Free Peripheral Artery Disease Screenings September 13 and 27

(August 31, 2011) - September is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Awareness Month. The Heart & Vascular Institute at Memorial University Medical Center and Savannah Vascular and Cardiac Institute will provide free PAD screenings from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13 and Tuesday, September 27 at Macy's Court in Oglethorpe Mall.

Peripheral artery disease occurs when arteries in the legs are blocked by plaque. Left untreated, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Symptoms of PAD include pain or cramping in the leg when walking, foot wounds that won't heal, or a decreased temperature in the lower leg or foot. Screening involves a simple test that compares the blood pressure in your feet to the blood pressure in your arms.

Risk factors for PAD include smoking, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, age (usually occurs in people age 50 or older), and/or a family history of PAD, heart disease, or stroke.

In addition to the PAD screening events, Christopher Wixon, M.D., will host a live web chat from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, September 7. Wixon is a vascular surgeon with Savannah Vascular and Cardiac Institute. He will answer your questions about PAD or other vascular disorders live online. To participate, simply go to memorialhealth.com at noon on September 7.

Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital, a 530-bed academic medical center; Memorial primary and specialty care physician networks; a major medical education program; business and industry services; and NurseOne, a 24-hour call center. You can follow us at facebook.com/memorialhealth, twitter.com/mymemorial, and youtube.com/memorialhealth.