familiar with the following risk factors and ways to lessen their effects.

Sudden Chest Pain

Sedentary Behavior
For many people, sitting at a desk for eight hours or more is a part of their professional lives. If you too must sit for the majority of your workday, your lack of activity may be increasing your heart attack danger. This hazard can intensify if you do not have a regular exercise routine before or after work. The cardiovascular system demands consistent activity for its health. Sedentary behavior can weaken the heart and even strain it if your habits lead to weight gain.

Have you been told that you have hypertension? This condition can be a critical risk factor for heart disease and heart attacks. When your cardiovascular system must contend with a blood pressure level that is higher than normal, the arteries can suffer. For each moment that your blood pressure is elevated, the walls of your arteries must cope with the excessive force of rushing blood. This force can weaken the integrity of the arterial walls, which raises the likelihood of a future heart attack.

Cigarette Usage
No matter how infrequently you do it, if you smoke, you are increasing your risk of heart attack. Smoking is a known cause of cancer, but it can also contribute to heart disease. Each time you smoke a cigarette, cigar, or pipe, your cardiovascular system suffers for it. When the arteries contract, it makes it harder for your heart to effectively pump blood through your body.

What are your risk factors for heart disease? If you would like to learn more about the dangers of heart attacks, call Mercy Hospital in Miami at (305) 854-4400 to speak with a nurse with our Consult-A-Nurse program. You can also visit our website to view additional information on our Heart Center.

How to Prepare for a CT Scan

A computerized tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays to produce cross-sectional images of structures in your body. You might go to the hospital for a CT scan if your doctor suspects a fracture, blood clot, or tumor, or a wide range of other health issues. Although very little preparation is needed prior to having this imaging test, it’s always a good idea to call the hospital to determine what you need to do. Some patients may be asked to refrain from eating for a few hours prior to the appointment.

When you arrive at the hospital, you’ll change into a hospital gown. You’ll also need to remove all metal objects you’re carrying, such as your belt, watch, and jewelry. You may have an injection of contrast dye material, or you may need to swallow this substance.

CT scanner

Mercy Hospital of Miami-Dade County offers a complete line of diagnostic services for area families, including CT scans, MRIs, and digital mammograms. To schedule your appointment, you can reach our hospital at (305) 854-4400.

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