Archive - Nov 2007 - SCA Article

Archive - Nov 2007 - SCA Article

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November 27th

Wedding Guests Save Bride's Grandfather

November 27, 2007–ASPEN–Bobby Cluck and Terri Dangler’s wedding reception in Buttermilk, Colorado, was winding down when the grandfather of the bride, Paul Copsey, collapsed in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) on the dance floor.

As Copsey’s daughters knelt at his side, two wedding guests performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a third retrieved an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Amy Covington and her husband, Rob, immediately started two-person CPR. She is a physician’s assistant at Aspen Medical Care and Rob has experience with CPR from the military.

Another wedding guest, Mike Lyons, a paramedic with the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department, carried an AED in his truck and ran to retrieve it. Lyons used the AED to restore a normal heartbeat, and by the time the ambulance arrived, Copsey had regained consciousness.

November 26th

Driving is Safe for ICD Patients

November 26, 2007­­–BOSTON–Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) pose no special risks for heart patients who drive, researchers report in the December 4th issue of Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“What this confirms is what we already thought—that overall there is not a huge risk in this population,” said study lead author Dr. Christine M. Albert, director for the Center for Arrhythmia Prevention at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

About 50,000 defibrillators are implanted annually in the United States. Among the famous recipients is Vice President Dick Cheney, who experienced an irregular heartbeat Monday and was being examined by his doctors.

There have been worries that the shock delivered by the device to correct an abnormal heartbeat might be dangerous for drivers, Albert said.

America's Safest Airport?

Airline Employee, Passenger Save Holiday Traveler at Sky Harbor

November 26, 2007–Phoenix, AZ–A 62-year-old man from Ohio was saved by a fellow passenger and an airline employee using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and an automated External Defibrillator (AED) while on board a plane departing Sky Harbor over the Thanksgiving Holiday.

The man was on board a Mesa Airlines flight, operating as US Airways Express, last Wednesday evening (Nov. 21). The man collapsed in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) as the plane was pulling out from the gate, preparing for takeoff. Another passenger, an off-duty paramedic, checked the man for a pulse and began CPR when he did not detect a heartbeat. The pilot pulled the plane back to the gate. A quick-thinking Mesa Airlines employee retrieved an AED, activated it, then continued CPR.

November 17th

President Vetoes AED Funding

November 17, 2007–WASHINGTON, CD–The House of Representatives has failed to override President George W. Bush's Veto of the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill, which would have provided $ 2.5 million to fund the Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program. The appropriations would have included an allocation of $200,000 to fund an information clearinghouse designed to increase public access to defibrillation in schools, as requested in the Automated Defibrillators in Adam’s Memory (ADAM) Act.

November 11th

British Survivor and MP Promotes AEDs on European Airlines

November 11, 2007­–LONDON–A Member of Parliament (MP) who almost died on a plane is demanding new laws to force airlines to carry life-saving equipment. Liberal Democrat Paul Keetch was technically dead for seven minutes after having suffering cardiac arrest on a flight from London to a NATO meeting in the States.

The cabin crew on the Virgin Atlantic flight saved his life by using a £1,000 defibrillator to restart his heart. Keetch, 46, is now spearheading moves to force all airlines to carry the machines and train staff to use them.

“When I collapsed with chest pains a Brazilian medic on the plane tried heart massage. But it was the cabin crew’s use of a defibrillator that saved my life. I was technically dead for seven minutes,” he said. “These machines (automated external defibrillators or AEDs) should be installed on all aircraft and staff given the training to use them.”

November 9th

Merck Agrees to $4.85 Billion Verdict Involving SCA Victims Who Used VIOXX

November 9, 2007–MONTGOMERY, AL–After more than five years of hard-fought and difficult litigation, Merck has agreed to pay $4.85 billion, the largest pharmaceutical settlement in history, to resolve certain VIOXX®-related claims involving plaintiffs who used the pain reliever and suffered a stroke, a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest.

The litigation involving product liability claims has been ongoing for more than five years. It is estimated that thousands personal of injury lawsuits were filed. In light of significant costs and delay that would result in protracted litigation, the settlement will ensure that those who suffered injuries as a result of VIOXX® are compensated fairly and efficiently.

November 8th

Women Have More Complications from ICD Therapy than Men

November 8, 2007–ORLANDO–Women have nearly a 70 percent greater risk of suffering major in-hospital complications than men after implantation of a cardioverter-defibrillator, researchers reported here.

“We found that major complications occurred about 1.1 percent of the time in men and 2 percent of the time in women," Pamela Peterson, M.D., of the Denver Health Medical Center and the University of Colorado, told attendees at the American Heart Association meeting.

That represents about a 69% increased risk, a statistically significant difference, she said.

The major complications included cardiac arrest, perforation of the heart, heart valve injury, coronary venous dissection, hemothorax, pneumothorax, deep phlebitis, transient ischemic attack or stroke, tamponade, myocardial infarction and arteriovenous fistula.

University of Pittsburgh Cardiologists Identify New Cardiac Arrest Gene

November 8, 2007–PITTSBURGH–Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have identified a new gene responsible for a rare, inherited form of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), known as Brugada syndrome.

Brugada syndrome is a rare inherited arrhythmia, which is more commonly symptomatic in males. It can present with an abnormality on the electrocardiogram (ECG), fainting or sudden death. It impairs the heart’s natural electrical ability to beat in a coordinated manner and maintain a stable rhythm.

With the identification of this new gene, the researchers hope this will shed light on the more common forms of sudden death in patients with heart attacks and heart failure, and will help aid in the development of new, effective therapeutic treatments that will prevent all types of fatal arrhythmias.

November 7th

RethinQ: CRT Does Not Benefit HF Patients with Narrow QRS

November 7, 2007­–ORLANDO–Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) failed to provide any clinical benefit in heart failure (HF) patients with a “narrow” QRS interval and evidence of left ventricular mechanical dyssynchrony (1), the results of the Resynchronization Therapy in Normal QRS (RethinQ) trial reveal.

CRT did not increase the primary endpoint—improved six-month oxygen consumption at peak exercise capacity—beyond that with standard treatment. There was a significant improvement in New York Heart Association (NYHA) class with CRT, but lead RethinQ investigator John Beshai, MD, (University of Chicago, Illinois, USA) was quick to point out that this was not consistent with other secondary endpoint results, and that NYHA class is an unreliable measure.

November 5th

Survival from SCA Doubles when Public Has Access to AEDs

Study Supports Public Health Policies that Increase Access to AEDs

November 5, 2007–ORLANDO–Researchers now have evidence that at least 522 lives can be saved annually in the United States and Canada by the widespread placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

Results of the study, “Bystander-administered AED shock improves survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the U.S. and Canada,” were presented today at the American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions in Orlando. The findings are among the first conclusions to emerge from a landmark series of studies, known as the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) Trial, designed to reveal the best lifesaving techniques for cardiac emergencies.

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