Thursday, January 31, 2019

Preparing for a cardiac emergency

Infograpic courtesy American Heart Association
February's around the corner! Every time February comes around, people are reminded of all things love. But it’s more than just candy hearts. You can focus on heart health, too.

February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for men and women in the U.S. Almost 1 in 4 Americans die every year of heart disease.

Nobody wants heart disease. But it’s something we all need to prepare for if a heart emergency strikes.

Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, refers to many conditions. It happens when fatty plaque clogs your blood vessels.

You can reduce your risk of heart disease by not smoking, eating healthy food, exercising and watching your weight.

Fatty plaque makes it hard for blood to flow. It can also lead to a blood clot.

A heart attack happens when a clot cuts off the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart. Cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack. Cardiac arrest is when your heart stops beating.

The American Heart Association says early signs of a heart attack include chest and upper body pains. Some people also get shortness of breath. Men and women can have different symptoms.

Sudden cardiac arrest can happen without warning. Symptoms are sudden collapse, no pulse and no breathing.

Know the signs for both. Call 911 if you or someone near you is having a heart attack. The person having the heart attack should chew an aspirin. If that person is unconscious, a 911 operator might tell you to start CPR.

You can get CPR training at a location near you.

In case of cardiac arrest, call 911. Grab an automated external defibrillator, if available, and use it! But don’t use an AED on someone who is conscious. Do CPR until an ambulance arrives. Doing CPR to the beat of ‘70s hit song “Stayin’ Alive” more than doubles a person’s chance of survival.

Heart attacks are life-changing. Make sure you’re prepared to save a life.

Have a happy, heart healthy February!

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