Tag Archives: cardiac arrest

Just Say Know: Hands-Only CPR

If someone’s heart stopped beating, would you know what to do? It’s important for all community members to learn CPR. The American Heart Association now recommends hands-only CPR. That means chest compressions only, without mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

This video showcases how it’s done. It’s easier than you think. Please watch it and share it with your family and friends.

Hands-Only CPR Notes:
1. Send someone to call 911 or have someone call 911.
2. Kneel directly over the victim.
2. Put the heel of your hand over the center of the chest. Then, put your other hand on top of the first.
3. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives.
4. The tempo should be 100 to 120 compressions per minute, which is the rhythm of the song “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees.

You can help save a life.

#CPRSavesLives
#JustSayKnow

Surviving Cardiac Arrest

Alan Courtney suffered cardiac arrest playing ultimate frisbee with his F3 group in Lexington. From the field to the ambulance to Lexington Medical Center, a highly-skilled chain of clinicians worked together to save his life. Alan received “The Phoenix Award” this year, which honors cardiac arrest survivors. Here’s his story.

 

“For a patient to survive cardiac arrest in the community, we need a high level of integration and coordination of care. The Phoenix Award allows us to showcase Lexington Medical Center’s valuable partnership with our first responders and Lexington County Public Safety,” said Brent M. Powers, MD, LMC’s chief medical officer. “It’s also a way to celebrate the stories of our cardiac arrest survivors and introduce them to the people who saved their lives.”

Lexington County Public Safety is the sole provider of 9-1-1 services in Lexington County. Covering 750 square miles, Lexington County 9-1-1, Fire Service and Emergency Medical Services work seamlessly as a team to provide for the emergency needs of citizens and visitors.

When cardiac arrest occurs, the heart cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs. Seconds later, a person becomes unresponsive, is not breathing or is gasping. Death can occur within minutes if the patient does not receive treatment. Cardiac arrest can be reversible in some victims if it’s treated within a few minutes. First, call 9-1-1 and start CPR right away. If an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is available, use it as soon as possible.

“The Widow-Maker”

Celebrity trainer Bob Harper recently suffered a type of heart attack called “the widow-maker.” He talked about it on The Today Show this week in this interview.

 

Dr. Brandon Drafts

So, what’s a “widow-maker?” And how does someone so passionate about health and fitness have a heart attack? We asked Dr. Brandon Drafts, cardiologist with Lexington Cardiology at Lexington Medical Center.

Q: What’s “the widow-maker?”
A: The “widow-maker” is a term used to describe a heart attack that occurs in the proximal portion of the left anterior descending (LAD) artery. The disease process or the sequence of events that leads to a heart attack is the same, but the location of the “widow-maker” is critical because of the large territory of heart muscle that is at risk, which could lead to cardiac arrest. It’s important to know that any heart attack can potentially be fatal, but the location of the “widow-maker” is very high risk.

Q: Bob Harper was a health and fitness fanatic, but also had a family history of heart disease. Are genetics alone enough to cause a heart attack, even if you’re healthy?
A: Yes, it’s possible that genetics can be the major factor leading to a heart attack. It’s uncommon, but we do see either severe heart disease or heart attacks that occur in very active people or even competitive athletes like marathon runners.

Genetics are complex, but basically involve deficiencies or mutations of certain genes that cause the coronary arteries to be more susceptible to the fatty plaque build-up that obstructs blood flow or can cause a sudden heart attack. Genetics can also refer to cardiac risk factors such as high cholesterol or diabetes that can be very difficult to control despite medical therapy.

So, it’s important to get established with a doctor who can monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight over time.

Learn more about cardiovascular services at Lexington Medical Center by visiting LexMed.com/Heart.