An alarming 33 percent of Americans currently suffer from cardiovascular disease. February is American Heart Month and Rome Memorial Hospital’s Regional Center for Wound Care is raising awareness about how cardiovascular diseases can affect the wound healing process. Chronic wounds affect approximately 6.7 million people in the United States and, if left untreated, an unhealed wound on the foot or leg can lead to a diminished quality of life and possible amputation. As many as 82 percent of leg amputations are due to poor circulation of the affected limb.
“Coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease and other issues with the heart and vessels can block the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrition to a wound,” explained the center’s Nurse Practitioner Jennifer Fields, MS, FNP. “To avoid complications, it is important to keep your heart and blood vessels healthy.”
American Heart Month is the perfect time for all of us to take a look at how our lifestyles can improve our heart health, Fields added.
The Regional Center for Wound Care offers the following tips to live a heart healthy life:
Live an active lifestyle with 30 minutes of exercise on most days
Don’t smoke or use tobacco of any kind as it is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease
Eat a diet that is heart-healthy. This includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other low-fat sources of protein.
Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. All of these chronic conditions can lead to heart disease.
Ensure you get quality sleep by making it a priority in your life. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
Manage your stress in a healthy way with positive self-talk, using stress stoppers, doing things you enjoy, and relaxing on a regular basis.
See your healthcare provider for regular screenings. This includes blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes screenings.
Take off your socks at your next checkup and speak up about any problems with your legs or feet.
Patients with hard-to-heal wounds caused by circulatory problems that can stem from heart disease, diabetes, and many other conditions, seek specialized care from the experts at the Regional Center for Wound Care.
For more information about Rome Memorial Hospital’s Regional Center for Wound Care and treatment options available, call 315-338-7540.
The center is located at 267 Avery Lane in the Griffiss Professional Complex, Griffiss Business and Technology Park.