Archive - 2009

Archive - 2009

July 8th

Doctors Clear Up Questions About Heart Disease

PITTSBURGH–Initially the reports stated that Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest, but what killed him remains a mystery. Days later, television pitchman Billy Mays died of heart disease while asleep.

More than a year ago, NBC news commentator Tim Russert died from a cardiac arrest caused by heart disease.

All three deaths were unexpected in the two 50-year-olds and the 58-year-old Russert.

Celebrity deaths point to the impact of the nation's No. 1 killer: cardiovascular disease. It accounts for 35.3 percent of all deaths in the United States, or more than cancer, accidents and HIV/AIDS combined. In 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 631,636 people died of cardiovascular disease, down from 864,480 in 2005.

While deaths are declining, challenges remain, especially in trying to revive people after cardiac arrest.

July 7th

A Party Surprise With a Happy Ending

Sophia Jaromay, Antioch, CA – 20 at time of event (2008)

Sophia loved her work. She hung out with her work mates, and made good money. Not any more. The happy 20-year-old was enjoying an impromptu party at a colleague's apartment after work late one evening when everything suddenly changed. Sophia only knows what they’ve told her. And she doesn’t really want to know at all.

July 2nd

New York, New York. It Could Have Killed Him.

Michael Larsen, Seattle, WA – 45 at time of event (2005)

Michael is a pianist. He was once a large pianist — now he’s more careful, and slimmer! In 1999 he suffered a severe heart attack and needed a quadruple bypass. Unfortunately, his heart muscle was damaged and his EF remains very low. At that time ICDs were not implanted as a safety measure like they are now for LVEF <%35. So that brings us to his story.

Working in Seattle on a stage production, Michael had just finished a tiring day and was walking down Pike Place past the market that is a Seattle institution. He was on the cell phone checking in with his producer, apparently telling her that he felt fine, “never felt better before” were his words. Not that Michael can remember the conversation...

SCA Foundation Honors Billy Mays' Passing with Call to Action

Pittsburgh, PA – On the eve of celebrated pitchman Billy Mays’ funeral, the SCA Foundation extends its condolences to his family, friends and fans, and calls upon everyone to do their part in increasing survival from cardiac anomalies. His apparent death from cardiac arrest, brought on by a heart attack at home, is a painful reminder that approximately 80 percent of all cardiac arrest events occur in the home.

 More about Billy Mays.

“Those of us who got to know Billy Mays through the television screen saw him as larger than life,” 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.

Rick Barber of KOA Radio interviews SCA Foundation President

As part of our media campaign to raise awareness and save lives, we take every opportunity to explain, explore and educate readers and listeners on the deadly and yet preventable consequences of Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Below is an extract of the Rick Barber show on KOA Radio, Denver CO.

"During the past week we have seen two celebrities who apparently succumbed to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). First pop mega-star Michael Jackson then ubiquitous TV pitchman Billy Mays. While this may be the first time we've seen it in the news, SCA is very real and very deadly. Can it be detected or even prevented? Rick spoke with Mary Newman, President of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation about all of the above."

See here for details

July 1st

Barriers Hinder EMS Workers From Using Best Resuscitation Practices

DALLAS–Local laws, insurance reimbursement and public misperceptions impede emergency medical services (EMS) workers from using best resuscitation practices, according to a study reported in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Less than half of local EMS systems follow national guidelines on transporting cardiac arrest patients and terminating unsuccessful out-of-hospital resuscitation efforts, said researchers who conducted three small focus groups at the 2008 National Association of Emergency Medical Services Physicians meeting in Jacksonville, Fla.

Each focus group had four to 12 participants. The majority (79.1 percent) were physicians, and 66.7 percent were EMS directors at a wide variety of practice settings.

Based on the focus group analysis, researchers identified three key areas where policies or perceptions may impede local efforts to follow the guidelines for terminating unsuccessful resuscitation efforts:

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.

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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