Archive - Jun 2009

Archive - Jun 2009

June 28th

William Penn University Creates a Safer Campus

Oskaloosa, IA–William Penn University has recently made campus a safer place by purchasing automatic external defibrillators (AEDs). William Penn received a grant from the Iowa Department of Public Health that would match half of the money the university put towards the units. Each unit costs roughly $900. Through funding from the university and assistance of the grant, William Penn was able to purchase eight AED units.

Josh Erickson, athletic trainer at William Penn, said AEDs are known to decrease the death rate for people having heart attacks by 80 percent as long as the victim can be reached within the first four minutes of the cardiac emergency. The unit will shock the heart, helping it to restart and establish a normal rhythm. Erickson said this will buy time for an ambulance to arrive and take the victim to the hospital.

June 26th

Athletic Rivals Bond As Cardiac Arrest Victims

They were rivals on the basketball court - Michael Ward, No. 54 for the Pequot Lakes Patriots, and Kyle Bednar, No. 13 for the Pierz Pioneers.

But the competitive 17-year-old athletes have struck a bond off the court after they beat the odds and rebounded after going into sudden cardiac arrest within days of one another.

The teens, who both stand at an impressive 6 feet, 4 inches, had less than a 17 percent chance of survival. If it weren't for the quick actions of those around them and the automated external defibrillators used within minutes to restart their hearts, the teens likely wouldn't have made it, said their parents.

"I think God had a hand in this," Lisa Bednar, Kyle's mom, said of her son surviving his ordeal. "God had a hand in where it happened and when it did."

June 25th

SCA Foundation Mourns the Loss of Michael Jackson

Nation’s Leading Cause of Death Reportedly Claims the Life of a Pop Icon

Pittsburgh, PA--The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation joins countless Americans in grieving the loss of pop icon Michael Jackson. His apparent death from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a painful reminder that SCA is a leading cause of death worldwide.

“While this tragic loss may have been unexpected, sadly, sudden cardiac arrest is not uncommon,” said Bobby Khan, MD, Chairman of the SCA Foundation Board of Directors, Fulbright Scholar, Associate Professor at Emory University and Director of the Coronary Care Unit and Cardiovascular Research at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. “Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to men, women and children of all ages, and for many reasons, African Americans are at even higher risk.”

June 22nd

Should ICD Patients Drive?

A team of 12 experts have released a consensus statement with recommendations for drivers with Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs).

ICD patients have an ongoing risk of sudden incapacitation that may cause harm to others while driving a car, and thus driving restrictions are imposed making these recommendations an important guideline for such patients.

And, recently, a consensus statement with recommendations for drivers with ICDs was presented at a press conference at the Europace 2009 meeting in Berlin, Germany.

Experts from the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professions in ESC (CCNAP) and the Section Cardiac Rehabilitation of the European Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, reviewed the literature, assessed the risk, and issued the consensus statement.

Governor Rell Signs the Larry Pontbriant Bill to Place AEDs in Connecticut Schools.

Larry Pontbriant Jr. was a standout student and athlete at NFA. He died as a result of sudden cardiac arrest while running in a race at Mohegan Park.

His parents lobbied with the American Heart Association and the Connecticut Athletic Trainers Association to get AEDs into all schools. They were successful.

As of July 1, all school boards are required to have a automatic external defibrillator (AED) in each school, if funding is available. The bill also allows school districts to accept gifts, donations and grants to buy the machines and train personnel to use them. A companion law also reduces liability for those who use or own the machines.

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June 19th

A Father's Day Tribute

I am thinking today of all the fathers who survived sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) because someone close by was ready, willing and able to help. Someone who, by the way, looks a lot like you.

Just last week, I was privileged to hear two fathers--recent SCA survivors--share their experiences during an American Heart Association meeting in Washington, D.C. Eddie Rinehart, of Austin, TX, and Jim Niskanen, of Modesto, CA, were grateful for many things--but most of all, they were grateful to be reunited with their families.

"I am so thankful that my wife is not a widow and I will get to see my girls (Ella and Grace, 3 and 5) grow up," said Eddie.

June 17th

Governor Rell Signs Bill that Promotes AEDs in Connecticut Schools

Legislation Prompted by Sudden Death of Athlete and Honor Student

June 18th Governor M. Jodi Rell today signed a bill that makes automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) available in schools and ensures at least two staff members are trained to use the live-saving equipment.

 “This is legislation is intended to do one thing—save lives, precious lives,” Governor Rell said during a bill-signing ceremony at Norwich Free Academy. “It is in the best interest of our children and our communities.”

June 15th

One More Fall Off His Bike...

Stephen Woodcock, Kokomo, IN – 62 at time of event (2009)

After their normal Saturday breakfast out, Steve decided to get a quick bike ride in before they sat down to watch the Kentucky Derby. Diane was preparing for the race when the door bell rang. She was expecting Steve back, but it was the Sheriff’s deputy at the door, with bad news. Steve had had an accident and was at the hospital. Diane wasn’t overly worried since he’d had many scrapes before. Just one of the downsides to regularly riding a push bike 100 miles on highways.

June 13th

Not Ready to be Widow

On May 2,2009 my husband of 41 years suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while bicycling on Hyw.26 here in Kokomo, Indiana. I didn't know anything was wrong until a sheriff's deputy came to the door and told me that I was needed at Howard Regional Emergency Room. I was actually pretty calm as I drove to the hospital as the deputy had told me that he was not hurt bad. When I arrived at the hospital I was taken to a room and told to wait for the Doctor. Then I knew it was bad! When she came she told me that my husband had had a heart attack. My first reaction was "No, that can't be right!" My husband has been in good health the entire time we have been married. He did have high cholestrol but it had come way down. After getting sick, the Doctor took me to see my husband. It was almost more that I could bear seeing him lying there like that. I broke down and could not handle it.

June 9th

Soccer Player Survives SCA Thanks to Internal Defibrillator

Belgian soccer player, Anthony Van Loo, 20, collapsed during a soccer match, but was saved by his implantable cardioverter defibrillator. The ICD kicked in and he was jolted back to life.  Fortunately Van Loo's genetic heart condition was identified in advance and he was protected from the potentially life-threatening arrthymia. To see the video, click here and scroll down to Favorites.


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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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