Archive - Jul 2010 - SCA Article

Archive - Jul 2010 - SCA Article

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July 28th

Chest Compressions: Just Do It!

Studies support bystanders not using mouth-to-mouth breathing

If you haven't been well-trained in CPR and you see someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), just doing chest compressions to help keep the blood flowing can be as effective as CPR that includes mouth-to-mouth breathing, new research claims.

Two new studies, appearing in the July 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, found that when bystanders were instructed by emergency dispatchers to give either standard CPR, which includes mouth-to-mouth breathing, or chest-compression-only CPR, survival rates were similar between the two techniques.

Experts hope that by simplifying the procedure and removing the mouth-to-mouth contact that more bystanders might be willing to attempt CPR.

July 26th

AEDs Contributed to Livingston County, MI, Law Enforcement

Livingston County’s nine law enforcement agencies now have another tool in the
trunk to help save lives. Thanks to community and business contributions, a
“Jump Start the Heart” campaign led by Michigan State Police at the Brighton
Post, Livingston County EMS and the Sheriff’s Department was an overwhelming
success and has resulted in the purchase of 23 Automated External
Defibrillators (AEDs). They’ll be placed in patrol cars across the county and
in the event of a cardiac arrest when a police officer shows up on scene first,
law enforcement can start CPR and then apply the AEDs. The portable emergency
medical equipment helps return the human heart to a normal beat during a heart
attack or other emergencies and help with the survival rates of cardiac arrest.
A demonstration on how the devices work was provided at a presentation this
morning at EMS headquarters.

Another Piece of the Puzzle

Sick sinus syndrome occurs when the electrical activity of the sinoatrial node – the heart’s pacemaker – is impaired. Sudden cardiac death occurs after an abrupt loss of consciousness within an hour of the onset of acute symptoms – often at night when the heart rate slows dramatically – and can affect the healthy elderly and well-trained athletes.

The protein SCN5A is involved in the generation of electrical activity in the heart, and scientists at the Universities of Manchester and Bristol found that mutation in this gene disrupts the heart’s normal rhythm.

“We did not know why some people with sick sinus syndrome would die suddenly, but now we know why risk can increase at night during sleep. Our findings may be an important step towards ways of preventing this,” said Professor Henggui Zhang from Manchester.

Cooling SCA Survivors: Key to Successful Post Arrest Care

While hypothermia has been used during cardiac bypass since the 1950s, its use in the post-cardiac arrest setting had been unsuccessful until recently

By Jon C. Rittenberger, MD

Cardiac arrest is the most common cause of death in North America, resulting in approximately 350,000 deaths per year. For in-patients successfully resuscitated from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, care is frequently withdrawn because of severe neurologic injury.

Consequently, survival following cardiac arrest is low nationwide, ranging from 3 to 16 percent. One potent therapy to reduce neurologic injury following cardiac arrest is therapeutic hypothermia — decreasing the body's temperature from 98.6° to approximately 91°F.

Maggie Dixon Classic Scheduled for December 19 in NYC

The two-time defending national champion University of Connecticut Huskies, who have won 78 straight games, will return to the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York for the second time during the 2010-11 season. It is an event that pays tribute to the former Army head coach who died due to arrhythmia April 6, 2006. It is also an event that UConn coach Geno Auriemma would participate in every year if he had the opportunity.

The Huskies will meet Ohio State in the second game of the doubleheader Dec. 19. Rutgers and Texas A&M will meet in the opener.

UConn defeated Penn State 77-63 in its first appearance Dec. 14, 2008.

Tickets will go on sale Thursday at noon, starting at $15. They can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, all Ticketmaster outlets and on-line at

How to Save a Life: Good Morning America Reports on Sudden Cardiac Arrest

“Good Morning America,” today reported on
sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), emphasizing the importance of prompt use of
automated external defibrillators (AEDs) when SCA strikes. ABC News’ senior
health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser demonstrated the proper way to use
AEDs, noting that 50,000 lives can be saved each year if an AED is used
properly. He also said SCA is entirely different from a heart attack and almost
always leads to death if someone does not intervene within a few minutes of the
victim’s collapse. In addition, he said lay bystanders should not shy away from
helping because of legal liability concerns, since they are protected by Good
Samaritan legislation.

While the devices are intuitive to use, Besser recommended
training in CPR and AED use, so potential rescuers are more comfortable with
intervening when sudden cardiac emergencies occur.

July 13th

Dick Cheney Recuperates from Heart Surgery

Former Vice President Dick Cheney says he underwent heart surgery last week and is recuperating.

a statement, Cheney said he had been experiencing increasing congestive
heart failure and after consultations with his doctors, he had received
an implantable pump, to improve heart function. He said the operation
went well and he is recuperating.

The pump, a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), is a battery-operated, mechanical
device that helps maintain the
pumping ability of a heart that can't work effectively on its own. It is often used as a bridge to a heart transplant.

The 69-year-old Cheney has a long history of heart disease. Cheney's heart attack earlier this year was his fifth since age 37.

July 8th

Paramedic Students Use Social Media and Humor to Raise Awareness of CPR and AEDs

Paramedic Students Use Social Media and Humor to Raise
Awareness of CPR and AEDs

Pittsburgh, Penn. – The Sudden Cardiac
Arrest Foundation today announced the grand prize winner of its You Can Save a
Life Video Awareness Contest. The student competition invited teams to submit
videos about the impact of sudden cardiac arrest and the importance of CPR and
automated external defibrillators (AEDs), empowering students and communities
to make a difference in helping to save lives.

July 6th

Won't You Be My Neighbor?...Won't You Learn How to Save a Life?

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation is thrilled to announce its annual awards reception, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?...Won’t You Learn How to Save a Life?, to take place on October 7, 5:30-7:30 PM, at the Rivers Club, One Oxford Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The event will honor survivors of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and the neighborly rescuers whose quick and courageous actions made the difference between life and death.

July 5th

Scientists Reveal Mystery of Sudden Cardiac Death During Sleep

Scientists at The University of Manchester have solved a mystery connected with why people die from sudden cardiac arrest during sleep – potentially saving thousands of lives.

The pioneering research, using detailed computer models, could help save lives through preventative treatment of those most at risk from a form of heart rhythm disorder called sick sinus syndrome.

This occurs when the activity of the heart’s pacemaker, the sinoatrial node, is impaired. Up to now, no-one has been able to work out why this happens.

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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