5 Heart-SMART Goals For 2019

Achieve These 5 Goals and You Could Save a Life

Happy New Year from all of us here at Cardio Partners! We know you have your resolutions lined up but around here, we’re all about setting SMART goals. For those of you who need a refresher, that’s Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. There’s something so incredibly satisfying about setting a clear goal and achieving it, so let’s start the New Year with a solid action plan.

GOAL #1: Become First Aid Certified

If you’ve been putting off getting your First Aid certification or telling yourself that you’ll “get around to it,” well, now’s the time.

In fact, here’s your SMART Goal in one tidy little package: Become First Aid certified by the end of National Heart Awareness Month in February.

Visit the American Red Cross or American Heart Association to find a class near you. Classes are affordable, convenient, and flexible. Blended courses, which combine online coursework with in-person skills training, are great options for busy professionals.

GOAL #2: Get Your CPR and AED Certification

Once you have your freshly minted First Aid certification in hand, level up with CPR and AED training. To keep yourself accountable and to fulfill the Timely requirement, set a deadline for yourself! May 30 seems pretty reasonable to us. Again, to find a class near you, the American Red Cross or American Heart Association are the websites to visit.

Wondering what you’ll learn? Check out 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn CPR, or more to the point, What Will I Learn From a CPR or First Aid Class?

GOAL #3: Encourage Your Friends & Colleagues to Become First Aid & CPR Certified

Congratulations! You’ve passed the tests and made the grade! Now, encourage others to do the same. Think about the folks in your life who would benefit from becoming certified and jot down a quick list. Whether you opt to encourage one family member, start a movement within your community, or recruit 10 colleagues, make sure your goal is specific, measurable, and attainable.

We’re thinking “Encourage at least 15 friends and colleagues to register for First Aid, CPR, and AED Certification before the end of the year” sounds pretty doable.

GOAL #4: Invest in a Stop the Bleed Kit

Think of it as a graduation gift to yourself. Violence is a sad reality in America these days, so it’s best to be prepared.

Curaplex Stop the Bleed kits are intentionally designed to provide the trained rescuer with immediate access to life-saving products that can control bleeding and traumatic hemorrhaging. Basic kits start at $59.99 and the compact, vacuum-packed and tamper-proof kit includes:

A permanent marker
2 pairs of gloves, latex-free, large
1 C-A-T® tourniquet
1 emergency bandage
Pair of trauma shears, 7.5”
2 rolls of primed, compressed gauze dressing
A printed insert which shows instructions for use
Advanced kits include 1 Pack of HALO seals and QuikClot combat gauze.

GOAL #5: Start a Fundraiser for a Community AED

We recently donated a refurbished AED to the Q Center in Portland, Oregon, but as much as we’d like to, we simply can’t donate an AED to every deserving community center in the country. We can, however, share some great advice for funding for your AED program!

GotAED, an initiative of Simon’s Heart, is a crowdfunding site dedicated to placing AEDs in areas where children learn and play. The site invites schools and youth organizations to begin a campaign to fund the purchase of an AED and offers tips and suggestions to help ensure a successful crowdsourcing campaign. If your organization isn’t kid-focused, you may want to look into other popular crowdfunding platforms like CauseVox and CrowdRise.

Before you launch a crowdfunding campaign, be sure to familiarize yourself with the laws regulating nonprofit fundraising in your state. A good place to start your research is the National Council of Nonprofits.

For the full scoop, download our Grant Guide.

Have burning questions about our products and services? Ready to achieve your heart-smart goals? Please contact Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. We also welcome your emails, and you can reach us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Cardio Partners Donates AED to Oregon Community Center

Portland’s Q Center Updates Emergency Preparedness Plan and Installs AED

The Q Center, the largest LGBTQ community center in the Pacific Northwest, was recently selected by the Cardio Partners team to receive a refurbished Philips HeartStart Onsite AED.

While pursuing her Bachelor’s degree, Allison Neushwander, a registered nurse, quickly identified the popular community center as the perfect location for her community-based health project.

The Q Center’s mission is to provide safe spaces, community building, and empowerment for the positive transformation of LGBTQ2SIA+ communities and allies in the Pacific Northwest. As the largest LGBTQ community center in the Pacific Northwest, Q Center proudly serves the LGBTQ2SIA+ communities of Portland Metro and Southwest Washington.

