Friday, July 31, 2015

American Heart Association Notes Passing of Dr. James Jude, CPR Pioneer

The American Heart Association recognizes the contributions of Dr. James Jude, one of the original pioneers of the life-saving CPR technique, who died this week at the age of 87. His obituary is here.

CPR has origins dating back to the 1700’s. In 1741, The Paris Academy of Sciences officially recommended mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for drowning victims. More than 100 years later in 1891, Dr. Friedrich Maass performed the first equivocally documented chest compression in humans.

But in 1960, a group of resuscitation pioneers, Drs. Peter Safar, James Jude, and William Bennett Kouwenhoven, combined mouth-to-mouth breathing with chest compressions to create Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, the lifesaving action we now call “CPR.”

Thanks to Dr. Jude's dedication to the study and use of the technique, CPR was formally endorsed in 1963 by the American Heart Association and the program began to acquaint physicians with closed-chest cardiac resuscitation.

The American Heart Association became the forerunner of CPR training for the general public. Today, through its global Training Network of close to 300,000 Instructors and more than 3500 authorized Training Centers, the AHA trains more than 12 million people annually in CPR, first aid and advanced cardiovascular life support.

Throughout the years, CPR has evolved from a technique performed almost exclusively by physicians and healthcare professionals. Today it’s a lifesaving skill that is simple enough for anyone to learn. However, research has shown that several factors prevent bystanders from taking action, including fear that they will perform CPR incorrectly, fear of legal liability, and fear of infection from performing mouth-to-mouth.

Recommendations outlined in the 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR & ECC (Emergency Cardiovascular Care) continue to simplify CPR for rescuers, so that more people can and will act in the event of an emergency. However, to get CPR and first aid training into the hands of every person, from healthcare providers to bystanders, the way that the AHA delivers training and information also has evolved.

Through scientific research, the AHA has been able not only to create specialized training for professionals, but to lead the way in developments like Hands-Only™ CPR for bystanders, so that more victims have a chance at survival. It was 2008 when AHA first endorsed Hands-Only CPR – the two-step technique of calling 9-1-1 and pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives. Through the AHA’s Hands-Only CPR Ad Council campaign and other exciting initiatives, AHA is spreading the message that anyone can and should learn the simple skills that can save a life. Watch a one minute video here to learn Hands-Only CPR.

With its Alliance partner, Laerdal Medical, in 2005, AHA launched the revolutionary CPR Anytime® personal learning program, developed to increase CPR knowledge among the general public. CPR Anytime and Infant CPR Anytime kits contain everything needed to learn basic CPR skills in about 20 minutes.

In 2007 AHA created OnlineAHA.org, which offers a variety of online courses in basic and advanced life support, CPR and first aid, stroke education, rhythm recognition and more to deliver training to busy healthcare professionals and employees with a duty to respond to emergencies in the workplace. To date, more than 1.25 million people have completed courses through OnlineAHA.org!

The AHA also has been able to create tools for the general public that deliver real-time lifesaving information. The AHA Pocket First Aid & CPR Smartphone Application – AHA’s first app – amazingly helped Dan Wooley, a U.S. filmmaker trapped for more than 60 hours in rubble from the massive January 12, 2010, Haiti earthquake survive. He was able to treat his injuries using information found on the app, which features hundreds of pages of illustrations covering CPR and first aid procedures, and more than 40 detailed videos.

So many lives have been saved with CPR since the 1960's, and it all started with the dedication of Dr. Jude and his colleagues.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Beat the Heat With No-Cook Healthy Recipes from the American Heart Association

Summer is in full swing and we're having a heat wave!  This summer, the American Heart Association wants you to protect your heart by keeping cool in the heat, eating healthy seasonal foods, staying hydrated, and making sure you take breaks if exerting in the heat.

Keep cool & hydrate!
The body has ways to keep itself cool in the heat — like sweating — but if the body can’t cool itself down, you get sick with heat-related illnesses like heat stroke or heat exhaustion. 

Here are a few tips to stay cool: 

  • Drink water all day long, not sugary drinks. Don't wait until you're thirsty--that's too late
  • Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages. 
  • Avoid salt tablets unless your healthcare provider has prescribed them. 
  • Avoid the heat from noon to 4pm when it is hottest
  • If you have to be in the sun, take regular breaks from exertion in the heat. Find some shade or a cool place, stop for a few minutes, hydrate and start again 
  • Don't make your body work hard to digest large or fatty meals. Eat light foods like fruits, veggies, salads, nuts and beans when it's hot. 
Beat the heat with these no-cook healthy recipes from the American Heart Association!









