WAILUKU - A free screening for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) held last month was a wake-up call for more than a fourth of the 135 attendees.
Individuals with PAD are at greater risk for heart attack, stroke and loss of limbs - and most have no symptoms.
All of those who went to the screening at Maui Memorial Medical Center wanted to take proactive measures, event organizers said.
Maui Community College nursing students Autumn Trammell (left) and Tina Samorano do blood pressure tests on Stanley Pacheco Sr. as part of the PAD screening.
Attendee Stanley Pacheco Sr. said he "had never even heard of PAD."
"My daughter heard about this free screening event on the radio and told me to come in," he recounted. The screening "identified that I had several risk factors for PAD. I sought further medical attention, and it was determined that I was showing signs and symptoms of a possible stroke in the earliest stages.
"Thankfully, a major stroke was prevented, and I am now being treated," Pacheco said. "I am so glad that I took the time to take care of my health."
The public offer received support from the Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation as part of the nonprofit's community outreach efforts. The Aug. 29 screening involved hospital staff, including from the Heart, Brain and Vascular Department, with help from 24 Maui Community College nursing students.
Thirty-seven people tested positive and will be monitored by their physicians.
"We typically encourage patients to get screened for PAD starting at age 50; however, age varies depending on major risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and a family history of heart disease and stroke," said Dr. Richard Cochran, cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at the Heart, Brain and Vascular Center.
"This recent PAD screening is an important service for the community, further showing commitment by your community hospital and the MMMC Foundation to enhance the quality of health care here on Maui."
For more information on PAD, visit www.AmericanHeart.org.