Tag Archives: heart health

Under Pressure: Why High Blood Pressure Matters

Today marks the first day of American Heart Month. This year, Lexington Medical Center is focusing on high blood pressure. At least one in three South Carolinians has high blood pressure – and some don’t even know. In this WLTX interview, physician assistant Brittany Chestnut of Sandhills Family Medicine, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, talks about why knowing your blood pressure numbers is so important.

~Systolic is the top number of your blood pressure reading. That refers to the amount of pressure pushed against the arteries when the heart is pushing out blood during a heartbeat.

~Diastolic is the bottom number that measures pressure between heartbeats.

~Ideal blood pressure is under 120/80.

~It’s important for patients to monitor their blood pressure at home with an accurate cuff, decrease sodium and caffeine intake, exercise and maintain a healthy weight.

~In the long-term, high blood pressure causes arteries to become rigid and damaged. Over time, that impacts every artery and vessel in the body, which can impact every organ system.

~High blood pressure complications can include heart attacks, strokes, vision loss and even sexual dysfunction.

To take a high blood pressure quiz, visit LexMed.com/Know.

Monitor Your Heart with Your Smartphone

From taking photos to surfing the Internet, we use our smartphones for a variety of reasons. And now, doctors at Lexington Medical Center are adding one more reason: monitoring heart rhythms.

Lexington Medical Center is the first hospital in South Carolina to implant an insertable cardiac monitor that’s smartphone-compatible. Called the Abbott Confirm Rx™ , it’s designed to help doctors detect cardiac arrhythmias, including irregular heartbeats and atrial fibrillation.

Learn about it and how it helped a Midlands college professor recently in this WIS Health U report.


Doctors implant the monitor under the skin in the chest during a minimally invasive outpatient procedure. The device continuously monitors the heart for abnormal rhythms and connects to the patient’s smartphone to record real-time episodes of irregular heartbeats. Bluetooth® wireless technology allows patients to track their symptoms and share their results with their provider instantly using a mobile app. Physicians can remotely monitor their patients’ heart rhythm and accurately diagnose arrhythmias that may require further treatment.

“Using smartphones to send transmissions and communicate with physicians gives patients piece of mind if they feel worried. This technology allows patients to be mobile and live a normal life, knowing they are still being monitored,” said Amy Rawl Epps, MD, FACC, at Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm that develops when disease or injury disrupts the heart’s electrical signals. As the heart begins to beat too fast or too slow, patients experience symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath or fainting.

While doctors use several methods to monitor heart rhythms, Confirm Rx is the first and only one that’s smartphone-compatible. And, it provides constant monitoring without needing extra equipment.

“This type of ‘telemedicine’ is a shift in the direction of overall patient care and gives patients some sense of control in their own health,” said Dr. Epps.

Stay Calm and Go Gamecocks!

It’s Homecoming Weekend at the University of South Carolina! At Lexington Medical Center, we know that staying calm is one way to prevent heart disease. Before you watch the football game this weekend, watch this video and download a free “color me stress free” color sheet at LexMed.com/Know.

At our hospital, we want you to “Just Say Know” to heart disease.

Go Gamecocks! Beat Vandy!