Celebrating Heart Month.

Tuesday February 26, 2019

At uOttawa, we talk about our Gee-Gees pride and having the strong Heart of a Gee-Gee.

In February, we celebrate Heart Month, a time to focus on improving cardiovascular health and to prepare to deal with a heart-related emergency.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, approximately 2.4 million Canadians live with heart disease and it is the second leading cause of death in Canada. In many cases, heart-related incident are preventable, with regular physical fitness, good lifestyle choices, and a healthy diet.

Sports Services would like to use this opportunity to raise awareness of this important issue.

Get a Move On

Making healthy lifestyle choices is a key component of improving and maintaining your heart health. Regular exercise helps prevent heart disease and helps you manage your stress.  At Sports Services, we offer two fitness centres, drop-in sports activities, aerobics classes, and public skating to help get you moving.

Montpetit Hall is home to a 50M Olympic swimming pool. Swimming is an amazing way to improve cardiac health and overall physical fitness. It can help lower blood pressure, help your body control cholesterol levels, and boost your metabolism.

Diet so that you don’t die-yet

Keeping a balanced diet is another great way to keep your heart health on track, and the new Canada Food Guide can help you make healthy eating choices. For heart health in particular, minimize your intake of salt, sugar, and sources of saturated or trans-fats. Opt instead for fruits, veggies and lean protein sources. Avoid alcohol or cannabis. Don’t smoke or use tobacco. 

Proper diet and exercise are great preventative steps that can be taken to improve and protect your heart. However, it is still important to know what to do in case of a heart emergency. You don’t need advanced medical training, just to recognize the signs and follow some easy steps.

Heart Attack

A heart attack is when the heart muscle doesn’t receive enough oxygen due to a blockage in the blood vessels supplying the heart. Without oxygen, part of the heart muscle starts to die. The victim often has pain and pressure in their chest or shoulder, difficulty breathing, nausea, dizziness and confusion. In the case of a suspected heart attack, keep the person calm and loosen any tight clothing, and assist them with their medication, such as Aspirin.      

Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs suddenly and without warning. It is an electrical malfunction in the heart causing an irregular heartbeat. The heart is not able to pump blood properly around the body, so the person loses consciousness and stops breathing normally. A heart attack can quickly lead to sudden cardiac arrest. This person urgently requires CPR and an AED.

Contact Protection Services and get an AED (defibrillator)

If you observe a person who you suspect is having a heart attack, or who is unresponsive and not breathing normally, the first step is to call for help. On uOttawa Campus, contact Protection Services at 613-562-5411. Off uOttawa Campus, call 9-1-1

Next, send someone to obtain an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED. An AED is a machine that analyzes the heart and if needed, can deliver a shock of electricity. Anyone can use one of the AEDs on the uOttawa campus, even without training. After pushing the ON button, the AED will guide you through the steps using voice prompts, so follow the instructions.

Here is a map of AED locations on campus

You can also click here for the detailed procedure

While waiting for an AED, if the person is unresponsive not breathing normally, start CPR, by pushing hard and fast in the centre of the chest.

Preparation is Key

Like a sports practice or a fire drill, practicing to deal with an emergency helps ensure you are ready when it really happens. Sports Services offers First Aid and CPR classes on campus, so you can learn and practice these important lifesaving skills to deal with a heart-related emergency. Visit www.geegees.ca or one of our Client Services locations for more information.

This Heart Month, show that you have the strong Heart of a Gee-Gee by following these tips. Improve your heart health and be ready to save a life.