Lebanon’s Health Ministry sponsored on Saturday the launch of a campaign in Sidon to raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrest and how to prevent it.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. If this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is not the same as a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to part of the heart muscle is blocked. In such situations, the heart usually doesn’t suddenly stop beating.
SCA, however, may happen after or during the recovery from a heart attack. People who have heart disease are at higher risk of SCA.
Nevertheless, SCA can happen to people who appear healthy and have no known heart disease or other risk factors for SCA.
Most people who suffer an SCA die from it, often within minutes. Rapid treatment of SCA with a defibrillator can be lifesaving. A defibrillator is a device that sends an electric shock to the heart to try to restore its normal rhythm.
The Cardiac Health Campaign included free cardiac screening tests in specialized trucks that traveled around Sidon’s neighborhoods.
It was organized by the Rotary Club of Saida, the Rotaract Club of Saida, and the Champs Fund that aims to prevent sudden cardiac death in young athletes.
The campaign, titled Sidon – A Safe City for the Heart, also included the installation of automated external defibrillators in crowded places and areas where people exercise and held training on how to use them.
“The initiative aims to reach 1,500 people in the city,” head of the Rotary Club of Saida Ghada Ayoub Abou Fadel said.
He explained that the organization would publish a map later this week that suggests locations in the city where more AEDs should be installed, including schools, sports clubs, and other institutions.
Randa Hamadeh, head of the Health Ministry’s primary health care department, represented Minister Jamil Jabak.
She said the ministry was supporting the campaign through 15 health centers across Lebanon, adding that a decision was made to require from schools, malls, and touristic areas to install AEDs.
Following a heart-healthy lifestyle can help you lower your risk for heart disease, SCA, and other heart problems.
A heart-healthy lifestyle includes heart-healthy eating, aiming for a healthy weight, managing stress, physical activity, and quitting smoking.