Good for the Heart

The theme of the LWRWC February 10th general meeting was heart health, a topic that combines Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month. Two distinguished guest speakers from Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, shared their expertise on “Recognizing the Symptoms of a Stroke or Heart Attack.”

L-R: Sharon Wright, Guest speakers Lyn Swann, and Lisa Johnson, and Regina Napoli

The first speaker, Lisa Johnson, is the Stroke Coordinator at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. She has been an RN for over 36 years and with UHS for 26 years. She has an extensive background in Intensive Care Nursing and has been in her role as Stroke Coordinator for over a year.

The second speaker, Lyn Swann, is the Director of Cardiovascular Services at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center and Chest Pain Accreditation Coordinator. She has been an RN for 26 years with focused experience in the Cardiac Cath Lab for 20 years.
Symptoms of Stroke and Prevention
An easy way to remember the most common stroke warning signs and how to respond is the acronym B.E.F.A.S.T.  stands for Balance, Eyes, Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 911. Lisa emphasized the importance of immediately treating stroke symptoms as an emergency because “Time is Brain.” There is no penalty for checking out a false alarm but waiting can cost you your brain and/or your life!
Lisa advises that following prevention and lifestyle changes can help us to lead a heart healthy life and reduce the risk of stroke:

  • Keep your medical appointments and follow up with your MD
  • Exercise, lose weight and avoid obesity reduces risk factors for stroke
  • Eat a Heart Healthy Diet such as smaller portions, less salt and fat
  • Quit smoking. If you quit today risk factors will begin to decrease
  • Control Cholesterol by diet changes and monitor levels with your MD
  • Decrease alcohol use
  • Monitor blood glucose
  • Manage blood pressure

Heart Attack Symptoms and Prevention
The major symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain, tingling in the arms, neck, shoulder or jaw, sudden dizziness, heartburn like feeling or feeling of fullness, cold sweats, unusual tiredness, nausea or vomiting, and shortness of breath. Lyn advised us to be aware of the following other potential indicators: neck, shoulder, upper back pain; abdominal discomfort, sweating, lightheadedness or dizziness, unusual fatigue.

Preventable key risk factors of heart disease include: smoking, inactivity, diabetes, weight/diet, cholesterol, blood pressure, stress.  Lyn also explained the diagnostic and interventional procedures that are available at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center to treat heart and vascular disease.

Lyn concluded her presentation with a quick and easy You-tube Video “Hands-Only CPR” that features a hands-only technique. Every minute CPR is delayed a victim’s chance of survival decreases. Lyn left the group with this sage advice: Act quickly when heart attack symptoms arise – Don’t delay, DO NOT DRIVE, and remember to call 911 because fast, timely interventions lead to healthy hearts and positive outcomes.

After their presentations, Ann Sledz and Regina Napoli presented Lisa and Lyn with a donation to the Lakewood Ranch Medical Foundation.

Business Meeting
The Business Meeting was called to order by LWRWC Vice President, Ann Sledz. Committee reports were given by Treasurer Kathy Cleveland, Program chairs Dyan Dallis and Sharon Wright, SIGS coordinator Helene Levin and Publicity chair, Monika Templeman.

With no other new business, Ann Sledz reminded the attendees of the Sign-Up sheets at the back of the room to volunteer for upcoming events. Regina Napoli coordinated the excellent February presentations that were good for the heart!