Bob Trenkamp's blog

Bob Trenkamp's blog

So how does this example of 30% of arrests differ from the other 70%?

Longview student collapses at basketball practice
A student collapsed and briefly stopped breathing during an open basketball practice at Mark Morris High School in Longview.
The Associated Press

A student collapsed and briefly stopped breathing during an open basketball practice at Mark Morris High School in Longview.

A coach and parent gave CPR Sunday to 16-year-old Spencer Best of Longview until paramedics arrived and used a heart defibrillator.

His father, Rich Best, told The Daily News ( Spencer will remain in intensive care for a couple more days this week at Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center in Portland.

He says Spencer is alert and communicating. He says the men who gave him CPR saved his life.


Information from: The Daily News,

How does this differ? Somebody did something before the ambulance got to the scene.

CPR + Prompt Defibrillation Really Works - at least ten times better than not doing anything!

A Tucson woman saves her husband with hands-only CPR
Posted: Sep 21, 2012 11:21 AM by Ryan Haarer
Updated: Sep 21, 2012 11:21 AM

TUCSON- With over 380,000 cardiac arrests every year only about 70 percent of people know how to do CPR, according to the American Heart Association.

Recently a Tucson family had quite a scare. E.J. Marx felt chest and arm pain during a soccer game. His wife Whitney got him and their infant son Kahn into the car. On the way to the hospital, E.J. went into cardiac arrest.

Whitney handled the situation perfectly. She called 911, pulled E.J. out of the car and began chest compressions. She continued until emergency responders arrived.

E.J. spent two weeks in a coma, but is thankful his wife knew what to do, as it probably saved his life.

From WFTV: the best SCA vs AMI explanation I've seen in the media - too often they write "heart attack" when they mean SCA.

Cardiac Concerns: Saving Kids from Sudden Death

FLORIDA — WHAT CAUSES SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST:Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. If this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. SCA is not the same as a heart attack. A heart attack occurs if blood flow to part of the heart muscle is blocked. During a heart attack, the heart usually doesn't suddenly stop beating. SCA, however, may happen after or during recovery from a heart attack. People who have heart disease are at higher risk for SCA. However, SCA can happen in people who appear healthy and have no known heart disease or other risk factors for SCA. Certain diseases and conditions can cause the electrical problems that lead to SCA. Examples include coronary heart disease (CHD), also called coronary artery disease; severe physical stress; certain inherited disorders; and structural changes in the heart. (Source:

Don't stop too soon!

Prolonged CPR Holds Benefits, a Study Shows

Ashley Gilbertson for The New York Times
Staff members at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn in 2010 trying to revive a patient who suffered a cardiac arrest.
Published: September 4, 2012

When a hospital patient goes into cardiac arrest, one of the most difficult questions facing the medical team is how long to continue cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Now a new study involving hundreds of hospitals suggests that many doctors may be giving up too soon.

The study found that patients have a better chance of surviving in hospitals that persist with CPR for just nine minutes longer, on average, than hospitals where efforts are halted earlier.

There are no clear, evidence-based guidelines for how long to continue CPR efforts.


I wish I could reach all the newspaper and television reporters. Many say or write "heart attack" when what they mean is "cardiac arrest."

Why is this a big deal? Both are true medical emergencies, and both require bystander intervention for survival, but each is treated differently.

Most people don't die of heart attacks, unless the heart attack leads to a cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest happens when your heart stops beating and you stop breathing. You are clinically dead. Many cardiac arrests are caused by severe heart attacks, and many are not.

A cardiac arrest is an electrical problem. A heart attack is a plumbing problem. You don't do CPR for a heart attack. You don't use therapeutic hypothermia for a heart attack.

If you see someone having a heart attack, you call 911, you let the victim assume whatever position is most comfortable, you give the victim an aspirin to chew, and you do not let the victim eat or drink anything.

Cardiac Arrest in Young More Common than Thought.

Cardiac arrest is relatively rare in young people, but it may be more common than experts have thought, according to a new study.

Using 30 years of data from King County in Washington, researchers found that the rate of cardiac arrest among children and young adults was about 2.3 per 100,000 each year.

That's not a big risk. But the figure is substantially higher than the "widely accepted" estimate for young athletes (not just young people in general), said senior researcher Dr. Jonathan Drezner.

According to that estimate, one in 200,000 young athletes (up to age 35) suffers cardiac arrest each year.

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood to the rest of the body. It is fatal within minutes without immediate treatment.

When does the timer start?

The timer starts when the victim arrests. Period. It doesn't start when you call 911, it doesn't start when the ambulance gets there. I starts when the victim dies.

Please don't ever wait for the ambulance to get there. The result is overwhelmingly going to be bad if you wait.

I'm not talking about your seeing some random, sketchy stranger go down. The far more likely scenario is that when you see an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest, it will be a family member, a friend, or an acquaintance. Learn what to do. Better yet, learn what to do and get a personal use AED because two thirds of all cardiac arrests happen in the home, and immediate CPR + prompt defibrillation can change the average home survival rate from 2% to 75%..

If you cannot take an AHA or an ARC course right away, go to www.slicc,org, click on the For Past Trainees link in the left column, and download the class video and watch it. - and then take the AHA or ARC course when you can.

Do it now, PLEASE!

Ocean City Soars into the 50% club!

If every rescue squad in the country had the same sudden cardiac arrest success rate that Ocean City's has had this summer, tens of thousands of lives would have been saved.

Since May 1, the Ocean City Fire Department, which is also the city's rescue squad, has successfully saved the lives of 50 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims, from resuscitating the victim on the scene using CPR and automated external defibrillators (AED) to transporting the victim to the hospital within the "golden hour"—the first 60 minutes being the most crucial with regard to saving a person's life after sudden cardiac arrest.

Just how high is a 50 percent save rate? Throughout the country the rate is at seven percent, according to Firefighter Ray Clark of the Ocean City Fire Department.

London top as cardiac arrest survival rates compared

(From the BBC)
London has the best cardiac arrest survival rate in the country, newly-released figures suggest.

During 2011-12, the out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rate in London was 31.7% - a figure that includes footballer Fabrice Muamba's case.
That compares with second placed East of England with 24.4% and a low of 10.8% in the South Central region.

It is the first time all ambulance services in England have measured the survival rate.

The figures were submitted to the Department of Health for collation.

London - 31.7%
East of England - 24.7%
North East - 24%
South East Coast - 23.6%
North West - 22.6%
Yorkshire - 20.5%
East Midlands - 20.4%
South Western - 18.7%
West Midlands - 18.3%
Isle of Wight - 17.4%
Great Western - 15.1%
South Central - 10.8%
Source: Ambulance Clinical Quality Indicators

Erica Payet, 25, was one of those who survived cardiac arrest in London.


Please alert everyone you know who has survived a sudden cardiac arrest: there will be a very helpful workshop in Orlando in mid-September.

This will be very helpful for survivors, spouses, and rescuers.

Details are at


bobt [at] slicc [dot] org

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