Heart Month to feature many activities

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LEWISTON — The Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute will mark Heart Month in February with a variety of activities.

Feb. 1: Go Red for Women: The Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute staff will wear something red in support of the American Heart Association’s campaign to raise awareness of women and cardiovascular disease. The 60 High Street lobby fountain will be lighted in red. Heart dress pins will be available on CMHVI’s Single-Stay Unit, Central Maine Heart Associates offices, Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and at CMMC’s Health and Fitness Center. Donations to the American Heart Association will be accepted.

Feb. 2: 13th annual A Heart to Heart Conference: “10 Years Forward: The Latest in Cardiovascular Care,” featuring presentations by three cardiovascular care specialists, each focusing on the many innovations that have been developed in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the heart and circulatory system. Other speakers will discuss reiki and healthy eating. The free conference will be held from 8 a.m. to noon in the Chairmen’s Room on the lower lever of the 12 High Street Medical Office Building. Seating is limited to the first 100 registrants. Call 795-8448, email prevention@cmhc.org or visit the events calendar at www.cmmc.org.

Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27: Free blood pressure screenings from 9 to 11 a.m. in the CMMC’s Health and Fitness Center, 12 High St., lower level.

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Feb. 19: “Know Your Rhythm: Screening for Irregular Heartbeat,” a free cardiac screening will be hosted by CMHVI from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The screening will include a cardiac rhythm test performed by a cardiovascular technician. A copy of the results will be provided to each participant’s primary care physician.

Irregular heartbeat, called atrial fibrillation, occurs in five percent of people age 65 and older and in 20 percent of people over 80. It is more common in people who have high blood pressure, heart disease or lung disease. The cause of some 15 percent to 20 percent of strokes is attributed to atrial fibrillation.

The test is recommended for anyone over the age of 65 who has not previously been diagnosed with an irregular heart rate and has not had electrocardiogram in the last year. Easy access to both arms and lower legs expedites the procedure. Call 795-8200 to schedule an appointment.

Feb. 21: “Afib: ‘That Pitter-Patter In Your Chest May Not Be Love'” will be the subject of a free presentation by cardiologist David Abisalih of Central Maine Heart Associates from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Chairmen’s Rooms on the lower level of the 12 High Street Medical Office Building.

Afib, or atrial fibrillation, is an irregular heart rate that frequently causes poor blood flow. Atrial fibrillation symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and weakness. A fib usually isn’t life-threatening, but can lead to complications, particularly stroke.

On display

During Heart Month the following displays will be shown in the main lobby at 60 High St.:

Feb. 3-9: Single-Stay Unit poster presentations regarding heart attack, including a heart model and information about the process of preventing and managing heart attack, as well as providing effective post-heart attack care. The Maine Cools project will also be displayed.

Maine Cools is a joint research project involving the Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute, Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and Maine Medical Center in Portland. The project is an investigation of the beneficial effects of “therapeutic hypothermia” in the treatment of heart attack.

Feb. 10-16: The CMHVI Cardiac Rehabilitation Service will be featured in a poster exhibit on heart failure. The display will include samples of the amount of salt and water needed to induced heart failure and information about heart failure medications and methods for monitoring both salt and fluids.

Also featured will be “telehealth monitoring,” which will showcase how advances in telecommunication technologies have created new opportunities to provide telemedical care for patients with heart failure.

CHMVI is working with Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice to better serve patients in their homes by providing more in-depth information about cardiac patients, which helps to prevent re-admissions and keeps patients at home and healthier.

Feb. 17-23: “Afib and Stroke” will be featured in a poster display in the 60 High Street Main Lobby area.

Feb. 24-March 2: Vascular disease display will feature advanced endovascular procedures, including carotid artery stenting, endovascular aneurysm repair, peripheral artery disease treatment, coronary artery bypass surgery and valve surgery.

Month-long activities include heart healthy menu options in the CMMC cafeteria.

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