2,500 people from over 30 countries, along with representatives from the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation and more than 50 cardiac arrest survivors, marched through the streets of downtown San Diego last week to help raise awareness and educate communities on the importance of CPR and AED devices. The march was the highlight of the week long ECCU 2015 Conference. Which has been, for over three decades, THE place to go for learning, inspiration and networking with resuscitation professionals, instructors, practitioners and researchers.
The goal for the first-ever ‘CPR Saves Lives March‘ was to, “shed light on the hundreds of thousands of Sudden Cardiac Arrest 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.
Tom P. Aufderheide, M.D., president of Citizen CPR Foundation and faculty member of the Medical College of Wisconsin, praised the host city as a, “a shining example of how communities can come together to improve survival rates.”
Citizen CPR Foundation, holds its International ECCU conference every two years. They are comprised of four primary co-sponsors: the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Together, these organizations have been strengthening the chain of survival by educating lay rescuers and experienced medical professionals on the current CPR guidelines since 1987. One of the most talked about changes in resuscitation guidelines at ECCU 2015, was Compression Only CPR.
According to a report from the Institute of Medicine, every year, approximately 300,000 men, women and children in the United States die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Almost 80 percent of those occur at home and many are witnessed by a family member. Less than eight percent of victims survive.
“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 Citizen CPR Foundation and Endowed Chair of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Joining the march was one of the most influential PhD’s in medical research history. In 1958, Dr.Guy Knickerbocker (pictured at left with his wife and a CPR supporter) mentioned to two of his research team members, an observation he had while conducting defibrillation experiments. Dr. Knickerbocker had detected a brief, temporary rise in blood pressure when the heavy copper electrodes they were using were applied to the chest wall of a dog whose heart had stopped beating. Dr. Jude, one of his team members, immediately recognized the significance. It was external cardiac massage – the birth of CPR. To date, more than 2 million lives have been saved by CPR.
Just DO Something…Anything! helps connect people to unique social organizations around the world. Here are a few we met this past week:
BuddyCPR was inspired by Rick and Jennifer Chap’s story of survival. Their beloved cat “Buddy” alerted Jennifer that something was terribly wrong—she found Rick in sudden cardiac arrest. Buddy’s alert allowed her to activate 911 and perform CPR on Rick until EMS arrived and used their AED to restore life. BuddyCPR honors Buddy’s memory and heroic actions that will continue to save more lives. Rick and Jennifer are CPR advocates and AHA certified CPR instructors. Their wish is to pay forward Rick’s gift of life by inspiring others to learn about SCA, CPR & AEDs with the goal of empowering the bystander to take action to save a life.
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.
Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update:
ECCU showcases the latest science, concepts, ideas and strategies to improve clinical performance, teaching methodology and community response to sudden cardiac arrest. ECCU 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.
CPR – Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation
AED – Automatic External Defibrillator
SCA – Sudden Cardiac Arrest – a medical condition that occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. As a result, blood is no longer pumping through the body. The victim suddenly loses consciousness, is not breathing, is non responsive and appears lifeless. Some victims also experience abnormal gasping and seizure-like activity. Death occurs within minutes without immediate CPR and use of an AED. SCA is different from a heart attack. While the heart attack victim is awake and the heart is beating, the Sudden Cardiac Arrest victim is not awake and the heart is not beating.
JDSA (Just DO Something…Anything!) and Strategic Artifex Research, Inc. was proud to have helped StrataVerve conduct a baseline research study on the awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, CPR, and AED’s. The results, of which, were presented at the ECCU 2015 Conference.