Tag Archives: stroke

DHEC in the News: EMT jobs, WiseWoman health screenings, Narcan

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

EMS Officials Working With Technical College System to Fill EMT Jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)- Agencies from around the state made their way to Columbia to discuss how to raise the number of emergency medical technicians.

“We have a shortage in South Carolina. People tend to be educate in South Carolina, become EMTs in South Carolina, and then not stick around. We have a decline every single year in the amount of paramedics that we have in the state,” DHEC EMS Bureau Chief Robert Wronski. “This year we have seen a 1.2 percent decrease in the amount of credentialed paramedics that we have in the state.”

RMC offers free WiseWoman health screenings

The Regional Medical Center and the Tri-County Health Network will offer free WiseWoman™ health screenings and lifestyle education to 200 women ages 40-64 on Saturday, Oct. 14. Doors open at 8 a.m., with screenings available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the RMC Annex.

The WiseWoman™ (Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for WOMen Across the Nation) health screening aims to help low-income women reduce their risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Horry County Sheriff’s Deputies will now carry Narcan

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – For the first time, the Horry County Sheriff’s Office will begin using Narcan.

The Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Law Enforcement Officer Naloxone (LEON) program, which is a partnership between South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS), and the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office for Narcan training on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Go Red Day: For Women and Heart Health!

The word is finally getting out about the devastating statistics of heart disease in women. As the No. 1 killer of women nationally, heart disease claims the lives of nearly 500,000 women annually in the United States. In 2003, the American Heart Association introduced a new initiative known as “National Wear Red Day” to inform women of the dangers of ignoring their heart health and to teach them how to improve their heart and overall health. “Go Red Day” is held on the first Friday in February and encourages women and men to dress in red clothing to show their support for heart disease awareness.

In the 15 years since the inaugural “National Wear Red Day,” there have been significant accomplishments achieved to reduce the number of women dying from heart disease, including:

  • Nearly 90% of women have made at least one healthy behavior change.
  • More than one-third of women have lost weight.
  • More than 50% of women have increased their exercise.
  • 6 out of 10 women have changed their diets.
  • More than 40% of women have checked their cholesterol levels.
  • One-third of women has talked with their doctors about developing heart health plans.
  • Today, nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke each day.
  • Death in women from heart disease has decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 10 years.

Click here to read more about “Go Red Day” and how you can protect yourself from heart disease.

Prevention is the best defense against heat-related illnesses

The National Weather Service forecast projects the next several days to be scorchers, hitting or coming close to 100 degrees or more in various parts of South Carolina.

Be careful and take steps to avoid heat-related health problems.

Prevention: The best defense

Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help you beat the heat:

  • Drink more fluids. Whether you’re active or not, it’s important to stay hydrated. Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar because they cause you to lose more body fluid. Avoid very cold drinks as well; they can cause stomach cramps.
  • If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask your physician how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • If possible, stay indoors in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the mall or public library for a break from the heat. Just a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature soars into the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Take a cool shower or bath, or go into an air-conditioned place.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.

While anyone can suffer from heat-related illness, it’s particularly important to keep a close watch on infants and young children, people aged 65 and older, people with mental illness and those who are physically ill. Visit older adults at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. And it goes without saying that infants and young children need more frequent monitoring.

For more information on heat-related illnesses, visit www.scdhec.gov/Health/DiseasesandConditions/HeatRelatedIllness.

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Love Your Mother’s Heart

On this special day set aside to celebrate our mothers and shower them with love, let’s also take time to focus on their hearts.

Did you know that more than 22,000 S.C. women were hospitalized for heart disease in 2014? According to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death for African-American women and the second leading cause of death for white women in our state. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death for all women in the Palmetto State.

May is also Stroke Awareness Month and this is Women’s Health Week, both perfect opportunities to remind our mothers, grandmothers, daughters and those other important ladies in our lives of the benefits of healthy habits to prevent these potentially deadly diseases.

 

Quit smoking

Every day, nearly eight women die from smoking in South Carolina, according to DHEC’s Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Morbidity, and Economic Cost analysis.  Women who smoke are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack as women who don’t smoke.  In fact, an average of two women die every day in our state from heart disease linked to smoking.

quit tobacco momDHEC manages the S.C. Tobacco Quitline, a free behavioral counseling service for all South Carolinians who want to quit for keeps.  Individuals can take advantage of one-on-one support from a trained Quit Coach via phone or web, a personalized treatment plan, a Quit Kit, and features such as text message support and helpful mobile apps.  Tailored programs are available for pregnant callers.

The Quitline can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). For Spanish, call 1-855-DEJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569).

Do you want to help a loved one quit smoking but are not sure how to start the conversation? Check out these tips for helping others quit smoking.

Get moving

Regular physical activity could reduce the risk of high blood pressure—a contributing factor to heart disease and stroke—by nearly 20 percent. In South Carolina, 53 percent of women do not get the recommended amount of physical activity—30 minutes a day for five days a week or more than 150 minutes a week. A simple daily brisk walk can help you get to a healthy weight, improve your mood and prevent high blood pressure.

Find more physical activity tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here.

Eat healthy

Remember mom’s mealtime lectures about eating all your vegetables? Her advice is right, health experts agree.

Fruits and vegetables provide important vitamins, minerals and fiber that can reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

Check out our serving sizes and shopping tips page for recipe ideas and tips on healthy eating.

Know the signs

The most common sign of a heart attack in both women and men is chest pain, but women often experience other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, nausea and back and jaw pain. Read more about heart attack symptoms in women at the American Heart Association page.

Stroke symptoms include sudden:

  • Numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg;
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding;
  • Trouble seeing or experiencing blurred vision;
  • Trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness; or
  • Severe headache with no known cause.

If you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms, don’t wait—call 9-1-1. Read more about how to spot a stroke and what quick steps to take here.

Mother’s Day is truly a time to celebrate family so take this opportunity to take care of yourself if you are a mother or share some healthy encouragement with the women in your life.

Richland County Chosen as One of Two Counties Nationwide for Million Hearts Initiative

By Jamie Shuster

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Richland County was chosen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation to serve as one of two pilot counties for the Million Hearts “Healthy is Strong” initiative. Million Hearts is a national initiative from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.  The initiative targets African-American men ages 40-65 in Richland County, as well as Clayton County, Georgia.  We’re excited to have been selected as one of two counties nationwide for this initiative.

African-Americans face higher risks than Caucasians of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. African-Americans also suffer more stroke deaths, which is the third leading cause of death in South Carolina, resulting in 729 deaths in 2013. These higher illness rates result in ten years of lost life for African-Americans in our state.

Heart attacks and stroke are largely avoidable by managing medical conditions and making lifestyle changes.  This initiative reinforces strong men to put their health first. Simple changes such as taking medication as prescribed, healthy eating, getting regular exercise, and quitting smoking can make a big difference in improving health. Talk to a health care professional about the “ABCS” of heart health:

  • Aspirin use when appropriate
  • Blood pressure control
  • Cholesterol management
  • Smoking cessation

The focus of Million Hearts aligns with the dedicated work and commitment of DHEC’s Bureau of Community Health and Chronic Disease Prevention.

For more information about this initiative, please visit the Million Hearts website.