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    Supporting a Friend Through Cancer Treatment

    Last updated 22 days ago

    When your friend is receiving cancer care, you may feel unsure of how to help him or her. Know that every person undergoing cancer treatment is different, and has unique needs and preferences. Your friend may need a sympathetic ear, or he or she may need a distraction from cancer treatments. Encourage your friend to make future plans with you to go out to the movies or enjoy other activities. However, understand that your friend may need to reschedule at the last minute if he or she is feeling poorly that day.

    Individuals who are undergoing cancer treatment often require a great deal of practical help, in addition to emotional support. Let your friend know that you are willing to help him or her with transportation to oncology appointments, trips to the pharmacy, and other errands. Your friend may also need help around the house if he or she feels unable to cook or clean, and your friend may welcome an offer to babysit the kids, if applicable. Assisting your friend with these needs will greatly ease the burden for him or her, and it will help your friend focus on feeling well again.

    The Cancer Care program at Blake Medical Center of Bradenton, FL, offers extensive support services, including our Caring Friends Support Group, screenings, and other events. To learn more about our oncology services, call (888) 767-5071.

    Recognizing Symptoms of Stroke In Women

    Last updated 29 days ago

    A stroke can happen to anyone, even someone who appears to be in good overall health. Unfortunately, many women fail to recognize the signs of stroke and delay going to the emergency room. If you think you could be suffering a stroke, it’s critical to get to the emergency room as soon as possible because doctors have more treatment options available if stroke is treated in a certain window of time. If treatment is started within the first three hours of stroke symptoms, an improved outcome is possible. Women often experience the same symptoms of stroke as do men; however, they may also report other, more unusual symptoms.  Use the acronym FAST to remember the warning signs.  Face – ask the person to smile to see if one side of the face drops. Arms – ask the person to raise both arms and see if one drifts downward.  Speech – ask the person to repeat a simple phrase to see if their speech is slurred.  Time – If you observe any of these, call 9-1-1 immediately.

    Impairment of Physical Functions

    The symptoms of a stroke tend to develop swiftly. You may notice that your basic physical functions have become impaired, such as your ability to walk properly. A stroke often causes numbness or weakness, particularly on one side of the body. It can result in the loss of coordination, loss of balance, and vision impairment. If any of these symptoms occur, call for emergency transportation to the nearest hospital.

    Impairment of Cognitive Functions

    It’s common for victims of stroke to experience impairment of cognitive function. You may become confused. When you speak, your words are likely to be slurred. If other people talk to you, you may have trouble understanding them.

    Onset of Other Abrupt Symptoms

    In addition to the classic symptoms of physical and cognitive impairment, women may report additional symptoms. You should go to the emergency room if you experience sudden chest pain, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. A stroke may also cause abrupt limb or facial pain, nausea, and general weakness. Some women have even reported experiencing a sudden episode of hiccups.

    The Stroke Program at Blake Medical Center has been certified as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center, which means it provides the highest quality of care and adheres to strict national standards. When you arrive at our emergency room with symptoms of stroke, you’ll receive prompt diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. Residents of Bradenton, FL, and throughout Manatee County are welcome to call us at (888) 767-5071 with questions about our stroke program and emergency room response.

    ER or First Aid? What to Do for a Medical Emergency

    Last updated 1 month ago

    Accidents can happen at any time, and they may sometimes need more care than a simple bandage or ice pack. Some accidents create minor cuts or injuries, while others can result in severe bleeding or broken bones that should be treated at an emergency room. In this infographic from Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, Florida, you’ll find out when you should definitely go to the emergency room. Any symptoms of a heart attack or stroke should be taken seriously, and require immediate medical attention. Minor cuts, bruises, burns, and sprains can often be treated at home with a simple first-aid kit. If you’re not sure if you have a medical emergency on your hands, play it safe and call 9-1-1. Please share this infographic with your friends and family, and stay safe!

    Tips for Effectively Communicating with Your Doctor

    Last updated 1 month ago

    When you visit an emergency room or your primary care physician at the hospital, it’s important to be your own advocate for your well-being. Facilitate clear communication with your doctor by writing down a list of your questions in advance. Additionally, write down a list of all the medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements. At your appointment, tell your doctor exactly how you’re feeling and ask for clarification whenever needed. You may also request written instructions from your doctor.  Make sure you go over your medication side-effects with your doctor and completely understand them.

    For more helpful tips on communicating with your doctor, watch this video. This healthcare expert explains why you should repeat information given to you by your doctor and what you should do at the end of each hospital visit.

    Blake Medical Center is a full-service hospital that proudly provides exceptional healthcare services to residents throughout Manatee County. For general information about the services available at our hospital, call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (888) 767-5071.

    An Overview of Coronary Heart Disease

    Last updated 1 month ago

    Coronary heart disease (CHD), also known as coronary artery disease (CAD), is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the U.S. If you have CHD, you are at a greater risk of ending up in the emergency room because of a heart attack. While CHD is a serious condition, you can learn to live well with the condition by exploring the resources available at your local hospital and heeding your doctor’s advice.

    Causes and Risk Factors

    CHD occurs when the interior of the coronary arteries sustains damage and begins to develop an accumulation of fatty plaques. The coronary arteries become hardened and narrowed, reducing blood flow to the heart. Certain risk factors can encourage this process, such as the use of tobacco and the inflammation of the blood vessels. You are also at a higher risk of CHD if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and poorly controlled blood sugar levels.


    Often, CHD does not cause symptoms in its early stages. As the condition progresses, you may experience angina, or chest pain. Angina typically worsens with activity and strong emotions. You may also feel fatigue, shortness of breath, and general weakness.

    Treatment Options

    If you have been diagnosed with CHD, you talk to your physician about your treatment options. The goals of your treatment are generally to resolve underlying conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. You may need to take medications to improve your condition and reduce your risk of complications such as a heart attack. Some individuals may require surgery, such as coronary artery bypass grafting, which facilitates normal blood flow. Your doctor will review important lifestyle changes with you, such as becoming physically active, quitting smoking, and following a low-sodium, low-fat diet.  

    The Heart Institute at Blake Medical Center is committed to providing exceptional patient care by combining state-of-the-art technology with a personalized, patient-centered approach. Take a look at our website to view the services offered by our hospital in Bradenton, FL, including cardiac surgery, cardiac rehabilitation, mitral valve repair, and Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). Residents throughout Manatee County can also call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (888) 767-5071 for general information about our hospital.


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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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