SCA News

SCA News

Congress Passes CPR-AED Awareness Week

December 13, 2007–WASHINGTON, DC–The American Red Cross and the American Heart Association join in thanking Congress for passing a bill designating the first week of June “National Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Awareness Week.”

The passing of this resolution shines a national spotlight on how important it is for all Americans to learn critical lifesaving skills such as how to perform CPR, how to use an AED and the need to increase public access to AEDs.

In reaction to the staggering 95 percent mortality rate for the over 300,000 Americans who are victims of sudden cardiac arrest each year, House members Reps. John R. “Randy” Kuhl, Jr. (R-NY), and Dan Boren (D-OK) co-sponsored the bill (H.Con.Res. 215), which successfully passed the House on Dec. 11.

Sioux Tribe Helps Equip MN State Patrol with AEDs

December 7, 2007–PRIOR LAKE, MN­–The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) has announced that it will donate funds to support the purchase of 199 automated external defibrillators (AEDs)—enough to equip every State Patrol squad car in the state of Minnesota.

“We are pleased to have been able to work with the Governor and his staff to equip these patrol cars with defibrillators,” said SMSC Business Council Chairman Stanley Crooks. “This is a great example of how the state and tribes can work together on a project. In order to protect Minnesotans, we need to help equip our first responders and law enforcement.”

Monterey County Police Armed with Defibrillators

December 5, 2007-SALINAS, CA– If you live in or visit Monterey County, your chances of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest have increased dramatically.

Thanks to a hallmark program, all law enforcement vehicles in the County now carry automated external defibrillators (AED) and all federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel in Monterey County are trained in the use of the AEDs and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

“Monterey County is one of just a handful of counties in the nation that has equipped every level of law enforcement vehicle with an AED,” says Tom Lynch, Monterey County’s Emergency Medical Services Director.

Wedding Guests Save Bride's Grandfather

November 27, 2007–ASPEN–Bobby Cluck and Terri Dangler’s wedding reception in Buttermilk, Colorado, was winding down when the grandfather of the bride, Paul Copsey, collapsed in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) on the dance floor.

As Copsey’s daughters knelt at his side, two wedding guests performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a third retrieved an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Amy Covington and her husband, Rob, immediately started two-person CPR. She is a physician’s assistant at Aspen Medical Care and Rob has experience with CPR from the military.

Another wedding guest, Mike Lyons, a paramedic with the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department, carried an AED in his truck and ran to retrieve it. Lyons used the AED to restore a normal heartbeat, and by the time the ambulance arrived, Copsey had regained consciousness.

Driving is Safe for ICD Patients

November 26, 2007­­–BOSTON–Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) pose no special risks for heart patients who drive, researchers report in the December 4th issue of Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“What this confirms is what we already thought—that overall there is not a huge risk in this population,” said study lead author Dr. Christine M. Albert, director for the Center for Arrhythmia Prevention at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

About 50,000 defibrillators are implanted annually in the United States. Among the famous recipients is Vice President Dick Cheney, who experienced an irregular heartbeat Monday and was being examined by his doctors.

There have been worries that the shock delivered by the device to correct an abnormal heartbeat might be dangerous for drivers, Albert said.

America's Safest Airport?

Airline Employee, Passenger Save Holiday Traveler at Sky Harbor

November 26, 2007–Phoenix, AZ–A 62-year-old man from Ohio was saved by a fellow passenger and an airline employee using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and an automated External Defibrillator (AED) while on board a plane departing Sky Harbor over the Thanksgiving Holiday.

The man was on board a Mesa Airlines flight, operating as US Airways Express, last Wednesday evening (Nov. 21). The man collapsed in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) as the plane was pulling out from the gate, preparing for takeoff. Another passenger, an off-duty paramedic, checked the man for a pulse and began CPR when he did not detect a heartbeat. The pilot pulled the plane back to the gate. A quick-thinking Mesa Airlines employee retrieved an AED, activated it, then continued CPR.

President Vetoes AED Funding

November 17, 2007–WASHINGTON, CD–The House of Representatives has failed to override President George W. Bush's Veto of the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill, which would have provided $ 2.5 million to fund the Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program. The appropriations would have included an allocation of $200,000 to fund an information clearinghouse designed to increase public access to defibrillation in schools, as requested in the Automated Defibrillators in Adam’s Memory (ADAM) Act.

British Survivor and MP Promotes AEDs on European Airlines

November 11, 2007­–LONDON–A Member of Parliament (MP) who almost died on a plane is demanding new laws to force airlines to carry life-saving equipment. Liberal Democrat Paul Keetch was technically dead for seven minutes after having suffering cardiac arrest on a flight from London to a NATO meeting in the States.

The cabin crew on the Virgin Atlantic flight saved his life by using a £1,000 defibrillator to restart his heart. Keetch, 46, is now spearheading moves to force all airlines to carry the machines and train staff to use them.

“When I collapsed with chest pains a Brazilian medic on the plane tried heart massage. But it was the cabin crew’s use of a defibrillator that saved my life. I was technically dead for seven minutes,” he said. “These machines (automated external defibrillators or AEDs) should be installed on all aircraft and staff given the training to use them.”

Merck Agrees to $4.85 Billion Verdict Involving SCA Victims Who Used VIOXX

November 9, 2007–MONTGOMERY, AL–After more than five years of hard-fought and difficult litigation, Merck has agreed to pay $4.85 billion, the largest pharmaceutical settlement in history, to resolve certain VIOXX®-related claims involving plaintiffs who used the pain reliever and suffered a stroke, a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest.

The litigation involving product liability claims has been ongoing for more than five years. It is estimated that thousands personal of injury lawsuits were filed. In light of significant costs and delay that would result in protracted litigation, the settlement will ensure that those who suffered injuries as a result of VIOXX® are compensated fairly and efficiently.

Women Have More Complications from ICD Therapy than Men

November 8, 2007–ORLANDO–Women have nearly a 70 percent greater risk of suffering major in-hospital complications than men after implantation of a cardioverter-defibrillator, researchers reported here.

“We found that major complications occurred about 1.1 percent of the time in men and 2 percent of the time in women," Pamela Peterson, M.D., of the Denver Health Medical Center and the University of Colorado, told attendees at the American Heart Association meeting.

That represents about a 69% increased risk, a statistically significant difference, she said.

The major complications included cardiac arrest, perforation of the heart, heart valve injury, coronary venous dissection, hemothorax, pneumothorax, deep phlebitis, transient ischemic attack or stroke, tamponade, myocardial infarction and arteriovenous fistula.

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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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