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Freedom Park Hosts Revolving Hearts Foundation CPR Training & AED Presentation

Freedom Park Lagos played host to the The Revolving Hearts Foundation (RHF) – a non governmental organization which advocates Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) trainings and more of the presence/ use of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in public places in Nigeria (and by extension Africa). The foundation represented by its visionary Dr. Olufunso Odunukan, an interventional cardiologist based in the United States, took a wide cadre of staff – from management to the most junior level, and vendor representatives through a detailed and practical session of administering CPR in a bid to save more lives and reduce loss due to not-quick-enough basic interventions in the face of a cardiac arrest or someone passing out due to a heart attack.

The participants which included a wide array – cleaners, vendor workers, senior staff and middle management all gave good feedback as to the extent and impact that the training would have, even beyond the four walls of the Park. They also participated in a skit of a proper situation where they might need to take charge or be part of helping out in an emergency situation, especially with the benefit of the lessons they had picked up in the training.

The NGO also presented an AED to the management of Freedom Park and in the same training showed how to set up the device following previously programmed instructions on the gadget. After that, with the use of mannequins and simulated AED materials, the RHF representative Dr. Odunukan took the participants through a very hands-on and practical experience of deploying CPR in a model situation. There was a video presentation that detailed what to do in the event a person suffers a cardiac arrest in a public place, at home, on the side walk, on stage or similar places.

Dr. Odunukan equally advocated that this shouldn’t be a one-off session as the training could be replicated from time to time, so that everyone is prepared and savvy in the proper manner to be able to intervene and save lives, at least as a first aid in such situations, until professional medical assistance arrives. After the latter, on behalf of RHF, he presented the AED to the management of Freedom Park represented by the C.O.O. Ms. Iyabo Aboaba who gladly accepted the device and reiterated the necessity of such gesture with the pledge to put it to good use, in line with the vision of the NGO to save more lives.

The training which lasted about 1hour 30 minutes ended with FAQs and an interactive and enlightening session based on the model skit and how to replicate an efficient process in the event of a real life situation.




Cardiac Arrest for the Layman: An Ounce of Prevention


Cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function. It’s when the heart malfunctions & suddenly stops beating unexpectedly. A heart attack on the other hand, is when blood flow to the heart is blocked.
However, a heart attack can sometimes trigger an electrical disturbance that leads to sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac death occurs most frequently in adults and affects men twice as often as it does women. This condition may also occur in children who were born with a series heart problem but it is rare.
Sudden cardiac arrest, if not treated immediately, can lead to death. So we should start noticing concerning symptoms. These may include: Chest pain or pressure, general sense of not feeling well, feeling lightheaded, sweating. However, the symptoms experienced by women and older patients may be limited to: Severe and unexplained fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea & vomiting.
Treating a Cardiac Arrest gets your heart beating again once it has stopped. Treatments include immediate Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to keep blood and oxygen circulating to the brain and around the body , Defibrillation to deliver a controlled electric shock to try and get the heart beating normally again. If you survive a cardiac arrest, your doctor may prescribe medications to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol. Surgery to repair damaged blood vessels and to remove blockages in the arteries. Exercise may improve cardiovascular fitness.
It is critical to stay physically fit and in your best personal health to combat heart disease. Our risk for heart disease hasn’t disappeared because we’re staying home during the pandemic; it’s actually become even more deadly.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing has meant staying home, possibly moving less or eating an unhealthy diet; ultimately leading to a higher risk of heart disease .
It’s critical to stay physically fit to combat heart disease by taking a short walk, dancing, stretching, and even house cleaning will get you moving and make a big difference.
Making your mental health a priority is also key and it’s important for people to find ways to ensure that this happens by staying active, praying, or even a few minutes of quiet reflection to breathe. Managing your work, family and home life during a pandemic isn’t easy, and stress can be overwhelming. That added stress can damage your heart and blood vessels. Therefore, having close friends or family who share the load of daily life helps.

Christian Eriksen: How Tiny Device Led to his ‘miracle’ football return 


Danish international Christian Eriksen will return to the Premier League on Saturday, just eight months after he collapsed on the pitch at football’s European Championship. The 30-year-old will be the first top-flight player fitted with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), which can reset the heart after a cardiac arrest.

“I was gone from this world for five minutes,” Eriksen told the BBC in an interview this month.

Denmark were playing Finland in their opening game of the Euros last summer when one of the world’s best midfielders suddenly collapsed.

He was given CPR, and an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was used to reset his heart so it could pump blood properly again.

