More than 160 Covington-area residents spent part of their Father’s Day weekend getting a free ultrasound screening at Lakeview Regional Medical Center.

“I must keep an eye on things, with my high blood pressure,” one participant said about why this screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm was important.

The quick and painless screening also brought in many people who have family members and friends with AAAs, or who saw the news story about the free screening, and wanted to learn their own risks and health status.

“It’s important to check for problems so that they can be addressed before disaster. I take my car in for regular checkups, so why not myself?” One woman commented.

Dr. David Kaplan expressed the same sentiment, “Being able to (discover) aneurysms early, and repair them electively makes such a difference versus a ruptured aneurysm with the outcomes and recovery and the hospital stay. It’s a huge difference." He added that ruptured aneurysms are nearly always fatal, and finding a AAA early saves lives.

Sponsored by AAAneurysm Outreach, Healthy Blue Louisiana and W.L. Gore, the event was open to the public and two men were found to have AAAs. 70 men and 92 women participated in the screening, which also included a blood pressure check, smoking cessation information, healthy eating and other health tips. The screening was also supported by Walgreens, and was part of St. Tammany Parish’s Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Awareness month and national Men’s Health Month.

The non-invasive ultrasound screening is a quick and painless way to find aneurysms and save lives. The abdominal ultrasound test is simple, requiring no needles or radiation, and takes less than five minutes for the results.