Friday October 18, 2019

Heart attacks more common in winter

Every second person in the age group of 30 and above, who are already otherwise at risk, is prone to heart failure during winter, experts say

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representational image. pixabay

Think twice if you find alcohol the solution for keeping your body warm during winter. Medical experts caution that, apart from the common cold and cough, winter is also the time when more heart attacks occur. Every second person in the age group of 30 and above, who are already otherwise at risk, is prone to heart failure during winter, experts say.

They also say that one should not ignore irregular discomfort in chest, severe sweating, pain in the neck, arms, jaws and shoulders or shortness of breath during winter, which are major symptoms of heart failures.

Heart attacks are most likely to happen to old people in winters. Flickr

According to Vanita Arora, associate director and head of Cardiac Electrophysiology Lab and Arrhythmia Services in Max Hospital, “Everyone knows winter is the cold and flu season. But most people are unaware of the fact that it is also the prime season for heart attacks.”

She said during winter, the arteries become constricted with the fall in temperature, as a result of which the heart has to put in more effort to pump the blood. “This makes the heart stress out and it leads to a heart attack,” Arora told IANS, adding: “It is more risky for those who do not have any inkling about pre-existing heart conditions.”

Arora said that people above 30 should never indulge in overdoing anything and exhausting oneself in winter. She suggested that people, and especially diabetic patients, should avoid going for a walk in the morning on extremely chilly days and should shift their walks to the late afternoon when it is still sunny.

Arora said that too much alcohol intake during winter can cause atrial fibrillation, the most common irregular heartbeat problem called arrhythmia. In this, people tend to suffer from palpitations, fainting, chest pain or congestive heart failure.

Also Read: Heart Attack Symptoms In Women Often Misinterpreted

Heart experts said that a constant check on cardiovascular risk factors is one way to ensure that the winter season doesn’t harm one’s health. People should avoid overeating during winter and should rather eat in small quantities at regular intervals, experts suggest.

Neeraj Bhalla, senior consultant in cardiology at the B.L. Kapoor Memorial Hospital, said that as the blood’s viscosity increases with the drop in temperature, heart attacks and other coronary artery diseases increase during winter.

“Cholesterol levels fluctuate significantly with the change in season, which may leave people with
borderline high cholesterol with greater cardiovascular risk during the winter months. Apart from managing cholesterol levels, it is crucial that we keep small things in mind and do not stress the heart”, Bhalla said.

People staying in places where the seasons change very frequently are more prone to heart failures in comparison to those living in cold countries. Heart failure leads to most deaths in hypothermia – a condition in which the core temperature drops below the temperature for normal metabolism. Bhalla said to keep hypothermia at bay, it is advisable to cover yourself with layers of warm clothes. Besides this, it is advisable to take a bath only with warm water.

Alcohol should be avoided to keep body warm during winters.

Chandan Kedawat, senior consultant cardiology at the Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute, said: “In cold weather, the heart demands more oxygen because it is working harder.” Studies have shown that heart attacks and complications related to heart disease occur more frequently in the morning hours.

Research suggests that the early-morning rise in blood pressure or “a.m. surge” that occurs in most people may dramatically increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. “In the winter, people tend to exert themselves or do more work in the morning because it gets dark earlier,” Kedawat said.

“This shift of activities to morning hours adds to the normal circadian variation (cardiac variations that recur every 24 hours) in the mornings – further increasing the heart rate, blood pressure and the hormones that lower the threshold for a cardiovascular event,” he explained. He advises that the best way to prevent such situations for people above 30 is to go for an alternate day check up to the doctors. IANS

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Increased Data Entry Workloads Are Pushing USA Doctors Towards Burnout

The types of mistakes that doctor burnout may trigger impact public safety, as well as quality of care

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Data, USA, Doctors
A report by Harvard researchers even categorized physician burnout as "a public health crisis." Pixabay

Technology is changing the healthcare landscape with American doctors now needing to complete more data entry work to account for an array of factors, including the possibility of medical malpractice, according to a Becker Hospital Review report. The extra workload is making it harder for doctors to feel energized and positive while they are on the job. In fact, 13 percent of doctors place the blame for their feelings of burnout directly on their increased data entry workloads. When doctors burn out, they are prone to making mistakes which put patients at risk. So this extra workload, some of which is designed to lower the risk of medical malpractice lawsuits, may ironically be resulting in an uptick in legal issues.

Doctor burnout needs to be addressed

Doctors who are burnt out are twice as likely to make mistakes, which may have severe or even fatal consequences for patients. A report by Harvard researchers even categorized physician burnout as “a public health crisis.” The types of mistakes that doctor burnout may trigger impact public safety, as well as quality of care. Doctors who burn out and make medical errors frequently suffer psychological turmoil, which may extend to suicidal thoughts, and may also end up in court due to medical malpractice lawsuits. Janet, Janet & Suggs asserts that medical malpractice lawsuits are filed to access compensation and justice for victims of medical malpractice. These cases are on the rise in several states, including Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Vermont, based on recent information from the National Practitioner Data Bank. As a consequence of the growing amount of data entry required of doctors, burnout is considered an urgent problem, especially since some malpractice lawsuits can be directly linked to physicians being overworked.

Physician burnout affects everyone

Data, USA, Doctors
Doctors who are burnt out are twice as likely to make mistakes, which may have severe or even fatal consequences for patients. Pixabay

Almost 50 percent of US doctors report feelings of failure, exhaustion, and depression, as a result of their long hours, hard work, and ever-increasing quantity of patients. Extra data entry work is part of the problem, and another issue is that fact that there are so many patients and only 1.1 million physicians. Since Americans need health care that they can trust, physician burnout can unfortunately affect doctors in every practice and field. Skyrocketing medical malpractice lawsuits in some US states tell a story about the impact that long hours and electronic health record (EHR) systems are having on physicians. Doctors don’t always have access to the latest technology while they practice medicine. This means that they may need to spend even more time updating records. Better technology might lead to lower incidences of doctor burnout and medical malpractice lawsuits, but other solutions should also be sought.

Also Read- Tanzania Denies Withholding Information from WHO on Suspected Cases of Ebola

Americans need to be aware of the pressures placed on doctors, but also need to understand that they may be at higher risk of being subjected to medical mistakes as a consequence of physician burnout. The burnout issue among physicians is something that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later, so doctors are able to deliver the best quality of care possible and avoid malpractice lawsuits.