Category: Disease Prevention

A Woman’s Heart

November 24, 2014 Kristy Pilant Awareness and Prevention, Disease Prevention, Heart Health, Women's Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States – about 1 in every 4.

Heart-Disease-prvention-and-Weight-Loss-Armageddon-Weight-Loss-The-best-weight-loss-DVD-program-for-women-and-menAlthough this statistic shouldn’t shock most women, it usually does. That’s because most women, more than half, don’t realize this scary truth. More women die each year in the US from heart disease than all the cancers combined. Many women think of heart disease as a “man’s disease” even though about the same number of women and men are claimed by it every year. And about 64% of women who die suddenly from a heart attack showed no previous symptoms.

Awareness of the severity of this epidemic has to change for lives to be saved. Knowledge is power and knowing the risk factors and symptoms is key.



Risk factors include:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Family History
  • Smoking
  • Stress

Controlling these risk factors often means hard changes in lifestyle and diet but surely they are better than any of the results of a heart attack or stroke.

Paying attention to symptoms is another important step. As women, we are often likely to disregard or minimize symptoms, but this is our body’s way of trying to tell us to get some help. And although women often experience chest pain, other symptoms for women are easy to overlook.

Symptoms include:

  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Jaw, neck and shoulder pain
  • Lightheadedness and clamminess
  • Nausea and indigestion000_Heartattack.rev2

You know your body ladies. Pay attention and listen to what it is trying to tell you. We have to take care of ourselves before we can take care of anyone else. Women can be a powerful force to reckon with especially when they get behind a cause, so we need to encourage each other to learn as much as we can, educate others, and make changes.

For more information about heart disease in women visit:


How to Wash your Hands

October 16, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Children's Health, Disease Prevention, Men's Health, Women's Health

With flu season around the corner and all of the talk of spreadable disease it is very important to wash your hands!  Washing your hands is the single most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of many types of illness and infections.  Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another.

  • Wet your hands with warm running water.
  • Apply soap.
  • Lather the soap and rub your hands together with the soap. (Be sure to lather your entire hand including between your fingers, under your nails, wrists and the backs of your hands)
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean paper towel and turn off the water (If there is not a towel available, use your forearm to turn off the faucet and use an air dryer)

    If soap and water is not available then you may use waterless hand sanitizer until you can wash your hands properly.  Hand sanitizer is not a substitute for hand washing.

When dealing with any blood or bodily fluids make sure to use universal precautions.  Always treat all blood and bodily fluids as though it is potentially infectious and protect yourselves by using personal protection equipment such as gloves, gown, mask and face shields.


Do you have a Heart Healthy Workplace?

September 10, 2014 Cheryl Smith CPR Training, Disease Prevention, Heart Health

Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of all Americans?  In fact, someone dies from CVD every 39 seconds.  Heart disease also kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.  Knoxville’s Heart Walk is September 28th and is the American Heart Association’s premiere event for raising funds to save lives.  Designed to promote physical activity and heart-healthy living, the Heart Walk creates an environment that’s fun and rewarding for the entire family.  Sign up by clicking the banner below.


People spend at least 40% of their waking hours on the job.  Corporate wellness programs are becoming the norm and the obvious benefits to helping workers get healthy and stay healthy is good for the employees, their families and business.  The American Heart Association, AHA, recommends an incremental approach to companies considering starting a wellness program.  Wellness programs should include a concentrated focus on the following:

  • Smoking cessation or preventioncpr classes
  • Increasing physical activity
  • Managing and reducing stress
  • Promoting healthy eating
  • Managing weight
  • Educating workers about cardiovascular disease, including how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibulator (AED).

I challenge you to start or join a wellness program at your work, including educating your coworkers and staff on how to perform CPR in the event of an emergency.  Remember, CPR Choice can offer onsite CPR and AED training for your place of business and we can accommodate almost any schedule.  Reach out today to schedule a group onsite class.

Mark your calendar for Knoxville’s Heart Walk.  Walk with friends, family, coworkers or strangers- your heart will thank you!


What are Blood Borne Pathogens?

April 16, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Disease Prevention, First Aid

biohazardHepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are some of the more serious infectious diseases that can be transmitted through exposure to human blood or other body fluids. Exposures to blood and other body fluids occur across a wide variety of occupations including but not limited to: first aid team members, housekeeping, nurses and other health care providers, childcare workers, security guards, school personnel, tattoo artists, and many more.  Anyone who can be exposed through needlestick, other sharps injuries, mucous membrane and skin exposures should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the risks involved in being exposed to bloodborne pathogens, precautions to take, and what to do if exposed.  Workers and employers are urged to take available engineering controls and work practices to prevent exposure to blood and other body fluids. The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI) provide a course designed to meet OSHA’s standard for bloodborne pathogen training.  The course is designed to teach precautions such as hand hygiene, barrier precautions, safe work practices and isolation practices and thoroughly explains the PACT acronym:

  • Protect themselves from exposure to bloodborne pathogens
  • Act when exposed to blood or blood containing material in the workplace
  • Clean themselves and area when exposed to blood or blood containing material
  • Tell or report any exposure to blood or blood containing materials in the workplace

safetycheck For more information on this course visit our website at and click on Heartsaver Bloodborne Pathogens.   To register for CPR classes in Knoxville or Maryville please check out our calendar.

