Monday, March 30, 2015

Cough CPR versus Good Old ASA (Aspirin)

Hi there! Hope you are doing well today. I appreciate you stopping by. Help yourself to a mug of coffee and a virtual treat, why don't'cha? Thanks to Pat, here in Cornwall, for bringing an article on Snopes to my attention. It is related to the post I did a few days ago on how coughing could save your life if you were alone and having a heart attack. Here is most of the article. Read the full article by following the link at the bottom...

Cough CPR is not a new procedure — it has been around for years and has been used successfully in isolated emergency cases where victims realized they were on the verge of fainting and about to go into full cardiac arrest (their hearts were about to stop) and knew exactly how to cough so as to keep enough oxygen-enriched blood circulating to prevent them from losing consciousness until help could be sought, or they were under the direct care of physicians who recognized the crises as they were taking place and were on hand to instruct patients step by step through the coughing. Even were the afflicted to correctly recognize they were experiencing the sort of cardiac event where cough CPR could help, without specific training to hit the right rhythms their coughing could turn mild heart attacks into fatal ones.

This is not to say cough CPR couldn't be effectively taught to patients deemed at risk of further heart attacks. According to a widely circulated news report surfacing in September 2003, a doctor in Poland has been attempting exactly that. Dr. Tadeusz Petelenz of the Silesian Medical Academy in Katowice Province claims to have successfully instructed a number of his patients in the procedure, but it should be noted his results have not been independently confirmed. While a September 2003 Reuters report detailed the Polish doctor's championing of cough CPR, a similar Associated Press report on the same subject noted that "Experts said while the concept is provocative, it needs more study" and that "Dr. Marten Rosenquist, professor of cardiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and an expert in heart beat abnormalities, said the concept is interesting but that Petelenz showed no evidence his patients actually had arrhythmias."

It is unclear from the news reports whether the Polish heart patients who supposedly experienced success with cough CPR were doing so under strict medical supervision in a hospital or were going about their private lives at the time of the cardiac events that prompted them to attempt the procedure. It is one thing for success to be achieved in a hospital setting where patients know intervention will swiftly follow if problems are encountered, and quite another when patients are in unscripted settings (at home, at work, or while driving in a car). Would such instruction hold up in field conditions, where those about to go into full cardiac arrest know there's no net under the tightrope?

Yet even if cough CPR can be effectively taught by physicians, it's not going to be learned from an e-mail, at least not well enough to be safe. Even if Dr. Petelenz's findings prove out, there's a wide (and dangerous) gap between in-person one-on-one training by a professional on hand to quickly correct a patient's mistakes before they become habit and generic printed instruction wholly lacking in direct feedback and guidance. Thinking one is a valid substitute for the other would be akin to believing studying a typed set of instructions is all it takes to learn how to drive a car well enough to take it down the freeway and back.

The e-mailed advice about coughing during a heart attack leaves the impression the "cough CPR" technique is endorsed by Rochester General Hospital and Mended Hearts. Rochester General had nothing to do with any of this — how its name came to be attached to this message is a mystery. See its denial of having endorsed this e-mail.

Although the text of the e-mailed advice was published in a newsletter put out by Mended Hearts (a support group for heart disease patients and their families), that organization has since disavowed it and has a page on its web site asking readers not to heed the advisory. The piece on cough CPR found its way into that publication through a blend of too much enthusiasm and a dearth of fact checking. From there, other chapters picked it up, spreading the notion to an even wider audience. Attempts now to distance the organization from it don't begin to undo the damage done by the piece having been picked up from there.

Darla Bonham, Mended Heart's executive director, has since issued a statement about cough CPR:
I've received email from people all across the country wanting to know if it is a valid medically approved procedure. I contacted a scientist on staff with the American Heart Association Emergency Cardiac Care division, and he was able to track a possible source of the information. The information comes from a professional textbook on emergency cardiac care. This procedure is also known as "cough CPR" and is used in emergency situations by professional staff. The American Heart Association does not recommend that the public use this method in a situation where there is no medical supervision.
Dr. Richard O. Cummins, Seattle's director of emergency cardiac care, explains that cough CPR raises the pressure in the chest just enough to maintain some circulation of oxygen-containing blood and help enough get to the brain to maintain consciousness for a prolonged period. But cough CPR should be used only by a person about to lose consciousness, an indication of cardiac arrest, he cautions. It can be dangerous for someone having a heart attack that does not result in cardiac arrest. Such a person should call for help and then sit quietly until help arrives, he says.

