Cardiopulmonary resuscitation must be taught to everyone to save lives

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

On World Heart Day, awareness is needed on the importance of initiating CPR within the first 10 minutes of a sudden cardiac arrest

Delhi, September 23, 2019: According to recent estimates, there are about 25 to 45 deaths in Delhi every day due to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The condition is emerging as the number one cause of mortality in India. With World Heart Day around the corner, there is a need to raise awareness on training people in essential life saving techniques such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and installing automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in public places.

CPR is the most crucial and basic procedure to save a life in the event of an SCA. There is substantial evidence to suggest that CPR is effective in the first 10 minutes of cardiac arrest. After 10 minutes, there is practically no chance of recovery unless the patient is in hypothermia.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI), said, “Sudden cardiac arrest is more fatal than a heart attack given that it can lead to death in a matter of minutes. It is caused due to a sudden and complete blockage of blood flow to the various body organs. Timely help is of utmost importance in such cases and initiating cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) within the first 10 minutes is important. The two pillars of community service include meaningful engagement and mindful participation. Learning the basics of CPR is community service at its best as it can help avert mortality through timely assistance, before medical help arrives. In case an ambulance reaches the patient very late or if there is an acute shortage of cardiac ambulances, an automatic external defibrillator (AED) installed at public places can help save lives in a timely manner.”

Defibrillation within 3 to 5 min of collapse can produce survival rates as high as 50% to 70%. Early defibrillation can be achieved through CPR providers using public access and on-site AEDs. Public access AED programmes should be actively implemented in public places that have a high density of citizens.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “The CPR 10 was created so that the public could remember the process of revival after SCA. The CPR 10 Mantra is as follows: Within 10 minutes of cardiac arrest (earlier the better) for the next 10 minutes at least, compress the center of the chest with a speed of 100 compressions per minute (10×10). CPR 10 is easy to learn and easy to do and one does not need to be a doctor or be certified in this technique.”

There are three simple rules to be followed when a person suffers from SCA: Call the ambulance, check if the person is breathing or has a pulse and if not, then start chest compressions and continue for at least 30 minutes till medical help arrives. It is also imperative to not stop CPR too soon. The premise of a successful CPR is earlier the better and longer the better.

The Formula of 80 to prevent heart diseases· Keep your lower blood pressure, fasting sugar, abdominal circumference, resting heart rate and LDL cholesterol levels all below 80.

  • Walk 80 minutes each day; brisk walk 80 minutes a week with a speed of 80 steps per minute.
  • Eat less, not more than 80 gm/80 ml of caloric food in one meal. Do not eat carbohydrate–based refined cereals 80 days in a year to reduce chances of heart attack.
  • Take vitamin D through sunlight 80 days in a year.
  • Do not drink alcohol and if you drink, take less than 80 ml of whiskey in a day or less than 80 gm of whiskey in a week. Do not smoke or be ready for placement of stent costing Rs 80,000.
  • Give 80 minutes to yourself in a day.
  • When clapping, clap 80 times.
  • If you are a heart patient, ask your doctor to give 80 mg of aspirin and 80 mg of atorvastatin.
  • Donate blood 80 times in a lifetime to reduce chances of heart attack.
  • Avoid an atmosphere of more than 80 db of noise pollution.
  • While on treadmill, try to reach 80% of your heart rate.

Yoga can help in the union of the body, mind, and the surroundings

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine, Social Health Community, Yoga Comments Off

The practice is beneficial for heart health and helps lower blood pressure, apart from offering other health benefits

New Delhi, 21 June 2019: Studies examining the benefits of yoga have suggested that the practice provides significant benefits for cardiovascular health, including LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol and systolic blood pressure. Those who practiced asana-based yoga reduced their LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol levels by 12.1 mg/dL and systolic blood pressure by 5.2 mm Hg and increased their HDL ‘good’ cholesterol levels by 3.2 mg/dL.

On International Yoga Day, there is a need to create awareness on the benefits of yoga for overall health and well-being.

Yoga is a science, which shifts one from sympathetic to parasympathetic state of mind. It is a combination of Hatha Yoga (asanas or postures), breathing and meditation. Meditation means concentrating on an object and giving preference to that over thoughts. Mindfulness meditation and breathing awareness can shift one from sympathetic to parasympathetic mode.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “At the outset, I would like to wish all the readers on International Yoga Day. We must understand the difference between ‘yog’ and ‘yoga’. The word ‘yoga’ comes from a Sanskrit term that means union. It refers to combining the body, mind, and day-to-day challenges of life into a single experience rather than keeping them separate. The word ‘yog’ on the other hand refers to a state of mind that is in the present. It is about being in the ‘now’ and losing oneself in the moment. For instance, when we are with a childhood friend, we are not aware of how time has lapsed. This state can be referred to as the yogic state.”

