Archive - Sep 2011

Archive - Sep 2011

September 12th

People in Poorer Neighborhoods Have Higher Risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) was higher among people living in poorer neighborhoods in several US and Canadian cities, and the disparity was particularly evident among people under age 65, found a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

SCA accounts for up to 63% of deaths annually from cardiac diseases in the United States. Socio-economic status is a predictor of many health-related conditions, including death and heart disease. This study examined a potential link between socioeconomic status and sudden cardiac arrest in more than one community.

A team of researchers in the US and Canada looked at data on 9,235 sudden cardiac arrests in seven cities: four in the US: Dallas, Texas; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; Seattle–King County, Washington; and three in Canada: Ottawa and Toronto, Ontario; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

He survived - notice the magic words.

Magic words: "...CPR was performed and a defibrillator was used" It makes a huge difference!

Runner in downtown Duluth race revived after suffering cardiac arrest
Gene Curnow, 67, of Saginaw, a veteran racer and race organizer, suffered a cardiac arrest after finishing the All City Mile run Sunday.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune

Gene Curnow, 67, of Saginaw, a veteran racer and race organizer, suffered a cardiac arrest after finishing the All City Mile run Sunday.

He was attended to at the finish line by paramedics, race volunteers and a fellow runner, and was revived and taken to the cardiac intensive care unit at St. Luke’s hospital. He was being kept overnight for tests, said his wife, Barb.

Curnow has completed more than 200 marathons and ultramarathons (races longer than 26.2 miles) and has worked, with his wife, in putting on races in the area, including the Minnesota Voyageur Trail Ultramarathon 50-Miler in Carlton.

September 11th

Do Student Athletes Benefit from Routine Exams?

One physician says yes

It’s a longstanding back-to-school rite: The aspiring student athlete gives school authorities the medical forms that announce he or she has been seen by a doctor and is fit to play for a team.

We family physicians and pediatricians perform some 10 million of these examinations a year. And while we are doing a general checkup, our primary goal is to find serious conditions, most notably those that could result in sudden cardiac arrest and death.

The specter of a seemingly healthy young athlete suffering a fatal attack during training or competition pervades the pre-participation examination, or PPE.

September 10th

Another Excuse Bites the Dust!

The Medical College of Wisconsin reviewed six dozen cases where Bystander CPR was performed on people who didn't need it.

Here's what Michael McGonigal MD, the Director of Trauma Services at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN had to say about the results.

Bottom line: The potential benefit of bystander CPR outweighs the risk of injury or performing it on a victim who is not in arrest. This study shows that, although these patients may not need CPR, they are generally very ill. Given the rapid EMS response times and the younger average age of the victims, no real injuries occurred. The new American Heart Association recommendations are beneficial and should be distributed widely.

For those wanting further detail, see

September 9th

Former Steeler Survives SCA

Former Steelers undrafted free agent S. Brett Greenwood was hospitalized Friday in Iowa City, Iowa, after collapsing during a workout in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Greenwood suffered an apparent sudden cardiac arrest arrest. Greenwood, who was released by the Steelers in part of their final roster cuts, was at his high school alma mater, Pleasant Valley, in Bettendorf, Iowa Friday before a game between Pleasant Valley and Davenport West.

He was working out on the school's practice field when he suddenly collapsed. fortunately, the high school had an automated external defibrillator (AED) and team trainer Jason Viel used it to restore Greenwood's pulse. He was transferred immediately to Trinity Bettendorf Hospital, and later, University Hospital in Iowa City.  

Greenwood is an elite-level athlete, just four days from his 24th birthday. 

SOURCE: Beyond the Steel Curtain, adapted

D'Iberville Football Player Died from Sudden Cardiac Death

JACKSON COUNTY, MS– A D’Iberville running back who collapsed at a football game Friday night died from sudden cardiac death, officials said.

Latrell “Fred” Dunbar collapsed on the Gautier High School field after he was hit in a play. Jackson County Coroner Vicki Broadus pronounced him dead at 9:50 p.m. at Ocean Springs Hospital.

An autopsy performed today by state pathologist Paul McGarry shows Dunbar died from "sudden cardiac death". "There were no injuries whatsoever. No fractures of any kind," Broadus said. Coach Buddy Singleton said video shows Dunbar taking a hit.

“There was a lick when he was blocking, but he got hit from the side on his shoulder,” the coach said after watching the replay this morning.

What you can do to get more public-access AEDs in your area.

1. Every time you walk into a store, ask them where the AED is. If they say "We don't have one" you can respond "Doesn't it make you nervous to work in a place that doesn't have one? It makes me nervous to shop someplace that doesn't have one." It will eventually make them think.

2. Call the schools in your area. Ask them how many public access AEDs they have and where they are. While you have the school on the line, ask if they ever have an athletic practice or game without there being an AED at the scene of the event.

Be prepared for some pretty dis-heartening answers. And be prepared for some really pathetic ones, too. Answers such as "Our AED is locked in the nurse's office so that nobody gets hurt." or "We don't take the AED to home games. If we need it we'll just have a student run into the building and get it."

And don't be surprised if you hear "What's an AED?"

September 8th

All Denver Public Schools to Receive at Least One AED

DENVER — This week, Denver Public Schools began installing 179 defibrillators for the treatment of sudden cardiac arrest — thanks to the Save a Life Denver program. Every school will have at least one, and large schools with multiple buildings, such as the Evie Garrett Dennis Campus, will receive up to four, said DPS spokeswoman Kristy Armstrong.

September 7th

NIH Funded Study Demonstrates that Patients Treated with New CPR Devices and Cooling Have Improved Long-Term Brain Function Following Cardiac Arrest

ROSEVILLE, Minn.-- Today, Advanced Circulatory Systems Inc. (ACSI) announced results from a large, NIH-funded clinical trial comparing standard cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to a new method of CPR that provides greater protection to the heart and brain when the heart stops beating (cardiac arrest). Their new device combination, called the ResQCPR™ System, combines an active compression decompression CPR (ACD-CPR) device, called the ResQPump™, and an impedance threshold device (ITD), called the ResQPOD®.

Additional results from the ResQTrial study have now demonstrated that when the ResQCPR System was used together with therapeutic hypothermia, there was a six-fold increase in the percentage of patients who improved from poor neurologic function at hospital discharge to good neurologic function at 90 days, when compared to standard CPR with hypothermia.

September 6th

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.

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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