York Region Emergency Medical Services responded to 4,801 heart emergencies in 2011
NEWMARKET - February is Heart Month and The Regional Municipality of York Emergency Medical Services (EMS) reminds you to be heart healthy and recognize the signs of a heart emergency - it can help save the life of someone in need.
Each year, York Region paramedics respond to thousands of emergency calls relating to heart attacks and angina. Last year they responded to 4,801 such calls.
Heart attack occurs when one or more of the arteries that supply the heart with oxygenated blood become blocked. When the heart does not receive adequate blood, it cannot function effectively.
Common signs of a heart attack include feeling pressure, squeezing or chest pain (normally located in the central chest), nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, weakness and cool, pale moist skin. Often people experiencing a heart attack rub their chest and appear agitated. Angina is another common medical condition that affects people who have heart conditions. An episode of angina involves chest pain and can be brought on by physical activity, stress or other causes.
If you suspect someone is having a heart emergency, call 911 immediately.
While waiting for paramedics, have the affected person sit in a comfortable position and loosen any tight clothing around the neck and chest. Speak in a quiet, reassuring voice to help keep them calm. If the person stops breathing, carefully move the person to a flat surface and begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). If available, use an automated external defibrillator (AED) immediately.
York Region EMS encourages residents to become trained and certified in proper CPR and AED life-saving techniques. Learning CPR is easy and inexpensive – just a few hours of training could make an important difference in someone's life. Since most cardiac arrests happen at home, you could be saving the life of a family member or friend.
Contact an accredited CPR agency to find out about courses in your area.
A healthier heart can reduce the chances of a heart attack. Be physically active, eat a healthy, balanced diet, live tobacco free and incorporate coping strategies to help manage stress.
Heart Month is recognized each February and is a national campaign that raises awareness about the importance of heart health. Through the campaign, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada has funded critical life-giving research, education and advocacy programs.
The Regional Municipality of York is helping create healthy communities through protection, prevention and promotion of health initiatives.
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Media Contact: Lisa Sposito, Community and Health Services, York Region
1-877-464-9675, ext. 4106 • After-Hours Cell: 905-955-2533 • firstname.lastname@example.org