SCA News

SCA News

Austin SCA Survivors Celebrate with Rescuers

February 15, 2008–AUSTIN–On Valentine’s Day, 73 local men and women who survived sudden cardiac arrest got a chance to meet their rescuers at the Austin/Travis County Emergency Medical Service’s annual Take Heart Austin Survivor Celebration.

Doug Engle suffered a heart attack one year ago, while running along Austin's hike and bike trail.

“About that time, I started having pain in my chest and I just kind of sluffed it off,” said Engle.

After walking about a mile to his truck, Engle went into cardiac arrest.  His wife was nine months pregnant at the time.

“He wasn't breathing, he didn't have a heartbeat,” said Matt Paul, a paramedic with Austin/Travis County EMS.

Paul and fellow paramedic, Craig Fairbrother, work at an EMS station just down the road.  They were called out soon after.

View ICD Case Online February 28th

February 12, 2008–DAYTONA BEACH–HalifaxHealth will present Florida’s first live online automated Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) case on Thursday, February 28, at 6:30 pm on

"Close the Gap" Launched: Aims to Raise Awareness About SCA in Underserved Populations

February 4, 2008­–NATICK, Mass–Boston Scientific Corporation today announced the public debut of an educational initiative called “Close the Gap,” which is aimed at addressing disparities in cardiovascular care for the underserved patient populations of women, black Americans and Latino Americans. The Company said it is collaborating on the Close the Gap initiative with a number of organizations, including WomenHeart, Black Coaches and Administrators, the Athlete's Heartbeat and the National Coalition of Pastors' Spouses. Several National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) member schools are also supporting Close the Gap efforts. The campaign is being led by a steering committee of leading physicians from across the country and will have a strong focus on community education.

SCA Survivor Wins Award from Volvo for Work as AED Crusader

January 18, 2008–KALAMAZOO, MI­–Ronald Dundon had a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in February 2003. The attending emergency team’s use of CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) saved him. After his recovery, Dundon founded the AED Fund of Kalamazoo County, Michigan to help increase the chances of survival for future SCA victims in underserved communities.

The AED Fund raises money to purchase AEDs for first responders, high schools, and middle schools in Kalamazoo county. The organization has also formed partnerships with Kalamazoo County Medical Control and the Emergency Medical Services system to ensure that hard-pressed fire departments receive this life-saving device. Additionally, the AED Fund educates the public about the need for CPR and AED training and where to get it. As a certified CPR instructor, Ronald teaches basic CPR classes free of charge.

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.

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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

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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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