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Local Cardiologist pushing for improved CPR training

(KOLO)
Published: Feb. 17, 2020 at 9:37 PM PST
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Many of the contributing factors can be prevented, prevention includes education. A local cardiologist wants us all equipped to do our part if the time comes to save a life.

“The majority of cardiac arrests happen in the home...and so this could mean saving your grandmother's life, your sister's life, your mother's life,” UNR Med and Carson Tahoe Health Cardiologist Dr. Lorrel Toft explains.

CPR is a critical component of heart health. Dr. Toft has traveled the nation educating crowds about CPR training, which is usually practiced on male torsos, meaning women receive 30% less CPR help in public, as Dr. Toft details, “They're scared of touching a woman, they're scared of hurting a woman, they don't know what to do when it comes time to remove clothing for the defibrillator and so this fear is really holding people back and preventing them from interacting with the woman who needs help.”

Dr. Toft reminds us that more than a million women die every year from heart disease. Factors we can control that play a role include knowing your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar numbers, adding, “So they're making sure their kids are getting to the doctors, they're making sure their partners are getting taken care of, but often, women stop seeing their doctors when they're out of their child-bearing years. So they're not getting screened for these very simple and very treatable things.”

The Northern Nevada chapter of the American Heart Association is focusing on small shifts" to make a big 2020 impact. From parking your car a little further, eating more vegetables to making sure everyone around you knows how and feels comfortable performing CPR on both men and women. When every precious second matters, the hope is you'll be able to respond until emergency crews arrive.

Dr. Toft is planning to create more female friendly educational materials for CPR training, her email is LToft@unr.edu. Click

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