JIS: The Heart Foundation of Jamaica is encouraging members of the public to get screened for Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), as this life-threatening condition affects both young and older persons.

 

The appeal was made by Executive Director of the Foundation, Deborah Chen, at the media launch for Heart Month on January 24 at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston.

 

SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. As a result, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs, usually resulting in death if it is not treated immediately.

 

Symptoms of SCA include chest pain, racing heart, unexplained fainting, shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, dizziness and seizures.

 

The Executive Director told JIS News that the decision to focus on this medical condition stems from the increase in reported cases of SCA.

 

She is urging members of the public, particularly persons involved in vigorous physical activity, to get screened to determine if they are at risk for SCA.

 

Meanwhile, Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, has commended the Foundation for its awareness initiative.

 

“We congratulate the Heart Foundation of Jamaica on using this forum for highlighting some of the risk factors, symptoms, strategies and lifestyle practices for prevention of SCA,” the Minister said in a message read by Acting Director of Health Promotion and Protection in the Ministry, Dr. Beverley Wright.

 

The Minister noted that cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in Jamaica. It is estimated that approximately 25 per cent of the population have risk factors associated with heart disease.

 

Under the theme, ‘Sudden Cardiac Death…Could it Happen to You?’ the Foundation will be hosting a series of activities throughout the Month to raise public awareness of the causes, symptoms and measures that can be taken to prevent and treat an episode of SCA.

 

Screenings for cardiovascular conditions are to be held at several Health Centres across the island. The month will also feature outside broadcasts and medical symposiums. The Foundation will also be hosting a CPR Training Day on February 25 to educate persons in basic medical treatment in case of an emergency.

 

For more information, persons can contact the Heart Foundation of Jamaica at: (876) 906-9407, (876) 926-4378 or email: pro@heartfoundationja.org.

 

CAPTION: Heart Foundation Board member, Maurice Anderson (left); Executive Director of the Foundation, Deborah Chen (second left); Consultant Cardiologist and Chair of the Foundation, Dr. Andrene Chung (third left) and Sports Medicine Specialist, Dr. Paul Wright (right), in conversation with Acting Director of Health Promotion and Protection in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Beverley Wright (second right), during the media launch for Heart Month (February) on January 24 at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston.