Sudden Cardiac Death Can Strike
at Any Time:
Are You at Risk?
Imagine you’re outside and you see lightning, hear thunder,
feel a drizzle and finally, are in a downpour. Just like
an oncoming storm, heart attacks send warning signals
of trouble ahead.
Now imagine you’re outside on a different day. Suddenly,
there’s lightening storm—and you’re struck. That’s how
fast Sudden Cardiac Death (which is different than a
heart attack) takes over. There are no warning signs and,
like an unpredicted storm, there is no time to escape it.
Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) happens when the heart
experiences an extreme change in rhythm called ventricular
fibrillation. During ventricular fibrillation, the
heart becomes a shaky, jumpy mass and stops pumping
blood to the brain and body.
The only way to stop SCD is to shock the heart out
of the fatal heart rhythm within five minutes. This
can be done two ways: with an Automatic External
Defibrillator (AED), or an Implantable Cardioverter
AEDs are what emergency personnel use to shock the
heart into normal rhythms. Luckily, today AEDs are
widely available—for anyone to use—in places such as
malls, casinos, airports, supermarkets and movie theaters.
The AED is easy to operate and provides voice instruction.
ICDs are lifesaving devices that are surgically placed
beneath the skin of the chest. Fitted with a tiny computer,
the ICD automatically delivers an electric jolt to the
heart during ventricular fibrillation, regulating the beat
Are You at Risk?
SCD affects twice as many men as women, typically
those who are overweight and between 35-45 years old,
and who have high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Additionally, if you have had a heart attack or have been
diagnosed with coronary artery disease, you may have an
increased risk for SCD.
- Previous heart attack: Nearly 75 percent of people
who experience SCD have scar tissue from a previous
heart attack. Scar tissue changes the electrical properties
of some hearts, which increases the chance of ventricular
fibrillation. The more damage the heart has
sustained, the more scar tissue will form—which
changes the heart’s ability to pump blood.
- Coronary Artery Disease: Approximately 80 percent
of people who experience SCD also have an increased
chance for a heart attack. Contributing to that chance
are diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol,
little exercise (a sedentary lifestyle) and obesity.
What You Can Do
You can decrease your chances of SCD by making necessary
lifestyle changes to protect your heart. Quitting
smoking, adding exercise to your schedule and managing
your weight will help lower your blood pressure and
cholesterol levels. It is important to have regular physicals
with your doctor so you know your risks.
What Your Doctor Can Do
Ask your doctor about your risks. He or she will measure
your blood pressure and cholesterol and talk to you
about your health history. Your doctor can also determine
if you should have your ejection fraction (EF)
measured. EF measures the percentage of blood pumped by each heartbeat. People with an EF of less than 40
percent may be at increased risk for SCD, and may be
candidates for an ICD.
In an Emergency
You can increase someone else’s chance of survival by
- Calling 911 if you see any warning signs of someone
having a heart attack or if someone collapses and
- Performing CPR immediately until emergency help
arrives. Bridgeport Hospital’s Emergency Care Institute
(ECI), a certified American Heart Association training
center, provides on-site training programs in CPR
(cardiopulmonary resuscitation), Automated External
Defibrillator use, First Aid, Pediatric First Aid
and Safety, and Infant CPR. For information,
- Using an Automatic External Defibrillator within
Take it to Heart
SCD can strike without warning. By talking with your
doctor about your risks, as well as by knowing what to
do in an emergency, you can help save a life—perhaps
|Bridgeport Hospital Awarded Primary Stroke Center Certification!|
Bridgeport Hospital is pleased to announce that it has
achieved certification by The Joint Commission as a
Primary Stroke Center. Certification is awarded to
hospitals that meet certain national standards and
make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes in
stroke care. For information, please call 203-384-3971.|
A tasty low-fat twist to a traditional family favorite.
Serve sliced to display the colorful filling.
Makes 8 servings
Instructions:Heat oven to 400 F. Soften tomatoes
according to package directions; coarsely chop and
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (about 1 ounce)
- 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach,
thawed and drained
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast (93% lean)
- 1 cup oats (quick or old fashioned), uncooked
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup fat-free milk
In a small skillet, add olive oil and sauté spinach and
onion over low heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until onion
is tender. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in
cheese; set aside.
In large bowl, combine turkey, oats, garlic powder,
oregano, salt, pepper, milk and sun-dried tomatoes; mix
lightly but thoroughly. Shape 2/3 of turkey mixture
into a 9 x 6-inch loaf in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
Make a long, deep well along the top length of the
turkey loaf, leaving about 1 1/2 inches around edges;
fill with spinach mixture. Top with remaining turkey
mixture to completely cover spinach filling; pinch edges
to seal. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until juices run clear
when pierced with a fork. Let stand for 5 minutes
Nutritional Information: per serving (1/8 of recipe):
160 calories, 3 g total fat (1 g saturated), 40 mg
cholesterol, 1,385 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrates,
3 g dietary fiber, 24 g protein.