Why Medical IDs Protect Heart Patients

emergency_SOURCEIf you’re suddenly unaware of your surroundings or unable to help yourself due to symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, or disorientation from high or low blood glucose, a medical ID can tell your story when you can’t speak for yourself. The purpose of a medical ID is to alert paramedics, EMTs and medical professionals to your condition when they only have precious seconds to begin lifesaving care.

Wearing a medical ID 24/7 can save your life. When you have a potentially life-threatening health condition and/or have a cardiac device, emergency responders need to know for various reasons. Many cardiac patients also have other chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or dementia that can affect treatment.

Medical Condition(s) Alert

Consider wearing a medical ID if you have any of the following:

  • Chronic or history of coronary heart disease, including:
    • Angina
    • Arrhythmias
    • Heart transplant
    • Coronary artery bypass graft
    • Previous MI (myocardial infarction/heart attack)
    • Previous SCA (sudden cardiac arrest)
    • Stroke risk: hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, atrial fibrillation (A-fib), tobacco smoking, metabolic syndrome
  • Chronic disease, such as diabetes or dementia
  • Cardiovascular device, such as:
    • Coronary artery stent
    • Artificial heart valve
    • Pacemaker or ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator)
  • Food, drug or insect allergy that can cause an anaphylactic reaction
  • Sensitivity to medications
  • Rare blood type

Implanted Medical Device Alert

Alert emergency personnel to metal implants

Certain metals used in implantable devices, such as a stent, artificial valve, pacemaker, and ICD, may be “ferromagnetic” which means they are attracted to magnets. This may mean you cannot have an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) if you are injured. MRIs are becoming more widely used as a diagnostic tool since they use large magnets and radio-frequency waves (not radiation) to produce pictures of your body’s internal structures.   Continue reading “Why Medical IDs Protect Heart Patients”

Building a Better Body After Open-Heart Surgery

Resistance exercises may seem counter-intuitive after open-heart surgery, but lifting some weight (be it yours or some iron) can help you heal. Surgery and bed rest contribute to muscle atrophy (wasting away), muscle/joint stiffness, and balance issues, but resistance training can offset these negative effects. By regaining your strength and improving your exercise tolerance, you can quickly return to your activities and maintain your independence.

At 8 to 12 weeks, when your sternum is healed, you can begin moderate-intensity, dynamic resistance training with your cardiologist’s approval. Be sure there is no movement in your sternum (i.e., pain, cracking, popping, or feelings of pulling on the incision). Your weight training routine should progress at a gradual and consistent pace with the guidance of a clinical exercise physiologist.   Continue reading “Building a Better Body After Open-Heart Surgery”