MARION, NC–McDowell's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is on the pulse of up-to-date treatments. Beginning today, they'll be using therapeutic hypothermia – big words for a relatively simple procedure that could greatly increase the quality of life for cardiac arrest patients.
In layman's terms, it involves lowering a person's body temperature once he's been resuscitated from cardiac arrest.
"The idea behind this concept is to preserve brain and neurological function," said EMS Director William Kehler, "and to preserve or maintain the quality of life of the individual."
According to a recent article in EMS magazine, out of 24,000 EMS agencies in the nation, only about 100 have adopted this protocol. McDowell will be among very few, possibly only two, in the state to use the procedure.
Sarah Zammett, Matoaca, VA, – 42 at time of event (2008)
Sarah was saved in a house of God. It was her family’s church for generations; in fact her Great Grandfather founded the church in the 1880s. Sarah and her daughters were attending the first service that Sunday morning in April. “It was after the service, most everyone had gone, and my girls had gone on to Sunday school.” Sarah said she had stayed behind to discuss a new software program they were using for the services. “We were just standing around talking and I dropped.” Her pastor, who has many years experience as an EMT, and the local coach who teaches CPR, did not hesitate to act. Someone else called 9-1-1.
What if every patient who suffered an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest could have access to the same kind of specialized care found in a trauma center? Arizona is answering that question by becoming the first state to create a network of cardiac arrest centers, which draw on the concept of trauma centers to deliver standardized care to patients.
"There are things we can do to improve outcomes in [these] patients, but hospitals aren't doing them routinely," says Bentley Bobrow, MD, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Ariz. and medical director for the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services & Trauma System, Arizona Department of Health Services. "In a perfect world, I'd like every hospital to be able to deliver every state-of-the-art therapy, but staffing and finances make that impossible." That's where cardiac arrest centers come in.
It Just Takes Four
SCA Foundation to Celebrate by Honoring the Heroes Who Saved Maxwell King
October 1, 2008 – PITTSBURGH – Congress has declared October “National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month” in an effort to raise awareness about the nation’s leading cause of death. The resolution “calls upon the people of the U.S. to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.”
“We applaud Congress for taking this landmark action,” said David Belkin, Esq., of Bethesda, Maryland, a recent survivor of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation board member. “Thousands of lives will be saved every year as a result.”
The Foundation, a member of the SCA Coalition, which advocated for the legislation, will celebrate National SCA Awareness Month by hosting an awards reception on October 29th in Pittsburgh to honor the heroes who saved the life of national nonprofit leader, Maxwell King.
Maxwell King, Latrobe, PA – 61 at time of event (November 1, 2006)
It was a chilly fall day in Pittsburgh. Maxwell King was walking from his home in the city’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood to a meeting of foundation leaders at the Carnegie Museum of Art. As president of the Heinz Endowments and chairman of the national Council on Foundations, he had a lot of things on his mind. His impending death was not one of them.
Hypothermia can kill. It most often afflicts people who have been shipwrecked or lost in the woods. It isn’t a treatment you would expect to receive in hospital. It is, however, becoming a common and useful method to prevent severe brain damage in patients that have suffered unconsciousness due a lack of oxygenated blood—such as those who have suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.
This article shall explore the what, when, why and how, of this (relatively) new therapy.
The term is not that common, but usually understood by the general public. It comes from hypo - meaning below, and the Greek thermē - for heat. It describes a normally dangerous situation where the body temperature is lower than normal. (There is also another very similar word hyperthermia, which has the same origins, except hyper means beyond, and describes higher than normal body temperature.)
TORONTO, ON–The Government of Ontario is empowering youth to save lives through a major commitment to the ACT Foundation to support the establishment of defibrillator training in Ontario high schools.
A $1.4 million investment from the province will help the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation train teachers to teach students how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). It will support the placement of defibrillators in Ontario high schools and the purchase of mannequins and other training materials. An unprecedented number of young people will be trained through this initiative.
“This is a valuable learning opportunity for students — and can help our communities. Young people who are trained and ready to act could save a life,” says Education Minister Kathleen Wynne.
On Monday, the Senate passed S. Con. Res. 93 by unanimous consent, supporting the goals and ideals of "National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month."
The House followed suit by passing H. Con. Res. 393 by a voice vote on Thursday.
Both Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Michael Burgess (R-TX) spoke in favor of the resolution. The legislation is designed to focus the nation on a leading cause of death in the U.S.: sudden cardiac arrest.
The SCA Foundation is a member of the SCA Coalition, which has advocated for this legislation. The Foundation plans an awards dinner on October 29th to highlight National SCA Awareness Month.
WASHINGTON, D.C. —The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced it will install automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in all agency facilities with 50 or more employees during the next year.
“Our focus on aviation safety includes the safety and well-being of our own employees. The unexpected and sudden moments in which defibrillation can be effective require quick thought and decisive action — traits the FAA workforce is famous for,” said FAA Acting Administrator Robert A. Sturgell. “Together our labor groups and FAA management have made a very positive step to ensure our employees have enhanced safety in the workplace, and I applaud all parties for bringing this about.”
Sturgell also singled out Rep. John Kline of Minnesota for his continuing interest in bringing AEDs to FAA facilities.
September 24, 2008--An analysis of emergency medical services-treated cardiac arrest outcomes in 10 areas in North America finds a five-fold difference in survival rates, according to a study in the Sept. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Arthur B. Sanders and Dr. Karl B. Kern of The University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center write that "this wide variability in outcome emphasizes the pressing need for each community to first ‘know its numbers,' then concentrate on improving survival rates by focusing on locally identified problem areas within the chain of survival.