SCA News

SCA News

National Efforts To Improve CPR Quality Underway

January 15, 2008–ScienceDaily–Studies indicate that in many communities only 15 percent to 30 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR before emergency medical services (EMS) personnel arrive at the scene. Considering that cardiac arrest survival falls an estimated seven percent to 10 percent for every minute without CPR, the low rate of bystander CPR has a big impact on outcomes.

A unified effort by the public, educators and policymakers is needed to reduce deaths from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) by increasing the use and effectiveness of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), according to a new statement from the American Heart Association. The statement, “Reducing barriers for implementation of bystander-initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation,” appears online in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

A Time to Chill: Penn State Demonstrates Use of Therapeutic Hypothermia

January 9, 2008–HERSHEY–Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center recently began offering “therapeutic hypothermia” for victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The state-of-the-art treatment still isn’t available at most hospitals.

Conducting a demonstration of the process today, doctors said therapeutic hypothermia is beneficial for post-resuscitation SCA patients who remain unconscious. Chilling the body to about 91 degrees can prevent brain damage that occurs when the heart stops suddenly and blood no longer flows to the brain.

One or two patients per month have been getting the treatment at the medical center. It involves a special machine that pumps ice water into wraps that chill the upper body, legs and groin.

For more information: http://www.sca-aware.org/sca-treatment.php#treatment3.

Young Boys Save Mother's Life

Jan 5, 2008–WELLINGTON, NZ–Two young boys are being hailed as heroes for helping bring their mother back from the dead. The six and seven-year-olds rang 111 after their mother had a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), then comforted her until help arrived.

Six-year-old Taine Eade and his seven-year-old brother Cullen were watching TV last Friday night when their mother Kendall had collapsed in SCA. “I rung up Grandad and he told me to ring 111,” says Cullen. Cullen grabbed the phone as Kendall lay unconscious in the hallway. “I just stayed with Mum and I saw her face going a bit purple,” says Taine.

With an ambulance on the way, the pair calmly followed the operator’s instructions.

“The lady that was speaking to me told me to roll her over. But I couldn't so then she told me to tilt Mum's head over a little bit and listen for if she was breathing. Well, she wasn't and then the ambulance people arrived,” says Cullen.

Florida Bill Aims to Allay Lawsuit Fears and Encourage AED Use

January 3, 2008–ORLANDO­–Automated external defibrillators (AEDs), like the hundreds Walt Disney World has deployed throughout its Central Florida property, could become more commonplace in Florida under a change in state law proposed by state Sen. Lee Constantine, R-Altamonte Springs.

Constantine wants to alter the wording in Florida law so that anyone who tries to save a life with an AED will not have to worry about a lawsuit later. Senate Bill 564, advocated by the American Heart Association, is intended to make schools, businesses and other institutions feel more comfortable about deploying AEDs. His bill would revoke a provision of Florida law that now requires a person to have first obtained “appropriate training” before using an AED.

No Shock: Patients with Delayed Defibrillation in Hospitals Less Likely to Survive

Patients with Cardiac Arrests in Small Hospitals, in Unmonitored Hospital Units, and After Hours Fare Worst

January 3, 2008 –DALLAS–A study reported in the Jan. 3 New England Journal of Medicine, "Delayed Time to Defibrillation and Survival After In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest," found that delayed defibrillation was associated with lower rates of survival after in-hospital cardiac arrest.

This observational study evaluated data from 369 hospitals with 6,789 patients who suffered cardiac arrests with the first identifiable rhythm being ventricular fibrillation (VF) or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VT) between Jan. 1, 2000 and July 31, 2005. The study used data from the American Heart Association's National Registry of CPR (NRCPR), a database of in-hospital resuscitation events, treatments and outcomes.

Therapeutic Hypothermia: Is it Malpractice to Withhold the Big Chill?

January 3, 2008–Now that therapeutic hypothermia has been endorsed by the American Heart Association and is catching on as the standard of care for unconscious survivors of cardiac arrest, healthcare advocates are beginning to wonder why this treatment is not offered routinely to patients who could benefit. Consider the following editorial by Alison Mynick, RN, Esq. in injuryboard.com.

CPR Glove Developed by College Students to Undergo Clinical Trials

January 2, 2008–TORONTO–The CPRGlove, a device invented by McMaster University engineering students Corey Centen, Nilesh Patel and Sarah Smith will be tested in clinical trials in early 2008 by The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Resuscitation Science.

While CPR is widely taught in North America, trainees quickly forget the proper method of performing the life-saving intervention for people suffering sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The glove is aimed at fixing that, using an LCD screen and sensors that tell users where they should place their hands, the depth, force and rate of compressions needed, and the victim’s heart rate. The glove could be used in CPR training, to maintain CPR quality through testing, and in real emergencies. The students aims to make the glove a standard part of first-aid kits.

2008: The Year of the AED

January 2, 2008–ALBANY–State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) has joined with Merrick residents Jill and Craig Levine, who founded the Robbie Levine Foundation in memory of their nine year old son who died tragically of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) after rounding the bases and reaching home plate during a little league practice in 2005, to make 2008 the “Year of the Defibrillator.”

“In a cardiac emergency, the difference between life and death is only a matter of minutes. Having defibrillators readily accessible save precious time in helping victims survive a cardiac emergency. The Robbie Levine Foundation’s efforts will go a long way towards raising awareness about the importance of defibrillators. I am pleased to support Jill and Craig in this very worthy cause,” said Senator Fuschillo.

Radio Wave Technique May Help Heart Attack Survivors by Reducing ICD Shocks

December 31, 2007­–Treating heart attack victims with radio waves helps reduce the likelihood that implantable defibrillators will need to jolt ailing hearts into beating properly, researchers reported last week.

The radio-wave technique involves sending a probe into the heart, finding scar tissue from an earlier heart attack, and using radio waves to destroy the portion of that scar that can catastrophically disrupt the heartbeat.

Marathon Runners at Low Risk for Sudden Death

December 22, 2007–TORONTO–Based on media reports, one might conclude that marathon runners face a high risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Not so, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal on December 22. Canadian researchers compared the risks of sudden cardiac death during a marathon run with the risk of dying in a motor vehicle accident that might have occurred if the roads had not been closed for the race.

The data came from marathons run on public roads with at least 1000 runners over the last 20 years. Of over 3.2 million runners, 26 had sudden cardiac death, equivalent to 0.8 deaths per 100,000 runners. Because of road closures, an estimated 46 accidental deaths were prevented, which is equivalent to a 35 percent reduction in relative risk of running rather than driving (or being driven). Put another way, 1.8 crash deaths were saved for every runner who dropped dead.

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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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