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Heart Disease: Communicating with Several Providers

If you are like most people with heart disease, you have several healthcare providers who each treat you for a different health issue.

When a team of healthcare providers cares for you, it's important to keep each one up-to-date on your overall health. Doing so helps them understand the "big picture" of your treatment, while preventing medicine interactions.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • Tell your healthcare providers the names and specialties of all your other healthcare providers. Although your health problems may not seem related, medical conditions can affect each other. Tell your providers about other medical appointments and what your treatment plans involve. Include any changes in medicines or dosage prescribed or if you have side effects. Ask each healthcare provider to send a copy of each visit note to your other providers. Most healthcare providers' offices can easily accomplish this on the same day.

  • Share your list of medicines. A medication wallet card is handy for listing all your medicines, including dosage and other instructions. Ask your healthcare providers to review your list at each visit. Whenever you start taking a new medicine, tell the provider the names of all other medicines you take. Include over-the-counter products and herbal supplements. Your pharmacist is an important resource, too. It's best to use one pharmacy so that the pharmacist can alert you to possible medication interactions. It's important to keep track of the most current list of medicines.

  • Keep yourself informed. Learn about your health issues and the medicines you take. Ask your local librarian for help or use the Internet to do research. Ask your healthcare providers for copies of letters they write to other providers about your care.

 

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How Much Do You Know About Stroke?

Stroke is a leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability, according to the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Stroke Association (ASA). The ASA reports that strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. Find out more about stroke by taking this quiz, based on information from the AHA and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

1. What is another name for a stroke?
2. An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel to the brain.
3. Which of these is a symptom of stroke?
4. Which of these lifestyle factors plays the biggest role in increasing the risk for stroke in younger adults?
5. If a person has an ischemic stroke, how quickly should the person be treated to minimize long-term problems?
6. Which type of medicine is given to help prevent a stroke?
7. Which of these may be a long-term problem after a stroke?
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