White Plains Hospital looks to raise awareness of heart disease, its risks and ways of preventing it in February, American Heart Month.
The hospital is hosting a series of educational and advocacy events empowering women and men to make healthier choices to help prevent heart attacks and cardiac disease.
“Most of us know someone who has been affected by this deadly disease, and by holding these events, we hope to provide both men and women with the appropriate tools they need to take action to reduce their own personal risk,” said Dawn W. French, VP of Marketing and Community Relations at White Plains Hospital. “We encourage all members of the community to take advantage of these awareness and education events and spread the word about heart disease awareness.”
To kick off the month, the Hospital will host a “Go Red” Health Fair and Expo on Friday, Feb. 1, also known as National Wear Red Day, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Hospital’s Centennial Room. Staff and visitors will be able to take advantage of free blood pressure screenings, valuable heart health education, and free consultations from nurses, pharmacists and nutritionists.
Nurses will stage a “kissing booth” where donations to the Go Red Campaign will be rewarded with dark chocolate kisses and red hair extensions will be sold for $10, with funds benefitting heart disease awareness. New this year will be a Red Dress photo booth, where attendees can take photos with a life-size Red Dress which has become an icon for heart disease awareness.
The hospital will also be hosting a “Go Red Community Day” on Sunday, Feb. 3 at the Bethel Baptist Church in White Plains from 1-3 p.m. The public is invited to attend to learn valuable “beyond the headlines” heart health information and giveaways.
Several additional workshops and lectures geared toward heart disease prevention and awareness are planned throughout the month:
- Heart Health Club Lecture Series: Women and Heart Disease, Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 5:30pm in the hospital
- Weight Loss Surgery: The Operation Option; Is it Right for you? Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. in the hospital’s Centennial Room
- Healthy Feet…taking care of our feet as we age, Thursday, Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. at White Plains Recreation & Parks Community Center.
- A Go Red! Night will occur on Feb. 28 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Mulberry Street in White Plains, where a $25 donation entitles guests to a “go red” bracelet, raffle tickets, two red drinks and heart healthy appetizers.
Not knowing the signs of a heart attack can be deadly. All too often, people having a heart attack wait too long to get help. By learning the signs, you may be able to save a loved one’s life—or your own.
Not everyone who has a heart attack feels sudden, crushing pain. While some heart attacks come on suddenly and intensely, most start more slowly, and cause only mild pain. The classic signs of a heart attack are:
- Discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and returns. It can feel like pain, uncomfortable pressure, fullness or squeezing.
- Pain or discomfort elsewhere in the upper body: one or both arms, the back, neck, stomach or jaw.
- Shortness of breath, with or without discomfort in the chest.
- Breaking out in a cold sweat, lightheadedness or nausea.
The more of these signs you have, the more likely it is that you are having a heart attack.
In women, chest pain or discomfort are the most common symptoms of a heart attack. But they are more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, and back or jaw pain. Some women can have a heart attack without feeling any chest pressure. Women may mistake heart attack symptoms for less dangerous health conditions, such as acid reflux or the flu.
If you think you might be having a heart attack, don’t wait more than five minutes to call 911. When treating a heart attack, every minute matters. Call even if you are not sure if the symptoms you are experiencing really are a heart attack. Don’t drive yourself to the hospital or have someone else drive you. By calling 911, emergency medical personnel will be able to begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room.
Listen to your body, and don’t ignore chest discomfort. Receiving quick treatment can save your life.