July 26th, 2009

AEDs Can Save Lives in Schools When Potential Responders Plan Ahead

DALLAS — School-based AED programs have a high rate of survival for students and others on school grounds.

Researchers found that 83 percent of 1,710 U.S. high schools with AED programs that they studied had an established emergency response plan for sudden cardiac arrest. However, only 40 percent practiced and reviewed their plans at least annually with potential school responders.

 Of 36 cases of sudden cardiac arrests at the 1,710 schools:

    * 94 percent received bystander CPR,

    * 83 percent received an AED shock and

July 22nd

AED devices only work if people use them

     AED devices only work if people who are trained actually use them.  My husband suffered a heart attack while playing basketball at the YMCA in town.  They have an AED device and have people there trained in CPR, but no-one used the device to try to save him.  I have also learned that if they had it would have "significantly improved his chance of survival".   

July 18th

Local Mom Gets Free Heart Screenings for Teen Athletes

Portland, OR–Sudden cardiac death. Not something we usually associate with teenagers, but experts say one in 500 teens have a heart condition that can sometimes be fatal.

Bev Heller of Scappoose lost her 17-year-old son David to this silent killer and now she’s raising awareness in an effort to save lives.

David Heller was a basketball star at Central Catholic High School. An inspirational young man full of life until the night before Thanksgiving in 2005.

“We found him the next morning—he had died in his sleep. He died of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy a heart condition,” said Bev Heller. “It’s the most common cause of sudden death in athletes.”

Just last month Quinn Driscoll, a Vancouver 8th grader collapsed and died during track practice from the same undiagnosed heart condition also known as HCM.

July 10th

Just Two Decisions Made A Save

Eddie Rinehart, Austin, TX – 39 at time of event (2008)

Eddie had no idea it would be so important. He just decided on a whim to drive to the club and use the treadmill for his morning run. Normally he pounded the neighborhood streets around 5:30am. Not that spring day.

“I was five minutes into the run and I felt really weird. I was light headed. The last memory I have is that I was moving my hand to slow down the treadmill,” Eddie said. “The next memory I have is being wheeled out of the gym on a stretcher with the paramedics at my side.”

July 8th

UAB Students’ Nintendo Wii CPR Earns American Heart Association Support

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The American Heart Association has pledged $50,000 to fund the work of University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) biomedical engineering undergraduate students who are working to develop a computer program that teaches CPR using hand-held remote controls from the Nintendo® Wii video game console.

Students James McKee, Jack Wimbish, Haisam Islam and Zach Clark began work on the project as seniors at UAB. Along with faculty advisers Greg Walcott, M.D., associate professor of medicine, and Jack Rogers, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering, the team has been developing the Wii CPR technology for the last seven months. Based on an idea initiated by Walcott, the technology is a computer program that can be downloaded on home computers and synched with the wireless technology of the Wii remote to teach users proper CPR technique.

Doctors Clear Up Questions About Heart Disease

PITTSBURGH–Initially the reports stated that Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest, but what killed him remains a mystery. Days later, television pitchman Billy Mays died of heart disease while asleep.

More than a year ago, NBC news commentator Tim Russert died from a cardiac arrest caused by heart disease.

All three deaths were unexpected in the two 50-year-olds and the 58-year-old Russert.

Celebrity deaths point to the impact of the nation's No. 1 killer: cardiovascular disease. It accounts for 35.3 percent of all deaths in the United States, or more than cancer, accidents and HIV/AIDS combined. In 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 631,636 people died of cardiovascular disease, down from 864,480 in 2005.

While deaths are declining, challenges remain, especially in trying to revive people after cardiac arrest.

July 7th

A Party Surprise With a Happy Ending

Sophia Jaromay, Antioch, CA – 20 at time of event (2008)

Sophia loved her work. She hung out with her work mates, and made good money. Not any more. The happy 20-year-old was enjoying an impromptu party at a colleague's apartment after work late one evening when everything suddenly changed. Sophia only knows what they’ve told her. And she doesn’t really want to know at all.

July 2nd

New York, New York. It Could Have Killed Him.

Michael Larsen, Seattle, WA – 45 at time of event (2005)

Michael is a pianist. He was once a large pianist — now he’s more careful, and slimmer! In 1999 he suffered a severe heart attack and needed a quadruple bypass. Unfortunately, his heart muscle was damaged and his EF remains very low. At that time ICDs were not implanted as a safety measure like they are now for LVEF <%35. So that brings us to his story.

Working in Seattle on a stage production, Michael had just finished a tiring day and was walking down Pike Place past the market that is a Seattle institution. He was on the cell phone checking in with his producer, apparently telling her that he felt fine, “never felt better before” were his words. Not that Michael can remember the conversation...

SCA Foundation Honors Billy Mays' Passing with Call to Action

Pittsburgh, PA – On the eve of celebrated pitchman Billy Mays’ funeral, the SCA Foundation extends its condolences to his family, friends and fans, and calls upon everyone to do their part in increasing survival from cardiac anomalies. His apparent death from cardiac arrest, brought on by a heart attack at home, is a painful reminder that approximately 80 percent of all cardiac arrest events occur in the home.

 More about Billy Mays.

“Those of us who got to know Billy Mays through the television screen saw him as larger than life,” said Bobby Khan, MD, Chairman of the SCA Foundation Board of Directors, Fulbright Scholar, Associate Professor at Emory University and Director of the Coronary Care Unit and Cardiovascular Research at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

Rick Barber of KOA Radio interviews SCA Foundation President

As part of our media campaign to raise awareness and save lives, we take every opportunity to explain, explore and educate readers and listeners on the deadly and yet preventable consequences of Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Below is an extract of the Rick Barber show on KOA Radio, Denver CO.

"During the past week we have seen two celebrities who apparently succumbed to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). First pop mega-star Michael Jackson then ubiquitous TV pitchman Billy Mays. While this may be the first time we've seen it in the news, SCA is very real and very deadly. Can it be detected or even prevented? Rick spoke with Mary Newman, President of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation about all of the above."

See here for details

Mission & Vision

The mission of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Foundation is to prevent death and disability from sudden cardiac arrest. The vision of the SCA Foundation is to increase awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and influence attitudinal and behavioral changes that will reduce mortality and morbidity from SCA.

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