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Spotlight On: Cardiovascular Ultrasound and Its Vital Role at Gunnison Valley Health

When it comes to heart health, early detection and prevention are paramount. That’s where Cardiopulmonary Services step in, with a team dedicated to safeguarding your cardiovascular well-being. Let’s shine a spotlight on Stetson Lusk, our Supervisor of Cardiovascular Ultrasound, and Meghan Smith, a Cardiovascular sonographer. They are offering essential stress testing services that can be lifesaving.

Understanding the Significance of Stress Tests

Stress tests are a cornerstone of cardiovascular diagnostics. They provide crucial insights into how your heart responds to physical exertion. Stetson Lusk and Meghan Smith are experts in this field, specializing in two primary types of stress tests: stress echocardiogram and generic stress treadmill tests. 

Stress Echocardiogram vs Stress Treadmill: What’s the Difference? 

Stress Echocardiogram: This test combines ultrasound imaging, echocardiogram with exercise tests. Meghan Smith and Stetson Lusk, uses ultrasound technology to capture real-time images of your heart as it works harder during exercise. These images reveal not only the electrical activity of your heart but also its structure and function. This comprehensive view helps in the early detection of heart issues, making it an invaluable tool.

Stress Treadmill Test: Led by Stetson Lusk and Meghan Smith, with medical oversight, this procedure primarily focuses on monitoring your heart’s electrical activity through an electrocardiogram (EKG) while you walk or run on a treadmill. It evaluates heart rate, rhythm, and blood pressure during exercise, providing a swift and effective means to assess cardiovascular fitness and identify heart function irregularities. Additionally, the test also includes monitoring oxygen levels and checking for arrhythmia or ischemia post-cardiac events to ensure comprehensive heart health evaluation.

Why are these Tests Important?

Both tests serve a critical preventive purpose.

Early detection - Stress tests can uncover hidden signs of the heart condition before symptoms arise. Identifying the issue early allows for timely intervention and prevention of more serious heart problems.

Tailored treatment: The insight from these tests gives healthcare providers the information they need to create personalized treatment plans guiding lifestyle changes or medical inventions as needed.

Risk assessments: Stress tests help assess an individual’s risk of heart disease, especially if there’s a family history or other risk factors at play. Knowing your risk allows for proactive health management.

Time Matters: Electrocardiogram vs Stress Test

It’s worth noting that while an electrocardiogram (EKG) is a relatively quick exam, taking around 5 minutes, a stress test can take up to an hour and a half to complete. The longer duration allows for more comprehensive evaluation of your heart’s performance under stress, making it a valuable tool for those with underlying heart conditions. 

The Gunnison Valley Health Cardiopulmonary Services department, led by Stetson Lusk and Meghan Smith, plays a vital role in preserving heart health through stress testing. These tests, whether using echocardiograms or treadmill assessments, are pivotal in early detection, personalized treatment and risk assessment. Remember, early action is often the key, and the expertise of these healthcare providers is your guiding light.