Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Squeeze An Arm – Protect The Heart, UK

From the 7 June 2011 Medical News Today article

Scientists at the University of Leicester are investigating a novel technique that promises to protect heart muscle from life-threatening damage following a heart attack – simply by squeezing an arm. Heart attacks are the major cause of premature death in England, with massive implications for survival and costs of long-term health care.

A new technique called conditioning is being investigated by Dr Sadat Edroos, a postgraduate researcher from the University’s Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, to determine its effectiveness at protecting the heart of people with cardiovascular disease. This technique promises to reduce the damage to the heart that occurs after a heart attack by as much as a quarter. This would have significant beneficial implications for patients’ long term survival and wellbeing.

The method of conditioning is based on the observation that temporarily stopping the blood supply to a muscle makes it resistant to further damage. However protection from one muscle may be transferred elsewhere through the blood stream to another. Squeezing an arm for a few minutes can shield the heart, reducing the extent of damage after a heart attack. “We hope to shed light on this safe and effective therapy,” said Dr Sadat Edroos, “helping it to benefit patients.”

“This work, in conjunction with other studies published in the past two years, is creating a compelling argument for the application of this technique to clinical use. I hope that by the end of the decade this simple, cheap, safe and effective tool will be in use across the country.” …

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June 14, 2011 - Posted by | Consumer Health | ,

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