Heart stent- 6 Care tips to follow after angioplasty stent placement

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Heart stent- 6 Care tips to follow after angioplasty stent placement

Heart stents are placed during or immediately after angioplasty procedure. Cardiovascular diseases can lead to partial or total blockage of coronary arteries. Consequently, angioplasty is performed to prevent the fatal consequences of a decrease in blood supply to the heart, due to a coronary artery blockage.

The angioplasty procedure is executed to widen the lumen diameter and to avoid the re blockage of the artery. This technique is done with or without placement of stents.

Angioplasty Stent placement- Picture source: https://centralgaheart.com/need-know-heart-stent/

Utmost care is essential in patients with heart stents. We gathered 6 care tips to alleviate risk factors of re stenosis after angioplasty stent placement.

1. Smoking will cancel out the purpose of heart stents

The sole purpose of heart stents is to keep the diameter of the coronary artery, widened enough to allow blood to pass through. Any restriction in the blood supply to the heart results in "ischemia", which simple means insufficient blood supply to an organ. Ischemia of the heart, often leads to cardiac arrest.

Tobacco in cigarettes, accelerates fat deposition in the arteries and increases the risk of ischemic injury to the heart. It is, therefore, highly condemned to continue smoking after an angioplasty stent placement.

2. Medications are to be taken accordingly

Patients with heart stents need to take anti platelet medications or anti platelets to eliminate the chances of blood clot arising due to the placement of stents.

Stents installed in the coronary artery, are a tiny mesh work of wire. These are of two types: Bare metal and Drug eluting stents. A long term blood thinner medication is  mandatory to be administered, in patients with drug eluting stents, as there is a high chance of blood clot formation, with such stents. Blood thinning medication like aspirin, have to be consumed for at least a year  after installment of drug eluting stent.

The choice of stent depends on the existing blood profile of a patient. By this, we mean that drug eluting stents are contraindicated in patients with bleeding disorders. Individuals with bleeding tendencies cannot sustain the effects of blood thinners and hence are discouraged to go for Drug eluting stents.

3. Be aware of the negative symptoms

Every patient who has undergone a heart stent angioplasty, needs to know the possible alarming symptoms after the surgery, and reach the physician without any delay. The symptoms include:

  • ·        Pain and discomfort around the area of catheter insertion
  • ·        Any sign of infection: swelling, redness, fever, drainage
  • ·        Shortness of breath
  • ·        Chest pain
  • ·        Lethargy
  • ·        Easy fatiguability
  • ·        Weakness
These signs must not be ignored to the slightest degree. Medical help must be utilized as soon as possible, to evade facing complications or even death.

4. Associated ongoing comorbidities must be kept in control

Cardiovascular diseases are the chief cause of death in non communicable diseases. Around 31% of people succumbed due to an existing heart disease, in 2012 .

Heart patients with associated chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension are characterized by elevated chances of mortality, poor quality of life and more use of health services.

Thus, it is paramount for patients with heart stents, to keep their chronic conditions in control and visit physicians regularly.

5. Incorporate exercise in your routine

The benefits of exercise have been advocated since the advent of the medical field. Many patients are concerned about the effects of heavy resistance exercises after a heart stent surgery.

However, It is advised that the patients consult their physician before starting strenuous exercises like weight lifting. If symptoms of angina, become apparent on practicing heavy exercises, immediate medical must be sought.

Often after a heart surgery, a cardiac physical therapy team is employed, to guide patients in the right direction and help them with any queries regarding their condition.

6. Maintain a balanced BMI

BMI is an abbreviation of Body Mass Index and denotes the measurement of ideal body weight. Obese people, with BMI of greater than 30 and associated co morbidities like high sugar or high blood pressure, are at greater risks of developing heart diseases.

Both these conditions are extremely hazardous for a patient with an ongoing heart problem. In obese people, the levels of LDL (low density cholesterol) are dangerously high. Such peak amount of bad cholesterol, has the tendency to deposit in the coronary artery and hence cause shrinkage of the lumen diameter.

On the contrary, malnourished individuals are at a greater risk of developing atrophy (reduction in size) of heart muscles. Hence, it is recommended to maintain weight according to the BMI value.

