Category Archives: AEDs in Schools

Be Ready to Help in a Heartbeat

Student athletes spend hours training for competition — but how about training to save a life?

SCA on soccer field.

Studies show that 6,000 – 8,000 teens experience sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) annually.1 Every three days, a student athlete falls victim to sudden cardiac death.2

Student athletes are at heightened risk for SCA due to the additional strain placed on the heart during athletic conditioning and competition. Contributing factors include the influx of adrenaline, dehydration, fever, and changes in electrolytes.3

While SCA isn’t preventable, sudden cardiac death can be. All it takes is to educate students on the symptoms that can precede an SCA event and to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) readily available during athletic practices and competition.

SCA can strike without warning, but sometimes symptoms are presented. Student athletes often dismiss symptoms preceding an SCA event for fear of losing precious game time. That’s why it’s vitally important for athletes to fully understand the risks they face and feel confident speaking up to prevent sudden cardiac death.

Here are some of the warning signs:5

  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat – racing or fluttering
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Extreme fatigue

Nine out of ten victims who receive a shock from an AED within the first minute of SCA survive.4 Ensuring that your students and coaches are trained to respond to an SCA emergency could help save a life.

Download the ‘Help in a Heartbeat’ flyer to educate your team about the symptoms of SCA.

To learn more about the latest package from Cardiopartners to help your athletic teams respond to any emergency, visit: https://www.aed.com/zoll-aed-plus-athletic-director-s-package

1 “Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Teenage Athletes: What’s the Risk?”. Promise powered by Nemours Children’s Health System. https://blog.nemours.org/2017/02/sudden-cardiac-arrest-teenage-athletes-risk/

2 “Young Athletes & Sudden Cardiac Arrest”. Boston Scientific. http://www.your-heart-health.com/content/close-the-gap/en-US/heart-disease-facts/young-athletes.html

3 “Sports and Sudden Cardiac Arrest(SCA)”. Cardiosmart – American College of Cardiology. https://www.cardiosmart.org/Heart-Conditions/Sports-and-Sudden-Cardiac-Arrest

4Source: 2017, AHA Mediagenic Survey Results; 2017, AHA with Edelman Intelligence; 2017, AHA with BLR Media; Postgrad Medical Journal, October 2007.

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Cardio Partners: A Year in Review

Top Blogs of 2018

2018 was a busy year for all of us here at Cardio Partners and AED.com. We had the honor of joining a Texas Girl Scout as she donated an AED to her community, we checked in with SCA Survivor Rob Seymour, partnered with Operation Homefront’s Back-to-School-Brigade, attended the EMS World Expo in Nashville, and celebrated as lawmakers in Tennessee and California enacted new AED legislation.

To discover your favorite posts, dear reader, we tallied the votes, counted the comments, and checked out the analytics. Thanks for reading!

Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Cardio Partners Blog Posts of 2018!

1) You Really Love Your Pets

And so do we! According to Google and Facebook, you sure do have a soft spot for your fur family! With nearly 15,000 page views and dozens of likes, CPR for Pets, with its step-by-step instructions, was a winner. Maybe our follow-up article, 8 Reasons Why Cats are Good for Your Health, which was published in late October in honor of National Cat Day, just hasn’t had time to gain traction.

2) Serious as a Heart Attack (or Sudden Cardiac Arrest)

The question, is it a heart attack or cardiac arrest? seems to be weighing heavily on the minds of our readers. What’s the difference, you ask? Here’s a little multiple choice pop quiz:

Which of the following best describes a heart attack?

  1. Don’t sneak up on me like that! You nearly gave me a heart attack.
  2. He almost had a heart attack when he found out how much dinner cost.
  3. Bacon for breakfast, bacon for lunch, bacon for dinner. Bacon, bacon, bacon. Now that’s a recipe for a heart attack!
  4. He made her heart skip a beat.

If you answered C, then you’ve been a loyal follower of the Cardio Partners blog! (Or you’re a doctor, an EMS professional, or an employee of Cardio Partners.) In a nutshell, a heart attack occurs with a blockage in a coronary artery blocks the flow of blood to the heart. A cardiac arrest occurs when the electrical system of the heart unexpectedly stops working.

3) Arcane Defibrillation and AED History is Fascinating

Perhaps the most surprising entry on this list is the History of Defibrillation, Defibrillators, and Portable AEDs. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who could resist the headline: “From Dogs to Tablespoons to ZOLL, AEDs Have Come a Long Way.” If you missed out the first time around, be sure to read up on the “Self-starter For a Dead Man’s Heart.”

4) Not All CPR is Created Equally

We can’t think of anything more frightening than performing CPR on a child or infant. It seems as though our readers feel the same way. Not only is this one of our top 5 posts of 2018, but readers spent more time reading this post than any other on this list. In this post, we covered the differences between infant, child, and adult CPR and also discussed the pediatric chain of survival.

5) Take Our Word For It: You Should Learn CPR

Plenty of Googlers were looking for reasons to learn CPR this year. Our post, 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn CPR, made it to the top of the charts!

