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Posts Tagged ‘Heart Attacks’

Happy American Heart Month

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Allied Universal Heart ImageEach February, the American Heart Association marks the month dedicated to love as the time to call attention to heart health. Although the iconic romantic symbol of a heart bears no resemblance to the physical organ that pumps blood to human tissue, the association is obvious: we should do whatever it takes to help loved ones stay healthy. And to that end, heart disease prevention is paramount.

The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which restricts blood flow to the heart. Decreased blood flow can lead to a heart attack. Here are some of the most common types of heart conditions:

  • Aortic Aneurysm – a bulge in a section of theaorta, the body’s main artery. The aorta carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Because the section with the aneurysm is overstretched and weak, it can burst. If the aorta bursts, it can cause serious bleeding that can quickly lead to death.
  • Atrial Fibrillation – often called AFib or AF, is the most common type of heart arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is when the heart beats too slowly, too fast, or in an irregular way. When a person has AFib, the normal beating in the upper chambers of the heart (the two atria) is irregular, and blood doesn’t flow as well as it should from the atria to the lower chambers of the heart (the two ventricles). AFib may occur in brief episodes, or it may be a permanent condition.
  • Cardiomyopathy – The normal muscle in the heart can thicken, stiffen, thin out, or fill with substances the body produces that do not belong in the heart muscle. As a result, the heart muscle’s ability to pump blood is reduced, which can lead to irregular heartbeats, the backup of blood into the lungs or rest of the body, and heart failure.
  • Congestive Heart Failure – Does not mean theheart has stopped working. Rather, it means that the heart’s pumping power is weaker than normal. With heart failure, blood moves through the heart and body at a slower rate, and pressure in the heart increases. As a result, the heart cannot pump enough oxygen and nutrients to meet the body’s needs.
  • Coronary Artery Disease – This happens when the arteries that supply blood to heart muscle become hardened and narrowed. This is due to the buildup of cholesterol and other material, called plaque, on their inner walls. This buildup is called atherosclerosis. As it grows, less blood can flow through the arteries. As a result, the heart muscle can’t get the blood or oxygen it needs. This can lead to chest pain (angina) or a heart attack.
  • Heart Attack – This happens when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked and the heart can’t get oxygen. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, the section of heart muscle begins to die.
  • High Blood Pressure – A common disease in which blood flows through blood vessels (arteries) at higher than normal pressures. Sometimes called “the silent killer,” uncontrolled high blood pressure (HBP) can injure or kill because HBP has no symptoms. So victims may not be aware that their arteries, heart and other organs are being damaged.Allied Universal BP
  • Pulmonary Hypertension – High blood pressure that occurs in the arteries in the lungs. It is a different measurement altogether from systemic blood pressure, reflecting the pressure the heart must exert to pump blood from the heart through the arteries of the lungs.
  • Stroke – A stroke is a “brain attack,” which can happen to anyone at any time. It occurs when blood flow to an area of brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost.

The best way to prepare yourself and loved ones to handle heart-related health problems is to take care of yourself:Allied Universal Weight Mngmt

Heart Attack Symptoms

  • Chest discomfort (It usually lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and returns. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body

Allied Universal FAST StrokeFAST (Stroke Symptoms)

  • Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the victim unable to speak, or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • Time to call 9-1-1– If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get him or her to the hospital immediately.

Cardiac Arrest Symptoms

  • Loss of responsiveness
  • Loss of normal breathing

Remember that safety is a daily priority, not just during Heart Health Month. So be sure to think about ways to #BeSafe all of the time. A convenient and affordable way to make sure you are prepared for disasters and emergencies of virtually every kind is to subscribe to the Allied Universal Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services, which has been designed to help improve and save lives. For more information about the best system out there, or to subscribe, click here.

February is National Heart Month

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Although heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, it is also preventable and controllable. Since February is American Heart Month, we wanted to join the CDC and the American Heart Association in providing helpful tips for better heart health.

Did you know?

  • Each year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack.
  • In the United States, 600,000 people die each year from heart disease, which is one out of every four deaths.
  • Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, costs the United States $312.6 billion each year, including the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America for both men and women.
  • Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, where no one doubts what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help.

The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common type in the U.S. is coronary heart disease (also known as coronary artery disease), which occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Coronary heart disease can cause heart attack, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmia’s.

Although the situation is admittedly alarming, there is good news—heart disease is preventable and controllable. Some health conditions and lifestyle factors can put people at a higher risk for developing heart disease. You can help prevent heart disease by making healthy choices and managing preexisting medical conditions.

