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Entries in Cardiac Arrest (13)

Wednesday
Mar092011

Study: Shorter Proves Better in CPR Training

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- The days of the hours-long office CPR training session may be numbered if the findings of a new study hold true.

A 60-second training video may be all it takes to save a life, researchers found in a new study funded by the American Heart Association.  Study participants who viewed a one-minute CPR instructional video were more likely to attempt CPR and perform a higher quality of CPR than those who did not watch the video.

More surprising was that the group who watched the one-minute training video performed better and made better decisions than those who watched a five or eight-minute version, suggesting that less may be more when it comes to teaching CPR basics.

Dr. Gabe Wilson, associate medical director in the department of emergency medicine at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, said that when information is boiled down to a few clear points, people have much better recall and interest.

"When you know you are going to be provided with important information, and only need to pay attention for 60 seconds, the chances of engaging attention is much greater," said Wilson.

Wilson, who was not involved in the study, said that 60 seconds is enough time to cover the basic fundamentals of CPR.

"We're really excited about this," said Dr. Bentley J. Bobrow, lead author of the study, published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Qualities and Outcomes, and clinical associate professor in the department of emergency medicine at the Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix.

"Survival is really low for sudden cardiac arrest, and it's not drugs or fancy expensive devices or hospital care that helps save the most lives.  It's CPR.  But so few people receive CPR.  It's really a tragedy and lost opportunity," Bobrow said.

According to the American Heart Association, sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States.  About 300,000 people experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the United States each year, and their chance of survival declines seven percent to 10 percent with each minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar012011

Why Heart Attack, Cardiac Arrest Is Rare But Possible in Kids

(MADISON, Wisc.) -- While lethal heart problems in otherwise healthy children are rare, doctors say there are a number of conditions that could explain a sudden cardiac death or life-threatening heart attack in young patients.

The first important distinction to make is between a heart attack and cardiac arrest, says Dr. Amy Peterson, a pediatric cardiologist from American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wisc.

Heart attack occurs when there is an insufficient amount of blood delivering oxygen to the heart and part or all of the heart muscle begins to die. This could be due to blockages in the arteries, heart disease, or structural abnormalities of the heart muscle or the arteries. Cardiac arrest, on the other hand, refers simply to a heart that has lost its rhythm and stops beating, which could occur for a number of different reasons, she says.

"In general, heart attack in children is extraordinarily rare and when kids present with chest pain it is at the bottom of the list of things we suspect," Peterson says.

Cardiac arrest is less rare but still very uncommon, she says, but there are a number of ways that parents can be on the lookout for undiagnosed heart conditions that may cause a problem.

True heart attack in children can occur in rare circumstances where there is a genetic predisposition to exceptionally high cholesterol. In this case, a child who may or may not be overweight can suffer from arterial blockages similar to those which cause heart attack in adults with hypercholesterolemia, Peterson says. In these cases, a family history of severe high cholesterol is the best indicator that a child might be at risk for this kind of problem.

Other reasons for heart attack would include a structural abnormality of the heart or arteries that a child would be born with.

So what can a parent do to protect their child against sudden cardiac death?

In some cases, diagnosis can be incredibly difficult as the first symptom of a problem will be cardiac arrest or sudden death. Examples of this have been widely publicized in cases of teen athletes who drop dead seemingly out of nowhere on the field or court. While these instances are devastating, Dr. Rene Herlong, a pediatric cardiologist with Singer Heart & Vascular Institute, urges parents to not become overly worried that this might happen to their child as it "is rare as walking outside and getting hit by lightning."

But if your child suffers from chest pain, especially during exercise, or faints during exercise, this is something that should be checked out by a medical professional as it could be a sign of a heart condition, Herlong adds.

Knowing the family history and being aware of any genetic predispositions towards heart conditions is one of the best things a parent can do, Peterson says. And when a heart attack or cardiac arrest occurs, it is essential to give the child basic life support in the form of CPR or defibrillation, if a defibrillator is available, as soon as possible until advanced life support from medical professionals arrives.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan252011

FDA Seeks Tougher Oversight for Defibrillators

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ROCKVILLE, Md.) – The Food and Drug Administration has asked for greater standards for external defibrillators as issues with the technology have led to several recalls, according to HealthDay News.

The FDA Tuesday asked a panel of advisors for stricter oversight on the devices, which are used to jumpstart a patient’s heart in an emergency, because manufacturers have failed to fix problems that led to the recalls.

In the past five years, the FDA says there have been 68 recalls of the device, as well as 23,591 reports of malfunction.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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