American Heart Month
This February will mark the 54th year of “American Heart Month”, which began as a joint resolution of Congress in 1963 It was accompanied by a declaration from Pres. Lyndon Johnson. The goal of American Heart Month is to take time to look at heart health, and heart disease risk factors, and focus on the #1 killer of men and women in our country.
Here’s a quote from Pres. Obama’s declaration from Jan. 29, 2016, regarding 2016 American Heart Month. “Affecting people of all races and ethnicities, cardiovascular disease is the single leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, responsible for one in three deaths in the United States each year. Though usually preventable, heart disease can manifest itself in sudden and unforeseen ways, and it costs our Nation hundreds of billions of dollars annually. During American Heart Month, we remember those we have lost to this devastating disease, promote healthy lifestyles that mitigate its impacts, and pledge to continue our fight against it”.
One in three deaths? Is the President mistaken? It seems like most people think traffic accidents, cancer, and gun deaths cause the most deaths in our country. However, cardiovascular disease has been the #1 killer of Americans for over 100 years. With that information we can conclude it’s a real problem, but what can we do about it?
Avoiding heart disease and avoiding cardiac arrest is clearly a better plan than treatment. There are 7 things everyone can do to lessen your chance of cardiovascular disease. 1) Eat heart-healthy – which means eat more fish, and more fruits & vegetables, and more whole grains. Eat less sugar sodium, and less saturated fat. 2) Get more exercise – meaning 2-3 hours per week of brisk walking per week. 3) Quit Smoking. 4) Maintain healthy weight (suggest a BMI of less than 25). 5) Lower your cholesterol to less than 200 mg/dl. 6) Regularly monitor your blood pressure, and 7) Control your blood sugar levels. It seems like all of those are difficult to focus on. However, almost all of us can improve on at least one or two of them.
First of all, take all your prescribed medicines for high blood pressure A-Fib, other arrhythmias or diagnosed heart conditions. Second, cardiac arrest is the reason for most cardiac deaths. Treatment for cardiac arrest needs to start at the point of collapse, not after an ambulance arrives, or after the patient gets to a hospital. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is the short term treatment for cardiac arrest. Hands only CPR is recommended – pushing hard and fast on victim’s chest to circulate blood. Following as close as possible after CPR should be a shock from a Defibrillator, or AED. An AED is designed to restore normal heart rhythm. Ideally done in less than 8 minutes – unfortunately, not enough time to wait for EMS to arrive on the scene.
Therefore, we believe that everyone should educate yourself on the warning signs of heart attack, and recognizing the signs of cardiac arrest. In addition, learning preliminary steps to care for a loved one, your neighbor, or a co-worker that might be displaying signs of a heart attack or is unresponsive from cardiac arrest.
In conclusion, Newnan CPR will do our part during American Heart Month to teach YOU the life-saving skill of CPR and using an AED. We will have over 15 Free CPR courses for the community during the month, and all over the geographic area. That includes hands-on instruction with a real AED. Therefore, your two hands could save the life of your Dad or Uncle.
See our website for the latest schedule: https://newnancpr.com/bystander-cpr/ .