Tagged with 'Sudden Cardiac Arrest'

What’s the Connection Between Stress and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

What’s the Connection Between Stress and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

What’s the Connection Between Stress and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?  

Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month? Sponsored by The Health Resource Network (HRN), a nonprofit health education organization, Stress Awareness Month is a national, cooperative effort to inform people about the dangers of stress, promote successful coping strategies, and dispel harmful misconceptions and misperceptions about stress.

High-Stress Levels Can Be Hard on Your Heart  

We’ve all felt our hearts race when an unexpected (and unexpectedly ugly) bill rears its nasty head or when the kids refuse to submit those online assignments on time. But did you know that high levels of stress drive up your risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems including high cholesterol, blood clots, and even cardiac arrest?

Stress doesn't just affect your sense of wellbeing and calm, stress can even affect you on a cellular level! Long-term stress and stress disorders can lead to a wide range of illnesses—from headaches to stomach issues to depression—and yes, even strokes and heart disease. Understanding the mind/stress/health connection can help you better manage stress and improve your health and well-being.

The American Heart Association notes that “More research is needed to determine how stress contributes to heart disease — the leading killer of Americans. But stress may affect behaviors and factors that increase heart disease risk: high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, smoking, physical inactivity, and overeating.” 

What is Stress?

Basically, it’s the fight or flight response that’s hardwired into our nervous system. It’s the response that keeps us safe and gets us moving quickly when there’s an immediate threat — like running from a charging dog, fire, or oncoming object.

“When you perceive a threat, stress hormones rush into your bloodstream—increasing heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels. Other hormones also suppress functions like digestion and the immune system, which is one of the reasons why chronic stress can leave you more vulnerable to illness” (Federal Occupational Health).

Although danger is a common stress trigger, toxic work environments, uncertain finances, traumatic experiences, family stress, or anxiety can also lead to chronic stress. A bad day at the office or a one-off disagreement with a loved one won't damage your health in the long run, but chronic stress can dampen your immune response and put you at an increased risk for cardiovascular and other diseases.

What Can You Do To Manage Your Stress Levels?

Here are a few great ways to manage stress safely and effectively (they all just happen to be heart-healthy choices, too!):

  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Do yoga with a friend
  • Drink a cup of herbal tea
  • Call a friend
  • Go for a walk
  • Snuggle with a pet
  • Eat a piece of fruit
  • Play an instrument

If your stress is pressurized like a firehose, ask for help. Look for a local or online stress management class or find a therapist who specializes in stress disorders. You don’t have to tackle this on your own!

Questions about AEDs, bleeding control kits, or first aid classes? Contact Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362 learn more. We also welcome your emails, and you can reach us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

DISCLAIMER: Information and resources found on the aed.com website and blog are intended to educate, inform, and motivate readers to make their health and wellness decisions after consulting with their healthcare provider. The authors are not healthcare providers. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.

What’s the Connection Between Heart Disease and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

What’s the Connection Between Heart Disease and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

What’s the Connection Between Heart Disease and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

“You nearly caused me to suffer sudden cardiac arrest!” doesn’t have the same ring to it as “You nearly gave me a heart attack!” does it?

We realize we’re not going to remove that particular misleading nugget from our lexicon, but we can point out the differences — and connections — between SCA, heart attacks, and heart disease.

Heart attacks (which are often caused by heart disease) and sudden cardiac arrest are extremely serious medical events requiring immediate medical attention. However, many people don’t fully understand the differences between these common killers. 

What’s a Heart Attack?

A heart attack is a circulatory problem that occurs when blood flow to the heart is severely reduced or blocked.

Serious as a heart attack, in fact.

During a heart attack, the heart may continue to beat normally but if the blockage is not quickly resolved, parts of the heart muscle begin to die due to lack of oxygen. The longer a heart attack goes on without treatment, the greater the damage to the muscle. 

Heart attacks occur more often in individuals with a history of heart disease.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Symptoms can occur hours, days, and even weeks before the heart attack itself. According to the American Heart Association, the most common symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting
  • Jaw, neck, or back pain
  • Discomfort or pain in arm or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath

Women may also experience the following warning signs:

  • Pressure in the lower chest or upper abdomen
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Unusual fatigue

What’s Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac arrest is an electrical problem caused when an individual’s heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, preventing blood and oxygen from flowing to vital organs. 

When the heart stops beating, death can occur within minutes. 

