If you can remember back to Dec. 1963 (I think I was crawling then) – Pres. Lyndon Johnson named February 1964 as the first “American Heart Month” in the U.S. A month to look at the #1 killer of men in the U.S. at that time – cardiovascular disease. Pres. Johnson recognized even then the work of the American Heart Association in research to lowering the death rate from heart disease.
His resolution asked Americans to “give heed to the nationwide problem of the heart and blood-vessel diseases, and to support the programs required to bring about it’s solution”.
So, that was 51 years ago, and here it’s American Heart Month again. Heart disease is now the #1 killer for men and women in the U.S., although we’ve made drastic progress in deaths from heart attack, and the introduction of portable defibrillators (AED units) in 1994 has made significant progress in reducing the percentage of deaths from cardiac arrest. (If you can call improvement from 4% survival to 10% survival a huge reduction).
I am confident that Pres. Obama will also proclaim February as American Heart Month (maybe Friday). In the interim, I’ll go ahead and ask Americans to take steps to improve your heart health, namely by eating healthier (less cholesterol, fewer calories, less salt, less saturated fat, and more fruits/veggies), reduce body weight, reducing your blood pressure, keeping blood sugar under control, reduce stress, moderate exercise to stay fit, quit smoking, avoid excessive alcohol use.
Yes, I’m aware ALL of us have one of those categories to improve. On the education side, I urge EVERYONE to educate yourself on the warning signs of heart attack, and recognizing signs of cardiac arrest, and learning at least preliminary steps to obtain care for a loved one, co-worker, neighbor, etc. that is showing signs of a heart attack or is unresponsive from possible cardiac arrest.
February is also a great time to get CPR trained, and we will conduct non-certification training for FREE all month. Yes, free CPR classes – the American Heart Association Family & Friends CPR training for free during February.
Here’s the schedule: https://newnancpr.com/flyers/
Oh, you’re a nurse or EMT, or dental hygienist that wants BLS for Healthcare for Free? Maybe next year we’ll try that. This year, we want to stay in business. 🙂 Just kidding, we have a large goal. We think about 6 % of Americans are carrying a “CPR certification card”. What our goal is is to somehow bring Hands-Only CPR training to the 94% or so that don’t, and maybe the 80% or so that have never had any CPR training. If and when you collapse from cardiac arrest, are you comfortable with 6-8% of the people around you knowing CPR? Wouldn’t it be better if 40-50% of Americans could do CPR for 7-8 minutes till EMS units arrive? Wouldn’t our EMS professionals love to see CPR being performed prior to their arrival?
Cardiac arrest means a brain without oxygen, and a brain/body that is quickly dying. To have a good chance of survival from CA with no neurological damage, a person needs CPR within about 3 1/2 minutes, and AED shock within 6 minutes. Will that happen if 6% of us know CPR and there are only 20 AED units in public places in our county? (Not likely). Wouldn’t it be awesome to see a cardiac arrest victim receive a shock from an AED prior to EMS truck showing up? (Particularly if it was your Dad, Uncle, Mom, boss that was unresponsive?
Join us – help do your part to help more people survive cardiac arrest. At least take a free CPR class!