CPR and AED: Save a life with basic knowledge

Cardiac events cause the deaths of more than 350,000 people each year

CPR hands on dummy

Basic knowledge of CPR and AED procedures can help save a life.

CPR and access to Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) — portable devices that measure the heart’s activity and produce a mild shock to help restore proper rhythm after a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) — can saves lives.

Knowing how to perform CPR and use an AED could save the life of a loved one.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), approximately 92 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital, but statistics prove that if more people knew CPR, more lives could be saved. Immediate CPR can double, or even triple, a victim’s chance of survival.

Niles Mayrand, director of operations at the U-M Clinical Simulation Center, Dr. James Cooke, medical director of the U-M Clinical Simulation Center, and Debra Yake, U-M’s AHA Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) & Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course coordinator and an AHA Basic Life Support (BLS) instructor with Livingston County EMS, are all pushing for those increased survival rates in both in-hospital and the out-of-hospital communities. All have a passion for raising CPR awareness and want everyone to know how to perform high quality CPR and use an AED.
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Heart of a Hunter: Easy things to do to protect the heart

Excitement and physical exertion of hunting can be intense

In just a few weeks, Michigan’s regular firearm season begins and tens of thousands of #1BlogImageV2.fw
camouflaged hunters will head for the woods and shorelines.

For some hunters, heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrests can be brought on by the strenuous exercise and dramatic bursts of activity that hunting can bring.

Fortunately, hunters can take steps now to protect themselves from heart dangers later this fall – and to make sure they’ll know what to do if a fellow hunter goes down.

Some of the easiest things to do right away include:

  • Getting a pre-hunt medical checkup, with special attention to the heart for those who have had heart problems in the past
  • Starting a daily walking routine or other exercise regimen in the weeks before hitting the woods
  • Learning CPR and first aid

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Heart of a Hunter: What to do if a buddy goes down

Learn signs of heart attack, hands only CPR

Once hunting season arrives, every hunter should look out for his or her buddies. Although big meals, staying up late, and lots of smoking and drinking might be a tradition for many hunters in the woods, they can really drag a person down the next day. BuddyBlogImage.fw

Instead, treat the night before a hunt as if you were an athlete with a big game the next day.

Out in the woods, pay attention to any problems your hunting companions have. If you’re with someone and they start getting short of breath, looking pale, or feeling faint or nauseous – of if they feel sudden pain or lose feeling in any part of their body, get help immediately.

Even if the sensation goes away within a few minutes, don’t ignore it – it can be a warning sign that something even worse is about to happen. Call 911 from your cell phone if you can get reception, or radio to someone who can. Every minute you hesitate could mean your buddy’s life.

Warning signs of heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest: Continue reading

What stress tests can and can’t predict

Answering two most frequently asked questions about stress tests

If you have chest pain or other symptoms of heart disease, you may be asked to complete a stress test stresstest.fwso your doctor can help determine the right treatment plan. Patients are often curious about how to interpret the results of a stress test or what the results may indicate. Let’s break down the two stress test related questions I most often receive: Continue reading

What causes metabolic syndrome?

Condition may be inherited but lifestyle choices still play major role

A new study about genetic mutations causing an inherited form of metabolic syndrome points to the potential of future drug development to treat diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

While the results of this study are promising — and the first to indicate that a genetic mutation can influence the development of metabolic syndrome and coronary heart disease — the study involved a very small group and was not representative of a larger population. However, it does indicate that, over time, we may be able to block the effects of the mutation that leads to metabolic syndrome with medicine.

Lifestyle influence

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The U-M Metabolic Fitness Program promotes behavioral change for a healthier lifestyle.

In the meantime, the answer to the question, “What causes metabolic syndrome?” is that lifestyle choices play a major role in controlling the five health conditions involved with the disease. Having three or more of these conditions may lead to a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome, which can result in heart attack, stroke, heart failure and diabetes.

While over 80 percent of those with metabolic syndrome are likely to have a genetic link to the condition, lifestyle choices are believed to be a major contributor. Lifestyle changes can also help a patient achieve better health and reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Continue reading

Beyond the birds and the bees: Sex and heart disease

Heart conditions don’t have to end your sex life

CVC birds beesIt’s a question that University of Michigan exercise physiologist Theresa Gracik occasionally hears during cardiac rehabilitation with heart attack survivors, “Is sex okay after a heart attack?”

If patients can do a minimum of exercise, sex is usually safe, she says. Studies show patients wish their doctors would say so, and leading heart organizations recently urged physicians to be ready to counsel patients about sex after a cardiac event.

“Sexuality is a part of who we are, and done privately and respectfully, many patients do want to talk about how that part of their lives may be impacted by heart disease,” says Gracik.

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