Monthly Archives: November 2015

Heart Attacks in Men and Women: How Are They Different?

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the United States for both men and women.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 735,000 people have a heart attack in the United States every year.  Because of the significant amount of people who have heart attacks each year, it is important that we are able to recognize the symptoms of heart attacks in both men and women.  By becoming more aware of these differences, we can potentially save the lives of more people who are at risk of suffering a heart attack.

Who Is More Likely to Suffer a Heart Attack: Men or Women?

It may surprise many that more women than men die every year from a heart attack and are also more likely to suffer a second heart attack within five years of the first.  This could be for many reasons.  One reason is that women tend to not recognize typical and atypical symptoms of heart attacks.  Another reason is that doctors may attribute chest pains in women to causes other than cardiac problems.  On the other hand, men are statistically more likely to suffer from heart attacks earlier in life than women.  Another discrepancy in heart attacks in men and women results from women’s hearts not being researched in clinical studies until recently.  Results of these studies are still being analyzed in order to shed more light on women’s heart health and will hopefully provide more answers.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

The symptoms of a heart attack in the two genders needs to be recognized so that anyone experiencing these symptoms can identify them and seek medical attention.  While there is some overlap in heart attack symptoms in men and women, there are also some key differences that should be noted.

Symptoms in men:  Common symptoms of heart attack in men include weakness, unusual fatigue, shortness of breath, breaking out in cold sweats, and dizziness.

Symptoms in women:  Women may experience heart attack symptoms such as shortness of breath, a disturbance of sleep, unusual fatigue, a feeling of indigestion, and anxiety.

Both men and women may experience the basic signs of a heart attack, such as chest discomfort and pain or pressure in the chest, neck, arms, or back.   Other symptoms that both sexes may experience include sweating and a feeling of heartburn that may come with nausea.  Men are more likely to experience these typical symptoms than women.  Many women neglect to seek medical attention because they believe they have the flu or something that is not serious.  For this reason, it is important for women to pay especially close attention to their symptoms.

How to Prevent Heart Attacks

No one wants to be at risk for heart attacks or other cardiovascular problems.  This is why it is crucial that we all take steps to prevent them from occurring by lowering our risk and being prepared.  Here are some ways that we can reduce our risk of heart attacks:

Exercise regularly:  Walking only 30 minutes a day can lower your risk of a heart attack.  Develop a regular exercise schedule and stick to it in order to keep your heart healthy.  Exercise can provide a handful of other benefits as well, including an elevated mood and a leaner waistline.

Maintain a healthy diet:  A diet that is heart healthy will ultimately lower your risk of a heart attack.  Avoid processed foods, lower your intake of salt, and eat foods that are rich in nutrients, fiber, and healthy fats.

Quit smoking:  After one year of quitting smoking, you can cut your risk of coronary heart disease in half.  Smoking has been shown to increase the risk of heart attacks in both men and women, and it is critical that you stop in order to reduce your chances.

Schedule regular visits to the doctor:  Learning your personal risk of cardiovascular problems by consulting with a doctor can help you take better care of yourself.

Be Prepared

Both men and women should be prepared in the case of an emergency.  Taking an online CPR course from SimpleCPR is easy and can allow you to give your loved ones proper medical attention until a medic team arrives.  Standing by and watching helplessly as a loved one suffers is something no one wants to experience.  By taking precautions and seeking out training, you will be able to feel more comfortable in the case of an emergency.

First Aid Kit Essentials

There is a lot more to administering first aid than one might think.  In addition to having all the essential supplies, it is vital that you understand how to properly use them.  A first aid training course is recommended for everyone, especially because what we know about first aid is constantly changing.  Learning the ins and outs of first aid kits is important for everyone so that we have the knowledge and skills to handle all kinds of emergencies.

The Importance of a First Aid Kit

Every home needs to have a well-stocked first aid kit in the case of an emergency, or even for treating minor injuries.  It is also useful to keep a first aid kit in your car.  Other than being handy for treating common ailments, first aid kits have the power to save lives.  In some emergencies, a person will need to act fast to buy the victim time before a medical team can arrive on the scene.  Knowing exactly where the first aid kit is, how to respond to the injury, and how to use the supplies could be the difference between life and death.

What to Put in a First Aid Kit

Although you may want to customize your personal first aid kit, there are also essential items that every first aid kit needs to have.  Here are some of the key items every first aid kit should carry:

  • Bandages (elastic wrap bandages, bandage strips, nonstick sterile bandages, and triangular bandages)
  • Adhesive tape
  • Roller gauze
  • Aluminum finger splint
  • Cold packs
  • Cotton balls
  • Soap and hand sanitizer
  • Lubricant
  • Duct tape
  • Non-latex examination gloves (multiple pairs)
  • Safety pins
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Scissors and tweezers
  • Antiseptic solution and towelettes
  • Syringe
  • Thermometer
  • Eyewash solution
  • First aid manual
  • Laxatives
  • Antacids
  • Antihistamine
  • Pain relievers
  • Cough and cold medicine
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Emergency phone numbers (family doctors, local emergency services, and poison help line)
  • Personal medications
  • Sunscreen
  • Waterproof matches
  • Insect repellant
  • Emergency space blanket

Learning How to Use Your Supplies

It is not enough to simply have a well-stocked first aid kit.  Knowing how to use these supplies is vital to properly treating minor injuries or even keeping someone alive long enough for a medical team to arrive.  It is a good idea to seek proper first aid training in order to learn how to use these supplies.  You can find in-depth training courses at SimpleCPR where you can learn first aid training online in the comfort of your own home.  Training courses on first aid will not only provide you with valuable, life-saving skills, but also teach you things that you may not have considered, such as where to store your first aid kit or how often to resupply it.

