"CPR Saves Lives March" Focuses Attention on Improving Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates

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Representatives from the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation will join an estimated 1,000 people – including more than 50 cardiac arrest survivors – in a march through the streets of downtown San Diego on Thursday, Dec. 10.

Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a person's chances of survival.

Representatives from the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation will join an estimated 1,000 people – including more than 50 cardiac arrest survivors – in a march through the streets of downtown San Diego on Thursday, Dec. 10, from 11:25 a.m. to 1:25 p.m. The “Citizen CPR Foundation’s CPR Saves Lives March” will begin at the Manchester Grand Hyatt and conclude at the San Diego Civic Center where participants will hear inspirational stories from survivors and a public call for more community-based action so that others can live.

“Without strong community cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) programs and easily accessed automated external defibrillators (AEDs), many unnecessary deaths occur,” said Tom P. Aufderheide, M.D., president of Citizen CPR Foundation and faculty member of the Medical College of Wisconsin. “The 50 survivors who will march were fortunate because they received early CPR and AED use from bystanders. However, most cardiac arrest victims do not receive help in time. Whether you live or die is highly dependent on the preparation of your community, the knowledge and training of the public, and the time it takes (literally seconds to minutes) to receive CPR and AED use.

“The good news is that communities can greatly improve survival rates by implementing the latest science, educational tactics and local system implementation strategies. Our host city, San Diego, is a shining example of how communities can come together to improve survival rates.”

According to an Institute of Medicine report, there are 1,600 preventable deaths from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) every day in the U.S. SCA occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating and there is no blood flow to the brain or other vital organs. Every year, approximately 300,000 men, women and children in the United States die from SCA. Almost 80 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur at home and many are witnessed by a family member. Generally, less than eight percent of victims survive.

“The intent of the first-ever ‘CPR Saves Lives March’ is to shed light on the hundreds of thousands of SCA victims who could survive each year if communities provided more CPR training, better care and a greater number of AEDs,” said Mary Newman, president of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation. “Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after SCA, can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.”

“Eighty percent of sudden cardiac deaths happen to someone you know and love in or near your home. By learning to recognize SCA, calling 9-1-1 and starting CPR, citizens can save those who would otherwise die without immediate help,” said Vinay M. Nadkarni, M.D., president-elect of CCPRF and Endowed Chair of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “Care that starts with citizen CPR and early defibrillation, a well-trained EMS system and strong links in the chain of survival are vital in every community.”

The Citizen CPR Foundation’s “CPR Saves Lives March” is part of the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update (ECCU) 2015 conference (#ECCU2015). The conference is presented by the Citizen CPR Foundation in cooperation with the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

Gold sponsor for the “CPR Saves Lives March” is the PulsePoint Foundation and the Bronze Sponsor is the UC San Diego Health System.

About the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation
The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation is a national community benefit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to raising awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and saving lives. Programs include educational campaigns for secondary schools and colleges and the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Network, an online community that provides peer support and opportunities for survivors and family members to participate in awareness, advocacy, and research initiatives.

About Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update (ECCU) 2015
ECCU 2015 showcases the latest science, concepts, ideas and strategies to improve clinical performance, teaching methodology and community response to sudden cardiac arrest. ECCU 2015 is the only conference that brings together all members of the Cardiac Chain of Survival – including physicians, nurses, CPR and ECC educators, EMS providers, ECC advocates and survivors. This year’s event will feature training and insight on the recently released 2015 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC. Researchers and authors of the new guidelines will be presenting. View the ECCU 2015 Program Schedule.

About Citizen CPR Foundation (CCPRF)
Founded in 1987, CCPRF is a non-profit organization comprised of four primary co-sponsors: the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and Industry partners. The mission of CCPRF is to save lives from sudden death by stimulating citizen and community action. CCRPR holds its international ECCU conference every two years.

Follow ECCU 2015 on Facebook and Twitter (@citizencprf)

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Carissa Caramanis O'Brien
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