National Emergency Medicine Assoc. (NEMA)


HeartLINES ...a quarterly report to friends of The National Heart Council, a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association

Page 1 Spring 1997 VOLUME 12 ISSUE 1

Dear Friends and Supporters and Supporters,

The National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) frequently reminds it’s National Heart Council members that matters of the heart are not always medical. NEMA is currently addressing one of those issues - the alarming increase in gun violence among our youth. Children killing children.

We are proud to announce completion of the “In A Flash” gun violence prevention program, a video and teaching resource guide which we are providing free to all middle schools in the country. The program has already been distributed in Maryland middle schools to rave reviews. Other groups such as local police departments, public health groups and social services organizations are purchasing copies for use in their community based programs. Distribution in other states will occur as we find donors willing to help us finance the cost of duplication and distribution.

The “In A Flash” program consists of a 20- minute two-part video and a teaching resource packet. Course work includes suggestions for discussion topics and classroom activities. Masters for out-of-class assignments and take-home sheets are also included.

The program takes a positive upbeat approach to teaching kids to take charge of their life and be the best they can be. Viewers see the results of turning to guns as a way to settle conflict. They learn that gun injury is not just a matter of live or die, it can also mean living life as a paraplegic, without an arm or an eye, on a ventilator. They see kids, actual victims of gun injury, struggling through the pain of rehabilitation, both physical and emotional. They are taught positive skills for resolving conflict and how to avoid risky situations.

We hope to provide the “In A Flash” program to your schools soon. For information on how you can get the “In A Flash” gun violence prevention program, call NEMA at 1-410-494-0300.

Howard Farrington,

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Heart Attack Prevention- Diet or Drugs?

Many people concerned about possible heart attack, hope that taking a pill will mean not having to give up their favorite french restaurant or ice cream store. Medical gurus add to the indecision with the latest opinions on how to prevent heart attack, but ultimately you have to decide what will be most effective for you.

Start the assessment of your heart attack prevention program with a visit to your doctor to determine your potential for heart disease. Have your cholesterol and blood pressure checked first, then discuss the results in relation to your medical history, present diet and lifestyle. Use your doctors recommendations about drugs, diet and exercise to structure a prevention program to your specific needs. (continued - page 3)

“Unlike drugs, diet lowers the risk of heart disease in several ways...and you get beneficial nutrients.” Frank Sachs, MD., Assoc. Prof., Harvard School of Public Health

(cont from pg 1) Next, educate yourself about the options between drugs and diet. Cholesterol lowering drugs reduce heart attack rates by 25 to 40%, but taking an extra pill will not make up for eating a cheesesteak sub and french fries.

While drugs often benefit patients immediately after a heart attack, they can usually be delayed as part of a heart attack prevention program. Diet and exercise should come first, adding drugs if cholesterol or weight counts are not responding well. Consideration has to be made of results vs. side effects.

The latest studies indicate cholesterol lowering drugs do not cause depression, cancer or death as once suspected. But some of the “statins”, drugs that block the livers ability to synthesize cholesterol, can cause myositis, an inflammation of the muscle tissues. Untreated, this is a serious complication that produces pain, weakness and eventually kidney failure.

Aspirin prevents blood clots that can result in heart attack but they can also cause cerebral hemorrhage or serious gastro-intestinal bleeding.

Even taking niacin to raise your HDL or good cholesterol levels, can cause uncomfortable itching and flushing or raise uric acid levels that inflames ulcers, gout, gastritis and diabetes.

The other proven factor affecting your susceptibility to heart attack is diet. A low fat, low cholesterol diet has been proven to reverse coronary disease and reduce the risk of heart attack. Add fruits, vegetables and unsaturated fats such as olive oil and you have a heart healthy diet with nutrients and fiber that also benefit other systems and diseases.

Your doctor will help you assess the other factors which determine if diet therapy alone is enough for you. Carefully consider your blood pressure and LDL or bad cholesterol levels, your weight and exercise, whether you have diabetes or some other diet related disease.

Even if you are con- scientious about watching for low-fat labels, you may be consuming too many empty calories. Many packaged low- fat foods are high in sugar, contributing to weight gain and diabetic complications. Check labels carefully and choose fresh fruits, vegetables and meats as much as possible. Steam, broil or bake and avoid creamy fat laden sauces and condiments.

