SAN DIEGO, Dec. 2, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Citizen CPR Foundation (CCPRF) with prestigious co-sponsor organizations and community members have a mission to save lives and treat sudden cardiac arrest by encouraging citizen and community action in 2011 and beyond. The non-profit organization is launching a national call to action at its upcoming Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update (ECCU) conference on December 7-11 in San Diego. The goal of the new awareness initiative is to educate and inspire over 2,000 resuscitation professionals, instructors, and community champions to strengthen the chain of survival by motivating everyday citizens to act quickly against the leading cause of death in America, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).
"To spotlight this national call to action, we are honoring 50 SCA survivors and the life saving citizens who took action to save their lives as part of our special ECCU Survivor Summit," said Tom P. Aufderheide, MD, President of CCPRF. "This is an amazing celebration of the power of citizen action, and provides a wonderful way to recognize the 50th Anniversary of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)," added Dr. Aufderheide.
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. Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after SCA, can double or triple a victim's chance of survival. If the victim of SCA has an abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation, defibrillation with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is required to stop the abnormal rhythm and allow the patient's normal heart rhythm to resume.
"The CCPRF is calling citizens of all ages and backgrounds to action by sharing practical tips to help save lives," said Dr. Aufderheide. "By simply learning to recognize SCA, calling 9-1-1, and starting CPR, citizens can save those that would otherwise die without immediate help," said Dr. Aufderheide. "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 CCPRF Board of Directors offer many ideas for actions that citizens can take to save lives. Some of their recommendations include:
- Learning CPR
- Promoting CPR training for students at local schools
- Holding fundraisers to support the cost of CPR and AED training classes
- Identifying community locations where AED programs would be most beneficial
- Encouraging lay rescuers to keep all life-saving certifications up-to-date
- Knowing where AEDs and other resources are located in the community
- Utilizing local SCA survivors and savers to share their experiences
"In some communities SCA survival rates are as high as 35 percent while in others no one survives," said Mary Fran Hazinski, RN, MSN, 2011 President-Elect of CCPRF. "We know that bystander CPR is the first step to save lives!"
About Citizen CPR Foundation (CCPRF)
Founded in 1987, the Citizen CPR Foundation (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. In addition to its international biennial conference, the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update (ECCU) conference, CCPRF publishes a quarterly newsletter, Currents in Emergency Cardiovascular Care. For more information, Visit www.citizencpr.org.
SOURCE Citizen CPR Foundation