JRMC U: Heart Health


Join Jamestown Regional Medical Center (JRMC) on Wednesday, February 20th at noon for a free educational forum on heart health.  This forum is part of the “JRMC U” education series and will be hosted by the JRMC Cardiac Rehab department.

Outpatient cardiac rehab demonstrates a 25% reduction in long-term, all-cause and cardiovascular mortality rates. At JRMC Cardiac Rehab, they focus on making positive lifestyle changes in diet, exercise and smoking cessation that will enable individuals to better manage their heart conditions. In honor of American Heart Month, JRMC Cardiac Rehab would like to educate individuals on achieving optimal outcomes for preventing and controlling heart disease. A free, light lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to (701)952-4796 as space is limited.

New Year New You: Limit your sodium intake to keep a healthy heart

About 90 percent of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet. Too much sodium increases a person’s risk for high blood pressure, which often leads to heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association has recently lowered its recommendation to 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily for the general public. Americans eat on average about 3,300 mg of sodium a day.

Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods and foods prepared in restaurants. Sodium is involved in the preservation of foods and cannot be removed. However, manufacturers and restaurants can produce foods with less sodium. At a restaurant or grocery store, select lower-sodium foods when possible. You can also cook more foods yourself to better control how much sodium you eat.

More than 40 percent of sodium comes from the following 10 types of foods:

  • breads and rolls
  • cold cuts and cured meats
  • pizza
  • poultry
  • soups
  • sandwiches
  • cheese
  • pasta dishes
  • meat dishes
  • snacks


Ideas to reduce salt intake

  1. Eat more fresh foods and fewer processed or packaged items. Fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium.
  2. Choose fresh and frozen poultry or meat that hasn’t been injected with a sodium-containing solution. Fresh meat is lower in sodium than more processed meat choices.
  3. If you do choose to buy processed foods, look for those labeled “low sodium.”
  4. Remove salt from recipes whenever possible. You are able to remove salt in casseroles, stews and other main dishes.
  5. Remove the salt shaker from the table and taste your foods before adding additional seasonings
  6. Limit the use of condiments such as soy sauce, salad dressings, sauces, dips, ketchup, mustard and relish.
  7. Use alternative flavorings to enhance foods. Try using fresh herbs, spices, zest from citrus fruits, or fruit juices to jazz up your meals.
  8. When dining out share entrees, order small portions, and ask for your meal to be prepared without salt. Ask for no sauce or have it on the side and use it sparingly.

Use the nutrition label to help make low sodium purchases:
Sodium Free: each serving contains 5 mg (milligrams) of sodium or less.
Very low sodium: each serving contains 35 mg of sodium or less.
Low sodium: each serving contains 140 mg of sodium or less.
Reduced or less sodium: each serving contains at least 25 percent less sodium than the original version.
Light in sodium: each serving contains at least 50 percent less sodium than the original version.
Unsalted or no salt added: no salt has been added during processing.

Work on decreasing your salt intake slowly. Your taste buds will gradually adjust and you will begin to enjoy the true flavor of food while you reap the benefits of eating healthy for your heart.

Stay Hydrated, Stay Healthy

New Year New You 2013
Stay Hydrated, Stay healthy
By Joan Enderle, American Heart Association

The human body is made up of about 10 to 12 gallons, so replenishing your body’s water supply is crucial for proper function and health.

Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, it helps the muscles remove waste so that they can work efficiently. If you are well hydrated, your heart does not have to work as hard and helps your body regulate temperature. Adequate hydration can help you feel more energetic and help your skin look better.

Dehydration can be a serious condition that can lead to problems ranging from swollen feet or a headache to life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke.

Water is best
For most people, water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated. There are no calories in water. Additional sources of water also include foods, such as fruits and vegetables which contain a high percentage of water.

Sports drinks with electrolytes may be useful for people doing high intensity, vigorous exercise in very hot weather, though they tend to be high in calories. It may be healthier to drink water while you are exercising, and then when you are done, eat a healthy snack like orange slices, a banana or a small handful of unsalted nuts.

Other beverages such as sugary drinks, soda, coffee drinks and juices contain water but also may have a large number of calories, contributing to weight gain.

Young woman drinking water at workout, outdoorsHow much water do you need?
The amount of water a person needs depends on a number of factors: climatic conditions, clothing worn and exercise intensity and duration. A person who perspires heavily will need to drink more than someone who doesn’t. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, may also mean you need to drink more to avoid over-taxing the heart or other organs. Some medications can act as diuretics, causing the body to lose more fluid.
Thirst isn’t the best indicator of hydration status. If you get thirsty, you may already be dehydrated. The easiest thing to do is pay attention to the color of your urine. Pale and clear means you’re well hydrated. If it’s dark, drink more fluids.

