Archive - 2007

Archive - 2007

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.

November 7th

RethinQ: CRT Does Not Benefit HF Patients with Narrow QRS

November 7, 2007­–ORLANDO–Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) failed to provide any clinical benefit in heart failure (HF) patients with a “narrow” QRS interval and evidence of left ventricular mechanical dyssynchrony (1), the results of the Resynchronization Therapy in Normal QRS (RethinQ) trial reveal.

CRT did not increase the primary endpoint—improved six-month oxygen consumption at peak exercise capacity—beyond that with standard treatment. There was a significant improvement in New York Heart Association (NYHA) class with CRT, but lead RethinQ investigator John Beshai, MD, (University of Chicago, Illinois, USA) was quick to point out that this was not consistent with other secondary endpoint results, and that NYHA class is an unreliable measure.

November 5th

Survival from SCA Doubles when Public Has Access to AEDs

Study Supports Public Health Policies that Increase Access to AEDs

November 5, 2007–ORLANDO–Researchers now have evidence that at least 522 lives can be saved annually in the United States and Canada by the widespread placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

Results of the study, “Bystander-administered AED shock improves survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the U.S. and Canada,” were presented today at the American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions in Orlando. The findings are among the first conclusions to emerge from a landmark series of studies, known as the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) Trial, designed to reveal the best lifesaving techniques for cardiac emergencies.

October 30th

Adult AEDs Should Be Used on Young SCA Victims if Pediatric AEDs Are Unavailable

October 30, 2007­–CHICAGO­–The use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) has saved the lives of thousands of adult cardiac arrest victims, and now AEDs are shown to be equally effective as life-saving interventions for children. Although the incidence of ventricular fibrillation (VF) in young children is low, there is a need for developing strategies to provide early defibrillation to patients younger than eight years, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has come out with a new clinical report and policy statement.

“As AED programs expand, pediatricians must advocate on behalf of children so that their needs are accounted for,” according to an AAP policy statement in the November issue of Pediatrics. The statement was released Monday during the American Academy of Pediatrics annual meeting in San Francisco.

October 22nd

Insurance Company Donates AEDs to Schools throughout Saskatchewan

October 22, 2007–REGINA–Group Medical Services (GMS), a nonprofit insurance company, strengthened its commitment to the health of Saskatchewan communities today with the announcement of a $300,000 donation to provide automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to 83 schools across the province of Saskatchewan.

“We're very pleased to partner with Saskatchewan schools in this effort” said GMS President and CEO, Shirley Raab. “This province-wide distribution of AED devices to schools is the first of its kind in Canada. Schools have agreed to establish ongoing training and awareness programs for teachers and students. The use of AEDs has proven to result in dramatic increases in survival from cardiac episodes.”

October 18th

The Game

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