The heart is one of the most complex and hard working organs located in the human body and it is certainly one of the most important as without it, our bodies would simply not be able to function at all, and we would therefore cease to exist any longer. Did you know, for example, that in the Netherlands alone, around 5,300 individuals die every year from a heart attack, so what can you do to help bring these numbers down?
First off, what is the difference between a heart attack, heart failure, and cardiac arrest?
First and foremost, one of the most important things you can do is to familiarize yourself with the differences between each affliction:
When a person suffers from cardiac arrest, the heart suffers from serious arrhythmias and subsequently stops beating and pumping blood around the body. This means organs and cells no longer receive oxygen and blood. Normally a person will lose consciousness within seconds of suffering from cardiac arrest. Normally every single day, around 42 people will suffer a cardiac arrest at home, at work, or out in public. In the event of a cardiac arrest, instantly call 911, perform CPR, and for the greatest chance of survival, use an Automatic External Defibrillator within 6 minutes of the initial arrest.
When a person suffers from a heart attack, their coronary artery located in the heart becomes blocked. This means that a section of the heart is unable to receive any blood or oxygen. Every single day, around 78 people in the Netherlands will suffer from a heart attack. If heart issues last for longer than 5 minutes, 911 should be called and an ambulance and paramedics will be dispatched. Do not try to travel to hospital yourself.
When people suffer with heart failure, the heart itself, which is a muscle, becomes less efficient and so it pumps less blood around the body and is less powerful. Currently around 13,000 people in the Netherlands are living with heart failure. This is a chronic condition that can be managed and improved upon to some degree, with the usage of specialist medications and supplements, and by making healthy lifestyle changes.
Worrying heart-related facts in the Netherlands
Before we wrap things up, we’ll leave you with a series of worrying heart-related facts relating to individuals hailing from the Netherlands:
- In the year 2014, 545 people died as a result of car accidents, 52 lost their lives due to house fires, yet 5,300 people died due to a heart attack
- Every day, 42 people outside of a hospital will suffer from cardiac arrest, and 78 people will suffer from a heart attack
- The average age of a victim likely to suffer with heart issues is 66 years old
- A CPR course, which could save lives, lasts just 4 hours
- 35 minutes of CPR has been linked positively with survival and neurological recovery after heart issues (brain damage can occur within 6 minutes of a person suffering with cardiac arrest)
- AEDs could save lives, and contrary to popular belief, they do not shock a person who is in cardiac arrest.
In the infographic below you can read more facts and figures, information about AEDs and alternative methods that do not work. For the Dutch version click here.
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