In 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES) program in collaboration with the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine. The CARES program was created to track and coordinate care stemming from OHCA’s to improve patient care and increase survival rates across the country. Currently, the CARES program covers more than 165 million people in 29 states, but that means that more than 100 million people from 21 states are not covered and cannot benefit from coordinated care.
In communities like Seattle, WA where emergency response systems are coordinated and based on evidence-based practices from the CARES registry, the out of hospital cardiac arrest survival rate is approximately 62% when the event is witnessed. In too many communities without the CARES program, survival rates are in the single digits.
In the coming weeks we will be launching a campaign urging Congress to dedicate funding to the CARES program so it can be expanded to cover all 50 states. We believe that everyone, regardless of where they live should benefit from coordinated care and increased odds of survival.
We will provide advocates with opportunities to contact their members of Congress, but our main push and the most effective strategy to enact change is to collect stories from advocates like you. We would use your stories to identify advocates that can make an especially big impact on Congress by scheduling meetings for you to share your experience and encourage your elected officials to expand the CARES program nationwide.
Have you or someone you love suffered a cardiac arrest? Was an AED device readily available? Did you or someone you love receive timely CPR? If you said yes to any of these, please click here to share your story! It will only take 1 minute, but your story can make a huge difference to lawmakers and millions of people across the country so please share your story today!