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Letters to the Editor

February 8, 2007

Letter to the Editor
The News
352 East River Rd.
New Glasgow, NS
B3H 5E2
By e-mail: aelliott@ngnews.ca

To the Editor:

February is Heart Month and now is the time to celebrate the advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease that are occurring here in Pictou County and throughout Nova Scotia.

Firstly, the statement in The News article “Heart and Stroke want program back” (Feb. 3/07) that “two people have cardiac arrests in Pictou County each week” is incorrect.  We have, on average, two to three heart attacks each week, not cardiac arrests. 

When people arrive at the Aberdeen Hospital Emergency Department with chest pain they are treated immediately which impacts positively on survival and recovery.

The Aberdeen Hospital is considered one of the most efficient hospitals in the province in the use of clot busting drugs.  These drugs are used to minimize damage in patients experiencing a heart attack who arrive at our Emergency Department.

The Aberdeen Hospital is fully equipped with state of the art cardiac patient monitors in the Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit and Telemetry Unit.

The Aberdeen Hospital offers portable blood pressure monitors as well as cardiac holter monitoring.  New blood tests can help identify high risk individuals earlier on in their disease, allowing for earlier treatment.

Since August, all of Nova Scotia's ground ambulances are equipped with ECG (electrocardiogram) machines capable of performing the same type of electrocardiogram (ECG) test on a patient at the scene as a patient with chest pain would normally receive in the hospital.

At the provincial level, we are seeing a much faster referral response.  There is work underway to develop guidelines for managing heart patients and ensuring equal access and treatment, no matter where they live in Nova Scotia.

So what can you do?  Get heart smart!

Adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Good nutrition and exercise alone will address many of your heart risk factors.

If you have heart disease, manage it.

Use your local experts and health professionals.

Why not use Heart Month as a time to make some life saving changes?

Kathy Saulnier, District Coordinator
Cardiovascular Health Nova Scotia

Pictou County Health Authority
835 East River Rd.
New Glasgow, NS    B2H 3S6
752-7600, ext. 2480


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