Heart Week 2019: Get to know your vital organ

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Australians are being urged to use Heart Week (28 April 2019-4 May 2019) as a timely reminder to look after the precious organ that is so vital to quality of life.

Dr Matthew Bayfield, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Sydney’s Strathfield Private Hospital, said it is common sense to look after your heart – “but it tends to get ignored”. 

“The leeway the heart has for withstanding impact is a lot smaller than other organs, so when things go wrong with the heart, they can go wrong dramatically. 

“And once the heart is damaged, people can’t do the things they’d like to be able to do, like exercise or travel,” he said. 

This year, Heart Week is focusing on encouraging more people to understand their risk factors for heart disease and take the right steps to address them.

Smoking, a poor diet, high cholesterol, obesity, family history and physical inactivity are among the main contributors to heart problems. 

“It’s about knowing your heart, being aware of the symptoms if you’re getting heart problems and not ignoring them, because early intervention can prevent further damage to the heart,” Dr Bayfield said. 

Strathfield Private Hospital is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for heart patients. It offers state-of-the-art facilities and the latest technologies, an intensive care unit and around-the-clock referral to cardiothoracic surgeons and interventional cardiology services. 

“Staff at Strathfield Private are highly trained and in many cases have worked there for 15, 20 years. They’re dedicated to what they do and there’s an excellent teamwork approach to looking after patients,” Dr Bayfield said. 

For more information about Heart Week, visit the Heart Foundation website. 

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