March 2013 - The Heart Health Issue
Pisgah Family Health
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Welcome Lindsey Bradley
Pisgah Family Health is proud to welcome Lindsey Bradley to our office. Lindsey started in December as our full time Medical Assistant.
Lindsey was born in Asheville and has lived in WNC her entire life. She has worked in the nursing field for 13 years, in both Family Medicine and specialty practices. She enjoys spending time with her two children Dawson and Camdyn. She also enjoys being outdoors, cooking for family and friends, and playing in the park with her daughter.
WE ARE NOW TAKING NEW PATIENTS. We provide comprehensive care for infants, children and adults. If you know someone who needs a physician, please forward this Email or give them our phone number.
Our office hours are now 8:30-5pm Monday through Friday. If there is low demand, we will close on Friday afternoon. When the office is closed, emergency care is available at the Urgent Care Centers and Mission Hospital ER. Our answering service can be reached after hours at 251-4873. Telephone calls are handled by Dr. Curran and his call partners.
Know Your Risks
Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women, especially after the age of 50. Heart disease causes more deaths than cancer, but many people do nothing to prevent or detect it. Fortunately, you can reduce your risk of heart disease.
There are many different kinds of heart disease. Plaque in the heart arteries is the usual culprit. But there are many contributing factors. Choices you make every day can lead to damage to coronary artery walls.
Signs of Heart Disease
Early heart disease often doesn't have symptoms. That's why regular checkups are important. Your doctor will check things like your blood pressure and cholesterol, and assess your personal cardiac risk. You might also have an ECG or EKG, an electrocardiogram.
Everyone should know the warning signs of heart disease. All chest pain should be taken seriously. If you have heart disease, you might feel chest heaviness, jaw pain, arm pain, or shortness of breath. But, chest pain can have other causes too, so it is important to check with your doctor to learn what is triggering yours.
Heart Attack? Call 9-1-1
Act in time: Learn the warning signs of a heart attack. If you or someone you know might be having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 right away. You need to take an ambulance to the hospital as soon as possible. Do not try to drive yourself, and do not have someone else drive you unless there is no ambulance service where you live.
These warning signs can include crushing chest pain and/or discomfort or pain elsewhere in the upper body, nausea, a cold sweat, fainting or lightheadedness, or shortness of breath.
Other signs of heart disease include a weak or numb feeling on one side of the face or body, dizziness, headache, shortness of breath, tiredness, and swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, stomach, and neck. Some people who have a problem with their heartbeat may report a fluttering in their chest or the feeling that their heart is skipping a beat or beating too hard.
Talk to your doctor if you have any of these signs. Your healthcare provider may want you to have testing or see a cardiologist.
What Can I Do To Prevent Heart Disease?There are a lot of steps you can take to keep your heart healthy.
Try to be more physically active.Talk to your doctor about the type of activities that would be best for you. If possible, aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most or all days of the week. Every day is best. It doesn't have to be done all at once—10-minute periods will do. Start by doing activities you enjoy—brisk walking, dancing, bowling, bicycling, or gardening, for example. You might want to join an exercise group or even a gym.
If you smoke, quit now.Smoking damages your artery walls, leading to heart disease and strokes. It's never too late to get some benefit from quitting smoking.
Follow a heart healthy diet.Choose foods that are low in salt, fat, and cholesterol. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and foods high in fiber like those made from whole grains. Avoid eating out, especially at fast food restaraunts. And if you drink alcohol, men should have no more than two drinks a day, and women only one per day.
Know Your CholesterolCholesterol is a type of fat in some foods. Eating fatty foods can raise the cholesterol in your blood. High blood cholesterol levels causes plaque to build up in your arteries. You should have a cholesterol blood test at least every 5 years. This will tell you your total cholesterol level as well as the LDL ("bad" cholesterol), HDL ("healthy" cholesterol), and triglycerides (another bad fat). High cholesterol can be treated with diet, exercise, supplements, and medications.
Keep a healthy weight.You should be aware of your ideal body weight, and learn your BMI (body mass index). A BMI of 25 or higher means puts you at greater risk for heart disease and diabetes and other health conditions. Also, men with a waist circumference greater than 40 inches, and women with a waist circumfence greater than 35 inches, have increased risk of heart disease. Following a healthy eating plan and being physically active might help you reduce your cardiac risk.
Conventional CPR consists of chest compressions and rescue breathing. The American Heart Association continues to support this approach to CPR, but recent research demonstrates that rescue breathing may be unnecessary and potentially detrimental in cases of cardiac arrest. "Compression Only CPR" should be performed by lay people or anyone uncomfortable with full CPR technique.