Getting a heart stent installed is a life saving procedure, but requires adequate care to be functional for the long term. People with stents are expected to take good care of their nutrition, lifestyle and psychological health, in order to receive maximum benefits.

Damage caused by heart failure and its targeted physical therapy

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Sunday, September 8, 2019

Damage caused by heart failure and its targeted physical therapy

Picture source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/342414377896181547/

Physical therapy is performed to improve the overall health of the patient. Major systems compromised due to long standing chronic heart failure are:

The circulatory system

Heart is the main organ that supplies blood to other tissues and organs. A long standing chronic heart failure condition can affect the normal supply of blood to these tissues. The care provided at home is as integral as given in the hospital premises. It is therefore essential to know about the tips when caring for a heart failure patient.

The Pulmonary system

The lungs and heart work in harmony to provide the body with oxygenated blood. Heart failure leads to pulmonary oedema due to the accumulation of blood in the air sacs. This can eventually lead to pulmonary failure too.

The Renal system (Kidneys)

Bean shaped kidneys play a role in "homeostasis" (maintenance of constant body environment). The heart of a patient with cardiovascular disease, does not have substantial ability to pump blood to the organs. Consequently. a high blood pressure is generated in the renal vein. This high blood pressure causes congestion in the kidneys.

So how can a heart failure patient avoid worsening this damage?

The solution to this question is: Cardiac physical therapy.


A complex medical intervention involves joint effort from various experts. The cardiac rehabilitation team includes:

*    Doctors

*    Nurses

*    Psychiatrists

*    Nutritionists

*    Pharmacists

Team may be composed of additional health professionals too.


The all-inclusive aim of the team is to help the patient in returning to his previous physical stability. Areas of work include:

Ø Reducing the risk factors for cardiovascular disease

Ø Enhancing the flexibility and strength of the heart muscles

Ø Recommending regular mental therapy sessions

Ø Tailoring a nutrition guide

Ø Training the patient to be independent

1. Reducing the risk factors for cardiovascular disease

The major risk factors for cardiovascular disease are well known. But most people choose to stay ignorant and end up experiencing an unfortunate event of cardiac failure.

An open heart surgery can be indicated in a compound heart failure. Measures you should take after an open heart surgery, involve keeping a track of the risk factors associated with the disease.

One aim of the Rehabilitation team is to advise patients in cutting down the amount of high sugar, high fat and high salt diets. All of these are paramount risk factors causing heart failure.

Smoking after an incident of heart failure is highly discouraged because tobacco can deteriorate the condition further more, by causing fat deposition in vessels.

2. Enhancing the flexibility and strength of heart muscles

A set of exercises is designed to improve heart rate and strengthen cardiac muscles. Aerobic exercises target heart rate while lifting weight and exercising with bands, reinforce heart muscles.

Patients of cardiovascular disease might face difficulty at first, but a dedicated struggle can have beneficial outcomes. Rating of perceived exertion or RPE of the patient is monitored constantly, with the aim of discovering the maximum capacity of his body to continue physical activity.

Picture source: https://d2ebzu6go672f3.cloudfront.net/media/content/images/H0219_activity.png

3. Recommending regular mental therapy sessions

Together with training the patient to strengthen himself physically, a psychiatrist is appointed to keep a check of any mental instability. Mental health is still a taboo and people suffering from depression often find it difficult to seek a professional's health.

But the Cardiac rehabilitation team makes sure that the mental trauma encountered by the patient or his family members, is effectively dealt with.

4. Tailoring a nutrition guide

Healthy diet! Healthy diet! Healthy diet!. We can not stress more on the importance of a healthy diet, especially for an individual with a chronic heart failure.

A good amount of fruits and vegetables are a gateway to fitness. Intake of red meat must be reduced and fish must be consumed for proteins instead.

Foods playing a role of risk factors for cardiovascular disease must be kept to a minimum or other alternatives must be adopted in place of them.

5. Training the patient to be independent

The foremost aim of the cardiac rehabilitation is to make the patient understand his heart. Most deaths occur due to failure of recognizing symptoms. Patients arriving in the Rehab are taught how to keep a check on their heart rate and pulse.

