Prioritizing Health | Sudden Cardiac Arrest: ACC Patient and Clinician Resources

Photo Credit: ESPN Photo Credit: ESPN

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) claims one life every 90 seconds and is the number one medical cause of death in young athletes. However, survival rates can double or triple with quick action, including immediate CPR and/or use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) if one is available.

Much of the world saw this play out in real time in January when Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills experienced a sudden cardiac arrest on the field during Monday Night Football.

"What we saw on Monday Night Football emphasizes the fact that a cardiac arrest can occur anytime to anyone," said ACC Chief Medical Officer Richard J. Kovacs, MD, MACC. "The ACC/AHA recommendations for competitive athletes with cardiovascular abnormalities outline the key components of emergency action plans. We should go back to our schools, clubs and gyms to make sure we all have emergency plans."

Scroll down to check out the SCA resources from the ACC for clinicians and patients.

Minding Your Own Heart Health

American Heart Month is a good reminder for cardiovascular clinicians to take care of their own heart health. Here are some steps you can take to make simple changes with a big impact – on your heart and your overall well-being.

  • Schedule a daily walk, outside if possible, and turn off alerts and screens.
  • Schedule time to relax or meditate or call a friend or a loved one – just 10 minutes can be an important part of stress management and increase happiness.
  • Follow the advice given to patients: improve your diet, moderate alcohol intake, stop smoking and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Find a hobby or make time for the one(s) you have.

Looking for more information? Hear from fellow clinicians at ACC.23/WCC about how they make creative and artistic endeavors part of daily life and keep the creative spirit alive while juggling a busy professional life. Click here for more info on the HEARTS in Cardiology session on the Engage Stage.

Also at ACC.23/WCC, don't miss the Heart2Heart Stage session "Balancing the Role of Self and the System in Sustaining Clinician Well-Being" and the Keynote by Daniel J. Murphy, MD, FACC, titled, "Well-Being and Professional Fulfillment: Whose Job Is it Anyway?" Click here for the Online Planner to find these sessions and more.

Lastly, step up to the CardioSmart Wellness Challenge and take advantage of wellness resources available to ACC.23/WCC attendees, including onsite childcare, an enhanced mother's room, and an Interfaith Prayer and Meditation Room.

Find More on SCA at ACC.23/WCC

Mark your calendars to attend this year's Intensive Sessions focused on critical care cardiology. Held on March 4, Session I focuses on Cardiogenic Shock and includes the Bishop Keynote by Susanna Price, MD, PhD, looking at the evolution of the cardiac ICU. Session II focuses on Global Approaches to Cardiac Arrest Care: Inequities and Solutions. Click here for complete details.

Additional Resources

AHA/ACC/HRS Guideline for Management of Patients With Ventricular Arrhythmias and the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death. Click here to access the full guideline and the specific section (10.1) on athletes. Expert Analysis outlining the "How To of Emergency Action Planning." Click here to read it now.

CardioSmart Patient Hub on Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Click here to access the hub and download the infographics on SCA to use in exam rooms, community centers, schools, etc.

ACC's Sport and Exercise Cardiology Member Section. Click here to join this section and read their statement on the Hamlin incident.

ACC's annual Care of the Athletic Heart course, taking place June 8-10 in Washington, DC, and virtually. Click here to learn more and register.

Clinical Topics: Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Prevention, Sports and Exercise Cardiology, Implantable Devices, SCD/Ventricular Arrhythmias, Atrial Fibrillation/Supraventricular Arrhythmias, Acute Heart Failure, Acute Coronary Syndromes, Anticoagulation Management, Cardiac Surgery, Cardio-Oncology, Cardiovascular Care Team, Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology, COVID-19 Hub, Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Disease, Dyslipidemia, Geriatric Cardiology, Invasive Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention, Noninvasive Imaging, Pericardial Disease, Pulmonary Hypertension and Venous Thromboembolism, Stable Ischemic Heart Disease, Valvular Heart Disease, Vascular Medicine

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, ACC Annual Scientific Session, ACC23, Heart Failure, Arrhythmias, Cardiac, Sports, Care Team, Patient Care Team, Secondary Prevention

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