Archive - Oct 2012

Archive - Oct 2012

October 21st

Wireless Medical Devices Vulnerable to Hacking

A heart defibrillator remotely controlled by a villainous hacker to trigger a fatal heart attack? It may only happen in the movies, but the Government Accountability Office (GAO) doesn’t want to take any chances.

In a recent report from the GAO, the non-partisan agency, which investigates issues for Congress, says the threat that hackers could manipulate heart defibrillators and other remotely controlled medical devices to fatal ends is real enough for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take action.

October 18th

Preventing Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Athletics

The Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society offers recommendations for identifying and preventing this potentially devastating medical condition in the physically active before tragedy occurs on the playing field.

Harrisburg, PA--After Governor Corbett signed House Bill 1610 (Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act) on May 30, 2012, Pennsylvania became the first state in the nation to enact legislation protecting student athletes from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). As a result of this law, coaches, parents, and athletes in the Commonwealth are now required to complete an educational session about SCA. Since the inception of these guidelines, the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society (PATS) has offered Sport Safety International’s online training program CardiacWise to these individuals free of charge. To date, more than 800 individuals have turned to PATS and CardiacWise to educate themselves regarding SCA.

October 16th

Lack of Awareness about SCA Leads to Increased Risk for African-Americans

WASHINGTON -- Lack of awareness and treatment of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) puts African Americans at greater risk of death from the condition, according to a new national survey released today by the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS). The survey findings uncovered significant perception gaps between healthcare providers and consumers when it comes to understanding the condition, its symptoms, risk factors and treatments. Responsible for more than 350,000 U.S. deaths each year, SCA occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. Approximately 95 percent of SCA cases result in death; however, it is proven most deadly in African Americans.

October 15th

University of Pittsburgh Hosts Maggie Dixon Heart Health Fair

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation Among Participating Organizations

Coach Jamie Dixon, center, and SCA FDN TeamPITTSBURGH--The University of Pittsburgh basketball program hosted the Maggie Dixon Heart Health Fair Sunday as part of Pitt’s Homecoming and 225-year celebration. The Fair included free blood pressure and health screenings and educational heart health displays, including CPR-AED demonstrations by the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, a national nonprofit organization based in Pittsburgh. Live coverage was provided by 93.7 The Fan, Pittsburgh Sports Radio.

October 14th

Study: Recycled Heart Devices Offer New Life in Poor Nation

For at least eight years, a Philadelphia heart specialist and his colleagues have been smuggling used cardiac devices in suitcases to India to help poor people who might die without them.

Now, Dr. Behzad B. Pavri, a cardiac electrophysiologist at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, reports that recycled implantable cardioverter-defibrillators or ICDs -- devices that jolt a failing heart back into rhythm -- can be collected safely from U.S. patients and funeral homes, transported, sterilized and re-implanted in people who otherwise would not be able to afford them.

“The patients who are getting these devices are the sickest of the sick, the poorest of the poor,” Pavri said.

October 11th

This is the way it's supposed to happen, most of the time.

Player, 14, saved by coach's CPR training, automated external defibrillator
By Associated Press

Knoxville Central High School freshman Hunter Helton had sudden cardiac arrest during a conditioning practice Monday.

According to The Knoxville News Sentinel (, coach Jon Higgins, -- a former University of Tennessee player -- performed the rescue protocol on Hunter and used the AED to stabilize his heartbeat. The youth is a cousin to Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, a former UT standout. Todd Helton also played prep ball at Central High School.

Hunter's father said the boy had no history of heart problems.

"He's had poison ivy and braces -- that's all," Ronnie Helton said. "He's always been a healthy, normal kid."

But thinking back to Monday evening and what doctors told him, Ronnie Helton still gets emotional.
"He flatlined three times," he said, choking back tears.

October 10th

Doctors Torn Over Heart Screening for Young Athletes

NEW YORK - Christopher Storm was a high school freshman and track runner when doctors found an abnormality in his heart. Part of the muscle was thicker than it should have been, making it harder for it to send blood to the rest of his body.

The condition, known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, is one of the most common causes of sudden cardiac death - when the heart abruptly stops beating.

Storm's disease was caught on an electrocardiogram (ECG), a test of the heart's electrical signals, done by volunteer doctors who visited his school, the Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, Illinois, near his hometown of Naperville, as part of a community screening program offered to all students.

"There was nothing - no lightheadedness, no reason for me to believe that anything was wrong," Storm, now 17, said almost two years after that test.

A Decade Extra

Ten years ago today, I collapsed with ventricular fibrillation. I owe my life to Tom and Randy who performed CPR on me during a training class in a hotel in Dallas. They thought of giving up in the 12 minutes or so it took for the ambulance to arrive with a defibrillator. I'm glad they did not stop. Because of their efforts, and the fine work of the EMTs, I've gained ten more years of life that I would not have had.

I'm so grateful for the work of all involved - Tom, Randy, the EMTs, the doctors and nurses at the hospital. And for the last ten years, the ongoing care of the electrophysiologists, especially Dr Rubin. I'm also thankful that I have a wonderful husband who took excellent care of me following my SCA and during my recovery. Through him, I know and experience love each day.

I thank God for all the people who are willing to perform bystander CPR and for all the research and technology about how to save the life of someone experiencing SCA.

October 8th

North Carolina Joins the Sweeping Trend.

North Carolina has passed a law requiring CPR training for graduation from High School.


There are now a handful of states who require CPR training before graduation, and the pace is accelerating, largely due to the AHA's activist role in encouraging states to adopt such legislation.

The number continues to grow. Way to go, AHA!

They are getting with the program...

First two paragraphs form focal Chicago report about Chicago Marathon: The successful defibrillation was treated almost with a yawn. That's super because it means that (a) there was a defibrillator on scene and there is a growing expectation that it will be there and used.


"Marathon runner suffers cardiac arrest but fewer rushed to hospitals


"One man suffered cardiac arrest in the last miles of the race, but cool weather kept injuries down in this year’s Bank of American Chicago Marathon, race officials said. The cool weather provided nearly ideal conditions for runners, and the men’s winner broke the course record.

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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