Archive - Jul 2012

Archive - Jul 2012

July 22nd

Preventing Sudden Cardiac Death at the London Olympics

LONDON, UK - When 32-year-old Claire Squires collapsed in sudden cardiac arrest during the London Marathon in May, Dr Sanjay Sharma (St. George's Hospital, London, UK), medical director for the race, tried in vain to save her. Now Sharma, head of the cardiology team for the 2012 Olympics, will no doubt have Squires at the back of his mind when the Games open later this week. He and his team are doing everything possible to make sure a major cardiac event doesn't grab the spotlight on sports' biggest international stage.

July 20th

Just what ARE the odds?

Well, it depends...

Was your arrest witnessed?
If there's nobody else around when you have your cardiac arrest - or if there is someone else around and they don't notice that you have died - you have a 3.9% chance of getting out of the hospital with your major brain functions intact. How often does this happen? More than half of all out-of-hospital ("OOH") arrests are unwitnessed.

If a bystander saw you arrest, you have 15.2% chance of survival with brain intact - that's nearly four-times better odds. The moral of this factoid is that you need to always have someone around, and that person needs to know how to tell if you've just arrested. More than one-third of all OOH arrests are witnessed by a bystander.

Short-term memory loss

I had an SCA event 4/5/2009. My short term memory was severly diminished. I've seen quotes where after 20 months, don't expect mprovement. My experience is different. I saw some improvement this past Spring when I reduced my Lipitor prescription from 80 mg daily to 40, and later increased my exercise regimen. My short term memory appeared to improve, along with my ability to focus and concentrate. However, this improvement is inconsistent, and often I still fall into states of confusion, lack of mental acuity, moodiness and impulsiveness. Maybe that is what happens when you are "dead" for 1/2 hour without a hearbeat or pulse.

July 17th

Cardiac Arrest Survival Improving in U.S. Hospitals

More people hospitalized for cardiac arrest are surviving compared with a decade ago, according to a U.S. study, possibly because of changes in hospital treatment and the way bystanders respond when somebody collapses.

The study, which appeared in the journal Circulation, found that in 2008, the death rate among U.S. residents hospitalized after cardiac arrest was just under 58 percent - down from almost 70 percent in 2001.

Researchers, led by Alejandro Rabinstein of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, based their findings on a national hospital discharge database that included nearly 1.2 million people hospitalized for cardiac arrest.

They stressed that the numbers accounted only for cardiac arrest victims who survive long enough to be admitted to the hospital. Many people die before then.

July 13th

improving the odds.

My family all know what to do when they witness a sudden cardiac arrest: if the victim is non-responsive and not breathing normally, they call 911, they get the victim on a hard, flat surface with the head tilted back, and they begin compressing the chest at least two inches deep at a rate between 100 and 120 compressions per minute, and they defibrillate the victim promptly if there is an AED available and immediately resume compressions. If there is no AED available, they don't stop compressions until someone else takes over.

But there's a problem with this: if they perform chest compressions the way they would be taught in an AHA or ARC or just about any other course, they won't be able to sustain the target compression rate and depth until the ambulance gets there. Most people cannot provide adequate chest compressions for three minutes. The longest I've seen is an Army Ranger Medic who lasted a little more than nine minutes.

July 12th

Green Mile Actor Suffers Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Michael Clarke Duncan is in the intensive care unit at an L.A. hospital after going into cardiac arrest this morning ... and might have died if not for the swift action of his girlfriend Omarosa Manigault. 

Manigault discovered the "Green Mile" actor in a state of cardiac arrest just before 2:00 AM. 

She performed CPR and was able to resuscitate the 54-year-old. 

Duncan was transported to a nearby hospital where he was immediately admitted to the ICU. 

His heart rate is now stable and Manigault is by his side. Doctors are performing tests to figure out why the actor's heart stopped in the first place. 

"According to doctors, Michael Clarke Duncan is now stable and we look forward to his full recovery."


July 10th

It's time to re-think CPR.

I believe that if the BLS curriculum were changed to teach what current resuscitation science teaches, many tens of thousand more people in North America would survive cardiac arrests than currently do. ("Survive" means "Get discharged from the hospital with major brain functions intact - i.e., with a CPC score of 1 or 2.")

Very few people perform CPR properly: the rate is too slow, the interruptions are too frequent and too long, and the compression depth is too shallow. There are ways to increase significantly the length of time that an average person can perform CPR correctly.

The CARES data shows us that two-thirds of all out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur in the home. Survival data shows that two percent of OOHSCA's occurring in the home have a survival outcome.

The Pheonix, AZ Airport has averaged a 75% survival rate for ten years.

Perhaps it's time to re-think what we take on faith as being the solution to the problem.


July 9th

Therapeutic Hypothermia Preserves Heart and Brain Function

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, MI--On the morning of June 10, 58-year-old Bill Van Vianen went for a routine run near his home at the picturesque Dodge Park in Sterling Heights; the beginning of a day that was to include watching his grandson compete in a sporting event.

But a little more than an hour later, the fitness buff and marathoner was admitted as a John Doe to Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Clinton Township — the victim of a heart attack that he, and everyone close to him, found beyond inexplicable.

“I love to run, and fitness has been a big part of my life since high school,” said Van Vianen, who works as a mechanic for the U.S. postal Service.

“I eat right — I don’t eat red meat,” he said. “But now, I can’t even remember what happened to me.”

July 8th

PA Law Aims to Raise Awareness About Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Her father’s death at age 26 from sudden cardiac arrest automatically put Janel Simmers into a high-risk category that meant close surveillance by a cardiologist and yearly heart screenings. 

At age 13, after a screening picked up a problem, she was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy — thickening of the walls of the heart — and not allowed to play sports anymore. 

July 6th

It Takes a Team to Save a Life

Ronald P. Danner, PhD, University Park, PA – 72 at time of event (2012)

Daria Oller, Alison Krajewski, Ron DannerIt was right after noon on Good Friday, April 13, 2012, in University Park, PA. Daria Oller, DPT, ATC, PT, CSCS, a PhD Candidate in Kinesiology - Athletic Training and Sports Medicine at Penn State, and Alison Krajewski, MS, ATC, Athletic Training Instructor, were in their academic offices when a squash instructor came running, asking for help. Someone had collapsed on the nearby squash courts. The instructor had already called 9-1-1, but he knew the athletic trainers could help.

Oller rushed to the victim’s side and Krajewski followed with a breathing mask. The 72-year-old man had been down for about five minutes. There was no normal breathing, no pulse, and his skin was “a deep shade of purple.”

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