Gasping Can Indicate Survival After Cardiac Arrest

According to the AHA, more than 350,000 people experience a non-traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) every year, averaging to more than 1,000 victims each day*. Among those statistics, only about 10 percent of OHCA victims survive. To combat these odds, however, a quick response with an automatic external defibrillator (AED) and CPR can improve the survival rate of an individual. In addition to the efforts of a rescuer, a recent study suggests gasping for air before or during CPR in an OHCA victim can actually be an indicator of survival with “favorable” brain function.

Gasping, or agonal respiration, is an individual’s natural reflex to allow for oxygen and circulation during CPR. This is said to be a marker for brainstem activity.

Remember, if someone is unresponsive and not breathing OR not breathing normally, start CPR.

According to researcher Guillaume Debaty, MD, this is the first report of its kind to stress the connection of gasping as a predictive factor to long-term survival and favorable brain function. Of those survivors, 37 percent had irregular respiration during CPR. This indicator is seen as a positive, which further solidifies the need for chest compressions during an OHCA on a gasping victim.

Following this study, researchers are recommending an emphasis be placed on identifying abnormal pattern breathing as an early sign of cardiac arrest. One of the authors of the report said it is a person’s natural response “deserving attention.” With this recent information, there is new stress on incorporating the recognition of gasping into CPR training. Researchers highlight the importance of rescuers correctly associating gasping as an indicator of cardiac arrest, rather than normal breathing.

Another goal for attributing gasping to cardiac arrest and survival rates is to help improve the lack of reporting and tracking around the phenomena in order to inform future research.

Are you thinking about CPR training? We hope so. Cardio Partners is a nationwide training center offering traditional classroom courses through the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association. Schedule CPR training by emailing customerservice@cardiopartners.com or by learning more here.

 Source: http://www.cpr.heart.org/AHAECC/CPRAndECC/General/UCM_477263_Cardiac-Arrest-Statistics.jsp

Tom Metcalf Promoted to President, Acute and Brian LaDuke Joins Sarnova as President, Emergency Preparedness

DUBLIN, Ohio – Sarnova Inc., parent company to four fast-growing business units: Bound Tree Medical, Cardio Partners, Emergency Medical Products and Tri-anim Health Services, announced today the creation of two major leadership roles at the company.

 

Tom Metcalf has been promoted to the new position of President, Acute, from his previous role as Senior Vice President of Acute & EMS Sales. Tom will be responsible for managing the leaders of Tri-anim Health Services’ sales, health systems, sales operations and product management teams and will assume full P&L responsibility for Sarnova’s Acute business. Throughout his six-year tenure at Sarnova, Tom has assumed larger responsibilities and transformed the company’s sales teams. Prior to joining Sarnova, Tom held sales leadership positions with GE Healthcare, Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson and other noted companies in the medical device space.

 

Brian LaDuke joins Sarnova as President, Emergency Preparedness. In this newly created position, Brian will oversee the sales and product management teams and have full P&L responsibility for Bound Tree Medical, Cardio Partners and Emergency Medical Products. Prior to joining Sarnova, Brian served as a Vice President responsible for multiple divisions at Invacare Corporation with oversight of sales, marketing and operations. Through his leadership, he helped grow Invacare into a leading global provider of home and long-term care medical products.

 

“These organizational changes come as a direct result of the success we are experiencing as a company,” said Jeff Prestel, CEO. “The new organization structure is a natural next step in our journey to become the best company in specialty medical sales and distribution.”

 

About Sarnova:

Sarnova is the leading national specialty distributor of healthcare products in the emergency medical services (EMS) and acute care markets. The company is comprised of four major business units:  Bound Tree Medical, Cardio Partners, Emergency Medical Products and Tri-anim Health Services. Sarnova is a company of Water Street Healthcare Partners, a strategic investor focused exclusively on the health care industry. For more information, visit www.sarnova.com.

 

Media Contact:

Beth Scott, Director of Marketing Communications

(614) 760-5000

beth.scott@sarnova.com

October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month

October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month, a time to recognize the severity of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and what can be done to help save others during such a tragic experience. Every year, more than 350,000 people die in the U.S. of out-of-hospital SCA. According to the Sudden Cardiac Awareness Foundation, this number is almost equal to the amount of lives claimed by Alzheimer’s disease, assault with firearms, breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, diabetes, HIV, house fires, motor vehicle accidents, prostate cancer and suicide combined.

Despite such a high number, SCA can be treated successfully if caught in time for CPR and defibrillation with an automatic external defibrillator (AED). If a rescuer can perform these lifesaving tasks, survival rates increase from an average of 10 percent to 50 percent.

Every business, school and home should have an AED present and accessible. As part of SCA Awareness Month, we are encouraging the implementation of AEDs by partnering with our manufacturer ZOLL Medical and giving away two free AEDs!

The ZOLL AED Plus is designed for any rescuer and is also one of the only AEDs to provide Real CPR feedback . The Real CPR Help feature, audio and on-screen prompts will help walk rescuers through performing chest compressions. It also measures the depth and rate to ensure safety.

Throughout October, go to www.aed.com and sign up to win a free ZOLL AED Plus! Winners will be announced on 10/16/17 and 10/31/17 on the AED.com Facebook and Linkedin pages.

Commotio Cordis: Secret Killer in Young Athletes

Safety always comes before the game, especially when young people are involved. With sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) being the number one cause of death among student athletes, parents and coaches must be prepared for such an unimaginable event. Often times, SCA occurs in student athletes for one of these three reasons: A blow to the chest (Commotio Cordis); structural heart defects (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Marfan syndrome, etc.); or electrical heart defects (long QT syndrome, Wolff-Parkinson White Syndromes, etc.).

