Archive - Aug 2011 - Blog entry

Archive - Aug 2011 - Blog entry

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August 29th

Hygienist's CPR saves heart-attack victim after wreck

By Terry Evans
tevans [at] star-telegram [dot] com

Star-Telegram / Ron T. Ennis

Dental hygienist Julie Watson looks over debris outside the dental clinic where she works on Bryant Irvin Road. Watson is credited with saving the life of a heart-attack victim who slammed his car into the clinic.

FORT WORTH — A dental hygienist is credited with saving a heart-attack victim's life after the car he was driving slammed through the wall of the dentist's office where she works.

Julie Watson performed CPR and used an automatic defibrillator on the man after he was pulled from his vehicle and placed on the ground outside Dr. Gary Pointer's dental clinic on Bryant Irvin Road.

There's a large problem with 'presenting rhythm' statistics.

Here's the deal...

When you have a sudden cardiac arrest, your heart has already progressed from a perfusing rhythm to a non-perfusing rhythm.

i.e., your heart is not pumping blood to your brain, and you are clinically dead.

The tracking systems report the "initial rhythm" as whatever the rhythm was when the first person with an AED or Cardiac Monitor got their gear wired to the patient.

If the rhythm was "shockable" and the device was an AED, we know that it was one of two or more well-known rhythms.

If the rhythm was described in terms of the specific rhythm, the device used was a cardiac monitor.

The officially recorded presenting rhythm is reported as "shockable" if an AED fired a blast and as whatever the paramedic on scene saw if the EMTs were the first on the scene and attached a heart monitor.

August 24th

Some really interesting items in the CARES report

In no particular order, here are some punctuation marks from the CARES data for the past 4+ years.

By way of background, there are two significant categories of heart rhythm: shockable and un-shockable. The first chance we have of learning what a cardiac arrest victim's heart rhythm is occurs when an AED or cardiac monitor is first attached to the victim.

The length of time that passes between the victim's death and the attachment of a monitor / AED is extremely important because there is frequently a progression from one rhythm to another over time when someone arrests. For example, a victim might begin in a shockable rhythm when they died, and with the passage of a few minutes, they might have transitioned into an un-shockable rhythm.

Missing and Rusty the Chain of Survival

There's a nice, tidy guide to maximizing resuscitation success when someone has a sudden cardiac arrest: (1) immediately recognize the arrest for what it is and activate the 911 emergency response network; (2) immediately begin chest compressions; (3) promptly defibrillate the victim; (4) get the victim under Advanced Life Support care; and (5) provide early post-resuscitative care. It's called the Chain of Survival.

In some parts of the real world, however, there are a surprising number of rusty or missing links. What goes wrong?

August 22nd

It's important to know where to find AEDs on Airplanes, Trains, and other public places.

Train Passengers Perform CPR After Man Collapses at West Newton Station
After a man collapsed on the platform in West Newton, Commuter Rail passengers stepped in to help out.
By Melanie Graham

It was an exciting commute for a few passengers on the Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail line this morning.

David Perry, an Ashland resident, as well as Framingham resident Dean Bonis, helped perform CPR on a man at the West Newton station after the man collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.

"I knew I had the training and I knew what to do," Perry told Newton Patch.

Newton Fire Chief Paul Chagnon told Newton Patch this morning that the man was reported to be "awake and alert" in the hospital.

As the train pulled into the West Newton stop around 8 a.m., Perry and Bonis explained that someone ran onto their cars asking if there was a doctor available, as a man had just collapsed on the platform.

August 9th

What we'll see in the years ahead.

For those of us who got comfortably used to seeing changes in resuscitation science every five years, the past few years have seemed fast-paced. But the rate of change is accelerating. It's time to fasten your seat belt.

Thanks to the pioneering work of the past few years, we are now beginning to accumulate solid data on what works and what doesn't.

Here's what I suspect lies ahead:

First, the age of five-year updates is behind us. I think we'll see changes in resuscitation science guidelines far more frequently than every five years.

Second, a dirty little secret has surfaced: most people don't do CPR well enough. I think we will see an increasing focus on the quality of the resuscitation effort: fewer and shorter interruptions in chest compressions, compressions more compliant with the two inches or more guideline, and shorter pauses between the cessation of chest compressions and the delivery of the shock.

August 8th

No Wins, Too Many Losses

Football Deaths Should Be A Wake-Up Call for Parents and Other High School Stakeholders

What do high school football players Tyquan Brantley, 14, of South Carolina, Donaterio J. (D.J.) Searcy, 16, of Georgia, Isaiah Laurencin, 16, of Florida, Samuel Gitt, 17, of Pennsylvania, and high school football coach Wade McClain, 55, of Texas have in common? They all reached the end zone far too soon—crushed by a formidable opponent, sudden cardiac arrest.

Late summer’s brutal heat was said to be a factor in most of these recent deaths—temperatures have been among the warmest on record.

August 2nd

Kayla Burt died in 2002

Kayla Burt, a former University of Washington basketball star, died in 2002 of a sudden cardiac arrest and recently was hired as an outreach coordinator for The Hope Heart Institute, a nonprofit research and education organization in Bellevue.

Her recovery from death-by-SCA has been attributed to her teammates having performed CPR on her until the medics arrived.

In 2002, this was a rare happening. Today it is more common. Yet several hundred thousand people die every year in the U.S.A., just because it isn't common enough. If you haven't been trained in Bystander CPR in the past year, just go do it. You have a one-in-seven chance of seeing at least one sudden cardiac arrest in your lifetime, and when you do, it will most likely be a family member or friend.

Of all the lines you don't want to hear at a funeral, the worst is "I meant to take a CPR course, but hadn't gotten around to it."

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