Hospital to host free cholesterol screenings

Published 11:58 am Friday, February 19, 2010

Free cholesterol screenings will be offered to the public at Chilton Medical Center on Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m.

The screenings will be held in the cafeteria breezeway, or the hallway that leads into the cafeteria.

Hospital staff will gather contact information from each attendee. Then, a nurse will draw blood and the CMC lab will perform a lipid profile of each patient. Participants will be contacted with the results of their screening, most likely within 24 hours.

“This is a community service we’re providing,” CMC Lab Director Beth Thomas said. “That way, people can get an idea of what their cholesterol count is as far as good cholesterol versus bad cholesterol, and they can start to improve their health habits.”

The American Heart Association informs that cholesterol and other fats cannot dissolve in blood. In order to travel to cells, they use carriers called lipoproteins.

“Bad cholesterol” is a common name given to low-density lipoprotein, or LDL. “Good cholesterol,” on the other hand, is high-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL cholesterol is good because it carries harmful cholesterol away from arteries, lowering one’s risk of heart attack and stroke.

Too much bad cholesterol, however, can build up in arteries, thereby reducing blood flow and increasing the risk of a blood clot.

Thomas encourages all members of the public to take advantage of the screening.

Vanessa McKinney, Senior Connection Director at CMC, will contact each patient with the results. Or, participants may contact McKinney at 280-3346.