Along with this, they are told about the Rating of perceived exertion. This information helps them in recognizing the amount of exercises they can withstand.

 This is all regarding the topic. For any questions, ask us in the comment section below.

7 useful tips when caring for a heart failure patient

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The prevalence of heart failures in the world population has increased incredibly. Despite of the advancement of health care facilities, the issue tends to remain stagnant. Caring for a heart failure patient at home is equally essential, same as the intensive care provided in the hospital.

In a research conducted in the US, the Cardiovascular disease continues to be the chief cause of death in the region. Patients who had been fortunate enough to receive immediate care in the hospital, had to maintain a healthy lifestyle for maximum recovery.

Here, we have gathered 8 useful tips when caring for a heart failure patient at home.

1. Managing fluid intake

The marvelous benefits of having optimum water and fluid intake, has been preached, ever since the health system came into being. Although water makes up 70% of the body's total body weight, it can become a problem for a heart failure patient.

Heart failure compromises the kidney function, which leads to poor excretion of water and sodium. This leads to a higher water content in the body and in turn increases stress on the heart, that already struggles to function after heart failure.

It is therefore recommended to keep the liquids equal to 2 quarts or less per day. But  the fluid intake must not be reduced to the point, where the body becomes dehydrated. Try consulting the health care professional, to decide the accurate amount of fluid intake as per your condition.

2. Consumption of medicine on time

Doctors will most definitely prescribe a list of medications after the event of heart failure. These medicines target problems which arise subsequent to inadequate functioning of the heart.Some medications that are usually given to heart failure patients are:

1.     Digoxin: It slows down the heart rate by reinforcing the muscles of the heart.

2.     Beta-blockers: This drug lowers blood pressure and slows down the heart rate.

3.     ACE-inhibitors: These medications keep the blood vessels relaxed. This lowers blood pressure and excessive load on the heart.

4.     Diuretics: This set of drugs is utilized in excreting excess water from the body.

5.     Hydralazine and Isosorbide dinitrate: These also take part in relaxing blood vessels.

Hence, medications are to be taken religiously and on time, to reduce the risk of another incident of heart failure.

3. Noticing abnormal functioning of the heart

The heart is not able to function effectively in a heart failure patient and hence faces trouble to supply blood to distant organs. These distant organs include the lower limbs, which often swell due to retention of water.

Abnormal functioning is manifested through symptoms. These signs signify the negative response of the heart to stresses.

The common symptoms involve:

1.     Shortness of breath
2.     Abdominal swelling
3.     Fatigue
4.     Coughing due to abnormal respiration

Such signs must not be overlooked and dealt with, promptly.

4. Rest is necessary for recovery

Older people are always on the go, to run errands. The long time taken in recovery from a heart failure episode, might agitate them. Caretakers around must make sure that they do not compromise on their health, just to walk long distances to buy some groceries.

Furthermore, it is suggested that an effective plan for the week be made to help in the management of daily activities and taking rest.

5. Perform exercises

Physical health is key to having a normal functioning heart. But being physically active, immediately after leaving the hospital, is discouraged by medical experts.

The Cardiac Rehabilitation team is appointed to gradually aid the patient in resuming his daily routine. They are not hasty and instead, train the individual patiently, in getting physically fit again. All of this, is practiced based on the principles of Cardiac physical therapy.

6. Install a home monitoring device

Most children start living separately from their parents, as soon as they reach puberty. This could be done for the aim of getting higher education or simply because a job they applied for, is located outside their town.

A patient with heart failure needs constant attention as there's a high chance of their health being deteriorated at any time.

To avoid such a situation, it is recommended to install a monitoring device, for e.g: a CCTV camera. This saves the family from witnessing an unfortunate death, just because there was no one around to help, while the patient struggled during a cardiac arrest.

7: Emotional health must be taken care of

Often after undergoing an  experience of heart failure, the patients fall into emotional distress. A beneficial mental counseling is important to pull out the patient from the mental trauma and assist him to continue living positively.

This can be achieved by convincing the patient to take therapy sessions from a psychiatrist. Along with this, emotional support from the family is equally integral to the overall improvement in the patient's health.

We hope to make things easier for you to understand. For further query, write to us in the comment section below.

