September 27, 2005


CONTACT:
Susanne Hartman
(215) 349-5964
susanne.hartman@uphs.upenn.edu

 

Penn Interventional Radiologists Offer Free Screening to Philadelphia’s “First Responders” for Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) on October 6th

(Philadelphia, PA) - Walking the beat… chasing the bad guy… standing guard… police officers spend countless hours on their feet - to do their jobs. But what if a disease was attacking their legs - a disease they weren’t even aware they had?

Interventional radiologists at the University of Pennsylvania Health System will be looking for it, by offering free screening for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) to local police officers and their spouses the morning of October 6th. Then, starting in the noon hour, screening will be available to the general public.

Experts say early detection of PAD is the key to saving lives! It can provide advance warning of heart attacks and strokes. PAD is caused by blocked blood flow in the arteries of the legs, arms, kidneys, brain and elsewhere. It can cause pain or swelling, difficulty walking, numbness and skin discoloration. Although 10 million Americans have PAD, diabetics are at highest risk with one in three over the age of 50 affected.

Many patients suffering from PAD ignore or cannot feel the classic warning signs of it - leg pain. According to the Society of Interventional Radiology, if undetected, peripheral arterial disease can lead to amputation and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

“We’re excited to offer this screening this year for our police officers… many of whom spend much of their working hours on their feet. If you suffer from venous disease (varicose veins), standing for a long time exacerbates the problem and can cause a lot of pain and affect your ability to work,” said interventional radiologist Jeffrey Solomon, MD, who is also Director of the University of Pennsylvania Health System’s Legs for Life program. “We want to identify those who suffer from PAD and other health concerns so that we can give them relief and utilize the early detection as a possible marker for cardiac disease or stroke. Often, the first presentation of coronary artery disease appears in the legs.”

Free Screening to Public:

WHAT: UPHS Interventional Radiologists and other specialists will screen “First Responders” and members of the public for Peripheral Arterial Disease as well as Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, Carotid Disease and Venous Disease.
WHO:

Jeffrey Solomon, MD, Director of UPHS Legs for Life program
Catherine Tuite, MD, Co-Coordinator of UPHS Legs for Life program

UPHS Interventional Radiology Section:
-Scott Trerotola, MD, Chief
-Michael Soulen, MD
-Richard Shlansky-Goldberg, MD
-S. William Stavropolous, MD
-Jeffrey Mondschein, MD
-Aalpen Patel, MD
-Fayez Barodawala, MD
-Max Itkin, MD
-Andrew Kwak, MD

WHY: The Division of Interventional Radiology at UPHS, in conjunction with the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR), annually sponsors “Legs for Life” - a public education and community wellness program to help identify those who may be at risk for PAD.
WHEN: Thursday, October 6, 2005
--Screening for police officers & their spouses: 9AM - 12PM
--Screening for general public: 12:30PM - 4PM
WHERE: Fraternal Order of Police Convention Hall
1336 Spring Garden St (between N. Broad & N. 13th Sts)
Philadelphia, PA 19123
**Parking will be available on the street on Spring Garden**

NOTE: Those who wish to be screened MUST call (215) 615-4135 in advance to schedule a screening appointment.

More Facts About PAD:
It’s a common circulation problem in which the arteries that carry blood to the legs or arms become narrowed or clogged. It’s also referred to as "hardening of the arteries." This interferes with the normal flow of blood, sometimes causing pain but often causing no symptoms at all. It affects about 1 in 20 people over the age of 50. Many people dismiss these signs as "a normal part of aging" and don't seek medical help. The most common symptom is painful cramping in the leg or hip, particularly when walking.

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This release is available online at http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/sep05/PADscreen.htm