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Hi Frens!

Guess what! February is American Heart Month! No silly hoomans – not the candy hearts! This month is also about your heart! I want to make sure you keep it healthy and know what to look for if something is wrong. That’s my job besides “manning” the watch desk.

Did you know that heart disease is the number 1 killer of Americans? Well, it is and that stinks worse than the dumb virus. I say so!

I’d love to send you some candy hearts and chocolate, but since I don’t have your address, here’s something sweet about heart attacks and strokes for you to learn why it is important to take care of your heart.

Heart disease is something that can be prevented in most cases by not smoking, controlling high blood sugar and high cholesterol, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising at least 30 minutes a day. Walking to the fridge doesn’t count. You also need to have regular checkups with your doctor. That doesn’t mean once every several years. Don’t be a stinker!

Heart disease can cause heart attacks or strokes so keep reading; this is good stuff to know.

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to an area of the heart is significantly reduced or stopped. The loss of oxygen to the affected heart muscle causes damage. The quicker symptoms are recognized and 911 is called, the quicker treatment can begin to restore blood flow. The faster the blood flow is restored, the less muscle damage occurs resulting in a better quality of life. Yay for quick action!!

Interesting Facts about Heart Attacks – More good stuff – yay!

  1. Heart attacks can be silent. Roughly one in five heart attacks occurs without the person having chest discomfort. That is why knowing other signs of a heart attack is important. Really important so keep reading frens.
  2. Women may experience different symptoms than men. These include pain in the back, neck, arm, shoulder, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, or vomiting. Ladies, read this one again.
  3. And here’s another reason to hate Mondays! Heart attacks are more likely to occur on a Monday morning than other days of the week. Scientists say this is because we interrupt our sleep cycle over the weekend which leads to increased blood pressure and other changes in the nervous system. Phooey on Mondays!

Now for some facts about strokes, folks!

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted or stops. When blood flow is cut off for longer than a few seconds, the brain cannot function properly If not recognized quickly, brain cells can die causing lasting damage. Are you with me? I’m almost finished. Promise!

B.E. F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of a stroke. When you can spot the signs, you’ll know that you need to call 911 for help right away. Look for these signs but call 911 at your first suspicion of a stroke so you don’t delay help.

  • FACE: Ask the person to smile big. Does one side of their face droop?
  • ARMS: Ask the person to raise their arms straight out in front of them. Does one arm fall or drift downward? Can they raise both arms?
  • SPEECH: Ask the person to recite a simple sentence. My favorite is “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Is their speech slurred or strange? Did they recite it correctly?
  • TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately. The faster the person gets to the hospital, the better.

It’s very good to also know the last time you saw or spoke to the person when they were in their normal state. This helps the doctors a lot.

Other important signs to remember about strokes. Any of the following symptoms could mean a person is having a stroke:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden vision changes such as blurred vision or vision loss in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance/ coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no explanation

If you or someone you know have any of the above signs or symptoms, call 911 immediately. Be safe, not sorry.

Happy Valentine’s Day frens!

Only two months until Spring so we are beginning to plan for Food Truck Tuesdays! I can’t wait to see all of you!

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White Marsh Volunteer Fire Company

Station: 410-933-0100

Emergency: 911

pr@wmvfc.org