A safe bet is to drink at least eight cups of water each day to make sure you are properly hydrated. The Dietary Reference Intakes from the Institute of Medicine recommends a total daily beverage intake of 13 cups for men and 9 cups for women.
If you want to know exactly how much fluid you need during exercise, experts recommends weighting yourself before and after exercise, to see how much you’ve lost through perspiration. A rule of thumb is every pound of sweat you lose, that’s a pint of water you’ll need to replenish.
Not sweating during vigorous physical activity can be a red flag that you’re dehydrated to the point of developing heat exhaustion.

Getting enough fluids during the winter is just as important as when temperatures are high. When you’re exposed to extreme temperatures – whether it’s very hot or very cold – your body uses more water to maintain is normal temperature. Also, in the winter you’re exposed to heated air, which evaporates water from your skin.

New goal for JRMC

Originally published in The Jamestown Sun, June  26, 2012.
By Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun

Jamestown Regional Medical Center hopes to reduce readmissions of patients with heart failure by 20 percent by the end of 2012, with the help of the national Partners for Patients campaign.

“We want to keep people out of the hospital, we do — because that is best for them,” said Jenna Bredahl, registered nurse and quality manager for JRMC.

JRMC sees about 10 to 20 patients with heart failure — which occurs when a person’s heart does not pump as much blood as the body needs — every month. Its readmission rate was a little more than 12 percent from 2010 to 2011.

The Partnership for Patients initiative was launched in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in an effort to reduce costs and improve patient care.

Its goal is to reduce preventable complications among hospital patients by 40 percent, and readmissions by 20 percent.

Hospitals can receive up to $10,000 in funding for the project, said Jerry Jurena, president of the North Dakota Hospital Association.

The initiative has 10 areas for hospitals to focus on, including adverse drug events, catheter-associated infections, injuries from falls and immobility, pressure ulcers and surgical site infections.

JRMC chose to focus on preventable readmissions, and it is beginning with preventing the readmissions of people with heart failure.

“I think every hospital would have to say everybody could improve in that area,” Bredahl said, explaining that JRMC already has focused efforts on falls and catheter infections.

JRMC is beginning with a focus on heart failure, but will then use its efforts in that area to springboard into other patient diagnoses.

Heart failure, according to information from the Mayo Clinic, means the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Many conditions leading to heart failure can’t be reversed, but heart failure itself can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes.

Patient education is critical in preventing readmissions of heart failure patients, so JRMC’s efforts have revolved around ensuring patients are well-prepared for life at home.

And there may be many changes for those patients. They have to weigh themselves daily, because if they see sudden weight gains they could be retaining water and need to change treatment regimens, Bredahl said.

They have to restrict salt and limit fats and cholesterol, but also, in some cases, limit fluid intake. They also have to be active and get exercise, according information from the Mayo Clinic.

JRMC’s efforts will include teaching patients and then getting patients to teach it back to hospital staff to ensure everything is properly understood, Bredahl said.

“We’re redoing our education sheets, our handouts, everything we give to our patients,” Bredahl said.

Before, the education sheet on heart failure had lots of information, but the new sheet of paper makes it clearer when a patient is seeing warning signs and when he or she should visit a doctor or the hospital.

JRMC is also creating a booklet for patients that will help them determine what their objectives are on a day-by-day basis, and help engage patients and their families in their own care.

JRMC’s next step is to gather together the different departments of the hospital — social services and the pharmacy, as well as anybody else who has contact with the patient — in order to improve cooperation.

The hospital’s efforts began March 22 and will continue through the year and into 2013.

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at klucin@jamestownsun.com

Heart Health at Any Age

Go Red For Women
More women die of cardiovascular disease than from the next four causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer. But 80 percent of cardiac events in women could be prevented if women made the right choices for their hearts involving diet, exercise and abstinence from smoking. Make it your mission to learn all you can about heart attacks and stroke — don’t become a statistic. CALL 9-1-1

Heart Attack
A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked, usually by a blood clot. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die.

Signs of a Heart Attack:

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1…Get to a hospital right away.

Stroke is the No. 3 cause of death in America. It’s also a major cause of severe, long-term disability. Stroke and TIA (transient ischemic attack) happen when a blood vessel feeding the brain gets clogged or bursts. The signs of a TIA are like a stroke, but usually last only a few minutes. If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help.

Call 9-1-1 to get help fast if you have any of these, but remember that not all of these warning signs occur in every stroke.

Signs of Stroke and TIAs

  1. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  3. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  5. Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Also, check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared. It’s very important to take immediate action. Research from the American Heart Association has shown that if given within three hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug can reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke.

Go Red For Women

In your 20’s http://www.goredforwomen.org/HeartHealthyInYour20s.aspx

In your 30’s http://www.goredforwomen.org/HeartHealthyInYour30s.aspx

In your 40’s http://www.goredforwomen.org/HeartHealthyInYour40s.aspx

In your 50’s http://www.goredforwomen.org/HeartHealthyInYour50s.aspx

In your 60+ http://www.goredforwomen.org/HeartHealthyInYour60s.aspx


For more information go to http://www.goredforwomen.org/index.aspx

American Heart Association