By Gabriel Olawale
A Professor of Neurology and Neurotherapy, Prof. Patrick Griffith has decried the low level awareness about the causes of cardiac arrest and basic Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, CPR, skills among Nigerians.
Griffith, of the University of Texas South Western Medical Center, USA, described cardiac arrest as a sudden loss of blood flow resulting from the failure of the heart to effectively pump.
He spoke at the official launch and gala night of Joe Nwiloh Heart Foundation where he noted that there is a great interaction between the risk factor for heart disease and brain disease due to the commonality of the blood vessel from the heart that goes to the brain.
He explained that heart and brain disease share common risk factors which can lead to stroke, “this includes diabetes, high cholesterol, overweight, hypertension among others. “If a person with any of those risk factors such as the drooping face, inability to raise or move arms, slurred or jumbled speech then you need to consult your doctor immediately.
He pointed out that it is safer to prevent a stroke than manage. “If you are hypertensive make sure you take your medication and stay away from too much salt. If you are diabetes makes sure you eat food low in sugar and keep your weight down. You also need to exercise because it helps your heart as well as your brain.
The Chief Executive Officer, Joe Nwiloh Heart Foundation, Dr Jonathan Nwiloh said the vision of the Foundation dates back to his medical school days in Nigeria when patients died from heart disease because as at that time there was no any hospital where open heart surgery was done.
“So we set up Joe Nwiloh Heart Foundation to serve as a beacon of hope to indigent patients with heart disease needing life-saving surgery or other advanced interventional treatments otherwise not accessible to them due to financial constraints.
“Our objective is to be a transformational agent through public training in emergency cardiovascular resuscitation skills for victims of cardiac arrest, education on heart disease prevention and counselling of cardiac patients.”