Archive - Jul 2012

Archive - Jul 2012

NATA Recommends Athletic Health Care Providers Adopt a "Time Out" System Before Sporting Events

DALLAS – With preseason practices now underway and the start of fall sports schedules around the corner, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) issued today an official statement recommending athletic health care providers conduct a “Time Out” before athletic events to ensure emergency action plans are reviewed and in place.

July 30th

Faster Isn't Always Better with CPR

NEW YORK--Doing CPR too fast can mean chest compressions aren't deep enough to get blood flowing to the heart and brain, a new study from Belgium suggests.

Researchers found that when rescuers pushed at a rate above 145 compressions per minute, the depth of those compressions dropped to less than four centimeters.

Recommendations from Europe and the United States now both call for compressions to be at least five centimeters (about two inches) deep, at a rate of 100 per minute or faster.

"The idea is that with each compression you move a little blood through the body and so if you go faster and deeper you might be moving more blood," said Dr. Benjamin Abella, an emergency medicine doctor at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, who wasn't involved in the new study.

But, "If you push faster, it stands to reason that you might end up pushing shallower," he said.

Dana Vollmer Overcomes Heart Condition to Win Olympic Gold

Swimmer Dana Vollmer joined the London Olympics highlight reel when she set a record in the 100-meter butterfly on Sunday, becoming the first woman ever to finish the event in less than 56 seconds. For the 24-year-old American swimmer, capturing the gold was something of a redemption, coming four years after she failed to qualify for the team at the Beijing Olympics. But one of the most compelling aspects of Ms. Vollmer’s story is that she overcame not only athletic stumbles on her way to the gold but also a potentially deadly heart condition.

At the age of 15, already an elite swimmer, Ms. Vollmer, from Granbury, Tex., was taken to a local doctor after experiencing dizzy spells while training. Doctors discovered she had an abnormal heartbeat and set up a procedure to correct it. But they then discovered she had a genetic cardiac electrical disorder called long QT syndrome, which could lead at any moment to sudden cardiac arrest.

Scarred Heart May Indicate Need for ICD

Left ventricular scarring may be a better determinant for implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) candidacy than a low ejection fraction. 

ICD Outcomes Tied to Cardiac Muscle Scarring

A significant amount of MRI-detected scarring in the myocardium is predictive of a poor prognosis in patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) no matter the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), according to a study in the July 31 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Of the 137 patients in the study, those with a LVEF greater than 30% had a six-fold increased risk of adverse events following ICD placement when they had more than 5% scarring compared with those with minimal or no scarring, reported Igor Klem, MD, from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues.

July 29th

U.S. Preventative Services Task Force Issues New Guidelines on ECG Screening for Adults

New guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), comprised of 16 volunteer members, recommend against screening with electrocardiography (ECG) during rest or exercise to predict coronary heart disease (CHD) events in asymptomatic adults at low risk for CHD events.

An ECG is a simple, non-invasive test that measures electrical activity from the heart. Information picked up from an ECG may determine how fast a heart beat is, or whether it has a steady or problematic rhythm. An irregular ECG could detect a major heart problem, including heart attacks, arrhythmias and heart failure.

While the panel recommends against giving ECGs to healthy adults, some physicians believe they're important in order to establish baseline measures when people are healthy in case things later go awry, in order to compare the results.

Post-Cardiac Arrest Care System Improved Survivors' Neurological Status

DALLAS -- Fewer sudden cardiac arrest survivors had neurologic impairment after a novel regional system of care was implemented, according to research published in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal.

In 2009, the Aizu region of Japan established an advanced post-cardiac arrest care system that included emergency medical services (EMS) taking survivors directly to hospitals specializing in advanced care or from an outlying hospital to the specialty hospital after an effective heartbeat was restored.

Advanced care includes therapeutic hypothermia, appropriate fluids, cardiovascular medications, respiratory management and procedures like percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to open blocked arteries.

The American Heart Association refers to these treatments as the "fifth link" in the Chain of Survival for sudden cardiac arrest.

July 27th

Youth Heart Watch at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Offers Heart Screenings to Philadelphia Youth

PHILADELPHIA--Philadelphia's recreation centers offer city youth a place to gather and, for many, a place to play and hone their skills. They also are places where the greatest tragedies can occur – sudden cardiac arrest. In an effort to reduce such devastating events as losing a child to sudden cardiac arrest, Youth Heart Watch from the Cardiac Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, an affiliate of Project ADAM®, hosted a heart screening today, in cooperation with two city recreation centers, to diagnose underlying heart conditions in young athletes.

CPR Training Becomes Mandatory for High School Graduation in North Carolina

RALEIGH -- Gov. Bev Perdue has signed into law a bill that requires North Carolinians to complete a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training course in order to graduate from high school.

The requirement has been on the books since 1997, but it has never been compulsory or documented.

The graduating class of 2015 will be the first held to the standard set under House Bill 837.

Perdue was alongside the bill’s co-sponsors – Reps. Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg, and Carolyn Justice, R-Pender – when she signed the bill at the Capitol this week.

There was little opposition when the bill passed during the final days of the legislative session, and many education leaders have voiced support in the weeks since.

Some districts have long provided the training to students and will expand on existing programs.

July 26th

Not All Long QT Athletes Have to Be Benched

Exercise and sports participation are "manageable risks"

Tailored therapy and close supervision may help keep competitive athletes with long QT syndrome, such as Olympic hopeful Dana Vollmer, in the game, a study has shown.

A thorough diagnostic evaluation, appropriate medication, risk counseling, education, and a defibrillator device at the ready kept rates of potentially fatal arrhythmias low among a cohort of athletes who chose to remain in competitive sports despite a diagnosis of the cardiac electrical disorder, Dr. Jonathan N. Johnson and Dr. Michael J. Ackerman of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., wrote in the July 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

July 24th

LQTS Need Not Be a Sports Disqualifier

Participation in competitive sports by people with long QT syndrome -- a genetic abnormality in the heart's electrical system -- has been a matter of debate among physicians. Current guidelines disqualify most LQTS patients from almost every sport. In a first-of-its-kind study, Mayo Clinic's LQTS Clinic recently examined its own experience, determining the outcome of LQTS patients who chose to remain athletes against guideline recommendations. The study is published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In the study, the records of 353 LQTS patients ages 6 to 40 who were evaluated at Mayo Clinic between July 2000 and November 2010 were reviewed to determine which patients chose to continue athletic participation after LQTS diagnosis and LQTS-related events.

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