Archive - Jun 2011

Archive - Jun 2011

June 30th

Funding for Rural and Community AED Program in Jeopardy

How you can help

Funding for the Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices (AED) Act is in jeopardy. Unfortunately, few victims who suffer sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) outside hospitals (7-8%) survive. Victims who receive immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and who are treated with defibrillators, however, are have a much better chance of survival. In fact, in communities with strong systems of emergency response, survival rates approach 40%.

The program provides funding to states to install AEDs and provide training to potential rescuers in locations where SCA is likely to occur. In 2005, for example, nearly $9 million was distributed to 47 states and countless lives were saved as a result.

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation and the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Coalition urge Congress to restore funding for this lifesaving program.

SCA Coalition Establishes Legislative and Regulatory Goals

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Coalition, an ad hoc coalition of about 40 like-minded nonprofit organizations, has established is 2011-2012 legislative and regulatory goals. They are:

June 28th

Check Your Risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest

The Heart Rhythm Society has issued a new heart risk assessment tool available at this link: By answering six quick questions, you can determine your risk--or that of a loved one.

June 26th

Real Number of SCA Deaths in Europe is Unknown but Appears to Be Falling

MADRID, Spain - Efforts to reduce the number of sudden cardiac deaths (SCD) in Europe are hampered by a lack of reliable data on the incidence of sudden cardiac arrest.

"SCD has been neglected for the past five to 10 years, as atrial fibrillation has become so much more popular, but we should talk more about this topic. The biggest problem with regard to working out the size of the problem in sudden cardiac death is that we have practically no data at all in Europe," Dr John Camm (St George's Hospital, London, UK) explained Sunday here at the EUROPACE 2011 conference. Acquiring better data on sudden cardiac death is "important because we know that many sudden cardiac deaths are treatable. So if we can identify them and treat them we can save lives, and that's the real importance of knowing this information," Camm said.

June 25th

Torrey Pines Bank Adds Defibrillators

SAN DIEGO--Torrey Pines Bank is the first bank in San Diego County to participate in the Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Program through San Diego Project Heart Beat. As part of the program the bank has installed automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at all of its 11 branches throughout California and its corporate offices and all staff will receive training on their use as well as in first aid and CPR.

The devices, which deliver a life-saving shock to the heart to halt rapid, chaotic heart activity to restore normal heart rhythm, will also be available to businesses, communities surrounding the bank branches where they will be located, the bank’s press release noted. When the AED is activated, an ambulance is automatically called to the scene.

June 23rd

200,000 Patients Treated for Cardiac Arrest in U.S. Hospitals Annually

PHILADELPHIA--More than 200,000 people are treated for cardiac arrest in United States hospitals each year, a rate that may be on the rise. The findings are reported online this week in Critical Care Medicine in a University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine-led study.

Though cardiac arrest is known to be a chief contributor to in-hospital deaths, no uniform reporting requirements exist across the nation, leaving experts previously unable to calculate its true incidence and study trends in cardiac arrest mortality and best practices in resuscitation care.

The authors, led by Raina M. Merchant, MD, MS, an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine, used three different approaches – involving the American Heart Association's Get With the Guidelines data, a voluntary registry of hospital resuscitation events –to estimate the total number of treated cardiac arrests that take place in United States hospitals each year.

Woman Dies at Her Own Funeral

Should funeral homes have automated external defibrillators?

KAZAN, Russia--A woman died from a heart attack caused by shock after waking up to discover she had been declared dead--and was being prepared for burial. As mourning relatives filed past her open coffin the supposedly dead woman suddenly woke up and started screaming as she realized where she was.

Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov, 49, had been wrongly declared deceased by doctors but died for real after hearing mourners saying prayers for her soul to be taken up to heaven in Kazan, Russia. The Russian woman died from shock after waking up at her own funeral.

June 21st

Teen Saved at Parkland College by Police Officer and Nurses

CHAMPAIGN — A Findlay teenager was listed in stable condition Wednesday at a Peoria hospital after he was resuscitated by an off-duty Champaign police officer and two nurses at a summer league basketball game at Parkland College. Champaign Police Lt. Jon Swenson was in the stands watching a game between Mahomet-Seymour and Okaw Valley when he noticed that one of the Okaw Valley players who had just left the game had collapsed on the bench at about 7 p.m. Monday. The player was Devin Sperry, 17, of Findlay.

"It appeared he passed out and went limp on the bench," Swenson said. Swenson found an automated external defibrillator with the help of a coach. Swenson was joined by Teresa Turner and Betsy Brooks, both registered nurses from Mahomet, who were also in the stands. Turner said the teen was not breathing correctly and that no pulse was detected.

ALTITUDE Study Shows ICD Therapy Saves Lives Without Increasing Mortality from Defibrillator Shock

SAN FRANCISCO – Inappropriate implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) shocks for atrial fibrillation/flutter lead to increased risk of death during the next several years, while inappropriate shocks for sinus tachycardia, supraventricular tachycardia, artifact, noise, or device oversensing are associated with the same survival as in patients who did not receive a shock.

This was the key finding in the ALTITUDE study, the first study large enough to permit subgroup analysis in patients who receive inappropriate shocks for different heart rhythms. The ALTITUDE results go a long way toward solving a mystery that has puzzled electrophysiologists in recent years: Why do the landmark clinical trials of implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) therapy and cardiac resynchronization therapy plus defibrillation (CRT-D) consistently show that inappropriate shocks are associated with decreased survival, compared with no shocks? 

June 20th

A Very Happy Father's Day: Son Saves Father with AED at Home

WEST PARIS, Maine — Wayne Millen worried for years that he'd die of a sudden heart attack. Genetically, his odds weren't good. His father died of a heart attack at age 66. His mother underwent heart bypass surgery when she was 66. His younger brother, after surviving two heart attacks in two years, died at age 53 of sudden cardiac arrest.

"My brother, Gary, and I were very athletic growing up and we never thought we'd have any problems," said Millen, 60. "I realized, 'There but for the grace of God ... ' you know? That could happen to me." So Millen regularly went to the doctor. He submitted to all recommended medical tests and took medication that lowered his cholesterol to ideal levels. He worked to stay fit. And last year he bought an automated external defibrillator (AED).

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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