Archive - Jan 2007

Archive - Jan 2007

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January 27th

School Offers Heart Screenings in Maggie’s Memory

January 22, 2007 – HeartScreen America will offer low-cost electrocardiograms (ECGs) at Rhinebeck High School, Rhinebeck, NY, on January 26-27 for students six years of age and older, parents, faculty and staff. The initiative to detect heart defects will be conducted in honor of Maggie O’Malley, a varsity athlete, who died from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) last summer. She would have been a senior at Rhinebeck High School this year.

ECGs are not typically part of annual physicals at schools, but without them, potentially fatal heart abnormalities often go undetected until it is too late. For more information, see

January 26th

Mild Cooling Makes the Difference for College Student

January 26, 2007 – Oliver Trodyk, 22, a math and physics double major at Winona State University in Minnesota, was playing ultimate frisbee on December 5th, when he suddenly collapsed, a victim of sudden cardiac arrest. His teammates thought he was having a seizure—they knew he had a history of asthma. They called for help and emergency medical services (EMS) arrived about 10 minutes later. Upon arrival, paramedics confirmed asystole on their monitor. With cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), ventricular fibrillation (VF) evolved and they were able to restore Trodyk’s pulse after four shocks with a defibrillator. He was transported to Winona Community Hospital and then transferred by Flight for Life to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

January 23rd

Teachers Use CPR, AED to Save Student

January 23, 2007 – HOUSTON – An 11th grader at Debakey High School for Health Professions was playing basketball in the school gym on January 11th when he suddenly collapsed. Students called 9-1-1 and ran for help. Elmer Villatoro, a physical education instructor, and two other teachers, provided CPR and used the school’s defibrillator to resuscitate the victim. According to school officials, the student remains in critical condition.

Debakey, named for the heart pioneer Michael Debakey, MD, is part of the Houston Independent School District. HISD last year became the first school district in Texas to place defibrillators in every school.

Home AED Used to Save Neighbor

January 23, 2007 – Immediate intervention saved the life of Reynold Nikaido, 50, after he collapsed suddenly at his home in Halimaile. His son, Ryan, 19, began CPR and sent for neighbor, Chris Gilbert, a paramedic who keeps an automated external defibrillator (AED) in his home. Gilbert used the AED to restore a normal heartbeat. Firefighters and paramedics arrived about 10 minutes later. Nikaido’s heart stopped several more times on the way to the Maui Memorial Medical Center. He was later transferred to Straub Clinic and Hospital in Honolulu, where he received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).

Gilbert, a longtime CPR-AED instructor and early defibrillation advocate, is accustomed to saving lives on the job. But it was the first time Gilbert had used his personal defibrillator to help save a life.

Mild Cooling Used to Prevent Brain Damage

January 23, 2007 – Andy Nelson, 58, of Longwood, Florida, recently suffered sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) while mowing his lawn. Paramedics tried to resuscitate him on the way to the hospital. Finally, his heart was shocked back to life, but he remained in a coma. To prevent brain damage, Nelson was treated with mild therapeutic hypothermia using high tech pads filled with cold water. Nelson’s body temperature was lowered for 24 hours, allowing his brain to recuperate slowly. According to a report in the Centre Daily Times (, Nelson and his wife are convinced that cooling made all the difference in his recovery and quality of life.

January 22nd

Legislator Wants AEDs in More Public Places

January 22, 2007 - Joseph Sanfilippo, D-Binghamton (NY), would like to improve access to early defibrillation in Broome County, NY. A state law that goes into effect in September will require places of public assembly with a capacity of 1,000 or more to have a defibrillator on site and to have someone trained to use it. Sanfilippo plans to introduce county-wide legislation that would also mandate defibrillator programs in smaller-sized venues. He was motivated by the death last fall of Binghamton High School lacrosse player John Mack, who died after being struck in the chest with a lacrosse stick.

SCA Strikes During Paramedic Class

January 22, 2007 – NEW YORK – Jeffrey Sanger, 39, was preparing for his paramedic training class at the Emergency Medical Service Training Center in Fort Totten, Queens last Friday, when he began to have chest pains and become pale and sweaty. Like many heart attack victims, he protested that he was okay. Then he collapsed in full cardiac arrest.

It turned into a perfect teaching moment. Paramedic instructors immediately gave Sanger cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and then used a defibrillator to shock his heart back to life. His breathing and heartbeat were restored within minutes and he was talking to his rescuers. He was later in stable condition at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

January 9th

Pittsburgh Sheriff Survives SCA

January 9, 2007– Acting Allegheny County Sheriff William P. Mullen, Jr. survived sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) while playing basketball, thanks to the quick actions of retired Pittsburgh police Sgt. Paul McComb and city Detective Paul Dugan, who provided cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and used an automated external defibrillator (AED) on Mullen. He was released from Mercy Hospital one week later.

Mullen commended his rescuers and the crew from City of Pittsburgh Medic and all the doctors, nurses and staff who contributed to his care.

"I don't know how my family and I would have made it through this difficult time without the support of the law enforcement community. I look forward to getting back to work soon," added Mullen, who will continue cardiac rehabilitation.

January 4th

Legal Expert Advocates Revamping AED and 9-1-1 Laws - Model Legislation Proposed

January 4, 2007--Current AED laws impede the deployment of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and do not protect all AED program participants from liability, according to Richard A. Lazar, Esq., a leading expert in AED program design and operations, risk management, law and public policy. According to Lazar, who serves as a member of the SCA Foundation Board of Directors, many state AED laws discourage bystander action and increase liability risks--despite the intentions of their authors. The SCA Foundation has endorsed Lazar's views.

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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