After spending some time with the organization’s staff members, Allison decided that she could best help the Q Center by implementing an emergency readiness and evacuation plan. Allison decided to procure an AED and First Aid Kit for the center as part of the emergency plan. Unfortunately, the organization lacked the funding to purchase a unit.

Undeterred, Allison reached out to the American Heart Association, which suggested that she contact AED distributors directly.

“Thankfully, Cardio Partners was on that list!” said Allison.

The Q Center’s welcoming drop-in and event space is located in North Portland, and according to their website, it “is a frequent first stop for new arrivals in Portland, and for longtime residents who are newly out or questioning their sexual or gender identity. Q Center also serves as an information hub for friends, partners, community, and family members of LGBTQ2SIA+ individuals.”

“The AED is something we have always wanted to have for our community center. There are a lot of homeless community members who use the space, many community members who don’t get needed medical care, and there is also a health clinic attached to the Q Center. It is a gathering space for vulnerable people. The cost of an AED was keeping us from being able to have one in our space. This donation helps us make our community safer and helps us further our mission,” said Susan Kocen, Senior Community Program Manager.

“From my perspective as a student, this was a really meaningful project because I got to do something for my community in Portland, and for the gay and lesbian community. It was a very satisfying and personal project, because I’m a part of both communities,” noted Allison.

Allison decided that the best location for the new AED is in the center’s heavily-trafficked reception area, next to the fire extinguisher and near the library, art gallery, and auditorium. The AED is stored in a well-marked wall cabinet and each of the five full-time staff members will be trained to properly use the AED.

“Without an AED, restoring a heart rhythm is really difficult. That piece of technology is such a critical part of emergency response. They’re user-friendly and easy for the community to utilize. It’s nice to have it in a space that I’m personally connected to,” said Allison.

Cardio Partners makes every attempt to honor donation requests; however, we receive far more requests that we can reasonably accommodate. For more information about securing funding for your AED program, download our Grant Guide. To learn more about our AED donation program, please contact us, we’d love to hear from you. Call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362 or send an email to customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Cardio Partners: A Year in Review

Top Blogs of 2018

2018 was a busy year for all of us here at Cardio Partners and AED.com. We had the honor of joining a Texas Girl Scout as she donated an AED to her community, we checked in with SCA Survivor Rob Seymour, partnered with Operation Homefront’s Back-to-School-Brigade, attended the EMS World Expo in Nashville, and celebrated as lawmakers in Tennessee and California enacted new AED legislation.

To discover your favorite posts, dear reader, we tallied the votes, counted the comments, and checked out the analytics. Thanks for reading!

Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Cardio Partners Blog Posts of 2018!

1) You Really Love Your Pets

And so do we! According to Google and Facebook, you sure do have a soft spot for your fur family! With nearly 15,000 page views and dozens of likes, CPR for Pets, with its step-by-step instructions, was a winner. Maybe our follow-up article, 8 Reasons Why Cats are Good for Your Health, which was published in late October in honor of National Cat Day, just hasn’t had time to gain traction.

2) Serious as a Heart Attack (or Sudden Cardiac Arrest)

The question, is it a heart attack or cardiac arrest? seems to be weighing heavily on the minds of our readers. What’s the difference, you ask? Here’s a little multiple choice pop quiz:

Which of the following best describes a heart attack?

  1. Don’t sneak up on me like that! You nearly gave me a heart attack.
  2. He almost had a heart attack when he found out how much dinner cost.
  3. Bacon for breakfast, bacon for lunch, bacon for dinner. Bacon, bacon, bacon. Now that’s a recipe for a heart attack!
  4. He made her heart skip a beat.

If you answered C, then you’ve been a loyal follower of the Cardio Partners blog! (Or you’re a doctor, an EMS professional, or an employee of Cardio Partners.) In a nutshell, a heart attack occurs with a blockage in a coronary artery blocks the flow of blood to the heart. A cardiac arrest occurs when the electrical system of the heart unexpectedly stops working.

