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Sydney Cardiologist Professor Chris Semsarian is campaigning for defibrillators to be made available in all schools in Australia.

Click here to read more about this campaign including a video on how to prevent sudden cardiac death in younge people, starring Prof Semsarian.


Late January a young woman was rushed to Westmead hospital after suffering cardiac arrest during a routine procedure at The Cosmetic Institute in Parramatta.

It was reported that the clinic had immediatley called an ambulance and the patient Amy Rickhuss was taken to Westmead Hospital in serious condition.

Miss Rickhuss was visited in hospital by her Doctor who told her the complications were believed to have been related to the anaesthetic. 

He put my right implant in and then they think that some local anaesthetic that they injected might have got inot my artery, they're not too sure, and that caused my heart to stop.

As they started on the left that's when my heart started to get irregular, and then my heart stopped while I was on the table and they performed CPR adn then gave me that defib, where they shock me.

To read more about this article please click here.

From Miss Rickhuss' recount we are very happy that The Cosmetic Institute had access to a life saving defibrillator. 

The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons released a statement the same day headed "Cosmetic Surgery not without risk". 

We can only hope that all cosmetic surgeries practising on patients under anaesthetic take warning and purchase a defibrillator. 

Often as a new year dawns we make all sorts of new promises to ourselves… “This year I am going to lose those extra 5 kilos I put on over Christmas, or start running, spend more time with the kids and wear sun screen every day!”

Often these ‘promises’ never stick. However if you would like to take better care of your heart in 2015 I have one resolution you can start today and it’s as easy as drinking tea.

Cardiovascular disease kills one Australian every 12 minutes. With an estimated 50 thousand Australians wandering around right now unaware that they too have heart and blood vessel diseases because they have no symptoms.

The coronary arteries provide blood to the heart and if the blood vessels narrow the blood supply will become insufficient to supply oxygen to the heart. The oxygen deprivation causes angina pectoris also known as chest pains. The heart attack or myocardial infarction happens when the coronary arteries responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients gets blocked.

Here are the common heart problems:


Hypertension is when the interior diameter of the arteries reduces because of high blood pressure due to stress, nutritional deficiencies, sodium metabolism and enzyme imbalances. 


Arrhythmias are the disturbances in the normal rhythm of heartbeat and can be dangerous even life threatening.

Vascular disease

Vascular disease happens due to an impaired function of the heart’s valves.

Other factors including adverse cholesterol level, diabetes, obesity and unabsorbed Calcium due to lack of vitamin C and vitamin D, lack of exercise and excessive bad cholesterol (LDL) can promote plaque buildup in the arteries specially in people over the age of 50.

Along with eating a well-balanced diet, moderate exercise and prescription medications, some garden variety herbs have been proven to also help reduce blood pressure and increase cardiovascular health.

Here is a list of herbs that can promote your cardiovascular health. 

Cordyceps is a Chinese herb that can slow down heart rate and blood pressure and increase the blood supply to arteries and heart.

Ginkgo Biloba can increase cardiovascular health by preventing accumulation of free radicals.

Mountain Meadow Green Rooibos Tea with Lemon Grass is also a great source of antioxidant. 

Grape Seed Extract can lower high blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health and Hawthorn can increase the blood flow and lower blood pressure.

People with cardiovascular health can also potentially benefit from herbal teas such as Barberry, Black Cohosh, Cayenne Pepper, Dandelion, Valerian Root and Butcher’s Broom.

However do not use Black Cohosh and Barberry during pregnancy and do not use Ginseng, Ephedra and Licorice if you have high blood pressure as they can increase your heart rate.

NOTE: Like any new health or exercise program please seek medical advice before ingesting certain herbs as they may interact with medications and your body.

Many pet owners will attest to the benefits of their calming qualities and quiet companionship.

Animal therapy is essentially based on that principle: that spending time with a calm, non-judgmental animal friend can be of benefit to people in need – people who may be lonely, depressed, or experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety.

For her part, Carolyn Robinson, Moxie’s owner and a volunteer with the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog program, believes Moxie has a noticeable effect on Alzheimer’s patients as well.

A lot of people with Alzheimer’s, they don’t remember me,” she says. “But I swear they’re starting to remember her.”

While there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to support therapy animal programs, there’s also a fair amount of research to back up these observations. A 2005 study reported that a 12-minute visit from a therapy dog helped heart and lung function among hospitalized heart failure patients by lowering blood pressure, diminishing the release of harmful hormones and decreasing anxiety.

You can view the video on animal therapy and its benefits from here.

While we are on the topic of the benefits of pet therapy for your heart health, I would like to introduce you to the latest addition to the SCHILLER team, a pooch that as stolen all our hearts… Tilly (Left).

Tilly was adopted by Harry and Sue on December 3rd from Gosford Dog Paws.

She is a 1 year old Mastiff x Ridgeback and you only have to look into those puppy eyes to feel your blood pressure lower in seconds. How can you stay mad looking at that face? 

So if you are looking for a way to decrease stress and anxiety, reduce blood pressure and increase your daily exercise. Why not adopt a pet? Gosford Dog Paws have a wonderful no kill policy and are always looking for new ‘furever’ homes for their feline and canine friends.

After a clear and concise, animated guide to CPR for adults and kids ages nine and up? Well then this infographic has been designed just for you!

Plus for the animal lovers amoung us, see animated instructions for resuscitating cats and dogs of different sizes and breeds too. 


Additional, written details can be found at this article by Robin Blunck, where the visualization was originally posted. As how-tos go, this one has the potential to be a real life-saver. Hats off to the unnamed visualization artist (or team of artists) at Carrington College for creating it.





In our future, we may think about gut flora as the largest endocrine organ in the body,” says Stanley Hazen, MD, PhD. “Gut flora, depending on the nutrients we eat, make distinct biologically active substances that act somewhere else in the body. That fulfills the definition of a hormone.

TMAO, a byproduct of intestinal bacteria—aka "gut flora"— has recently been found to contribute to heart disease. Cleveland Clinic researcher Stanley Hazen, MD, conducted a study which shows this could lead to an accurate screening tool for predicting future heart problems in people not traditionally considered at risk.

"Diet is one of the largest environmental exposures that humans have to chemicals", says Dr. Hazen. Recognizing that gut flora participate in additional biochemical pathways that contribute to heart disease opens the door to someday finding treatment options to address those pathways. “In viewing the gut flora as a player in the disease process, we’ve recognized them as a ‘druggable target,’ meaning that we can identify therapies to impact them in the future.”

Dr. Hazen makes clear that the studies are not meant to be nutritional recommendations. At present, he says, dietary guidelines that suggest moderation across a variety of food groups should be considered for a variety of reasons. And, further study is warranted.