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PADnet Service: Connecting Local Community Care Sites with PAD Testing Technology

February 24, 2009

In a tremendous effort to connect local community care sites with the latest Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) technology, St. Vincent Healthcare is announcing PADnet Screening at physician clinics across Billings, Eastern Montana and Northern Wyoming. This noninvasive vascular screening technology keeps patients in their communities while connecting them with vascular experts located miles away.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) occurs when there is a build up of cholesterol and plaque in the arteries of the lower extremities, causing decreased blood flow to the legs and feet. It affects about 1 in 20 people over the age of 50, or 10 million people in the U.S. More than half the people with PAD experience leg discomfort, numbness or other symptoms – but many people dismiss these signs as “a normal part of aging” and don’t seek medical help.

After examination, physicians can now order a simple test called PADnet. PADnet is a 15-20 minute screening test of segmental blood pressures in your arms and legs, called the ABI, or ankle brachial index. It also measures blood volume in the legs using pressure cuffs (Pulse Volume Recordings or PVR’s) and blood pressures in the toe (toe brachial index or TBI). PADnet™ communicates results immediately via a web interface to specialists for interpretation; these measurements provide practitioners with a clear, measurable sign of what is happening in a patient’s lower extremity arterial system.

Understanding and managing PAD is a process that requires specially trained medical practitioners, who often use special testing equipment to help determine the cause of the symptoms and the best treatment options from medications, interventional options and surgical options.

“Usually, patients will go to their doctor when they experience episodes of leg pain, cramping, or other signs of leg discomfort,” said Dr. Tim Dernbach, a Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon at St. Vincent Healthcare. “The physician normally refers the patient to a hospital vascular lab that specializes in the evaluation and management of arterial leg pain. But with this new technology, our primary care physicians and other sites across Eastern Montana and Northern Wyoming can now provide a baseline test in their office and still get immediate feedback from specialists.”

Currently – PADnet Screening is available at three Billings locations as well as Laurel, MT, Plentywood, MT and Worland, WY, and the list is growing.

To learn more about PAD talk with your primary care physician, or call the St. Vincent Healthcare Nurse Advisor at 406-657-8778 or 1-800-762-8778 for general health information or a physician referral.

For additional information log onto: www.biomedix.com or www.aboutpad.org.