Health begins at home, Dr Moosa tells Alvin Thomas. Pick up his prescription that could change your life forever
Cardiac arrest can strike anyone and at any time. A prime example of this was when Dr John Warner – the president of the American Heart Association – narrowly escaped from the clutches of an early quietus when his daughter gave him a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
In truth, Dr Warner is among a lucky few who live to tell the tale. The case has been prevalent in the Middle East – and more so in Oman – of late. This was highlighted in the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) Annual Report for 2016, which exposed the extent of
As per the report, a staggering 25 per cent of all deaths in hospital in the year were put down to heart disease and the circulatory system. The newer 2017 Statistical Yearbook by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) recorded that 981 deaths in MoH hospitals in 2016 were linked to diseases of the circulatory system.
Despite the alarming statistics, however, Dr Moosa, a general practitioner at a private hospital in Oman, remarks: “All is not lost. A few simple steps can change your – and your loved one’s – life forever.
“Health begins at home,” the doctor says, before providing us with some easy steps that you can make use of to alter your lifestyle right now:
• Eat healthy fats and stay away from trans fats: Read the label on foods you buy from the supermarket. Trans fats can harm your heart by clogging up your arteries and raising your bad cholesterol levels (LDL). It can also reduce the good cholesterol (HDL) level in your body.
• Get enough sleep: Make it a rule to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. If that’s not possible, try to sneak 30 minutes or an hour of sleep during your lunch break at work. This can rejuvenate your brain cells and also keep your heart fit.
• Move around at work: It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re working. This means that you’re sitting in the same pose for hours – and that’s definitely not good for your heart. Sitting for hours increases your chance for developing a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis).
• Avoid smoking and stay away from smokers: If you’re a smoker, try to stop the habit or, at the very least, cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke daily. Smoking is said to damage the lining of your arteries, leading to a build-up of fatty material (atheroma) which narrows the artery. This can then lead to a heart attack or even a stroke.
Apart from taking these steps, it’s also best to undergo a CPR course. Simply knowing what steps to take when someone is suffering from a cardiac arrest can potentially save his or her life – and additional money on treatments.
If you’re looking to learn about CPR, simply head to the CPRCertified.com channel on YouTube. Albeit, it’s always best to partake in a course organised by registered sources in Oman.
Next week, we’ll take a look at the symptoms of a cardiac arrest and how you can respond in a dangerous situation.