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e-Health Essentials Issues

e-Health Essentials Issues

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In this Issue:
Chairman of NHRMC's Cardiac Services Dishes Out Thanksgiving Advice

Turkey with stuffing, Aunt Sue’s asparagus casserole and butter-laden mashed potatoes.

If you’re like most this Thanksgiving, you’ll probably be making contact with one or more of these items in the next few days. Still, there’s the little voice within that reminds you not to overeat, to watch that cholesterol and to get out and exercise.

Below, William Buchanan, MD, Chairman of NHRMC’s Department of Cardiac Services, advises on how to keep that all-important but often elusive balance between holiday eating and good heart health.
Q:  What's the deal on the big meal?
Fortunately, turkey has one of the lowest fat contents of all meats. For example, a 3.5 oz piece of skinless turkey breast has only 0.7 grams of fat! Compare that to 3.5 oz of lean hamburger meat at 18.4 oz, or a 3.5 oz chicken breast at 3.5 grams. However, it’s the "fixins" that increase the calories and sodium intake. Avoid too much of granny’s sweet potato pie, stuffing and gravy, and by all means eat slowly to avoid overeating.
Q:  To trot or not?
Exercising before the family meal is probably better than exercising after. If you do exercise after a big meal, allow 3-4 hours for your food to digest. An added benefit: exercising before a meal may tend to reduce the quantity of food you eat.
Q:  How do stress and health tie in during this holiday season?
Although the holiday season is a time of fun and celebration, it's a time of increased stress for many people.  Chronic stress may increase blood pressure, result in depression, physical inactivity, and overeating.  Acute stress can act as a "trigger" for a cardiac event or heart attack.


Have a Heart Story?
If you or someone you know has a personal story about cardiac disease, please contact us with your story at:
While it may ring of some top secret government operation, it’s actually the name of an innovative technology at New Hanover Regional Medical Center that helps protect a patient’s brain from damage after cardiac arrest by lowering the body’s temperature.

“Most patients who survive cardiac arrest are at risk for brain injury,” said Carolyn Brown, Clinical Education Specialist with the NHRMC Heart Center.

Cooling slows down the body’s metabolism, giving the brain a chance to recover from the trauma of a cardiac arrest and the loss of blood flow. Without it, the body works harder as the organs compete for oxygenated blood. The resulting fever and swelling in the brain can cause severe brain damage.

Immediately following a cardiac arrest, a patient has four thin cooling pads that circulate cold saline directly applied to their chest and thigh areas.  Arctic Sun’s control module then begins lowering the patient’s body temperature to a pre-set temperature, usually around 91 degrees, inducing mild hypothermia.  Patients can remain in this state for up to 24 hours.

Arctic Sun is used on patients whose cardiac arrests occur both in and outside the hospital. According to Brown, about 20 NHRMC patients a year receive the Arctic Sun therapy.

Thaddeus Dunn, MD, critical care specialist at NHRMC, helped to bring the technology to Wilmington. “Research shows that when an individual A has an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and is resuscitated, but comatose, if you can cool them for 24 hours, they have a better chance of waking up with good brain function,” he said.  -continued here

For more information on NHRMC’s cardiac services, visit

Valves of the HeartNHRMC Heart Center Leads Way
in Cardiac Care

With the only open-heart surgery program in the area, the Heart Center at New Hanover Regional Medical Center is among the state’s leaders in cardiac care. It has been named a Cardiac Center of Excellence by Blue Cross/ Blue Shield of NC. The center provides a wide range of services from diagnostic to rehabilitation and is often at the forefront of technology.

The Heart Center at New Hanover Regional Medical Center performs more than 800 surgical procedures and 16,000 diagnostic procedures each year, including:
  • Open Heart Surgery
  • Arrythmia Drug Testing
  • Cardiac Catherization 
  • Electrophysiology Studies
  • Electrocardiograms 
  • Echocardiograms 
  • Pacemaker and ICD 
  • Care Biventricular Implants
  • Intravascular Ultrasound
  • Intracardiac Echo
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation 
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation 
    For more information on NHRMC's cardiac services, visit or for a physician referral call VitaLine at (910) 815-5188.

    Heart Walk 2008

    Under the slogan "The Heart Never Lies," and with a second-to-none cheerleading squad that worked its way toe-touching and pyramid-building from one end of the county to the other, New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Heart Walk 2008 campaign finished stronger than ever this year.

    Chaired by NHRMC President and CEO Jack Barto, this year’s Heart Walk was held Oct. 18 at the Wrightsville Beach Loop.

    "The Heart Walk is historically an event New Hanover Regional Medical Center has embraced," said Barto. "Demonstrating a commitment to heart health is fundamental to our mission, both organizationally and to the patients we serve. The Heart Center at New Hanover Regional Medical Center is among the state’s leaders in cardiac care. We’re proud to be leaders in this effort and we’re proud to provide exceptional cardiac care for the people of this region."

    With a mission to spread awareness of heart health through education and fundraising activities, the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk is one of the nation’s premier health-related fundraising events.

    2131 S. 17th Street, Wilmington, NC 28401  |  910.343.7000