3) Arcane Defibrillation and AED History is Fascinating

Perhaps the most surprising entry on this list is the History of Defibrillation, Defibrillators, and Portable AEDs. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who could resist the headline: “From Dogs to Tablespoons to ZOLL, AEDs Have Come a Long Way.” If you missed out the first time around, be sure to read up on the “Self-starter For a Dead Man’s Heart.”

4) Not All CPR is Created Equally

We can’t think of anything more frightening than performing CPR on a child or infant. It seems as though our readers feel the same way. Not only is this one of our top 5 posts of 2018, but readers spent more time reading this post than any other on this list. In this post, we covered the differences between infant, child, and adult CPR and also discussed the pediatric chain of survival.

5) Take Our Word For It: You Should Learn CPR

Plenty of Googlers were looking for reasons to learn CPR this year. Our post, 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn CPR, made it to the top of the charts!

6) Statistics Take the Cake

In case you missed the original post, here are 6 Shocking Statistics About Cardiac Arrest and AEDs, plus one extra for good measure:

  1. Each year, more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) occur in the United States.
  2. Among middle-aged adults treated for Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), 50% had no symptoms before the onset of arrest.
  3. 475,000 Americans die from a cardiac arrest every year and 17.5 million people across the globe die from cardiovascular disease each year.
  4. 10,000 SCAs occur in the workplace each year.
  5. 68.5% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur at home.
  6. 45% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims survive when bystander CPR is administered.
  7. SCA kills more Americans than lung cancer, breast cancer, and HIV/AIDS combined.

7) You’re CPR-Curious

We gave you 10 great reasons why you should learn CPR, yet plenty of you wanted more information. What Will I Learn From a CPR or First Aid Class was also a big ratings winner. Read about it all you like, but nothing takes the place of the real thing. Sign up for a CPR, AED and First Aid training course near you!

8) It’s a Trip, It’s Got a Funky Beat, and I Can Bug Out to It!

We had some fun this summer curating our very own playlist, CPR Songs: Greatest Hits to Save Lives. From the Bee Gees’ rather obvious choice, “Stayin’ Alive,” to Bey and Jay’s “Crazy in Love” to JT’s  “Rock Your Body,” and just about everything in between, we found plenty of tunes set to a heart-thumping 100 to 120 beats per minute.

9) The Chain of Survival Really is a Thing

Why is the chain of survival so important, you ask? Because knowing and understanding each link in the chain can dramatically improve the survival odds of someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. According to the American Heart Association the five links in the adult out-of-hospital Chain of Survival are:

  1. Recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system
  2. Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with an emphasis on chest compressions
  3. Rapid defibrillation
  4. Basic and advanced emergency medical services
  5. Advanced life support and post-cardiac arrest care

10) A Shout-out to our Friends at Brentwood Fire and Rescue

The good people of Facebook voted with their “likes” and our final nod goes to the fabulous folks at the Brentwood Fire and Rescue Department. In “What You Need to Know to Stop the Bleed and Save a Life,” we shared a few tips and shared some additional information on the Curaplex Stop the Bleed Kit.

Have a safe New Year and a wonderful 2019! Questions about our products and services? Please contact Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. We also welcome your emails, and you can reach us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Can Energy Drinks Cause Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Are Energy Drinks Worth the Health Risks?

According to a recent Global Energy Drink Market Analysis, the market size for these popular beverages is expected to reach a whopping $72 billion by 2024 and is rising at an incredible market growth rate of 7.1%.

Energy drinks are big business. But are they really good for you?

While consumers are endorsing them with their dollars, physicians around the globe are calling for more research into the safety of the drinks and the World Health Organization warns that “Increased consumption of energy drinks may pose danger to public health, especially among young people.”

Last year the Washington Post reported that a South Carolina high school student collapsed and died after drinking a latte, a Mountain Dew, and an energy drink. “His sudden death may have remained a medical mystery, the coroner who conducted his autopsy said, if friends hadn’t described what Davis ingested during lunch: Enough caffeine to disrupt and ultimately stop his heart.”

What Are Energy Drinks?

We all probably know someone who relies on the heart-pounding wallop that guzzling an energy drink can provide, but what’s in them? And are they safe? Energy drinks (EDs) are commonly used as a dietary supplement by young adolescents and adults to boost physical performance or enhance concentration. For some, the number of “Monsters” or “Red Bulls” consumed serves as an indication of just how hard they’ve studied or how much they’ve been working.

