Archive - Aug 2011

Archive - Aug 2011

August 5th

Vest Saves a Life

ST. AUGUSTINE, FL--John Whitsett strummed a guitar Monday. He works hard and he plays nicely in a band in St. Augustine, Florida In February he was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia, a heart condition that can be fatal.

In March Whitsett was prescribed a wearable defibrillator, appropriately called a Life Vest, which could jump-start his heart if it ever stopped. The device is connected to a small box that the patient clips to his waistband. Whitsett is thankful he was wearing the vest three weeks ago when he was at a bus stop.

"I felt myself fading out and I didn't think anything of it. I grabbed something," Whitsett recalled. He passed out. The defibrillator vest went into action and gave him a shock. Whitsett didn't feel a thing. The next thing he knew he was on the ground talking to the bus driver.

"The bus driver said I can't let you get on the bus," Whitsett remembered. "I said, 'I'm fine. I just want to go home.'"

Japanese Soccer Clubs Reminded to Have AEDs on Site

Japan Football League general secretary Keizo Kato said Thursday he will remind JFL clubs to implement stricter measures in order to avoid a reoccurrence of the untimely and tragic death at 34 of former Japan defender Naoki Matsuda following a heart attack.

The third-tier JFL had told all clubs to have automated external defibrillators (AEDs), portable electronic devices that automatically diagnose the potentially life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias that lead to cardiac arrest. Matsuda lost his fight for life on Thursday, two days after he collapsed during practice with JFL team Matsumoto Yamaga, which did not have an AED at their training facility.

"I'll be reminding all the clubs. The lack of thoroughness points to poor management," said Kato.

August 4th

High Temperatures and Big Football Players: A Dangerous Combination

The risk of heat-related illnesses for high-school football players is higher than ever due to record high temperatures around the country and the fact that football players these days are bigger than ever. The combination is leading to a rise in the number of heat-related illnesses and deaths, said experts from the Union of Concerned Scientists in a news conference Thursday.

The death rate during football practice was about one death per year from 1980 to 1994 but has risen to 2.8 deaths per year since then, according to climatologist Andrew Grundstein of the University of Georgia. In recent days, one high school football coach and three players have died.

Grundstein studied 58 fatalities in detail and found that most of the deaths were among kids age 18 and occurred in the Eastern U.S. and during the first few days or weeks of practice. The majority of fatalities were among youths who were overweight or obese -- usually linemen.

SCA Foundation Elects New Board Members

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation Board of Directors has elected two new members: Gary A. Runco, PE, PLS, and Robert H. Trenkamp, Jr. “We are delighted that Gary and Bob will be joining our team,” said Norman S. Abramson, MD, FACEP, FCCM, Professor Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh Department of Emergency Medicine and Chairman of the SCA Foundation Board of Directors. "Their expertise and enthusiasm will be great assets to the organization."

Wriskwatch: A New Tool to Monitor At-Risk Patients

A watch-sized device worn on the wrist successfully detected loss of pulse in an early-stage trial, a key step in developing a practical, noninvasive way to monitor patients at risk for sudden cardiac death, researchers said. In most patients participating in the phase I trial, the investigational device correctly signaled artificially induced pulselessness, though it had a false-positive rate of about 10%, according to John Rickard, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues.

Called the Wriskwatch, the device incorporates a piezoelectric disk strapped snugly against the wrist, such that it detects the arterial swelling at the radial pulse point. It can therefore identify episodes of pulselessness or ventricular fibrillation. It transmits a Bluetooth radio signal when loss of pulse occurs, contacting emergency medical system and "appointed bystanders in a community, old age home, or nursing home," Rickard and colleagues explained.

Jenny's Legacy: A Heart Safe Community

Jenny SnyderThe Jennifer Lynn Snyder Teen Heart Foundation is hosting its third annual fundraising event on Thursday evening, August 11 at Pinstripes in Northbrook. Proceeds will fund the creation of a Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) program in Northbrook.

A PAD program places publicly accessible automated external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the community, while educating residents about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), AED use and the importance of having an emergency action plan. ABC 7’s Emmy award-winning anchor Ravi Baichwal will be the Master of Ceremonies for the event.

August 3rd

Another Florida High School Football Player Suffers Sudden Death

Isaiah Laurencin

COOPER CITY, FL--The death of a Broward County high school football player is leading to a change in the way football practices are conducted across the county.

There was a somber tone at the annual meeting of Broward high school football coaches Thursday as practices are set to officially begin on Monday. The death of Isaiah Laurencin last week is fresh on the minds of coaches and athletic directors.

Laurencin collapsed during conditioning drills at Miramar High and died hours later.

“It’s made everybody much more conscious and aware of life,” said Broward County Schools Director of Student Activities and Athletics Damian Huttenhoff.

Japanese Soccer Star Suffers Sudden Death

LONDON — The final bulletin on a nearly 20-year playing career was as abrupt and sharp as it had to be.

“He passed away at 1:06 p.m.” was the statement posted Thursday by the president of the last team that Naoki Matsuda represented.

Matsuda was 34. He was among Japan’s most noted players, and he had not regained consciousness after collapsing Tuesday during training in the mountain region of Matsumoto, northwest of Tokyo.

His teammates and the medical staff of Matsumoto Yamaga who tried to save him suspected heatstroke because extreme high temperatures have claimed 43 lives in Japan in the past two months. The hospital specialists, however, believe a heart attack caused Matsuda’s sudden death.

So Japan, its year of tragedy marginally lifted by the World Cup triumph of its women’s team just weeks ago, is now in shock.

August 2nd

Georgia High School Football Player Dies After Voluntary Workout

ATLANTA--The father of Locust Grove High School football player Forest Jones, who died Tuesday night after passing out a week ago at a voluntary workout, said his son loved the game and "pushed himself too hard."

Forest Jones“He wanted to do it for me, so that when I got older he could take care of me,” Glenn Jones said Wednesday.

Jones, 16, was the second Georgia player to die on Tuesday, following the death of a South Georgia student at a football camp, and officials are trying to determine the effects of hot weather on both players.

Fitzgerald High School defensive lineman DJ Searcy died Tuesday morning after practice at a camp in northern Florida. The 16-year-old was found unresponsive in his cabin, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

Florida High School Football Player Dies After Practice

LAKE CITY, Fla. — Donteria J. (DJ) Searcy, a junior on the 2011 Fitzgerald High football team, died Tuesday during the team's camp at O'Leno State Park in Columbia County, Fla.

DJ SearcySearcy had participated in a morning practice with his teammates. At approximately 11:15 a.m. he was found unresponsive in his cabin at the park. An ambulance transported Searcy to the Lake City (Fla.) Medical Center. EMTs and emergency room physicians attempted to revive him, but were unsuccessful.

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