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It is more important than ever to know how to

Respond to a Sudden Cardiac Arrest Victim

Do you know where your Nearest Defibrillator is?

New York Hospitals are now telling EMS agencies to not take Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) victims to the hospital, saying that if they can’t get a pulse from a cardiac-arrest patient at the scene, they shouldn’t transport them to the hospital as is normally advised. The directive was sent out by the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of New York, which oversees the city’s ambulance services.

After reading this, it can’t help but make you think how this news may impact other hospitals across the nation that are being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. It’s always best to be proactive in situations, especially when it comes to our health and that of others.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest occurs when the heart’s electrical system abruptly malfunctions, and the heart suddenly stops beating normally. SCA is often confused with a heart attack, which typically happens when blocked arteries prevent blood from reaching the heart’s muscles.

Increased public awareness of sudden cardiac arrest, CPR training and access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs/DEFIBs) can save tens of thousands of lives each year.

According the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital each year and in one year alone, 475,000 Americans die from a cardiac arrest, and up to 80% of SCAs take place in homes. Treatment of SCA is a race against the clock. The combination of early, immediate CPR and defibrillation can double or triple chances of survival after cardiac arrest.

A defibrillator is a simple-to-use portable device that is used to shock the heart of a person suffering a SCA to return the heart to a normal rhythm and can be found in a variety of public settings – from schools to airports. Many have the misconception that they are used only by trained and lay emergency responders, but this is not so. The devices are user friendly and provide audible step-by-step instructions to the user and determines if a shock is needed, making them very easy for almost anyone to use.

One of the best ways to be prepared is to make sure that you know personally what you would do if someone near you collapsed from a SCA. Preparation is never underrated because it could literally mean the difference between life and death.

How can you help someone that may be experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest?

#1 Be prepared and #2 React quickly with a DEFIB device

Bystander intervention is key to better survival rates and outcomes and Starting Hearts encourages everyone to get educated.

Starting Hearts is here to help – we are a Colorado nonprofit organization, dedicated to saving the lives of sudden cardiac arrest victims through free and certification CPR and defibrillator education, widespread distribution of lifesaving public defibrillators, activation of citizen first responders, and broad stakeholder cooperation in the communities we serve.

Taking an online CPR/Defibrillator class has never been easier. In this current COVID-19 climate, Starting Hearts is working closely with the American Red Cross to do everything we can during these difficult times to provide a blended learning model for people to learn online from the comfort of their own homes, while complying with social distancing guidelines.

By successfully completing the online portion of the Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED or BLS blended learning course, you get a provisional certification valid for 90 days. Starting Hearts will then provide an in-person skills test within those 90 days, where upon successful completion, a standard two-year Red Cross certification will be issued.

Learn where your nearest defibrillators are and be prepared by downloading the free PulsePoint mobile app. PulsePoint provides immediate information to quickly locate and retrieve the nearest defibrillator when desperately needed most. Download the PulsePoint app now or visit the Starting Hearts Nearest Nearest Defibrillator Map for more information.

Ready to learn more? We are ready to help in every way possible with online education and defibrillator support. For more information or to arrange your online blended learning certification or recertifications, please contact Starting Hearts at 800.484.2550 and info@startinghearts.org.

Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay

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