Most EDs contain a variety of ingredients, but pharmaceutical-grade caffeine and additional caffeine from other natural sources is often the primary stimulant. By way of comparison, some energy drinks contain up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per can or bottle, compared to 100-150 mg in a typical cup of coffee.

Other components commonly found in these drinks include guarana, yerba mate, taurine, theophylline, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, vitamins, and L-carnitine. The long-term health effects of these additives are not well-documented.

Like caffeine, however, these additional ingredients are also believed to increase one’s energy and stimulate mental performance. Both guarana and yerba mate are natural sources of caffeine, making the total amount of caffeine in an ED hard to determine. Because of this, the actual amount of caffeine contained in an ED may not be accurately reflected on its label, making it difficult for consumers to understand how much of the stimulant they’re actually ingesting.

What are the Adverse Side-Effects of Energy Drinks?

In 2017, US News and World Report noted that in 2016 there were more than 20,000 emergency room visits attributed to the ingestion of energy drinks. And, because the drinks are often marketed to younger consumers, some 1,145 Americans ages 12 to 17 were admitted to emergency rooms for energy drink-related health emergencies in 2007. That number climbed to 1,499 in 2011 (Centers for Disease Control).

Although most healthy adults can enjoy the occasional energy drink without harm, possible side effects of consuming EDs include: elevated blood pressure, dehydration, insomnia, anxiety, increased heart rate, increased corrected QT interval, supraventricular arrhythmia, ventricular arrhythmia, coronary artery spasm, coronary artery thrombosis, aortic dissection, and sudden cardiac death.

Recent research shows just one energy drink can affect blood vessel function (Science Daily). Other studies have shown that caffeine-and-herbal combinations can increase stress hormones and are linked to changes in blood pressure and the heart’s electrical activity.

Potential long-term, chronic effects may include hypertensive heart disease, coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral arterial disease.

“Energy drinks are frequently consumed by young athletes and there are reports of morbidity and mortality associated with consumption. In particular, susceptible individuals include younger, smaller, caffeine-naïve/sensitive, pregnant or breastfeeding women and those with underlying medical conditions. While most healthy adults can consume a single energy drink without any significant negative acute health effects, the long-term effects of chronic consumption have not been well studied” (American College of Cardiology).

What are Some Healthy Alternatives to Energy Drinks?

Not only are EDs packed with unhealthy levels of caffeine, but they’re also loaded with sugar. You may have noticed that we’re on a health kick around here, so be sure to check out our heart-healthy posts including 5 Strategies to Prevent Heart Disease, The Great American Smokeout, and  How Obesity Plays a Role in Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Young People.

In the meantime, here are a few healthy alternatives to energy drinks for you to incorporate into your diet and lifestyle to help ensure that your body is working at its best:

  • Protein: Put down the can and step away from the sugar and caffeine! Healthy, lean proteins can help keep our bodies alert and encourage our bodies to burn calories.
  • Dark chocolate: An ounce or two of dark chocolate contains just enough caffeine and flavonoids to give your brain a boost.
  • Water: Ditch the ED and grab a glass of water. If you need a little kick, squeeze in a slice or two of lemon.
  • Exercise: Take a quick break from your studies and your deadlines and run around the block or jog in place. It’s the perfect way to get the blood flowing.
  • Green Tea: If you’re still craving a jolt of caffeine, green tea is the way to go. All the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties can’t hurt, either!
  • Green Juices or Smoothies: Dark green veggies such as spinach, kale, and parsley are full of B vitamins that our metabolism needs to run at full steam.

For information about purchasing a new or recertified AED for your home or workplace, visit AED.com or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. We also welcome your emails, you can reach us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Saving Lives with Drone Delivery of AEDs

Transforming Emergency Cardiac Care with Drone-Delivered AEDs

You may have heard a thing or two about Amazon’s plans to use drones to deliver packages to your doorstep, but far more intriguing to all of us here at Cardio Partners and AED.com is the potential for drones to save lives.

