MELBOURNE--Widespread availability of automated external defibrillators is far more likely than screening to prevent sudden cardiac deaths on the sports field, and has the added benefit of also preventing deaths off the sports field, said Dr. N.A. Mark Estes, professor of medicine at Tufts University, Boston.
He said there were significant knowledge gaps around the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive accuracy of screening for sudden cardiac death in athletes, and existing screening guidelines were the subject of great criticism.
"Each one of these deaths is tragic, and everyone understandably reacts in a fashion where they want to do something to prevent it," Dr. Estes, also director of the cardiac arrhythmia center at Tufts, said at the World Congress of Cardiology.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN--On a pleasant spring morning at the Purdue University campus 10 years ago, Paula Millner tied on her running shoes and went for a jog.
That’s the last thing she remembers about the workout.
Millner, then 20 years old, collapsed in the street after suffering sudden cardiac arrest. A police officer happened to be driving by and saw her go down. He called an ambulance and gave Millner cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The medic arrived in less than five minutes and used a defibrillator to restart Millner’s heart.
Millner, now a pharmacist in Indianapolis, credits the defibrillator with saving her life, and now she supports efforts to place them in as many public places as possible.
NEW YORK, NY-- Rescuers who perform chest compressions at the same time that another uses a defibrillator may be at risk of electric shock, a new study suggests.
In a trial with cadavers, so-called hands-on defibrillation exposed rescuers to 200 to 827 volts, or 1 to 8 joules, which is more than safety standards recommend.
"The rescuer energy we measured (1 to 8 J) is not dramatically high, but it shares a waveform and frequency designed to affect cardiac myocytes. In susceptible rescuers, this could result in serious injury," Dr. Daniel Lemkin, an emergency medical physician at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, who led the study, told Reuters Health by email.
Instead, Dr. Lemkin and his colleagues advise rescuers to perform compressions while the defibrillator charges, remove their hands during defibrillation, and then resume immediately afterward.
ANAHEIM, CA--Two words separated 17-year-old Morgan Wilson from life and death, her parents believe: if only.
If only the tennis center where she suffered (sudden cardiac arrest) had a defibrillator.
If only someone had administered CPR in the precious minutes before paramedics arrived.
Wilson’s family is trying to prevent others from having the same regrets. The family members are campaigning for more automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, in athletic centers, and they have set up a memorial fund to pay for the cost of others to receive CPR training.
“The EMS was able to get her heart beating again, but there was so much brain damage things started deteriorating,” said Debbie Wilson, Morgan’s mother.
The sudden death of an athlete on the playing field remains one of the most striking and tragic events in sport. For the sports physician, the occurrence of an athlete in sudden cardiac arrest is both unforgettable and terrifying. Well-known cases such as Hank Gathers (1990), Marc-Vivien Foé (2003) and Fabrice Muamba (2012), provide graphic examples of an athlete enduring this deadly crisis—collapsed and unresponsive, eyes rolled back, brief myoclonic seizure-like activity and perhaps the presence of agonal respirations as limbs go from rigid to limp. For physicians responsible for the medical care of athletes, a single universal priority should guide our clinical efforts, namely to protect the health and safety of athletes. This journal once again assumes a leading role in the field of sports cardiology by presenting current information relevant to the prevention of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in athletes.
PITTSBURGH, PA--The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation and Enerspect Medical Solutions have joined forces to enable individuals and organizations to donate $450 to the Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and receive a free, recertified automated external defibrillator (AED). They may also opt to receive a new AED by contributing $1,200.
PITTSBURGH, PA--The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation presented a well-attended session, “Addressing the Needs of Survivors and Loved Ones,” during the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update earlier this month in Las Vegas. Speakers included Mary Newman, Foundation president, Susan Koeppen, a TV news anchor and survivor, Kelly Sawyer, MD, an emergency physician and survivor, and Jennifer Chap, a marketing professional who saved her husband’s life with CPR.
PITTSBURGH, PA--University of Pittsburgh researchers have received $1.8 million from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, to create a unique database of electrocardiogram (ECG) information that could one day be used to better guide real-time decision making during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for cardiac arrest. The database would be the largest repository of its kind and could lead to new ways to evaluate CPR and patient outcomes.
LAS VEGAS, NV--The 2014 Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update (ECCU), a biennial conference of the Citizen CPR Foundation held earlier this month in Las Vegas, celebrated survival from sudden cardiac arrest. Each plenary session was introduced by a survivor, and the conference featured an educational track targeted to survivors and rescuers, including a session, “Addressing the Needs of Survivors and Loved Ones,” presented by the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation.