SCAFoundation's blog

SCAFoundation's blog

AEDs Save Lives, But AEDs in Hiding Are Rendered Useless

See Huffington Post blog here.

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) save lives threatened by sudden cardiac arrest. However even when the lifesaving devices are widely deployed, they are not always available when needed, according to a new study reported at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. To address the issue, the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation calls for 24/7 access to the lifesaving devices.

Heart Attack vs. Sudden Cardiac Arrest: Understanding the Difference

Awake or Not Awake. That is the Question.

October is National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. Understanding the difference between heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest could help save lives. One way to understand the difference between the two conditions is this distinction: The heart attack victim is awake and the heart is beating. In contrast, the sudden cardiac arrest victim is not awake and the heart is not beating. To survive sudden cardiac arrest, the victim needs immediate CPR and treatment with a defibrillator. [1]

Sudden unexpected cardiac arrest is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. [2], affecting 326,200 people each year, including 6,000 youth [3]. On average, about 10 percent of victims survive, though nearly 40 percent survive when bystanders call 911, start CPR, and use automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, before emergency medical services (EMS) arrives at the scene. [4] 

Why We Do What We Do

Someone recently wrote to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation and asked us why we do what we do. Why do we work so hard to raise awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and help save lives? Why don’t we just accept the concept of letting people die naturally when it is their time?

This question is thought-provoking, but troubling. Yes, sudden cardiac death may be a painless way to go. Still, victims could have many years ahead of them to enjoy their families and other loved ones. And, we suspect, they would prefer to be with them on earth for a much longer time.

Just think of the lifetime events afforded to survivors…getting to see a son’s college graduation, a daughter’s wedding, the birth of a grandchild, and traveling to new destinations.

Survivors, Share Your Selfies!

September 29th is World Heart Day. October is National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. If you are a survivor of cardiac arrest, please consider sharing a photo of yourself holding the attached 8.5 x 11 inch sign, by either:

Please contact your legislators today

Your help is needed today to save the federally-funded Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program. Designed to save lives from cardiac arrest, this program is in jeopardy of being terminated. The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee proposes to end this life-saving program, but the U.S. House Appropriations Committee recommends $4.5 million for this initiative. Soon U.S. Members of Congress will work to resolve differences in the Senate and House health funding bills. So please send an e-mail to your U.S. legislators, urging them to include the House Appropriations Committee’s funding level of $4.5 million for this program in the final 2016 health appropriation bill. Funding for the Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program is used to buy automated external defibrillators in bulk, place AEDs in public rural areas where cardiac arrest is likely to occur, and train first responders and lay rescuers in their use.

Survivors: Please join our research panel by August 28

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation has established a research panel for survivors of sudden cardiac arrest and their families. The Foundation has worked with multiple universities to facilitate research with survivors and family members. It is now embarking on a new research initiative in collaboration with StrataVerve Market Research. Together, they will study public awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and post-resuscitation quality of life. To participate in the research panel, join the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Network. Once you are registered in the Network, you will be invited to participate in research, as studies arise. To participate in our upcoming survey with StrataVerve, please register by August 28. Questions? Contact info [at] sca-aware [dot] org.

We applaud this statement urging all schools to teach CPR

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation applauds the European Patient Safety Foundation, the European Resuscitation Council, the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation, the World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists, and the World Health Organization for urging schools worldwide to teach students CPR. The statement follows:

National CPR-AED Awareness Week: 7 Things You Should Know About Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in the U.S., affecting about 326,200 people of all ages outside hospitals every day. Dave Goldberg, CEO of Survey Monkey and husband of Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, was one of its recent victims.

During this week alone, about 6,250 unsuspecting victims will suffer SCA, most of them (70 percent) at home. Their hearts will unexpectedly stop beating and blood will no longer flow to the brain and throughout the body. They will collapse, stop breathing normally, and may appear to be having seizures. In essence, they will be dead -- and they will stay this way unless bystanders act immediately to restore their heartbeats with CPR and defibrillation.

CPR, AEDs Save Lives

On April 11, a bystander and two police officers saved the life of a man who had been walking in South Park (Pittsburgh, PA) when he suddenly collapsed in cardiac arrest. On April 22, Pittsburgh police officers and paramedics saved the life of a fellow officer who suffered cardiac arrest in the West End station.

Why did they survive sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), when so few victims do?

The answer is simple: Bystanders started CPR and used defibrillators immediately.

Unfortunately, SCA is a common occurrence in Pittsburgh and across the nation. In fact, it affects about 1,000 people of all ages each day in the U.S.

While on average, only 10 percent of victims survive, when people at the scene of the emergency intervene quickly by giving CPR and using automated external defibrillators (AEDs), survival rates increase to 40 percent.

Help raise awareness about SCA and the importance of knowing how to save a life.

Florida Supreme Court Narrowly Limits AED Immunity Protections and Finds There May be a Duty to Use School-Based AEDs

The Florida Supreme Court, in a decision handed down on April 2, 2015, denied AED Good Samaritan immunity protection to the Lee County School District (Florida) and said a jury trial should decide whether the District had an obligation to use a nearby automated external defibrillator (AED) on a fallen student. This case highlights the limited protections available under AED immunity laws in most states and the potential risk implications for AED programs. 

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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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