U.S. Representatives Capps and Roe Honored by Sudden Cardiac Arrest Coalition at Take a Stand Against Sudden Cardiac Arrest Event on Capitol Hill

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The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Coalition, http://www.stopcardiacarrest.org, is comprised of 50 nonprofit organizations, which united to raise awareness about Sudden Cardiac Arrest and the critical need for immediate bystander action to help save more lives. They recognized two legislators who have been active in advancing the Coalition's cause.

Rep. Lois Capps Receives Award from SCA Coalition Co-Chairs Lisa Levine and Mary Newman

“By training the next generation of students in CPR and AED response, they may one day save the life of a classmate, friend, family member or complete stranger,” said Rep. Lois Capps.

U.S. Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA) and Phil Roe (R-TN) were honored October 26th at “Take a Stand Against Sudden Cardiac Arrest” in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. The two-hour event was hosted by the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Coalition (SCAC), in cooperation with the Congressional Heart and Stroke Caucus in recognition of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. The Coalition is comprised of more than 50 nonprofit organizations with a common interest in preventing death and disability from Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

“Each year more than 295,000 people are affected by Sudden Cardiac Arrest, and most victims die. Yet many of these deaths are preventable. Currently the average survival rate for out-of-hospital SCA is about 8 percent, but if the public better understood the need for immediate bystander intervention with CPR and automated external defibrillators (AEDs), survival rates could increase to 34 percent or more,” said Mary Newman, MS, Coalition co-chair.

Representative Capps was honored for her work in introducing the “Teaching Children to Save Lives Act,” which will provide grants to teach school children and teens CPR and how to use an AED — knowledge and skills they can carry into adulthood. “By training the next generation of students in CPR and AED response, they may one day save the life of a classmate, friend, family member or complete stranger,” said Capps.

Representative Roe was recognized for his heroic actions last month in helping save the life of a 52-year-old father of three. Dr. Roe thanked the Coalition for reminding the public that immediate bystander intervention with CPR and AEDs can more than double survival rates.

Benjamin Abella, MD, of the Center for Resuscitation Science in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, emphasized the importance of bystander action in cases of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) during his remarks at the event, which, he said, can mean the difference between life and death. “As compelling as the statistics are, however, it is the stories of survival that really bring the message home.”

The day culminated with the personal stories of three SCA survivors, including Pam Bonin, 26 at the time of her event in 2007, Henry Jampel, MD, 44 at the time of his event in 2000, and Liz Pearlman, 21 at the time of her event in 2009, all of whom are alive today thanks to the quick action of bystanders.

The moral of the story? “People of all ages should learn how to recognize SCA, give CPR, and become familiar with AEDs,” said Lisa Levine, CAE, Coalition co-chair.

About the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Coalition: The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Coalition is comprised of more than 50 organizations passionate about preventing death and disability from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) through legislative initiatives that raise awareness, support research, and improve access to life-saving therapies. We work collaboratively on a national level to achieve results with Congress, the Administration, other policy makers, the media, healthcare providers, and the public. For more information, visit http://www.stopcardiacarrest.org and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sudden-Cardiac-Arrest-Coalition/168623158407.

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Michele Snyder
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