Category Archives: Heart

AF Association supports Medical ID for AF Aware Week

Atrial Fibrillation a Common Heart Disorder

A volunteer carrying out the simple pulse check for AF

A volunteer carrying out the simple pulse check for AF

AF or ‘atrial fibrillation’ is the most common heart rhythm disorder, which occurs when chaotic electrical activity results in the heart pumping too fast, too slow or irregularly. It affects over one million people in the UK alone, and if left undiagnosed and untreated it can lead to serious complications including stroke, heart failure and even death.

Every 15 seconds someone suffers an AF-related stroke – AF is the single biggest risk factor for suffering a deadly or debilitating stroke. For individuals with the condition, the risk of suffering a stroke is increased by nearly 500%.

However, many of these devastating strokes can be prevented, as AF can be detected cheaply and easily with a manual pulse check. Read more

Reversed Heart, Situs Inversus and Dextrocardia

Is Your Heart In The Right Place?

heart and lungsThere are some genetic conditions that literally change the layout of your internal organs, including the heart. While rare, many of the people affected by these conditions don’t even know it.

One of these conditions is situs inversus, which causes the internal organs in the upper half of the body (chest and abdomen) to be on the opposite side, in a mirror image of the normal positioning. The liver and stomach, for example, switch position, while the left lung and left atrium of the heart are found on the right hand side. Read more

High Blood Pressure: Advice for Know Your Numbers Week

Know Your Numbers! Week: Alerting People to the Dangers of High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure testingThe 14th – 20th September is Know Your Numbers! Week, an awareness campaign run by Blood Pressure UK to highlight the importance of knowing your blood pressure numbers. This means you can ensure they stay at a healthy level1. Blood pressure is measured in ‘millimetres of mercury’ (mmHg) and every reading takes two measures: the first is your systolic level, which is the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats. The second is your diastolic pressure, which is the lowest level your pressure reaches as your heart relaxes
between beats.11

As part of the initiative, hundreds of organisations, including pharmacies, workplaces, GP surgeries, hospitals, leisure centres, supermarkets and health clubs, sign up to be Pressure Stations. They are then able to provide free blood pressure tests, plus information about how to lower your blood pressure and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.1

The Know Your Numbers! campaign is the UK’s biggest blood pressure testing event. It’s on its fourteenth year and aims to highlight that in the time it takes to boil a kettle, you could have taken a blood pressure reading which might save your life. A shocking 16 million people in the UK suffer from high blood pressure, which is the biggest risk factor for stroke and heart attacks, yet 63% do not know their blood pressure numbers.1.1

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Fainting Episode Leads to Health Condition Diagnosis

Fainting Episode Caused by a Serious Health Condition

When Cath Atkin, from the Dumfries in Scotland, had a fainting episode in the shower whilst on holiday, she didn’t recognise the symptoms of a stroke.

Cath Atkin with her ID Band bracelet

Cath Atkin with her ID Band bracelet

“I was washing my hair when a rustling sound, like a crisp bag, went off in the right side of my head. I grabbed the shower rail because I felt like I was being pulled out of the shower and I thought I was going to faint.

“Once it stopped I tried to finish rinsing my hair but my left arm was dead and had no feeling. It was similar to when you fall asleep on your arm, with no sensation or power. I used my right arm to lift my left arm up to my hair but it would just flop down. After a couple of times doing this I suddenly had to hang on to the rail again. I can remember being scared but I never thought to shout for help.

“I eventually finished in the shower. My arm was still weak but I didn’t have the completely dead feeling like earlier and I was exhausted. It still never occurred to me something serious had happened. I didn’t recognise the symptoms and neither did my friend. We called the hotel doctor and after a quick examination he deduced that I’d had a stroke.”

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Multiple Health Condition Sufferer Receives Conflicting Medical Diagnoses

Multiple Health Condition Sufferer Receives Conflicting Medical Advice

When Paul Froggett, a 48 year old engineer from Leeds, started having serious pains in his side earlier this year, he knew something was very wrong.

Paul wearing his ID band bracelet

Paul wearing his ID band bracelet

Upon being taken to A&E, he was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and a pulmonary embolism (PE). DVT is when blood clots form in the deeper veins of the body, occurring in places such as the legs, thighs and pelvis. Small pieces of these clots can break off and travel back to the heart through these deep veins, eventually ending up in the arteries of the lung, which is known as a PE.

Pulmonary embolisms occur in 30% of people with DVT, and cause 60,000 deaths annually, many of them unrecognized and labelled as heart attacks.

As well as this, Paul also suffers from asthma, which he’s had since 1971.

A Struggle to be Diagnosed

Paul struggled at first to get a diagnosis from doctors about his side pains.

“They hadn’t a clue about the PE and DVT when I talked to them about my symptoms before going to hospital. According to the doctors it was a pulled muscle in my side and physiotherapy would sort it out.

“After going to hospital I was given a chest x-ray and dye was put into my body to prove the clots were there.”

It took three days to receive a proper diagnosis for his PE and a prescription for Rivaroxaban, a blood thinner that stops blood clotting.

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Heart Conditions Shouldn’t Stop You Getting back in the Saddle

David Neeson, 67 from Kent doesn’t let his heart condition stop him from cycling and raising money to help others with the condition.

Father and Son Heart Attacks

David’s son Paul suffered a heart attack and had stents fitted in 2013. Being a keen cyclist, David used his passion for a good cause. “I did my first sportive in the New Forrest in 2013 in aid of the BHF after my son had his heart attack. I did this through the just giving site and raised over £800.”

David with his wife Jennifer, son Paul and daughter Andrea

Pictured above: David with his wife Jennifer, son Paul and daughter Andrea

With two more races lined up for 2014, including the famous Pari-Rouix, David unfortunately suffered his own heart attack in March 2014.

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