Cardiac Arrest deaths are rising

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been significantly higher sudden cardiac arrest incidences and lower survival rates in the U.S, according to findings presented at the hybrid Heart Rhythm 2021 meeting. The study compared “sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) incidence and outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 1 to Dec. 31, 2020) to the corresponding period in 2019 in a U.S. community.” The below is taken from In 2019, there were 314 SCAs in Ventura County (average, 31.4 cases per month; 10-month incidence rate, 36.9 per 100,000 people) compared with 410 in 2020 (average, 41 cases per month, 30% higher than in 2019; 10-month incidence rate, 48.2 per 100,000 people; P < .001). An increase in SCA and COVID-19 also occurred in the area in December 2020. Researchers found that the proportion of SCAs with shockable rhythm declined from 25% in 2019 to 19% in 2020 (P = .05), as did survival to hospital discharge (14.7% to 8.8%; P = .01). There were no differences in proportion of SCAs with witnessed arrest (P = .2), bystander CPR (P = .1) and return of spontaneous circulation (P = .15). “SCA incidence was significantly higher and survival outcomes lower during the COVID-19 pandemic period, with evidence of overlap between the two conditions,” Chugh and colleagues wrote in the abstract. “These findings have implications for community public health and EMS response planning during the pandemic and subsequent outbreaks.”

DRSABCD And Defibrillators

  DRSABCD  The DRSABCD Action Plan is a vital guide to treating a patient in a life-threatening condition. It is an action plan used extensively by St John Ambulance DRSABCD, Surf Life Saving and by many schools, university, sporting clubs, corporate office and on-site workplaces. The action plan is extensively taught as part of Surf Life Saving Advanced Resuscitation program because incidents such as downings can cause cardiac arrest. There are estimates of over 30,000 incidents of cardiac arrests per year in Australia. It is calculated that every minute of delay will reduce the chances of survival by 10%. Essentially there is only a 10-minute window to deal with the incident. Receiving the proper training, practice and being fully prepared is essential given the short time frame. Defibrillator Training for DRSABCD Cardiac Defibrillators offers defibrillation training units, so participants of advanced resuscitation techniques can receive end-to-end training of the DRSABCD Action plan. It is perfectly safe to use since the unit does not provide defibrillation therapy, so it is perfect for hands-on training for the defibrillator section of the DRSABCD action program. The defibrillator trainer unit simulates different heart rhythms and gives students the opportunity to apply defibrillation pads, practice AED use, and perform CPR compression on a manikin. The clear, instructive voice and metronome guide the user through the rescue scenario. Reusable training pads enable instructors to provide training for adult and paediatric rescues.   Other Defibrillator Training Resources We have a range of training resources for our defibrillators. View all our resources here. You can download our DRSABCD infographic to hang on the wall or place in the emergency response manual at work.   DRSABCD is an acronym/mnemonic taught on first aid courses to help you have an action plan on how to respond in a medical emergency. It >stands for Danger, Response, Send for help, Airway, Breathing, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Defibrillation. If you haven’t already, make sure you do a CPR course – it could mean the vital difference between life and death. Knowing how to respond to the DRSABCD way means you can help keep a person breathing, reduce their pain or help them survive until an ambulance arrives.  Danger: If you find yourself in an emergency situation, you need to ascertain how dangerous it is to you, any bystanders and the injured/ ill person before you try to help. Do not put yourself in harm’s way when going to the assistance of another person. Response: Check to see if the person is conscious. Do they respond when you talk to them, touch their hands or squeeze their shoulder? Communicate by talking to them loudly and gently shake their shoulders (not vigorously). If you do not get a response, the person is unconscious.  Send for help: If you realise that the situation calls for emergency services, your first action should be to send/shout/summon for help. In Australia, the number for all emergency services is triple zero. Dial 000 and answer the questions asked by the operator. Bystanders should leave a clear path/ space around the patient so that emergency services can find their way quickly.   Airway: Can the person breathe? Is the person’s airway clear? An unconscious patient is at risk of airway obstruction due to the tongue falling back. Perform a head tilt-chin lift to open their airway, this can be achieved by opening their mouth and having a look inside. If the person’s mouth is clear, tilt their head gently back (by lifting their chin) and check for breathing. If the person’s mouth is not clear, place the person on their side, open their mouth and clear any obstructions, then tilt the head back and check for breathing.   Breathing: Check for breathing by looking for chest movements (up and down). Listen by putting your ear near to their mouth and nose. Feel for breathing by putting your hand on the lower part of their chest. If the person is unconscious but breathing, turn them onto their side, carefully ensuring that you keep their head, neck, and spine in alignment. Monitor their breathing until you hand over to the ambulance officers. CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation): If the person is unconscious and not breathing, make sure they are flat on their back and then place the heel of one hand in the centre of the person’s chest and your other hand on top. Press down firmly, compressing to one-third of the person’s chest depth. Do this 30 times. Give two breaths. To get the breath in, tilt their head back gently by lifting their chin. Pinch their nostrils closed, place your open mouth firmly over the person’s open mouth and blow firmly into their mouth. Keep going with the 30 compressions and two breaths at the speed of approximately five repeats in two minutes until you hand over to the arriving ambulance officers or another trained person, or until the person you are resuscitating responds. The method for CPR for children under eight years old is similar.   Defibrillator: For an unconscious person who is not breathing, apply an automated external defibrillator (AED), if one is available. Many public places, clubs, and organisations have one, so ask for it. An AED is a machine that delivers an electrical shock to cancel any irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)and get the normal heartbeat to re-establish itself. Follow the instructions and voice prompts. If the person responds to defibrillation, turn them onto their side and tilt their head to maintain their airway. If the patient is a child, make sure the AED is suitable to use on a minor.    

