Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month
Each year, up to 40,000 cardiac arrests occur in Canada. Without access to immediate treatment, most cardiac arrests will result in death.
As Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Awareness Month comes to an end, we would like to highlight the work being done by some CANet members who are focused on reducing the number of sudden cardiac deaths in Canada.
Dr. Robert Hamilton (The Hospital for Sick Children) and Dr. Andrew Krahn (University of British Columbia) are two researchers who received funding during CANet’s first Strategic Research Grant Competition. As members of the Canadian Genetic Heart Rhythm (CGHR) Network, they focus on identifying and treating inherited heart rhythm disorders.
CANet has provided Drs. Hamilton and Krahn with partial funding for their project – Innovative Strategies to Reduce the Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death Using Novel Clinical and Population Approaches – which will help them develop tools to identify at-risk patients by focusing on genetic contributors to find previously undetected inherited diseases. By engaging patients through all phases of their program, they will also learn about patients’ values and preferences, and design detection and prevention strategies.
Dr. Krahn is excited to work with CANet because he feels that working as a network is the best way to find a solution to the uncommon but tragic situations that lead to sudden cardiac death (SCD). “No single place will be able to resolve the issues of studying these rare diseases,” he notes. “Individuals will find clues and breadcrumbs, but we won’t be able to solve it without working together.”
Dr. Derek Exner (Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta) is a CANet Network Investigator who also focuses his research on preventing SCD. Dr. Exner identifies people at risk for serious heart rhythm problems to determine the optimal use of cardiac device therapies.
As Dr. Exner pointed out at the CANet Annual Scientific Conference in September, “Sudden cardiac arrest is the third leading cause of death in North America, and timely intervention is key. This is a big public health issue, and it should focus us in on better identifying who is at risk, and training the public on how to best respond to a sudden cardiac arrest.”
CANet is proud to support work being done by researchers like these, who are dedicated to finding innovative solutions that will transform Canada’s arrhythmia health care system.