While it’s important to maintain healthy blood pressure levels at any time, it’s even more important during the coronavirus pandemic. This is because medical research is showing that people with high blood pressure are in a higher risk category to experience the impact of the virus, even more so if you are over 65. We’ve got some preventative tips from our team of defibrillator specialists to help you manage your risks during this unprecedented time.
Tip #1: Prevention is Always the Best Defence
If you have any underlying cardiovascular health problems, you need to be especially strict about taking preventative measures. This includes physical distancing (keeping 1.5 metres away from others, staying home where possible, avoiding greetings like hugs/kissing/handshakes, avoiding crowds and travelling at quiet times of the day) and practicing good hygiene (washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, using alcohol-based hand sanitisers, disinfecting your home/keys/wallet/mobile phone/doorknobs) and getting fresh air into your home).
If you have a loved one with high blood pressure or an underlying health condition that makes them especially at risk of a severe case of the virus, rather keep in touch over the phone or online through.
Tip #2: Follow Medical Advice
Speak to your doctor about your concerns and follow their advice at all times. If you are taking blood pressure medication (ACE inhibitors and ARBs), continue taking your medication as instructed. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat and coughing), contact your doctor immediately and follow their instructions.
Tip #3: Make Your Blood Pressure a Priority
Avoid anything that can contribute to increasing your blood pressure wherever possible, including:
- Over the counter medications – Before taking any decongestants and painkillers, speak to your doctor, as some may increase your blood pressure.
- Alcohol and caffeine – Both alcohol and caffeine have a negative effect on your blood pressure. Try to decrease or limit your intake of these substances, having no more than 3 cups of coffee or tea a day.
- Supplements – Home remedies and supplements can increase your blood pressure if they contain certain ingredients. For example, liquorice can raise your blood pressure. Some may even have a negative interaction with your medications. Before taking any supplements or home remedies, speak to your doctor.
- Manage stress – This is a very stressful time for most people, so it’s especially important to actively manage your stress. First of all, don’t let yourself panic – instead, speak to your doctor about your concerns and get proper advice. Ensure that you are getting enough sleep and that you are implementing a healthy routine in your home. Remember to give yourself a break from the pressure, especially if you are working.
- Eat healthily and exercise – Don’t let the coronavirus put your health goals on hold. Practice physical distancing while exercising, use online exercise resources, and order healthy meals and ingredients online. Choose meals that are low in red and processed meats, high in fresh vegetables and fruit, contain plenty of fibre and are low in sodium.
- Have additional medication on hand – To make sure you do not run out of medication, ensure that you have additional medication on hand and that your prescriptions are up to date. Have your medication delivered to your door or collected by a family member to reduce your exposure to the virus.
Tip #4: Recognise an Emergency Situation
You and your household should be able to recognise when a hypertensive crisis is occurring (blood pressure rises to 180/120 or more, along with chest pain, loss of vision, and difficulty speaking and breathing) or when a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is occurring (person suddenly falls unconscious, is unresponsive and stops breathing).
In these events, it is essential to call emergency services and act quickly. In the event of an SCA, an automated external defibrillator (AED) will provide life-saving treatment by safely restarting the heart. This is critical, as the faster this treatment can be supplied, the better the person’s chances of survival.
Because our emergency healthcare providers are under significant pressure during this time and because we are spending more time at home rather than offices and public spaces where AEDs are often found, it may be a good idea to invest in an AED at this time. This can be done as an individual, but it is especially recommended for body corporates and managing bodies of apartment buildings or units.
Suppliers of AEDs Through the COVID-19 Pandemic
DefibsPlus is an essential services provider specialising in the supply of defibrillators, defibrillator parts and defibrillator training through the coronavirus pandemic. We stock leading brands, including Phillips, HeartSine, Mediana and LifePak, and our team is ready to supply you with the products and training you need to act quickly and save a life in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest.