SCA News

SCA News

University of Pittsburgh Cardiologists Identify New Cardiac Arrest Gene

November 8, 2007–PITTSBURGH–Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have identified a new gene responsible for a rare, inherited form of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), known as Brugada syndrome.

Brugada syndrome is a rare inherited arrhythmia, which is more commonly symptomatic in males. It can present with an abnormality on the electrocardiogram (ECG), fainting or sudden death. It impairs the heart’s natural electrical ability to beat in a coordinated manner and maintain a stable rhythm.

With the identification of this new gene, the researchers hope this will shed light on the more common forms of sudden death in patients with heart attacks and heart failure, and will help aid in the development of new, effective therapeutic treatments that will prevent all types of fatal arrhythmias.

RethinQ: CRT Does Not Benefit HF Patients with Narrow QRS

November 7, 2007­–ORLANDO–Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) failed to provide any clinical benefit in heart failure (HF) patients with a “narrow” QRS interval and evidence of left ventricular mechanical dyssynchrony (1), the results of the Resynchronization Therapy in Normal QRS (RethinQ) trial reveal.

CRT did not increase the primary endpoint—improved six-month oxygen consumption at peak exercise capacity—beyond that with standard treatment. There was a significant improvement in New York Heart Association (NYHA) class with CRT, but lead RethinQ investigator John Beshai, MD, (University of Chicago, Illinois, USA) was quick to point out that this was not consistent with other secondary endpoint results, and that NYHA class is an unreliable measure.

Survival from SCA Doubles when Public Has Access to AEDs

Study Supports Public Health Policies that Increase Access to AEDs

November 5, 2007–ORLANDO–Researchers now have evidence that at least 522 lives can be saved annually in the United States and Canada by the widespread placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

Results of the study, “Bystander-administered AED shock improves survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the U.S. and Canada,” were presented today at the American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions in Orlando. The findings are among the first conclusions to emerge from a landmark series of studies, known as the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) Trial, designed to reveal the best lifesaving techniques for cardiac emergencies.

SCA Coalition Seeks Federal Legislation to Advance SCA Awareness, Research and Treatment

October 12, 2007–WASHINGTON DC–Fifteen members of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Coalition, a coalition of more than 30 member organizations, gathered October 10th on Capitol Hill to promote legislation that aims to reduce death and disability from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). They met with the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Heart and Stroke Caucus and their staff, to advocate for their sponsorship of proposed legislation that would provide for greater public awareness, research and access to life-saving treatments for SCA.

The SCA Coalition bill aims to:

Calling All Heroes - SCA Foundation Announces Call for Nominations for "People Saving People" Awards

October 12, 2007–PITTSBURGH­–The SCA Foundation has established an annual award program to honor “ordinary” people with extraordinary heroic spirits who help save the lives of victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The People Saving People awards will recognize members of the public whose lifesaving actions have made the difference between life and death for SCA victims.

The purpose of the program is to increase awareness about the critical need for laypersons to be prepared to intervene in sudden cardiac emergencies.

Awards include:

First place: One (1) automated external defibrillator (AED), which may be donated to the organization of the winner’s choice;

Second place: Free admission to the Emergency Cardiac Care Update, sponsored by the Citizen CPR Foundation, June 13-15, 2008, Las Vegas;

Third place: Three (3) “CPR Anytime” kits.

Another Save at Sky Harbor

October 9, 2007­­­–PHOENIX–For the second time in two weeks, police officers assigned to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport saved the life of a person using an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Three officers went to the aid of an 82-year-old woman, who was with her granddaughter and was running late for her flight. She started having trouble breathing at Terminal Four's D checkpoint and initially was assisted by an off-duty paramedic who was traveling. A TSA employee flagged down Officer Mark Overfield for assistance as the woman collapsed. Officers Rich Shoemaker and Frank Mylet responded with an AED and administered a single shock.

Chronic Job Strain Doubles the Risk of a Second Heart Attack

October 9, 2007–QUEBEC CITY­–People who experience chronic job strain after a first heart attack double their risk of suffering from a second one, reports a research team from Université Laval’s Faculty of Medicine in the October 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

This study is the first to clearly demonstrate the risks associated with job strain for workers who have been victim of a first heart attack. Research had previously shown a relationship between work-related stress and a first coronary heart disease (CHD) event, but studies examining job strain and recurrent CHD were few, limited in scope, and inconsistent in their findings.

Women, Blacks Less Likely to Receive ICD Therapy

October 2, 2007­–DURHAM, NC–Women who might have benefited from the use of an implantable heart monitor following a cardiac arrest were far less likely than men to have one prescribed, according to experts at the Duke University Medical Center.

Researchers looked at the records of more than 236,000 Medicare patients between 1999 and 2005 and found that the vast majority of patients who appeared to be eligible for an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) didn't get one. But when ICDs were prescribed, men were two to three times more likely than women to receive them.

An ICD is a three-inch device that constantly monitors heart rhythms and uses electrical shocks to help control erratic rhythms that could cause the heart to stop beating.

Panic Attacks Associated with Cardiovascular Risk in Older Women

October 1, 2007­–BOSTON­–Post-menopausal women who experience at least one full-blown panic attack may have an increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke and an increased risk of death in the next five years, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

Panic attacks involve the sudden development of fear, anxiety or extreme discomfort accompanied by four or more additional symptoms, such as rapid pulse and shortness of breath. They may occur sporadically or as part of an anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder or phobias.

A Perfect Teaching Moment

September 28, 2007–PALMERSTON NORTH, NZ–A first-aid lesson turned into real-life drama when a man collapsed outside the classroom - forcing the tutor to put his training to the test.

And the students thought the emergency was staged for dramatic effect.

But the incident was very real, and Paul Fowles' quick thinking was able to save the elderly man who had suffered sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

The 34-year-old from Palmerston North was about to start teaching CPR in the Levin Volunteer Fire Brigade building as part of a two-day St John Workplace First Aid course, when a member of the public ran inside yelling for help.

Across the road, a man believed to be in his 60s had collapsed on the pavement. “I went across and found he was not breathing and he didn't have a pulse,”Mr. Fowles said.

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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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