Navigation Links
When the Heart Stops Beating
Date:1/5/2009

Survivors tell their stories of sudden cardiac arrest

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Deanna Babcock's heart stopped beating on July 20, 2007. Just like that.

"I was swimming in a pool at North Carolina State University, doing normal laps," recalled Babcock, who was 23 years old and in excellent health, or so she thought. "My strokes started getting sloppy, and I coasted to a stop face down."

Jim Stoltz's heart stopped on July 20, 2009. "I was sitting at my desk," said Stoltz, 66, who is an accountant who lives in Flanders, N.J. "I don't recall much. I simply went under my desk. I woke up five days later in the hospital."

Both Babcock and Stoltz were victims of sudden cardiac arrest, in which the electrical system that controls the heart's beating simply stops working the way it should. It is a condition that causes more deaths in the United States than breast cancer and lung cancer combined. An estimated 95 percent of those who experience it die before reaching a hospital.

These story endings were better, mostly because people who saw what was happening knew what to do. "They told me that co-workers standing by and two others immediately started CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation]," Stoltz said. "It's a combination of chest compression and breathing. They did it for about 10 minutes, until the emergency medical service arrived."

"They used a defibrillator on me," Babcock said, referring to a device available in some public places that delivers an electrical jolt to start the heart beating again. "A lifeguard did it."

Stoltz is back at work now, feeling "pretty good, almost back to the level of exercise I was doing prior to that."

Babcock's story is less happy "When I had some trouble with circulation to the outer extremities, they had to amputate my left leg above the knee." She now is an associate in the university's science department, doing research on adult education.

The two stories are illustrative of the problem of sudden cardiac arrest in several ways, said Dr. Fritz A. Ehlert, director of the electrophysiology fellowship at Columbia University.

First, sudden cardiac arrest has to be distinguished from a heart attack, in which heart muscle dies when its blood supply is cut off. "Not everyone who has a heart attack develops sudden cardiac arrest, which is a rhythm disturbance," Ehlert said.

And while the risk factors for heart attack are well-known and easily detected -- high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes -- sudden cardiac arrest is not as easily predicted. The risk is higher "for anyone why has had one in the past, who has a history of heart attack, who has heart failure, who has a family history of sudden cardiac arrest," Ehlert said.

Once it happens, seconds matter. "For every minute that goes by before therapy is initiated, survival decreases by 10 percent," Ehlert said. "The issue is always getting trained medical people to respond as quickly as possible."

The availability of external defibrillators is always a help, he said. Both Babcock and Stoltz now have implanted defibrillators, which deliver shocks automatically if the heart stops beating.

"It's in there, but you can't feel it," Babcock said.

More information

Causes, prevention and treatment of sudden cardiac arrest are described by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.



SOURCES: Deanna Babcock, Raleigh, N.C.; Jim Stoltz, Flanders, N.J., Fritz A. Ehlert, M.D., associate clinical professor, medicine, and director, electrophysiology fellowship, Columbia University, New York City


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Second Harvest Heartland, Feeding America, General Mills, and The Biggest Loser Team to Help Community Lose Weight and Raise Funds to Feed the Hungry
2. African Americans to Reach Health Resolutions Through Search Your Heart
3. Statins Help Prevent Delirium After Heart Surgery
4. Treadmill Desks to the Rescue: Weight Control and Activity Critical in Preventing Heart Failure
5. 5,000 Medical Leaders Report Latest Advancements in Biomedical Technologies; Breakthroughs by 2015 Predicted for Alzheimer's, Heart Disease, Cancer, and Diabetes
6. Even a Little Overweight, Inactivity Hurts the Heart
7. The Womens Heart Health Initiative announces creation of new womens cardiology research fellowship
8. Panic attacks linked to higher risk of heart attacks and heart disease, especially in younger people
9. FDA Wants New Diabetes Drugs Tested for Heart Risks
10. Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Wont Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
11. Recent UC Davis Study Finds Strawberries May Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
When the Heart Stops Beating
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, ... treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic ... osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, ... minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to ... value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. ... articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... The Grove Investment Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations at its ... Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a complete system ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... National recruitment firm ... sciences executive with extensive sequencing and genomics experience, as Vice President of North American ... Hill will be responsible for leading the sales team in the commercialization of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or ... protective structures, replacing dumb structures such as vehicle ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 According ... by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle ... GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - ... This report studies the market for the forecast period ... reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function ... the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep ... in balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: