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Briefs: Defibrillators shock only when needed

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defibrillators shock only when needed

Sudden cardiac arrest, or SCA, causes more than 250,000 deaths in the United States every year, with Florida accounting for more than 30,000 deaths. SCA occurs when the heart stops working and no blood can be pumped to the rest of the body. Ninety-five percent of those who experience SCA die because they do not receive quick, life-saving defibrillation. The Heart Rhythm Society seeks to alert the public to the importance of portable, automatic external defibrillators, which have been popping up in various public locations such as airports, gyms and office buildings. The devices deliver a brief, high-energy shock to the patient's chest — but only when it registers an irregular heart rhythm. Would you be ready to help save a life? Erroneous beliefs include unintentionally hurting the victim; shocking a victim when they do not need a shock; or shocking or hurting oneself while treating the victim. Online: www.HRSonline.org or www.stopcardiacarrest.org.

Gloves are cheaper

The latest in plastic surgery? "Hands are in. In terms of dermatology, they're hot," says David Colbert, a Manhattan dermatologist. Some doctors inject hands with fillers to add volume and render veins and visible tendons less noticeable. Nonsynthetic injections are also an option. Sydney Coleman, a plastic surgeon in New York, has developed a procedure that involves putting up to 1,000 tiny injections of a person's own fat into their hands.

Stretch those legs

For air travelers immobilized for long periods of time, particularly eight hours or more, one serious health concern is deep-vein thrombosis. A clot in the leg may dislodge and travel to the lungs. The symptoms of leg DVT include swelling and tenderness in the calf. Symptoms include shortness of breath and a high heart rate. The American Physical Therapy Association offers these tips to help prevent a DVT: Do some simple, seated exercises to keep the blood flowing, the joints mobile and the muscles relaxed while en route (go to www.apta.org/consumer for suggestions); once the captain has turned off the "fasten seat belt" sign, walk up and down the aisle of the plane every hour or so to work the leg muscles; and if you have a carry-on bag, use that as a foot rest.

Compiled from Times staff, wires

Briefs: Defibrillators shock only when needed 10/06/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 7, 2008 1:56pm]
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