6 beneficial habits you must adopt after angioplasty

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Why is angioplasty indicated?

The built up of cholesterol infused plaque in coronary arteries, causes a condition known as "atherosclerosis." This plaque occupies a substantial space in the vessel and reduces the overall diameter, through which blood passes. An occluded artery poses a threat of cardiac arrest due to inadequate blood supply to the heart.

Angioplasty or "Percutaneous Coronary Intervention" is performed with the aim of increasing the diameter of the vessel and allow enough blood to pass through. The physician installs a balloon in the occluded artery. Upon inflation of the balloon, the cholesterol plaque is pushed against the wall of the vessel. This leads to a  wider diameter of the artery and adequate blood flow to the heart.

Picture source: https://www.medicinenet.com/coronary_angioplasty/article.htm

A set of recommendations is advised to the patient, after the surgery. It is important for the individual to follow these instructions and incorporate them as habits in his life.

Here, we assembled 6 beneficial habits you must adopt after angioplasty.

1. Balance rest and physical activity

Your doctor might refer you to a Cardiac Rehabilitation team after performing angioplasty. It is essential to adjust the activities taught by the rehabilitation team, into your daily lives.

Cardiac physical therapy can help you in avoiding the next admission in the hospital due to a heart problem.
Along with practicing the activities instructed by physical care therapists, make sure to take rest when needed.

2. Plan your diet

Surgeries often cause significant weakness in the body. Nutritionists have set some guidelines that must be followed after angioplasty.

These guidelines are as mentioned below:

Ø The nutritionist might suggest taking clear fluids, while your body is in the recovery phase. These do not cause stomach discomfort, nausea and vomiting, which are usually experienced after a surgery.

Ø Amount of sodium must be reduced to only 1500-2300 mg daily. This is indicated because sodium can cause retention of fluid.

Ø A low fat diet must be adopted to cut down the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.

3. Reduce risk factors that lead to further heart problems

There are a number of risk factors that contribute to the development of cardiac episode. Hence, it is highly stressed upon to be careful and avoid the leading causes of heart cardiac arrest.

Some of these risk factors are as follows:

Ø Smoking: The tobacco in cigarettes participates in the formation of fatty plaques called "atheroma", in the arteries. This plaque plays as a direct etiological factor in causing cardiac attack, due to diminished blood supply to the heart.

Ø High blood pressure: Excessive blood pressure reduces the elasticity of blood vessels and can rupture them with its massive force.

Ø Obesity: People who are overweight experience various symptoms of decreased cardiac activity, as the heart has to pump blood to the extra bulk of tissues.

Ø Sedentary lifestyle: This habit is extremely discouraged as the human organs can lose function if not used for their purpose.

4. Be vigilant in recognizing abnormal symptoms

Patients who have undergone a heart surgery are trained in checking their heart rate and pulse independently. This lesson must be remembered at all time, so that any abnormality in symptoms is correctly judged by you.
Although it is great to know about symptoms, it is highly dangerous to self treat yourself. On experiencing unusual symptoms, you must consult the doctor without further ado.

5. Try cutting down stress from your life

Stress is classified into two types: Mental and physical

Mental stress, such as depression is a serious illness and can affect a patient who has undergone a major surgery. Sessions with a psychiatrist are seldom attended. The Cardiac Rehabilitation is a program that helps in the improvement of mental health of the patient. All patients must be encouraged to not ignore their mental therapy sessions.

Physical stress:  Overexertion falls under the category of physical stress. Daily activities, such as climbing up the stairs is discouraged for cardiac surgery patients.
They are advised to be patient when carrying out these daily activities and not exhaust themselves in doing those.

6. Abstain from consuming high sugar or high cholesterol diets

Why stop excess sugar intake?

High sugar drinks such as soda are the direct causes of obesity. A research was conducted to know about the harms of soda consumption. It was found that people who consumed soda on a daily basis, were more likely to have type 2 diabetes. Being overweight and diabetic can effectively reduce the heart's function and lead to cardiovascular diseases.

Why stop high cholesterol diet?

Fast food is rich in low density lipids (LDLs), which are commonly known as bad cholesterol. This bad cholesterol has the tendency to get deposited in the arteries and cause problems such as: hypertension and stroke. Hypertension will eventually lead to a heart problem.

