Archive - Nov 2013 - SCA Article

Archive - Nov 2013 - SCA Article

November 29th

CMS Issues New Surveyor Guidance on Initiating CPR in Nursing Homes and Facility CPR/DNR Policies

In a highly publicized recent case in California, a registered nurse working in an independent living facility refused to initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on an elderly resident who was experiencing respiratory distress. The nurse refused to start CPR even when the 911 dispatcher begged her to start CPR or to find someone, even a bystander, who would do so. The nurse still refused, stating that the facility had a no-CPR policy at the time. 

See Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation blog.

This case caused consternation among long term care providers around the country. In our own practice, we’ve had numerous requests to review skilled nursing facility (SNF) Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) and CPR policies because of this case. 

Defibrillator Sent for More Tests

TORONTO, ON--A public access defibrillator at a downtown TTC station has been sent to the manufacturer for testing after it apparently failed earlier this month when subway riders tried to shock a fellow commuter who suffered (sudden cardiac arrest).

The automated external defibrillator at Museum Station, one of 1,400 such medical devices in the city that they are responsible for monitoring, was functioning properly Nov. 8, according to their diagnostics, Toronto EMS said Friday.

So exactly what happened that evening is a mystery.

“These AEDs are highly maintained,” EMS spokesman Kim McKinnon said. “And we are alerted immediately if there is a problem.”

On the night in question, several sources told the Toronto Sun TTC riders on a northbound train witnessed a man in his late 60s or early 70s go into arrest.

November 28th

Defibrillators May Be Hard to Find in Emergencies: CBC investigation

OTTAWA, ON--They can help increase your chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by 75 per cent, but a shocking number of Canada’s automated external defibrillators (AEDs) may be inaccessible to the public during an emergency because they are locked away or not registered with 911 personnel.

A CBC Marketplace investigation found that the potential for AEDs to save lives may be severely hampered because there are no national guidelines as to how or where the devices are kept.

    There’s also no government requirement that they be registered with 911. Registering devices helps 911 dispatchers direct people to the closest AED in case of an emergency.

    About 40,000 Canadians experience sudden cardiac arrest each year: one every 12 minutes, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

    AED Failed to Charge When It Was Needed

    TORONTO, ON--It turns out defibrillators can’t miraculously save lives if they can’t be turned on.

    A man needed life-saving help earlier this month but, although there were people on scene willing to provide it, a failed battery prevented any opportunity for a happy ending.

    The good news for a man who went into cardiac arrest on the Toronto subway was that a nurse and a doctor were on the same train and a defibrillator was on the wall of the TTC station.

    The man collapsed on the northbound train Nov. 8, the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) on the wall at Museum station was deployed.

    The problem was they could not get it to turn on.

    “It didn’t work,” said one witness.

    “The battery was dead,” added a Toronto firefighter.

    In other words, the AED was useless.

    November 26th

    'In Living Color' Actor Jay Leggett Dies at 50

    Jay Leggett, who appeared on In Living Color and had stints on NYPD Blue and Ally McBeal, died Saturday, reports The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

    The comic actor was 50.

    Leggett died at a family cabin in Tomahawk, Wis., where he grew up, after returning from a deer hunt on the first day of the state's gun deer season.

    November 25th

    MyHeartMapSeattle Scavenger Hunters Report Over 2,000 Defibrillators

    SEATTLE, WA--On Oct. 15, Dr. Graham Nichol, UW professor of medicine and director of the UW-Harborview Center for Prehospital Emergency Care, launched MyHeartMap Seattle. This was a month-long, city-wide scavenger hunt to discover all of Seattle’s automated external defibrillators, or AEDs. The winner or winning team would be awarded $10,000 provided to Nichol’s research efforts by the Food and Drug Administration and several AED companies. Thirty-two teams signed up to participate. The AED sightings started rolling in.

    On Twitter, teams posted selfies with AEDs, asked for hints, and celebrated when they found “golden AEDs,” which were worth $50 extra. The contest was extremely close.

    One month later, Nichol announced the winning team: Team HeartMarket, a group of six 20-somethings with a serious love for scavenger hunts, had found 800 AEDs.

    Surrogates Often Make Call to Deactivate Heart Devices

    People who have implanted heart devices rarely have advance directives indicating whether they want them deactivated near the end of life, according to a new study. So the decision often has to be made by loved ones.

    So-called cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) are used to treat arrhythmias, conditions in which the heart beats too fast, too slow or in an irregular pattern.

    Pacemakers are the most basic type of CIED. They use electrical pulses to keep the heart beating regularly.

    Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) function as pacemakers, too. But they are also able to deliver electrical shocks to the heart whenever a dangerous rhythm is detected.

    Hundreds of thousands of Americans have an implanted device that keeps their heart beating properly, even when they are extremely ill and at the end of life.

    MCUL Launches Life-Saving Project: An AED in Every Michigan Credit Union Branch

    LANSING, MI--With their guiding philosophy of "people helping people," credit unions like to think of themselves as being at the hearts of their communities, and thanks to a new program they are taking that commitment literally. The Michigan Credit Union League wants to make sure credit union members and employees have the best possible chance of survival in the event of a cardiac emergency, which is why the league has partnered with ZOLL automated external defibrillators with the aim of getting an AED placed in every Michigan credit union. 

    According to Community West Credit Union CEO Jon Looman, who had (sudden cardiac arrest) and collapsed while teaching an indoor cycling class last year, he survived thanks to an AED, and now plans to order one for every one of his credit union's branches.

    November 23rd

    Teeth Called Lacking on Defibrillator Law

    BOSTON, MA--Kingston officials, gym users, and health advocates agree the state law requiring gyms and fitness clubs to have defibrillators on site and staff trained to use them is an important life-saving tool, but they say there’s a lack of inspections and enforcement to ensure the devices work properly.

    “There needs to be enforcement of the state law,” said Kingston Fire Chief Robert Heath, after his department was called by the town’s health office to inspect the readiness of a local gym’s defibrillator following complaints that the device’s electrode pads were long past their expiration date.

    “It’s a wonderful mandate, but they need to put some teeth into it,” he said.

    November 22nd

    Hundreds of Defibrillators Being Installed Around British Columbia

    VANCOUVER, BC--A partnership between the province and the Heart and Stroke Foundation is hoping to help lower the number of British Columbians who die from cardiac arrest every year.

    Four hundred and fifty defibrillators, or AEDs, are now being installed in public places around the province.

    Diego Marchese with the Heart and Stroke Foundation says the machines are easy enough for anyone to use in an emergency. “The important thing here is not to hesitate and to give CPR and an AED. Really, it’s about three simple steps. Number one is call 9-1-1, number two is do CPR, number three is use an AED.”

    He says studies show survival rates can increase by 75 per cent if CPR and a defibrillator are used within five minutes.

    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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