Commotio Cordis is Latin for “agitation of the heart,” which occurs when there is a blow to the chest between heartbeats. This can trigger a SCA. According to a report by the UT Southwestern Medical Center, many of these incidents take place when youths are playing baseball, where the ball has the ability to travel at very high speeds. For example, when a student athlete is struck in the chest with a baseball, the heart will go into ventricular fibrillation. This means the heart will begin an uncoordinated quivering, and unless an external automatic defibrillator (AED) is present to shock the heart back into its appropriate rhythm, it will eventually stop.

Though Commotio Cordis is considered a rare event, is still the second most common cause of sudden death among athletes. It is most common in teenage boys, usually dropping off around the age of 20. The age factor —according to the UT report — could be related to the strengthening of the chest wall and a decline in playing sports after high school. Regardless, coaches and parents should learn to recognize the signs of Commotio Cordis in order to ensure the right precautions are taken for the safety of these athletes.

Be AED and CPR ready should you notice any of the below risk factors in a young athlete, especially if it follows trauma to the chest:

  • Fainting or seizures during or after exercising
  • Any indication of chest pains
  • Unexplained shortness of breath or long time to catch breath

http://www.aed.com/aed-packages-page/athletic-aed-packages.html

 

Public Access Rescue Ready AEDs

It’s happened! Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) just struck in the person next to you, and they are in dire need of an automatic external defibrillator (AED). Luckily, you know where the AED is located, and it also has the ability to walk you through CPR. But as you grab this lifesaving device, the unthinkable happens — or rather, it doesn’t. The AED isn’t rescue ready. The device hasn’t been checked for preventative maintenance in years.

According to a study by UofL researchers, 21 percent of 322 AEDs at 190 public, non-hospital settings failed at least one phase of testing. Of that number, five percent had expired batteries, which would not allow them to work in a time of need.

Unfortunately, there are no required standards for the maintenance of AEDs or its registration. This makes the upkeep entirely voluntary for the AED carrier. Initially, the AED is registered with the vendor in order for the purchaser to receive updates on any recalls and advisories.

Cardio Partners offers preventative maintenance services to ensure your device is rescue ready. This helps to cut on costs of any unnecessary repairs or startling discoveries should it not work in a time of need. Preventative maintenance can help to guarantee a long lifetime for your piece of equipment; so that you can rest assured that is going to be ready in a time of need.

Why We Need AEDs in Schools

 

With school back in full swing again, teachers, coaches and other faculty members must strive to create a safe environment for every child that walks through their doors. Having that responsibility is big, but creating a little piece of mind by implementing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools is even bigger. When we lose nearly 7,000 young people to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) each year, it’s hard not to concern ourselves with the best way to respond should it strike during school hours. Not every school can afford to have emergency personnel on the premises, so having a life-saving source is key — especially when the AED is designed to walk any rescuer through defibrillation and CPR using voice prompts.

 

Despite the fact SCA can strike at any time in people of all ages and fitness levels, only 17 out of 50 states in the U.S. are required to install AEDs in schools, says an analysis published in the Journal of the American College Cardiology. This seems like an impossible number of states without the requirement for AEDs in schools, especially considering that defibrillation within three minutes of SCA can increase a person’s survival to 70 percent.

 

Often times, SCA occurs in young persons between the ages 10-19 years old; however, it can still strike in children of all ages without warning. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, two-thirds of SCA-related deaths in children happen during exercise or activity. With this in mind, preparation for such a tragic event can start with simple CPR, AED and first training.

 

Knowing that AEDs are crucial to increasing someone’s survival rate, there’s no question as to why they’re needed in schools. So, before investing in an AED at your facility, you first want to be sure it’s affordable, reliable and, most importantly, easy to use. Fortunately, models like the Zoll AED Plus and the HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P can offer a solution. Both of these affordable, lifesaving devices use voice prompts, which helps guide any rescuer through the resuscitation process. This allows the user to feel confident in their rescuing abilities during a very high stress situation.

Opioid Overdoses and Cardiac Arrest

EMS responders play a critical role in the treatment and, potentially, the prevention of the opioid epidemic we face today. Due to the staggering amount of deaths to opioid overdoses, it has been deemed a public health crisis. Opioids are responsible for decreasing the sensation of pain for the user by stimulating certain receptors in the brain. The lack of any perceived pain induces a feeling of euphoria- the feeling chased by opioid abusers.

The umbrella of opioids include heroin and several prescription painkillers such as methadone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and fentanyl. During an opioid overdose, the patient experiences difficulty breathing and often respiratory arrest. Unfortunately, following respiratory arrest, a common secondary outcome of an opioid overdose occurs: cardiac arrest.

EMS responders often use naloxone which reverses the effects of opioid overdose, making it possible for the patient to breathe again. This drug is time sensitive and administering it can be a risky decision. Naloxone can prompt narcotic withdrawal symptoms and if it is administered too aggressively, the patient may have violent reactions. Since cardiac arrest frequently follows respiratory arrest, it is important to check the patient’s pulse and have an AED nearby in case the patient needs to be resuscitated. It is important to abide by the local rules if you have to administer naloxone to a patient in cardiac arrest.

With the help of properly and safely administered naloxone and timely use of an AED, many lives can and will be saved. EMS responders play a vital role in helping to decrease opioid overdoses every day. With the proper rehabilitation and education opportunities, this public health crisis may, one day, be less prevalent.

For more information about cardiac emergency preparedness, please visit www.aed.com.