Living Heart Smart

Living Heart Smart Heart Attack Prevention

Your heart is the most vital organs, keeping all other organs and you going. So it should be someone we take great care of. Because once it stops, it doesn’t always start again. Especially if an AED isn’t available. 

Luckily, it is very easy to live a heart-smart life. These are all things that most of us are already or trying to do for our health. Including these things in your life are crucial for the prevention of things like heart disease, stroke, cardiac arrest, and countless other benefits. 

Lifestyle

Your lifestyle can drastically affect the condition of your heart, not to mention other vital organs and your overall health. Everything from how stressful our lifestyle is, to how we indulge and everything in between. 

 Smoking 

By now it is old news that smoking is a huge link in heart disease, heart attack, stroke and other various forms of conditions and cancers. So it may sound a little redundant, smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your heart and overall health. 

While quitting can be challenging, studies show that soon after quitting, your body begins to repair some of the damage that has been done. So it is never too late to quit. 

Drinking

Drinking can also cause unnecessary stress on your heart. Alcohol is a depressant that can literally lower your heart rate, and raise blood pressure. Excessive or long term use of alcohol (think, having just one or two every day) can also contribute to heart disease, as well as the failure of your liver, kidneys and greatly impacts how your brain is able to function and countless other effects on your body’s health. 

Stress in your lifestyle can also greatly impact your heart health. If you have a high-stress lifestyle, this can cause literal stress in the heart leading to weakening or as serious as causing or contributing to cardiac arrest and stroke. 

Diet 

Diet is definitely one of the most important factors in your heart’s overall health. What we put into our body directly affects how well it functions, and what condition it is in. 

Eating processed, fried and junk foods can have negative effects on your heart, such as putting excess stress on it, as well as plaque buildup in arteries which leads to stroke and heart attack. 

One of the biggest contributions to artery plaque is cholesterol and fat, as this mostly what it is composed of. 

Here are examples of foods that you should eat less often:

  • High in trans fat 
  • High in sugar 
  • Processed
  • Deep-Fried
  • Greasy 
  • Considered junk food
  • Considered fast food

Are generally things you want to limit in your diet, not only for the sake of your heart but for the rest of your body, your mental and emotional well being as well. 

Try To Include More Of;

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Fiber
  • Water

Exercise 

Exercise is essential to an overall happy healthy life and body. Even if you don’t exactly like the idea of working out, even a 20 minute walk a day is all you need to start reaping the benefits.

Exercising improves your overall body health and function and can lower your stress and even strengthen and improve your heart’s performance. 

Stress Management 

Don’t forget to relax! It is important to not only try and limit the stressors in our life but to actually deal with the stress itself. 

Some things you can do to reduce your stress are:

  • Exercise
  • Yoga 
  • Meditate 
  • Self Care (bath, home-spa, a real spa, etc.)
  • Having Down Time (games, reading, tv, etc.)

You don’t have to transform your life to be able to live Heart Smart. Try to make mindful choices and inclusions when it comes to these aspects of your life. Cook dinner more regularly than hitting the drive-thru, take the stairs instead of the elevator or bike instead of the bus or car, and don’t forget to relax


Everyday Heroes, People Saving Other People.

More often than not, a medical emergency doesn’t happen in the convenience of a home or a hospital. In the news and social media, we see examples of strangers saving other people’s lives. Because the reality is, many times it is a bystander who takes action. People save other people’s lives, all of the time.

A teenager in Surrey had experienced an unexplained event of Cardiac Arrest. It was the use of an AED and CPR that saved the boy’s life, you can read the full story here. A similar situation where in the middle of giving a speech at a banquet, a man fell into Cardiac Arrest and went unconscious. Two women who where CPR trained were able to save the man’s life with prompt CPR and AED use. You can enjoy the full story of that, here.

This is why it is important for organizations, even schools, and families to take action on educating themselves and others in proper first aid CPR and other emergency procedures, as well as having onsite AED units.

