Don’t break hearts by not checking them, St John WA warns on International Men’s Day
- St John WA responded to nearly 8000 life-threatening heart problems in men in the past year;
- WA men exceed women when it comes to life-threatening cardiac emergencies;
- International Men’s Day, November 19, aims to improve male health.
This International Men’s Day, St John WA (SJWA) is warning men to get their hearts checked in light of nearly 8000 life-threatening heart emergencies occurring in West Australian men in the past year.
One of the six objectives of International Men’s Day on November 19 is to improve male health.
Since November last year, St John rushed to hospital 7862 men suffering Priority 1 heart problems, which exceeded women by 500 cases.
“Men face the danger of not seeking out immediate care when they experience the aches and pains of a heart attack, preferring to brush it off and go down the ‘she’ll be right’ pathway,” says SJWA Resuscitation Improvement Coordinator, Dr David Reid.
“The trouble is, by the time they decide they aren’t well, they’re probably already in the middle of a heart attack and wasting valuable medical intervention time.”
By getting checked for cardiovascular disease (or ‘heart disease’), which covers all diseases and conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels, it could prevent a heart attack.
A heart attack occurs when the heart muscle loses blood supply because of a blockage, and the person is conscious and breathing.
Following a heart attack, there is a high risk that the patient will go into cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is when the electrical pulse suddenly stops and the person falls unconscious and does not breathe normally.
Only 21 per cent of cardiac arrest patients make it to hospital with a pulse and only 10 per cent are discharged with survival to 30-days.
“Cardiac arrest and heart attacks are Triple Zero (000) emergencies,” Dr Reid said.
“The sooner an ambulance can get you to hospital the greater your chance of survival.”
Every year St John WA tries to raise awareness for the nine out of 10 cardiac arrest victims who won’t survive an out-of-hospital cardiac event by encouraging First Aid in the community.
First Aid from bystanders delivers vital aid in the first five minutes of a cardiac emergency and in the case of a cardiac arrest, CPR significantly improves the chance of survival until an ambulance can arrive.