Archive - Jan 2008

Archive - Jan 2008


January 24th

SCA Survivors: A Growing Tribe

In the time it takes you to read this section, several Americans will die from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Most likely, dropping dead will be the first indication of a serious heart condition. Friends and relatives may be told that their loved one suffered a "massive heart attack." More likely, their loved one died from SCA, a preventable and treatable condition.

If you are surprised, you are not alone. Most people have never heard of SCA, yet it claims more lives each year in the United States than colorectal cancer, auto accidents, breast cancer, prostate cancer, firearms, AIDS and house fires combined.

January 19th

Seattle High School Screens Students for Heart Risks

January 19, 2008–SEATTLE, WA–Around the country at least once a week, a young athlete collapses and dies of undetected heart troubles.

The shocking numbers prompted Seattle's Blanchett High School to screen area students before tragedy strikes.

Volunteers want to catch the ticking time bomb before it goes off.

Tenth grader Mark Vinopal was one student being tested. He needs a healthy heart to compete.

“I’m a swimmer and I need that to go the distance,” he said.

The volunteers are checking for signs that may not be so obvious.

Sixteen-year-old Nick Varrenti appeared healthy on the outside. But the junior varsity football playerhad an illness that couldn't be seen.

“My dad went to wake him up and he didn't wake up,” said Katie Varrenti, his sister.

Nick suffered sudden cardiac arrest. His sister knows what it means to have a broken heart.

January 18th

SCA Survivor Wins Award from Volvo for Work as AED Crusader

January 18, 2008–KALAMAZOO, MI­–Ronald Dundon had a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in February 2003. The attending emergency team’s use of CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) saved him. After his recovery, Dundon founded the AED Fund of Kalamazoo County, Michigan to help increase the chances of survival for future SCA victims in underserved communities.

The AED Fund raises money to purchase AEDs for first responders, high schools, and middle schools in Kalamazoo county. The organization has also formed partnerships with Kalamazoo County Medical Control and the Emergency Medical Services system to ensure that hard-pressed fire departments receive this life-saving device. Additionally, the AED Fund educates the public about the need for CPR and AED training and where to get it. As a certified CPR instructor, Ronald teaches basic CPR classes free of charge.

January 15th

National Efforts To Improve CPR Quality Underway

January 15, 2008–ScienceDaily–Studies indicate that in many communities only 15 percent to 30 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR before emergency medical services (EMS) personnel arrive at the scene. Considering that cardiac arrest survival falls an estimated seven percent to 10 percent for every minute without CPR, the low rate of bystander CPR has a big impact on outcomes.

A unified effort by the public, educators and policymakers is needed to reduce deaths from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) by increasing the use and effectiveness of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), according to a new statement from the American Heart Association. The statement, “Reducing barriers for implementation of bystander-initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation,” appears online in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

January 10th

HeartRescue Grant Applications Due February 15th

January 10, 2008–MINNEAPOLIS–The Medtronic Foundation today announced new grant guidelines for its HeartRescue program. In 2008, funding priority will be given to school programs that educate students about sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and prepare them to act in an emergency.

To increase the number of bystanders trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and AED use, the 2008 HeartRescue program will focus U.S. grants on schools, school districts, government agencies, and non-profit organizations that develop comprehensive school-based programs that will prepare a new generation of people to recognize SCA when it happens and take action when it does.

Legislator Proposes AEDs for All Arkansas High Schools

January 10, 2008­–LITTLE ROCK–State Senator Tracy Steele is proposing that every high school in Arkansas have automated external defibrillators (AEDs) available at school activities.

Steele made the proposal to the Joint Committees on Public Health, Welfare and Labor, the first step in the legislative process toward enacting a law that would require the defibrillators.

Steele says the plan could possibly save the lives of young people at sporting events and other school activities.

The proposal is in response to the death of Anthony Hobbs of Little Rock, a 17-year-old basketball player for Parkview High School. Hobbs collapsed during a game on January 2.

Hobbs was rushed to Baptist Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Initial autopsy results showed abnormalities in the heart.

Athletes with Abnormal ECGs Should Be Monitored

January 10, 2008–ROME–An abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG) in a young, highly-trained athlete might be the first expression of an underlying heart condition that could later become life threatening, according to a study published in today’s New England Journal of Medicine. This means that athletes with abnormal ECGs should be checked regularly, according to investigators.

“Contrary to previous reports describing such ECG patterns as innocent manifestations of ‘athlete's heart,’ without adverse clinical consequences, the present study shows that these abnormal ECGs may represent the initial expression of genetic cardiac disease… and adverse clinical outcomes," according to lead investigator Dr Antonio Pelliccia (Institute of Sports Medicine and Science, Rome, Italy) and colleagues.

January 9th

A Time to Chill: Penn State Demonstrates Use of Therapeutic Hypothermia

January 9, 2008–HERSHEY–Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center recently began offering “therapeutic hypothermia” for victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The state-of-the-art treatment still isn’t available at most hospitals.

Conducting a demonstration of the process today, doctors said therapeutic hypothermia is beneficial for post-resuscitation SCA patients who remain unconscious. Chilling the body to about 91 degrees can prevent brain damage that occurs when the heart stops suddenly and blood no longer flows to the brain.

One or two patients per month have been getting the treatment at the medical center. It involves a special machine that pumps ice water into wraps that chill the upper body, legs and groin.

For more information:

January 7th

All North Dakota Schools to Have AEDs

January 7, 2008–BISMARK–All public and private schools in North Dakota will soon be outfitted with automated external defibrillators (AEDs), thanks to the 2007 North Dakota Legislature, which appropriated $400,000 for the Safe Heart Schools program. The AEDs went to schools that did not already have such devices.

“In the event of sudden cardiac arrest, someone can be resuscitated very easily (with an AED). We have a lot of rural schools that have access to EMS services that are 40 miles away and that are often volunteer. To rely on somebody that distance away, and a volunteer effort, is pretty scary,” said Valerie Fischer, director of school health for the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

The cost of the AEDs, typically $1,500 to $1,800, had been an obstacle for many schools interested in acquiring them, according to Fischer. The DPI was able to negotiate a group discount and place a total of 365 AEDs.

January 5th

Young Boys Save Mother's Life

Jan 5, 2008–WELLINGTON, NZ–Two young boys are being hailed as heroes for helping bring their mother back from the dead. The six and seven-year-olds rang 111 after their mother had a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), then comforted her until help arrived.

Six-year-old Taine Eade and his seven-year-old brother Cullen were watching TV last Friday night when their mother Kendall had collapsed in SCA. “I rung up Grandad and he told me to ring 111,” says Cullen. Cullen grabbed the phone as Kendall lay unconscious in the hallway. “I just stayed with Mum and I saw her face going a bit purple,” says Taine.

With an ambulance on the way, the pair calmly followed the operator’s instructions.

“The lady that was speaking to me told me to roll her over. But I couldn't so then she told me to tilt Mum's head over a little bit and listen for if she was breathing. Well, she wasn't and then the ambulance people arrived,” says Cullen.

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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