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “The essence of Bhagavad Gita can be summarized in one Shloka (Chapter 2.48) where Krishna says to Arjuna ‘Yogastha Kuru Karmani’, which means ‘concentrate on actions’ (do all actions while remaining in yoga). He further says that one should take success and failure in the same stride (Yogastha= steadfast in yoga, Kuru = perform, karmaani = duties or action).

Concentrating on action means concentrating on the present. While doing the latter, one cannot be in the past or in the future, and the past regrets and future anxieties cannot make one suffer. Once a person is in the present moment, they can only take consciousness-based decisions.

Some tips on doing yoga from HCFI for those with certain health conditions

  • Yoga is not included as an aerobic exercise. Fast breathing exercises stimulate the sympathetic system. Slow breathing stimulates the parasympathetic system. Therefore, cardiac clearance needs to be taken for all breathing exercises.
  • In three situations in Hatha Yoga (headstand, handstand, shoulder stand), the total body weight is put on head, wrist and shoulder. This requires medical clearance, especially for heart patients.
  • When you get up from a sitting position, nine times weight is put on the knees. Hence, patients of osteoarthritis should avoid sitting down, low height beds or chair or Indian toilets. Yoga may prevent osteoarthritis, but once developed, Hatha Yoga practices need to be modified.
  • The Lotus position, forward and backward bends need orthopedic clearance in selected patients.
  • Forward spine exercises may require orthopedic clearance in selected cases as they may precipitate sciatica, if done incorrectly. Painful and/or difficult yoga postures should be avoided. Patients with cervical disc disease, glaucoma should avoid doing inversion postures (head stand, shoulder stand).
  • If pain or paresthesia worsen, stop and consult a doctor.

Weather variations can affect and alter body functions: HCFI

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

Drinking adequate water and consumption of food according to the weather are imperative

New Delhi, 16th May 2019: Recent statistics indicate that between 2030 and 2050, weather extremes are expected to cause around 250,000 additional annual deaths from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress. Extreme heat can make a person feel hot and sweaty and further cause dehydration and heat stroke particularly in people at risk. This includes young children, people over 65 years of age, and those with pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

The need of the hour is to raise awareness on importance of drinking adequate water and staying out of the heat as much as possible. This can help in preventing dehydration and other heat-related problems.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “The early summer season or grishma ritu is hot and dry, while the later part of summer, when rains are on the horizon, is hot and moist. Rains are not usual in early summer in North India. However, this year, early summer has been marked by an unusually increased frequency of dust and thunderstorms, and rains. In Vedas, this is termed vikruti (vitiation) of ritu (season), when the weather forgets its dharma and behaves abnormally. When this happens, all body circadian rhythms also behave abnormally, and body functions are exaggerated. In such weather conditions, wind-sensitive individuals with no evidence of target organ damage can have accelerated hypertension. They are also sensitive to changes in atmospheric pressure.”

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Vitiation of vata (movement) leads to high blood pressure, arrhythmia; pitta (metabolism) increases metabolism and more acidity, while vitiated kapha (structure) may disrupt sugar profile. Any change in environment affects the functions of the body, something that is well-known in Vedic sciences. For instance, the current weather profile in Delhi can lead to the development of accelerated hypertension.”

The significance of a ‘medical vrata’ needs to be underlined for everyone during summer. The simpler version of ‘vrata’ can be: not eating carbohydrates at all once in a week and replacing them with fruits and vegetables.

Some summer tips from HCFI

  • Avoid prolonged exposure to sun when the temperature is high. Use an umbrella if you need to go out. Wear light cotton clothes to avoid heat absorption.
  • Make sure that you are properly hydrated before you step out in the heat. The water requirement in summer is 500 ml more than that in winter. Summer drinks should be refreshing and cool such as panna, khas khas, rose and lemon water, bel sharbat and sattu sharbat.
  • Any drink with more than 10% sugar becomes a soft drink and should be avoided. Ideally, the percentage of sugar, jaggery or khand should be 3%, also present in oral rehydration drinks.
  • A sign of adequate hydration is passing urine at least once in 8 hours. If you develop heat cramps, drink plenty of lemon water with sugar and salt.

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