We’ve spent some time discussing best Automated External Defibrillator (AED) practices including Finding the Best Location for Your AED and the importance of CPR and AED training, but perhaps the ultimate best practice and the biggest step we can take to improve sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survival odds comes in the form of drone technology.

Jeremy Sherlock, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) engineer at Alare Technologies, agrees. In a recent telephone interview, Sherlock noted that when it comes to cardiac arrest, “Every minute counts. Multi-rotor drones with hover capabilities have the ability to carry AEDs virtually anywhere. And, with an AED delivery service, communities will always have access to a rescue-ready AED, 24/7.”

Reducing the Time Between SCA and Defibrillation

Using drones to carry AEDs to people who are experiencing SCA could dramatically curtail the critical time between cardiac arrest and the first shock from an AED.

The more time a person spends in cardiac arrest before treatment, the lower their chance of survival becomes. The average response time for traditional first responders once 911 is called is 8-12 minutes. For every minute that defibrillation is delayed, survival decreases by 7-10% (American Red Cross).

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen across the United States outside of a hospital setting. In an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) event, a person’s chance of survival is about 1 in 10. Reducing time to defibrillation is the most important factor for increasing survival in OHCA.

In a research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in June, researchers noted that drone-delivered AEDs may beat ambulance trip times to the scenes of cardiac arrests.

“Unmanned aerial systems, commonly called drones, can be activated by a dispatcher and sent to an address provided by a 911 caller. The drone may carry an automated external defibrillator (AED) to the location of an OHCA so that a bystander can detach and use it. Theoretical geographical information system models have shown that drones carrying an AED can reduce response times in rural areas,” (jamanetwork.com).

Benefits of Using Drones to Deliver AEDs

Although not a reality quite yet, there are a number of potential benefits to delivering AEDs by drone.

Drone-Delivered AEDs are Speedy

Perhaps the most significant benefit is speed. Prototype medical drones can fly up to 62 mph and can fly directly to a victim’s location using a bystander’s cell phone GPS as the delivery target (U.S. Fire Administration).

Drone-Delivered AEDs Can Serve Communities Without Public-Access AED

“It really doesn’t require a whole lot of infrastructure. The AED would be sitting in a drone at all times, always rescue-ready. If you have a relatively large city, it would take just a few stations to have the whole city covered,” said Sherlock.

For communities without the resources to implement a public-access defibrillation program, drone-delivered AEDs can be an extremely cost-effective way to fill a public health need.

Drones Can Service Hard-to-Reach Locations

Whether an individual has collapsed in the thick of a traffic jam, on a high-rise balcony, or at home or in the middle of a remote national park or in a rural location, if there’s a cell signal, a drone-delivered AED has the potential to save a life.

“These heavy-lift, multi-rotor drones have hover capabilities and can go just about anywhere,” said Sherlock.

When Will Drone-Delivered AEDs Become Reality?

Soon. Very, very soon. Earlier this fall, the City of Reno and Flirtey, a drone delivery service, successfully completed first flights of a new drone as part the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP). The specialized, next-generation drone is capable of carrying heavier payloads further than ever before.

“Although we may be a couple of years from this becoming a viable technology, that has a lot more to do with FAA regulations than with the aircraft itself. We have the aircraft that’s capable of carrying this kind of weight and covering a very large area,” said Sherlock. “For safety reasons, however, current FAA regulations mandate that drone pilots must keep the aircraft within line of sight and they must be available to take manual control of the aircraft at any time. Obviously, that will have to change.”

Here at Cardio Partners, our mission is to foster heart-safe environments and to help improve the sudden cardiac arrest survival rates in schools, in our communities, and in the workplace. We are leaders in emergency prevention and ardent advocates in the fight against sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). We are a complete cardiac solution provider, offering supply consultation, new and used FDA-approved defibrillation devices, and accessories. We also offer American Heart Association (AHA) and American Red Cross (ARC)  AED, CPR, and First Aid training courses nationwide.

Follow Cardio Partners on Facebook and LinkedIn for the latest AED-related news and updates. For more information about AEDs or CPR and First Aid courses, call us at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

5 Strategies to Prevent Heart Disease

Protect Your Heart with These Heart-Healthy Tips

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. In 2017, approximately 630,000 Americans died from heart disease — that’s nearly 1 in every 4 deaths (Medical News Today). In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds! As advocates for CPR and AED training, heart health, and the prevention of sudden cardiac death, we find these statistics incredibly grim.