8 measures you must take after an open heart surgery

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Saturday, September 7, 2019


Cardiac surgery is one of the most complex surgeries practiced by the medical profession. Like all other high risk surgeries, an open heart surgery carries a lot of weight when it comes to precautions. Following a successful surgery, members of the cardiac rehabilitation team work effectively to help the patient in returning to his previous normal condition.

Here, we gathered around 8 measures which must be taken to avoid a relapse of the unfortunate event of cardiac attack.

Picture source: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/treatment-of-a-heart-attack/cardiac-procedures-and-surgeries

1. Keep the wound dry

Extensive surveys are carried out to keep a check on the development of surgical wound infection. Surgical sites are the second most common reservoirs of infection (first site is the respiratory tract involving 45.7-57.8% cases of infection).

Caretakers enlist a series of instructions for ways to keep the wound dry till it heals to its maximum capacity. Deep tissue incisions, such as those performed during a major cardiac surgery, have a substantial risk of developing a surgical site infection. Research data found that deep wound infections make up about 27.7% of the cases of surgical site infections.

Hence, a series of important measures are advised to the patient regarding effective care of the wound. Failing to do so, might increase the chances of acquiring an infection, which can turn fatal if not treated promptly.

2. Take rest to reduce undue stress on your heart's activity

A regulatory mechanism in the human's body ensures that any stress faced by the heart, is manifested in the form of symptoms.
Symptoms that denote a negative response of the heart to physical exertion, are as listed below:

1.     Pain
2.     Difficulty in breathing
3.     Easy fatiguability
4.     Deep inspiration and expiration
5.     Dizziness

These signs of increased stress on the heart, must not be ignored. Any physical activity contributing to this stress, should be stopped until the condition normalizes.

3. Refrain from driving without consulting the doctor

Being on the road with an endless heavy traffic, is a dangerous stunt in its self. Choosing to drive immediately after gaining recovery from an open heart surgery, must be avoided. Subsequent to cardiac surgery, the optimum period in which driving must be abstained, is about 4 weeks.

After the completion of these 4 weeks, patient is required to take approval from the doctor before resuming to drive.

4. Work for a balanced diet plan

As they say: "You are what you eat", a diet rich in cholesterol and low in healthy nutrients, can lead to an episode of cardiac arrest. Cardiac Rehabilitation teams function to council patients on striving towards changing their harmful lifestyle choices.

A diet with abundant amount of fruits and vegetables, is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients essential for functioning of the heart.
Patients who have undergone cardiac surgery, are made to consume food which reduces the chances of encountering another cardiac arrest.

5. Eliminate risk factors of cardiac arrest

Poor lifestyle choices can have a drastic effect on the health. Hence, patients with card open heart surgery, are expected to eliminate the contributing risk factors that pose a threat for a recurrent cardiac attack episode.

According to a research based on the number of sudden cardiac deaths, as high as 300,000 to 450,000 casualties annually, were reported in US alone.
A complex etiology is involved in the mechanism of cardiac malfuncion. Some of these are preventable and the other are non preventable.

Preventable Etiologies:
Smoking, High fat diet, diabetes

Non-Preventable Etiologies
Age, Congenital heart disease, male sex, heredity

6.  Avoid unnecessary exertion when climbing up the stairs

Climbing up stairs utilizes greater energy than walking. With the increasing demand of energy, the heart's activity becomes diminished. Signs and symptoms that showcase an exhausted heart, are given above.

Physical exertion must be ceased as soon as any of the signs listed, are experienced.

7. Psychological therapy makes an integral part of  recovery

Often, high risk surgeries can have a significant effect on the psychological health of the patient. Mental stability should be taken as a priority during the recovery time.

A cardiac rehabilitation team is appointed to cater to the improvement of both physical and mental health of the patient. This is practiced, based on the guidelines of cardiac physical therapy.

Besides seeking help from a professional, care takers at home must ensure that the recovery strategy prepared by rehabilitation workers, continues to be a part of the patient's lifestyle.

8. Adherence to healthier lifestyle choices

Majority of open heart surgeries fail due to negligence on the patient's part. Post operative care can be practiced by the medical staff, to a limited extent only. 