This recipe for Minted Sugar Snap Peas cooks in only 3 minutes!


And take a moment to learn the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Both are medical emergencies and require immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:
  • headaches
  • heavy sweating 
  • cold, moist skin, chills 
  • dizziness or fainting (syncope
  • a weak and rapid pulse 
  • muscle cramps 
  • fast, shallow breathing 
  • nausea, vomiting or both
If you experience these symptoms, move to a cooler place, stop exercising and cool down immediately by dousing yourself with cold water and rehydrating. You may need to seek medical attention.

Symptoms of heat stroke:

  • warm, dry skin with no sweating 
  • strong and rapid pulse 
  • confusion and/or unconsciousness 
  • high fever 
  • throbbing headaches 
  • nausea, vomiting or both
If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

Summer Heat Can Be Hard on Your Heart


Whatever brings you outside this summer— a bike ride with friends, a jog in the park or just a stroll around the block — it’s important to stay safe when the temperature rises, warns the American Heart Association.

If you’re a heart patient, older than 50 or overweight, you might need to take special precautions in the heat, according to Gerald Fletcher, M.D., professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, in Jacksonville, Florida.

Always check with your healthcare professional before starting an exercise routine. Certain heart medications like beta blockers, ace receptor blockers, ace inhibitors, calcium channel blockers and diuretics (which deplete the body of sodium) can exaggerate the body’s response to heat, Fletcher said.

But Fletcher points out that it’s important to keep taking your medications —and taking them when you’re supposed to. 

Even if they’re not on medications, older people also need to take precautions in the heat.
“If you’re older than 50, you may not be aware that you’re thirsty,” Fletcher said. “If you’re going to be outside, it’s important to drink water even if you don’t think you need it.”

Tips for everyone 
Think you’re ready to brave the heat? Watch the clock and buddy up, Fletcher said. It’s best to avoid the outdoors in the early afternoon (about noon to 3 p.m.) because the sun is usually at its strongest, putting you at higher risk for heat-related illnesses. 
If you can, exercise with a friend, because it’s safer — and more fun — to have someone at your side. Here are some other tips:
  • Get off on the right foot. You probably sweat the most in your shoes, so choose well-ventilated shoes and look for socks that repel perspiration. Foot powders and antiperspirants can also help with sweat.
  • Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton, or a newer fabric that repels sweat. Add a hat and/or sunglasses.
  • Drink up. Before you get started, apply a water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and reapply it every two hours. Stay hydrated by drinking a few cups of water before, during and after your exercise. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
  • Caffeine raises body temperature and increases heart rate which forces your body to work harder to keep cool.
  • Alcohol is a vasodilator, which means it enlarges the blood vessels which raises your body temperature. It can cause irregular heart beats and an increase in blood pressure
  • Take regular breaks. Find some shade or a cool place, stop for a few minutes, hydrate and start again.
Whatever you do, don’t throw in the towel, Fletcher said. “Don’t NOT exercise — adapt!”

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:
  • headaches
  • heavy sweating 
  • cold, moist skin, chills 
  • dizziness or fainting (syncope
  • a weak and rapid pulse 
  • muscle cramps 
  • fast, shallow breathing 
  • nausea, vomiting or both
If you experience these symptoms, move to a cooler place, stop exercising and cool down immediately by dousing yourself with cold water and rehydrating. You may need to seek medical attention.

Symptoms of heat stroke:
  • warm, dry skin with no sweating 
  • strong and rapid pulse 
  • confusion and/or unconsciousness 
  • high fever 
  • throbbing headaches 
  • nausea, vomiting or both

If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Stay Cool For Your Heart

Summertime often means afternoon strolls, bike rides, baseball, swimming and other outdoor activities. And while the sunny days may make for great beach weather, the American Heart Association warns that extreme heat can be hard on the heart.

“As temperatures rise, so can your risk for suffering health issues like heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” said David Violante, AHA Board Member and Arlington Fire EMS Assistant Director, “So it’s important that people take simple steps to protect their hearts while in the heat.”

Infants, young children, heart patients, those older than 50 or people who are overweight are at higher risk for heat-related illnesses. Certain medications or illnesses can also raise the risk.

It’s important to know the signs and symptoms when you may be experiencing too much heat.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:

• headaches
• heavy sweating
• cold, moist skin, chills
• dizziness or fainting (syncope)
• a weak and rapid pulse
• muscle cramps
• fast, shallow breathing
• nausea, vomiting or both

If you experience these symptoms, move to a cooler place, stop exercising and cool down immediately by dousing yourself with cold water and rehydrating. You may need to seek medical attention.

