Bystander intervention can mean the difference between life and death for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. I should know.
Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) October 12, 2017
October is National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month and cardiac arrest survivors across the country are undoubtedly celebrating the fact that thanks to people who happened to be nearby and took immediate action, they defied the odds and survived sudden cardiac death.
The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation invites survivors to show their appreciation by nominating their rescuers for the People Saving People(tm) award, which honors ‘ordinary’ people with extraordinary spirits, whose actions made the difference between life and death for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. The purpose of the award is to increase awareness about the critical need for laypersons to be prepared to intervene in sudden cardiac emergencies.
Sudden cardiac arrest affects about 357,000 people outside hospitals each year in the U.S., including 7,000 young people. The life-threatening condition occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating effectively, without warning. The person collapses, becomes unresponsive, no longer breathes normally, and may exhibit gasping or seizure-like movements. It can happen to seemingly healthy children, teens and adults of any age, at any time.
Without immediate care, the person experiencing sudden cardiac arrest will die within minutes. But if he or she receives immediate CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and treatment with a defibrillator, the chances of survival increase dramatically.
Fortunately, automated external defibrillators (AEDs), designed for use by laypersons, are increasingly available in public places. Unfortunately, however, only a third of SCA victims receive CPR from a bystander and fewer than 10 percent of victims are treated with AEDs before EMS arrives at the scene. Consequently, only 10 percent of victims survive.
But when bystanders intervene quickly with CPR, survival rates double or triple. And when bystanders use AEDs before EMS arrives at the scene, survival rates can be as high as 50 percent.
“Bystander intervention can mean the difference between life and death for victims of sudden cardiac arrest,” said Henry Jampel, MD, MHS, Chairman of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation Board of Directors and Professor of Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University. “I should know. My life was saved 17 years ago by fellow swimmers at a workout who gave me CPR for 27 minutes.”
Nominees for the People Saving People™ award should be individuals who helped save the life of an SCA victim, but did not have a work-related duty to respond. Lifesaving actions could include calling 9-1-1, providing CPR, and using an AED.
Nominations will be published at http://www.sca-aware.org. The first place winner will be recognized at the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update, December 8, in New Orleans, LA, and will win an AED. The deadline for nominations is October 31.
To apply, click here. For more information, contact info(at)sca-aware.org.