All posts by Sonia Thalman

Be Ready to Help in a Heartbeat

Student athletes spend hours training for competition — but how about training to save a life?

SCA on soccer field.

Studies show that 6,000 – 8,000 teens experience sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) annually.1 Every three days, a student athlete falls victim to sudden cardiac death.2

Student athletes are at heightened risk for SCA due to the additional strain placed on the heart during athletic conditioning and competition. Contributing factors include the influx of adrenaline, dehydration, fever, and changes in electrolytes.3

While SCA isn’t preventable, sudden cardiac death can be. All it takes is to educate students on the symptoms that can precede an SCA event and to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) readily available during athletic practices and competition.

SCA can strike without warning, but sometimes symptoms are presented. Student athletes often dismiss symptoms preceding an SCA event for fear of losing precious game time. That’s why it’s vitally important for athletes to fully understand the risks they face and feel confident speaking up to prevent sudden cardiac death.

Here are some of the warning signs:5

  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat – racing or fluttering
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Extreme fatigue

Nine out of ten victims who receive a shock from an AED within the first minute of SCA survive.4 Ensuring that your students and coaches are trained to respond to an SCA emergency could help save a life.

Download the ‘Help in a Heartbeat’ flyer to educate your team about the symptoms of SCA.

To learn more about the latest package from Cardiopartners to help your athletic teams respond to any emergency, visit: https://www.aed.com/zoll-aed-plus-athletic-director-s-package

1 “Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Teenage Athletes: What’s the Risk?”. Promise powered by Nemours Children’s Health System. https://blog.nemours.org/2017/02/sudden-cardiac-arrest-teenage-athletes-risk/

2 “Young Athletes & Sudden Cardiac Arrest”. Boston Scientific. http://www.your-heart-health.com/content/close-the-gap/en-US/heart-disease-facts/young-athletes.html

3 “Sports and Sudden Cardiac Arrest(SCA)”. Cardiosmart – American College of Cardiology. https://www.cardiosmart.org/Heart-Conditions/Sports-and-Sudden-Cardiac-Arrest

4Source: 2017, AHA Mediagenic Survey Results; 2017, AHA with Edelman Intelligence; 2017, AHA with BLR Media; Postgrad Medical Journal, October 2007.

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Cardio Partners Celebrates Lead Training Specialist Omar Walker

Licensed EMT and Cardio Partners superstar honored for service

After nearly 10 years on the job, Lead Training Specialist Omar Walker estimates that he’s certified nearly 30,000 individuals in first aid, CPR, and how to use an AED.

More than a little shocked to hear that he was being honored as a Cardio Partners leader highlight of the month, Omar, who is based in Chicago, took a few moments to reflect on the recent polar vortex (“Even when the United States Postal Service suspended deliveries, Cardio Partners bundled up and made the trek in -20°weather to conduct classes!”), and more importantly on his career and achievements as an EMT and training center faculty member.

“I was actually really surprised,” said Omar when asked during a recent phone interview about being recognized by his peers. “Pleasantly surprised, because I’m remote and I rarely see other people in the company. We do regular phone meetings as a company, of course, but I’m pretty much self-sufficient — so sometimes you think you’re flying under the radar, and not necessarily in a bad way!”

“I greatly appreciate it. Traveling all over the place to put on classes and constantly ensuring that the quality of the class is there can be tough. I’m happy to know that the work doesn’t go unnoticed. I’m grateful to Cardio Partners and to Brian Leonard to work for this company.”

(Now director of sales, Brian Leonard founded Cardio Partners Resources, which was acquired by DXE Medical and then rebranded as Cardio Partners in 2017.)

Omar’s day-to-day is anything but routine. Because Cardio Partners offers CPR, first aid, and AED training 24/7, Omar may find himself driving to rural Illinois at 4 am for an early morning session or pulling the third shift for a 2 am class in Indianapolis. He’s also responsible for training and maintaining certified instructors throughout the Chicagoland region.

“I really like being able to share my knowledge. With my EMS background, I’ve done CPR hundreds of times and have seen the benefits of it. It’s so important to have people who are prepared to save a life. As an instructor, it’s gratifying to have people say that they’ve had CPR training for 20 years and that my course is the best training they’ve ever received.”

After losing his 42-year-old stepfather to cardiac arrest, Omar decided to go into emergency medical services and become EMT certified. “If someone had known CPR and those resources were available to him, he would have a high probability of being saved.”

