As a member, I am impressed with the quality of training the district provides and as a resident of Halesite, I am grateful to have the fire house at the bottom of the hill always ready to answer ambulance and fire calls.
KC Anna
Captain,
Hose Rescue Co.

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Happy Heart Holidays!

Friday, December 16, 2022

Do the holidays cause heart attacks? The holidays are a time for eating, drinking, and merriment, but could these festive times also be causing a myriad of myocardial infarctions? Research shows Americans have more fatal heart attacks during the holiday season than any other time of the year. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, the top three days for heart attacks are December 25, December 26 and January 1, respectively. Colder weather, dietary changes, and stress are all factors that contribute to an increased risk of a cardiac event during this time of year more so than any other.

Winter weather can be hard on the body, especially the heart. Cold temperatures cause arteries to tighten, which can restrict blood flow and reduce oxygen to the heart. While the heart is working harder to maintain body temperature, restricted blood flow and reduced oxygen to the heart can trigger a heart attack. Reduce exposure to cold temperatures outside and make sure the heat is on inside to help alleviate stress on your heart. If a big winter storm moves in, consider asking a neighbor or friend to help shovel your sidewalks and driveway. If you smoke, have a family history of coronary artery disease or have had a previous heart attack, it is best to leave the shoveling up to someone else.

The most likely culprit seems to be our festive overindulgences in food and drink. For many of us, celebrating Christmas is associated with higher levels of total and LDL cholesterol and an increased risk of high cholesterol in individuals in the general population. As high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease, this may explain some of the holiday heart attacks. With many events centered on the food and drinks served, set a plan for yourself to enjoy the food and spirits, while not overindulging. Too much drinking, for example, can trigger atrial fibrillation, which can increase the risk for heart attack and stroke. Throw in some emotional stress, cold weather, and physical activity, and you've got a recipe for heart problems.

One thing you can do ahead of this year's festive gatherings is to learn CPR. Bystander CPR improves survival chances, and most out of hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes (70%). If performed immediately, CPR can double or triple the chance of survival from an out of hospital cardiac arrest. While performing CPR, you'll want to call us as well so we can send our Rescue personnel. We know that the pre-hospital survival rate of patients on whom CPR is performed is less than 10%, but we will always respond quickly and begin our life saving efforts immediately. To that end, we want to congratulate the crew who revived a poll worker at Flower Hill School on election day; thanks to the awareness of his fellow poll workers and the CPR efforts of our crew, he is looking forward to a very happy holiday indeed! You can read the full story in the next news item!




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