Plan for Prevention

  • Eat a healthy diet. Choose healthful meal and snack options to ward off heart disease and associated complications, including stroke. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Adults should have at least five servings each day. Also, eat foods that are low in saturated fat, Trans fat, and cholesterol. (One way to do this is to eat plenty of fiber.) Limit salt or sodium, which can lower blood pressure. For more information on healthy diet and nutrition, visit the CDC’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Program website.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese could increase your risk of heart disease. To determine whether your weight is in a healthy range, calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). Doctors sometimes also use waist and hip measurements to calculate body fat.
  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The Surgeon General recommends that adults should engage in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
  • Monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so be sure to check yours on a regular basis.
  • Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases the risk for heart disease, among many other problems. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible.
  • Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking excess alcohol, which can increase blood pressure. Men should have no more than two drinks per day, and women, no more than one.
  • Check your cholesterol. Your health care provider should routinely test your cholesterol levels at least once every five years.
  • If applicable, manage your diabetes. Monitor blood sugar levels closely, and talk with your doctor about treatment options. To avoid diabetes, maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
  • Take necessary mediation. If your doctor has prescribed medication to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, follow his or her recommendations.
  • Familiarize yourself with Danger Signs and act quickly if you suspect heart attack or stroke.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

  • Chest Discomfort
  • Discomfort in Other Parts of the Body
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Breaking out in a Cold Sweat
  • Nausea and/or Lightheadedness

Stroke Warning Signs (Spot a Stroke FAST)

  • Face Drooping -Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • Arm Weakness-Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech Difficulty-Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • Time to call 911-If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Beyond F.A.S.T. – Other Symptoms You Should Know

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the leg
  • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Cardiac Arrest Signs

  • Sudden Loss of Responsiveness – Victim won’t respond to tapping on his or her shoulder.
  • Interruption of Normal Breathing -The victim does not take a normal breath when you tilt the head up and check for at least five seconds.

Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. If you experience any of the above signs and symptoms or witness someone else doing the same, remember that minutes matter! When in doubt, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 911 or your emergency response number.

When active shooter incidents or other disasters strike, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. The Allied Universal Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services is a convenient and affordable solution to all of the training needs of your building(s). Choosing our service cuts property management training-related costs by 90% and saves you over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES.

Safety: Put your heart into it.

Monday, February 7th, 2011
Heart at end of EKG line

Take steps to guard your heart.

February is designated as “American Heart Month.” And while stores are filled with heart-shaped chocolates and red and pink floral arrangements, the hearts we are referring to aren’t metaphorical. American Heart Month is all about the organ that keeps us alive! Heart disease affects men and women alike. So take care of heart matters in February and all year long.

Shockingly, according to the CDC, one American dies from a coronary event every minute in this country. Not so surprisingly, the best defense against heart disease and Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack) is to follow a daily regimen that includes a healthy diet and plenty of exercise.

Here are the common signs of an impending heart attack (If you experience these, do not hesitate to call 911):

  • Uncomfortable chest pressure or a squeezing sensation
  • Discomfort in the arm, neck, or jaw
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweats
  • Lightheadedness

What can you do to stay heart-healthy?

  • Get moving!
  • Use the stairs instead of elevators. (First, check stair railings and make sure non-slip surfaces are present on each step.)
  • Instead of jockeying for premium parking places, purposely park your vehicle away from the front door.
  • Track your physical activity by wearing a pedometer. Health experts suggest walking a minimum of 10,000 steps per day.
  • Take advantage of free or discounted gym memberships offered by some insurance companies and/or employers.

Eat right!

  • Eat plenty of fiber. The best way to do this is to include plenty of fruits and vegetables at every meal.
  • Stop eating and drinking foods that contains refined sugar. Soda intake has been linked to increase risk of heart disease.
  • Cut diet soda from your diet, as well. Some studies indicate that diet carbonated beverages increases the risk of heart disease. Your best bet for good health is water.
  • Buy fresh ingredients at your local farmer’s market.

Additional tips and safety:

  • Stock aspirin in your Go-Bag. Studies show that people who experience symptoms of a heart attack can chew an aspirin to reduce the severity of the episode.
  • Try not to stress out. Most medical professionals agree that people who are under a lot of stress have an increased risk of heart disease.
  • Take advantage of programs such as “The Heart Truth,” which provides tools for preventing and treating heart-related health problems.
  • Take a CPR class, so signs symptoms and treatments of heart attack will become second nature.

While disaster planning for earthquakes, fires, and mudslides is a no-brainer, it is equally critical to prepare for smaller-scale but no less serious disasters such as heart disease, which claims millions of lives. So Go Red not just in February, but all year long.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.