Avoiding Heart Attack/Cardiac arrest

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Cardiac arrest
Cardiac arrest

By Austin Ejenike

The usual attitude of some Nigerians when they hear about “heart attack” that it will never be their portion and it will never happen to them. But the major concern should be what should be done to avoid heart attack.

Unfortunately, many Nigerians do not know much about heart attack and what causes it and what should be done in the event of heart attack.

Dr. Augustine Ekpe, a medical practitioner, explained that many Nigerians neglect the aspect of proper dieting and that they eat mostly food with high concentration of starch in dietary plan, which is not good for their health and well-being

“Furthermore, nobody wants to go for a checkup to know if they have any health condition which may result in cardiac attack and complications such as hypertension and possible diabetic condition.

“Moreover, one cannot know for sure if they have pre-congenital heart disease even if one has such clinical condition and if you start to adhere to proper dietary plan and not excluding physical exercise, one would not be burdened with a cardiac attack,” he said.

Coronary artery disease (sudden heart attack)
Coronary artery disease (sudden heart attack)

A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to the heart is blocked due to a clogged artery, this blockage prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching a section of the heart. And if not reopened quickly the section of the heart not receiving blood will begin to die.

And Cardiac arrest/attack occurs when one or more coronary artery becomes blocked over time either by loss of blood supply to a segment of the heart muscle. It is important to act fast if you or a loved one suffers a heart attack.

Speaking on heart Attack, Dr. Ramon Moronkola, a Consultant Cardiologist, stressed the need for the three tiers of government to evolve policies aimed at boosting citizens’ ability to administer Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

Moronkola said in an interview with Realnews in Lagos that CPR is a technique designed to temporarily circulate oxygenated blood through the body of a person whose heart has stopped.

It involves effective and timed chest compression done on an individual that has suffered a cardiac arrest with timely usage of a cardiac defibrillator.

Moronkola said that training and increasing public awareness of CPR could have a long-term benefit for the well-being of citizens and the country.

“For any person, who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, CPR is the most important first-aid step to undertake before emergency medical service arrives.

“However, it is unfortunate that majority of Nigerians do not have adequate knowledge about CPR procedure or expertise to administer it to someone who suffers sudden cardiac arrest.

“Someone shopping in a market or mall can have a sudden heart attack and the first thing most people nearby do; is to pour water on the person.

“A lot of people have died because of this gross ignorance, which is very sad,’’ he said.

Cardiac arrest emergency CPR
Cardiac arrest emergency CPR

To remedy the situation, he said that the government should embark on sensitisation and training of citizens, starting with the military, paramilitary, police, road and traffic officials on basic CPR procedures.

“We need to deliberately work on developing our emergency system because as the number of people who can administer CPR increases, the safer we are,’’ Moronkola said.

He noted that educating school children on CPR should be made mandatory as some other countries are already doing.

“This is now important as more schools around the country are embracing swimming in their extra-curricular activities. Knowledge of CPR should not be restricted to swimming instructors alone,’’ Moronkola said.

-Sep 16, 2019 @15:36 GMT |

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