Archive - 2013 - SCA Article

Archive - 2013 - SCA Article

November 25th

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.

Deputy Saves Two Lives in One Day


CULPEPER, VA--Some law enforcement officers might be asked to perform life saving measures twice in their careers — for one Culpeper County Sheriff's office deputy he had to do it twice in one day.

Deputy C.H. Wheeler saved the lives of two citizens on Thursday, utilizing training he received and his office-issued automated external defibrillator.

Boulder's Max Dorfman, 18, Secures Grant for Defibrillators

BOULDER, CO--Fairview High School senior Max Dorfman learned of the lifesaving power of automated external defibrillators in 2010 when his father, a doctor, was involved in using one of the devices to restart the heart of a 13-year-old boy who collapsed while running the Bolder Boulder.

Dorfman didn't witness the incident but said his father told him that anyone with access to one of the easy-to-operate devices, commonly called AEDs, could have saved the boy's life.

"Thinking more of really why this kid was saved, it was a little device that can shock your heart and bring it back into normal rhythm," said Dorfman, 18.

In 2012, he said, he began noticing a lack of AEDs in places he thought they belonged, such as gyms and schools. He started researching AED availability in Boulder County, then launched efforts to bring them to more businesses and public facilities in hopes they could save lives.

November 21st

Taking Steps to Improve CPR Quality

R. Trenkamp describes studyDALLAS, TX--Robert H. Trenkamp, Jr.< EMT-P, and Fernando J. Perez, MD, of Saving Lives in Chatham County, Georgia, have calculated the gap between the requirements of the AHA chest compression guidelines and the physical capability of 50 individuals. Using chest stiffness data from P.

November 19th

Rural and Southern Regions Lack Annual Training in CPR

DURHAM, NC--Annual rates of CPR training in the United States are low and vary widely across the country, but the communities most in need of training are the least likely to be trained, according to a new study from the Duke Clinical Research Institute. The findings, published Nov. 18, 2013, in JAMA Internal Medicine, add to known geographic disparities in cardiac arrest survival and offer a rationale to increase access to training for the life-saving intervention.

Each year, more than 350,000 Americans experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital. On average, 7 to 9 percent of people survive, but these figures vary by geographic location.

Many Sudden Cardiac Arrests Preceded by Warning Signs

DALLAS, TX--Sudden cardiac arrest isn’t always so sudden, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.

In a study of middle-age men in Portland, Oregon, more than half had possible warning signs up to a month before their hearts stopped abruptly.

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops due to a failure in its electrical system. Patients can sometimes survive if they receive CPR immediately and a defibrillator is used quickly to shock the heart into a normal rhythm.

About 360,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests are reported each year in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. Only 9.5 percent of people who suffer a cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive.

November 18th

Lowering Temperature on Way to Hospital Does Not Improve Outcome

DALLAS, TX— Lowering cardiac arrest patients’ body temperature with cold intravenous fluids right after resuscitation and on the way to the hospital didn’t help survival or neurological outcome in a late-breaking clinical trial presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.

With a cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating and as a result, there is no blood flow or oxygen delivered to the brain, resulting in nerve cell death. Brain injury can continue to evolve even after the blood flow is restored, a phenomenon called reperfusion injury.

Guidelines recommend cooling resuscitated cardiac arrest patients who remain comatose soon after hospital arrival for up to 24 hours in an intervention called therapeutic hypothermia. Body temperature is then slowly raised to normal levels.

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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