The consensus is - look first to diet and exercise. If your risk factors are still high, then ask your doctor about the proper drug therapy for you.

Preventing heart attack is a lifestyle program. Do it the right way, not the easy way.

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The Internal Revenue Service provides special incentives to encourage charitable contributions. Careful estate planning with a knowledgeable advisor allows you to benefit from tax savings now and protect your estate from unnecessary death taxes later while still protecting the inheritance of your loved ones, plus, making a charitable donation to an organization such as NEMA.

Talk to your lawyer or financial planner about Capital gifts, Life Income Gifts and Charitable Remainder Trusts or call NEMA at 410-494-0300.

Remember: Prevention is the best treatment

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way!!

You can continue to support the work of The National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) by remembering us in your will. By pledging an amount or percentage of your estate, you go on fighting heart disease even after you are gone, or you may wish to make a bequest in memory of a loved one. It’s as easy as calling your attorney or us at 1-800-332-NEMA. For more information on Bequests and Wills.

Dining Out With Your Heart

Try to limit your saturated fat intake to no more than 20 grams each day. Checking package labels for the “ %DV ” will help you keep track of your daily consumption. But what do you do when you go out to eat?

Fast food
Instead of: Hamburger, cheeseburger, french fries,pizza, fried chicken, regular milk shake, pot pie, beef taco, beef burrito, taco salad Switch to: Grilled chicken sandwich, salad with lite dressing, chili, plain potato, bean burrito, light chicken taco or burrito
Restaurant sandwiches
Instead of: BLT, chicken /tuna or egg salad, ham, corned beef, grilled cheese, hot dogs Switch to: Sliced turkey, lean roast beef, grilled chicken, grilled vegetables, hummus
Dinner Houses
Instead of: Hamburger, baby back ribs, chicken fingers,buffalo wings, stuffed potato skins, steak fajitas, onion rings, mozzarella sticks Switch to: Grilled chicken or seafood, grilled chicken salad, pasta with chicken, shrimp or vegetables in non-cream sauce, baked potato
Chinese Restaurant
Instead of: Moo shu pork, sweet & sour pork, kung pao chicken, General Tso’s chicken, crispy orange beef Switch to: Stir-fried vegetables, shrimp or chicken with garlic sauce, Hunan or Szechuan shrimp or chicken, tofu
Italian Restaurant
Instead of: Lasagna, manicotti, parmigiana, fettucine Alfredo, fried calamari Switch to: Spaghetti with tomato or meat sauce, linguini with red or white clam sauce
Seafood Restaurant
Instead of: Seafood casserole, fried seafood, baked stuffed shrimp, bisque soups Switch to: Any broiled, grilled, blackened or steamed seafood, clear or tomato based soups
Restaurant breakfasts
Instead of: Belgian waffles, biscuits & gravy, ham & cheese omelette, sausage, egg-pancake-sausage-bacon platter, butter & syrups Switch to: Hot or cold cereal, egg substitute, baked hash browns, toast or bagel with preserves, pancakes with yogurt or applesauce, juice

(From the Nutrition Action Newsletter)

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 Drug Do’s and Don'ts TIPS

1. Always follow the prescription instructions carefully

2. Have prescriptions filled at one pharmacy so they have all your medication records

3. Keep a written record of all your medications for yourself list each medicine dosage when you take it why you take it side effects, if any

4. Discuss any reactions with your doctor immediately

5. Ask for information about the drugs you are taking

6. Don’t take anyone else’s medications

7. Remember - some drugs react with others producing adverse effects. The most common types that react are: antibiotics anticonvulsants antidepressants antidiabetic drugs.

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NEMA produces an award winning radio health show, The Heart of The Matter broadcast daily nationwide. The lively interview format provides current health information on a wide range of topics.

For stations in your area that broadcast The Heart of The Matter, call 1-800- 332-NEMA. Copies of transcripts and cassettes are available for $4.50. You can download transcripts or access the NEMA, National Heart Council and National Stroke Council Home Pages on the Internet at:


Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 1997 National Emergency Medicine Assoc., Inc.
Last modified: December 29, 2021