In other words, the procedure might be the right thing to attempt or it might be the very thing that would kill the afflicted depending on which sort of cardiac crisis is being experienced. Without a doctor there to judge the situation and, if cough CPR is indicated, to supervise the rhythmic coughing, the procedure is just far too risky for a layman to attempt.

Forget about coughing — key to surviving a heart attack is obtaining proper medical assistance within a very limited window of opportunity. Once an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) has been diagnosed, speedy injection of thrombolytic agents to dissolve clots is of the utmost importance — the more quickly those drugs are delivered, the better the chances of survival are. It's a race against the clock.

Most patients who present with minor chest pains usually look healthy and show no signs of a heart attack. Electrocardiogram (ECG) results tell the story though, so be sure to insist upon one being performed if you've any doubts at all. Often mild heart attacks are left untreated and undetected because hospital staff mistake a heart attack for something more benign because the presenting symptoms are minor.

Rather than risk killing yourself with cough CPR, those experiencing a heart attack should heed the advice of physicians the world over — down a couple of Aspirin as an emergency remedy. Doctors believe that during the early stages of a heart attack, Aspirin — which is known to prevent blood platelets from sticking together — can prevent a clot from getting bigger. In 1991 Dr. Michael Vance, president of the American Board of Emergency Medicine, recommended that people who think they are having a heart attack should "Call 911, then take an Aspirin."

Oh, and it probably makes a great deal of sense to chew the Aspirin before swallowing. The sooner it is dispersed by the stomach, the sooner it gets to where it is needed. During a heart attack, waiting for the enteric coating surrounding the pill to break down naturally could be a mistake.

In 1993 The American Heart Association began recommending a 325 mg Aspirin at the onset of chest pain or other symptoms of a severe heart attack. That bit of advice is going unheeded, though; a follow-up report published in 1997 shows as many as 10,000 American lives a year could be saved if more people who think they're having a heart attack took an aspirin at the start of chest pains.

In terms of the drama of it, swallowing an Aspirin seems quite a come-down from bravely trying to induce a perfectly timed coughing fit. Less flamboyant is better, though; Aspirin saves lives, whereas coughing might well cost them.


See ya, eh!


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Indiana’s Famous Grave in the Middle of the Road

Good day to you Kemo Sabe! Hope you are doing well today. Add a mug of coffee and a virtual treat and sit back while I relate an interesting tale...

If you happen to be cruising along County Road 400, in Johnson County, Indiana, you’re bound to stumble upon one of America’s strangest landmarks – a grave located dead in the middle of the road.

The grave apparently dates back to before Amity village even had a paved road. In 1831, a 37-year-old woman named Nancy Kerlin died in the area, survived by her husband and 11 children.

Keeping with her wishes, her husband William Barnett buried her at her favorite spot on a small hill, overlooking Sugar Creek. While road crews generally tend to flatten out such obstructions, in this case, they made sure to pour the asphalt around the grave. Why? Because they were terrified!

Nancy was the first to be buried in the area, but other locals soon followed suit and a cemetery was built around her grave. Decades later, when a National Guard training camp started moving the graves to make way for development work, Nancy’s grandchildren weren’t happy with the idea. After several heated arguments, the developers finally agreed to leave Nancy’s grave intact.

But it wasn’t long before the officials realised that the grave was going to be right in the middle of a road that they had already started to build. So the county decided to push ahead with its plans and demolish the grave. 

That’s when Nancy’s grandson Daniel camped out near the grave, armed with a shotgun. He simply refused to let anyone to set foot on the mound for weeks, threatening to put a hole into any worker foolish enough to come near it.

The county was finally forced to relent – they split the lanes right down the middle and laid the road around the plot. In 1912, local authorities placed a concrete slab above the grave to protect it from being run over by reckless drivers. And in 1982, Nancy’s great, great grandson Kenneth Blackwell placed a historical marker, probably to stop people’s incessant questions about the grave’s odd location.

Interestingly, the site is now considered to be one of the most haunted locations in Indiana, but also a symbol of perseverance and determination.

R. I. P. Nancy.

See ya, eh!


