Archive - 2013

Archive - 2013

November 25th

Northport Family Raises Focus on AEDs

Karen and John Acompora pulled up to an Amityville elementary school they had never visited, to meet a girl they did not know.

A few weeks earlier, 12-year-old Kiavelyn Altagracia, a seventh-grader at Edmund W. Miles Middle School in Amityville, collapsed on the sideline during her soccer practice. She was unconscious and barely had a pulse, said her coach, Isha Hamilton, who started CPR.

Within minutes, Hamilton used an automated external defibrillator, more commonly known as an AED. The machine the size of a laptop computer told her to keep doing chest compressions and rescue breathing.

"She took a deep gasp, and I felt a very faint pulse," Hamilton said. Kiavelyn slowly regained consciousness.

The AED was on the field because of the Acomporas of Northport, whose son Louis died on March 25, 2000, after a ball hit him in the chest during his first high school lacrosse game. There was no AED on hand.

Surrogates Often Make Call to Deactivate Heart Devices

People who have implanted heart devices rarely have advance directives indicating whether they want them deactivated near the end of life, according to a new study. So the decision often has to be made by loved ones.

So-called cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) are used to treat arrhythmias, conditions in which the heart beats too fast, too slow or in an irregular pattern.

Pacemakers are the most basic type of CIED. They use electrical pulses to keep the heart beating regularly.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) function as pacemakers, too. But they are also able to deliver electrical shocks to the heart whenever a dangerous rhythm is detected.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have an implanted device that keeps their heart beating properly, even when they are extremely ill and at the end of life.

MCUL Launches Life-Saving Project: An AED in Every Michigan Credit Union Branch

LANSING, MI--With their guiding philosophy of "people helping people," credit unions like to think of themselves as being at the hearts of their communities, and thanks to a new program they are taking that commitment literally. The Michigan Credit Union League wants to make sure credit union members and employees have the best possible chance of survival in the event of a cardiac emergency, which is why the league has partnered with ZOLL automated external defibrillators with the aim of getting an AED placed in every Michigan credit union. 

According to Community West Credit Union CEO Jon Looman, who had (sudden cardiac arrest) and collapsed while teaching an indoor cycling class last year, he survived thanks to an AED, and now plans to order one for every one of his credit union's branches.

November 24th

New Jersey Bill to Protect Student Athletes from Risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Clears Assembly Panel

PARAMUS, NJ--Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Tim Eustace, Mila M. Jasey and Marlene Caride to help prevent sudden cardiac arrest among student athletes by educating students, parents and coaches about the warning signs and mandating the removal of student athletes who exhibit such symptoms during a sporting activity was approved Monday by an Assembly panel.

“While sudden cardiac arrest can strike anyone who is idle, the risk is much greater in competitive athletes,” said Eustace (D-Bergen). “It is vital that student athletes and the adults charged with their care are informed so that they can recognize the problem signs before they become fatal.”

November 23rd

Teeth Called Lacking on Defibrillator Law

BOSTON, MA--Kingston officials, gym users, and health advocates agree the state law requiring gyms and fitness clubs to have defibrillators on site and staff trained to use them is an important life-saving tool, but they say there’s a lack of inspections and enforcement to ensure the devices work properly.

“There needs to be enforcement of the state law,” said Kingston Fire Chief Robert Heath, after his department was called by the town’s health office to inspect the readiness of a local gym’s defibrillator following complaints that the device’s electrode pads were long past their expiration date.

“It’s a wonderful mandate, but they need to put some teeth into it,” he said.

November 22nd

Hundreds of Defibrillators Being Installed Around British Columbia

VANCOUVER, BC--A partnership between the province and the Heart and Stroke Foundation is hoping to help lower the number of British Columbians who die from cardiac arrest every year.

Four hundred and fifty defibrillators, or AEDs, are now being installed in public places around the province.

Diego Marchese with the Heart and Stroke Foundation says the machines are easy enough for anyone to use in an emergency. “The important thing here is not to hesitate and to give CPR and an AED. Really, it’s about three simple steps. Number one is call 9-1-1, number two is do CPR, number three is use an AED.”

He says studies show survival rates can increase by 75 per cent if CPR and a defibrillator are used within five minutes.

Deputy Saves Two Lives in One Day


CULPEPER, VA--Some law enforcement officers might be asked to perform life saving measures twice in their careers — for one Culpeper County Sheriff's office deputy he had to do it twice in one day.

Deputy C.H. Wheeler saved the lives of two citizens on Thursday, utilizing training he received and his office-issued automated external defibrillator.

Boulder's Max Dorfman, 18, Secures Grant for Defibrillators

BOULDER, CO--Fairview High School senior Max Dorfman learned of the lifesaving power of automated external defibrillators in 2010 when his father, a doctor, was involved in using one of the devices to restart the heart of a 13-year-old boy who collapsed while running the Bolder Boulder.

Dorfman didn't witness the incident but said his father told him that anyone with access to one of the easy-to-operate devices, commonly called AEDs, could have saved the boy's life.

"Thinking more of really why this kid was saved, it was a little device that can shock your heart and bring it back into normal rhythm," said Dorfman, 18.

In 2012, he said, he began noticing a lack of AEDs in places he thought they belonged, such as gyms and schools. He started researching AED availability in Boulder County, then launched efforts to bring them to more businesses and public facilities in hopes they could save lives.

November 21st

Families Grateful for At-Work Access to Youth Cardiac, Concussion Screenings

Centegra Health System Offers Youth Screening for Sage Products families

Athletic Trainer Saves High School Student

LAS VEGAS, NV--A Liberty High School student and his family have a lot to be thankful this Thanksgiving, after his life was saved by a trainer and critical piece of equipment.

Athletic trainer Scott Tschan used an AED, which stands for Automated External Defibrillator, to revive the teen wrestler after he collapsed in the school's gym.

Tschan said, "I was just hoping that it was going to work. The kid had a heart condition, that no matter how many times I would have pressed on his chest, no matter how many compressions, it wouldn't have worked. He needed the electrical impulse of the AED."

Tschan is trained to use an AED, but it was the first time he had to use one.

Every high school has two AEDs, required by state law.

Since 2004, they have been used to save nearly half a dozen lives.

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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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