Archive - 2008

Archive - 2008

July 3rd

Cardiac Arrest Victim Salutes His Rescuer

July 3, 2008­–Honesdale, PA–David Belkin died last February during a pick-up basketball game, but because of quick action by Roman Matlaga, he is alive to tell about it. 

On Sunday July 6 at 11 A.M., Belkin will be reunited with his hero.  He’ll present Matlaga with the Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Foundation’s People Saving People Award at the home of game organizer, Henry Skier, at 13 Hillcrest Rd. (behind Wayne Memorial Hospital) in Honesdale.

Also invited to the event are State Representative Mario Scavello (R-Monroe County), Representative Michael Peifer (R-Wayne County), State Senator Lisa Baker (R-District 20), and Wayne Highlands School District Superintendent Tom Jenkins.

In February 2007, Belkin, 65, of Bethesda, MD, was a guest at the basketball game’s cold-weather venue, Lakeside Elementary School. Matlaga, one of the regulars, was there when David drained a fade away jumper, then collapsed.

Tim Russert's Legacy

The following letter was published in The New York Times, Tuesday, July 1, 2008.

To the Editor:

Re: From a Prominent Death, Some Painful Truths,” (June 24) 

The day that Tim Russert died, about 500 others suffered sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and most victims died. The 30 or so who survived know they are alive and well today because Good Samaritans at the scene called 911, gave cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and used an automated external defibrillator (AED)—within minutes of their collapse.

Tim’s death may not have been preventable, given his extensive underlying coronary artery disease. But for hundreds of thousands of people who suffer SCA each year in the U.S., death does not have to be a permanent condition. The victim can be brought back to life if someone at the scene takes action. Perhaps the best way to honor Tim’s legacy is to learn CPR and how to use an AED.

June 30th

How to Save A Life

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), often misunderstood as a massive heart attack, is a treatable condition that does not have to lead to sudden death. When someone suffers SCA, he or she may be fine one minute and then collapse without warning the next. Without immediate intervention, the victim almost always dies. SCA is the leading cause of death in the U.S., affecting more people than breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, AIDS, traffic accidents, house fires and gunshot wounds combined. Only 6-7% survive SCA nationally--but 50% or more could survive. You can make the difference between life and death for someone you care about by knowing what to do and doing it quickly.


June 26th

Tim Russert's Gift: A National Discourse on Sudden Cardiac Arrest

June 26, 2008­–PITTSBURGH, PA–Reports indicate that NBC journalist Tim Russert died from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) resulting from a heart attack. Russert’s sudden death may help save other lives by raising awareness about the critical importance of calling 911, giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and using an automated external defibrillator (AED) immediately when SCA strikes.

“Perhaps Tim’s final gift to the nation was to raise awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and the simple actions anyone can take to save a life,” said Bobby V. Khan, MD, PhD, Board Chairman of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation and Assistant Professor of Medicine/Cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

June 22nd

ECCU: Improving the Odds of Survival

About 1200 national and international CPR instructors, EMS providers and community champions attended the Emergency Cardiac Care Update (ECCU) in Las Vegas June 13-15th. We are thrilled to be hosting ECCU in Las Vegas, highlighting the latest science and education in CPR and AED use in a community that has led the nation in this approach, said Tom Aufderheide, MD, President of the Citizen CPR Foundation, which conducts the conference every two years. The survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in Las Vegas casinos is among the highest in the nation, thanks to prompt use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) by security guards.

The conference opened with a welcome from Honorable Oscar Goodman, Mayor of Las Vegas, followed by a keynote address by Mickey Eisenberg, MD, PhD, and Tom Rea, MD, MPH, of Seattle/King County: Improving the Odds of Cardiac Arrest Survival—Formula for Success.

June 15th

Roman Matlaga Wins SCA Foundation's 2008 People Saving People(TM) Award

Roman Matlaga

Roman Matlaga - Winner of the SCA Foundation’s People Saving People™ Award

June 15, 2008–Las Vegas, NV–Roman Matlaga was recognized on Sunday, June 15—Father’s Day—as the winner of the SCA Foundation’s People Saving People™ Award during the Citizen CPR Foundation’s biennial conference, the Emergency Cardiac Care Update, in Las Vegas.

Roman Matlaga - Winner of the SCA Foundation’s People Saving People™ Award

Mary Newman, Foundation President, presenting award to David Belkin

Mary Newman, Foundation President, presenting award to David Belkin

June 14th

A tragic reminder of the National CPR/AED week, could Tim Russert have been saved?

 Many newspapers ran stories about the first annual National CPR/AED week. Congress set aside the first week in June to spotlight how lives can be saved if more Americans know CPR and how to use an AED (a defibrillator).

Now we have many stories of the tragedy of a high profile public figure struck down by cardiac arrest that may have been prevented through the availability and use of an AED. Details may be forthcoming, but the story so far is that Tim Russert did receive bystander CPR, but no defibrillation until the EMTs arrived some minutes after his collapse. This is all too common a situation and causes hundreds of deaths per day across the country.

Could Tim’s demise help us to save someone else? It’s all too easy, Call 9-1-1, and start CPR. Ask someone to get an AED, and then use it. They are simple and safe, even a child can do it.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation Honors Bystander

 Roman Matlaga Receives First Ever ‘People Saving People™ Award’ 

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation presented its inaugural People Saving People™ (PSP) Award on June 15 in Las Vegas. The annual award program honors ‘ordinary’ people with extraordinary heroic spirits, who help save the lives of victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The Foundation proudly recognized Roman Matlaga, of Honesdale, PA, whose actions made the difference between life and death for fellow basketball player David Belkin, of Bethesda, MD, in February 2007. The PSP award was presented during the Citizen CPR Foundation’s biennial conference, Emergency Cardiac Care Update. 

Americans Mourn the Loss of A Great Journalist and Family Man

June 14, 2008­–PITTSBURGH–We at the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation express our heartfelt sympathy to the family of Tim Russert, who died suddenly yesterday afternoon in the NBC studios. Tim could not be resuscitated despite the fact than an intern provided cardiopulmonary resusciation (CPR) and D.C. EMS arrived quickly and treated Russert with a defibrillator.

The tragedy of this profound loss to the Russert family and his extensive network of friends and colleagues in journalism and politics would be all the more tragic if it turns out that NBC did not have an automated external defibrillator (AED) on site--or even worse had one, but somehow neglected to find or use it.

On the other hand, Tim’s death may not have been preventable, given his extensive underlying coronary artery disease.

June 12th

Hands-Only CPR Gets a Push

We all know that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaver. Some of us also know how to “pump and blow.” So it’s good news that CPR is now easier to perform.

Recently the American Heart Association (AHA) has accepted the findings of several studies that suggest sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) victims may be better off without mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

That’s not to say the victims don’t need CPR. The change comes from the realization that it’s critical to immediately get the blood circulating again—which is what continuous-chest-compression (CCC) does if performed correctly—to have any chance of survival.

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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