Northwest Medical Center
At Northwest Medical Center, we treat the most important health concerns - yours. We provide healthcare services designed to meet your needs at every stage of your life.

Comforting Your Child During a Visit to the Pediatric ER

Taking your child to the emergency room can be a nerve-wracking experience for any parent, but it can also be upsetting for the child. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to put your child’s mind at ease and make the experience a better one. Here are some ways to make your child’s visit to the pediatric ER as easy and non-stressful as possible.

Give your child something to do. Children generally feel better about trips to the ER when they have something to amuse themselves with. It’s a good idea to bring along a book, a toy, a puzzle, a coloring book, or something else that your child can use to keep from getting bored or anxious during the trip. Your child may even want to bring a blanket or a favorite stuffed animal to cuddle.

Talk about something else. Getting your child to think about something unrelated to the reason for your visit may help to release any anxiety he or she is feeling. Talk about a fun trip you’re planning to take, tell a funny story, or ask your child about something he or she is doing in school.

Be communicative with your child. Be sure that you tell your child what is happening while you are at the ER, whether you are in the waiting room or preparing to have an X-ray taken. Explain why you are there, and reassure your child that everybody he or she is meeting is here to help.

Don’t forget to stay positive. Your own attitude has an influence on your child—if you seem distraught or worried, your child will pick up on it and may become upset. To avoid making your child feel anxious, stay calm and positive during your visit to the ER.

Northwest Medical Center’s Pediatric ER in Margate, FL, has been voted the best local pediatric emergency room four years in a row. Our pediatricians are on hand 24 hour a day, seven days a week, to provide your children with the high-quality medical care they deserve. If you have any non-emergent questions, call us today at (954) 974-0400.

Why You Should Schedule a Cardiovascular Checkup

As central as your heart’s health is to your overall health and wellness, it’s easy to forget how important it is to have it checked from time to time. These are some of the reasons a routine cardiovascular checkup can be beneficial to you. Call The Heart and Vascular Institute at Northwest Medical Center to schedule a cardiovascular checkup.

Reducing your risk of heart disease. Every year, more than 600,000 Americans die of complications related to heart disease, making it the leading cause of death in the United States. Men, people who are older than 60, and people with a family history of heart problems are most at risk for heart disease, but it can happen to anybody. An annual checkup will allow you to detect any risk factors in your life, such as obesity or high cholesterol, so that you can take action to protect your heart health.

Checking your blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure is one of the most serious risk factors for heart disease, so it’s essential that you catch it as early as possible. If you already have high blood pressure, you should have it checked every year or even more frequently, depending on what your physician advises. If you have high blood pressure, it may be controlled through medication or lifestyle changes such as regular exercise or reducing the amount of sodium in your diet.

Checking your cholesterol level. It’s essential to keep watch on your cholesterol level in order to maintain a healthy heart. From the age of 20, every adult should have a lipoprotein profile done every 4-6 years. This test tells you your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which will alert you as to whether you may be at high risk of heart disease.

The Heart and Vascular Institute at Northwest Medical Center offers a wide array of cardiac services to help our patients in Margate, FL, enjoy happy and healthy lives. Our experienced team of cardiologists and other health professionals work to provide all of our patients with the state-of-the-art care they deserve. To learn more about our medical services, call (954) 974-0400.

What Expecting Parents Should Know About Birth Defects

National Birth Defects Prevention Month is recognized each year in January. It’s intended to bring greater awareness to this important issue for expecting parents and those who would like to conceive. Although birth defects aren’t always preventable, taking certain steps before and during pregnancy can help your baby get a healthy start in life. When you need specialized women’s care or maternity care, the team at Northwest Medical Center is here to help.

Birth Defect Types

Birth defects affect fetuses while they are still developing in the womb. Most of these problems develop during the first trimester. There are many types of birth defects. Some of them are structural deviations such as cleft palate. The other primary type is functional defects, which affect the way the body works. Additional examples include neural tube defects, congenital heart defects, fetal alcohol syndrome, and microcephaly. It’s often unclear what has caused a particular birth defect, but some of the common causes include maternal infections, medication or chemical exposure, genetics, and chromosomal problems.