SCA is always as serious as a heart attack! 

Without CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing to vital organs and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) to shock the heart back into a healthy rhythm, SCA is always fatal.

Symptoms of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

A heart attack often telegraphs its arrival with clearly defined symptoms; however, SCA occurs with little or no warning. Symptoms are immediate and critical: 

  • Sudden loss of consciousness/responsiveness
  • Absence of breathing
  • No pulse.

Here’s a connection between heart disease and SCA that you should know about: People who have suffered a heart attack are at an increased risk of experiencing SCA. 

The good news is that cardiac arrest can be reversible if treated in the first few minutes with CPR and by using an AED on the victim.

What You Can Do to Assist Someone Who is Experiencing a Heart Attack or Cardiac Arrest

Call 911 immediately. The operator may be able to help you administer compression-only CPR to the victim. If possible, ask a bystander to locate an AED and use the device immediately. 

You never know when your actions could help save a life.

To learn more about our CPR and AED courses or schedule a training, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com

DISCLAIMER: Information and resources found on the aed.com website and blog are intended to educate, inform, and motivate readers to make their health and wellness decisions after consulting with their healthcare provider. The authors are not healthcare providers. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.

5 reasons why your gym or fitness center needs an AED

5 reasons why your gym or fitness center needs an AED

5 reasons why your gym or fitness center needs an AED

The importance of AEDs in fitness centers and gyms

Making sure your gym or fitness center has an automated external defibrillator (AED) can mean the difference between life and death. AEDs are small, portable, and easy-to-use life-saving devices that can be used to shock a person’s heart back into rhythm if it has stopped or is beating irregularly.

Reason #1: SCA is more common than you think it is

According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 Americans suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year. 

Reason #2: Strenuous Exercise Raises Short-term Risk of Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest 

And many of these cardiac arrests occur while people are pumping iron or pounding the treadmill. A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that about 16% of public, indoor sudden cardiac arrests reported over a 12-year period occurred at an exercise facility.

But that’s not an excuse for ditching your New Year’s Resolutions. Fitness is key to a healthy lifestyle. In fact, physical exercise remains one of the best ways to lower overall heart disease risk. So get moving!

Reason #3: AEDs Improve Survival Odds in Fitness Centers

Get this: that study also found that people who suffered cardiac arrest in traditional exercise facilities had a significantly higher survival rate compared to people who were in non-traditional exercise facilities (like community centers, church gyms, and dance studios).

What’s the difference? Well, fitness centers and gyms are more likely to have AEDs — and people on staff who are trained to use them — than other locations. Gyms are also more likely to have multiple AEDs throughout the facility. Poolside, cycling studios, weight rooms, cardio floors, and by the entrance are all common gym AED locations.

Reason #4: Your State May Require One

Many states require fitness facilities and gyms to have an AED on site. Any health club that does not have an AED — even if your state hasn’t mandated them — runs the risk of being seen as acting with indifference to the welfare and safety of its patrons and members. In other words, it’s your duty of care. 

Reason #5: Liability Protection

Facilities with AEDs may have lower insurance premiums because they’re less likely to endure liability lawsuits filed by grieving families.

To find out which AED is right for your gym or fitness facility or to schedule a training, visit our blog, call our team at 866-349-4362, or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com

DISCLAIMER: Information and resources found on the aed.com website and blog are intended to educate, inform, and motivate readers to make their health and wellness decisions after consulting with their healthcare provider. The authors are not healthcare providers. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.

Taking Care of Your AED in Cold Weather

Taking care of your AED in Cold Weather

Taking care of your AED in Cold Weather

How to store your AED in the winter

Not only do cold temperatures increase the likelihood of hypothermia — which can lead to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) — but weather extremes may also negatively affect the performance of your AED.

Whether you keep an AED for personal use in your vehicle or your commercial fleet is equipped with durable AEDs, like the Zoll AED Plus, it’s smart to understand how cold weather can impact your AED.

AED batteries drain more quickly in colder temperatures and the water-based gel found in some AED pads may freeze. AEDs that are too cold may also fail to operate, rendering them useless in emergency situations. The way you store your AED in winter can make a huge difference in your AED’s rescue-readiness.

Each AED manufacturer lists the optimal operating temperature ranges for their devices; typically, 32° to 122°F. To prolong the lifespan and ensure the efficacy of your AED, your unit should not be stored in a place where temperatures go below freezing or above 122°F. 

