by Doug Beazley Between the stress of cash stakes and the fact that most of the patrons are over 40, casinos are prime heart attack territory, says an Edmonton doctor.     Which is why Dr. David Shragge, Misericordia hospital emergency room physician and director of the Alberta Heart and Stroke Foundation, thinks casinos ought to drop a few grand on electric shock defibrillators for their patrons.    "Casinos tend to attract older people," he said. "A lot of them smoke. A lot of them are overweight. The potential (for cardiac arrest) is always there."    Shragge said that if casinos spent the $4,000 to $11,000 it costs to buy a defibrillator, the foundation could train casino staff on how to use[…]

American Eagle, the regional affiliate of American Airlines, will equip its fleet of 229 jet and turboprop aircraft with automatic external defibrillators (AED) by spring of 2000.    Eagle’s 1,100 flight attendants will be trained this fall to use the defibrillators. Its first defibrillator, manufactured by Hewlett Packard Heartstream of Seattle, will be installed in December.    "Today’s state-of-the-art automatic external defibrillator has truly proven to be a lifesaver for passengers suffering from sudden cardiac arrest, " said Dr. David McKenas, medical director for AMR Corp. (NYSE: AMR), the parent of American Eagle.    The American Heart Association estimates that 100,000 lives a year could be saved if AEDs were broadly deployed in areas where large groups of people gather,[…]

St John Ambulance Volunteers Have Helped at Countless Post-war Disasters Right up to the Paddington Rail Crash by Philip Johnston  BRITAIN’S leading first aid charity, which can trace its antecedents to a medieval bloodbath, commemorates 900 years today of ministering to the sick and injured.    A service at St Paul’s Cathedral marks the Nona centenary of St John Ambulance, which has 57,000 members in Britain and more than 200,000 worldwide.    Their familiar black and white uniforms with distinctive badge will again be much in evidence at football matches and other public functions today.    But the events that accompanied the foundation of the chivalric Order of St John would have taxed the skills of the most accomplished first-aider.[…]

by Lois M. Collins    Bridgette McDonald believes she’s alive because of a series of little miracles.     The 40-year-old Delta Air Lines flight attendant was sitting in the jump seat during takeoff on a flight to New Orleans May 21 when she slumped over. The first miracle was another attendant, Darla Crook, was in the jump seat next to her, which doesn’t usually happen.    When Crook laid McDonald on the floor of the plane, she discovered no pulse, no respiration. She notified the captain and used the overhead speakers to ask for any physician or nurse on board to come forward.    An Intermountain Health Care nurse, Karen Winters of Cottonwood Hospital, answered the call first, followed by Brett[…]

Officers in Norwalk Have New Equipment and Training to Help in Emergencies by Pierre Amanda NORWALK – Norwalk’s police department has another tool to help residents in need.    On Aug. 17 members of the department became certified to treat victims of cardiac arrest with a machine called an automated external defibrillator, which delivers an electric shock to a stopped heart in an attempt to start its beating.    "Now they’re providing a key link in the chain of survival," said Norwalk Rescue Capt. Michael Wenger, who helped train officers Ron Downing, Doug Metzger and Sgt. Kirk Westvold for their state certification. Officer Mike Kienol will complete the process soon and the department’s new members are expected to receive their[…]

POLK CITY – Polk City Volunteer Fire and Rescue should have cardiac defibrillators to help patients with failing hearts on both of its ambulances within two months.    Through a combination of city money, private grants and donations, the rescue squad has acquired nearly $10,000 to buy one new and one used cardiac defibrillator, an instrument used to bring a failing heart back into rhythm. The squad now has one defibrillator but two ambulances.    Assistant Chief Deb Wilkinson said the department decided to buy two defibrillators because the current one is outdated. She said the rescue squad used a defibrillator five times last year.    "It’s a vital, lifesaving piece of equipment," Wilkinson said. "It picks up some activity[…]

American Carries Defibrillators That Started Their Hearts in Flight by Laura Griffin    If their hearts had stopped beating somewhere else, Robert Giggey, Michael Tighe and Roger Schorack would probably still be dead.    But each was brought back to life on board American Airlines planes with the help of portable defibrillators.    During an emotional ceremony at American Airlines headquarters Friday, the three men thanked flight attendants and airline executives for giving them a second chance at life.    "I’m not much of a praying person," said Roger Schorack, who suffered cardiac arrest while putting his bag above his seat before a scheduled flight from New York to Paris in January. "But I had a prayer that when I[…]

by Johanna Bennett You might be better off having a sudden heart attack at the roulette table rather than a hospital bed.     At a press conference Monday at the American Heart Association’s 72nd Scientific Sessions, researchers said that portable automated defibrillators – which are found in many casinos, airports and convention centers – aren’t widely embraced by hospitals, despite indications that the devices can improve a patient’s chances for survival.    As a result, survival rates for patients who suffer a cardiac arrest in a hospital have remained stagnant over the last 30 years, while the survival rate for outside the hospital has grown, said Dr. Mary Ann Peberdy at the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medical College of Virginia.    "It[…]

Dow Jones Business News Women, the elderly, blacks and the poor are more likely to wait hours after the onset of heart-attack symptoms before arriving at a hospital for treatment, a delay that significantly reduces their chances of survival, a doctor said Monday.     At the American Heart Association’s 72nd Scientific Sessions, Dr. Stuart Sheifer of Georgetown University Medical Center said 29% of 102,339 Medicare patients surveyed from 1994 through 1996 arrived at the hospital six or more hours after the onset of their first symptoms.    The survey also found those late arrivals stood a 24% greater chance of dying within 30 days and an 18% higher chance of dying within a year.    Factors such as age, race, gender[…]

by Lisa Marshall  Warren Heim, 48, had just finished his usual eight-minute rowing workout and was about 60 feet into his morning run March 26 when his heart began quivering, the blood flow to his brain slowed, and he collapsed on the track at Flatiron Athletic Club.    But for a swift 911 call, the prompt arrival of paramedics who jolted him back to life with a defibrillator, and a bit of luck, Heim’s wife and four sons might have gone to his funeral that weekend.    Close call, a still-shaken Heim recalls; closer than necessary in an age when easy-to-use, lap-top-sized defibrillator’s medical devices which deliver a shock to the heart are readily available on the open market.   […]