House Calls

FAL 2018

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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Fortunately, "knowing CPR" is now easier than ever. In an effort to prevent unnecessary deaths, Roper St. Francis Healthcare (RSFH) has joined the American Heart Association (AHA) in promoting "Hands-Only CPR," an initiative with a simple message: even without rescue breaths, chest compressions can save a life. In fact, this method is nearly as effective as traditional CPR in the first three minutes after an adult suffers an attack. That's a critical time period when compressions can keep oxygen-rich blood pumping to the brain and vital organs before a person trained in full CPR or an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) arrives on the scene. It only takes a few minutes to learn and gain confidence in Hands-Only CPR. Read on and you'll be better prepared to save a life. Locals Come to the Rescue In 2016, Summerville resident Hayley Meyer was at home with her parents when her sleeping mother suffered cardiac arrest. Hayley and her father performed CPR for 10 minutes until EMS arrived. Her mother survived, after a five-day hypothermic coma, and now walks with her daughter in the annual Lowcountry Heart Walk. "If you have a cardiac event, it's likely going to be at home," says RSFH Community Services Coordinator Tara Tsehlana. "That's a big reason we're trying to get this knowledge out to Charleston families. We want people to be confident and ready to jump into action." Some 31,000 Lowcountry residents already have CPR training. But with the area population reaching 750,000 people, what are the chances one of them will be nearby when a heart stops working? As the local leader of the Hands-Only CPR initiative, Tsehlana is working to teach the method to as many community members as possible. Between March and July of this year, she helped train 441 people in basic chest compressions at churches, schools, and community events. "People may not feel comfortable doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation," she says of 32 { fall 2018 } h o u s e c a l l s M aybe you took a CPR class years ago—was it 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths? (Yes) But if you're at an oyster roast this weekend and the man next to you has a heart attack, are you prepared to help him? Roberta Patrick P H O T O G R A P H S B Y A M Y S U L L I V A N AEDS Jump-start the Heart Look around your school, church, or any public building, and you'll probably notice an Automated External Defibrillator on the wall in a glass-fronted box. This tool can be used by anybody to quickly bring a stopped heart back into motion. Each machine includes basic visual or voice instructions telling users where to place the defibrillator pads and when to press the "shock" button—no advanced training is required. "When someone's blood flow or breathing stops, seconds count. Permanent brain damage or death can happen quickly," says registered nurse Roberta Patrick. "We want to improve the cardiac arrest survival rate in our community." To that end, RSFH has partnered with the Medical Society of South Carolina to create the Roper St. Francis Healthcare HeartSave AED program, a community health initiative that has placed 625 AEDs around the Lowcountry. HeartSave also has a digital network of all area AEDs, so that a 911 dispatcher can alert callers to the nearest machine. Hands-Only CPR is a technique for adults and teenagers only. Children and infants are more likely to suffer from respiratory arrest than cardiac arrest and thus need rescue breaths to survive. All parents and people frequently around children should become certified in traditional CPR. Find a convenient course at cpr.heart.org.

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