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

Winter 1996 VOLUME 11, ISSUE 4

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Our lead article this edition is about new ideas and new technologies that are changing the way doctors and patients address heart disease. The National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) is also taking advantage of new technology by expanding our Internet resources. Our new home page now connects to over 300 links providing you with health and lifestyle information, publication listings and descriptions of our programs and what they are doing.

As a program of the National Emergency Medicine Association, The National Heart Council (NHC) has its own links reminding you of the heart attack warning signs, providing healthy heart information and listing discussion topics heard on our radio program, "The Heart of The Matter" , that deal with heart issues. Actual transcripts of recent programs can be down loaded from the Internet or you can request printed copies of earlier broadcasts directly from NEMA by phone or e-mail.

Check out how your donations are being spent by browsing through our pages for a list of the grants we awarded in 1996, or information on the gun violence prevention video, “In a Flash” that NEMA is giving free to middle schools. The video is backed up with a teacher resource packet for classroom use and portrays the truth about gun violence and living life as a victim of gun shot- not the Hollywood version. The materials give youth the knowledge they need to choose positive alternatives and resist using guns as a means to settle conflict.

To view our home page on the Internet you need our new address-

We also have a new e-mail address for direct correspondence, reach us at-

We hope you enjoy this new opportunity for quick and vital health information. NEMA wants to help you stay healthy and hopes to hear from you often.

Howard Farrington,

(back to top)

Heart attack issues take on a new beat

The medical community now accepts the fact that immediate care for heart attack victims improves their chances for survival and diminishes heart damage. It took a long time, however, to convince doctors to change age old attitudes. Modern technology is continually putting old attitudes to the test and providing new insight into our knowledge of heart disease, with the result that new approaches to treatment are emerging every day.

“ It’s not an issue of how old or how sick, but how much they are willing to change. It’s a very hopeful message to give to people.”
Dr. Dean Ornish

Emergency response to heart attack and long term heart disease treatment are all being favorably affected by new technologies and the changes in attitude that grow out of them. At the response level, the Cardiac Arrest Survival Act, introduced to Congress last March by Rep. Gerry Studds calls for removing barriers at the state level that limit the use of defibrillators (AEDs) and studies determining the merits of training more health and public service professionals in the use of AEDs.

What does this mean to you? That the policeman who is more likely to be first on the scene for a 911 call, will be trained to give AED treatment in the case of cardiac arrest, without having to wait for paramedics to arrive, or maybe a trained staffer at your health club or your youngsters basketball coach or scout leader. We know that response time is critical in reviving victims of cardiac arrest and that permanent heart damage is diminished by quick response. Currently, CPR is the only action a bystander can take to keep a victim alive until paramedics arrive. This legislation will allow other trained professionals, such as police, to carry defibrillators in the squad car. Trial tests have already been effectively used in several major cities with outstanding results, giving them the lowest mortality rates for emergency responders in the country. A conference will be held April 17-19, 1997 in Washington , DC focusing on the “Public Access Defibrillation” initiative and its expanded usage. For information on this conference call Pat Bowser (415) 6377 8500.

Another technological advance has totally revised thinking about bypass surgery and the long rehabilitation now required. The new procedure called MIDCAB ( Minimally Invasive Direct Coronary Artery Bypass) is now being used in two U.S. hospitals, Sinai MD in Baltimore and Lennox Hospital in New York. The procedure replaces the old 10” incision, 3 month recuperation surgery with a technique that allows doctors to directly access the beating heart through a small 3” incision and without breaking the breastbone as in old procedures. It also eliminates the use of a heart lung machine and the need to take a portion of vein from the leg. This greatly reduces patient risk and recuperation time, enabling patients to be released from the hospital after 36 hours and to return to normal activity in about three weeks.

Another issue that has recently gained support is that heart disease can actually be reversed, not just the symptoms but the disease itself. Dr. Dean Ornish discussed this belief on a recent Heart of The Matter radio broadcast. According to Dr. Ornish, proper diet, exercise and emotional well being can actually improve the condition of the heart and its ability to respond. By reducing fat deposits, improving muscle endurance and preventing the clotting factors that occur during stress, you treat not just the symptoms but improve the overall condition of the heart and its ability to do its job.

Dr. Ornish states “ by not only using diet and lifestyle but cholesterol reducing drugs or even bypass surgery, [it has] been shown to stop or reverse the progression of heart disease in many patients. It’s not an issue of how old or how sick, but how much they are willing to change. It’s a very hopeful message to give people”

Dr. Ornish has published several books explaining his approach, Reversing Heart Disease, Eat More, Weigh Less, and his newest book Everyday Cooking with Dr. Dean Ornish. Transcripts of Dr. Ornish’s Heart of the Matter broadcast are available from NEMA by calling (410) 494 0300 or accessing us on the Internet at http://www/ . Refer to transcript # 511 (1-5).

(back to top)


To determine your body mass multiply your weight by 704, divide by your height in inches and then divide again by your height. Body Mass Index = Weight x 704 divided by Height divided by Height A body mass index from 20-26 is desirable for most at middle age. 27 thru 29 is moderately overweight and indicates a slight risk.. Elfin Society Newsletter

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 WILLS


We are having a great time now that our readers can “talk “ back to us. Mary tells us: “Greetings. I consulted your web page because I’ve been feeling discomfort in my chest for the past 30 hours, and I will call my doctor as a result of what I learned. Thanks for the good heart health information.” Mary waited too long, but we are glad she followed our advice and consulted her doctor.

On the Internet-


Remember: Prevention is the best treatment

(back to top)

12 Ways to Make Life a Moving Experience

(from an American Heart Association supplement August 1996)

1. Use the stairs- up and down. Start with one flight and gradually build up to more.

2. Park a few blocks from your destination and walk the rest of the way. If you ride public transportation, get off one or two stops early and walk a few blocks.

3. Take an exercise break- get up and stretch, walk around and give your muscles and mind a chance to relax. Walk your report to the next building instead of sending it interoffice or walk to a neighbors house instead of using the phone.

4. Take a brisk stroll around the neighborhood, instead of eating that extra snack.

5. When traveling, choose a hotel with a good exercise facility. Use it every day if only for a few laps around the pool or indoor track.

6. Walk wherever possible: up stairs, sightseeing, shopping, to a restaurant or meeting.

7. Stand or walk while you are on the phone. A cordless phone is great for walking around the house or yard.

8. Substitute dancing, bowling or miniature golf for going to a movie.

9. Save money while you exercise by pumping your own gas, mowing the lawn yourself or doing your own housework.

10. The next time you walk the dog, walk a little farther and a little faster. If you don’t have a pet, adopt one to walk each day.

11. Try “aerobic shopping”. Wear walking shoes and take an extra lap or two around the mall. Stretch to reach items in high places and squat or bend to look at items near the floor. If you do this in the supermarket, it will get you out of the eye level “impulse buying” zone.

12. Throw away your remote control, get your own drink instead of asking someone to bring it to you. Focus on moving rather than not moving.

You don’t have to be an athlete. Once you get moving, your body will feel so much better that you’ll look for new ways to move!

(back to top)


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