While you can’t control certain risk factors such as your age, family history, gender, race, or ethnicity, there are plenty of ways you can lead a heart-healthy lifestyle…and that’s what we’ll be focusing on this week.

5 Practical Ways You Can Prevent Heart Disease

#1 — Eat More Fiber (and Less Saturated Fat)

The iconic “Got Milk?” advertising campaign, which turned 25 this year, made drinking milk look downright sexy. But just because the decades-old campaign has decidedly more star power and cache than “Got Fiber?” or “Got Broccoli?” could ever hope for, that doesn’t mean they aren’t good ideas.

The American Heart Association recommends having a few meals without meat each week. By reducing your meat intake and upping your consumption of fruit, veggies, legumes, and whole grains, you’ll dramatically increase the amount of fiber in your diet while simultaneously reducing the number of saturated fats you ingest. It’s a win-win!

Yes, we realize that Thanksgiving is on the horizon and visions of turkey and cornbread and sausage stuffing are peppering your dreams. But we’re going to say that eating vegetarian meals (or, at the very least, meals with less meat) may help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. (You’ll find that it’s easier on your grocery bill, too!)

If the notion of walking an entirely vegetarian path is too daunting, start by incorporating a meal or two a week in which meat plays a supporting role. Then, gradually work up to a few full-on vegetarian options. While the internet is a great place to start your journey towards a healthier menu, finding well-written and reliable recipes can be a challenge. We recommend visiting your local library and checking out a few titles. A few of our favorite veg-heavy and family-friendly cookbooks (translation: great for busy weeknights) include Ottolenghi Simple, Milk Street: Tuesday Nights, and A Modern Way to Cook.

#2 — Watch Your Weight

A few weeks ago we wrote about the relationship between obesity and sudden cardiac death in young people, but being overweight is a key risk factor for heart disease for people of all ages. Which is especially troubling, considering that 72% of Americans are either overweight or obese (Centers for Disease Control). Obesity can put you at risk for a myriad of health problems related to heart disease such as stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes. If you’re worried about your weight, don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor or to contact a nutritionist to develop a plan of action.

Losing weight can be daunting, but here’s the good news: there’s scientific evidence that losing just 5% of your body weight can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure levels, decrease your risk of diabetes, help pave the way for a better night’s sleep, and reduce inflammation (Obesity Action Coalition).

#3 — Make a Promise to Yourself to Exercise More

New Federal physical activity guidelines released on earlier this week recommend that adults “…complete at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity every week, along with strength training twice a week. They also suggest balance training for older people and, for the first time, urge kids between the ages of 3 and 5 to be active for at least three hours a day, an acknowledgment that even small children run the risk of being too sedentary these days” (New York Times).

Staying active and fit can lower your blood pressure, help you lose or maintain your weight, lower your cholesterol, help control your blood sugar, and reduce your stress levels.

Okay, we all know why exercise is good for us, but only 1 in 5 adults and teens get enough exercise. Yikes!

If you’re sedentary, start by simply getting up more frequently and moving around. Invest in a pedometer, Fitbit, or step-counting app to help you achieve your fitness goals. Soon, you’ll find yourself taking the stairs, rather than the elevator and parking as far away from the entrance as possible. Every step counts, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly they add up!

Once you’ve hit your 10,000 steps-per-day goal, set your sites on some cardio and weight training. Make exercising social by going to a class at the gym or by enlisting a friend to work out or walk with you. If you’re the solitary sort, go for a meditative walk or run. Either way, be consistent but be willing cut yourself some slack; if there are days when fitting in 30 minutes of exercise seems impossible, try to fit in a few 10-minute exercise breaks throughout the day.

You may want to speak with your physician before starting an exercise program.

#4 — Read Labels

Who knew that reading was such a great strategy for preventing heart disease?! Following a heart-healthy diet means keeping a close eye on your sodium, sugar, and fat intake, since these are tied to heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. What better way to watch what you eat than to read the fine print?

