Commotio cordis survival: Cardiac Science for the week of July 20

Heartsafe news: Our weekly update on what’s happening in the world of heart safety and noninvasive cardiology

Sports AEDs: Commotio cordis survival rate is just 15 percent

Fourteen-year-old Hunter Cairns survived commotio cordis — rapid, ineffective heartbeat caused by a blow to the chest — making him one of the fortunate 15 percent of victims brought back to life by CPR and a shock from an automated external defibrillator (AED). Cairns had been playing in a high school baseball game in Los Alamitos, California, when he was hit in the chest by a pitched ball.

Cardiologist Barry Maron, interviewed by the Long Beach, California, Press-Telegram, described commotio cordis as “a lethal situation.” Maron heads the U.S. Commotio Cordis Registry, which has documented some 225 cases in the past decade and found a 15 percent survival rate. Survival depends on treatment within the first few minutes after commotio cordis occurs. Maron said that after four minutes have passed, survival becomes “increasingly unlikely.”

High-rise AEDs in Shanghai

San Diego drew attention earlier this year when it mandated AEDs in new high-rise buildings. The highest high-rise in China, the Shanghai World Financial Center in Shanghai’s Pudong New Area, has installed three AEDs and is in the process of training 2,000 staff in their use.

The Shanghai Daily reports that the Shanghai Emergency Medical Center responds to hundreds of urgent calls to local high rises every year, and it can take up to 10 minutes for first aid workers to arrive at the 20th floor or higher. The new World Financial Center, a mixed-use skyscraper, has 101 floors.

AED training is being conducted by five Japanese doctors, including some involved in the 2005 Aichi Expo in Japan, where AEDs were used to save several lives.

AED training video: Powerheart G3 AEDs at California HeartSaver AED class

In Pismo Beach, California, the parking enforcement staff took a hands-on seminar to learn how to do CPR and use an AED. Pismo Beach has set goals to become a Heart Health and Heart Safe City; police officers are already equipped with patrol car AEDs, and have used them to save lives in the community. Here’s look at the seminar taught by Safety First, using the Powerheart G3 AED:

AEDs at the beach: Ocean City Beach Patrol with ATVs and AEDs protects beach-goers.


Ocean City Beach Patrol ATVs are all equipped with AEDs.

The 170-member Beach Patrol that protects summertime crowds at the 10-mile-long beach at Ocean City Maryland relies on all terrain vehicles equipped with rescue buoys, first aid kits, radios, and automated external defibrillators (AEDs).Ocean City Today reports that the AEDs have been deployed successful on numerous occasions in the past few years — twice within one minute of receiving an emergency call.

The patrol has handled more than a thousand emergency calls a week during peak season. This past week’semergencies including using CPR and a defibrillator to revive an 11-year-old boy who had stopped breathing after a sand tunnel he was digging collapsed and buried him.

Workplace AEDs: Australian investor save by AED he bought for company headquarters

David Browne, head of one of Australia’s major brokerage firms, has made thousands of investments over the years. But one of the best turned out to be the AED and the CPR/AED training he bought for company headquarters.

On March 27, after chairing a meeting, the 63-year-old Brown collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest. Colleagues called 911, began CPR, and someone got the AED. The machine’s voice prompts guided rescuers through the steps to deliver a shock that re-started Browne’s heart. The heartbeat faltered again, but by that time paramedics had arrived and delivered a second shock.

Browne, now recovered, told the press “This might sound like hindsight, but the demographic of stockbroking, with the tension that arises, is probably a monte for somebody, somewhere, to have this sort of problem. I just didn’t expect to be the first guinea pig.”

According to the Melbourne news site The Age, the city of Melbourne has AEDs in many public places, but private businesses have been slow to place AEDs.

Rowan Harman, of the paramedics involved in resuscitating Browne said that putting AEDs in workplaces would get live-saving treatment to people in the critical first few minutes after sudden cardiac arrest. “They’re easy to use, you’re prompted all the way, you don’t need any medical knowledge… All it needs is someone to grab that machine and turn it on,” he said.

Police AEDs: Officer revives man in Chicago suburb

When a 51-year-old man collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest at a Park Ridge restaurant, people called 911 and started CPR. The first responder was a local police officer in a squad car equipped with an AED. Officer David Cacioppo, trained in CPR and AED use since 2001, attached the pads from the AED and followed the device’s instructions to administer a life-saving shock.

The news site reporting the story noted that the Park Ridge Police Department has has AEDs in squad cars since 1998.

Fitness Center AEDs: The Colleen O’Sullivan law

Last week the Orland Fire Protection District in Illinois gave awards to three citizens who used CPR and a health club’s AED to resuscitate a 61-year-old man after he had suffered sudden cardiac arrest at the Palos Health and Fitness Club in May. One of the officials at the ceremony was Lynne Donegan, an American Hearts Association volunteer and an advocate for the 2005 Illinois AED law (called the Colleen O’Sullivan Law) that requires public schools, park districts, universities, and fitness centers to have defibrillators.

“For every defibrillator you see, there is a face and a story, and a reminder of what’s good and right in the state of Illinois,” Donegan said.

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