Archive - Nov 2007

Archive - Nov 2007

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November 28th

Ohio Leaders Call For AEDs in All U.S. Schools

November 28, 2007­–AKRON–A program to place automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in Ohio schools, administered by Akron General Medical Center and funded by the state of Ohio, is now complete. The five million dollars allocated to the program in two phases over the past several years paid for the placement of 4,544 of the life-saving electronic devices in schools throughout Ohio.

The program should be expanded across the country, said U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton. “This proven, lifesaving step should be taken in every single state,” Sutton, a Democrat who represents northeast Ohio's 13th District, said in a statement. “I'm proud that northeast Ohio is leading the way.”

November 27th

Wedding Guests Save Bride's Grandfather

November 27, 2007–ASPEN–Bobby Cluck and Terri Dangler’s wedding reception in Buttermilk, Colorado, was winding down when the grandfather of the bride, Paul Copsey, collapsed in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) on the dance floor.

As Copsey’s daughters knelt at his side, two wedding guests performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a third retrieved an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Amy Covington and her husband, Rob, immediately started two-person CPR. She is a physician’s assistant at Aspen Medical Care and Rob has experience with CPR from the military.

Another wedding guest, Mike Lyons, a paramedic with the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department, carried an AED in his truck and ran to retrieve it. Lyons used the AED to restore a normal heartbeat, and by the time the ambulance arrived, Copsey had regained consciousness.

November 26th

Driving is Safe for ICD Patients

November 26, 2007­­–BOSTON–Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) pose no special risks for heart patients who drive, researchers report in the December 4th issue of Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“What this confirms is what we already thought—that overall there is not a huge risk in this population,” said study lead author Dr. Christine M. Albert, director for the Center for Arrhythmia Prevention at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

About 50,000 defibrillators are implanted annually in the United States. Among the famous recipients is Vice President Dick Cheney, who experienced an irregular heartbeat Monday and was being examined by his doctors.

There have been worries that the shock delivered by the device to correct an abnormal heartbeat might be dangerous for drivers, Albert said.

America's Safest Airport?

Airline Employee, Passenger Save Holiday Traveler at Sky Harbor

November 26, 2007–Phoenix, AZ–A 62-year-old man from Ohio was saved by a fellow passenger and an airline employee using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and an automated External Defibrillator (AED) while on board a plane departing Sky Harbor over the Thanksgiving Holiday.

The man was on board a Mesa Airlines flight, operating as US Airways Express, last Wednesday evening (Nov. 21). The man collapsed in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) as the plane was pulling out from the gate, preparing for takeoff. Another passenger, an off-duty paramedic, checked the man for a pulse and began CPR when he did not detect a heartbeat. The pilot pulled the plane back to the gate. A quick-thinking Mesa Airlines employee retrieved an AED, activated it, then continued CPR.

November 17th

President Vetoes AED Funding

November 17, 2007–WASHINGTON, CD–The House of Representatives has failed to override President George W. Bush's Veto of the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill, which would have provided $ 2.5 million to fund the Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program. The appropriations would have included an allocation of $200,000 to fund an information clearinghouse designed to increase public access to defibrillation in schools, as requested in the Automated Defibrillators in Adam’s Memory (ADAM) Act.

November 11th

British Survivor and MP Promotes AEDs on European Airlines

November 11, 2007­–LONDON–A Member of Parliament (MP) who almost died on a plane is demanding new laws to force airlines to carry life-saving equipment. Liberal Democrat Paul Keetch was technically dead for seven minutes after having suffering cardiac arrest on a flight from London to a NATO meeting in the States.

The cabin crew on the Virgin Atlantic flight saved his life by using a £1,000 defibrillator to restart his heart. Keetch, 46, is now spearheading moves to force all airlines to carry the machines and train staff to use them.

“When I collapsed with chest pains a Brazilian medic on the plane tried heart massage. But it was the cabin crew’s use of a defibrillator that saved my life. I was technically dead for seven minutes,” he said. “These machines (automated external defibrillators or AEDs) should be installed on all aircraft and staff given the training to use them.”

November 9th

Merck Agrees to $4.85 Billion Verdict Involving SCA Victims Who Used VIOXX

November 9, 2007–MONTGOMERY, AL–After more than five years of hard-fought and difficult litigation, Merck has agreed to pay $4.85 billion, the largest pharmaceutical settlement in history, to resolve certain VIOXX®-related claims involving plaintiffs who used the pain reliever and suffered a stroke, a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest.

The litigation involving product liability claims has been ongoing for more than five years. It is estimated that thousands personal of injury lawsuits were filed. In light of significant costs and delay that would result in protracted litigation, the settlement will ensure that those who suffered injuries as a result of VIOXX® are compensated fairly and efficiently.

Congress Passes School AED Measure

November 9, 2007–WASHINGTON, DC–U.S. Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) announced today that Congress approved funding for a program they set up to assist schools in purchasing and providing training on automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Feingold and Collins introduced an amendment to the Labor-Health and Human Services appropriations bill last month to fund the Automated Defibrillators in Adam’s Memory (ADAM) Act. The ADAM Act, which Feingold and Collins got signed into law in 2003, was inspired by Adam Lemel, a 17-year-old high school student from Wisconsin who collapsed and died from an undiagnosed heart condition while playing in a basketball game. The ADAM Act funds a national clearinghouse to help schools set up public programs that provide access to AEDs and provides schools with technical guidance and appropriate training.

November 8th

Women Have More Complications from ICD Therapy than Men

November 8, 2007–ORLANDO–Women have nearly a 70 percent greater risk of suffering major in-hospital complications than men after implantation of a cardioverter-defibrillator, researchers reported here.

“We found that major complications occurred about 1.1 percent of the time in men and 2 percent of the time in women," Pamela Peterson, M.D., of the Denver Health Medical Center and the University of Colorado, told attendees at the American Heart Association meeting.

That represents about a 69% increased risk, a statistically significant difference, she said.

The major complications included cardiac arrest, perforation of the heart, heart valve injury, coronary venous dissection, hemothorax, pneumothorax, deep phlebitis, transient ischemic attack or stroke, tamponade, myocardial infarction and arteriovenous fistula.

University of Pittsburgh Cardiologists Identify New Cardiac Arrest Gene

November 8, 2007–PITTSBURGH–Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have identified a new gene responsible for a rare, inherited form of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), known as Brugada syndrome.

Brugada syndrome is a rare inherited arrhythmia, which is more commonly symptomatic in males. It can present with an abnormality on the electrocardiogram (ECG), fainting or sudden death. It impairs the heart’s natural electrical ability to beat in a coordinated manner and maintain a stable rhythm.

With the identification of this new gene, the researchers hope this will shed light on the more common forms of sudden death in patients with heart attacks and heart failure, and will help aid in the development of new, effective therapeutic treatments that will prevent all types of fatal arrhythmias.

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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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