Take Heart saves lives of sudden cardiac arrest patients From Spotlight on Health - Spring 2012
Sudden cardiac arrest is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States
Since the start of the Take Heart St. Cloud initiative in December 2005, the survival rates for patients admitted to St. Cloud Hospital after sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) has more than doubled. Survival has increased from 8.5 percent to more than 19 percent with 214 survivors and 262 patients who were cooled using therapeutic hypothermia.
Take Heart St. Cloud Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survival Initiative was designed to show how cardiac arrest survival rates in America can be significantly increased through a system-based, community-wide approach to faster and better treatment. Take Heart’s goal is to increase the overall survival rate for out-of-hospital SCA to more than 20 percent by:
- providing free training throughout the community in bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillators (AEDs);
- training emergency workers and first responders to improve their skills;
- placing more AEDs into the community;
- using therapeutic hypothermia to prevent brain damage.
Due to this success, Take Heart was implemented state wide.
The St. Cloud program, part of Take Heart America (TM), is based at the CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center. The program is funded through a grant from the CentraCare Health Foundation.
Some of our many cardiac arrest
About therapeutic hypothermia
Therapeutic hypothermia, used on cardiac arrest patients who meet specific criteria, is the practice of intentionally cooling the body to prevent brain damage and increase survival. This is achieved by temporarily reducing the brain’s need for oxygen. The patient’s body temperature is lowered to 92.3 degrees for 24 hours. The patient is then slowly rewarmed for 8-12 hours back to a normal 98.6 degrees. Currently, only about a quarter of hospitals in the United States have equipment for inducing hypothermia.
About Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Often mistakenly referred to as a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart abruptly stops without warning. Most SCA episodes are caused by the rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart known as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, which are abnormalities of the heart’s electrical conduction system. SCA can strike anyone, at any age, without warning.
- Each year, an estimated 300,000 Americans die from SCA — more than lung, breast and prostate cancer and AIDS combined.
- SCA is the leading cause of death in Minnesota; more than 4,500 cases of SCA were reported in Minnesota in 2008.
- Without CPR, a person can die within 10 minutes.
- An estimated 95 percent of all people who suffer from SCA die before reaching the hospital.
- Learn more about sudden cardiac arrest and Take Heart St. Cloud