Signs & Symptoms of Stroke

April 11, 2014 Cheryl Smith CPR, Disease Prevention, Heart Health, Men's Health, Women's Health

Stroke is a medical condition effecting the blood vessels or arteries within, or leading into the brain. Stroke happens when one or more of these vessels become blocked, leak, or bursts.  This subsequently leads to tissue damage or death in the affected area of the brain due to lack of oxygen and vital nutrients gained from normal blood supply.  There are two types of stoke: One caused by a blockage due to a clot (Ischemic stroke), the other caused by a leak or rupture within the vessel wall (hemorrhagic stroke).  Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States behind Heart Disease and Cancer. If you or someone you know appears to be suffering from symptoms of a stroke it is imperative to call 911 as soon as possible, time is a vital factor in preventing or limiting brain damage, paralysis, or death.


Symptoms commonly found in those suffering from a stroke include

  • Numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, usually effecting one side of the body.
  • Slurred speech, loss of balance, poor coordination
  • Confusion, loss of comprehension and understanding, personality change
  • Rapid or irregular breathing, unequal pupil dilation, pounding pulse
  • Sudden onset of severe headache and sensitivity to sound or light or loss of vision

Though anyone can suffer from a stroke, it is more common in those above the age of 65.  Additional risk factors include: cardiac disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking.  Some patients may suffer from stroke symptoms for a short period of time.  These temporary symptoms may be an indicator of Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) or a “mini-stroke.” TIA’s are often a warning sign for an impending larger stroke so these symptoms should not be ignored and the person suffering should seek medical attention.

There are a few important standard precautions to take while you and the stoke victim are waiting for EMS to arrive.

  • Monitor the victims’ airway, breathing and circulation. If possible, note the time of stroke and be sure to relay this information to the EMTs
  • If tolerated, try to lay the victim down so his or her head is flat on the ground in order to maximize blood flow to the brain
  • Never give the victim anything to eat or drink. His or her airway may become compromised due to paralysis. This may also lead to complications during surgery if needed.

These will undoubtedly be frightening moments for the stroke patient as loss of normal mental and motor function onset. It is important to provide emotional support in a calm collective manor. Continue to communicate even if his or her ability to respond is limited and never comment on possible long term effects of the episode.  Remember, stroke is a time sensitive medical condition so it’s important to seek medical attention at the first signs or symptoms. In some cases the victim may lose consciousness and pulse, if this should happen it is important to activate the emergency response system and begin quality CPR. Focus on pushing hard and fast on the center of the victims’ chest.

Learn CPR today.  For a schedule of classes please visit out calendar to register.  We offer Basic Life Support (BLS) for healthcare providers as well as community Heartsaver CPR & AED classes designed for anyone.


Signs & Symptoms of a Heart Attack

April 8, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, Awareness and Prevention, CPR, Disease Prevention, Heart Health, Men's Health, Women's Health

heart attack warning

Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack 

If you think you may be having a heart attack, Stop, call 911 and chew an aspirin.  Now is not the time to be doing research and a delay can be very dangerous.  It’s important to pay special attention to any signs and symptoms of a heart attack especially if you have any of these risk factors: over 50 years in age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoker, history of heart disease.

Heart attacks occur when blood supply to the heart is blocked, therefore damaging the muscle.  It’s important to chew an aspirin if you feel like you may be experiencing a heart attack because the aspirin will thin the blood.

  • Chest Pain: Chest pain is one of the most common symptoms of a heart attack, although it can vary quite a bit.  Some people may feel as if an elephant is sitting on their chest, while others may feel a squeezing sensation in their chest.  Others may describe it as chest fullness or an uncomfortable sensation.  If you experience chest pain lasting longer than 5 minutes, don’t delay, call 911 and go to the emergency room.
  • Shortness of breath:  May feel as if you are unable to catch your breath even when resting.  Shortness of breath often occurs before chest pain.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness: Feeling as if you might pass out.
  • Cold Sweat: Sweating while feeling cold or chilled.

Symptoms more likely in Women

Women have a higher risk of dying from a heart attack because they are less likely to experience all of the symptoms we hear about often or see in the movies.  Here are some symptoms that women should be especially aware of:

  • Pain in the arm (especially the left arm), back, neck, abdomen or shoulder blades: uncomfortable pressure, tightness or ache.
  • Jaw Pain and throat: Starts in the chest and moves to the jaw, feels like someone is choking you.
  • Nausea, Vomiting or Indigestion
  • Overwhelming and unusual fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Pale Skin

Knowing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack could save a life.  Always remember to not delay if you or someone you know feels they may be experiencing a heart attack, call 911 and chew an aspirin.  If the person becomes unconscious immediately begin CPR starting with chest compressions after calling 911.  If you are in a public place you should also request an AED (automated external defibrillator) when activating EMS.  Focus on pushing hard and fast in the center of the victims chest.  For more information on how to do CPR please check out our website or sign up for a class.  All CPR classes that are open to the public in the Knoxville area are listed on our calendar.

heart attack symptoms
heart attack symptoms


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