John Taylor Babbitt Foundation
Awareness/Education

How to save a life in cases of sudden cardiac arrest
-- What is sudden cardiac arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. Blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.

SCA occurs because of problems with the heart's electrical system, which signals the heart to contract and pump blood. When this system misfires, abnormal heart rhythms result. The heart simply twitches and can't pump blood.

Cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack, which is caused by a sudden blockage to a small artery that supplies blood to the heart muscle. (In some cases, the death of heart muscle caused by the blockage can result in someone experiencing cardiac arrest...)

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Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month; A time to reflect and a call to action
Sudden cardiac arrest is a killer. It is ruthless, silent, deadly and effective. So effective, in fact, that 92- 95% of its victims die. So effective, that despite more than 30 years of progress in technology, the survival rate remains at an appallingly low and unacceptable level of 5-8%.

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, as a leading national advocate on this issue, recognizes and appreciates the fact that Congress has designated the month of October as Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. However, we realize that our work does not begin at the start of October and that it does not end on October 31. Rather, in order to battle this healthcare crisis, we must continue our work on a daily basis in order to achieve our goals...

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New Jersey Student Athlete Cardiac Screening Task Force
The New Jersey Student Athlete Cardiac Screening Task Force was created by law in 2010 as a response to the deaths of student athletes in the State. The seven-member task force is “responsible for studying, evaluating and developing recommendations regarding specific measures to enhance the cardiac screening process of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and other cardiac conditions in student athletes.”[1]   In March of this year the Task Force issued an informational brochure which was sent to the heads of all school districts in the state with mandatory distribution to parents and guardians of every student athlete.
The brochure provides information on the common causes of sudden cardiac death in young athletes, warning signs, and screening recommendations in an easy to understand, question-and-answer format. The final section of the brochure addresses AEDs and states:
“The American Academy of Pediatrics/New Jersey Chapter recommends that schools:
·         Have an AED available at every sports event (three minutes total time to reach and return with the AED)
·         Have personnel available who are trained in AED use present at practices and games.
·         Have coaches and athletic trainers trained in basic life support techniques (CPR)
·         Call 911 immediately while someone is retrieving the AED.”
We applaud the effort of the Task Force and happy to see this important informational communication on student athlete cardiac health.
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