Symptoms of heat stroke:

• warm, dry skin with no sweating
• strong and rapid pulse
• confusion and/or unconsciousness
• high fever
• throbbing headaches
• nausea, vomiting or both

If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

Stay Physically Active...Safely in the Heat
Staying physically active all year long is imperative to good heart health. The American Heart Association reports that physically active people can reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease by nearly 30%. So during the hot summer months, it’s important that you take the right precautions:


  • Follow the doctor’s orders. If you are a heart patient, over the age of 50, overweight or just starting an exercise program, be sure to check with your doctor for your best exercise routine.
  • Try to watch the clock. It’s best to avoid the outdoors in the early afternoon (about noon to 4 p.m.) because the sun is usually at its strongest, putting you at higher risk for heat-related illnesses.
  • Get off on the right foot. You probably sweat the most in your shoes, so choose well-ventilated shoes and look for socks that repel perspiration. Foot powders and antiperspirants can also help with sweat.
  • Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton, or a newer fabric that repels sweat. Add a hat and/or sunglasses. Before you get started, apply a water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and reapply it every two hours.
  • Drink up. Stay hydrated by drinking a few cups of water before, during and after your exercise. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages. It’s important to stay hydrated even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Take regular breaks. Find some shade or a cool place, stop for a few minutes, hydrate and start again.
  • People can adapt their normal exercise routines when the heat is on. Walking inside air-conditioned buildings, going for a swim or using exercise videos at home are great substitutes for outdoor exercise.

For more information, tips and advice on how to take care of your heart, visit www.heart.org or call 1-800-AHA-USA-1.

Friday, June 26, 2015

American Heart Association’s New HeartChase Race Comes to Trumbull

The American Heart Association’s HeartChase event took over the CooperSurgical corporate campus to help fight heart disease—the number one killer of Connecticut residents. This new program offered CooperSurgical employees a creative way to explore the campus during a healthy activity, connect with their colleagues, and contribute to an important cause.

HeartChase is a good-cause adventure game that puts teams on a quest to discover hidden rewards and complete activities that inspire healthy living. Teams of 4-5 people competed against other teams in a chase thro+ugh the Cooper Surgical corporate campus. Each team faced multiple checkpoint challenges and located hidden cards all while tracking progress on their game day maps. The team with the most points at the end of the clock wins. Prizes were also presented for employees who raised the most in donations for the American Heart Association.
 This was the first HeartChase event to be held at a corporate site. Events have been held in cities around the country to give participants the chance to have an adventure, without having to leave their workplace or city, and raise money to support the life-saving work of the American Heart Association.


CooperSurgical exceeded their $25,000 goal by raising more than $30,000 to support AHA programs and research. HeartChase supports the American Heart Association’s goal to reduce death from heart disease and stroke by 20% by the year 2020, and also to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% by the year 2020 so that more lives are saved and fewer Americans die from heart disease.
“HeartChase is a great way to get employees outside and active in a fun way,” said Judy Campisi, American Heart Association Executive Director, “Every step they take and every dollar they raise helps fight heart disease in our community.”

To learn more about hosting a HeartChase event in your area or workplace, please visit www.heartchase.org or call the Westchester-Fairfield American Heart Association at 914-640-3273 or online at www.heart.org/purchase .



Connecticut Becomes 24th State to Require CPR Training in High School

PRAISE AND HOPE FROM AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION
AS GOV. MALLOY SIGNS SENATE BILL 962

We did that! Connecticut becomes 24th state to have CPR training as high school graduation requirement!

American Heart Association volunteers and community leaders are celebrating the signing of Senate Bill 962 which Governor Malloy signed Wednesday June 24th. The bill will require all local and regional Boards of Education to include CPR as part of the health and safety curriculum to all students before they graduate.


To get the bill to the Governor’s desk, AHA volunteers in the You’re the Cure volunteer action network had traveled to Hartford to meet with legislators; written letters to the editor; given media interviews; rallied support on social media; and phoned representatives to lobby for the bill that ensures students learn CPR before graduation.

After learning that Gov. Malloy signed the CPR in Schools bill, volunteers were excited that Connecticut will be the 24th State to make CPR a graduation requirement.

“CPR as a graduation requirement is a phenomenal idea”, said Bruce Hoffman, a You’re the Cure advocate, critical care nurse and paramedic. “By requiring all students to learn CPR prior to graduation allows for the creation of an entire generation of lifesavers.  I am proud to have worked on this legislation with the help of the Ellington Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc. and the Ellington Rescue Post 512.  Three young ladies from the Ellington Rescue Post 512 and their mentors were instrumental in demonstrating and teaching several key legislators how to perform CPR and its many benefits.”

