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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

Hospital hosts event to bring awareness for heart disease

Updated: Mar 6

JONESBORO, Ark- February is heart month, and one local hospital is shining a light on the disease- that is the leading cause of death for men and women in the country.

St. Bernards Healthcare is bringing awareness to heart disease through Heart Day. The event shows attendees how to live a heart-healthy lifestyle.

“People tend to ignore their heart health,” says Dr. Jack Havadala, a cardiovascular surgeon at St. Bernards

Attendees could also speak one-on-one with professionals through a physician panel and benefit from free heart and health screenings and heart-healthy meal options.

Doctor Havadala says it’s important to know your risks.

“Hypertension, diabetes, tobacco use, sedentary lifestyle, obesity…poor food choices. These things that people could improve upon.”

CPR training was available on-site.

Heart disease being the leading cause of death in Arkansas.

Matt Green with local ambulance company Medic One says it’s important that people learn the life-saving training.

“What really is going to have a good outcome for patients is CPR in conjunction with good compressions. Using an AED with CPR is very vital,” the paramedic said.

An AED- or an automated external defibrillator- was also showcased. The tool gives medical personnel an extra hand when treating a patient in cardiac arrest.

Green explains how vital the technology is when seconds matter.

“Our resuscitation rates were about 10-15%, which is not great, but that’s about standard nationwide. When we started using the auto pulse our resuscitation rates went up to about sixty percent. A lot of times we have restored a pulse before we get to the hospital.”

Despite being the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S., heart disease is mostly preventable.

Doctor Havadala says even small lifestyle changes- like exercise- can make a big impact on one's heart health.

“Quitting smoking, healthy eating, monitoring your blood pressure. Go for a walk throughout the day. If you can do it, take the stairs, not the elevator. Throughout the day do things that make you wanna move a little bit,” he added.


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