It’s February - National Heart Month, a time when our nation spotlights heart disease, the number one killer in our country.
Did you know?
You can take an active role in reducing your risk for heart disease by eating a healthy diet, engaging in physical activity, and managing your cholesterol and blood pressure. This is a wonderful opportunity to start heart-healthy habits!
While we are focusing on heart health this month, another heart condition to also be aware of is sudden cardiac arrest. Different from a heart attack, which is a circulation problem, causing a blockage or narrowing of the coronary artery and symptoms can include chest pain, fatigue, weakness, nausea, and difficulty breathing, and may occur hours or days before; cardiac arrest is an electrical situation where the heart stops beating abruptly, and symptoms may occur moments before where the individual may have loss of consciousness and collapse, no breathing, no pulse.
Whether you suspect it is cardiac arrest or a heart attack, the first step is always to call 911. Every minute matters!
After you have first responders on the way, in the case of a sudden cardiac arrest, start CPR and use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) if one is nearby.
Download PulsePoint, a free mobile app that alerts CPR-trained citizens of cardiac events in their vicinity. If the cardiac emergency is in a public place, the location-aware application will alert users in the vicinity of the need for CPR simultaneous with the dispatch of advanced medical care. The application also directs these potential rescuers to the exact location of the closest AED.
“With PulsePoint we hope to increase bystander involvement in time-sensitive medical calls by increasing the use of CPR and AEDs, while also keeping the community informed, in real time, of all emergency activities,” said Fire Chief, Ryan Sommers. “It gives our residents and visitors the ability to know when a cardiac arrest is occurring close by, locate AEDs in the area, and perform potentially lifesaving CPR while our personnel respond to the scene. It also shows them general information for all 9-1-1 calls to keep them better informed of what’s going on in our community, folks can also visit our PulsePoint page on our website.”
Throughout the year, NLTFPD responds to nearly 2,500 incidents, including more than a dozen cardiac arrest events.