And when convincing people why they should become CPR certified, Omar thinks about his stepfather and points out that, “Statistically, the person they would start CPR on would be a family member or a loved one. That’s 69% of the time it’s going to be your spouse, mom, brother, or child who needs CPR.”

In addition to his full-time commitment to Cardio Partners, Omar still works weekend shifts as an EMT in the Chicago area. He’s seen the power of CPR first-hand:

“One of the times CPR really affected me was one of my very first pediatric patients. We got a call about a non-responsive and not breathing infant. A piece of hard candy had caused him to choke. It took us 4 minutes to get there and there was no pulse. Within 10 compressions the item popped out, the child vomited and then he started breathing.”

Omar still thinks of that child every day. He’d be 15 now and Omar is confident he’s living an active and healthy life.

Thanks, Omar, for being our full-time lifesaver.

Schedule a first aid, CPR, and AED training for your team today! Please contact Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362 or emails us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

 

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#WearRedandGive: Going Beyond Go Red

National Wear Red Day and Go Red for Women is here! How are you celebrating?

Cardio Partners Account Manager, Frank Mannino and his wife Bridget at the Dallas Party on the Plaza, Go Red for Women event.

February 1 is here, and at Cardio Partners, we’re putting our mittens on and gearing up for a day of giving and raising awareness about women’s heart health. Here are a few great ways to celebrate National Wear Red Day. We hope you’ll join us!

Share to Social

Embrace the hashtag with open hearts! Follow the American Heart Association (@AmericanHeart) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (@NHLBI) on Facebook or @american-heart and @nih-nhlbi on Twitter for the latest updates and events.

Snap a #WearingRed selfie and add a few extra hashtags for good measure:

#NationalWearRedDay
#WearRedDay
#WearRedandGive
#HeartMonth
#RedDressCollection
#DíaLucirPrendasRojas
#MesDelCorazón

 

Educate and Advocate for Heart Disease Prevention

Demand change. Cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death in American women, claiming the lives of one in three women. It’s time for a stat change. We covered this back in November with 5 Practical Ways You Can Prevent Heart Disease but we’re proud to join the American Heart Association (AHA) in supporting the following initiatives:

Physical Activity Initiatives

Did you know that only 26% of men, 19% of women and 20% of adolescents report enough activity to meet Federal recommendations?

The American Heart Association recently adopted the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines, which state that adults should get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity (or a combination of both). So we figure we should, too.

Healthy Eating Initiatives

Yikes! About 45% of U.S. deaths caused by heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes are the result of poor dietary habits. In layperson’s terms, Americans are gobbling up too much salt, sugar, and animal fats and aren’t consuming enough fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains.

Healthy Living Initiatives

Heart health isn’t just exercising and eating right. It’s all that and more. If you smoke, quit. If you haven’t had your annual checkup, make an appointment today. If you haven’t had a good night’s sleep in a while, make some zzzs a priority. If you need to change your relationship with food, take the plunge. If you have no idea what your blood pressure is, check it.

“High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the second leading cause of preventable heart disease and stroke death — second only to smoking. More than 30 percent of cardiovascular events in women are due to hypertension” (AHA).

Heart Strength in Numbers

It’s one thing to make a commitment to yourself to be more active, eat healthily, and lead a healthy lifestyle. It’s an entirely different thing altogether when you enlist friends and loved ones to join you. After all, if you don’t make heart health a priority, who will? A dear friend or family member, that’s who!   

Commit to better health by changing behaviors together. Decide whether you’re going to focus on moving more, eating better, or by monitoring and managing your blood pressure. Then, exercise together, eat together, and keep each other accountable. In the nicest, kindest, and most encouraging way possible, of course.

Sign Up for A CPR and AED Certification Course

We know you’re a loyal Cardio Partners blog reader and you caught our post, 5 Heart-SMART Goals for the New Year. In case you missed it, though, here’s a key takeaway: go get your CPR and AED certifications! You just may save the life of someone you love. To find a class near you, check out the American Red Cross or American Heart Association’s websites. Still need some convincing? Check out 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn CPR.

Donate to Go Red For Women

Let’s put an end to cardiovascular disease, the No. 1 killer of women. Make an online donation to the American Heart Association.

Become a Community Heart Hero

Can’t afford a financial donation? Become a heart hero like Texas Girl Scout Jillian Rash and start a fundraiser for a public access AED for your community. To learn more about fundraising for your AED program, download the Cardio Partners Grant Guide.

Let us know how you’re celebrating WearRedDay; we’d love to hear from you! Please contact Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. We also welcome your emails, and you can reach us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

 

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