Archive | January, 2017

A Lifetime of Bad Choices

Bad habits can start early. Being a couch potato, eating poorly, smoking, experiencing stress and not maintaining a healthy weight can all lead to a heart attack over time.

That’s the message of Lexington Medical Center’s 2017 heart commercial. It features scenes in the life of a man as he ages from 23 to 55 engaging in behavior that ultimately leads to a heart attack. Here are some photos from the filming. The commercial will debut on Friday, February 3.

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It’s the latest installment in a series of heart commercials produced in-house by Lexington Medical Center during the month of February, which is American Heart Month. The spot also continues the tradition of featuring a character who personifies a heart attack and narrates the story.

“Don’t make a lifetime of bad choices. Every choice you make matters,” said Mark Shelley, vice president of Marketing and Communications at Lexington Medical Center, who supervised the production of the heart commercial. “You’re never too young to prevent heart disease.”

Lexington Medical Center is committed to educating our community about cardiovascular disease, which is responsible for one out of every three deaths in South Carolina. As the region’s only Duke Health-affiliated heart center, Lexington Medical Center is able to provide patients with quality cardiovascular care, and the most advanced treatments and protocols available in medicine.

To watch all of our heart attack commercials, visit our You Tube channel:

To learn more about heart disease and take a heart health quiz, visit

Urgent Care Or Emergency Room: Where Should You Go?

It’s become a busy time at Lexington Medical Center for colds, the flu, pneumonia and respiratory illnesses. In this WLTX interview, Dr. Jeff Johr of Lexington Medical Center Urgent Care breaks down when you should go to Urgent Care and when you really need the ER.


It’s important to know the difference. Here are lists to help you make the right decision.

Emergency Room
~Loss of consciousness
~Signs of a heart attack or stroke
~Uncontrolled or excessive bleeding
~Coughing up or vomiting blood
~Head injury, a serious injury or major injuries from a serious car accident
~Sudden or unexpected paralysis
~Sudden onset of severe pain or abdominal pain
~Poisoning, suspected poisoning or overdose
~Violent injuries from gunshots or stabbing
~Emotional distress, including suicidal or homicidal feelings

Urgent Care
~Sore throats
~Sprains and strains
~Cold and flu symptoms
~Pink eye
~Sinus infections
~Seasonal allergies
~Urinary tract infections
~Mild asthma
~Stomach flu
~Simple cuts or wounds
~Fever without a rash

Meanwhile, chronic pain or recurring pain events that require specific pain medications should be addressed by your primary care physician or your pain specialist.

Lexington Medical Center operates Urgent Care centers in convenient locations around Lexington County. Visit to learn more.

Appropriate Antibiotic Use

By Lauren S. Matthews, MD, pediatrician with Lexington Pediatric Practice, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice

When a child is sick, many parents go to the pediatrician thinking their little one needs an antibiotic. But antibiotics will only help certain types of illness. And using them too much can be a bad idea.

Lauren Matthews, MD

There are two major types of germs that make people sick: viruses and bacteria. While both can cause diseases with similar symptoms, the way that they multiply and spread are different.

Antibiotics are life-saving drugs that work by killing bacteria. Common bacterial infections include strep throat, whooping cough, and some pneumonias, sinus infections, and ear infections.  

Antibiotics are not needed for common illnesses like colds, most sore throats and the flu. Viruses cause these illnesses most often. Using antibiotics for viruses will not cure the infection, will not help your child feel better and will not keep others from catching the illness.  


Sometimes, distinguishing between a bacterial infection and a viral condition can be difficult. Many aspects of the clinical history, symptoms and signs are similar. There are guidelines to help physicians determine which seems most likely. The most common way to distinguish between a virus and bacteria is duration. Symptoms of viral illnesses generally get better after five to seven days. Symptoms that persist more than 10 days or worsen usually suggest a bacterial illness.  

Antibiotics must be used wisely to preserve their strength for future bacterial illnesses. Unfortunately, bacteria are getting smarter. Some bacteria are becoming resistant to first-line antibiotics, but we often do not know that until a child fails to get better on the initial antibiotic. In these instances, a second antibiotic may also be needed.

Long-term overuse of antibiotics results in antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  These bacteria are much stronger and harder to kill. They can cause severe illnesses that may require stronger treatments and even hospitalizations.  

When your child is sick, parents and physicians want to do everything they can to help them feel better as quickly as possible, but antibiotics are not always the answer. Supportive care with over-the-counter medications that target your child’s specific symptoms may be most helpful. Pain relievers, fever reducers, warm compresses, liquids, humidifiers and plenty of rest can all help your child feel better.

And a dose of simple advice goes a long way. Make sure your children wash their hands frequently, stay up to date on immunizations, and keep them home from school when they are sick.  
Lexington Pediatric Practice has board-certified physicians, caring nurses and staff members who are focused on providing the best care possible for your child. The staff puts your child’s care as the top priority with kid-friendly labs, vaccines and treatments at two convenient locations in Lexington and West Columbia.

811 West Main Street, Suite 204
Lexington, SC 29072

3240 Sunset Boulevard
West Columbia, SC 29169

(803) 359-8855