Saturday, March 28, 2015

8 Things You Didnt Know About Decaf Coffee

G'day to you! Every day should be  a 'caffo' day, right? Learn something new and enjoy a delicious mug of coffee. Can't go wrong with that formula, I say. Virtual treats are right there next to the coffeepot so help yourself. And while we're on the topic of coffee...

Whether you switch to decaf in the afternoon or opt for it all the time, you may be surprised to learn these things about decaf coffee:

1. Decaf doesn’t mean caffeine-free.

According to FDA regulations, coffee must have 97 percent of the original caffeine removed in order to be labeled as decaffeinated. Drink five to ten cups of decaf and you’ll likely be consuming the equivalent of a cup or two of regular coffee in terms of caffeine content — so keep that in mind if you’re cutting caffeine for health reasons.

2. The amount of caffeine in decaf coffee varies (a lot).

Since some coffee beans have more coffee than others, a decaf cup with 97 percent of the caffeine removed might still have more than you prefer to drink. So while a cup of regular coffee usually contains about 100 milligrams of caffeine, a 2007 Consumer Reports test of 36 popular brands found some decaf cups that still packed in over 20 milligrams — a decaf from Dunkin Donuts had 32 milligrams.

3. Not all decaf is made equal.

There are different ways to decaffeinate coffee. Look for a Swiss Water Process seal or a brand that uses the CO2 method to decaffeinate—both are the only certified-organic methods and don’t use chemical agents.

4. 1 in 10 coffee drinkers in the USA reach for decaf.

10 percent of coffee drinkers opt for decaf, according to the National Coffee Association, but it’s even higher among roasters and coffee houses. About 18 percent of Counter Culture’s sales come from decaf coffee.

5. Decaf is good for your liver.

A study of over 28,000 participants found that over a 10-year period, people who drink at least three cups of coffee a day had lower levels of four liver enzymes often linked to damage and inflammation. The best part? Decaf drinkers enjoy the benefit, too.

6. Decaf reduces your diabetes risk.

Compared with those who don’t drink coffee at all, those who drank six cups of regular coffee a day have a 33 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes. But if you’re sipping on decaf, you’ll still get some of the benefit — one cup of decaf per day led to a six percent reduction in type 2 diabetes risk.b

7. Decaf might raise your cholesterol.

According to the American Heart Association, decaffeinated coffee may raise your LDL cholesterol, possibly harming your heart health. Researchers tracked three group of participants — those who drank three cups of coffee a day, those who drank three cups of decaf, and those who didn’t drink either. Three months later, only the decaf group experienced an 8 percent spike in apolipoprotein B, a component of LDL cholesterol.

8. Decaf cuts prostate cancer risk.

In a study of 47,911 men by the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers found that men who consumed six or more cups of coffee a day had an 18 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer, and were 60 percent less likely to die of it. Those benefits extended to decaf drinkers, suggesting that it’s the antioxidants, not the caffeine, that offer protection.

Well now that’s confusing, isn’t it? Hot dang! I mean is decaf good for you or isn’t it? Yes and no with a possible maybe thrown in...that’s what I read into the above.

...and now you can get ‘half-caf’ which is full-flavoured coffee but only half of the caffeine of regular if the benefits and/or detriments to drinking coffee are not confusing enough. The way I see it...just drink your coffee and enjoy it because none of us are getting out of here alive anyway so we may as well enjoy our little pleasures along the way. Hand me another virtual doughnut, would you?

See ya, eh!

Friday, March 27, 2015

How to Survive a Heart Attack When Alone!

Hey there. Glad you could find time to click by today. Got an important email from my good friend Audrey in Calgary, Alberta that may save your life or that of someone you know. Pour yourself a refreshing mug of coffee and snag a virtual treat or two off the tray next to the coffeepot while I share it with you...

If I ever suffer a heart attack, I hope to God that I remember to do this!


1. Let’s say you’re on the way home (alone of course) after an unusually stressful day.


2. You’re really tired, upset and frustrated.


3. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up in to your jaw. You are only about five km from the hospital nearest your home.


4. Unfortunately you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it that far.


5. You have been trained in CPR, but the guy that taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself. 



Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.


7. However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest.


A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.


8. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating.

The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.

 9. Tell as many other people as possible about this. It could save their lives!!

10. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this mail kindly sends it to 10 people, you can bet that we’ll save at least one life.

11. Please contribute by forwarding this email which can save a person’s life….


12. If this message comes around to you more than once please don’t get irritated – be happy that you have many friends who care about you and for being reminded of how to tackle heart attacks – AGAIN!

