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Prevention and Education

Childhood Friends Fight Heart Disease Together

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Knowing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack or stroke can mean the difference between a full recovery and long term disability. When you recognize the signs you should act promptly and seek medical attention by calling 911. Tell them you are having symptoms of a heart attack or stroke.


Call 9-1-1.

It may save your life or the life of your loved one.


  • Discomfort in the chest that can feel like squeezing, pressure, fullness or pain.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness or breaking out in a cold sweat.


Women are somewhat more likely to experience the following symptoms with or without chest discomfort, and often during exertion:

  • Unexplained fatigue
  • A feeling of anxiety, panic or doom


  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Symptoms

  • Leg or hip pain during walking that stops at rest.
  • Numbness, tingling or weakness in the legs.
  • Burning or aching pain in feet or toes at rest.
  • Sore on leg or foot that will not heal.
  • Cold legs or feet.
  • Color change in skin of legs or feet.
  • Loss of hair on legs.

EMS Facts

Emergency Medical Services – Know the facts.

Across the United States, approximately one-half of all heart attack victims will die before they seek medical attention.

In our community:

  • Emergency medical services (EMS) are under-utilized in persons experiencing symptoms of a heart attack.
  • Only 38% of all heart attack victims called an ambulance in 2010.
  • Life-saving care begins as soon as the paramedics arrive on scene.
  • Calling 9-1-1 usually saves 20 to 30 minutes of precious time needed to save your heart muscle.
  • With stroke, 1.9 million brain cells die per minute, so by calling EMS, faster treatment is guaranteed.
  • There is no charge if EMS arrives at your home and upon assessment confirms no need for transport or treatment.
  • Area Ambulance has a financial aid program. This program will assist individuals who are uninsured or under-insured.

Health Tools

Mercy is your resource for learning how to make a healthy lifestyle attainable. Check out the information available here by clicking on each topic highlighted for details.



Mercy offers the Heart2Heart screening that takes about one hour and includes complete cholesterol and glucose screening; Body Mass Index (BMI) assessment, one-on-one consultation to review your results, personalized tips for a heart-healthy lifestyle, referral for follow-up if needed and a print-out of your results.

For more information
(319) 213-1573

To schedule
(319) 861-7778

VascULearn (Vascular) Screening

Early detection of heart conditions and screenings for stroke can save your life.  That's why Mercy offers tests for:

  • Carotid
  • Aortic
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

Tests are offered each Tuesday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Mercy Imaging Center, Mercy Health Plaza on Council Street.  In addition to receiving your test results within days, Mercy's staff will provide education during your screening session on avoiding cardiovascular or cerebrovascular issues, PAD, diabetes and develop proper solutions with your diet and exercise. After receiving results, Mercy's staff will be available to help you interpret them and customize a plan for you. Learn more here.

Only $37.50 for Carotid; $37.50 for Aortic; with purchase of either or both screenings you receive a FREE PAD screening. 

To Schedule
Physician referral required. Contact Mercy's Centralized Scheduling at (319) 861-7778.

CT Calcium Exam

Mercy offers a CT Calcium Scoring Test to predict your risk for coronary heart disease. It's quick, non-invasive and detects calcium in the arteries leading to the heart, indicating that atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) has begun. If you have risk factors for coronary heart disease (family history, or if you smoke, have high blood pressure or other indicators), this is a great preventative step for your overall health.

The test costs $99.

To Schedule
Test must be ordered by your doctor by calling Centralized Scheduling at (319) 861-7778.

FREE Blood Pressure Check

1st Friday of each month, 8 to 10 a.m.

Lindale Mall Food Court

Other Services

Speakers Bureau

Mercy Speakers Bureau is a source of information and education on health-related issues. The Bureau provides speakers to groups, clubs, businesses, schools and organizations. Presentations are usually 20-30 minutes long, with additional time for questions. Arrangements should be made at least four weeks in advance. Topics we address include heart disease, women and heart disease, prevention, cardiac pulmonary rehab, congestive heart failure, heart arrhythmias, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, knowing your numbers (cholesterol, blood pressure), diabetes, asthma, COPD and smoking cessation topics.

To arrange for a Speaker fill out a request form or call (319) 221-8674.