Dr. F. Roosevelt Gilliam, electrophysiologist at Cardiology Associates in Jonesboro, will be the presenter for a program on Sudden Cardiac Death and the Implantable Defibrillator at noon on Thursday, Oct. 25 at the St. Bernards Health & Wellness Institute.
October is National Sudden Cardiac Death Awareness Month, and the program is a part of the Lunch & Learn series presented at no charge monthly for interested persons in the community.
More than a quarter of a million deaths occur each year in this country as a result of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). That averages out to one death every two minutes – more than the deaths associated each year with breast cancer, lung cancer or AIDS.
Sudden cardiac arrest is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. When this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. SCA usually causes death if it is not treated within minutes – thus the term Sudden Cardiac Death.
It is caused by problems with the heart’s electrical system that cause irregular heartbeats – or arrhythmias. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow or with an irregular rhythm. Some arrhythmias can cause the heart to stop pumping blood to the body – and those are the ones that cause SCA.
SCA is not the same a as a heart attack, with the difference being that a heart attack occurs if blood flow to part of the heart muscle is blocked and SCA occurs when the heart stops pumping blood to the rest of the body.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest can be prevented in patients with known high risk through the use of implantable defibrillators.
On the medical staff at St. Bernards, Gilliam will discuss Sudden Cardiac Arrest and will talk about signs and symptoms and the need for immediate medical attention. He also will discuss the benefits of implantable defibrillators in people at high risk for SCA.
Lunch will be included in the hour-long presentation, so persons interested in attending the program must register by calling 870-207-4912 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, Oct. 23.
The October lunch and learn, to be held in the conference room at the Health & Wellness Institute at 1416 East Matthews, is sponsored by the Genetech, the Arkansas Community Foundation, Cardiology Associates and St. Bernards.