Heart2Heart awarded $35,000 to expand lifesaving programIt’s in the news far too often, many times close to home – a person suddenly collapses and dies from sudden cardiac arrest, which is different from a heart attack.
It’s in the news far too often, many times close to home – a person suddenly collapses and dies from sudden cardiac arrest, which is different from a heart attack.
A person having a heart attack is awake, and the heart is beating. In SCA, the heart suddenly stops beating effectively. The person loses consciousness and can die within minutes.
In an effort to capitalize on these first few lifesaving moments, Hudson Hospital and Clinics, St. Croix EMS and the Hudson School District, with fund-raising support from Hudson Hospital Foundation, continue to work together on Heart2Heart - Saving Lives Together. The program was formally known as the Hudson Community Public Access Defibrillation program.
The goal of the program is to reduce the time to defibrillation – that lifesaving shock to the heart – and increase the chance of survival for people with heart-related emergencies in and around Hudson.
“During sudden cardiac arrest, the first few minutes can have a significant impact on the outcome,” said Eric Christensen, chief of St. Croix EMS. “Ordinary bystanders’ recognition of symptoms, notification of 911 and immediate CPR and AED use – known as the “chain of survival” – greatly influence how EMS will begin their treatment when arriving on scene. We see the difference this makes.”
Heart2Heart follows American Heart Association guidelines and seeks to increase and improve awareness, access to and use of automated external defibrillators, and CPR training.
According to Karen Hansen, program development, marketing and community relations manager at Hudson Hospital and Clinics, “Our goal is to build confidence and empower bystanders to respond, whether you are an employee, community member or student.”
Victims depend on the actions of bystanders and local rescuers to perform life-saving measures during those first few critical minutes after collapse. These minutes can mean the difference between life and death.
According to an article in HealthDay News, while 89 percent of Americans say they’re willing and able to help if they witness a medical emergency, only 21 percent are confident they could perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation and only 15 percent believe they can use an automated external defibrillator.
In an effort to educate and train more bystanders, Heart2Heart is encouraging the public to get more involved.
The program received $30,000 in rural grant money to provide the CPR/AED training, equipment and supplies.
“CPR is an inexpensive and readily available technique that can save lives. We need to increase the number of people trained and the quality of CPR provided,” said Philip Hughes, RN, CPR training manager. “One of the Heart2Heart program goals is to train everyone – from middle school students to the elderly.”
Funding also enables the program to continue to offer low-cost AEDs and free CPR/AED training to businesses and organizations. Anywhere large numbers of people regularly congregate, there’s a chance someone will collapse from SCA, as upwards of a quarter of a million Americans do each year.
Community members can also take CPR/AED training (both certification and non-certification classes) in a variety of class formats and settings for $10/person through August (a $65 value). Visit www.hudsonhospital.org (Classes and Resources) for a complete class schedule.
Watch for community training events and ask about the new CPR Anytime take-home training kits available in the Health Resource Center at the hospital. Teens seeking certification can take Heartsaver CPR Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (pre-registration is required).
All classes are taught in the training facility at 901 Dominion Drive.
Schools and area youth
Grant funds will provide K-8 awareness education and CPR/AED training opportunities for Hudson School District students and area youth. Heart2Heart, specially trained UW-River Falls students and high school student peer training advisors are working together to instruct students and staff and get them involved.
For more information about the Heart2Heart program or to learn how you, your child, or your business or organization can participate, contact Karen Hansen, program development, at (715) 531-6056 or email@example.com.