See ya, eh!


Thursday, March 26, 2015

10-Year-Old Boy Claims He Is the Reincarnation of a 1930’s Hollywood Actor

Hiya! Deja vu! Seen you before, I have... yesterday, right? Glad you came back - and just in time, too. Coffee's hot and the virtual treat tray has an array of delectable goodies to die for.... Speaking of you believe in reincarnation? You may after you read this...

Not many people working in the film industry are aware of a 1930’s Hollywood actor-turned-agent named Marty Martin, so it’s rather baffling that 10-year-old Ryan is familiar with the man’s life and work. In fact, Ryan is able to recount vivid and stunningly accurate descriptions of the actor and the era he lived in, even those that have never been documented. And he’s able to do so because he claims to be the incarnation of Martin himself!

Ryan, who lives in Muskogee, Oklahoma, was born to Baptist parents in 2005. When he was only four years old, he started having nightmares that his parents had no idea how to stop. He would often talk about his heart exploding, and of Hollywood, a place that is fifteen hundred of miles away from Oklahoma. According to Ryan’s mom Cyndi, he would always talk in a matter-of-fact manner during these incidents.

After a year, Cyndi said that Ryan confided to her about his  reincarnation. “He said, ‘Mom, I have something I need to tell you. I used to be somebody else,’” she said. 

Being a Baptist, Cyndi’s first reaction was to deny everything and hide it from her husband, but she slowly became curious as Ryan revealed more details of his past life, especially because he would cry and beg for his mom to take him ‘home’. 

“His stories were so detailed and extensive, that it just wasn’t like a child could have made it up,” Cyndi said.

I happen to believe in reincarnation so it does not surprise me at all. In fact, it I think most of us at one time or another have had the feeling that we've seen or been somewhere we know we haven't. What do you think?

See ya, eh!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

German Artist Carves Tiny Sculptures Out of Toothpicks

Hey, there! Good to see you today. Wassup? Got time for a mug of coffee and a VT? Of course you do. Say...I think I heard you were looking for a new hobby. Did I hear right? If your eyes are still pretty good; you don't have Parkinson's; you do have a huge lighted magnifying glass and a box of toothpicks then this could be for you.

51-year-old German artist Ragna Reusch-Klinkenberg is an expert at carving miniscule figures out of toothpicks and pencil tips that are so tiny you need a magnifying glass to actually see them properly! Some of Ragna’s figurines include animals like cats and giraffes, inanimate objects like toothbrushes, and even famous politicians.

Ragna, who holds a degree in graphic design, says her real passion lies in working with wood. She’s been passionate about carving since her childhood. She started carving erasers at school using small forks and later moved on to carving wooden clothespins and selling the miniatures she made at craft markets.

“Once I had forgotten my clothespin blanks, but I found a toothpick in my pocket,” she recalled. So she tried working with it, and fell in love right away.

Talk about detailed, eh? Holy Moly. Think of how cute they would look stuck in the canapes at your next party. Better get started on them now...

If you think toothpicks might be a challenge to carve, you could always start with wooden skewers...

See ya, eh!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Indians Take Exam Cheating to New Heights

Hi there! How's it going today? Got any exams coming up? neither and thank goodness for that! Help yourself to a mug of coffee and a virtual treat while I fill your ears with a new spin on exam cheating.

Cheating at exams is an age-old phenomenon, but the practice literally scaled new heights last week in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. News reports showed how parents and relatives of 10th-grade students climbing the walls of a school building to hand cheat sheets to the students taking their year-end exams inside!

Photographs and videos of the stupefying event went viral in India, even as police officers stood watching helplessly. Some videos also showed inspectors slapping young students as they pulled out cheat sheets from under their tables. It seems that several students were able to smuggle textbooks and notes into the exam centers despite tight security.

Cheating is apparently common in rural areas of the state, where the competition is fierce and opportunities are few. Just last month, dozens of 12th-grade students were expelled and parents detained in cases of cheating. But the sight of parents risking their life and limb to help their kids has truly shocked the nation.

I don't really see how police officers could be 'standing watching helplessly'. Arrest the climbers for a) trespassing, b) mischief and c) setting bad examples for their children. Well, the third one may not fly but it's worth a shot. 

What do you think the school and or local municipality should do?

See ya, eh!