6) Statistics Take the Cake

In case you missed the original post, here are 6 Shocking Statistics About Cardiac Arrest and AEDs, plus one extra for good measure:

  1. Each year, more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) occur in the United States.
  2. Among middle-aged adults treated for Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), 50% had no symptoms before the onset of arrest.
  3. 475,000 Americans die from a cardiac arrest every year and 17.5 million people across the globe die from cardiovascular disease each year.
  4. 10,000 SCAs occur in the workplace each year.
  5. 68.5% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur at home.
  6. 45% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims survive when bystander CPR is administered.
  7. SCA kills more Americans than lung cancer, breast cancer, and HIV/AIDS combined.

7) You’re CPR-Curious

We gave you 10 great reasons why you should learn CPR, yet plenty of you wanted more information. What Will I Learn From a CPR or First Aid Class was also a big ratings winner. Read about it all you like, but nothing takes the place of the real thing. Sign up for a CPR, AED and First Aid training course near you!

8) It’s a Trip, It’s Got a Funky Beat, and I Can Bug Out to It!

We had some fun this summer curating our very own playlist, CPR Songs: Greatest Hits to Save Lives. From the Bee Gees’ rather obvious choice, “Stayin’ Alive,” to Bey and Jay’s “Crazy in Love” to JT’s  “Rock Your Body,” and just about everything in between, we found plenty of tunes set to a heart-thumping 100 to 120 beats per minute.

9) The Chain of Survival Really is a Thing

Why is the chain of survival so important, you ask? Because knowing and understanding each link in the chain can dramatically improve the survival odds of someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. According to the American Heart Association the five links in the adult out-of-hospital Chain of Survival are:

  1. Recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system
  2. Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with an emphasis on chest compressions
  3. Rapid defibrillation
  4. Basic and advanced emergency medical services
  5. Advanced life support and post-cardiac arrest care

10) A Shout-out to our Friends at Brentwood Fire and Rescue

The good people of Facebook voted with their “likes” and our final nod goes to the fabulous folks at the Brentwood Fire and Rescue Department. In “What You Need to Know to Stop the Bleed and Save a Life,” we shared a few tips and shared some additional information on the Curaplex Stop the Bleed Kit.

Have a safe New Year and a wonderful 2019! Questions about our products and services? Please contact Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. We also welcome your emails, and you can reach us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

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How Obesity Plays a Deadly Role in Cardiac Arrest Among Young People

The Good News? Early Screening for Cardiovascular Risk Factors Can Save Lives.

We all know that being overweight or obese is bad for your health, but did you know the extent to which obesity and other risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol are linked to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in young people between the ages of five and 34?

A recent study conducted by Sumeet S. Chugh, MD, medical director of Cedars-Sinai’s Heart Rhythm Center in Los Angeles and a leader in sudden cardiac death research, found that easily identifiable cardiovascular risk factors were common in young people who suffer from cardiac arrest.

First, a quick word about SCA. Unlike a heart attack, which occurs when one or more coronary artery becomes blocked, SCA occurs when the heart stops beating, stopping the flow of blood to the brain and to other vital organs. SCA often occurs abruptly and without warning. If the heartbeat is not restored with an electrical shock, death follows within minutes. In fact, SCA accounts for more than 350,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Cardiac arrest claims one life every 90 seconds and accounts for more deaths than colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, influenza, pneumonia, auto accidents, HIV, firearms, and house fires combined (Heart Rhythm Society).

Obesity can significantly increase the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, and all three of these conditions are closely connected with heart disease. In fact, Science Daily reports that being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk of coronary heart disease by up to 28% compared to those with a healthy body weight, even if they have healthy blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels!

We recently investigated What Causes Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Young People and found that although causes of SCA in children and young adults vary, death is often a result of genetic heart abnormalities, structural abnormalities, or commotio cordis caused by athletic activity. However, researchers at Cedars-Sinai have discovered that obesity and other common (and often preventable) cardiovascular risk factors may play a much greater role in SCA in children and younger people than previously known.

Obesity, Other Risks Play Large Role in Sudden Cardiac Arrest Among the Young,” an article published by the hospital about Dr. Chugh’s study, notes that “Combinations of obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking were found in nearly 60 percent of cases studied. The findings shed light on a public health problem among the young that has remained largely unsolved.”

“One of the revelations of this study is that risk factors such as obesity may play a much larger role for the young people who die from sudden cardiac arrest than previously known,” said Dr. Chugh.

The comprehensive 16-hospital, multiyear assessment was conducted as part of the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study.  The study was partially funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Routine Preventative Visits May Reduce Cardiovascular Risk

In the article, Dr. Chugh suggests extending prevention efforts (such as offering resources for smoking cessation programs, sharing exercise guidelines, and tips for healthy eating) to include routine preventive screenings for children and young adults. This addition could help reduce cardiovascular risk.

“The added benefit of such screenings is that early efforts to reduce cardiovascular risk are known to translate into reduction of adult cardiovascular disease,” he said.

These visits, typically covered at no charge by health insurance providers (healthcare.gov), usually include screenings, checkups, and counseling. The goal of these visits is to help prevent health problems before a young person at risk for sudden cardiac arrest experiences any symptoms. By reducing known risk factors for cardiovascular disease, we may simultaneously lower the number of deaths caused by cardiac arrest.

We hope you’ll visit our blog in the coming weeks for more information on smoking cessation and for strategies to prevent heart disease. In the meantime, if you’re thinking about purchasing a new or recertified AED for your home or workplace, or you’d like to schedule AED training or maintenance, visit AED.com or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. We also welcome your emails, you can reach us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

 

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