The Institute of Medicine, a division of the National Academies of Sciences, recently conducted a meeting in Seattle to continue its preliminary work on the status of cardiac arrest outcomes in the U.S. and opportunities for improvement. (Click here for report.)
As part of that meeting, IOM cardiac arrest committee member Ben Bobrow, MD, of the Arizona Department of Health Services, moderated a panel on the public’s experience with cardiac arrest. Mary Newman, MS, of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, was among the invited speakers. She was asked to discuss the Foundation’s education, advocacy, and community building initiatives, and the public’s perception of sudden cardiac arrest and its prevention and treatment.
A national initiative to improve survival from cardiac arrest
On September 14, 2007, Lorenz Diesbergen, age 44, stepped off a commuter train in downtown Chicago and began his daily walk to work in the Chicago Loop. As he crossed the bridge over the Chicago River, his heart’s normal rhythm suddenly deteriorated into an uncoordinated frenzy of useless fibrillations. He may have managed a few more steps—we don’t know—before he pitched forward and fell face-first onto the sidewalk. Paramedics were on the scene within minutes, but efforts at resuscitation proved futile. He left behind a wife and four children.
Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) is the medical term that describes sudden death due to rapid and catastrophic failure of the heart’s pumping function (without warnings signs). SCD usually arises from an unstable arrhythmia arising in the heart’s left ventricle, and it results in the immediate loss of blood pressure needed to keep the brain and other vital organs alive.
According to the research team – including senior investigator Dr. Anders Hviid of the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark – macrolide antibiotics increase the duration of the heart muscle’s electrical activity – known as the QT interval – which can lead to abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), a known risk factor for stroke and sudden cardiac arrest.
LOS ANGELES--Racial and ethnic minorities who receive implantable devices to treat heart failure derive the same substantial survival benefit from these therapies as white patients, new UCLA-led research shows.
While the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association jointly recommend the use of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices for all eligible patients, minorities have not been well represented in clinical trials of the devices, and previous studies had shown that African American and Hispanic patients are less likely to receive these recommended therapies.
NEW YORK, NY--Patients who rely on pacemakers and defibrillators to maintain a normal heart rhythm run the risk of serious health complications if they don't fully understand how the devices work and what to do when they experience an irregular heartbeat. But a study from Columbia University School of Nursing published this month in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing found that 40 percent of patients with these devices had little to no ability to understand information about their cardiac health.
GUELPH, ONTARIO--Emergency responders—fire, police and EMS—are highlighting the importance of having public access defibrillators (PADs) in community spaces.
On Thursday, August 14, a 9-1-1 call was made from the University of Guelph sports arena to report that a 49-year-old hockey player had collapsed and was without vital signs.
As fire and EMS personnel were dispatched to the call, Guelph Police Constable Stu Robertson and Campus Community Police Sgt. Steve Forbes, who were already at the university, were first to arrive on scene.
Rink staff brought the AED to the scene. An AED or automated external defibrillator is a portable electronic device used to get a heart back to its natural rhythms by delivering an electrical shock to the heart during a cardiac arrest.
After the initial shock was delivered, the patient regained a pulse.
SPRINGFIELD, MO--The Convention & Visitors Bureau has joined the ranks of the Springfield LifeSave Plus initiative to help the community and guests to the city be safer.
The CVB staff took the city initiative to not only equip the Route 66 Springfield Information Center and CVB offices, 815 E. St. Louis St., with a life-saving Automated External Defibrillator, but also to certify over half of the staff in CPR through the American Heart Association.
A message from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration
Improving survival from sudden cardiac arrest
Automated external defibrillators