Preconception Care

Preconception care is the medical screenings, treatments, and counseling that a couple may receive when they are planning to conceive a child. Good preconception health may reduce the risk of fetal and maternal health problems. Ideally, preconception care begins at least three months before trying to have a baby. It may include the following steps:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Quitting alcohol
  • Taking prenatal vitamins with 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid
  • Discussing medications with a doctor
  • Following a doctor’s recommendations for managing chronic health conditions
  • Avoiding exposure to toxic substances like chemicals and cat litter
  • Getting vaccinations

Prenatal Care

Prenatal care refers to all of the medical care, counseling, screenings, and exams that an expecting mother receives during pregnancy. Attending each prenatal care appointment and following the doctor’s recommendations is an effective way to lower the risk of birth defects. Among other advice, a maternity care provider will usually recommend that the mother:

  • Takes prenatal vitamins
  • Avoids alcohol and exposure to smoke
  • Takes precautions against infections
  • Takes only doctor-approved medicines and supplements
  • Participates in doctor-approved exercise

Northwest Medical Center is committed to adhering to the highest standards of maternity care in Margate, FL. Our modern facility includes a Level III NICU for babies who need special care. For general information about our women’s care and other healthcare specialties, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (954) 974-0400.

What Are Your A-Fib Treatment Options?

Atrial fibrillation (A-Fib or AFib) is a medical condition that affects the heart. It occurs when the heart rhythm is irregular and may be too fast. This causes the upper chambers of the heart, the atria, to quiver instead of contract and the lower chambers, the ventricles, to pump irregularly. These abnormalities can allow blood to pool within the heart’s chambers instead of being fully pumped out. Blood clots, which can have life-threatening complications, can form when blood accumulates. If you’re in need of specialized cardiac care, you can find the services and guidance you’re looking for at Northwest Medical Center.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes are often recommended along with medical treatment. Maintaining a healthy weight, managing blood pressure with a low-sodium diet, quitting smoking, and enjoying nutritious foods are all important steps to take to promote cardiac health.


A cardiac care specialist may prescribe medications to control the rate or rhythm of the heart. To regulate the pace of the pumping of the ventricles, a doctor might recommend beta blockers or calcium channel blockers. If rate control medicines are insufficient, medications to control the heart rhythm may be used. These may be taken on a routine or an as-needed basis.

Nonsurgical Procedures

Some patients may benefit from nonsurgical procedures such as electrical cardioversion, which involves delivering an electric shock to the chest. This is intended to restore a normal rhythm to the heart. Another option is catheter ablation. This involves the use of laser or radiofrequency energy, or cryotherapy to destroy the cardiac tissue that is causing the malfunction in the heart’s electrical system. There is a possibility of a recurrence after this procedure.

Surgical Procedures

Sometimes, medications and nonsurgical procedures aren’t enough to manage atrial fibrillation. Some patients may need to have a pacemaker implanted under the skin to regulate the heartbeat. Maze heart surgery is another possible option. It involves deliberately incising heart tissue to create scar tissue. The scar tissue interferes with the abnormal electrical signals to restore a normal heartbeat.

The Heart and Vascular Institute in Margate, FL, is a Cardiac Level II Licensed Program dedicated to proactive cardiac care. Here, you’ll find a state-of-the-art Electrophysiology Lab and Cardiac Catheterization Lab fully staffed by a multidisciplinary team of highly trained providers. Call (954) 974-0400 to request a referral to a cardiac care specialist at Northwest Medical Center.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Radon Exposure

Did you know that an odorless, colorless gas that is present nearly everywhere could make you seriously ill? Radon is a radioactive gas that you breathe in each day. At very low levels, radon is not a cause for concern, but some people are exposed to excessively high levels that can cause medical problems that may send them to the ER. National Radon Action Month is recognized each January to bring greater awareness to this significant public health issue. Here at Northwest Medical Center, our ER team encourages our neighbors to consider testing their homes for high levels of radon.

Radon Tests

Radon is a known cause of recurrent lung infections and lung cancer, but with long-term radon exposure, it can take quite a while to develop the signs and symptoms of these complications. Since symptoms only arise when complications such as infections develop, it’s advisable to test homes for high radon levels. Short-term and long-term radon detectors are available for home use. Long-term detectors are considered to be more accurate because they measure the average radon concentration for three months or longer.

Respiratory Infections

If a family member repeatedly develops respiratory infections or general respiratory symptoms, it’s a good idea to consider testing the home for radon. Radon exposure may cause bronchitis, which is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes. It causes symptoms such as persistent coughing, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, and production of mucus. Pneumonia can range from mild to severe and may cause fever, cough, mucus production, shortness of breath, shaking chills, sharp chest pain, headache, and clammy skin.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer can grow for a long time before it causes noticeable symptoms, which is why some patients who are at a high risk of lung cancer may choose to speak with their doctors about lung cancer screening tests. In its advanced stages, lung cancer often causes hoarseness, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, coughing up blood, and intense fatigue. Other symptoms such as back pain and jaundice may develop as the cancer spreads.

High-quality, responsive emergency care in Margate, FL, is only part of what we do here at Northwest Medical Center. We are also a leading provider of preventive healthcare, minimally invasive surgery, and cardiac rehabilitation services. To request a referral to a physician, call a registered nurse at (954) 974-0400.

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