Tag Archives: sudden cardiac arrest

The heart patient’s not the only one in the room

17 Feb

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters    February 17, 2019


Leslie Pitt is a marriage and family therapist whose husband Graham suffered a terrifying sudden cardiac arrest in his sleep while on vacation in Hilton Head Island, North Carolina. In this short and compelling video, she talks about the care they each received from 9-1-1 dispatchers and Fire Rescue personnel – care that not only saved Graham’s life, but significantly reduced her own post-traumatic stress.  Continue reading

What sudden cardiac arrest looks like

14 Jul

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters

24 Hour Holter Monitor via Dr. John Mandrola

This EKG* belongs to a person who died of Sudden Cardiac Arrest on the golf course, approximately nine minutes after his heart went into a state of ventricular fibrillation (VF).  Sudden cardiac death almost always results from VF – a rapid and disorganized activation of the heart’s ventricles. The best way to stop VF is to defibrillate the heart to try to restore regular rhythm and restore normal contractions through the use of electric shock.  Continue reading

How the Bee Gees can save your life during a cardiac arrest

16 Feb

The Bee Gees’ disco smash hit ‘Stayin’ Alive is more appropriately titled than anyone could have realized. Did you know that this 1977 song’s beat is apparently the ideal speed at which to perform chest compressions in cardiac arrest victims? Having practised cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with the song, research study participants could maintain the ideal rhythm weeks later by simply thinking about the tune as they performed the procedure.

Research from the University of Illinois, presented during an American College of Emergency Physicians’ scientific assembly in Chicago, found that at 103 beats per minute, the song Stayin’ Alive is almost the same pace as the recommended 100 chest compressions per minute for hands-only CPR.   Continue reading

Is sudden cardiac arrest the same thing as a heart attack?

6 Aug

red heart on black

by Carolyn Thomas @HeartSisters

One of the reasons that I knew I wasn’t having a heart attack even while I was actually having one was my very inaccurate perception of what a heart attack looks like.

First, I used to think that heart attacks happen mostly to men.  Old men.  Old fat men who are out of shape chain smokers and heavy drinkers.  Old fat out-of-shape smoking drinking men who one day out on the golf course suddenly clutch their chests and keel over, unconscious.  CPR.  911. Ambulance sirens screaming. Paramedics. Defibrillator paddles. That’s a heart attack, right?

Wrong, my dear heart sisters. Continue reading