• October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month

    October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month.

    More than 350,000 deaths are attributed to SCA every year in the United States and the survival rate is less than 1 percent unless CPR and defibrillation are utilized quickly by bystanders.

    A new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that by increasing rates of bystander CPR, the survival rate can be tripled. That fact is just one of the arguments for making an immediate push in the U.S. to train everyone in how to properly perform CPR.

    CardiacSudden Cardiac Arrest claims one life every two minutes, taking more lives each year than breast cancer, lung cancer or AIDS. In fact, heart disease kills more people every year than all types of cancer combined.

    One common misconception about SCA is that it's a heart attack -- it's not. It can be associated with a heart attack, but there is a difference. SCA occurs when the heart no longer beats properly, a deadly rhythm called ventricular fibrillation, that effectively stops all blood from pumping, whereas a heart attack is when an artery in the heart blocks up and deprives the heart muscle from blood flow and oxygen.

    Learn CPR! Learn CPR!

    The new JAMA study began 10 years ago in Denmark when officials noted the high rates of sudden death and also observed that the rate of bystander CPR was very low. They set out to study ways to improve bystander CPR rates and see what impact that might have on survival rates.

    What they found was incredibly significant. Initial rates of CPR were 20 percent but improved to 44 percent over the study period. More importantly, survival rates for SCA improved from 7 percent to 22 percent over the 10 year study period. With the more than doubling of CPR rates, survival for SCA tripled, making a strong argument for universal CPR training.

    One area that the study didn't look at was the use of Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs). It's known that in some areas, AED use has resulted in a nearly 70 percent improvement in survival. Dr. Campbell says that the use of AEDs by bystanders would improve survival of SCA even more.

    For those interested in learning CPR, the American CPR Training offers training classes at your location throughout the country. Locally, you contact Rex Hospital or other hospitals to see classes open to the public.

    Infant CPR Anytime is an “all-in-one” learning kit that teaches the basic skills of Infant CPR, Infant choking relief and calling for help in approximately 20 minutes. Infant CPR Anytime allows users to learn these life-saving skills anywhere, either in the comfort of their own home or in large group settings. The kit teaches CPR using the AHA’s research-proven “practice-while-watching” technique, which allows users to watch an instructional DVD while practicing their skills on a personal manikin. Infant CPR Anytime is designed to be shared with close family members and friends to help extend lifesaving training to more people. Because more lives can be saved…. Product Specifications: The Infant CPR Anytime kit includes the following: · 1 bilingual (English/Spanish) Infant CPR Anytime DVD · 1 poly-bagged Mini Baby® CPR personal manikin · 1 bilingual (English/Spanish) Infant CPR Anytime skills reminder card · 1 Mini Baby replacement lung · Manikin wipes CPR Anytime is an “all-in-one” learning kit that teaches the basic skills of CPR, Available in Adult/Child or Infant Programs

    Read more information and statistics about SCA Awareness Month.

    See the CPR Home Learning System

    For more information and statistics about SCA, click here.

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  • More people survive cardiac arrest when bystanders encouraged to perform CPR

    It is National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month - Everyone needs to learn CPR & AED use (as well as First Aid! - consider having CPR Training at your location.

    More people survived cardiac arrests in Denmark after the country encouraged bystanders to step in and perform CPR, a new study shows.

    Researchers found the proportion of cardiac arrest patients who got to the hospital alive and survived over the next year increased between 2001 and 2010 as the initiatives were introduced.

    "The main message from this study is that national initiatives to improve cardiac arrest management seem to have an impact with an increase in bystander CPR rates and survival rates," Dr. Mads Wissenberg, the study's lead author from Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte, said in an email.Cardiac

    Approximately 300,000 people in the U.S. go into cardiac arrest every year and about 90 percent of those die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The American Heart Association says immediately starting CPR when a person goes into cardiac arrest - when the heart stops beating - can double or triple that person's chances of survival.

    CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, involves pushing down onto a person's chest to keep oxygen-rich blood flowing to the body's vital organs until medical help arrives. For cardiac arrest, that help typically involves using an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to shock the heart.

    According to the researchers, who published their study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Denmark noticed about 10 years ago that few people stepped in to perform CPR and a minority of cardiac arrest victims survived more than 30 days.

    The country took several steps to increase the number of people performing CPR. Those included introducing mandatory training for elementary school students and people getting driver's licenses, distributing instructional training kits, offering telephone guidance to bystanders and placing AEDs in public places.

    To see whether those and other initiatives were linked to improved outcomes, the researchers analyzed data from 19,468 people who went into cardiac arrest someplace other than a hospital between June 2001 and December 2010.

    At the beginning of the study, Wissenberg and his colleagues found that only about 21 percent of patients had a bystander step in to perform CPR during their cardiac arrest. By the end of the study in 2010, that number had more than doubled to 45 percent.

    There was only a small increase in the use of AEDs, but that was expected because most weren't placed in public places until the end of the study.

    Still, the researchers found the chance of people surviving cardiac arrest until they got to the hospital increased from about 8 percent to 22 percent. Their chance of survival after 30 days also increased from about 4 percent in 2001 to about 11 percent in 2010.

    And the proportion of people who were still alive one year after cardiac arrest rose from about 3 percent in 2001 to about 10 percent in 2010.

    But the credit for better outcomes doesn't belong to CPR alone, according to Wissenberg. He said increases in survival are likely linked to many factors, including events that happen before and after a cardiac arrest patient gets to the hospital.

    The researchers also can't say the national initiatives directly caused the increase in participation or survival.

    "Nevertheless, the results of this study indicate that the increased rate of bystander CPR was an important factor in improving survival," Wissenberg wrote.

    Dr. Graham Nichol, professor of medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, said implementing a national program like Denmark's is novel, compared with implementing smaller regional programs. He said it's something needed in the U.S.

    "It's important that people know that this is an easy thing to do and everyone should learn it and learn how to respond to a medical emergency," Nichol, who wasn't involved in the new study, said.

    "I'm optimistic that we can do that. It's going to take an ongoing effort from a lot of people to achieve that," he said.

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  • Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States.

    Preventing Heart Disease, SCA & Stroke...

    "Did You Know?"

    • Annual-ReportThe Community Preventive Services Task Force’s annual report to Congress outlines proven means to reduce cardiovascular disease and gaps in the evidence about how to prevent it.
    • Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States. Almost 16% of US annual health expenditures go towards treating the 83 million American adults who suffer from heart disease and stroke.

    Health professionals can use a range of evidence-based strategies to reduce people’s risks for cardiovascular disease.

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