At the time it was suggested Eriksen’s professional career could be over.

But after an operation to have an ICD fitted, he will now make his debut for his new club Brentford, against Newcastle, and is targeting a return to international football at the World Cup finals later this year.


How often do problems like this happen?

A cardiac arrest is subtly different from a heart attack, and occurs when blood stops pumping around the body as it should.

That can happen for a number of different reasons – when the electrical impulses that regulate heartbeats don’t function properly, or when the walls to the heart become inflamed or damaged.

In young people, the underlying cause can either be genetic or acquired in some way – after an infection or an allergic reaction to a medication, for example. Very rarely, the cardiac arrest can be a one-off with the reason never properly identified.

Heart problems affecting young professional athletes are unusual but not unheard of.

But outside professional sport, a sudden cardiac arrest kills 12 people a week under the age of 35 in the UK, according to Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), one of the highest causes of death in that age group after suicide and accidents.

The charity’s chief executive Dr Steve Cox says: “80% of deaths in young people occur with no previous symptoms whatsoever. The vast majority of cardiac arrests happen outside of sport, when people are asleep or at rest.”

Eriksen has said there was no history of a heart condition like this in his family and, like other top-flight footballers, he was tested regularly throughout his career.



Is there any treatment?

A few days after he collapsed, Eriksen was fitted with an ICD – a device about half the size of a mobile phone with thin wires leading to the area around his heart.

There are two main types of ICD.

One is fitted under the skin, usually near the armpit, and acts like a mini defibrillator.

“We call it a shock box,” says Dr Michael Papadakis, a reader in cardiology at St. George’s, University of London. “It looks after your [heart] rhythm and, if it detects a very fast, life-threatening irregularity, it will shock you out of it and jump-start the heart,”

The other main type of ICD is usually fitted in the space just below the collarbone and, like a pacemaker, can also send a regular electrical signal if it detects the heart is beating too slowly.

Batteries usually last between six and 10 years and can be replaced under local anaesthetic.

Does it stop you from playing sport?

Up until 2015 doctors were still advising people with an ICD not to attempt anything more strenuous than a game of golf.

New research has changed that.

A team from Yale University followed 440 athletes competing with ICDs over four years, checking in every six months to see if they had experienced any adverse event.

About 10% received a shock from their device while playing sport, after it detected an abnormal heart rhythm. But there were no examples of the ICD failing, and none of the athletes in the study suffered an injury or died as a result of a sports-related cardiac event.

“The risk is low,” says Yale cardiologist Prof Rachel Lampert, who led the study. “We can’t say all athletes [with ICDs] should do vigorous sports, but our data show that many can participate with confidence that the device is going to work.”


In 2012, Bill Kerr, a keen amateur runner from Market Harborough, collapsed suddenly while at work and needed to have an ICD fitted.

Since then the 71-year-old has completed another 12 marathons – the fastest in four hours and 15 minutes, just 20 minutes slower than before his cardiac arrest.

“My [heart] consultant said that being fit saved my neck and the worst thing would be to become sedentary. So I worked my way up and eventually began to trust the device,” he said.

“After a few months you are not even conscious of it and it just becomes part of you.”

In terms of individual risk, much depends on the damage done to the heart before the problem has been identified.

Bolton midfielder Muamba decided to retire on advice from his doctors, but others have continued to play with an ICD – including Daley Blind for the Netherlands national side and his club Ajax.

The rules do vary in different countries.

Eriksen had to leave his previous club, Inter Milan, because the Italian Football Association prevents anyone playing at amateur or professional level with the device fitted.

What about screening?

England’s Football Association has been running a heart screening programme for many years now, along with the England and Wales Cricket Board, Lawn Tennis Association and other sporting bodies.

An electrocardiogram is used to check the heart’s rhythm and electrical activity, while an echocardiogram or ultrasound can look at the structure of the heart itself to see if there are any defects.

Every player at England’s 92 Premier and Football League clubs is now tested when they sign their first professional contract, and again at the ages of 18 and 20.

A study led by a team at St George’s, University of London, and published in 2018, found that roughly one in every 260 adolescent players screened was found to have a condition which could put them in danger of sudden death. Those identified can often be treated or given lifestyle advice to try to reduce their risk.

“I am an avid supporter of [heart] screening but, just like breast cancer screening, it cannot detect all cases or prevent all sudden cardiac deaths,” said Dr Papadakis. “And that’s where the emergency response planning and defibrillators come into play.”

Credit: BBC