Live Infarction

Friday, June 10, 2011
A man has a heart attack in front of you. Do you know what to do? In the hospital, sure, you get on the phone, dial 3737 and get busy. But this time it happens when you're off work, out shopping. Or watching your kid at a sporting event. This man had a fatal MI on live TV and as you can see from the video below, nobody knew what to do. Confusion reigned, he didn't get the help he needed and the next day there was a moment of silence.  

So okay, Representative Caycedo was older, more than likely sedentary, and prone for an MI. But what about the kids? This young man had a fatal heart attack at a martial arts tournament, and the response was just as slow and clueless. Nobody expects young athletes to have heart problems until the stress of the sport exposes a previously undiagnosed condition. What may have triggered the MI in the martial artist was a blow to the chest, unfortunately not unheard of in children's sports:

Commotio Cordis  is the disruption of the heart's cycle due to blunt force to the area surrounding the heart. Of the 1000 milliseconds in the average cardiac cycle there is a small window (10-30 milliseconds) where blunt force will cause this to occur. It basically puts them into Ventricular Tachycardia or Ventricular Fibrillation. Both deadly heart rhythms. 

So be ready. The American Heart Association writes that though there are few studies on survival rates for bystander-assisted CPR, cities like Seattle have a survival rate of up to 30% with witnessed cardiac arrest. A city like New York however, has a survival rate of 1 or 2%. 
Praying, or in dire need?
 Partly to blame for this is a phenomenon known as the Bystander Effect:the more people there are, the less someone is likely to get help.

You know your business. So help.