Generally speaking, pre-packaged foods aren’t as healthy as meals and snacks that are prepared fresh from whole ingredients. While you’re paying attention to calories, fats, sodium, and sugar, be sure to keep an eye on serving sizes! Hint: beverages can be a surprising source of sugar and sodium. Eliminating soda, energy drinks, supermarket smoothies, and juices can do wonders for your daily calorie intake.

#5 — Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Poor sleep is tied to a number of risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, heart failure, and sleep apnea. For many, getting a good night’s sleep (that’s 7-9 hours for adults) is harder than it sounds. Invest in a white noise machine, avoid afternoon coffee runs and evening chocolate binges, turn off the TV, go to sleep at the same time every night, and avoid alcohol before bedtime.

Ready to promote heart-healthy choices and cardiac awareness at your workplace? Contact us to learn more about our blended or traditional CPR and First Aid training courses. Call our team at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

How Obesity Plays a Deadly Role in Cardiac Arrest Among Young People

The Good News? Early Screening for Cardiovascular Risk Factors Can Save Lives.


We all know that being overweight or obese is bad for your health, but did you know the extent to which obesity and other risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol are linked to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in young people between the ages of five and 34?

A recent study conducted by Sumeet S. Chugh, MD, medical director of Cedars-Sinai’s Heart Rhythm Center in Los Angeles and a leader in sudden cardiac death research, found that easily identifiable cardiovascular risk factors were common in young people who suffer from cardiac arrest.

First, a quick word about SCA. Unlike a heart attack, which occurs when one or more coronary artery becomes blocked, SCA occurs when the heart stops beating, stopping the flow of blood to the brain and to other vital organs. SCA often occurs abruptly and without warning. If the heartbeat is not restored with an electrical shock, death follows within minutes. In fact, SCA accounts for more than 350,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Cardiac arrest claims one life every 90 seconds and accounts for more deaths than colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, influenza, pneumonia, auto accidents, HIV, firearms, and house fires combined (Heart Rhythm Society).

Obesity can significantly increase the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, and all three of these conditions are closely connected with heart disease. In fact, Science Daily reports that being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk of coronary heart disease by up to 28% compared to those with a healthy body weight, even if they have healthy blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels!

We recently investigated What Causes Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Young People and found that although causes of SCA in children and young adults vary, death is often a result of genetic heart abnormalities, structural abnormalities, or commotio cordis caused by athletic activity. However, researchers at Cedars-Sinai have discovered that obesity and other common (and often preventable) cardiovascular risk factors may play a much greater role in SCA in children and younger people than previously known.

Obesity, Other Risks Play Large Role in Sudden Cardiac Arrest Among the Young,” an article published by the hospital about Dr. Chugh’s study, notes that “Combinations of obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking were found in nearly 60 percent of cases studied. The findings shed light on a public health problem among the young that has remained largely unsolved.”

“One of the revelations of this study is that risk factors such as obesity may play a much larger role for the young people who die from sudden cardiac arrest than previously known,” said Dr. Chugh.

The comprehensive 16-hospital, multiyear assessment was conducted as part of the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study.  The study was partially funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Routine Preventative Visits May Reduce Cardiovascular Risk

In the article, Dr. Chugh suggests extending prevention efforts (such as offering resources for smoking cessation programs, sharing exercise guidelines, and tips for healthy eating) to include routine preventive screenings for children and young adults. This addition could help reduce cardiovascular risk.

“The added benefit of such screenings is that early efforts to reduce cardiovascular risk are known to translate into reduction of adult cardiovascular disease,” he said.

These visits, typically covered at no charge by health insurance providers (healthcare.gov), usually include screenings, checkups, and counseling. The goal of these visits is to help prevent health problems before a young person at risk for sudden cardiac arrest experiences any symptoms. By reducing known risk factors for cardiovascular disease, we may simultaneously lower the number of deaths caused by cardiac arrest.

We hope you’ll visit our blog in the coming weeks for more information on smoking cessation and for strategies to prevent heart disease. In the meantime, if you’re thinking about purchasing a new or recertified AED for your home or workplace, or you’d like to schedule AED training or maintenance, visit AED.com or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. We also welcome your emails, you can reach us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.