Archive - 2011

Archive - 2011

October 12th

It's either sloppy reporting or really tragic.

A math teacher at East Central High School died Monday morning after collapsing before classes started, officials said.

Melinda Villegas, 23, a full-time math teacher for all grades at the high school, was with colleagues, who “immediately started assisting her and went to get our school nurse's assistant to administer CPR,” said Stevie Gonzales, an East Central Independent School District spokeswoman.

“EMS continued the CPR in transporting her to Mission Trail Baptist Hospital,” where she was pronounced dead around 8 a.m., Gonzales said.

Read more:


[note: the death is tragic enough, but there may be even more reason to wring our hands and scream:

October 11th

PREVENT SCD Trial Supports Use of MTWA Test as Predictor of Sudden Cardiac Death

Results of the PREVENT - SCD Trial Published in Clinical Research in Cardiology

TEWKSBURY, Mass.-- Cambridge Heart, Inc. (OTCBB: CAMH), a developer of non-invasive diagnostic tests for cardiac disease, today announced that results of the PREVENT-SCD trial, published in the journal Clinical Research in Cardiology, reinforce the value of the Microvolt T-Wave AlternansTM (MTWA) test in identifying patients at risk of Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD). Preliminary results of the study were originally presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in 2009.

October 10th

35-Year-Old Firefighter Dies While Running in Chicago Marathon

CHICAGO -- A 35-year-old North Carolina firefighter who was running for charity died Sunday after collapsing during the Chicago Marathon.

Greensboro Deputy Fire Chief Clarence Hunter said that William Caviness was running to raise money to help burn victims, but declined to talk further. He did read a statement from Chief Gregory Grayson. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the entire Caviness family in this tremendous loss of Capt. Will Caviness. The Greensboro Fire Department family is grieving this great loss and will strive to support the family through this difficult time."

Hunter said that the department would not have anything further to say until Monday, after talking to the Caviness family.

October 8th

About half...

...of the people interviewed in 2007 know or were able to guess the difference between a sudden cardiac arrest and a heart attack.

When the score is that close to 50/50, usually folks are guessing.

It's important because immediate 911 and CPR. plus prompt defibrillation are essential to cardiac arrest survival with major brain function intact, and 911 is essential for a heart attack. The defibrillator won't hurt the heart attack victim, but CPR would be inappropriate and dangerous.

Fortunately, they are easy to tell apart, once you've been told the difference: The sudden cardiac arrest victim - the one that needs 911 + CPR + AED - is non-responsive and not breathing, either normally or at all.

If you are not trained, check the video at and then get the people whom you frequently are near trained, too.

October 6th

Two Texas Teachers Save a Life

Seventh-grader Kylee Shea collapsed in the hall of her Dallas-area school and could be dead or brain-damaged today if not for two quick-thinking teachers who revived her with CPR and a defibrillator. 

A Dallas-area seventh-grader survived a literally heart-stopping crisis virtually unscathed thanks to two quick-thinking, well-trained schoolteachers.

Kristen Goodgion and Brent Reese, teachers at Maus Middle School in Frisco, Texas, rushed within seconds to the aid of 12-year-old Kylee Shea after she crumpled in a school hallway Sept. 26. While Reese performed CPR, Goodgion fetched the school’s automated external defibrillator (AED). They used the machine’s paddles to kick-start Kylee’s heart in a dramatic rescue caught on the school’s surveillance cameras.

October 4th

Top 10 Reasons to Donate

Top 10 reasons to donate to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation through on October 4th

Study: MRIs Safe for ICD Patients

Fewer than 1% of patients with implanted cardiac devices encountered device-related problems during MRI, suggesting the imaging technique can be used safely in selected patients with implanted devices, investigators reported.

In three of 438 patients (0.3%), MRI triggered back-up programming mode in implanted devices. Right ventricular sensing and atrial and ventricular lead impedance values declined immediately after MRI. Long-term follow-up revealed decreased right ventricular sensing and lead impedance, increased right ventricular capture, and reduced battery voltage.

None of the changes required revision or replacement of an implanted device, as reported in the October issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Receives the GuideStar Exchange Seal as a Demonstration of Its Commitment to Transparency

GuideStar SealPittsburgh--The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation today received the GuideStar Exchange Seal, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability provided by GuideStar USA, Inc., the premier source of nonprofit information. The Seal demonstrates to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation's vast support-base our deep commitment to nonprofit transparency and accountability.

"We have worked hard to showcase our progress toward our mission, and our long-held belief in being transparent about our work, to our constituents," said Mary Newman, President. "As a GuideStar Exchange member, we use their platform to share a wealth of up-to-date information about our work to our supporters and GuideStar's immense online audience of nonprofits, grantmakers, individual donors, and the media."

Shock, sorrow after teen cheerleader's death in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES — When students returned for school Monday morning at Washington Prep, they were to be greeted by crisis counselors and missing one of their beloved classmates, a cheerleader who died after collapsing during a football game.

Angela Gettis, a 16-year-old sophomore at the school, was rallying the crowd Friday night in the fourth quarter of a tie game at Fremont High School when she suffered an apparent cardiac arrest, Los Angeles Unified School District spokesman Tom Waldman said.

The game stopped as coaches and trainers ran to help. Bystanders performed CPR while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Gettis died about three hours later at a hospital, becoming the second teenage girl from Los Angeles district schools to die over the weekend after a dramatic campus incident.

School officials planned to discuss Gettis at a Monday morning news conference.

[Question: was there an AED there, and was it used? rht]

Death the Victor Once Again

LOS ANGELES -- It was the fourth quarter of a tie game at Freemont High School in Los Angeles last Friday night. Angela Gettis, a 16-year-old cheerleader, was doing her part to rally George Washington Preparatory High School football fans, when she suddenly collapsed and became lifeless.

Angela GettisThe game stopped as coaches and trainers ran to help. Bystanders gave her CPR while waiting for paramedics to arrive, but she died in the hospital about three hours later. Sudden Cardiac Arrest was the victor once again.

She was not alone. In addition to Angela, about 18 other apparently healthy young people across the U.S. also died from unexpected cardiac arrest last Friday.

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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