"I am overjoyed that the CPR in schools Bill has been signed into law! Students my age will now receive the hands on training to become the vital lifesavers that are so needed,” said Mahika Jhangiani (photo at left). 

The Norwalk High School student made CPR training her senior school project to make an impact on survival from sudden cardiac arrest in her community. She is an American Heart Association basic life support CPR instructor and Westport EMS volunteer. She testified at the CPR in Schools hearing in Hartford earlier this year. 

With the new legislation in place, approximately 36,500 Connecticut students will be trained in CPR annually and be prepared to take action if the need arises.

“Sudden cardiac arrest could happen at any time, anywhere and to anyone. It could happen in school,” remarked Dan Giungi, Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association. 

“With Governor Malloy signing this bill into law, it shows a commitment to teach students the lifesaving skill of CPR before they graduate, putting hundreds of qualified lifesavers in our communities, year after year.”

Nationally, four out of five sudden cardiac arrests happen at home and approximately 94 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital.  Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival. Being trained to perform CPR can mean the difference between life and death for a loved one.
                                                                                       


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Son Saves Father's Life with CPR

Father's Day is a happy one for a Beekman family after son saves father's life with CPR.

Son and Neighbor Honored by American Heart Association for Saving Father’s Life with CPR - Emergency Personnel also Honored

L to R: John Arnold, Jr., Mark Rampola, Mrs. Arnold and Heather Cooper.
The American Heart Association honored  two Beekman residents and Beekman emergency personnel for helping to save the life of a sudden cardiac arrest victim. The AHA's Heartsaver Hero awards were presented at the Beekman Town Board Meeting on June 17th.

In front of a packed room, Beekman Rescue Squad Captain, Heather Cooper (pictured speaking at right) read the incident report from May 25th:

"John Arnold, Jr., the son of the victim, John Arnold, Sr., started CPR on his father within two minutes of his collapse from sudden cardiac arrest, and neighbor and family friend, Mark Rampola also helped with CPR. Because 9-1-1 was activated immediately, basic life support staff were on scene within three minutes and used an automatic defibrillator, where a shock was advised to regain heart rhythm. Advanced life support personnel were on scene within four minutes and used advanced care to regain spontaneous heart circulation and breathing. The victim was transported to Vassar Brothers Medical Center where he stayed for over a week and was released, without any deficits."

“This life was saved because all of the links in the Chain of Survival were strong,” said Carolyn Torella, AHA spokesperson. 

According to the American Heart Association, 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. But CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.


“It all starts with bystanders, these hometown heroes, knowing and using their CPR skills to help save a life. CPR is easy to learn and everyone should know CPR because sudden cardiac arrest has no warning and 80% of the time, it happens at home. You will likely be saving the life of someone you love," she said.


Such was the case with the Arnold family, who were fortunate that John Arnold, Jr., knew CPR. Arnold and Rampalo are both police officers in Westchester and have had CPR training. 


Transcare paramedics still visit John Arnold, Sr. every Monday to check in on him. Sue Puggioni EMT with Transcare said in all her years as an EMT, this was the first out-of-hospital cardiac arrest "save" she has witnessed. "He's very special."

According to the AHA, if you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse from sudden cardiac arrest, call 9-1-1 and begin Hands-Only CPR by pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the disco song, “Stayin’ Alive” until EMS arrives. Watching a one-minute Hands-Only CPR video can increase a person’s confidence to perform CPR, according to the AHA. The video is online at www.heart.org/handsonlycpr or through an app for Android or iPhones.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in New York State and the nation. Without immediate bystander intervention, cardiac arrest victim survival rates drop dramatically. Nearly 326,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States and survival depends on getting CPR immediately from someone nearby. Sadly, 70% of Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR or they’re afraid of hurting the victim. To find a local CPR class, visit www.heart.org/CPR.

The American Heart Association advocated for a New York State law, passed last year, which will ensure that all students are trained in life-saving CPR before they graduate from high school. Currently, 23 states have passed similar laws. The NYS Board of Regents unanimously supported the draft language for the CPR training and the regulations will be published for public comment soon. The training could be adopted by October. Local residents can learn more online at www.becprsmart.org.

Beekman Rescue and Transcare staff involved in the save included:
Ed Becker Paramedic, Sue Puggioni EMT, Chief Greg Rayburn, Firefighter Andrew Rayburn, EMT Donna Herbst, EMT John Field, EMT Jona Falencki, Rescue Squad Member Cici Field, Rescue Squad Member Jodi Briggs, Rescue Squad Member Gene Garnes, and Kyle Hunt Public Safety Dispatcher.