When 51-year-old James (Tony Soprano) Gandolfini suffered a heart attack while visiting Rome last summer, his chances for survival might have increased if it had happened on a movie set, where there’s often a medical staff trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
But unfortunately for millions of people around the globe and more than 360,000 North Americans every year who have “out-of-hospital cardiac arrests” or OHCAs, your average bystander isn’t prepared to administer CPR, and the chances of pulling through an on-the-street heart attack are not great. In Detroit, OHCAs have a 0.2 percent survival rate. In Seattle (the U.S. gold standard), survival rates still hit only 16 percent.
What improves survival rates, according to a Danish study, is a public education push that teaches how and when to do CPR, along with smarter medical-response procedures. Danish efforts have elevated their OHCA survival rate to an impressive 44 percent.
For you to help improve OHCA survival rates in North America, here are CPR basics:
Preschoolers nap to learn
Many adults confine their naps to boring or overly long movies in darkened theaters (last year’s “Lincoln” got some serious online buzz for its nap-worthiness) or when they dim the lights for that business presentation from the West Coast.
But preschoolers usually grab a cool 60 minutes or (much, much) more daily, and parents and teachers should be glad they do. Not only does it give Mom or Dad time to take care of other tasks or have downtime themselves, nap time is part of a young child’s learning process. It’s when their super-active brains consolidate newly acquired info and store it in memory.
What’s the typical “need to nap” for young children? Most kids take a morning and afternoon nap till around age 2; then they just want an afternoon snooze. By age 3, a quarter of kids have stopped napping altogether; from ages 3 to 4, about half will stop. And a final quarter of kids will nap until they are 5 or 6.
Unfortunately, some preschool program administrators want to eliminate naps for 3- to 5-year-olds. But skipping naps won’t make kids healthy, happy – or smart. So ask your child’s preschool about its napping policy. No nap? Find another facility, or convince yours of the importance of nap time. And make sure that if your child is 4 or older and still naps, your chosen facility will accommodate his or her schedule.
In 17th-century England, a pound of ginger could be traded for one healthy sheep. In fact, this gnarled, tangy spice has been valued as a seasoning and a medicine for thousands of years – it has even been Dr. Oz’s Herb of the Month. Currently, scientists are investigating whether it can help prevent colon and ovarian cancer. Plus it’s a must-have as you head into cold and flu season. Its other powers include:
Fecal transplant pills
None of the gravity-defying balancing acts Ed Sullivan featured on his show (there were the Baronton Sisters, for example, who lay on their backs while spinning full-size tables with their feet) come close to the astounding balancing act that goes on 24/7 in your gut. There, trillions of bacteria work together to keep your immune and organ systems up and running.
But when those bacteria get out of balance, well, running is a good word to describe what may come next. One deadly infection associated with a disrupted gut biome is Clostridium difficile, or C. diff. Every year, half a million Americans suffer from the severe diarrhea it triggers, and about 14,000 die.
Recently, fecal transplants from a person with a healthy gut biome to the intestines of someone with C. diff have proved effective in controlling the disease. But there’s a huge ick factor for many folks. Well, now there may be a way around that – a side-effect-free gel capsule containing a huge variety of bacteria extracted from a healthy fecal sample.
Thirty-one of 32 folks who’d had repeated bouts of C. diff saw it go away after taking one round of pills containing fecal microbes. Interestingly, C. diff wasn’t eradicated; the balance of bacteria in their guts was restored so that the good guys controlled the bad.
If you have chronic intestinal distress, ask your doc about bacterial replenishment. And everyone can keep his or her guts well-balanced with a daily supplement of spore probiotics containing bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 or lactobacillus GG.