JIS News

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  • The Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ) will be conducting screenings for risk factors associated with Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) during Heart Month in February.
  • HFJ’s Executive Director, Deborah Chen, said it is important for persons to know if they have any of the underlying conditions that may lead to SCA.
  • The Executive Director reiterated the importance of getting screened bearing in mind the risk factors that may lead to SCA.

The Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ) will be conducting screenings for risk factors associated with Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) during Heart Month in February.

HFJ’s Executive Director, Deborah Chen, said it is important for persons to know if they have any of the underlying conditions that may lead to SCA.

“We are all at risk; we need to know our numbers and our status on things like blood pressure and cholesterol. We might be a walking time bomb and we don’t know it. People who appear healthy can be at risk,” she pointed out, while addressing a JIS Think Tank on Wednesday (Jan. 25)

During Heart Month, screenings will be conducted at the Duhaney Park, Harbour View, Maxfield Park, Lawrence Tavern, Rollington Town and Norman Gardens health centres in Kingston and St. Andrew; Llandewey, Trinity Ville, Seaforth and Yallahs health centres in St. Thomas; and the Waterford and Old Harbour health centres in St. Catherine. Mrs. Chen explained that screenings will also be done at several malls in the Corporate Area and St. Catherine on Friday (February 10).

These include Regal Plaza in Cross Roads, Boulevard Super Centre, Tropical Plaza and Sovereign Centre in St. Andrew; and the Sagicor Shopping Centre in Spanish Town.

She added that on February 14, residents in Montego Bay and its environs will be screened s at locations to be determined.

Interested persons are invited to call HFJ at 926-4378 or visit the offices at 28 Beechwood Avenue for details. Mrs. Chen indicated that the HFJ team is also prepared to go into communities at the request of residents.

“We have quite a long list of screening dates beyond February. You can call HFJ to find out when we will be in your neighbourhood. Every month there is a schedule of screenings that we are doing across the island. In fact, we also encourage persons to give us a call and invite the HFJ screening team to come into their communities,” she said.

The month’s activities will also include a mass Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) Training Day at HFJ; an address to the Lions Club of Kingston by Dr. Paul Wright on SCA in Sports; a church service at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in St. Andrew on February 5; a medical symposium on February 16; and outside broadcasts and promotions.

The Executive Director reiterated the importance of getting screened bearing in mind the risk factors that may lead to SCA.

These include a family history of heart disease or stroke; drug abuse, hyperthyroidism; underlying heart conditions such as coronary artery disease and congenital heart disease; severe heart failure or hyperthyroidism.

SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, cutting off vital blood flow to the brain and other vital organs and will likely result in death if not treated immediately.

Symptoms include chest pain, heart palpitations, unexplained fainting and shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, dizziness and seizures.

Heart Month is being observed under the theme: ‘Sudden Cardiac Death…Could it Happen to You?’

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