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Monthly Archives: April 2013

In cardiac arrest, think ‘Stayin’ Alive’

Debra and Christopher Bader revisit the spot in the woods where Christopher collapsed after going into cardiac arrest. Debra saved him with compression-only CPR done to the beat of the disco tune “Stayin’ Alive.”
In cardiac arrest, think ‘Stayin’ Alive’

By Elizabeth Cohen, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent

This Empowered Patient column originally was published on July 2, 2009.

(CNN) — Debra Bader was taking a walk in the woods with her 53-year-old husband one morning when suddenly he collapsed. At first she thought the situation was hopeless.

“I looked at him and said, ‘He’s dead,’ because he wasn’t moving or making any sounds at all,” Bader remembers. “But I pulled the cell phone out of his pocket and called 911, and then a public service announcement I’d heard on the radio popped into my head.”

The one-minute PSA from the American Heart Association instructed listeners, in the event of cardiac arrest, to perform chest compressions very hard to the beat of the 1970s Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive.” When someone suffers cardiac arrest, as pop singerMichael Jackson did last week, the heart stops functioning completely, and brain death begins within four to six minutes if the victim doesn’t receive help.

“I sang the song and gave directions to the EMTs at the same time. It was like, ‘Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive — take a right here, take a left here — Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive — take this path down here — Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive,’ ” Bader remembers.

For 15 minutes Bader, who had never taken a CPR class, pumped her husband’s chest until the ambulance arrived and the EMTs delivered a shock to his heart with a defibrillator. Christopher Bader survived, but 95 percent of people who go into cardiac arrest die before they get […]

Heart Attack Risk Assessment

Do you know how these controllable risk factors affect your risk of heart disease, stroke and metabolic syndrome?


high blood pressure

high blood cholesterol


being overweight or obese

physical inactivity

It’s essential that you measure your risk of heart disease and make a plan for how to prevent it in the near future. Use this tool to help you assess your risk of having a heart attack or dying from coronary heart disease in the next 10 years. It will also check to see if you may have metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that greatly increase your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, including stroke and diabetes. This Risk Assessment can be use by people age 20 or older who do not already have heart disease or diabetes.
After you have finished using the tool, you can print a copy of your risk assessment results, risk factor summary report, metabolic syndrome assessment and action plans for those areas you need to work on in order to reduce your risk.
Learn your risk

Your Heart Disease Education Starts Here

by the Go Red For Women Editors

You often hear people say, “If only I had a second chance in life, I would do things so differently!” But unfortunately, not everyone gets that second chance.

Eva Gomez was one of the lucky ones. In her twenties, Eva was living in denial, thinking that her heart murmur, leaky valve, high blood pressure and breathing problems weren’t serious. Even after a heart aneurism, she was shocked, but still in denial.

But after open heart surgery, she knew she had that elusive second chance – a second chance that she wouldn’t get again.

Post surgery, Eva embarked on a mission to tell women about their risks. But you don’t have to wait for a problem with your own health to begin your heart disease education or help others. Take the time to educate yourself, and other women, by learning these three tips about heart disease and healthy living before it’s too late.

1. Know your risk, no matter your age
For Eva, heart health became an issue in her early twenties. She had risk factors that she ignored, like high blood pressure and being a Latina woman, and almost lost her life. No matter how small your health issues may seem, find out if you’re at risk, and what you should do to reduce it.

2. Get regular checkups
The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. Eva ignored various warning signs for 13 years. If she had gone for a checkup, her conditions could’ve been treated and monitored without the need for open heart surgery. Don’t wait until you feel symptoms. Make getting regular checkups an annual priority.

3. Make your lifestyle a heart-healthy one
Making healthy changes in your life can reduce your risk for […]