Archive - 2015 - SCA Article

Archive - 2015 - SCA Article

November 7th

Some Long QT Syndrome Patients May Benefit From ICDs Before Cardiac Arrest Occurs

ORLANDO, FL--Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) can prevent life-threatening rhythms in patients with a hereditary heart rhythm disorder (Long QT Syndrome), including those who have not previously suffered cardiac arrest, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

ICDs are recommended to treat long QT syndrome in patients who have survived cardiac arrest. It isn’t clear, however, if ICDs could be a preventive tool.

Researchers followed 212 Long QT syndrome patients who had ICDs, but had not experienced life-threatening events. They analyzed occurrences of life-saving electrical shocks to halt dangerous rhythms, then identified parameters that would help identify patients at high risk for sudden cardiac death.

During an average 9.2 years follow-up, 23 percent of the patients had shocks that terminated life-threatening heart rhythms, and 34 percent had unnecessary shocks.

Just One Energy Drink May Boost Heart Disease Risk in Young Adults

ORLANDO, FL--Drinking one 16-ounce energy drink boosts blood pressure and stress hormone responses in young, healthy adults, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015. These changes could conceivably trigger new cardiovascular events.

Researchers studied 25 healthy young adults with no known cardiovascular risk factors. Each drank one 16-ounce can of a commercially available energy drink or a sham drink in random order on two separate days. Researchers measured participants’ blood pressure and blood levels of norepinephrine before and 30 minutes after drink consumption. Norepinephrine is a “fight or flight” chemical that increases blood pressure and the heart’s ability to contract and it modulates heart rate and breathing in response to perceived stress.

Video-Only CPR Training Without a Manikin Still Effective

ORLANDO, FL--Using a video to train family members of patients at risk for cardiac arrest in CPR may be just as effective as using the traditional hands-on method with a manikin, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The findings suggest simplified and more cost-effective approaches may be useful for disseminating CPR education to families of at-risk patients and the general public. The results are being presented during the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2015.

November 6th

In-Hospital Cardiac Arrests at Night Associated with Increased Brain Damage

ORLANDO, FL--Hospitalized patients suffering cardiac arrest at night are more likely to have poor neurological outcome, compared to day time patients, according researcher presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

Researchers studied information about patients’ survivals after in-hospital cardiac arrest at a teaching hospital in Switzerland. They documented that the hospital’s rapid response team was activated for 270 patients with cardiac arrest. Two-thirds of those cardiac arrests occurred during the day shift.

While rapid response team’s reaction times for cardiac arrest were similar during the day and at night, researchers found patients having the cardiac arrests during the day were:

Most Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Survivors Emerge Without Brain Damage

ORLANDO, FL--Most adults who survive out-of-hospital cardiac arrests emerge with their brain function intact, even if their resuscitations took longer than previously recommended, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

Researchers studied how the duration of prehospital resuscitation impacts survivors neurologically by analyzing attempted resuscitations on people who suffered cardiac arrests in an urban/suburban area from 2005 to 2014.

Of the 3,814 resuscitations analyzed, 12.2 percent of patients survived. Of those, 83.9 percent of the survivors did not have significant neurological complications (normal function or disability that still allows them to live independently and work) from the resuscitations.

About 90 percent of the neurologically-intact survivors were resuscitated in 35 minutes or less, the other 10 percent took longer than 35 minutes.

Can’t Find an AED? There May Be an App for That

ORLANDO, FL--The earlier bystanders can deliver shocks with an automated external defibrillator (AED)  to people who have cardiac arrest outside the hospital, the better their chances are for survival. Although it may be difficult to find community-based AEDs, a new smartphone application helps connect rescuers with lifesaving AEDs and victims with sudden cardiac arrest, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

Life-Saving AEDs Often in Locked Buildings When Needed

ORLANDO, FL--Most public automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are in buildings that aren’t open 24 hours. As a result, bystanders who are near AEDs don’t have access to the life-saving defibrillators in 21 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

Researchers analyzed cardiac arrests that occurred within 100 meters (328 feet) of a public AED in a Canadian city. They then analyzed AED coverage of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest for more than eight years, according to the time of day and day of week.

When there was no 24/7 access to buildings, researchers found AED coverage was diminished more than:

  • 8 percent during the day;
  • 28 percent in the evening; and
  • 48 percent at night.

Most out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the study (61 percent) occurred during evenings, nights and weekends.

November 1st

New Recommendations Green-Light Some Athletes with Heart Disease to Compete

American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Scientific Statement

Statement Highlights

  • New recommendations may “green-light” some trained athletes with certain heart conditions to participate in competitive sports.
  • Recent research concludes that the risk of sudden cardiac arrest is lower than previously thought for some athletes with irregular heartbeats caused by Long QT syndrome and athletes with Long QT syndrome who have implanted medical devices, such as a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator.

DALLAS, TX--For the first time, joint recommendations may permit participation in competitive sports for some athletes diagnosed with a specific type of irregular heartbeat and for others who have an implanted medical device that regulates the heart’s rhythm.

October 30th

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation Offers Educational Postcard to Help Raise Awareness

In an effort to increase awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and the importance of immediate bystander intervention, the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation has developed a postcard with basic facts about sudden cardiac arrest and the critical importance of immediate bystander intervention. The postcard, with and without crop marks, is available for downloading here. (See attachments.) These files may be downloaded and printed with permission of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, providing the files are not altered. 

If you prefer to order printed copies of the postcard, contact info [at] sca-aware [dot] org (subject: 7%20Myths%20Postcard) .

October 29th

Hospitals to Pay $250 Million for Cardiac Device Coverage Violations

Hundreds of U.S. hospitals will pay a total of more than $250 million stemming from allegations that they implanted cardiac devices in Medicare patients in violation of coverage requirements, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday.

The 457 hospitals are from 43 states, the Justice Department said.

The settlement involves a type of device that detects and treats extremely fast, life-threatening heart rhythms, called fibrillations, by delivering a shock to the heart, the Justice Department said.

But only patients with certain medical characteristics and risk factors qualify for the device, known as an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or ICD, the Justice Department said.

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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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