Outcomes after sudden cardiac arrest in sports centres with and without on-site external defibrillators

A research article published in the British Medical Journal.

Authors: Daniela Aschieri, Diego Penela, Valentina Pelizzoni, Federico Guerra, Anna Chiara Vermi, Luca Rossi, Lucia Torretta, Giulia Losi, Giovanni Quinto Villani, Alessandro Capucci

Abstract
Objective Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a rare but tragic event during amateur sports activities. Our aim is to analyse whether availability of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in amateur sports centres could impact on SCA survival.

Methods
This is an observational study. During an 18-year period, data regarding exercise-related SCA in sports centres were prospectively collected. Survival rates and time to response were compared between centres with an AED already available and centres where an AED was not already present.

Results
Out of 252 sports facilities, 207 (82%) acquired an AED during follow-up while 45 (18%) did not. From 1999 to 2014, there were 26 SCAs (24 (92%) men, 54±17 years old) with 15 (58%) of them in centres with on-site AED. Neurologically intact survival rates were 93% in centres with on-site AED and 9% in centres without (P<0.001). Presence of on-site AED, presence of shockable rhythm, first assistance by a lay bystander and time to defibrillation were all related to neurological intact survival, but the presence of on-site AED was the only independent predictor in the multivariate analysis. The use of on-site AED resulted in a lower time to first shock when compared with emergency medical system-delivered AED (3.3±1.4min vs 7.3±3.2 min; P=0.001).

Conclusions
The presence of on-site AEDs is associated with neurologically intact survival after an exercise-related SCA. Continuous efforts are recommended in order to introduce AEDs in sports and fitness centres, implement educational programmes and increase common awareness about SCA.

 

Link:  http://heart.bmj.com/content/early/2018/02/20/heartjnl-2017-312441

 

CBS News: Parents Of Boy Who Died During Football Practice Meet Paramedic Who Tried To Save Him

Paramedic Michael Rizzo Suffers From Same Heart Condition As Sean Fisher

WALDWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A new program is bringing first responder training to athletic coaches, in hopes of making a difference between life and death for a player suffering cardiac arrest on the field.

So far, nearly 100 coaches have been trained as part of the All Heart program.

As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, the program is in memory of Sean Fisher, who was 13 when he collapsed at football practice and died as a result of an undetected heart ailment.

Sean still lives as an inspiration through the foundation in his name, and All Heart. But there is someone else who has kept Sean’s memory dear.

Nearly a decade ago, Michael Rizzo was the paramedic on call for an unconscious child on a football field.

Jim and Sheila Fisher are the child’s parents, and they met Rizzo for the first time Wednesday.

The circumstances back then were extreme.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t have done more,” Rizzo said.

“Honestly, you did the best you possibly could,” Sheila Fisher said.

“Thank you,” Rizzo said as they hugged again.

The outcome, unfortunately, was tragic.

“You worked on him as much as you could,” Jim Fisher told Rizzo. “You’re a good man. It’s bitter sweet.”

It was August 2008 when Rizzo saw a teenage boy lying there in front of all his friends.

“You want to stop and stand back and say, ‘Oh my God, this can’t be happening; it’s a young boy, but you focus very intently on saving Sean and doing what we could.’”

Sadly, Sean Fisher could not be saved. But that day turned out to be life changing for Rizzo too

“I had such horrible chest pain on that call,” Rizzo said. “A few months after is when I finally had my diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.”

It turned out Rizzo had the very same heart condition that Sean died of. He eventually had a heart transplant

“I have a heart of a woman in her 40s – that’s what I’ve been told,” Rizzo said. “I call her my donor angel and I talk to her every day, and I thank her and I pray her family is doing OK.”

But Rizzo said he never forgot Sean and that day with the Fishers, and then, “I come across an article on the Fisher Foundation, and I said, ‘I have to call them.’”

Their meeting was warmer and easier than each had anticipated — helping bring things full circle, Rizzo received a gift of a Sean Fisher Foundation hat and T-shirt.

“You’re part of the Sean Fisher family now,” Jim Fisher said.

Rizzo admitted that he feels a sort of survivor’s guilt, since he and Sean both had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and Sean has died while Rizzo goes on living. Sheila Fisher said Rizzo had nothing to worry about.

“You went on living – you’re saving people every day of your life,” she said. “There’s a reason.”

Rizzo said, “I want to see what i can do for you.”

The Fishers have made Sean’s Foundation and getting cardiac testing to kids in school their mission. Now it’s part of Rizzo’s next chapter too.

“Just the satisfaction of helping other families and kids so it doesn’t happen again,” Jim Fisher said. “That’s the true satisfaction you get.”

For more on the Sean Fisher Memorial Foundation, click here.

For more on the All Heart program, click here.

For more on the New Jersey Sharing Network, click here.

Link:  http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2018/02/21/sean-fisher-paramedic-heart-condition/

 

Save the Date – 10th Annual Golf Outing!

We are proud to announce the 10th Annual Sean Fisher Memorial Golf Outing Fundraiser has been set for Monday, May 21, 2018 once again at Darlington Golf Course in Mahwah!

So be sure to SAVE THAT DATE and check back here for more details in the coming weeks!