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Cardiac arrest may be fatal for those living in high rise buildings

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New York: Survival rates from cardiac arrest decrease the higher up the building a person lives, warns a new study.

“Cardiac arrests that occur in high-rise buildings pose unique barriers for 911 — the emergency telephone number for the North American Numbering Plan, initiated first responders,” said lead author Ian Drennan, researcher with Rescu at the St. Michael’s Hospital in Ontario, Canada.

Building access issues, elevator delays and extended distance from the emergency vehicle to the patient can all contribute to longer times for 911-initiated first responders to reach the patient and start time-sensitive, potentially life-saving resuscitation, the researchers explained.

The number of people living in high-rise building grew by 13 percent in Toronto, in 2006- 2011.

Many of those people are older, with higher rates of serious medical issues and higher risk of cardiac arrest.

The researchers found that only 3.8 percent adults survived, out of a data of 8,216 adults (from January 2007 to December 2012), after suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and were treated by 911-initiated first responders in Toronto and Peel Region.

Survival was 4.2 percent for people living below the third floor and 2.6 percent for people living on or above the third floor.

Survival above the 16th floor was 0.9 per cent (of 216 cases, only two survived). There were no survivors to hospital discharge of the 30 cardiac arrests above the 25th floor.

“Patients who survived tended to be younger, their cardiac arrest was more often witnessed by bystanders, and bystanders were more likely to perform Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) — a lifesaving technique useful in especially in heart attack,” Drennan said.

The paper was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. (IANS)

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Anti-inflammatory Drugs May Put You at Heart Attack Risk

One should also rest and drink plenty of fluids if symptoms are mild or moderate, DePalma noted

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Anti-inflammatory drugs may put you at heart attack risk. Pixabay

If you have been hit by the winter cold and are thinking about taking medicines that relieve your aches, pains and congestion, be careful. Those may also put your heart at risk, the American Heart Association has warned.

A study has showed that both decongestants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), found in many cold medicines, were listed as medications that could increase blood pressure.

People who used NSAIDs while sick were more than three times as likely to have a heart attack within a week compared with the same time period about a year earlier when participants were neither sick nor taking an NSAID.

“People with uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid taking oral decongestants. And for the general population or someone with low cardiovascular risk, they should use them with the guidance of a health care provider,” said Sondra DePalma, from the University of Pittsburgh in the US.

Decongestants like pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine constrict blood vessels. They allow less fluid into your sinuses, “which dries you up”, said Erin Michos, associate director of preventive cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Univerity’s Ciccarone Center in Baltimore.

The biggest concerns are for people who have had a heart attack or stroke, or have heart failure or uncontrolled high blood pressure, Michos said, in the paper published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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Representational image. (IANS)

Importantly, healthy people might also be at risk.

For the study, researchers looked at nearly 10,000 people with respiratory infections who were hospitalised for heart attacks.

Participants were 72 years old on average at the time of their heart attacks and many had cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

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People who are sick should use both classes of medications — decongestants and NSAIDs — judiciously and understand the potential side effects.

In addition, decongestants should not be taken longer than seven days before consulting with a healthcare provider, DePalma said.

One should also rest and drink plenty of fluids if symptoms are mild or moderate, DePalma noted.  (IANS)