Archive - Sep 6, 2011

Archive - Sep 6, 2011

Virtual Ventricle: Computer Predicts Dangers of Arrhythmia Drugs Better than Animal Testing

This is really important. We now have a far faster, less-expensive, more-accurate way of telling whether a new drug will cause heart problems.


By Larry Greenemeier | September 1, 2011

Researchers developed a computer model of a human heart to study whether certain drugs will help treat an abnormal heartbeat, or cause serious side effects

Drugs useful in the long-term management of cardiac arrhythmia, which occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become irregular and put patients at risk of sudden death, have eluded researchers for decades. Despite best efforts, most of the medications developed to calm abnormally fast heartbeats, a type of arrhythmia known as tachyarrhythmia, have faltered. Several clinical trials, including the seminal 1986 Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial (CAST), even showed that the use of certain drugs designed to correct tachyarrhythmia—encainide and flecainide, in particular—actually increased the risk of death.

Toddler brought back after drowning.

associated press
Clark County firefighters say a 4-year-old girl nearly drowned at a popular swimming beach at Vancouver.

Fire District 6 says a bystander spotted the girl face down in the water Monday evening at Klineline Pond in Salmon Creek Park.

Witnesses started CPR until medics arrived.

The girl was airlifted to Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center in Portland in critical condition but later upgraded to serious condition.

NEJM: Using an Impedance Device During CPR Does Not Improve Survival

Use of an impedance threshold device (ITD) has been shown to enhance cardiac output during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); however, a study published Sept. 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that use of these devices may not improve survival among patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest who received standard CPR.

“One proposed strategy to augment cardiac output during CPR is the use of an impedance threshold device (ITD),” Tom P. Aufderheide, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and colleagues wrote. “The ITD is designed to enhance venous return and cardiac output during CPR by increasing the degree of negative intrathoracic pressure."

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