I Love My Second Chance At Life

A HUMAN chain of life support across a Cheltenham industrial park, linked by three emergency service units and a hospital ward, has saved new mum Samantha Jobe. She was about to start warming up for her workout at Crossfit121, with husband Damien and eight-week-old daughter Makayla looking on, when she collapsed. Mrs Jobe, 32, hadn’t tripped, as gym instructors first thought. Her heart had stopped and she had no pulse. Gym owner Chris Hoganand trainer Tara Smith swung into action, alternating between CPR compressions and breaths, while his wife Maria sprinted to nearby chemical company BASF. It recently bought a defibrillator, and had told other businesses in the Taunton Drive industrial estate. BASF workers Chloe Collins and Jack West ran the device back to the gym, where they successfully shocked Mrs Jobe to regain a pulse. An ambulance crew, fire brigade and a MICA unit arrived within ten minutes. They took over CPR and administered a breathing tube and blood pressure medications, to keep Mrs Jobe stable until she arrived at hospital. MICA paramedic Christine Edney said she feared the worst. “People are considered clinically brain dead after four to five minutes, so it’s really important to have that early access to CPR and defibrillation,” she said. “Any business such as gyms, hospitals, medical centres should have an automatic defibrillator. They’re not costly and they save lives.” Monash Heart cardiologists have not been able to find the cause of Mrs Jobe’s heart-stopping moment, with no family history of heart disease, she has had a defibrillator implanted — and the gym bought one last week. She has been given the all-clear by doctors to return to exercise, her husband and gym staff have imposed a ban for now. “I’m looking forward to getting back to a normal life, driving and exercising, but I’m just waiting for them to be comfortable about it,” she said. “It’s put a lot of things into perspective. They saved my life. I know how lucky I am that I will see Makayla grow up.” Written by Brigid O’Connell – Herald Sun Image: David Caird

Fifteen-year-old basketballer suffers cardiac arrest on court

Measuring almost two-metres tall teenager Josh Simpson looks like nothing could bring him down. But the six-foot-five Melbourne basketballer almost died mid-game six weeks ago when he suffered a cardiac arrest. Josh was running back in defence while playing for the Aberfeldie Jetts and started to feel sick before collapsing. “My vision started closing in black. So I called for a sub and I can’t remember anything after that,” Josh told 9News. Mum Jodie rushed from the sidelines along with other parents and officials to start CPR. Josh was not breathing and had no pulse. “It was pretty terrifying. To see your son laying there lifeless was really hard,” Mrs Simpson said. Off-duty nurse George Fernandes was watching his son play on another court and heard the commotion. He grabbed the stadium’s public defibrillator to administer two shocks to Josh’s chest. “Then his heart started and he came back, and that was the best feeling,” George told 9News. Once Ambulance Victoria paramedics arrived Josh, miraculously, was conscious. His sudden heart failure was caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – a common but potentially deadly condition affecting the ventricles. Now less than two months later, Josh is back on court to shoot a few hoops with team-mates – and to reunite with those who brought him back from the brink. “I want to say thank you to all the people who saved my life,” he said. “The people who came and helped are very brave. Very, very brave.” More Victorians than ever before are surviving cardiac arrest, thanks in part of the use of public defibrillator units. State Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said a record 75 per cent of cardiac arrest patients shocked with a defib machine last financial year survived. That survival rate is up from 65 per cent in the year 2015 to 2016. “Every second counts where there is a cardiac arrest and the fact that we have got more publicly accessible defibrillators in our community now is making a huge amount of difference,” Minister Mikakos told 9News. Ambulance Victoria’s Tony Walker says 90 per cent of cardiac arrest sufferers will not make it – unless CPR or defibrillation is applied. “When people step in and do what they have done in Josh’s case, and others in the community, we are seeing some of the best survival rates in the world,” Mr Walker said. Mrs Simpson is now advocating for more defibrillators on hand in case of emergency. “Every sporting hall should have them. Every school should have them. The community needs to step up. We need to do this,” she told 9News. Josh echoes his mum’s call – but is also focused on getting back to the game he loves. “What runs through my mind is ‘am I going to get back to basketball, am I going to work the hard yards and get to where I need to be in basketball?’”

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Operating in Australia since 1999, Cardiac Defibrillators extends lives by supplying the public and healthcare professionals with life-saving automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

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