Swedish News Blog

Dodging A Bullet (Spike's Ordeal)

Dana Lewis

Dana Lewis
Digital Media & Internal Communications | Swedish Blog Administrator

This post is reposted with permission from Spike O’Neill – see his original post here.

Some of you may have heard of my recent health scare. For those of you who heard and sent along your well wishes, I thank you. For anyone who hasn't, please allow me to share a scary story of ignorance and arrogance that almost cost me big time.

About a month ago, I was carrying my 8 year old daughter on my shoulders. We were leaving a family outing and she was griping about being tired. I didn't have to carry her very far, but when I put her down I noticed a weird ache in my jaw and in both arms, as well as a dull thick ache and a kind of puffiness in my hands. It went away pretty quickly and I blew it off as a pinched nerve or something. But when I felt the same thing a week later after lifting a few boxes in my garage I was a bit more concerned.

I tried again to dismiss the incident, but I have to give it up for my family, who INSISTED that I go see my family doctor just to be sure. I saw my Doc, who had just given me a complete physical a couple months ago, He checked me over, gave me an EKG and suggested a stress test just to be sure. I figured what the hell? Better to be safe than sorry right?

I had no idea how good that advice really was.

I took my stress test 4 days later at Swedish Hospital's Cherry Hill facility. A stress test is just you on a treadmill, wired to a bunch of stuff that measures heart function, pulse and blood pressure. Well, the normal EKG they gave me before the test started went completely sideways a few minutes later when they fired up the speed and incline of the treadmill. That's when they brought in Dr. Peter Demopulos, cardiologist.

Dr. Demopulos said that...

Exercising in the heat

Paul Huang, MD

Paul Huang, MD
Interventional Cardiologist & Medical Director, Swedish Heart & Vascular

Even though regular exercise is important for cardiovascular health, exercising in hot weather can lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. These conditions result from the production of excess body heat, overwhelming the body’s capacity for heat release and raising the core body temperature.

What you should know:

The signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • heavy sweating
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • pale and clammy skin
  • thirst
  • increased heart rate
  • dizziness or fainting
  • nausea and vomiting
  • muscle and abdominal cramps
  • elevated temperature.

What is heat stroke?

Heat stroke occurs when the core body temperature exceeds 104 degrees F, accompanied by seizure or coma. The primary cause of heat exhaustion and stroke is dehydration with inadequate fluid and electrolyte repletion. Those with the following risk factors are particularly prone to heat exhaustion and stroke: extreme young or old, pregnancy, chronic illness (in particular cardiac or respiratory diseases), alcohol consumption, extreme physical exertion, and certain medications.

So how do I exercise in the heat?

Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute Electrophysiologist Interviewed for KING 5 TV Story on LifeVest

Swedish News

SEATTLE, March 30, 2012 - Seattle NBC affiliate KING Television (Channel 5) aired a story during their 5 p.m. PT newscast tonight about a relatively new, FDA-approved medical device called LifeVest ®. The wearable defibrillator is a treatment option for sudden cardiac arrest that offers patients advanced protection and monitoring as well as improved quality of life.

LifeVest is the first wearable defibrillator. Unlike an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), the LifeVest is worn outside the body rather than implanted in the chest. This device continuously monitors the patient's heart with dry, non-adhesive sensing electrodes to detect life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms. If a life-threatening rhythm is detected, the device alerts the patient prior to delivering a treatment shock, and thus allows a conscious patient to delay the treatment shock. If the patient becomes unconscious, the device releases a Blue™ gel over the therapy electrodes and delivers an electrical shock to restore normal rhythm.

Emergency Cardiac Care at Four Swedish Campuses Recognized by the Washington State Department of Health

Swedish News

SEATTLE, Dec. 20, 2011 – Swedish recently learned that the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) certified four of its campuses to provide emergency cardiac care services to patients throughout the Puget Sound region. Swedish Cherry Hill and Swedish Edmonds received Level 1 designations, and Swedish First Hill and Swedish Ballard received Level 2 designations.

The DOH recently developed the emergency cardiac system to provide a consistent, statewide certification program that recognizes the level of emergency care available to cardiac patients in medical facilities across Washington state.

This new designation confirms Swedish’s long standing role as a leader in providing critical cardiac care in emergency settings. The Level 1 designation for Swedish Cherry Hill and Swedish Edmonds signifies that both campuses have the full range of equipment and staffing to provide 24/7 percutaneous (catheter-based) cardiac interventions as a provision of the Level 1 emergency cardiac care designation.

Swedish Produces Short Video Featuring Two Quick, Easy and Healthy Holiday Drink Recipes

Swedish News

 Swedish recently shot and produced a short video featuring two recipes for quick, easy and healthy Holiday drinks.

Swedish Participating in Study to Evaluate Safety, Effectiveness of Implantable Device Designed to Reduce Patient Time to the ER, Improve Survival Rates from Heart Attack in High-Risk Patients

Swedish News

Swedish Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit wins Beacon Award for Excellence

Swedish News
The Beacon Award for Excellence lauds U.S.-based hospital units that employ evidence-based practices to improve patient and family outcomes.
Results 15-21 of 54

More information about the Swedish newsroom

Explore the rest of the Swedish blog

Swedish has a social media policy

See who is blogging at Swedish

   Keep up with Swedish:

    Check out the Swedish blog

Find a Physician

              Subscribe to
             HealthWatch