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30 Facts About Your Heart

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As you go through your day, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about your heart and all that it’s doing. But let’s take a few moments to appreciate this life-sustaining organ in your chest.

Your heart starts beating well before you’re born and continues its rhythmic work until the day you die. That’s just the start (and end) of its amazing story, though.

Here are a few more heart-related facts, courtesy of cardiologist Brian Griffin, MD.

  1. Your heart beats about 100,000 times per day. During the average person’s lifetime, their heart beats more than 2.6 billion times. (Your pulse is a way you can feel your heart beating.)
  2. The beating sound from your heart — lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub — is from the clap of valve leaflets opening and closing.
  3. A typical human heart valve is about the size of a half dollar.
  4. Each minute, your heart pumps nearly 1.5 gallons (5.7 liters) of blood. That’s a pump flow rate that could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in less than a year. (Talk about a gold medal effort!)
  5. Your adult-sized heart is about the size of two hands clasped together. A child’s heart is about the size of a single fist.
  6. Location is everything in life, right? That’s true for your heart, too. It’s located in the front of your chest, slightly behind and to the left of your breastbone. Your ribs offer extra protection for the vital organ.
  7. To make room for your heart, your left lung is slightly smaller than your right lung.
  8. Your heart weighs somewhere between 7 ounces and 15 ounces (200 grams to 425 grams), or less than a pound. The average male’s heart weighs 2 ounces (57 grams) more than the average female’s heart.
  9. For comparison’s sake, a blue whale — the world’s largest animal — has a heart weighing more than 1,000 pounds. A person could easily crawl through the aorta in that sized heart.
  10. The smallest animal heart can be found in fairyflies. You’d need a microscope to see the ticker in this tiny insect.
  11. Your heart works as a coordinated machine. The right side of your heart pumps “used” blood from your body into your lungs, where it refills with oxygen. The left side of your heart then pumps re-oxygenated blood back into your body.
  12. Almost every cell in your body gets blood from your heart. The outliers can be found in the corneas of your eyes.
  13. Your heart pumps blood through about 60,000 miles (96,000 kilometers) of blood vessels. To put that in perspective, this blood tubing system could circle the Earth at the equator TWICE.
  14. A female’s average heartbeat is faster than a male’s by almost eight beats a minute. The reason? Because their hearts are usually smaller in size, females need their hearts to beat more to pump the same amount of blood.
  15. A typical heart pumps approximately 4 tablespoons of blood with each beat.
  16. Your heart has its own electrical supply and will continue to beat even when separated from your body. This specialized network of cells is known as the heart’s electrical conduction system.
  17. Heart disease is the greatest single threat to your health and the leading cause of death globally. The good news? You can help manage your heart health through dietary choicesregular exercise and stress management.
  18. It’s true that some heart problems can be inherited. It’s also true that you can minimize their impact by managing blood pressure and cholesterol through a heart-healthy lifestyle. (See #15.)
  19. Runners have a 45% lower risk of heart disease or stroke.
  20. Cardiac health is an age-old issue, as evidence of heart disease has been found in 3,000-year-old mummies.
  21. Research shows that Monday — the start of the traditional work week — is the most common day of the week to experience a heart attack. It’s a phenomenon known as the “Blue Monday” effect.
  22. The holiday season is also heart attack season. More cardiac deaths occur on December 25 than any other day of the year. The second and third-deadliest days are December 26 and January 1.
  23. A joke a day may help keep the heart doctor away, as laughing can improve heart health by lowering stress and relaxing blood vessels. Happiness can lower your risk of heart disease, too.
  24. Why does the heart symbolize love? Probably because of the pitter-patter you feel in your chest when Cupid’s arrow strikes. (But in truth, your brain controls love — but that would make for a lousy Valentine’s Day symbol.)
  25. Despite your heart not being part of making a love connection, it can still be broken when relationships take a bad turn. An emotionally driven condition known as “broken heart syndrome” can temporarily weaken your heart muscle.
  26. Heart cancer is very rare because heart cells stop dividing in adulthood, making them more resistant to the sort of mutations that can lead to cancer.
  27. Modesty prompted the invention of the stethoscope, that iconic medical tool that healthcare providers use to listen to your heart. Before it existed, doctors had to press an ear directly to the chest of their patient.
  28. The world’s first “stopped-heart” surgery took place at Cleveland Clinic in 1956. Today, this type of surgery — which uses a machine to pump blood throughout the body while the heart is stopped during an operation — is commonplace.
  29. A cardiac surgeon at Cleveland Clinic pioneered coronary artery bypass surgery in the late 1960s. The surgery restores blood flow to areas of the heart using blood vessels transplanted from other parts of the body.

Each year, more than 2 million people around the world have open-heart surgery to address various heart conditions.

Caribbean News

Yellow Fever Outbreak in Region and Beyond, Travellers Warned

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

#YellowFever#Caribbean, April 10, 2024 – Reports say there is an outbreak of Yellow fever in the Caribbean according to the Department of Health and official government advice website, Travel Health Pro, and travelers are being warned to be vigilant. The authorities say the outbreak is also in parts of Africa, and Central and South America.

Guyana and Peru so far have seen two cases. Brazil reports the disease in monkeys, an indication that it is spreading across the ccounty. Colombia has seen 3 cases.

