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:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... The National ... upon National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians and welcomes this organization ... Dr. Jan G. West, Ph.D. , CEO & Organizational Psychologist at NBRI. ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2017 , ... RawTrition ... an easy way to get nutrients from SUPERFOODS! , RawTrition is taking ... at the cellular level because the body recognizes its raw form (unlike the synthetically ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... an agile ecosystem and domain expertise for sponsors and CROs to speed ... trial supply management (RTSM) software platform. Bioclinica AGILE RTSM provides ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Splashtop Inc. , ... . This new addition to the Mirroring360 product family combines device screen mirroring ... Mirroring360 Pro enables educators, business professionals and individuals to stream or mirror app ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... ... A stressful work environment can hurt the physical and emotional health of ... the workplace. The goal of Clearview Resolution Services has always been to help others, ... Services will be shutting down the office early on Fridays. The Clearview team will ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/21/2017)... , April 21, 2017 Halo Labs ... throughput biopharmaceutical particle analysis system called the Horizon at ... May 1st. The new system analyzes sub visible particulate ... time rapid particle screening as early as candidate selection ... with leading biopharma contract research organization Elion Labs ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. ... healthcare, today announced that it will be participating in ... at the InterContinental Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts ... will present at 11:20 a.m. Eastern Time. ... via Zimmer Biomet,s Investor Relations website at http://investor.zimmerbiomet.com ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Market and Increasing Usage of Complex Biologics during the Forecast Period" ... ... 20 Billion in 2015 to around USD 26 Billion by 2020. ... by Rapidly Expanding Injectables Market and Increasing Usage of Complex Biologics ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: