Archive - 2008 - Blog entry

Archive - 2008 - Blog entry

December 10th

You Can Save a Life at School

A Message from the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation

We see it in the news far too often: A student is at football practice, or playing lacrosse, or just walking to class when he suddenly collapses and dies from sudden cardiac arrest.

When a tragedy like this happens, people often think there’s nothing they can do. But there is: Immediate treatment—before paramedics arrive—with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, and an automated external defibrillator, or AED, gives the victim the best chance at life.

Schools exist for the purpose of preparing young people for life. Doesn’t it make sense that schools themselves should be prepared to save a life?

November 3rd

Max's Champions' Night!~

Last Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, we witnessed a public "thank you" by the SCAF for saving a pretty special guy, Maxwell King.....a good friend of mine.  Many SCA survivors can say..."been there, done that" but seldom are what the original survivors called "champions" hailed publically.  As Martha Stewart would say "This is a good thing!" 

August 12th

Bystander CPR and Public Access Defibrillation

My name is Matthew O’Donnell I am a Firefighter and Paramedic in the city of Warwick, RI.  I am also an Account Executive for Emergency Medical Group (EMG) a company that specializes in Public Access Defibrillation programs.

August 1st

The Russert Effect

One of my best friends called a few weeks ago and asked, “So how is Tim Russert’s case affecting you and the foundation’s efforts to raise awareness about saving lives?”

I told her that despite the very tragic news of his sudden death, the good news is that people are talking about heart attacks and other causes of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). We spoke about how much media coverage there has been on the topic. 

Then she said something that caught me completely off-guard. “So, do you want to know how it is affecting me?” "Sure," I said, wondering where this was going.

July 10th

My arrest

I was at work one night when a coworker came to my cubicle.  He then ran into the computer room, and told them I "looked funny."  I imagine I did: I had no heart beat, and wasn't breathing. I was very lucky that my fellow workers were able to start CPR and call 911 right away. I was brought back to life four times that night.  I spent 14 days in the hospital, another 7 in a nursing home.  It wasn't a nursing home for people expected to recover, as nearly as I can tell, but the home of many medicaid patients.  I was told I was unusual because I was so young (52), there for my heart, and didn't have family issues or homelessness to cope with.  The physical therapy was laughable.

July 7th

Sean O'Hara golf tournament

Thanks everyone for having the Sean O'Hara golf tournament in memory of Sean's birthday.  He is a very special young man who is very missed.

July 5th

Tim Russert's Legacy

The following letter from the SCA Foundation was published in The New York Times, Tuesday, July 1, 2008.

To the Editor:

July 3rd

Tim Russert's Legacy

The following letter was published in The New York Times, Tuesday, July 1, 2008.

To the Editor:

Re: From a Prominent Death, Some Painful Truths,” (June 24) 

The day that Tim Russert died, about 500 others suffered sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and most victims died. The 30 or so who survived know they are alive and well today because Good Samaritans at the scene called 911, gave cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and used an automated external defibrillator (AED)—within minutes of their collapse.

Tim’s death may not have been preventable, given his extensive underlying coronary artery disease. But for hundreds of thousands of people who suffer SCA each year in the U.S., death does not have to be a permanent condition. The victim can be brought back to life if someone at the scene takes action. Perhaps the best way to honor Tim’s legacy is to learn CPR and how to use an AED.

June 30th

How to Save A Life

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), often misunderstood as a massive heart attack, is a treatable condition that does not have to lead to sudden death. When someone suffers SCA, he or she may be fine one minute and then collapse without warning the next. Without immediate intervention, the victim almost always dies. SCA is the leading cause of death in the U.S., affecting more people than breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, AIDS, traffic accidents, house fires and gunshot wounds combined. Only 6-7% survive SCA nationally--but 50% or more could survive. You can make the difference between life and death for someone you care about by knowing what to do and doing it quickly.


June 15th

A tragic reminder of the National CPR/AED week, could Tim Russert have been saved?

 Many newspapers ran stories about the first annual National CPR/AED week. Congress set aside the first week in June to spotlight how lives can be saved if more Americans know CPR and how to use an AED (a defibrillator).

Now we have many stories of the tragedy of a high profile public figure struck down by cardiac arrest that may have been prevented through the availability and use of an AED. Details may be forthcoming, but the story so far is that Tim Russert did receive bystander CPR, but no defibrillation until the EMTs arrived some minutes after his collapse. This is all too common a situation and causes hundreds of deaths per day across the country.

Could Tim’s demise help us to save someone else? It’s all too easy, Call 9-1-1, and start CPR. Ask someone to get an AED, and then use it. They are simple and safe, even a child can do it.

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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