Continuation of activities beneficial for the heart is dependent on the patient.
Any irresponsible behavior can trigger the recurrence of cardiac arrest, which can sometimes be irreversible.

Therefore, make sure to continue thriving for a better lifestyle and avoid the risk of experiencing another heart attack.


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Cardiac arrest patients are often admitted to critical care units after an episode of cardiac attack. A vast series of instructions are outlined subsequent to the care provided by the hospital. Once conditions are stable, patients are referred to physical care therapists who help the affectee to return to his optimum level of functioning.

A set of rehabilitation activities are implemented to ensure that the patient continues to live a normal life again, without any hindrance. This rehabilitation process  is practiced to improve mobility, cut down the risk contributing factors and reduce any psychological stresses that may affect the recovery of the patient.

Physical care therapists are an integral part of the medical field, who are appointed to facilitate the members of the cardiac rehabilitation team. They are
required to monitor cardiac functioning, analyse injuries that may pose a problem in mobility and specify exercises that are directed to regain proper mobility and functioning.

The core part to achieving a successful post operative health of the patient, is to educate them about the ways to take control of their heart's health.
Some common instructions given for post operative care of the heart, are stated below.


Patients are provided with a list of guidelines to take effective measures in preventing cardiac arrest in the future. These instructions are generally enlisted by a physical care therapist, who assesses the impairments in a patient, following  a cardiac attack. The usual list of advices are as mentioned below:

  1.         Increase in physical activity
  2.         Refraining from risk factors such as: cholesterol, stress and smoking
  3.         Exercises performed near the bed side in the hospital
  4.         Independent monitoring of heart rate and pulse
  5.         Report any negative responses of the body to the exercises
Summing up, cardiac care is essential to resume living a healthier life which is free from restrictions posed by immobility.


The rehabilitation procedure consists of 4 phases. These are as follows:

Phase 1: Critical Care Phase

This phase constitutes of the time when the patient is admitted in the hospital after encountering a heart attack. The patient is received by a dedicated medical staff, which works towards saving the life of the individual. Following the operation and after a complex maintenance of the patient's condition, a set of instructions are provided to prevent a relapse of the attack.

Phase 2: Continuation of care at home

The patient would be allowed to return to his home once the doctors approve of the health stability. In this phase, a Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse is appointed to contact the patient and to provide him with an appointment. On acceptance of the appointment, the patient has a good opportunity to ask questions related to his recovery. The nurse inspects the cardiac pulse and pressure of the patient and quotes any further specifications regarding proper care.

Finally, the nurse carries out an extensive assessment and concludes whether  phase 3 rehabilitation is mandatory for the patient or not.

Phase 3: Physical activity to improve function

This phase comprises of exercises that are practiced under a special supervision of a physical care therapist. In this phase, the patient is taught to monitor his Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and his body's response to the exercise. Along with this, a lesson is conducted on monitoring the heart rate independently, to help the patient in avoiding attacks in the future.

As the program progresses, the physical therapist tailors a set of exercises which work to enhance flexibility and strengthening. The exercises are kept to match the maximum rating of perceived exertion, in a patient. Any negative response to a particular intensive exercise, would denote the maximum RPE of the patient.

Phase 4: Patient adherence to physical activity and change of lifestyle

Majority of the patients fail to continue the physical activity that they had commenced during their recovery period from cardiac arrest. To circumvent further mishaps in the future, it is vital to continue adhering to the positive change. Failing to do so, has drastic effects as this negligence increases the chance of a recurrent cardiac arrest.

In order to evade such a situation, one must not wait to experience a cardiac attack, to incorporate physical activity in his lifestyle. There are a plethora of communities, which work together to motivate the members, for continuing a healthy lifestyle.

Cardiac arrests are becoming extremely prevalent in the developed world. Considering the reduction of physical activity and the unhealthy choices related to diet, an episode of cardiac attack seems inevitable. The heart is a crucial organ and requires good care in order to keep functioning effectively. Various awareness programs have been conducted, but the problem still stays significant. To keep away from facing  a cardiac arrest, it is advised to take heed of instructions given by health care workers around you.

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