Archive - 2010 - SCA Article

Archive - 2010 - SCA Article

April 15th

Study Shows Bystander Use of AEDs Saves Lives

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates Surge When AEDs Are Used Before EMS Arrival

Pittsburgh, Penn. – April 15, 2010 – Victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) who are treated with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) by bystanders have a much greater chance of survival than their counterparts, according to landmark research by the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium, just published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

April 13th

Oregon Study Finds Genetic Clue to Fight Sudden Cardiac Death

Dr. Sumeet Chugh of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles started the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study in 2002, when he was based at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. A study tracking Portland-area sudden cardiac arrests has revealed a gene variant that may protect against the unpredictable and deadly problem.

Since 2002, researchers leading the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study have gathered every relevant detail they can find on every case of sudden cardiac arrest that occurs in Multnomah County. In a new analysis, the researchers sequenced the genes of 424 cardiac arrest patients and compared them to sequences from 226 control subjects who had been diagnosed with coronary artery disease but never experienced a cardiac arrest.

Gene Mutation Can Lead to Cardiac Arrest in Epileptics

WASHINGTON — A gene mutation in the brain can trigger irregular heart beat and sudden death in people with epilepsy, according to a study released Tuesday. The research published in The Journal of Neuroscience offers clues as to why people with epilepsy who are otherwise healthy are more than 10 times more likely than the general population to die suddenly and unexpectedly. The research may also help identify people who are at risk of sudden cardiac arrest and provide improved treatment.

Scientists led by Jeffrey Noebels of the Baylor College of Medicine focused on "abnormal ion channels" in the brain that cause epilepsy and also put individuals at risk for sudden unexplained death. An ion channel is a protein that lets charged particles enter or leave a cell to generate electrical signals, a basic process of nerve cell communication. Noebels and his colleagues found that these channels are also required for proper heart function.

April 12th

Indiana Survivor Thanks IUPUI Natatorium Lifeguards

months ago, Don Weir collapsed in the locker room after going for a swim at the
IUPUI Natatorium. Several lifeguards rushed into action doing CPR and heart
compressions, then shocking his heart with a defibrillator until paramedics
arrived. Weir doesn't
remember the frightening moment. But he says he'll never forget the young men
and women who saved him.

"I was
overwhelmed when I found out what happened. It's taken awhile to recover. First
thing I wanted to do was to get back and thank the kids that saved my

Older Age Associated with Risk of Complications, Death After Implantation of Cardiac Devices

Older patients may
be more likely to die in the hospital following the implantation of
defibrillators or pacemakers, according to a report in the April 12 issue of Archives
of Internal Medicine
, one of the
JAMA/Archives journals. More than one-fifth of cardiac devices appear to be
implanted in individuals age 80 and older, despite the fact that most clinical
trials have not included adults in this age group.

April 8th

Paradise Valley Hospital Named Cardiac Arrest Center

Phoenix, Ariz. –Paradise Valley Hospital recently received notification of recognition as a Cardiac Arrest Center from the Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma System. Additionally, Paradise Valley Hospital is also recognized and accredited as a Chest Pain Center.

To be recognized as a Cardiac Arrest Center, the following capabilities must be met:

  • Cardiac intervention capabilities including a Cardiac Cath Lab and an interventional cardiologist available 24 hours a day, seven days a week;
  • A therapeutic hypothermia method to cool the patient for at least 24 hours after a cardiac event which helps reduce the risk of brain damage;
  • A coordinated approach to cardiac care with local emergency medical personnel to provide lifesaving protocols before the patient arrives at the hospital.

Visit for more information.


April 5th

Easter Resurrection

An Easter service celebrating the resurrection took on special significance for a New York congregation when a worshiper was revived after at least 17 defibrillator shocks.

The dramatic story, reported by our colleague Jane Lerner of The (Westchester, N.Y.) Journal News, tells of Ed Ilarraza, 58, an insurance agent who needed an ambulance after collapsing at Gracepoint Gospel Fellowship in New City.

Before the medics left the scene with their patient, Ilarraza went into cardiac arrest -- no pulse or breathing. He was shocked seven times before arriving at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, N.Y., where he received 10 more shocks while family and church members prayed.

Then, as rescuers were about to cease their efforts, his heart started to beat.

Dr. Cary Hirsch inserted two stents into Ilarraza's cardiac arteries. The patient recognized family members Monday when he was brought out of an induced coma.

Wearable Defibrillator Provides Safety for Heart Attack Survivors

Something as easy to wear as your clothes could help save your life.

The life of heart attack patient Stacey Alcala nearly ended without warning. "My chest was caving in and my arm was going numb."

Alcala had a heart attack, something she never thought would happen at age 29. "I'm very active, eat right - best I can. Exercise a lot."

All of that did not stop her artery from tearing. "The only thing that came to my head was what could this do to my girls?'

Alcala survived and was sent home from the hospital with one of these -- the first wearable defibrillator. Heart attack survivors like her are at a 12 percent increased risk for a sudden cardiac arrest the first three months following the attack.

April 2nd

Runners Saving Runners

CHARLESTON, NC--A strong faith and a good team of medical
professionals is hard to beat. And if you are a runner about to suffer sudden
cardiac arrest, there's probably no better place to be than in the midst of a
large group of running enthusiasts - who happen to be doctors and nurses - and
close to the MUSC Heart and Vascular Center.

Steve Aceto, 54, of Montreat, N.C., will attest to that after
surviving a heart attack during the recent Cooper River Bridge Run.

April 1st

A Save at the LA Marathon

Jay Yim, 21, had worked on improving his fitness since age 15. In preparation for this year's Los Angeles Marathon on March 21, the University of Southern California pre-med student had been training with a marathon club and regularly did 10-mile runs on his own.
The day before the race, he had a carbo-loading dinner with his club members. According to his brother Roy, who spoke with him that night, Jay sounded fine and ready to go.

On race day, Roy watched his brother's progress on the marathon website.

"They had a feature that allowed you to monitor a runner as he passed each milepost," Roy said. "The computer estimate said, based on his progress, he'd finish in 3:15."

But as Jay reached mile 18, something went terribly wrong. He grabbed his chest and collapsed onto the road. He'd suffered a cardiac arrest.

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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