Do You Know Hands-Only CPR?

February is American Heart Month and a good time to make sure you know what to do if you see someone experiencing cardiac arrest. Do you know how to perform hands-only CPR? If not, watch the video below to learn the two simple steps. According to the American Heart Association, hands-only CPR is just as effective on adults and teens as conventional CPR, which uses rescue breathing to add oxygen back into the bloodstream. Learn how easy it can be to help save a life.


Make Red Your Color

Red dressMany of us know that heart disease is the biggest health risk for women— yet too few of us are taking steps to protect our heart. During National Heart Month, join us for these fun events and learn how to get started.

Duke Heart Center’s Pretty Party in Red
Friday, February 6, 5:30-9 pm, Searle Center at Duke University Medical Center
Kick off your heels, lace up your sneakers and join us for a health fair with screenings, Zumba, massages and makeovers. Plus enjoy a dinner salad and pairing of dark chocolate and red wine to keep your heart healthy. Don’t forget to wear red! The cost is $15 payable at the door.

Save-a-life bystander CPR training
Saturday, February 21, 10 am-1 pm, Durham County Department of Public Health
Learn important lifesaving skills during this family-oriented event, with training sessions on compression-only CPR, using an automatic external defibrillator (AED) and choking safety. Sessions last one hour and are free.

To register, call 888-275-DUKE or visit

A Different Approach to Cardiac Catheterization

Traditional cardiac catheterization procedures are done by a femoral approach, in which a physician accesses the heart through the femoral artery in the groin to diagnose or treat heart problems. Duke Regional now offers a different approach through the radial artery in the wrist.

Entering through the wrist decreases patients’ risk of bleeding after the procedure and can be more comfortable. After treatment with the femoral approach patients have to lay flat on their back for hours while pressure is applied to the site to reduce blood loss. With the radial approach, patients wear a compression cuff to apply pressure, and they are able to sit up, eat and move while they are recovering.

While most patients can have a radial procedure, some with very small or blocked radial arteries and patients on dialysis may be better treated from a traditional femoral artery approach. Before starting the procedure, the physician always checks to make sure there is good blood supply to the patient’s hand through both the radial and the ulnar artery. If there isn’t, the physician will not use this approach.

If you need a cardiac catheterization your physician will discuss your options and decide the best method for your particular case. Not all physicians are trained in the radial method. At Duke Regional, J. Matthew Brennan, MD has been using this method since 2007 and uses it on 90 percent of his patients. Other heart specialists are currently undergoing training.

Click here to learn more about heart services offered at Duke Regional.

Walking for the Health of Our Community

Did you know cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of all Americans?

  • Someone dies from cardiovascular disease every 39 seconds.
  • Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.
  • Congenital cardiovascular defects are the most common cause of infant death from birth defects.

Duke Regional Hospital has once again teamed up with the American Heart Association to participate in the Triangle Heart Walk, and has already raised almost $7000 in lifesaving funds for the AHA!

The Triangle Heart Walk will be held this Sunday, September 28 at PNC Arena in Raleigh. Festivities begin at 12:30 pm and the walk begins at 2 pm.

The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s annual celebration to promote physical activity and heart healthy living in a fun, family- and dog-friendly environment. Many of our employees will walk in honor of a loved one who’s been affected by heart disease or stroke. Others walk simply to help make a difference in the communities we serve.

To learn more about participating in the Triangle Heart Walk or to donate, visit

Treatment for abnormal heart rhythms

Duke Regional Hospital’s team of skilled experts is ready to treat all types of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).

Arrhythmias may be caused by many different factors, including coronary artery disease, electrolyte imbalances in your blood, changes in your heart muscle, injury from a heart attack or heart surgery. Irregular heart rhythms can also occur in healthy hearts as well.

At Duke Regional, arrhythmia services include radiofrequency ablation, implantation of automated internal cardiac defibrillators (AICDs), pacemakers and biventricular AICDs to return your heartbeat to a normal rhythm.

A dedicated electrophysiology laboratory is available for cardiac electrophysiology procedures, which check the heart’s electric signals. These electric signals determine how fast your heart should beat. If your heart rate is too fast or too slow, we will test it to find out why this is happening.

Learn more about Tim Donahue, heart rhythm specialist at Duke Regional Hospital.

Love Yourself More Than the Salt Shaker

February is American Heart Month. The American Heart Association recommends foods with little or no salt to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Aim to eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. As you take steps to reduce sodium, you’ll actually start to appreciate foods for their true flavor. In time, you’ll look forward to how food really tastes – not just the salty flavor.

Here are tips from the American Heart Association for reducing sodium in your diet.
  • Read the Nutrition Facts label to compare and find foods lower in sodium. You’ll be surprised to find that even foods in the same category have different amounts of sodium!
  • Choose fresh fruits and vegetables, when possible.
  • Limit the amount of processed foods you eat and your portion size.
  • Avoid adding salt when cooking and/or eating.
  • Learn to use spices and herbs to enhance the taste of your food. Most spices naturally contain very small amounts of sodium, but read the label to be sure.
  • Add fresh lemon juice instead of salt to fish and vegetables.
  • Specify how you want your food prepared when dining out. Ask for your dish to be prepared without salt.
  • Take control of what’s in your food by cooking more at home.
  • Choose foods with potassium. They counter the effects of sodium and may help lower your blood pressure.

This content was provided by the American Heart Association, whose mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

See What Hands Can Do

Sudden cardiac arrest, a condition that causes the heart to suddenly and unexpectedly stop beating, is a leading cause of death in the United States. Blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs and usually causes death if it’s not treated within minutes.

The Facts:

  • Nearly 400,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States (more than 1,000 per day)
  • 89 percent of people in the United States who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die because they don’t receive immediate bystander CPR
  • 80 percent of sudden cardiac arrests happen at home
  •  Without CPR from a bystander, a person’s chance of surviving sudden cardiac arrest decreases 7 percent to 10 percent per minute

Watch this video from the American Heart Association to see what your hands can do.