Emergencies such as Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen to anyone, any age, at any time. In Canada alone, on average someone goes into Sudden Cardiac Arrest every 12 minutes. 

Many businesses and organizations require only the manager to have First Aid/CPR training if any. The problem with that is there have been, and will be cases where it is the manager who is in need of assistance. By taking measures to have staff First Aid CPR trained organizations can better prepare for both an internal medical emergency, and gives them the ability to help in an emergency outside of the workplace. 

Similarly, schools should begin taking the initiative to provide First Aid and CPR education as part of their programs. Students can grasp, learn and use First Aid and CPR from a young age, but there are little measures taken to properly teach them. Take a look at the story of this Saskatoon Grandmother who was saved by her own grandchildren, whose mother taught them CPR over the summer.
Watch the short video here.

You never know who will end up using it, and the reverse of that is true. In many circumstances, not everyone is educated or comfortable enough to be able to take the action necessary in an emergency. Having proper First Aid and CPR training gives people the skills and confidence they need to be able to make a difference. 


The Shocking Reality of Emergency Medical Services

Shocking Reality of Emergency Medical Services

Manitoba is home to just over a Million people (total), but with only 10 official cities, this leaves a large amount of the population living in smaller rural communities, towns, and reservations. Manitoba has many populated areas that are without any nearby hospital or other emergency medical services. In many of these cases, there is little to no dedicated emergency medical services. In areas where there is no round-the-clock emergency medical care, it is often left up to the local officials or fire and law enforcement departments. The reality is, that isn’t practical.

Anywhere that you have a community, there needs to be emergency medical resources.

Winnipeg in recent years has seen a trend of emergency room & other similar service closures in Winnipeg and surrounding areas. Winnipeg has started closing emergency rooms or converting to urgent care only, leaving Winnipeg technically, with only 3 official emergency rooms.

While these changes are said to benefit a bigger picture such as the city and health care, staff, quality of care, all of those kinds of things, it does still have an impact on overall emergency care, especially since this seems to be the transition phase from what our previous EMS structure was, to what it will be. This still leaves many areas within Winnipeg alone without an Emergency Room, meaning the average amount of time it takes to get to get to the nearest ER goes up, as does wait times and, in turn, affecting the over all quality of care.

This is why Operation Heart Heal has decided to take matters into their own hands with their AED donation program. By placing a huge emphasis First Aid Training and AED donation in rural and First Nations communities that don’t have access to hospitals or other regulated emergencies medical care. 

Operation Heart Heal hopes to help by providing these rural areas with sufficient First Aid & CPR Training, as well as matching full classes with the donation of an AED (automated external defibrillator) unit.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest affects 1 Canadian every 12 minutes, and that could be anyone.

Rural areas such as smaller communities, reserves, and towns make up a large portion of our population but are often over saught because individually, they are small in size. The majority of Cardiac arrests happen at home or other public spaces, and the survival rate of Cardiac Arrest episodes without an AED is significantly lower compared to those where an AED is able to be used. 

The bottom line is, if there is a population there, there needs to be care.

By getting AED units located in these areas, members of the community can better assist each other in emergencies. Having an AED around during Cardiac Arrest can literally be the difference between life and death in many scenarios. AED’s are very user-friendly, usually provide instance or instruction on use and CPR and only shocks if it is detected as necessary, with these facts in mind, we should be taking extra effort to have more units throughout public areas. Ideally, communities and cities should be planning the proper placement of publically accessible AED units in their areas and making them public knowledge. While many buildings such as large employment offices, malls, and other public areas do take measures to make sure there is one on their properties, it is not common practice by municipality officials to be making this a priority, in most areas. 

For more information on AED’s including how to use them and perform CPR, be sure to stop by our blog. Feel free to share this information with as many people as you’d like, and don’t forget to follow or subscribe for updates on our blog, including Operation Heart Heal’s mission progress. 

If you know of an organization that could use first aid training, an AED or other questions, including how to get First Aid CPR & AED Certified yourself, get in touch with us today!