The ABC's of Heart Health
How much do you really know about your heart? This amazing organ works constantly to keep your entire body working. Yet most of us know only the basics about how to care for our hearts. We might know about eating a low-fat diet or getting enough exercise. But it’s also important to know the ABC’s of cardiovascular care. Here’s a glossary of important letters and acronyms to remember.
AED: An automated external defibrillator delivers a jolt of electricity to a patient’s heart if it has stopped beating. It’s a valuable tool for treating people who have entered cardiac arrest.
A Fib: Short for atrial fibrillation, A Fib is a name for a specific kind of arrhythmia. An arrhythmia means that the heart is “off beat.” There are several kinds of treatment for atrial fibrillation, depending on the patient’s medical history and the severity of the arrhythmia.
AMI: Short for acute myocardial infarction, AMI is a type of heart attack. An AMI occurs when one of the arteries in the heart gets blocked. Without the delivery of fresh, oxygenated blood, the heart tissue can die.
CPR: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is a rescue technique sometimes used on people whose hearts have stopped beating or who are no longer breathing. Taking a CPR class is an important step toward caring for your loved ones in an emergency.
HDL: High-density lipoprotein is the “good cholesterol. It’s important to remember that even your HDL can get too high, so talk to your doctor about your total cholesterol score.
LDL: Low-density lipoprotein is the “bad” cholesterol. Cholesterol can build up on the walls of your heart and harden into plaque, raising your risk for clots, heart attack, and stroke.
STEMI: The deadliest kind of heart attack, an ST-segment myocardial infaction, requires highly specialized treatment. Often doctors will perform cardiac catheterization to halt progress of a STEMI and save the patient’s life.
If you’re ready to kick your heart health into high gear, please contact us at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute. We’re dedicated to providing Ft. Pierce and the Treasure Coast with outstanding cardiovascular care. Call Consult-a-Nurse® at 1-800-382-3522 for answers to your health questions and free referrals to local physicians.