Taking the heart in your hands

Taking the heart in your hands

Preventable or fateful? In response to this question, dr. Wolfgang karmann an unambiguous answer: to the rough part avoidable! Something can be done about the risk of sudden cardiac death. Karl-heinz falk is the best example of this.

The huttenheimer is 69 years old. Now he sits next to the chief physician in the kitzinger land clinic and laughs.

And with good reason. The claim is not exaggerated: without precautions, without a quick intervention and without several medical interventions, the winegrower would not have reached this age.

"He has already saved my life a few times." Karl-heinz falk, about his defibrillator

65.000 people suffer sudden cardiac death in germany. Year after year. "There are far too many", finds dr. Karmann and frowns. The clinic wants to do something about this and has now introduced 26. Doctor-patient seminar dedicated to the topic. Through clarification, many such traps could be avoided. Of this, dr. Karmann and his employees convinced. And they want to make this clear on saturday, 23. November, run.

Karl-heinz falk has been in treatment for 13 years. At that time he noticed that his strength was fading, that he could hardly climb stairs anymore. An extensive examination at the clinic revealed that a weak heart muscle was responsible for the loss of power. Falk received his first cardiac catheter. He now has four – and one defibrillator. "It’s saved my life a few times," he says, laughing. The weak heart is always in danger of driving the patient into unconsciousness and sudden cardiac death due to ventricular fibrillation. The shock delivered by a defibrillator then saves the patient’s life. The heart resumes its work.

Myocardial disease, such as that suffered by karl-heinz falk, is the cause of sudden cardiac death in about 15 percent of cases. Far more often, a serious circulatory disturbance is the cause of sudden cardiac death in elderly patients. Autopsies of people who died of sudden cardiac death showed a prevalence of coronary heart disease of up to 75 percent. Experts estimate that around six million germans suffer from coronary circulatory disease. Smokers, patients with high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus or high cholesterol are among the high-risk patients. In people under 40, sudden cardiac death is often caused by inflammation of the heart muscle. "Anyone who ambitiously pursues sports during an infection can do considerable damage to their heart," warns dr. Karmann.

In addition, congenital heart muscle disease, congenital heart defects or "electrical diseases" are responsible for sudden cardiac death in young patients in rare cases. Sports medical examinations try to detect such traps before starting an extreme sport. However, the vast majority of risks can be prevented.

"Sudden cardiac death is usually preventable," emphasizes dr. Karmann and recommends that young people who are genetically predisposed have a check-up with their family doctor: blood test, ultrasound of the heart, stress ECG. The doctor and the patient know about it and can take precautionary measures. "We advise women and men over the age of 40 to seek early detection through regular check-ups with their family doctor," says the chairman of the board of the german heart foundation, dr. Dietrich andresen.

Adults with a congenital heart defect should have their heart checked regularly by an expert. First of all, the goal must be to identify as many patients as possible with undiagnosed heart disease.

Karl-heinz falk noticed his disease in time. Even though he now has four probes in his heart: "I have been able to retain a certain quality of life, says and laughs. On vacation he went to the mountains and also this autumn he was active in his vineyards. Of course, the patient has a certain amount of time on his hands and has to be checked by the doctors regularly. But thanks to timely intervention and advances in medicine, he has been spared from sudden cardiac death.


The 26. Doctor-patient seminar will be held on saturday, 23. November, held at the kitzinger land clinic.

9 a.M.: funeral and lecture: "sudden cardiac death – preventable or fateful?" With dr. Wolfgang karmann. 9.45 o’clock: coronary heart disease. Avoidance protects against heart attack and sudden cardiac death. (stefanie held, senior physician). 10.15 p.M.: what to do with a lifeless patient? Rescue through resuscitation (dr. Christian sommer) 10.30 p.M.: break with practical exercises: how to resuscitate properly? 11 a.M.: when are cardiac arrhythmias normal, when are they threatening?? (dr. Wolfgang karmann) 11.30 o’clock: when is a defibrillator useful?? (ulrike parkinson, ass.Doctor) 12 noon: end of the event

Cardiac arrest – what to do?

Patients who suffer cardiac arrest have only one chance of survival: if there are witnesses on the scene who can observe the event, make a correct assessment, dial 112 and immediately start resuscitation measures. According to the german heart foundation, 60 to 70 percent of cardiac arrests are observed, correctly recognized by witnesses as an emergency, and the emergency number is also alerted. Not even half of the witnesses start resuscitation after the emergency call is made. The reason: fear of doing something wrong.

The chairman of the german heart foundation, prof. Dietrich andresen, emphasizes: "resuscitation by first responders to bridge the time until the arrival of the rescue team (after an average of eight to nine minutes) is indispensable.

Here’s how it works: first step: check for unconsciousness. Speak loudly to the person and shake him or her vigorously. Second step: make the emergency call. 112. Who calls? What happened? Where am I? Third step: print: 100 to 120 times per minute, about five to six centimeters deep in the direction of the spinal column print. Fourth step: an external defibrillator can eliminate ventricular fibrillation.

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