SF clinic adds free health test

New test can help detect blockages in the deep veins

Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 2:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 2:19 p.m.

Santa Fe College's cardiovascular technology program is adding a new test to its free testing program this term.

The cardiovascular tech program has offered free carotid artery and heart ultrasound tests, administered by cardiovascular tech students in preparation for clinical rotations, for the last eight years.

Beginning this month, people can also undergo arterial brachial index tests, which can detect deep vein thrombosis, said cardiovascular technician and lab manager Jennifer Weeks.

Although Weeks said DVTs — blockages in the deep veins of the body, usually the legs — are more common among people over 50 years old, younger people could benefit from testing as well.

"It's not uncommon," she said. "Anybody can get DVTs, like if they're on a long flight on an airplane, or sitting for a really long time."

CVT students will place blood pressure cuffs on patients' legs to check for blockages.

In carotid artery and heart ultrasounds, high frequency sound waves create images of the inside of arteries and heart valves. Both tests are painless.

The CVT clinic doesn't provide diagnoses, but if a patient has abnormal results, the student techs will recommend patients visit a doctor.

"We have definitely found patients with problems with their heart valves, blocked carotid arteries, and we'll probably find some patients with blockages in their legs," Weeks said.

The CVT clinic is free and open to anyone 18 years or older, by appointment only, on Jan. 24 and 31; Feb. 7, 21 and 28; March 14 and 28, and April 11 and 25.

To schedule an appointment and for more information, contact Jennifer Weeks at 352-395-5972 or send an email to jennifer.weeks@sfcollege.edu.

Erin Jester is a Gainesville Sun staff writer.

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