Archive - 2012

Archive - 2012

September 25th

Psychological Support Vital for ICD Patients

Depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder are common among people with implanted heart defibrillators, but improved patient education and ongoing psychological support can help them cope.

That's the message in a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association.

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) restores normal heart rhythm and prevents sudden cardiac death.

"A shock from an ICD can be lifesaving, but it can also affect a person's quality of life and psychological state," statement writing group chair Sandra Dunbar said in an AHA news release. "It's important to look at this issue now because 10,000 people have an ICD implanted each month. They range from older people with severe heart failure to healthy children who have a gene that increases the risk of sudden cardiac arrest."

You Can Make a Difference: Help Raise Awareness on October 3

Donate to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation through PIttsburgh Gives on October 3 and The Pittsburgh Foundation will provide additional funding

PITTSBURGH, PA--In 2008, Congress declared October "National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month." Now, four years--and more than a million deaths later--many people still do not understand that sudden cardiac arrest, which differs from a heart attack, affects more than 1,000 people each day, and on average, fewer than 1 in 10 victims survive. 

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, a national 501(c)3 charitable organization based in Pittsburgh, is working diligently to change this dynamic.

September 24th

Student Athletes at Upper Dublin, PA, High School Undergo Heart Screening

All day Sunday, the cafeteria at Upper Dublin High School was filled with student athletes of every stripe.

Soccer or football, gymnastics or field hockey - it didn't matter the sport. All were drawn for the same reason: to make sure their hearts were strong enough for athletics.

The free public screening was sponsored by Simon's Fund, a local nonprofit that raises awareness of sudden cardiac arrest.

Exercise can reveal underlying heart defects in teens and younger children that can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, chest pain, heart palpitations, and death.

At Upper Dublin, more than 300 students from ages 10 to 19 were screened by a team from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Each athlete was given an electrocardiogram that was reviewed immediately by hospital pediatric cardiologist Victoria Vetter. If Vetter saw anything abnormal in the results, she would refer the child for additional testing.

September 23rd

Varsity Runner Survives Heart Scare Because Her School Was Prepared

MALVERN, PA--Phil Genther has been coaching track and cross country for 36 years, including 18 at his current post directing the girls’ programs at Villa Maria Academy, a tiny Catholic school in Malvern, Pennsylvania. During his nearly 40-year career, Genther has seen his share of athletes suffer injuries and other unfortunate occurrences that are associated with running.

At the last two PIAA Cross-Country Championships, he witnessed a pair of athletes get hit by deer while out on the trails.

But there is nothing that compares to what the 60-year-old coach had to experience back on Sept. 13 with one of his top varsity runners. It’s something that very few coaches have ever had to witness during their tenures.

Genther was down at the school’s track, directing his squad through a rare tempo run, when junior Blair Allan, a tall, slender harrier collapsed during the cool-down period.

September 22nd

Janet's Law Signed Into Law: Requires AEDs in N.J. Schools

WARREN TWP. – Janet’s Law, named for the Warren Township cheerleader, Janet Zilinski, 11, who died in August 2006 at cheerleader practice from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), was signed into law on Friday, Sept. 21, by Gov. Chris Christie.

The legislation was sponsored by Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick, R-Somerset-Morris and Somerset, whose 21st Legislative District includes Warren Township, Watchung and Long Hill Township.

Either they had an AED at the field and the reporter did not mention it, or....

Here's the logic flow: If an MD was doing CPR, it was because the student had suffered an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest. If the student was in the ER, awaiting transfer to an appropriate hospital, an AED was used on him, because it's extremely rare that someone's heart will spontaneously resume beating when treated only with CPR. If an AED was used at the scene before EMS arrived, there's a really good chance that the child will survive with major brain functions intact. If they had to wait for the ambulance to arrive and use their defibrillator, the odds of a good outcome are a lot lower. There's no way to tell from the story whether or not there was an AED on scene, but the story does give us an opportunity to reflect that there should always be an AED at every athletic match or practice. The article starts below.

September 21st

So how does this example of 30% of arrests differ from the other 70%?

Longview student collapses at basketball practice
A student collapsed and briefly stopped breathing during an open basketball practice at Mark Morris High School in Longview.
The Associated Press

LONGVIEW, Wash. —
A student collapsed and briefly stopped breathing during an open basketball practice at Mark Morris High School in Longview.

A coach and parent gave CPR Sunday to 16-year-old Spencer Best of Longview until paramedics arrived and used a heart defibrillator.

His father, Rich Best, told The Daily News (http://is.gd/fRM2vn) Spencer will remain in intensive care for a couple more days this week at Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center in Portland.

He says Spencer is alert and communicating. He says the men who gave him CPR saved his life.

---

Information from: The Daily News, http://www.tdn.com

How does this differ? Somebody did something before the ambulance got to the scene.

CPR + Prompt Defibrillation Really Works - at least ten times better than not doing anything!

A Tucson woman saves her husband with hands-only CPR
Posted: Sep 21, 2012 11:21 AM by Ryan Haarer
Updated: Sep 21, 2012 11:21 AM
KVOA.com

TUCSON- With over 380,000 cardiac arrests every year only about 70 percent of people know how to do CPR, according to the American Heart Association.

Recently a Tucson family had quite a scare. E.J. Marx felt chest and arm pain during a soccer game. His wife Whitney got him and their infant son Kahn into the car. On the way to the hospital, E.J. went into cardiac arrest.

Whitney handled the situation perfectly. She called 911, pulled E.J. out of the car and began chest compressions. She continued until emergency responders arrived.

E.J. spent two weeks in a coma, but is thankful his wife knew what to do, as it probably saved his life.

September 20th

Thin Placenta Might Be Linked to Sudden Cardiac Arrest Later in Life

 

Reduced nutrients, impaired development of fetus may raise risk in adulthood, study suggests.

Being born to a mother with a thin placenta -- the organ that nourishes the fetus -- may increase the chances of developing sudden cardiac death as an adult, new research suggests.

"People [born to mothers] with the thinnest placentas were twice as likely to have sudden cardiac death," said study author Dr. David Barker, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Oregon Health & Science University.

The report is published online Sept. 19 in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Up to 5 million people a year worldwide die of sudden cardiac death, according to study background information.

September 8th

From WFTV: the best SCA vs AMI explanation I've seen in the media - too often they write "heart attack" when they mean SCA.

Cardiac Concerns: Saving Kids from Sudden Death

FLORIDA — WHAT CAUSES SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST:Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. If this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. SCA is not the same as a heart attack. A heart attack occurs if blood flow to part of the heart muscle is blocked. During a heart attack, the heart usually doesn't suddenly stop beating. SCA, however, may happen after or during recovery from a heart attack. People who have heart disease are at higher risk for SCA. However, SCA can happen in people who appear healthy and have no known heart disease or other risk factors for SCA. Certain diseases and conditions can cause the electrical problems that lead to SCA. Examples include coronary heart disease (CHD), also called coronary artery disease; severe physical stress; certain inherited disorders; and structural changes in the heart. (Source: nhlbi.nih.gov)

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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