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    Give Up Your Salt Habit with These Flavor Substitutes

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Cutting down on your sodium intake can reduce the risk that you will end up in the emergency room because of complications from heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Instead, try adding fresh and dried herbs, which can give your dishes a flavor boost without adding any salt. Use fresh cilantro, parsley and basil in soups, casseroles, and vegetable dishes. Oregano and thyme tend to have a more intense flavor when they are dried. Try making homemade spaghetti sauce to avoid the sodium in premade sauces, and shake some dried oregano and thyme on the dish for flavor.

    For more helpful tips on preparing foods for a low-sodium diet, watch this video. This cooking expert explains the versatility of vinegar and lemon juice for meat and vegetable dishes, and recommends using chili peppers to add a kick to your food.

    You can learn more about safeguarding your heart health by working with the team at Largo Medical Center. Residents of Largo, FL can call us at (727) 470-6826 and ask us about our heart health seminars, bariatric weight loss procedures and robotic surgery techniques.

    What to Expect from Your First Mammogram

    Last updated 4 years ago

    There are few preventative tests more important to women’s health than mammograms. However, many women put off getting their first mammogram because they are concerned about what to expect. Don’t avoid this life-saving test because the process is a mystery. The experts at the Florida Breast Institute at Largo Medical Center are always available to discuss your questions and concerns before, during, and after a mammogram. Here is a glimpse of what to expect at your first appointment.

    Change into a Comfortable Spa-like Robe

    When you arrive for a mammogram, you will be asked to remove your top and bra and to change into a comfortable spa-like robe. Since you have to be undressed from the waist up, many women make it a point to wear pants or a skirt on the days they are having mammograms, instead of a dress that needs to be completely removed. The hospital will work hard to protect your privacy during the mammogram. Only a technician will be in the room with you.

    Complete the X-Rays

    For the X-rays themselves, a technician will place one of your breasts on a metal plate. Then, the breast is gently compressed and an image is taken. The technologist may take a few images from different angles and then repeat the process on the other breast. The compression itself isn’t usually painful but may cause some discomfort. It only lasts for a few seconds. Some women find that it is best to avoid scheduling mammograms to coincide with periods, since breasts can be especially tender at that time.

    Receive Your Results

    You should receive your results in less than 30 days, and in most cases much sooner. If you are asked to come back for a follow-up, it generally means that an image is blurry or that your doctor needs a closer look at a specific region. Only two to four mammograms out of 1,000 show breast cancer.

    Largo Medical Center’s Florida Breast Institute is committed to making mammograms positive, comfortable experiences for our patients. Schedule your first mammogram at our Pinellas County hospital by calling (727) 470-6826. At Largo Medical Center, you will also find an emergency room, a bariatric surgery center, a robotic surgery team, and much more.

    Understanding Mini Strokes

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), also known as mini strokes, cause the same symptoms as other types of strokes, but resolve within a few minutes to a few hours. They are typically caused by blood clots.

    Watch this video to see what a mini stroke looks like. Although the symptoms may clear on their own, TIAs should be taken as seriously as major strokes and can cause the same kind of damage. Warning signs of a mini stroke include dizziness, confusion, and slurred speech.

    The Stroke Center at Largo Medical Center has been certified as an Advanced Certified Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, which means we deliver the highest quality of care possible to stroke victims. Learn more about the services at our Largo, FL hospital by calling Largo Medical Center at (727) 470-6826.

    Signs You Need ER Care

    Last updated 4 years ago

    When should you seek care in the emergency room? Some medical emergencies are very obvious, but less drastic symptoms may have you wondering if you actually need ER treatment. The first rule of seeking ER care is that if you are ever in doubt, you should always come down on the side of caution and go. If you experience any of the following symptoms, make sure you get to the emergency room, stat.

    Chest Pain

    Having chest pain doesn’t always mean you are having a heart attack, but fast treatment is so important to good outcomes after a heart attack that you should never delay seeking care for this symptom. At the emergency room, a doctor can test your heart function and determine if a heart attack or something less severe, like indigestion, is causing your chest pain. If you go in thinking that you’re in heart crisis and find out the real culprit is the spicy meal you had earlier, don’t feel sorry that you sought emergency care—and definitely don’t let that experience stop you from going to the emergency room again if you have chest pain in the future.

    Slurred Speech

    If your speech begins to slur, or if you feel like you’re having a difficult time getting your words out, get to an emergency room right away. This symptom could mean that you’re having a stroke. Don’t brush the problem under the rug if your slurred speech corrects itself. You could have had a mini-stroke, which could be a precursor for a bigger stroke down the line.

    Severe Bleeding

    Everyone experiences bleeding now and then from minor injuries, but bleeding that lasts for more than 10 to 20 minutes is definitely a reason to go to the emergency room. Don’t wait that long if you can see muscle through your injury or if you have an injury that impedes movement. Instead, go immediately.

    The emergency room at Largo Medical Center is ready to help you face all of your medical emergencies. You can find out our current average ER wait times by visiting our website or by calling Largo Medical Center at (727) 470-6826.

    How We Can Help in a Behavioral Health Emergency

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Not all medical emergencies are physical in nature. Behavioral health issues can and do also require emergency treatment. At Largo Medical Center, we can provide immediate access to behavioral health treatments in our seven-bed behavioral health ER. Our experienced staff can treat a wide range of behavioral health issues.

    In our behavioral health emergency room, we offer private, secure rooms for the evaluation of behavioral health issues. Based on these assessments, patients can either be referred to outpatient care or admitted to the in-patient behavioral health unit in our hospital. Some symptoms that may require emergency care in the behavioral health ER include depression, anxiety, psychosis, and thoughts of suicide or harming others.

    At Largo Medical Center, our fully-equipped emergency room can provide care for a wide range of medical emergencies. Learn more about our services and ER wait times by calling (727) 470-6826.


Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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