In South America, between January 1 and March 18 2024, there have been seven confirmed cases, four fatal.

Yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and can cause potentially fatal hemorrhagic illness. Fortunately, it can be prevented with vaccination and so the World Health Organisation (WHO) is advising people ages nine months and older, traveling to the affected areas, to get vaccinated.

 

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Health

Children and Teens Vaping, Royal TCI Police say “IT IS NOT SAFE!”

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Dana Malcolm 
Staff Writer 

Vape use is rising in the Turks and Caicos Islands with even primary school students now partaking according to an exclusive policing interview with the Magnetic Media News Team on March 25th.

”Over the past few months, there has indeed been a noticeable increase in vaping activity within our local communities including youth as young as eight years old. This statement is supported by data collected from various sources within our health department and externally,” said Sgt. Huntley Forbes of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) Community Policing Unit.

Vaping is the use of an electronic battery operated device to inhale tobacco. Often the devices are reusable with users able to switch out flavored inserts.

Forbes was speaking to Magnetic Media following the March 24 launch of an anti-vaping video, featuring top students, athletes and other young people alongside Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, Former Premier, and representatives of the Community Policing Unit with the major message “DON’T VAPE!”.

The campaign was a partnership between the Bethany Baptist Youth Group and the Community Policing Department.

Forbes told the team that thanks to data from healthcare providers, and emergency room visits vaping related issues such as respiratory problems and nicotine addiction were available and showing the increase prompting immediate action.

“This rise is concerning due to the potential health risks associated with vaping, especially among younger demographics,” the Sergeant explained.

Vaping was billed as a ‘safe’ option to smoking in the past but health experts now agree that while it might be slightly less dangerous, it is not a safe alternative and should never be promoted as such.

The American Heart Association says most of these e-cigarettes deliver nicotine, some contain a higher dosage than cigarettes, which is not only highly addictive but is known to harm the developing brains of teens, kids and fetuses in women who vape. In addition, vapes can contain cancer causing chemicals.

Forbes says the team is planning a multi-faceted approach to the increase.

“We will collaborate with local health departments, community organizations, schools, and other stakeholders to gather and share information about vaping-related health concerns. By working together, we can develop comprehensive strategies to address these emerging issues.”

He also detailed the plans that will be enacted with immediacy:

Education and awareness campaigns: Community Policing will conduct educational campaigns to raise awareness about the health risks associated with vaping, particularly among younger demographics.

Support for cessation programs: Community Policing will support efforts to provide resources and support for individuals who want to quit vaping. This may include connecting individuals with the Substance Abuse department Forbes explained.

Educational materials: The RTCIPF will develop and distribute educational materials, such as brochures, posters, billboards to inform the public about the dangers of vaping.

Training for officers is the final facet of the response and Forbes says Police officers will receive training on recognizing vaping-related issues, interacting with individuals who vape, and enforcing relevant regulations.

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Health

AUTISM AWARENESS DAY 2024: ADVOCATING FOR INCLUSIVITY AND UNDERSTANDING

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April 2nd marks Autism Awareness Day, a global initiative aimed at raising awareness, acceptance, and understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Every year, the Turks & Caicos Islands’ join other organizations around the world in promoting inclusivity and celebrating the unique strengths of individuals with autism.

According to the latest statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1 in 100 children worldwide has ASD, with prevalence rates continuing to rise. Despite these numbers, many individuals with autism still face stigma, discrimination, and barriers to accessing education, employment, and healthcare.
In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we are proud to join the global movement to promote autism awareness and acceptance. As part of our efforts, we will be hosting several events throughout the month of April:

1. Fridays in Blue: Every Friday in April, we are encouraging the public to wear blue in support of spreading awareness.

2. Fun Day for Special Education Children: On Friday, April 26th, special education children from all schools in Providenciales are invited to participate in a day of fun-filled activities at the Snap Center. This event aims to provide a supportive and inclusive environment where children can socialize, learn, and thrive.

3. Autism Awareness “Rainbow” Walk: On Saturday, April 27th, we will be organizing an Autism Awareness Walk in Providenciales. This community event aims to raise awareness about autism and promote acceptance and understanding. Participants will walk together to show support for individuals with autism and their families. Upon registration, each participant will receive an autism awareness t-shirt to commemorate the occasion.

Director of Special Education Needs Services, Dr. Anya Malcolm-Gibbs, shared her thoughts on the importance of Autism Awareness Daty: “Autism Awareness Day serves as a reminder that every individual, regardless of their neurodiversity, deserves to be accepted and included in society. Care for our children with autism needs to be accompanied by actions on a community and country level to ensure greater accessibility, inclusion, and support.”

The Minister of Education, Hon. Rachel Taylor, also emphasized the significance of promoting autism awareness and acceptance: “Education is the key to fostering a more inclusive and understanding society. By raising awareness about autism and embracing neurodiversity in our schools and communities, we can create a more compassionate and supportive world for individuals with autism.”

We invite members of the media and the community to join us in celebrating Autism Awareness Day and supporting individuals with autism and their families.

For more information about our events and initiatives, please contact the Department of Special Education Needs Services at sens@gov.tc , also see the attached flyer for the free rainbow walk registration.

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