Treating Injuries

A well-stocked first aid kit is your first line of defense when it comes to treating both major and minor injuries.  Whether you are working full time or you are a stay-at-home mom, knowing how to treat injuries can be beneficial.  Here are some examples of the types of injuries that you may find yourself treating with a first aid kit:

Minor injuries:  Some minor injuries that you may find yourself treating with a first aid kit include minor scrapes and cuts, bruises, burns, sprains, bug bites, nosebleeds, fever, motion sickness, sunburn, and toothaches.  While these injuries may not seem significant, they can become serious if they are not treated properly.

Serious injuries:  You may need to use your first aid kit to treat serious injuries until paramedics can arrive.  Some of these may include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, frostbite, choking, heatstroke, severe allergic reactions, shock, broken bones, and excessive bleeding.  Treating these conditions properly will ensure that the victim has the best chance of survival.

Being Prepared Saves Lives

Having an up-to-date first aid kit in your home and car can be very useful at treating minor injuries and could even save lives.  This is why it is so important to know what supplies are needed for a first aid kit and to keep it well-stocked at all times.  These essential items can be incredibly effective at saving lives by keeping the victim stable until a medical team is able to reach them.  Knowing how and when to use first aid is a useful skill, and all people should consider taking a first aid training course in order to be prepared for any emergency.

CPR for Children and Infants

Whether you’re a babysitter, a parent, or you work in a profession that involves children, CPR is undoubtedly a valuable tool.  There are many reasons why an infant or child might require CPR, and it could be beneficial to take an online CPR course to be prepared.   Performing CPR on children and infants is markedly different than performing CPR on adults and, for this reason, it is recommended to take a course specifically for infants and children.

Reasons Why Children and Infants May Need CPR

Children and infants may require CPR for a number of reasons.  Here are just a few of the many reasons why a child or infant could need CPR:

SIDS:  One of the number one causes of death in infants is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and, while it is often too late by the time the parent discovers the infant, a report found that a fraction of SIDS cases have death delayed by successful CPR.

Choking:  A common occurrence in both children and infants is choking.  Small objects can easily become lodged in an infant’s throat, and many children also choke on their food.

Drowning:  Drowning is another common event that requires CPR to be performed on children and infants.  Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in children aged 1-4.

Genetic defects:  Another cause of death in children and infants is due to genetic defects.  Some of these defects may cause the infant/child to have difficulty breathing or suffer cardiac arrest later in life which will require immediate CPR.

The Differences between Infant, Child, and Adult CPR

There are notable differences in the CPR techniques used for infants, children, and adults.  These differences need to be taken into account in emergency situations; otherwise, CPR may not be successful, and the victim could potentially be injured in the process.  There are key differences when it comes to performing CPR on infants, children, and adults.  We can give a basic overview of these differences, but learning how to perform them through a course from SimpleCPR is recommended:

Adults:  For an adult, the responder should call 911 first before administering CPR.  After dialing 911, check to see if the victim is unresponsive or obviously breathing, begin by tilting the head back and clearing the airway by lifting the chin.  If the victim is unresponsive and not obviously breathing give 30 compressions with two hands in the middle of the chest and apply pressure through the heels of your hands, about two inches in depth.  Begin rescue breaths with 30 compressions per two rescue breaths.

Children:  Children have larger tongues in proportion to their bodies and have bones that are more flexible than adults.  Because of this, CPR will be slightly different.  If they are unresponsive, and you are the only one present, begin five rounds of CPR before calling 911.  Do this by tilting the head back slightly (too far can block the airway even more) and breathing more gently than you would with an adult.  Provide 30 chest compressions with one or two hands compressing the chest approximately 1/3 of its depth.  Give two rescue breaths after every 30 compressions.

Infants:  Tap the baby’s foot to check for responsiveness.  If the baby is unresponsive, give two minutes of CPR before calling 911.  Tilt the baby’s head only slightly to a position where it appears as though the baby is sniffing the air before giving breaths.  Use two fingers for compressions the chest should be compressed approximately 1/3 of its depth.  Use only the cheeks to provide rescue breaths.  Give 30 compressions per two rescue breaths.

The Importance of CPR Training for Children and Infants

Learning CPR for children and infants is valuable, no matter what your age or profession is.  While unresponsiveness from children and infants is not uncommon, it can happen quickly, and knowing what to do when it happens will give the victim the best chance of survival.  CPR classes can provide us with the knowledge to help save lives.  Not only do infant CPR classes teach you how to perform CPR on children and infants, but they can also provide valuable information on how to treat sudden illnesses and provide resources for the prevention of emergencies.  People of all walks of life should consider infant and child CPR courses for these reasons.