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Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Israel and Mollie Myers Foundation continue their longstanding tradition of serving and supporting Baltimore by donating lifesaving automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) to 10 Baltimore City middle schools.
These portable devices can save the lives of students or staff experiencing sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) by delivering a specialized shock to an arrhythmic heart in order to restore a normal and viable pumping action.showed that 64 percent of SCA victims in US high schools equipped with AEDs survived to hospital discharge. These devices will be available during the school day as well as during sporting events.
The September 24, 2013 donation at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School resulted from a collaboration between cardiologist Theodore Abraham, M.D., director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center of Excellence at Johns Hopkins and Jon Myers, a trustee of the Israel and Mollie Myers Foundation and a member of the Cardiovascular Advisory Board at Johns Hopkins. The foundation donated $10,000 to pay for the AEDs.
Each year 3,000 young people die from sudden cardiac arrest. About 75 percent of all sudden cardiac arrest cases in schools occur in relation to a sporting event or practice, making access to AEDs both in and after school events a key safety concern. The American Heart Association estimates that 40,000 lives could be saved in the United States each year with widespread access to defibrillators.
Theodore Abraham, M.D. discusses the importance of screening for HCM in young people, especially athletes.
One of the most common causes of sudden cardiac death among young people is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), an inherited condition that causes thickening of the heart muscle that impedes blood flow and can cause heart rhythm problems. Unless properly screened for, this ailment is virtually undetectable until too late. Early screening and prevention is crucial for controlling this condition. One in 500 people have HCM and this condition is the number one cause of sudden death in people under the age of 30.
Theodore Abraham, M.D. discusses the Heart Hype Program’s unique and effective diagnostic methodology.
Unfortunately, no. While HCM is the most common causes of sudden cardiac death among young people, it can cause many different types of abnormal heart rhythms or force the heart to stop beating entirely. AEDs are effective for correcting two types of heart arrhythmias: ventricular fibrillation (most common) and ventricular tachycardia.
Always call 911 in an emergency if experiencing chest pain. The following symptoms are associated with (HCM):
• Shortness of breath, especially during exercise or exertion
• Chest pain, especially during exercise or exertion
• Fainting, especially during exercise or exertion
• Heart palpitations — the sensation of rapid, fluttering or pounding heartbeats
The Johns Hopkins Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center of Excellence not only provides long-term care for patients with HCM but also offers screening services such as Heart Hype, an annual program that diagnoses fatal heart conditions in student athletes.
Watch Theodore Abraham, M.D.'s webinar: Sudden Cardiac Death – The Silent Killer in Young Athletes: what it is and why young athletes should be screened
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