From the Parish Nurse

Filter By:

Traveling Tips

Are you starting to plan those summer vacations? Whether you travel by car, bus, or plane for 4 or more hours you are at risk of developing a DVT (deep vein thrombosis). A DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a large vein. A DVT can be caused by sitting for a long time, potentially creating damage and slow blood flow in the veins of your legs.

The following are recommendations from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) for preventing a DVT: Get up occasionally and walk around.

  • Select an aisle seat when possible so you can walk around every 2-3 hours.
  • If traveling by car, include breaks in your travel schedule to stretch and walk around.

Exercise your calf muscles and stretch your legs while you're sitting.

Try these exercises next time you travel:

  • Raise and lower your heels while keeping your toes on the floor.
  • Raise and lower your toes while keeping your heels on the floor.
  • Tighten and release your leg muscles.

If you are a long-distance traveler with additional factors that increase your chance of developing a DVT, talk to your doctor about taking extra precautions, such as

  • Wearing properly fitted medical compression stockings and
  • Taking medication before you travel to prevent blood clots.
Posted by Tammie Payne with
in Health

February is Heart Month!

February is Heart Month!

Know the Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack A heart attack happens when the blood supply to the heart is cut off. Cells in the heart muscle that do not receive enough oxygen-carrying blood begin to die. The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart.

Every year about 790,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 580,000 are a first heart attack and 210,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack. About 15% of people who have a heart attack will die from it. Almost half of sudden cardiac deaths happen outside a hospital. Having high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol, smoking, having had a previous heart attack or stroke, or having diabetes can increase your chance of developing heart disease and having a heart attack.

It is important to recognize the signs of a heart attack and to act immediately by calling 911. A person’s chance of surviving a heart attack increases if emergency treatment is administered as soon as possible.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

The National Heart Attack Alert Program notes these major signs of a heart attack:

  • Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath. Often comes along with chest discomfort. But it also can occur before chest discomfort.
  • Other symptoms. May include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.

If you think that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, you should call 911 immediately. (

Posted by Tammie Payne with