Many public access AEDs are stored outdoors, for around-the-clock availability. If you have an outdoor public access AED, be sure to invest in an all-weather cabinet and check the device’s batteries and pads monthly.

If you keep an AED in your car or work vehicle, insulated cases may help protect the device from extreme temperatures. We also recommend storing AEDs in the heated cabin (not the trunk!) and taking them indoors when temperatures are projected to fall below freezing. You may also want to invest in an extra battery, just in case cooler temperatures are extra hard on your battery!

Fortunately, most AEDs, like the Cardiac Science Powerheart, for example, perform daily self-checks to ensure that all its essential components are operational. These self-diagnostic checks assess defibrillator temperature.

If you’re AED is beeping or chirping, it requires immediate attention. Take the device indoors and allow it to return to normal operating temperatures. This may take at least 30 minutes. (Which, obviously, wouldn’t work in an SCA situation!) Then, follow the prompts to clear error messages and return the device to a state of rescue-readiness.

Keep your AED rescue-ready, regardless of the season. Invest in an affordable Cardio Partners preventative maintenance plan. Call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362 or send an email to customerservice@cardiopartners.com — we’re ready to help!

DISCLAIMER: The information included in this post and on our website is not intended as legal advice. As legislation changes often, this post may inadvertently contain inaccurate or incomplete information. We urge you to contact your state representative should you require more information about current AED, CPR, and Good Samaritan laws in your state.

DISCLAIMER: Information found on the aed.com blog is intended to educate, inform, and motivate readers to make their health and wellness decisions after consulting with their healthcare provider. The authors are not healthcare providers. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.

 

What Can YOU Do To Help Fight SCA?

Sudden Cardiac Arrest and You

What Can YOU Do To Help Fight SCA?

Sudden cardiac arrest may be surprising, but there’s no reason to be unprepared

Wondering what you can do to fight sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)? Get informed and share information with others! To help you out, we took a stroll through our blog and collected links to a few of our most popular posts. We hope you’ll spread the word about cardiac arrest and encourage businesses, leaders, and families in your community to fight SCA with knowledge, CPR training, and AEDs.

Knowledge is power: arm yourself with SCA stats

It’s surprising, but many people are unaware of how common SCA really is. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Each year, more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) occur in the United States.
  • Among middle-aged adults treated for SCA, 50% had no symptoms before the onset of arrest.
  • 475,000 Americans die from a cardiac arrest every year and 17.5 million people across the globe die from cardiovascular disease each year.
  • 10,000 SCAs occur in the workplace each year.
  • 68.5% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur at home.
  • 45% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims survive when bystander CPR is administered.

For more information, check out 6 Shocking Statistics About Cardiac Arrest.

Learn CPR

Learning CPR is one of the most important things you can do to fight SCA. What will you learn in a CPR course? You’ll learn why CPR is so effective, how it works, and how to perform it. You’ll also practice CPR on a manikin to fine-tune your skills and gain the confidence you need to save a life.

It’s easy to schedule CPR training. Download and share our CPR flyer with businesses and leaders in your community. 

Encourage local businesses to purchase AEDs

Cardiac arrest can be reversible. When local businesses have an AED on-site, they’re investing in their employees and their customers. When a person who is experiencing SCA receives CPR immediately and a shock from an AED, their survival odds are vastly improved. Does your favorite business have an AED? 

We’ve made it easy for you to share information about purchasing an AED! Download a free flyer today! 

Create an Emergency Plan

It’s great that your favorite coffee shop, rec center, and dentist have publicly accessible AEDs, but do they know what to do in the event of an emergency? Encourage any businesses or households with an AED to develop an emergency action plan

Purchase an AED for Home Use

Speaking of households with an AED ... we think it’s a good idea for individuals who are at a higher risk for cardiac arrest to have an AED for home use. It's especially important for the elderly, those with heart disease, or individuals with a family history of coronary artery disease. 

Other risk factors for SCA can include:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • A sedentary lifestyle

Ready to fight SCA with knowledge, AEDs, and CPR? We offer CPR, First Aid, AED, and bloodborne pathogen training courses in all 50 states in traditional classroom settings and blended learning courses

To learn more about our courses or to schedule training, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

DISCLAIMER: Information and resources found on the aed.com website and blog are intended to educate, inform, and motivate readers to make their health and wellness decisions after consulting with their healthcare provider. The authors are not healthcare providers. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.