CPR is typically administered in cases of cardiac arrest. Signs of cardiac arrest include an absence of heartbeats, blood flow and pulse. When blood stops flowing to the brain, the person becomes unconscious and stops regular breathing.
The ABCs of CPR are Airway, Breathing, and Circulation.
Breathing (Rescue Breathing)
Pinch the person’s nose shut using your thumb and forefinger. Keep the heel of your hand on the person’s forehead to tilt the head back. Your other hand should remain under the person’s chin, lifting up.
Circulation (Chest Compressions)
After giving two full breaths, immediately begin chest compressions (and cycles of compressions and rescue breaths). Do not take the time to locate the person’s pulse to check for signs of blood circulation.
Alternately, if you are performing "Compression-Only CPR" you may skip directly to this step:
What is an AED?
Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are lightweight, battery-operated, portable devices that are easy to use. AEDs are often located in public places, such as malls, churches, and government buildings. Sticky electrodes send information about the person's heart rhythm to a computer in the AED. The computer analyzes the heart rhythm to determine whether an electric shock is needed. If a shock is needed, the AED uses voice prompts to tell you when to give the shock, and the electrodes deliver it.
Using an AED during cardiac arrest may restore a normal heart rhythm. Every minute counts. It is important to use the AED as quickly as possible, even before emergency personel arrive. Training to use an AED and administer CPR saves lives. However, untrained people also can also use an AED to help save someone's life.
What to do first
If you see a person suddenly collapse and pass out, or if you find a person unconscious, confirm that the person can't respond. Shout and shake the person to make sure he or she isn't sleeping. If there is no response, you should assume the person has had sudden cardiac arrest.
Call 9–1–1 or have someone else call 9–1–1. If two rescuers are present, one should provide CPR while the other calls 9–1–1 and gets the AED.
Check the person's breathing and pulse. If breathing and pulse are absent, locate and apply the AED as soon as possible. If an AED isn't yet available, begin 2 minutes of CPR. Then use the AED (if you have one) to check the person.
After you use the AED, or if you don't have an AED, continue CPR until emergency medical help arrives or until the person begins to move. Try to limit pauses in CPR.
After each 2 minutes of CPR, you can use the AED again to check the person's heart rhythm and give another shock, if needed. If a shock isn't needed, continue CPR.
Using an Automated External Defibrillator
AEDs are user-friendly devices that can save the life of someone having sudden cardiac arrest.
Before using an AED, check for puddles or water near the person who is unconscious. Move him or her to a dry area, and stay away from wetness when delivering shocks (water conducts electricity).
Turn on the AED's power. The device will give you step-by-step instructions. You'll hear voice prompts and see prompts on a screen.
Expose the person's chest. If the person's chest is wet, dry it. Remove metal necklaces and underwire bras. The metal may conduct electricity and cause burns. You can cut the center of the bra and pull it away from the skin. If the person has a lot of chest hair, you may have to trim it using a razor in the AED kit. If the person is wearing a medication patch that's in the way, remove it and clean the medicine from the skin before applying the sticky pads.
Check the person for implanted medical devices, such as a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator. (The outline of these devices is visible under the skin on the chest or abdomen, and the person may be wearing a medical alert bracelet.) Also check for body piercings. Move the defibrillator pads at least 1 inch away from implanted devices or piercings so the electric current can flow freely between the pads.
AEDs have sticky pads with sensors called electrodes. Apply the pads to the person's chest as pictured on the AED's instructions. Place one pad on the right center of the person's chest above the nipple. Place the other pad slightly below the other nipple and to the left of the ribcage. Make sure the sticky pads have good connection with the skin. If the connection isn't good, the machine may repeat the phrase "check electrodes." Check that the wires from the electrodes are connected to the AED.
Make sure no one is touching the person, and then press the AED's "analyze" button. Stay clear while the machine checks the person's heart rhythm. If a shock is needed, the AED will let you know when to deliver it. Stand clear of the person and make sure others are clear before you push the AED's "shock" button.
Start or resume CPR until emergency medical help arrives or until the person begins to move. Stay with the person until medical help arrives, and report all of the information you know about what has happened
The following information will NOT be on the test, unless you happen to be studying for your medical boards.
Also enjoy this video on Heart Anatomy.
About our Newsletter
Dr. Curran and the staff at Pisgah Family Health are proud to publish the Pisgah Family Health News to our patients. Our goal is to provide regularly updated information about the office and current medical topics. We plan to publish a new issue each quarter with breaking news. The newsletters will also be archived on our website, www.PisgahFamilyHealth.com/.
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