heart medical necklace


More than heart attacks: February is Heart Month Worldwide

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February is Heart Month worldwide. While heart attacks and cardiovascular disease prevention in particular may be what topics spring to mind this time of year, there are other types of heart disease to consider that may not be as much in the forefront of the awareness spotlight as February comes to a close.
Of course, taking the many steps—exercise, good nutrition, and regular medical care including blood pressure and heart checkups—to prevent heart disease or catch it early are very important. These are things we need to be aware of year-round, not just in February! However, there are other types of heart disease that go beyond the heart attack or cardiovascular arrest that springs to mind when we talk about heart disease.
Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are a type of heart problem that are present at birth. CHDs are not curable and may or may not be treatable with surgery or medication—some people have lifelong symptoms, need multiple surgeries or require a heart transplant; others—like myself—receive medical intervention. (In my case, I simply received a dose of medicine that prompted the hole that allows blood to bypass the unborn baby’s lungs to close as it should have). A young person is not usually the first person we think of when we hear heart disease, but 8 in 1000 babies born in the UK have a CHD [1]. 250,000 adults in the UK live with a CHD [1]. Most people with congenital heart defects should wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace identifying their CHD.
Other types of heart disease include genetic diseases, cardiomyopathy [2] (weakening of the heart muscle that makes it have to work very hard to continue to pump oxygenated blood around the body), angina (pain in the chest that may or may not precipitate a heart attack), heart failure (from a variety of causes, including heart attack, CHD, heart valve or rhythm problems—arrhythmias), high blood pressure, and more [2]. Not all of these conditions can be prevented, however, the better health you are in, the better chances you have of making a strong recovery in the event you are affected by heart disease. This is why the steps to prevention are so important. A friend of mine’s dad had a major heart attack several years ago: he walked daily prior to his heart attack, and got to the hospital as quickly as possible (especially given he was on the highway!) once he realized something was not right. It was not long before he was again circling the block with his wife, going farther and farther as the weeks went on: to see him even just two years later, you would never guess what he had been through; the only sign is—if you know what to look for–the nitroglycerin that he is sure to carry in a leather pouch around his neck.
If you have heart disease, wearing a medical ID bracelet or necklace is usually recommended to ensure that your condition is treated correctly and promptly, either expediting or omitting unnecessary tests once your heart condition is communicated. If you are prescribed a blood thinner, blood thinner medical identification should be worn, such as a medical bracelet for warfarin, the most common anticoagulant (blood-clot stopper) in the UK [3]. You can check out our custom engraved medial ID bracelets at the My Identity Doctor shop—hand packed with lots of love by Burton the shop pup!
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