SCA News

SCA News

National Efforts to Raise Awareness about Sudden Cardiac Arrest

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. 

Report on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Treatment of Cardiac Arrest

A national initiative to improve survival from cardiac arrest

A Test Working to Predict Sudden Cardiac Death

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. 

Commonly Prescribed Antibiotic ‘Could Increase Risk Of Cardiac Death,’ Scientists Warn


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.

Implantable Heart Devices Result in Similar Survival Benefits Among Ethnic, Racial Groups

Gregg Fonarow, MDLOS 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.

Poor Health Literacy Poses Risks for Pacemaker and Defibrillator Patients

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.

Emergency Responders Credit Public Access Defibrillator with Saving Hockey Player’s Life

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.

Convention and Visitors Bureau Becomes Part of the Springfield LifeSave Plus Initiative

Springfield LifeSaveSPRINGFIELD, 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.

Saving Lives at Work

A message from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration

Improving survival from sudden cardiac arrest

  • There are 220,000 victims of sudden cardiac arrest per year in the United States [1]; about 10,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur at work.
  • Waiting for the arrival of emergency medical system personnel results in only 5-7% survival.
  • Studies with immediate defibrillation have shown up to 60% survival one year after sudden cardiac arrest.

Automated external defibrillators

Survival Increases With Clinical Team Debriefing After In-hospital Cardiac Arrest

Lessons learned prepare team for future cases and increase chance of favorable neurologic outcome

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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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