Archive - Sep 2012 - Campaign Article

Archive - Sep 2012 - Campaign Article

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September 28th

Cardiac Arrests in Schools Usually Affects Adults, Not Students

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Student athletes collapsing from cardiac arrest in the middle of a game may grab headlines, but when someone's heart gives up at a school, it's usually not a youngster's.

In a new five-year study, researchers from Michigan found that only two out of 47 cardiac arrests at K-12 schools occurred during sports events. In fact, as many as a third of cases happened after 5 pm and mostly in adults.

"Schools are community-gathering places, and two-thirds of our cases were adults," said Dr. Robert Swor, an emergency physician at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Royal Oak.

His findings, based on registries and interviews with bystanders and school officials across the country, show that fewer than two out of every 1,000 cardiac arrests overall happen at K-12 schools. Sixteen of the 47 cardiac arrests at schools involved minors.

September 26th

University of Ottawa Student Recovering from Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Paramedics and the University of Ottawa are crediting quick-thinking bystanders and a public defibrillator for helping a young man who suffered a cardiac arrest on Tuesday afternoon.

The 23-year-old was studying on the third floor of the university's Montpetit Hall at about 2:15 p.m. when his heart stopped.

Other students, staff and campus safety officers rushed to help.

A student nearby used an emergency phone to call security, who called 911. Over the phone, an emergency dispatcher gave CPR instructions to the group.

A public defibrillator unit was then found in a nearby lab.

"They administered one shock and then one of our paramedics arrived on scene and administered another. They continued CPR and after a third shock was delivered, he had a spontaneous return of pulse and was breathing on his own," said paramedic superintendent Stephanie Logan.

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.

September 7th

I’m Much Safer Now.

Evan Piekara

Evan Piekara, Queens, NY – 24 at time of event (2008)

Teach for America* nearly lost one of their stars. Just one month after his 24th birthday, Evan collapsed on the St John’s University basketball court. He’d had a trying month, twenty days straight without a break, and this was his first day off. It became a longer time-out than planned.

That July afternoon he fell to the ground after a particularly satisfying basket. Everyone stopped and stared. Someone thought to call security. Steve Ptacek arrived in minutes and brought an AED with him. He started CPR since Evan had no pulse, and wasn’t breathing, just making a strange gasping sound. The AED could not restore a rhythm. Evan was dying. Fit, healthy and energetic, this young man was slipping away and yet everything possible was being done to save him.

Master Swimmers Don't Die…

Brian Duffield

Brian Duffield, Tucson, AZ – 40 at time of event (2006)

Brian is a member of a US Masters Swimmer group. There are about forty of them in Tucson that get together regularly and swim their hearts out at the University of Arizona pool. Well, on this particular Tuesday morning Brian nearly did! About half way into the session he didn’t feel at all well, and got out of the pool with an unusual fatigue. He decided to finish for the day and shower. That was when his chin hit the floor. He doesn’t know anything about it as he was unconscious at the time. Luckily, a young lad witnessed the fall and raised the alarm.

Circle of Life That Nearly Wasn’t

Liz Pearlman

Liz Pearlman, Aurora, IL – 20 at time of event (2009)

What would you like for your 21st birthday? How about a wearable defibrillator? Liz had to wear one for three months, think of a bullet-proof vest, add a canteen sized battery and you get the idea. Why would she need or even want that? A few weeks earlier, she had been practicing for the varsity basketball team and doing a “circle of life” sprinting exercise to earn her jersey. She had five seconds to go and suffered a cardiac arrest.
“I was on my back and Terry Smith [the athletic trainer] said ‘Get up!’ Then he saw my eyes roll into the back of my head. He immediately started CPR,” Liz said. “And, he called for an ambulance and an AED, which we had right outside our gym.”

The Team Rules, OK!

Kayla Burt

Kayla Burt, Portland, OR - 20 at time of event, 2002

It was New Years Eve, and her basketball team was staying over to celebrate. But Kayla never saw the festivities. She had freshly brushed teeth, and a brush with death. Loree Payne, her best friend, watched Kayla fall face down between the bed and the TV—they all thought it was a joke. But it wasn’t. None of her teammates knew CPR, but they’d seen it on TV. How hard could it be? Someone called 9-1-1, and luckily the operator gave instructions on the correct technique. The EMTs were there within minutes. Kayla is proud that she lived in Seattle. That city is the best in the country for cardiac arrest survival, chiefly because of their Medic One program.

A College Student’s Story of Survival

Paula Milliner

Paula Milliner, Indianapolis, IN – 20 at time of event (2004)

For most college students facing their 21st birthday, plans for celebration and exciting thoughts for experiencing new places and people are the common theme. Unfortunately in my case, thoughts of survival and whether I was ever going to maintain a normal lifestyle at 20 were at the forefront of my contemplations. At the age of 15, I was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a disease that is rare to most, but commonly runs in my family. Like most young teenagers I didn’t really think anything of it or that it would actually have a significant effect on my life. Surely, it wouldn’t put me in the hospital until I was in the 60’s.

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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