Heart Attacks During Hockey Games Reduced By Heart Fit Clinic

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Recreational hockey players, usually middle aged men, are suiting up for hockey games putting themselves at risk of heart disease. The Heart Fit Clinic introduces new screening test to test how healthy and reactive are people’s arteries especially recreational hockey players.

AED Hockey

AED Hockey

It is too late when an AED is getting used

Heart disease and stroke are the number one cause of death and unfortunately many times the first symptom is death. Everyone has heard of hockey players having heart attacks. Recently, Bob Suter, famous hockey player from the 1980 US Olympic team, recently died of a heart attack at the age of 57. Arenas all over Canada are starting to put automated external defibrillators (AED) in rinks, which are portable devices that checks the heart rhythm and determine the need for electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm.

The Heart Fit Clinic would prefer that the AEDs never even get used. “It is too late when an AED is getting used” says Diamond Fernandes, Director of the Heart Fit Clinic. It is important for people especially those in recreational hockey, which is very popular this time of year, to truly understand their risk of a heart attack and get screened.

Why are arenas a recipe for heart attacks? Many people on the rinks are over exerting themselves when they don’t have the proper conditioning making it an environment for vulnerable clots to form in their heart. People playing hockey on the recreational level, feel that hockey is their form of exercise, when in fact hockey players should be well trained before getting on the ice and during season, especially the recreational hockey player. Also people are busy, therefore rushing to the arenas without allowing adequate time to warm up. Then, they breathe the cold air and bring their heart rates up and down quickly leaving this a recipe for disaster. They could be pushing themselves too hard leaving them vulnerable for a blood clot to attack the heart.

But new technology is helping to stop heart attacks with recreational hockey players. The Heart Fit Clinic is the first in Alberta and one of the first in Canada to introduce the Endothelial Function Test (EFT), a non-invasive procedure that can predict and help prevent heart disease. Monitors are placed on the patient’s fingers and then blood pressure cuffs are used to regulate blood flow. The endothelial function assessment accurately checks the health of the endothelium, the all-important lining of arterial blood vessels.

While it is important to know your risk factors to heart disease, over 50% of people with normal cholesterol still end up with heart attacks. The Endothelial Function Assessment predicts the likelihood of suffering a heart attack long before the event can happen - years in advance. “Having this information is vital”, says Diamond. “Looking at cholesterol levels alone can’t give you this head start or the most accurate data about your heart. The Endothelial Function Test can actually measure a person’s risk of developing risk factor symptoms”.

The Heart Fit Clinic, Calgary’s leaders in heart health, can determine whether patients need to make more aggressive lifestyle changes, begin a medication therapy to reduce risk of a heart disease, or whether their condition is so serious it requires immediate attention from a cardiologist in Calgary.

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